Fuck your equality

So the other day, Gender Identity Watch’s Twitter account was suspended. Some will interpret this as a great victory; some will see Twitter (a company), not unlike Facebook (also a company), as the benevolent arbiter of “good” and “evil” of “right” and “wrong.” (As a culture, we’re so fucking stupid that we only ever think in generalizations – Bad? Good? Right? Wrong? Nice? Mean?) But it’s not about “right” over “wrong” or “good” versus “evil.” Because while those vague concepts might play well in a comic book or some trite bit of fiction, discourse, real, actual, intellectual discourse is a bit more nuanced than these clumsy abstractions. And real discourse, real thinking, the kind that really exercises the gray matter is not fucking comfortable.  Everything can’t always “feel good” — and men, of course, have a hard time with this concept because for men, if something doesn’t “feel good” (to them), then it shouldn’t exist.

Apparently, what caused GIDWATCH to be suspended, was that the account was revealing names (public information) of people (men, by and large) who had signed an anti-lesbian petition against MichFest. No one was outraged that a bunch of dudes were diligently working to eviscerate a space for lesbians – just as no one was outraged when Laverne Cox fawned over a man who raped, tortured, and burned an adolescent girl – but people were outraged when women said things that made men have unpleasant feelings.

The Gender Identity Watch website posted a few choice comments from the aforementioned petition:

“Transgender women shouldn’t be excluded from women’s spaces. I doubt Michfest is all about menstruation or some other only cisgender-relatable experience, so what’s the big deal?” – How like a dude. “Uh, is it, like, uh, about periods? ‘Cause if it is, I don’t want to be near that shit.”

“I will never support a festival bent on excluding the most vulnerable among us. Get on the right side of history or continue to watch the festival lose relevancy.” – “The most vulnerable among us” – huh. I wasn’t aware that MichFest excluded women and children. Wait, it DOESN’T.

“Any person is more than the sum of their parts. There is nothing radical about clinging to the tired old assumption that gender is set in stone at birth.” – We don’t cling to that assumption, because we understand that gender is LEARNED not INHERENT. Being female has nothing to do with gender. How many fucking times do we have to revisit this. JEN-DER: NOT SAME AS BY-OL-O-GEE.

Alas, the trans/queer movement is male driven. The trans/queer movement is about preserving the status quo, upholding society as it is; the trans/queer movement hinges on the assertions that we can (and should) modify ourselves to fit within the hideous system as it is, and that if we give new names to things, those things are fundamentally transformed – but, see, I can call my dog a cat, and he’s still a fucking dog.  The trans/queer movement is without self-awareness, it is a movement of profound, willful, anti-intellectualism. It is a movement that maintains, “If I am doing what I want to do, if THIS feels good to me, then there are no problems.” The trans/queer movement is, at its core, a movement that wishes not to challenge the patriarchy, or any dominant paradigms, but rather one that seeks to rearrange the detritus of our broken social systems around itself so that it, too, may “belong.”

Radical Feminists, on the other hand, don’t wish to find “in-roads” with the patriarchy.

I love when liberal feminists and “fun feminists” and men who call themselves feminists say that feminism is about “equality.” Fuck your equality. I don’t want to be equal with anyone or anything in a system that is so spectacularly fucked. Radical Feminists don’t want to find a nice room within the patriarchy, we want to burn the fucking house down.

And really, every time radical feminists are de-platformed, are censored, are labeled “hateful bigots” for holding an informed perspective, it should only serve to remind us that there isn’t a corner of our society that truly gives a fuck about women. Every time Radical Feminists are bullied into using the words and terms that males (even those who feel like ladies) have created, or co-opted, it should serve to illustrate how incredibly poisonous the culture is for women. Every time a man signs a petition in an effort to destroy female-only space, it should make your blood run cold – it does mine.

All of this is masked under some pursuit of “equality.” People love to rant about “equality” and “let’s just all get along,” because that’s easy, because that doesn’t really challenge anything, or mean anything, because terms like “equality” infer that our sick, misogynistic culture is worth saving, because terms like “equality” usually mean that the oppressed group should suck dick – sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively.

Never let the trans/queer activists’  tantrums delude you into believing that your lived, female reality is an abstraction open to debate, or that it is hateful to disagree with their dogma, or that it is bigotry to refuse to play their lexical games; never buy into the bullshit notion that silencing women is ever about making the world a better place – it’s only censorship designed to make sure that women know their place.

So much nonsense, so little time

So I totally missed TERF WEEK. Damnit. I do so love TERF WEEK – the parades, the festival foods, the bands . . .  Or am I thinking of something else?

In any case, TERF Week, where men scream and cry about how lesbians oppress them, where men talk in egregiously exaggerated terms like (surprise) “war” and “battle” about philosophical differences, came and went and I didn’t even notice.

Because here’s the thing, while dudes were wringing their hands, stewing in their misogyny and projecting all their fucked up semi-Freudian neuroses onto women (radical feminists and dykes, mostly), women were doing awesome shit like attending MichFest and writing books and making art and winning the Fields Medal (first time ever, y’all), falling in love, having intelligent conversations that didn’t center around dudes, supporting their sisters – I mean, while transactivists and queer theorists were sobbing and Tweeting over naming conventions, women were going on with their lives. Imagine that! Fancy that!

Which brings me to the two-pronged purpose of this entry – language and our lives.

I’ve been thinking a lot about MichFest lately. I was filled with a divine envy watching friends post on FB about their time on the land, and a sense of incredible pride that women had created this space, and that it has endured. I’ve never been (next year for sure), and so it seems unfathomable to me. ONE week without male bullshit. One week without fragile male egos. One week away from a society that works so hard to tear women asunder. One week without having my womanhood subjected to theory and politicizing. One week free of the constant hum of tension I’ve become inured to in my life as a female.

To me, someone who’s never been, that’s what MichFest represents.

Males, even those who believe they are ladies, don’t grasp how precious and impossible such a space is. Today, walking home from work, I was thinking about how hard I had to work when I had “the cancers” to ensure I had only female doctors (so transphobic, I know) or how hard, in my profession, I’ve had to work to be taken seriously on even the most basic levels, among men, or how much bullshit I’ve had to endure (from men) for being a gender non-conforming dyke. And in light of all that – one week out of the whole fucking year to be surrounded by other women who “get” this? That sounds like fucking Valhalla . . . but better, because I don’t give a fuck about Vikings or whatever.

But our culture has gone crazier than a shithouse rat on theories devised by males with hang-ups and hurt feelings and grievances. We’ve reached peak relativism; the kind of relativism where a seemingly sane, rational human being can say “penis is female” and no one bats an eye, where it has become de rigueur to argue that a lesbian could also be a straight female or a straight man, or where heterosexual women lop off their tits, call themselves “male” and then accuse other dykes of being “closeted males.”

So why does this matter? It matters because women are still an oppressed class. It matters because language can and will, just as anything in a patriarchal society, become a tool of women’s erasure. It matters because relativism around terms like “woman” and “lesbian” only serves the interest of males, and as we know from – um – the beginning of time, the interests of males never favor the interests or welfare of women. (This also speaks, in some way, to a troubling rift in the LGBT community whereby we are now policing language to placate the feelings of straight people who wish to be seen as gay/lesbian.)

We need a language with which to discuss our lives, our realities. For better or worse, the words we have been provided are “woman,” “female,” “lesbian,” “dyke.” And, frankly, I do not think that as women we can afford to allow males – no matter how ladylike they feel – to coopt these terms, to make them subjective, because they MEAN something for women. They establish a boundary (at least, ideally, they would). They mean we exist – as females, women, dykes, lesbians, human fucking beings – not as a fantasy in a man’s head, not as a concept in a Gender Studies classroom, not as some permutation of a super-special-identity thought up in a video game, but that we exist, that we are exactly who we are.

The trans/queer community could learn something here, I think: USE YOUR FUCKING WORDS. I mean, it seems to me that everyone in the trans/queer activist community is such a goddamn linguist, so why can’t they come up with some new and inventive way to say “straight guy who feels like a lady”? Why does language always have to be at the expense of women, our words, our boundaries? I’ll tell you why, because every last ounce of queer/trans/po-mo rhetoric is guided by males with healthy doses of male entitlement coursing through their ladied veins. The TERF Week I missed was just another clear example of men feeling wronged by ladies (as they always have), another example that behind every utterance of “cis” is a male with a grievance.

Fight for your spaces, sisters. Fight for your words. This matters.

And with that, this dyke is off to mist some kale while listening to Tegan & Sarah.

Over. It.

This shit is getting really old. Like, seriously.

So anyway, the Huffington Post, a piece of shit online rag that when they’re not publishing articles like “Fifty Babies Who Just Can’t With This Lemur” and “Forty-six soup recipes to try before you die” (or is that Buzzfeed? Same difference), gives a platform to males who hate lesbians.

The most recent addition to the Huffington Post’s catalog of lesbophobic nonsense, written by a person named Dana Beyer, is “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Lesbian Trans Exclusion Gets Noticed.”

Bet you’ll NEVER EVER GUESS what this article is about! (Hint: it’s not about leaving lesbians the fuck alone.)

**Seriously, this shit is starting to make me want to take drugs. Hard drugs. Keith-Richards-With-A-Death-Wish drug consumption.***

So this piece of journalism (do I smell a Peabody for HuffPo???) begins where all such bullshit begins – with MichFest, and how low-down and mean the lesbians are for not letting people who “feel like ladies” into their space. The author calls MichFest the “tip of the iceberg” for dudes who want to be lesbians. (Honestly, sometimes I can’t blame these dudes – being a lesbian is pretty fucking awesome.) And then Beyer goes on to say, “The next layer down is populated by the women who’ve spent the past four decades wasting their energy hating trans women. Their numbers include Lisa Vogel, the founder of MichFest and its director since its inception.” (He also names Janice Raymond, Sheila Jefferies, Cathy Brennan – because he’s also under the delusion that these women are the only women on planet Earth that aren’t interested in buying the fuckery he’s peddling.)

Okay, let’s clear this up, Lisa Vogel (I’m guessing) didn’t start MichFest after a night of hand-wringing and evil scheming about ways to exclude trans women – because, sorry guys, it’s NOT ABOUT YOU. It’s never been about you, and god willing, it never will be. I know it’s terribly distressing for ladybrained men that women get ONE WHOLE WEEK where they are free from the kind of bullshit that males, like Beyer, whine about constantly. I know that people like Beyer believe “real ladies” should go out of their way to avail themselves to men and men who feel like ladies, and that they see it as a personal affront when we don’t do that, but MichFest ISN’T about men, and it isn’t about the special fancy post-modern identities you invented in World of Warcraft, and it isn’t about straight people – it’s about women, females, girls. And yeah, it’s also about lesbians.

I know people like Beyer would love to see this once yearly bastion of freedom from the endless man-a-paloooza that is a woman’s life, taken from women so that ladybrained males, otherkins and “queer” straight people can run the fuck over it the way they’ve run over our parades, and colonized our organizations. And every time one of these fuckers asks the question, “Why not trans women?” they only further demonstrate just how much they don’t GET what it’s like to be a woman. Every time they vilify spaces like MichFest, they demonstrate that they don’t GET what it’s like to be a dyke. Or maybe they DO get it, and because they’re male, they just don’t fucking care. Actually, the latter is certainly “the one.”

But the article gets “better.”

“But MichFest is only the very tip of the iceberg,” Beyer writes.

See, it’s only the “tip of the iceberg” to destroy the one place on planet Earth where lesbians can congregate without being subjected to male bullshit. THAT is only the “tip of the iceberg.” What’s the deeper part of this proverbial “iceberg”? Let’s have a guess, shall we? If you guessed that the rest of the iceberg had to do with fucking, you would be correct:

Beyer uses the term “Cotton Ceiling” (which makes me want to simultaneously vomit and punch things), and then goes on to say of the “nice lesbians” who placate him and his special feels, “any of these cisgender (non-transgender) lesbians are political allies, because, like most Americans, they believe discrimination is wrong. But on a social, personal and intimate level, trans women are invisible to them as women.”

Where do I even start?

First of all, I’m not a “cisgender (non-transgender) lesbian” – I’m a dyed in the fucking wool dyke. I’m a woman. I’m not “non-transgender” – I’ve spent my whole fucking life defaulting to male language, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to default to males on this one.  I will never accept your “cis,” you’ve named me and my sisters long enough. “Non-transgender lesbian” – fuck you and the genderqueer unicorn you rode in on!

And fuck your stupid fucking presumptions. No matter how much estrogen you gobble, or how deeply you have your dick inverted, you will never know what it is to be a woman – because “swallowing copious amounts of estrogen” and “having a penis” are not experiences of womanhood, because despite what society has told you, liking sparkles and being “sensitive” does not make you female. Because female is an actual lived experience, not a fucking feeling in your sparkly little brain.

And guess what? A lesbian’s refusal to have sex with males is not a hate crime. Although, being that Beyer, and all the rest, are male, it doesn’t surprise me that these shameless fuckers who have lived the vast majority of their life as MEN have the goddamn gall to suggest that lesbians “owe it to them” to fuck them now that they’ve declared themselves “women.” Careful there, Lady McLadyson, your sick, predatory, male privilege is showing.

Seriously, dudes. If you want to “play girl,” by all means do. If you get your rocks off fancying yourself a dyke – enjoy your fantasy. (I fully understand the “pretend game” — sometimes I like to imagine what it would be like to get the Pulitzer, or to have a million dollars – shit, sometimes I even ACT like I have a million dollars. Sadly, there’s no surgery I can have to make me look more like a Pulitzer-Prize Winner or drugs to take that will make me feel more like a millionaire – so count your blessings, boys.)

But, my ladybrained brothers, if you want to politicize lesbian spaces, in order to destroy them, if you want to – as a straight male – whine about how lesbians won’t fuck you, then you can go to hell. Seriously.

Now I’m off to beat my head against a wall.

What Does Being “Cis” Mean For A Woman?

Caroline Criado-Perez

Today I got a bit cross. I do that occasionally. I have been watching the non-binary versus feminism wars getting increasingly heated and thinking, one day, I’ll write a considered post on this. It is an important issue that deserves my time and effort – but it is such an important issue that it deserves time and effort that I simply don’t have today. So days go by and I say nothing. I tweet out articles by women far more cogent and intelligent than I am. I endorse them in the strongest possible terms. But it doesn’t feel enough. I feel like I’m ducking my feminist duty: the duty for women to SPEAK. To not feel scared and cowed. To not suffocate under the weight of not saying anything until that mythical perfect moment when all her ducks are in a row, when the sun is at the right point…

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Oh, the hyperbole!

Recently, the Huffington Post gave a platform to a transactivist who, in order to open them up to harassment, actively seeks to publish and distribute personal information – home addresses, home numbers, photos – of women who disagree with him. He justified his actions by likening women who disagree with him to Hitler. (And I’m not linking the shit here, but if you want to find it, it’s called “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism” What Exactly Is It, And Why Does It Hurt?” By a person called Kelsie Brynn Jones.)

In the piece, the writer liberally employs use of the pejorative, TERF; TERF is a slur used against feminists whose feminism does not center around the wishes and desires of males. And for the most part, the piece is the same old drivel we’ve heard before from transgender activists with deeply hurt feels – lots of misinformation, and LOTS of hyperbole. Oh, how they love the hyperbole!

So I’m just going to hit upon some of the “highlights” of the piece here.

The author of the piece says, of Radical Feminists, “They have attached themselves to radical feminism as a means to attempt to deny trans women basic access to health care, women’s groups, restroom facilities, and anywhere that may be considered women’s space.”

Um, okay. So I know this is really hard for my ladybrained brothers to understand, but Radical Feminism isn’t actually about YOU. Most radical feminists, at least the ones I know, don’t spend their days conspiring against trans people. It’s not about “attempting to deny trans women” entrance into bathrooms, or women’s groups, it’s about PROTECTING FEMALES from male violence, it’s about trying to ensure that women still have a few little rooms in the world where we can talk about issues that impact women, where we don’t have to center on the sensitivities of men who fancy themselves women, it’s about believing that women have the right to space away from people like the writer of this article.

Oh, and I would really love to see the evidence that points to the idea that a radical feminist ever attempted to “deny trans women basic access to health care.” Most radical feminists I know believe all people, regardless of their special feelings, regardless of whether or not they agree with us, deserve access to healthcare. So I really have no fucking clue where this is coming from.

But this is my favorite part, “Since then, they have continued to use anti-transgender rhetoric, using the banner of feminism in the same way that Westboro Baptist Church uses Christianity. They consistently use rhetoric suggesting that trans women are would-be rapists, that we are “men invading women’s spaces””

In the same way as the Westboro Baptist Church? So now women standing up for women are on par with lunatic fringe groups who picket funerals? Really? Women who disagree with people like the author of this article are the same as Fred Phelps? Disagreement with an ideology is not “hate speech.” In the 21st century it’s super convenient (albeit intellectually lazy) to label everything that does not cater to the whims and feelings of an individual as “hate speech.” And referring to radical feminists as purveyors of “hate speech” is simply another way to silence us. It’s simply another way of saying, “witch.”

And as to the last part, “men invading women’s spaces” – YOU ARE exactly that. And every time you and your brethren protest events like MichFest, distributing vile pamphlets, every time you threaten to give out the addresses of women who disagree with you, every time you call lesbians bigots for not wanting to fuck you, you show your true, male, colonizer colors. Our “rhetoric” doesn’t suggest that you are “men invading women’s spaces” – your words and actions tell us you are precisely that.

And here’s another trope that baffles the fuck out of me, “When speaking out against the TERF movement, one is at risk of being “outed” on social media.”

So help me understand here. If you are on social media as a “transwoman activist” how the fuck can anyone “out” you? What are you being outed as? An asshole?

I mean, as someone who has been openly lesbian for going on twenty-years, I couldn’t rationally accuse anyone of “outing” me. So who is outing these people? And what is being outed? (P.S. — women have eyes that cause us to also have perceptions. Sorry that inconveniences you.)

And naturally, here we go with po-mo nonsense science, Nature has many variations of physical gender that occur naturally, in fauna and flora.

How many times do we have to go over this pretty basic concept: SEX AND GENDER ARE NOT THE SAME. My dog is male. He has a little dog penis. He doesn’t, however, have a gender. I can dress him in a pink collar or a blue collar, I can call him “baby girl dog” or “baby boy dog” and he doesn’t give a flying fuck. My boy dog enjoys all the same activities as the neighbor’s girl dog. My Schefflera, also, does not have a gender. Gender is a HUMAN CONSTRUCT. Gender is an invention. Sex is basic, grade-school-level science, and it is immutable. It’s really not that hard to understand. (And yes, I realize there are genital anomalies in humans, but that’s not what we’re talking about.)

And now for the “more oppressed than thou” moment, I can assure the readers that I have not met one trans person who would deliberately choose to stand out among their peers to be singled out for abuse, assault, for rape, or to be murdered in the horrific way that transgender women are being killed around the world.

Guess what, hon? Women have been dealing with this shit since the beginning of fucking time, and they’re still dealing with it at a rate that would buckle your knees if you ever bothered to, I don’t know, read a fucking newspaper.

Furthermore, I really love how this “trans women are killed around the world” line is thrown around as some sort of carte blanche for ladybrained males to do and say whatever they want, without consequence. (The same does not work for females; it doesn’t matter that my sisters are being systemically raped, assaulted, murdered as I type this – people like the writer of the Huffington Post piece still want to threaten me, and other women who share my convictions, until we acquiesce to theirs.) I also love how this bit of information is used as though it ought to be some kind of entry ticket whereby women step the fuck aside, eat our feelings, swallow our reservations, and let males who “feel” like women take over every fucking bit of space we’ve managed to painstakingly eke out for ourselves. “Oh? Trans people are assaulted? Raped? Murdered? As a simple cisfemale (I’m using “cis” with heaping amounts of irony, because fuck your “cis”), I am unfamiliar with these concepts of which you speak.” No one has ever fucking cared that women and girls suffer these horrific fates at an astonishing rate, but now that males are subjected to them, women are supposed to bend over fucking backwards to “fix it.” Also, it’s not women and it’s not radical feminists who are murdering and raping trans people. It’s men. Why, oh why, won’t people like this writer use their precious Huffington Post space to address men, the ones who are actually killing trans women? Why squander this opportunity on admonishing women? Oh, right. I forgot. You’re MALE that’s why. Males aren’t in the habit of calling out other males who rape, murder and kill. The burden must fall to females. No worries, us women are used to this line of reasoning.

And you know what? No one chooses to be singled out for abuse, assault, rape, or murder. Not even actual females. The implication of this writer’s statement is sick.

So well done, Huffington Post, for giving this writer space to drag out the same old misogynistic notion that women are responsible for the world’s preponderance of violence and that women who are critical of males and male ideologies are bigoted hate mongers. Never saw that one coming — and by that I mean, I wouldn’t expect anything less of the Huffington Post.