Convert or Perish: On Germaine Greer

** This is a joint post with Phonaesthetica **

Regular readers of our blogs don’t need an introduction to the canonical liberation-feminist work of Germaine Greer, nor do they need a recap of what’s happening to her in the news this week. But, to sum up: Greer is under fire for hurting Bruce Jenner’s feels – and by extension, the feels of other men who say they are women – for maintaining that they are not, in fact, women, and that misogyny is the basis of Glamour magazine’s decision to consider Bruce Jenner for its Woman of the Year award, i.e., Jenner’s pretty hair, makeup, nails and fashion make him a better women than someone who was simply born a woman.

Because of this, Cardiff University – Greer’s own academic institution – will not offer her an honorary degree; nor will it allow her a platform to speak. A petition with nearly 2,000 signatures accuses Greer of “demonstrating misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether.”

These are lies.

In the six-minute interview clip, Greer makes it very clear she believes male-to-female transsexuals should “carry on,” should do what they need to do to feel comfortable; and that she’s happy to use “female speech forms as a courtesy.” However, here she doesn’t bend: Male-to-female transsexuals are men, and Bruce Jenner is angling for the kind of attention lavished on the Kardashian women.

“I’m not saying that people should not be allowed to go through the procedure,” Greer says. “What I’m saying is it doesn’t make them a woman. It happens to be an opinion; it’s not a prohibition.”

The interviewer persists in dragging the discussion into various side alleys – What about intersex, huh? What about someone who has a uterus and testes, huh? Aren’t you being insulting? Some people think this kind of speech incites violence.

Greer, patiently, re-iterates that intersex conditions and transsexuality are two different things; reminds the interviewer that trans has never been her issue (because, guess what, her issue is WOMEN); and then cracks herself up laughing at the recollection of the many times she herself has been insulted.

“Try being an old woman!” she says, and we know what she means: An old woman is invisible; is offensive by continuing to exist long after her beauty and fertility and usefulness to men are gone.

In fact, hey – look at the first comment posted here underneath the interview:

2015-10-25 14.39.55

No one is accusing this commenter of violent, hateful, dehumanizing speech, as they would if the comment were directed toward, say, Laverne Cox or Caitlyn Jenner: that’s because Greer is female; is elderly; is firm in her unpopular, non-male-centered opinion. So it doesn’t matter what people say about her. She no longer counts.

While older men are celebrated for their wisdom and important insight (think, for example, an entire Oscar-winning documentary, The Fog of War, centered on the musings of an eighty-something McNamara), society does not regard older women in the same way. We do not afford older women the opportunity to be heard – unless they are willing, as say, Betty White, to perform for our amusement.

The liberal feminist movement itself is consumed in a deep, profound hatred of older women who are feminists. “Second Wave” has become a pejorative, principally because what the Second Wave represented was women’s refusal to cater to the needs and demands of men; to emancipate themselves from patriarchy.

Liberal feminists work tirelessly to distance themselves from the women who came before – be they Second Wave or suffragette. Liberal feminists have been conditioned to cut themselves off from their predecessors because their predecessors did not prioritize the way men might feel if women earned the right to vote, take birth control, start a group, publish a book, found a magazine, or get a fucking job.

Second Wave feminists, in particular, were not afraid to say men and men’s needs were the primary cause of women’s suffering – even Betty Friedan, founder of NOW, got freaked out and attempted to distance herself as feminists of the 60s and 70s started to openly, unabashedly name the problem. And though we can’t speak for Friedan, we would hazard that she knew men were the problem, but distanced herself from the claim in order that she not end up, at the tail end of her career and life, villainized the way Greer is being villainized now. (And yes, we are also aware the Friedan was afraid of being labeled a lesbian, and saw lesbians as a detriment to the movement.)

Fuck, even Gloria Steinem came out in support of the idea of ladybrain – and we don’t think she believes it any more than Greer does. But because the current liberal feminist mandate is that female is a feeling in a man’s head, Greer and Steinem have both been faced with a difficult choice: Say you’ve converted to Genderism (even if you haven’t) or be prepared to have your entire life’s work eclipsed by our culture’s staid belief that hurting a man’s feelings amounts to blasphemy.Young liberal feminist women have been given terms like “queer” and “cis” to confuse them into believing that their suffering is not real or, if it is real, it does not result from being born female.

When older sisters, like Greer, speak, when they say, “Listen! Women and girls have real, actual problems that have nothing to do with a man’s ability to craft the visage of ‘woman’” we, as a society, are quick to censure them, to call them “mad,” to infer they are insane with old age.

This is a trope, a motif. We see this in countless so-called “classic” and “beloved” tales: Great Expectations, Sunset Boulevard, Snow White, Macbeth, to name a very small few. We see this pattern, too, in our pop culture, in our politics: an aging woman is an angry woman, is jealous, is insane, is a being (not quite human, not quite woman) bent on evil.

The only “good woman” over fifty is one who is silent, deferential, nurturing, OR willing to make a fucking fool of herself.

But if one was to listen, to actually fucking listen, to a single word Greer has said on the topic, one would hear that hers are not the belligerent ravings of a madwoman, but rational, intelligent responses to a lunatic conversation she has been relentlessly dragged into despite the fact, as she has repeatedly stated, that she has zero interest whatsoever in discussing the matter, or thinking about the matter.

Here’s the bizarre reality: this interviewer is seated across from Germaine Greer – brilliant scholar, feminist icon, a woman who has nearly eighty years of experience and insight – and the best she can do is ask her about Bruce fucking Jenner?

But we, I suppose, are in the minority in that we value older women; we have friendships with women who are twenty, thirty, forty years our senior; we look to our elder sisters for advice, and are eager to hear their perspectives. We do not see women like Greer as freakish “others.”

Cardiff will not give Greer her earned and deserved honorary degree because she, unlike Steinem, refuses to espouse a belief in ladybrain. Greer will not betray a lifetime of scholarship and activism, she will not disappear her convictions, in order to cradle the fragile male ego, in order to pander to bullshit liberal feminism, and to perpetuate what we all know is a gigantic fucking lie.

But you know who wasn’t denied an honorary degree? Mike Tyson, the man who raped and beat women. Mike Tyson, who BIT ANOTHER MAN’S EAR OFF ON LIVE TELEVISION.

Who else; who else. Oh, yeah: Kanye West, author of immortal rap lyrics including ”We got this bitch shaking like Parkinson’s,” “black dick all in your spouse again,” and “I keep it 300, like the Romans/300 bitches, where’s the Trojans?” has an honorary doctorate.

(So does Kermit the Frog. No shit. From Southampton College.)

Roman Polanski anally-raped a female child. He gets LOTS of awards and makes LOTS of speeches.

Hurt feelings — hell, hurt bodies — in no way jeopardize a man’s public career. Very few men are maligned for talking shit about women, and absolutely no man is shamed for speaking, as Greer has, in simple, verifiable facts.

Go back a second, though, to Kanye’s Trojans, because this whole Greer thing forcibly reminds us of the ancient Greek myth of Apollo and Cassandra.

Despite his good looks, Apollo didn’t have such a great reputation with the ladies. He had a history of attempted rape (which, in ancient mythology, is not regarded as too great a transgression), and of bribing women for sex. For Apollo, a figure who is supposed to represent the “perfect man” in form and intellect, all women could be bought, and when they could not be bought, they could be forced, and if they could not be bought or forced, they would be cursed.

When he offered Cassandra, a Trojan woman, the power of prophecy in exchange for sex, she gave it some thought but ultimately rejected him. Apollo, in turn, cursed her: she would have prophetic gifts, but never be believed.

In fact, she would be thought a liar and a madwoman.

And so, when Cassandra foresaw the Trojan War, no one listened.

When she insisted, “The Trojan Horse is full of men hiding!” people laughed at and insulted her.

Finally, she grabbed an axe and a burning torch and ran toward the horse, in an effort to destroy it before it destroyed Troy – but the Trojans stopped her, therefore ensuring their own destruction.

The men hiding in the horse were tremendously relieved.

M(isogyny) F(atigue) S(yndrome)

I’m burnt out on bullshit. I can hardly muster the energy, these days, to address the issues that populate this blog. I’m bored of the predictability. I spend a lot of time saying, “of course.” I have misogyny fatigue syndrome.

All women, who can bear to think about their lot, and the lot of their sisters, arrive at this place, and spend their lives vacillating between misogyny-fatigue and righteous indignation, swaying between the poles of “fight it” and “fuck it.”

Being a woman is fucking exhausting. When you’re a woman, your life is seen as part of an issue, the hinge on which an ongoing debate swings, a dismissive mention in some pernicious legislation that is constantly under revision.

But I’m edging up on forty. I’m somewhat inured to all this.

This week, I saw a story about an adolescent girl, in Los Angeles, who had been raped by her teacher. The news says “sexually abused,” says, “inappropriate relationship” – but let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? It was rape. That’s what a civilized society should call it when a thirty-year old man is putting his penis into a thirteen year-old girl: rape.

In any case, the judge in the case claimed the girl was “partly to blame” in the rape, as she had been “stalking” her teacher, “grooming” her teacher. Said the judge to the rapist, “If grooming is the right word to use, it was she who groomed you [and] you gave in to temptation.”

I cannot imagine this girl’s shock, her devastation at what was, perhaps, her second experience with how very fucked up and heartbreaking it is to be female. In 2015, your teacher can rape you at thirteen, and you can get the blame for the rape – not just from other kids at school, but from the legal system.

See, the funny thing about all the talk of “women’s agency” and “empowerment” is that women are only “empowered agents” in relation to men. It’s all lip service. Like, that thirteen year old in Los Angeles only has “power” insofar as it’s been argued that She had the power to seduce her adult teacher, ergo he should not be penalized for raping her. She doesn’t really have any power. If she did, her teacher would – rightly – be behind bars.

Women don’t even really have any sexual agency, unless it’s in relation to men. Like, a woman who is critical of pornography, insofar as it harms women, is a close-minded prude, but a woman who is being exploited in porn is “totally empowered because she’s availing herself to men.” – Says men.

A woman who argues against prostitution is a “prude” and “anti sex-work” (whatever the fuck “sex work” means), but a woman who is PRO sex work, who never criticizes, who never admonishes the traffickers, the sexual exploiters of women is super fucking cool and awesome and forward thinking because she makes it okay for men to sexually exploit women! Yay! – Says men.

A woman, or teenage girl for that matter, who questions whether or not a male student ought to be allowed into the girls’ bathroom and locker room is a super fucking transphobic BITCH, but the woman, or teenage girl, who does not question this, who lets their bewigged, lipsticked peer who, like, five fucking minutes ago rather cavalierly decided he was a girl (and really, how LOVELY that one can simply “decide”), regardless of the risk it may pose, regardless of the dangerous precedent it sets for, you know, GIRLS, has really checked her cis privilege and is so amazing because she doesn’t hurt men’s feels – Says men.

 I know this. You know this. Women know this. We’re not supposed to admit we know this – because we’ve been empowered into silence – but we do know.

As my wife so keenly, and astutely observed, the girls at Lila Perry’s school – members of “Generation Entitlement” – may have just had their first awakening to the reality that the culture, that our society, cares NOT about your needs as a female, your feelings as a female, your perspectives or your opinions as a female. You are not, contrary to what you’ve been spoon fed, special or empowered or “equal to” just because it’s 2015. You are still beholden to the wants and whims of males.

(Further to my point, as of the publication of this post, the House of Reps has voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood, an organization many women rely on for reproductive healthcare.)

There’s been very little coverage of the story out of Los Angeles. After all, it’s just another raped girl failed by the legal system. It’s not nearly as important, not nearly as significant as the plight of a seventeen-year old boy in a wig who has been denied the right to disrobe in the girl’s locker room. Now that’s a TRAVESTY. That’s worth our care, our worry, our handwringing — and the folks at The Advocate – that lesbophobic, woman-hating bastion of manly manliness – also think so.

In an article that could have easily been entitled “Fuck Those Girls,” a man who identifies as a lady takes to task Lila Perry’s peers, mostly girls, for daring to question Perry’s “right” to their bathrooms, their locker rooms, for daring to ask that these spaces be sans peen.

Predictably, the author begins the article by offensively conflating the needs of a deluded seventeen year-old boy with the chaos surrounding integration efforts in Gary, Indiana seventy years ago. Trans activists, particularly (though not exclusively – see Fox News’ coverage of Kim Davis, Et Al) love to liken their struggles to the struggles of other marginalized groups, as a way of legitimizing their plight. They love the concept of intersectionality, of overlapping oppressions, of oneness, of sameness only in a rhetorical sense – because without a firm belief in “specialness” there is no trans-identity, no queer theory, both of which have a fetishistic need to take into account every single possible human variant and present the variants as unique and fanciful exceptions warranting worship.

Trans activists/theorists are not interested in the brother/sister/sibling/hood of wo/man, they’re not interested in commonality because the whole fucking thing is about emphasizing specialness and demanding that everyone else reconfigure their language, their thinking, their reality in order to accommodate it. (And you know what? You’ll never be able to accommodate it, because you cannot accommodate the demands of a movement that deems itself everywhere and nowhere, that bends history to suit its storyline, that lacks a center, that defines itself whichever way the wind blows.)

The only time these “activists”/bloggers/”journalists” – virtually all male — are truly interested in “commonalities” is when they can use them, rhetorically, in an attempt to “shame” others (girls/women) who refuse to bow before their specialness.

The writer of The Advocate article, hitching his wagon to the Civil Rights Movement, goes on to say, “Seventy years later, almost nothing has changed except what class of people are the targets of open community wrath, discrimination, and segregation.”

(Do remember he’s talking about a teenage boy who feels entitled to get naked with other girls because he wears a wig and a dress. Do remember that he’s comparing the needs of this boy to the ongoing struggle of African Americans in the United States. Do note that no one else is outraged by the comparison.)

So the inference here is that MtT’s are the targets of “open community wrath” – really? Because from my vantage point it looks like MtT’s are doing quite all right – preponderance of television shows, movies, fawning interviews, sit-downs with the Holy See, and folks like me who are critical of the implications, the ramifications for female human beings of this lovefest with gender and “ladybrains” are driven underground or driven out entirely. Last I checked, Pierce Morgan lost his job for pointing out that his transgender guest, who was on his show for being transgender, was, in fact, transgender. Last I checked, men who “feel like ladies” are entitled to faculty positions, literary and athletic awards that were initially designed for female human beings, and all of us female human beings better suck it up, and shut up or else risk being blacklisted. Last I checked, most Dyke Marches now prioritize heterosexual men who “feel like ladies,” and the rest of us dykes better gladly welcome dick into our celebrations or else. So I’m not sure where this writer is seeing the “open community wrath.”

I don’t see Donald Trump being silenced for spewing his misogynist filth. I don’t see Fancy Miss Brucelynn Jenner being called out for calling heterosexuality the “normal” state for women, thus othering dykes. I don’t see anyone speaking up for women in prison, who increasingly must be held alongside violent males who “feel like ladies.” And I damn well don’t see anyone standing up for the girls at Lila Perry’s school, who seem like good and rational kids, who just want a little privacy.

See, it’s okay to hold women in contempt, to hate women – unless, of course, we’re talking about men who “feel like” women. See, the feelings of men will always, always, always trample the needs of women.

“We just want to pee in peace” is the refrain of the trans lobby. Well, maybe WOMEN and GIRLS just want to pee in peace, too. Maybe we have a reason and a right to be scared of you and your penis and your wig in our private spaces. And you can do your “tut-tut, we’re not going to rape/attack/hurt you” routine ‘til you’re blue in the face but you DO and you DO  and you DO.

The writer of The Advocate article singles out a teenage girl as a symbol of “ignorance” and “vitriol.” This student, this kid, said of her male peer, “I find it offensive because Lila has not went through any procedure to become female – putting on a dress and putting on a wig is not transgender to me.” Basically what this girl is saying is “a dress and wig don’t make you a girl” – can we really argue with that? Can we really call this teen’s simple, logical, observation “ignorance” and “vitriol”? She’s not saying that transgender people don’t exist, and she’s not saying she dislikes transgender people or is against transgender people having rights. She’s simply stating that FUCKING DRESSES AND WIGS DON’T MAKE YOU FEMALE. I mean, this isn’t a brain buster. If we are going to go down this road, if we are going to go sauntering into these dark woods where wigs and skirts = woman, then we are fucked. Not just fucked because it’s an insult to all women to suggest that wigs and skirts are the sum total of our being, but because it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous to allow men to declare themselves female simply because they are wearing a wig and a dress. Is Lila Perry himself dangerous? Maybe not, but that’s not the POINT. The point is that supporting the wishes of this one boy over the needs of ALL his female classmates sets a dangerous fucking precedent that will, really and actually, inflict harm upon real and actual women and girls.

And to paint the girls at his school as monsters is reprehensible. Do you think they don’t know this boy? They’ve been attending school with him for years. Do you think perhaps that these girls, who are not only part of Generation Entitlement but also Generation Anything-Goes, have reason based in experience to NOT want him in their bathrooms and locker rooms? I do — because I trust girls. I also know that girls, by virtue of being girls, have good gut instincts regarding men-to-be-wary-of.

The author also bemoans the abject cruelty of noting that Lila Perry has a penis. “But he caaaan’t have surgery! He’s a minor! Also, maybe he doesn’t waaaaant surgery! Don’t be such a transphobe!”

In a moment of astonishing tone-deafness, even for The Advocate, the author of the Team Perry piece argues that suggesting Perry doesn’t belong in the girls changing room/bathroom because of his penis is akin to, “[not allowing a girl to] participate in cheerleading unless she had breast augmentation.” – Wha? I guess the writer is intimating that . . . I don’t even fucking know anymore. As of press time, no one has been raped by a breast so . . . yeah.

And then, and THEN the writer says, “The idea of forcing someone to undergo unwanted surgery to conform with gender stereotypes should disgust any sane person.” Okay, dude. My breasts aren’t “gender stereotypes” – they’re naturally occurring parts of my female body. Nor is Lila Perry’s penis a “stereotype” – it’s a male reproductive organ. And I find it HI-lar-i-ous that this person is condemning “gender stereotypes” while supporting a 17 year-old male who stands in front of news crews flipping fistfuls of wig hair, coyly twisting his legs in a knee-length skirt, while referring to himself as a “girl.” Oh, and by the way, the wig-flipping and coquettish demeanor of this guy are supposed to be indicative of the “FACT” that he’s female.

But his dick is a “stereotype.” Right. Got it.

Yesterday, Ms. Magazine wrote, and posted to Facebook, a celebratory article because someone was crowned Homecoming Queen. Fucking Homecoming Queen. I thought maybe someone had hacked the account. Like wasn’t that the whole thing about Ms. Magazine? We can aspire to be more than (or at least OTHER than) Miss Americas and homecoming queens? The Ms. Magazine I knew celebrated women’s achievements in Science, Literature, Academia – not fucking homecoming queens (zero offense to my homecoming queen readers – I’m presuming there are precious few). Then I saw that the homecoming queen was a male. Ah, yes. Homecoming queen became a special and important mantle, in the eyes of Ms. Magazine, because that title was finally given to a dude.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m glad I spent my teen years and early adulthood in the 80s and 90s. The good old days, when it was okay to understand biology, and when Ms. Magazine ran stories for women about astronauts and artists. When no one was telling girls like me that we must be men. I came of age believing, however falsely, that women and girls had a fighting chance in this world.

To the girls at Perry’s school – I’m sorry, but welcome to the world. This is a world where you’ll be told you can BE anything you want to be, while at every turn people will shout over you, undermine your ability based on your sex class and in the same breath assert that the fight has been fought and won for women; you’ll be told that the very things that debase you are the things that empower you; you’ll be told that your body, your being, your existence, your very humanity is an idea open to incessant debate among men – most of whom will want to define you, some of whom will want to be you, will say they’re the same as you and will say you may not discuss your female suffering, your female perils because their version of woman suffers more. It will all be very confusing. It will never make better sense. It will never be easier to breathe — you’ll just learn how to take shallow breaths.

Tweet this shit, or spin these yarns over a craft beer at your favorite sex-positive-poly-queer-trans-feminine bar and grille

(This is a collaboration with the amazingly clever Phonaesthetica.)

About a month ago, published a lengthy trans-apologist piece absolving men-who-feel-like-women of all culpability in the destruction of women-only and lesbian space. The article was the usual, run-of-the-mill, “Why all you dykes gotta be so uptight?” bullshit espoused by liberal feminists who are far more concerned with protecting the delicate male ego than supporting women, much less lesbians. Unsurprisingly, the article culminated with the author expressing hope that the word “lesbian” will be diluted to accommodate men and no longer denote “female homosexual.”

The article was the same old trite, man-centric, mental-Cheetos one might find on or the TransAdvocate: Lesbians are mean because they don’t want dick. Radical feminists are mean because their politics center women.

Predictably, the author of the article cited “internet sensation” Cathy Brennan as being the meanest mean of ALL TIMES, fixating on her as though she is the ONLY woman who is of the opinion that female isn’t a feeling, and that women have a right to, and need for, woman-only space. For liberal feminists, gay and trans advocates, Brennan has, in a sense, become a synecdoche.

And while many in liberal media, gay media, and trans media like to portray Brennan as the ONLY one who holds gender critical perspectives, as the ONLY woman who doesn’t believe one can identify their way into the class of female, this is, of course, not true. Many women share Brennan’s position on gender and on female-only space. Unlike her, though, most of us have been scared into silence or, at best, pseudonyms. Because even the mildest criticisms about our gender-sick, woman-hating culture are met with profound hostility.

 Also, Cathy Brennan is a person, not a synecdoche.

We’ve made no secret on our blogs of the fact that we are actual friends of Cathy Brennan. The kind of friends who talk about movies and music and many other things that have nothing to do with queer/trans politics. Because we’re, you know, human. And none of us are actually obsessed – or even care that much – about what strangers say or do. We do, however, care about women and girls and, as unpopular as it may be, dykes. We do, as friends, share a mutual refusal to accept the toxic, misogynist beliefs that are so deeply a part of queer/trans dogma.

And our words, our critiques, our questions are treated as literal Molotov cocktails, literal punches, literal knives. Histrionics, hyperbole, and gaslighting are the only rafts allowing queer/trans “logic” to remain afloat. Women know this.

Cathy Brennan knows this, and has been outspoken on the matter. She’s called bullshit on rhetoric and legislation that will directly harm women and girls, and because she hasn’t hidden behind a pseudonym, because she has been completely transparent about her identity, she has become a target for liberal feminists and trans activists (most of whom are male).

Once again, while Brennan is a prominent advocate for women and girls, she is also an actual person, and when writers make libelous claims about her, she has every right to defend herself. A lie is a lie, even when it serves your special persecution narrative so very well.

And here is a lie: The author of the article claims that Cathy Brennan “doxxed” MtT’s.

We’re not really down with techie/internet speak, but from what we understand, “doxxing” involves digging deep for a person’s personal info – like their telephone number, home address, family members, etc., collecting that info and publishing it in a public forum. Exactly like what the TransAdvocate did to GallusMag of GenderTrender, because they didn’t like her perspective on gender politics; because she sometimes offended men who identify as women.

Doxxing is actually really fucked up. It’s a symptom of an unhealthy obsession. It’s a particularly pernicious form of cyber stalking. So when you accuse someone of doxxing, it’s a serious accusation. And if it’s a false accusation, it’s defamation.

Having been wrongly accused of doxxing, Brennan filed a lawsuit.’s response to the pending litigation cited “proof” that Brennan had doxxed an MtT. The “proof”? A link to the webpage of someone who once publically threatened the lives of Brennan’s children in a terrifying Twitter meltdown that went entirely unnoticed by gay or trans media. As further proof of “doxxing,” argued that Brennan “published the whereabouts” of the original article’s author. Basically, Brennan mentioned that the author was a hairdresser in San Francisco, information that even the most cursory Google search would provide. is sad that Brennan pushed back after one of their writers made a false, defamatory claim. See, liberal feminists, trans activists, and formerly lesbian publications (like, care very deeply about “fighting back,” “speaking up” and about “justice” when we’re talking about men and men’s rights not to be identified as men and men’s rights to colonize female spaces. Liberal culture cares a lot about men’s feelings and men’s rights, and there’s simply no room for women, especially not those who are lesbian, especially not those lesbians who don’t need or want men’s approval.

By the way: We see a distinct parallel between liberal feminists who center men and working-class people who vote Republican because they suspect, deep inside, that they’re going to be rich one day. The latter group has unhinged its collective jaw to swallow whole the lie America sells: Our nation has no class or economic system holding anybody back no matter where or when or to whom they were born.  These working-class people, who believe they’re only one genius idea or one lottery ticket away from taking their rightful place among the rich, vote with their imaginary wallets instead of the ones they actually have – and claim their allegiances are due to “morals” or “family values.”

Correlatively, liberal feminists believe that if they center men’s needs, wants and imaginings when it comes to women’s status in the world, they’ll earn “just-like-men” status (the kind of status they might earn in developing nations by having six or seven sons). “Just-like-men” women aren’t bitches who insist that “women have abortions” or object to being called “cis.”

“Just-like-men” women argue that freeing the nipple is GREAT for women because they should be able to take their shirts off in public just like men; that being fucked for money is FINE for women because it’s a woman’s empowering choice re: what to do with her body, just like men (please disregard the economic and political factors that go into that choice for the vast majority of women in the sex trade, or that that men don’t get naked for empowerment or you’d see powerful men doing it) and hey! Look over here at this privileged white university student who escorted for a year, got a book deal, and then went right back to college to get the kind of education that saves her from EVER having to fuck for money. “Just-like-men” women don’t give the tiniest hoot about lesbians unless they’re grinding on each other for male amusement.

Hell, so-called lesbian publications hardly even write about lesbian culture or issues of importance to lesbians unless it’s in the context of how lesbian culture can become more accommodating to males who feel like women. Doubt us on that? Consider that AfterEllen’s article about “Lesbian Abundance” was actually about MtT’s who feel excluded by lesbians.

Oh, and it took no time for to run a finger wagging piece written by Don/Dawn/Don/Dawn Ennis, which makes a point to, in the style of your average grocery-store checkout tabloid, use an unflattering screenshot of Brennan as a lead-up to making more false claims about what she said during an interview with Don/Dawn/Don/Dawn last month, including the statement, “she made it clear in a July interview with The Advocate that she is strongly opposed to civil rights protections for trans people.” This is a patent lie, and can be easily refuted by listening to the recording of the interview:

But no one – not the so-called lesbian publications and organizations, not the trans publications and organizations, not the liberal feminist publications and organizations – are really interested in presenting the truth about what women like Brennan, women like us, say in regard to gender politics. Men and their concerns have hijacked formerly pro-lesbian, pro-woman outposts and are now interested in campaigning, fully and decisively, against women’s rights to question gender, against dyke’s rights to say, “Thank you, no. Not interested in sucking dick,” against any opinion, any perspective, any thought that pokes holes in the collective delusion that maintains any man can be female if he “feels like it.”

These organizations and publications are hell bent on bamboozling women into believing shared girlhood does not exist, that males who feel like women suffer more than any woman or girl ever has, that failure to prioritize male beliefs in gender is an act of violence, that the denial of any man’s desire – whether it is to use female restrooms, attend female-only concerts, or be housed in female prisons – is akin to murder, is a human rights violation, and that men’s psychological needs will always be more important than the needs and safety of women and girls. In fact, if you deny a male person what he wants, he might even commit suicide.

We saw an amazing – amazing in the truest sense, e.g., we were gobsmacked – MtT internet meme yesterday.  It said: “The most important thing you can do as an ally of mine: Ask me what I want and need, then try your best to give me that.”

Really let that wash over you, women who center men. It undoubtedly feels great when men call you the sensitivest, inclusivest, bestest ally all of all time, and you get a frisson of superiority when you stick it to “TERFS”– kind of like how the Duggars feel towards the rest of the sinful, front-hugging world – but: Do you really want to be everyone’s mommy? When was the last time a trans person, or a man, asked you how they could be your ally, as a woman in this world? Not recently? Why do you think that is?

Anyway. None of this is anything new. It’s the same old male manipulation, male aggression, male entitlement designed to make women feel crazy, to make women doubt themselves, to make women turn on reality and turn on one another.

The bearers of today’s misogynist philosophies are, more often than not, men who feel like women. Their forums for espousing their shockingly anti-feminist, anti-woman ideas are often the very publications where women, dykes in particular, once sought community and solace.

Women have come to expect that when we challenge the status quo, when we question the systems put in place to marginalize us, to make us feel like shit, we will be set upon by those who need to uphold the status quo, those who built the systems. This is just a fact of life for those of us who are female; maybe even more so for those of us who are dykes. No one fucking cares what we think, or how we feel until we express what we’re thinking; what we’re feeling – and then we’re vilified. We’re not supposed to disagree. We’re supposed to always put the proverbial cock in our mouths and pretend we enjoy it.

But here’s the thing, while we have come to expect it, there’s no rule that says we have to accept it.

Despite the trans/queer/liberal feminists’ strong investment in language, thought and perception-policing, American women – even dykes! – live in a country where free speech is (ostensibly) sanctioned and where there are, in fact, libel laws. So what this means is, until further notice, women can actually have ideas and express them. AND if you make shit up about women, because our words hurt your feelings, or because our ideas don’t fall in line lockstep with the bullshit liberal drivel you’re peddling, women can SUE you.

Even if we weren’t friends with Cathy Brennan, our hats would be off to her in filing this lawsuit. We believe that women – even those who disagree with us – should be able to use their words, and use their intellect, to speak their truth, and to openly criticize social movements, political ideologies, and legislation that appears harmful. Open, honest discourse is important and healthy. Dissent is healthy. And it’s also healthy, and appropriate, that when a major publication publishes damaging, outright, lies about an individual that individual ought to defend herself by making use of the legal system.

The culture, especially in liberal circles, has done a lot of work on a lengthy fiction that portrays lesbians with a radical feminist analysis as beasts, as slightly subhuman assholes, because we understand basic biology; we reject the notion that gender stereotypes are innate realities; we’re not terribly interested in male feelings and approval, and we’re pretty blunt about sometimes wanting space away from dudes (even those who “identify as female”); we prefer romantic attachments with other female human beings, and our activism, our political discourse concerns itself with women and girls. We’re monsters because, to quote the amazing Andrea Dworkin, we’re “radical feminists . . . not the fun kind.”

And because of this fiction, the one where radical feminist dykes are virtually the same as Fred Phelps (seriously, that analogy has been bandied about a lot) or Hitler, it’s tempting for “fun feminist” writers to build on the storyline, to make shit up, to run with unfounded rumors. And it’s one thing to Tweet this shit, or to spin these yarns over a craft beer at your favorite sex-positive-poly-queer-trans-feminine bar and grille, but it’s quite another to commit these inventions to print and call it journalism. That’s slander, sister.

So more power to you, Cathy. We’ve got your back, and the backs of all women who are done with being threatened for having a class analysis, who are sick of being silenced on matters that impact us directly, who are over being maligned and misrepresented; our characters and reputations carelessly sacrificed to the precious male ego, to the gender god, to liberal feminism. Fuck that. Fight back.

Pink blankets and salivating doctors: A look at the transgender children phenomenon

Transgender Reality

Pay attention to stories about children who are transgender. Without fail, they are filled to the brim with gender stereotypes. Kids are being diagnosed for playing with the “wrong” toys and liking the “wrong” things. In many of the stories, it is clear that either the parents, or the community, has put great importance in dividing things and interests into “for boys” and “for girls”. Children have a limited understanding of what it means to be a boy or a girl. For example, it’s not uncommon for children to think that the length of someone’s hair is what makes them a boy or a girl. If a child who likes dolls or long hair is told “those things are for girls”, their response might very well be “okay, then I want to be a girl”.

In this story, the mother of a boy tells us how “Instead of toy soldiers and…

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Part of Her Body #SayHerName

You think I just don't understand, but I don't believe you.

chpzqq0w8aiofpl Arnesha Bowers

There is bad news everyday.

It is almost nonstop, really. Relentless. At some point, story after story after story about the Violence Men inflict on Women and Girls (and more often than not, erased by Passive “A Woman Was Killed” headlines), they all kind of blend together and become unseen.

I live in Baltimore. I have been here for 20 years. Baltimore has attracted national attention on the crime front over this time frame. The Wire. The “Riots” (says the White people, please never say the “Riots” to me). The bureaucratic incompetence that’s blamed for it. The local stories of violence blend together, too.

But then we have Arnesha Bowers.

Arnesha Bowers was a 16-year-old girl. She was a student at City College, a junior. She was much loved by her family and friends. What happened to Arnesha is what happens to beautiful, loved girls…

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Thank you, Elinor Burkett

I really did not want to write about the Bruce Jenner thing . . . or transition, or second coming, or miracle . . . whatever you want to call it. Frankly, after I caught an eyeful of Jenner gussied and corseted, I just wanted to forget all about it for a whole host of reasons. Also, Bruce Jenner is a pig. Bruce Jenner is a wealthy, white Republican who has no doubt contributed money to political causes that harmed women and gays. I saw the Diane Sawyer interview – Bruce Jenner is a condescending asshole, and a fetishist, and I’m sorry if that hurts anyone’s feels. Also, Bruce Jenner recently killed someone with his car, but no one wants to talk about that because Bruce Jenner is a hero for buying tits, or something, I’m not sure . . .

I grew up in Illinois, a state where virtually all of our governors go to prison. (The joke is, Illinois: Where the Governor Makes Your License Plate.) When Governor George Ryan went to prison for selling truck driving licenses that resulted in the gruesome death of an entire family – mother, father, kids – many people moaned, “But he’s an old man. That’s so mean to send him to jail for the REST OF HIS LIFE. What about his wife? He’s old!” As if old people can’t be horrible people. Old people can be horrible, hateful humans. So can cancer patients. So can homos. So can trans women. Being elderly or sick or part of a marginalized group does (should) not absolve one of scrutiny. We like to forget this, because it makes it easier for us to then lack culpability for our own actions, because it allows us, as a culture, to cultivate cheap heroes – CAITLYN JENNER! SO HEROIC BECAUSE . . . he’s had everything handed to him, because he’s benefited an awful lot from that brave male privilege, that super courageous reality show where he pimped out his kids. And when our heroes are heroes for doing absolutely nothing, well then, by golly! We can be heroes, too! Shit. I’m a dyke and I got out of bed this morning: HERO! BRAVE! BADGE OF COURAGE WORTHY!

So, whatever. Fuck Bruce Jenner. This post isn’t even really about him. It’s about the New York Times.

I was shocked and delighted to see Elinor Burkett’s article in The Times. Like, you could have knocked me over with a genderqueer feather. I mean it. My jaw dropped. Because here, prominently, on this highly regarded site, was a woman being critical of the trans agenda, a woman saying fuck you to the idea that female is a feeling, is whatever men say it is, is chipped nail polish. I agreed with virtually every point Ms. Burkett made, and I felt relieved that here, in this mainstream publication, was reflected what so many women have been discussing in the shadows.

And I also worried about Ms. Burkett. I worried about the backlash she would receive, which for those who are openly critical of transgenderism includes slurs, no-platforming, and death threats. Asserting that female is more than a feeling can be a career destroyer, and worse.

Have you all read The Handmaid’s Tale? (If you haven’t, you should; if you have, you probably know where I’m heading.)  I know it may seem like an easy correlative, but one thing that always strikes me when I think about that piece of speculative fiction, as it relates to the trans agenda, is how in Atwood’s imagined world, others (men) dictated how women could talk about themselves, moreover, others (men) dictated how women might remember their pasts. In Atwood’s dystopia, it was a manner of thought crime to remember that you had friends, had a husband, a lover, kids, a house, an education, that you KNEW things, because the only “reality” that should be real to a woman was the one that had been manufactured for her by men.

Women have penises. They always have.

Men can menstruate.

Bruce Jenner was never a man.

And if you don’t buy this? If you push back? If you so much as raise your lady eyebrows? You, sister, are fucked. You’ll be called a bigot. You’ll be threatened. You’ll be silenced. There’s a reason there’s a whole network of anonymous blogs, like mine, on this topic: women who dare speak their truth, who dare call bullshit on what male driven media, male driven gay orgs, male driven academia, male driven legislation is trying to force down our collective throats will be shunned, will be destroyed – and not because we’re “wrong,” but because we’re sinning against the gender God, we’re committing thought crimes, we’re not being “nice feminists,” we are refusing to make our philosophy, our worldview, all about what men need, what men want, what men make believe.

There’s a line the Trans Lobby likes to tow about women like me: we are a “fringe” group, a small, hateful minority. But you hear that deafening silence from lots of other women? You hear the nothing coming out of the mouths of so, so many other women? That’s not approval, brother. That’s fear. Women are, largely, silent on this issue not because they are in agreement, but because they are afraid – afraid of seeming “mean” or of being called bigots or of receiving death threats. Women, especially, have been bullied into silence on this issue.  It’s not that women are buying what men are selling, it’s that they’re – rightfully – afraid to say they disagree.

Men are really fucking good, though, at deluding themselves into believing that omissions, silences, are affirmations. I think about a documentary my wife and I recently watched about men who buy wives from Russia. Most of these men could confidently say, “Oh, yeah. She loves me. She came all the way from another country to be with me.” They were able to ignore the fact that they fucking PAID for her airfare, and that she had no appealing options left as a woman in her home country (bride-trafficking is prostitution, and the women who sell themselves in this manner do so for the same reasons women sell themselves on highway off ramps), oh, and the men gave zero fucks that she didn’t speak a lick of English because who wants a broad that’s gonna run her mouth all the time, am I right, fellas? And these men could convince themselves that the women they purchased were there, in their shitty houses and apartments, out of love. It didn’t matter if it was true, they had become convinced because, “Well, she never said she DIDN’T love me.” Men are really fucking good at delusion.

Women are really good at discussing issues in the shadows. We’ve always had to do this, as a means of survival. I cannot tell you how many women sent me the Burkett article and said, “I wish I could share this more widely, but I don’t feel like being called a transphobe/bigot.” And the thing is, there was nothing violent or hateful about the article. The point of contention, according to the mainstream, to the sanctimonious liberal left, was that Burkett asserted that female was more than a feeling, that makeup did not a woman make, that female human beings have experiences that males will never know. That is all. And for that, Burkett has been roundly condemned. The observations in her article were rather innocuous, moreover they were once the very cornerstones of feminist thought and theory and praxis, and now they must be whispered in the dark, away from the ears of men and men who “feel like” women.

Think about that for a minute. Really fucking think about that. If you are female, you should be shuddering.

And then there are women, like the one who wrote an article recently for the Huffington Post in response to Burkett’s piece, who argue that transwomen understand sexism, misogynist suffering, the perils of gender MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE. Who argue, blindly, that transwomen are at greater risk of violence THAN ANYONE ELSE (and oh, god, I am fascinated by how invested, how interested the dominant culture has become in gendered violence now that males are claiming to suffer from it. We didn’t give a flying fuck when it was just female human beings – adults and children — who were being brutalized, raped, murdered on a daily basis, but now that it seemingly impacts males who feel like ladies, man-oh-man is it IMPORTANT. It’s so important, in fact, that because some transwomen – mostly of color, mostly those involved in prostitution – are victims of violence at the hands of men, we are not allowed to EVER critique the insane gender-obsession that is slowly, but surely, creating a world in which women have been dizzied out of knowing their own reality. I mean, it’s still perfectly acceptable for people to claim women who get raped shouldn’t “drink so much” or to call a woman who desires access to birth control a slut – Limbaugh still has a job and a hefty income, no? – or to imprison a woman for miscarrying, but heaven forbid we should EVER ask a fucking question about the trans/gender politics that erase female reality. That, we mustn’t do, because some trans women experience violence. Oh, and by the bye, despite what the media and the men who drive it would have you think, it’s not as though trans women are being murdered whilst reclining on their couches with a good book, catching a bus, or renting a RedBox outside of Walgreens. The vast majority of trans women who are murdered are involved in the sex trade, which is incredibly dangerous for anyone whether male, female, or ladybrained. Oh, and also, the people who kills trans women? They’re MEN.)

Another reason, or so we’re told, that we’re not allowed to be critical of what transgenderism peddles is that trans people KILL THEMSELVES. And when they kill themselves, it is not a result of mental illness, but rather the result of women. Women who disagree with gender theory MAKE trans people kill themselves. Hmmm. What does this sound like? Oh, right. Manipulative manspeak. “If you break up with me, I’ll kill myself.” “If you don’t do ____, then I’ll kill myself.” “Do you want me to kill myself? Because that’s what I’m gonna do.”

This is emotional abuse practiced almost exclusively by men.

Lesbians, especially, can see this bullshit for what it is. As my wife keenly observed, as lesbians our dealings with men are quite limited, so we’re like goldfish who’ve grown legs. We can walk out of the bowl. And when we get back in the bowl? We notice the water is really fucking cold, but the other fish, those who haven’t grown legs? They’re so used to the water temperature that they don’t notice, and they definitely don’t want to hear about how cold it is.

From the HuffPo article criticizing Burkett: As feminists, it is our job to consider each individual situation, take the criticism we believe is worthwhile to heart and try to do better the next time.

Just let that sink in for a moment, ladies. Really. Basically, what this author is arguing (and what liberal, mainstream feminism argues) is that as women, it is OUR DUTY to consider everyone’s feelings – like, on a tedious, myopic individual level – accept that we are always wrong, and promise to do better. As feminists, according to the mainstream majority, it is our job to CONSTANTLY APOLOGIZE for having thoughts, feelings, an intellect, eyes.

She also argued that women like Burkett are simply “afraid” and that they shouldn’t be afraid “because we say so.” And that’s always the line, isn’t it? A male is a woman because he SAYS SO. Feminism must center trans women because WE say so. You must not talk about your female biology because WE say so.

If “because we say so” isn’t patriarchal, paternal rhetoric designed to infantilize women, to shut women up, then I don’t know what is.

The Huffington Post article ends, I kid you not, with this: What is a woman? Whatever we decide. Now isn’t that a damn revelation.

Who is the “we”? I’d hazard the “we” this woman is speaking of is men and heterosexual women. Because it sure as shit ain’t the women I’ve been talking to.  The women I know can see this misogynist ideology for what it is.

And no, HuffingtonPostLady, it’s not a “damn revelation” to say a woman is whatever men say they are. Actually, that’s the WHOLE FUCKING PROBLEM. Actually, that’s been happening since the beginning of time. I mean, is it a “damn revelation” that the Earth revolves around the sun? That corn grows from the ground? That dogs are descended from wolves? Men have been defining women since FOREVER, and while that’s been just peachy for men, that has never been any good for women. Take a break from SirLadyBrain’s Twitter feed and read a fucking book: Lorde, Rich, Dworkin, Frye – there’s a few names you can start with (and yes, I know, so second wave – well, you know what? Second Wave feminists actually managed to accomplish shit beyond shoving a pampered male Olympian into lingerie for a photo shoot).

Anyway, thank you Elinor Burkett for having the guts to use your platform to say something worthwhile. It was a breath of fresh air for lots, and lots of women, even if they continue to remain quiet on the subject for fear of retribution. Women know despite what the media, what the groupthink would have us believe, that this conversation has never been about “hating” trans people (this is a convenient trope used to silence dissent), but about ensuring that female human beings have the language we desperately need to discuss our own lives, our own realities. This conversation has never been about denying anyone their right to exist in a way that feels authentic, but rather women pushing back against a male led movement that seeks to define for us who we are, who we will be. This is about women wanting to use their own words, which we have had to fucking fight for, to talk about our lives.  This is about female human beings refusing to allow male delusions to eviscerate our truths as women. This is about being fed the fuck up.

We might not all have Burkett’s platform, but women are having these conversations. We’re speaking about this, as we have always done, where men can’t hear us. And we’re talking a lot.

Gender is a bomb

I’ve written tons on this blog about trangenderism, particularly where it concerns MtT’s, but I’ve been pretty quiet on the matter of FtT’s. A lot of my silence around this has to do with the fact that I’d prefer to use this space to critique the behavior of men, to examine how male behavior, and male constructs like gender, harm women.

Recently, however, I had a really interesting conversation with a friend around the preponderance of late-transitioning lesbians.

It has long been my belief that women transition for reasons quite different than those of men. For young women, in particular, there is pressure to transition – particularly if you are a gender non-conforming lesbian. The dominant culture tells these girls that their preferences, their style, their desires “make them male.” Most of these young women never got a chance to be dykes in the world, because the messages encouraging them to transition were far too incessant, far too strong. Today, parents are increasingly encouraging their daughters to transition, when the daughters don’t “do female” the way society instructs.

But what of women who transition later in life? What of these women who have survived, in their way, as gender non-conforming dykes and then decide to “identify as male”? What exactly is going on here?

Even within the lesbian community, what’s left of it, there remains a problematic imperative, a “way to be” lesbian that is pretty strongly enforced. We have “butches” and we have “femmes” – and we don’t allow for a lot of grey area. This is a type of patriarchal heteronormative role play that probably emerged as a means of lesbian survival; not as a means of transgressing culture. (What we often forget is that adopting the suffocating gender mandates of the opposite sex isn’t, in fact, revolutionary – it’s just another boring story in the same, lousy genre.)

The butch-femme dynamic is as regressive, as patriarchal as transgenderism itself. Both the butch-femme dynamic and transgenderism are tethered to frivolous “identity politics” and slavish adherence to tedious gender norms. Here is a far stronger explanation of specifically what I’m talking about:

I lived out the first decade of the 2000’s in a very lesbian-identified neighborhood. On one hand, it was a paradise – dykes, dykes everywhere. On the other hand, for me, at the time, it was an extremely distressing place to exist. The community, on the whole, was swallowed up in the butch-femme binary. Among butches, there was often this game of “I am butcher than thou,” a sort of one-upping, which felt like masculine posturing, and made me feel super stressed the fuck out. At times, this “Quein Es Mas Butch?” game made me feel downright bad about myself. But this is what gender does – it makes people feel “bad about themselves” if they’re not “doing it” correctly. For me, as it turns out, I’ve just never known how to inhabit any gender norm properly. I certainly am not terribly “feminine” in the stereotypical sense of the word, and I never could manage to out-butch other lesbians who presented similarly.

Trangenderism among lesbians, I believe, was a direct result of how our community embraced the butch/femme dynamic. And transgenderism has really done a number on lesbian communities. Many people I knew in the neighborhood transitioned, and many other lesbians expressed regret at not having the financial resources for testosterone and/or top surgery. As this was happening, heterosexual men with ladybrains increasingly began to encroach on our spaces. (And for anyone who questions my assertion that men and women transition for very different reasons, you need look no further than the absolute dearth of “gay FtTs,” and the fact that the gay male community is largely untouched by the presence of male-identifying women while lesbian spaces are overrun by “lesbian men,” a huge number of whom hold leadership positions in formerly lesbian organizations.)

The erosion of lesbian communities and spaces and enclaves was the result of misogyny and lesbophobia, both of which are fueled by an unwavering belief in the innateness of gender. Period.

Lesbians, by virtue of being born female, have been socialized to “be nice” and willingly opened their spaces to men who “felt like ladies,” and many lesbians, who did not present in the way women are “supposed to” embraced the myth of “man trapped in a woman’s body.”

Those of us who fall somewhere on the “butch spectrum” – which really means “women who don’t lady right” — often face questions (and accusations) about why, with all the medical intervention easily available to us, we haven’t simply taken the next step: why haven’t we transitioned?

When I was dealing with cancer, I was put in touch with a lesbian who told me that her choice to not have reconstruction after her double mastectomy was read by others as a “step toward transitioning.” This would likely not have been the case were she a straight woman refusing breast reconstruction, but the culture seems to WANT to believe that gender non-conforming dykes are merely women who wish to be men. This myth, this notion, makes the dominant (straight, male-centric) culture FEEL better about the existence of lesbians.

Because let’s be honest. Outside of porn, the dominant culture does NOT like dykes, and is mistrustful of us, particularly if we present in a way that is outside of gender norms. We are dismissed as man-haters. If we are not sexually appealing to men, we are rendered invisible. Still very alive and well in our culture is the notion that lesbians can be “fucked” into heterosexuality – indeed, many rapes of lesbians, the world over, occur in order to achieve this end.

Under patriarchy, lesbians will always be seen as a grave threat, perpetual heretics. And when lesbian women transition, it is, in fact, a win for patriarchy and patriarchal norms. Most women who transition were previously lesbian-identified; now, they are straight men.

Males, I think, often transition for the love of the “fantasy of being woman” – and are then profoundly disappointed to realize the “reality of being woman” is that you live in a world which doesn’t center your feelings/opinions/perspectives. Men who identify as women are the ones who shout loudest about how we may or may not discuss female reality. Women fall in lock step with their directives, because men who transition never really lose the privileges afforded to them as males, because women will always recognize a male, even if he changes his pronouns.

On the other hand, women who transition can literally BUY their way into male privilege. Moreover, when women transition, especially later on, they are practically thrown a fucking ticker-tape parade. There is a collective sigh that accompanies all the shoulder patting – the sigh of, “thank god. You finally stopped being a gross lesbian and are AT LAST a heterosexual man. Phew.”

Transgenderism “fixes” us.

Think Leslie Feinberg. Think Chaz Bono. Who the fuck cared about either of these women when they were merely dykes? Feinberg’s death would have hardly earned a mention in the media had it not been for her identification as male. No one gave a fuck about Bono when she was merely the dyke daughter of Cher, but suddenly she was the poster child for courage when she changed her pronouns, bought some hormones and had her breasts cut off.

Women who transition receive an onslaught of accolades that they never received as women, much less as dykes. Moreover, the transition is viewed as “brave” – and yet, from my standpoint, it’s a hell of a lot more brave to exist in the world as a woman. (And by woman, I mean female, I mean biological reality, I mean I am sick of having to clarify this, but I must.)

And, as my friend said while we discussed this matter, “Don’t think for a second that these older women are confused. They’re not.” What she meant was these women KNOW they are purchasing privilege. They KNOW that they will be happily drowned in congratulations. They know that it’s a lot easier to navigate life as a straight man than as a dyke.

In order to prevent too much discourse around this, transgenderism (for both men and women) has been contextualized as naturally occurring – boy brains, girl brains. One mustn’t dare suggest that this is a choice, which it most certainly is. Similarly, in most lesbian circles, one must not suggest that lesbianism is a choice. We must blindly accept the notion that homosexuality, and gender, is carved into our brains from the moment of conception, despite the fact that there is NO SOLID EVIDENCE of this. Money is fucking poured into research in attempts to prove these biological theories of homosexuality and transgenderism. Why are we so hell bent on scientific proof? Frankly, I find it fascinating that trangenderists, in particular, are so devoted to this quest for biological proof when they are the very voices decrying science and the medical community for knowing penis is male.

In any case, time and money is wasted on these futile research endeavors rather than just accepting what, I think, common sense tells us: it’s all a choice. Maybe it’s not a choice as in “Would you like coffee or tea?” but a choice nevertheless. And so fucking what? Why can’t we just be comfortable with all of it being a matter of choice? Because we’ve so convinced ourselves that there are intrinsic “ways to be human” that don’t include boys wearing dresses, that don’t include women loving women. Because there is a vested interest in preventing the kind of paradigm shifts that might occur if we were to embrace the notion that gender is a farce and that females are actual human beings, not merely “feelings,” and that some women are lesbian because they WANT TO BE.

Also, if we frame a thing as being “natural” it silences all possible critique of that “thing.”

It’s like this – if an earthquake destroys your house, you just have to accept that, and move on. If a bomb destroys your house, you can talk about WHY that happened, and ask questions about who is responsible. We can’t get mad at the earthquake because it is naturally occurring, out of our control. We can get mad at the bomb because it was man-made, dropped by a human, a conscious choice. We can talk about the bomb, but we can’t talk about the earthquake. Rather, it would be worthless to talk about the earthquake, other than to say “it happened.”

Gender is a bomb. Not an earthquake. Gender is not naturally occurring, but an invention, a system, a “way of being” that is enforced in order to preserve societal hierarchies forever as they are. That means women are on the bottom, trampled, forever.

And it benefits people in positions of power when women, specifically, view the shackles of gender as naturally occurring, something that grew up from the ground and wound itself around our wrists – naturally. We can’t be mad about it. We can’t fight it, because we are taught to believe it’s natural. (And if we suggest otherwise we’re transphobic bigots.) But it’s not natural. And to believe that it is, is to buy into our own subjugation.

“Well what about you? You say you’re anti-gender, but look, you have a short haircut, you shop in the men’s department at Target, you have, at times, identified as butch” – and yes, all of this is true. And yes, my outward presentation can be gendered. But I don’t lie to myself about how it came to be so, nor do I center my political analysis on all the particulars of my own little existence.

I don’t believe for a moment that my gender presentation is innate, is coded into my DNA. I believe that I grew up as a girl who never quite embraced what society has deemed “girl things” (though I positively did love Barbie dolls and my taffeta skirt). I believe that I simply like short hair – in large part because I’m too lazy to deal with anything BUT short hair. I believe that I look weird in skirts, and prefer the cut of men’s pants. I believe that I found men boring for as long as I can remember, and as soon as I realized I had a choice to pursue romantic relationships with women, I chose thusly. I believe that I saw a lot of gendered bullshit that my grandmothers had to suffer as women, and I recognized my choice to reject these things. I believe that “choice feminism” is bullshit because our choices are so limited and all of them suck, but we do what we can within our very limited, shitty parameters.

And I don’t believe it’s radical or the result of some innate reality when lesbian women decide to transition. I believe it’s the result of the suck-ass choices afforded to women, especially lesbian women. I believe it’s the result of our internalized misogyny, and our weird need, even within our own “community” to act out antiquated gender norms. I believe it’s the result of rampant homophobia, the kind that still has people asking my wife questions like, “So does she see herself as your husband?”

I also think the lesbian community has to own up to our culpability in this. We have perpetuated these stereotypes. We have allowed patriarchal norms, misogynist ways of being, to flourish in our own lives by accepting, without question, the gender dogma served to us by men. We have failed to question, to push back against the very systems of oppression that, historically, kept us closeted, kept us in unhappy marriages to men, and the very systems that now allow male-bodied people to call us bigots for not sucking dick. We have failed to be critical of these systems and have, instead, perpetuated them, and it’s a damn shame.

But perhaps it’s easier to transition. It’s easier to present as a man than to be a dyke – especially to be a dyke who isn’t considered “femme enough” or “butch enough.” Not only is it easier, but everyone will celebrate your decision, your choice, which is, in fact, a choice. And you won’t ever really have to examine why you made that choice because the culture will also sell you a baseless lie about how your new identity as a man is innate, because all your preferences, all your lovers and your desires were too male for your female body. That’s not revolutionary. That’s not courageous. That’s a lie.

And yet, I get it. I am not trying to suggest my sisters who have chosen this path are traitors, because I know. I know how hard it is to live in this world as a woman, as a woman who doesn’t “do woman” the way we’re expected to. I know how hard it is to love other women, and to do so openly. I know what it feels like to be at a gas station in a small town, getting looks because you don’t pass as straight. I know what it feels like to wonder if it’s “okay” to hold your girlfriend’s hand at a restaurant. I get how invisible we, as women, are when we aren’t presenting or behaving “the right way.” It’s fucking hard. It’s exhausting. And there have been plenty of times in my life when I’ve thought – however fleetingly – about what it might be like to make that choice to transition.

But it is a choice. Let’s not delude ourselves any further. It’s a choice. We live in a time when we can “opt out” of womanhood. We live in a time when men can “opt in” to womanhood. But the kind of womanhood/manhood we can purchase from a doctor are inauthentic, synthetic, are visages, facades of woman/man. And the façade doesn’t change the facts. And while women don’t owe it to anyone to be social revolutionaries, transitioning from a dyke to a dude doesn’t make the world a better place for anyone, much less women, so let’s stop pretending that it does. When women transition, they have taken advantage of one shitty choice available to them, and have ostensibly admitted that it’s impossible to be female the way we wish to be female. Of course, the dominant culture doesn’t want you to think of it this way, so they tell you it’s “natural.” They tell you the wreckage from the bomb was actually caused by an earthquake. This way, you don’t ask why, you just salvage what you can from the wreckage and tell yourself the destruction was somehow inevitable.