“Transparent”: Spitting on Michfest’s grave

Another great post from Phonaesthetica


Jill Soloway’s “Transparent” is a truly great TV show, primarily because its characters, the Pfeffermans, are unlikeable – selfish, lying, navel-gazing cheaters – yet totally engaging in a way I haven’t seen since “Six Feet Under.”

“Transparent” shines with clever dialogue, intricately layered story lines and an overarching awareness of the primacy and inexorability of truth, whether individual or epigenetic: The truth is patient and will find you, however long it takes.

Plus, “Transparent” portrays older female sexuality in laser-sharp focus. Not gonna lie, I didn’t enjoy watching Judith Light get diddled in the bathtub by Jeffrey Tambor, but I appreciate the message: Old women are human beings with human needs and you, the vaguely-nauseated viewer peeking through your fingers and dying for this scene to be over, need to call yourself out on your ageism.  And yes, Gaby Hoffman is strange-looking in the extreme, but it’s only because she refuses to adhere to Hollywood femininity requirements such…

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Jezebel Supports Ebony Williams’ Murderer

I’ve spent a lot of time today thinking about a child who died over twenty years ago. Her name was Ebony Williams. Had she lived, she would be just a few years younger than me. However, in 1993, Ebony Williams was raped, her throat slit, her body stuffed into a cardboard box and burnt beneath a bridge.

She was raped and murdered by two men. Both were convicted, and Ebony Williams is still dead.

I don’t know how often you’re around thirteen year olds, but I’ve spent some time working with this age group. Their brains are cleaved in half – one half child, one half young adult. You can have grown up conversations with them, and you can also easily engage them in word search puzzles and sock puppets.

In form, in thought, they straddle two worlds.

Those of us who lived long enough to be an adolescent might remember this state of being. And those of us who remember, remember how much it sucks.

Adolescence sucked for me, and I was a well-cared for, white child growing up in an affluent suburb, attending a nice private school. And still, adolescence sucked.

Imagine then (or maybe you don’t need to), how much more it would suck to be adolescent and discarded – homeless, unkempt, hungry. Her teachers remember that she “always smelled badly” – evidence of neglect. Others remember that she had a “pretty smile,” which is a detail we always remember about girls who we have paid absolutely no attention to.

Honestly, I can’t even think about this child’s demise without a lump in my throat.

Ebony Williams’ case is not an isolated incident. Men often prey upon, rape, and murder girl children. Recently, major media outlets released the stomach churning audio of Subway Spokesperson Jared Fogle explaining how he would groom children in order to rape them, singling out the “girl from the broken home.” Men, not just Fogle, target girls who are already somehow marginalized, somehow wounded, knowing that these are the very girls society is most willing to dispose of, the way in 1993, two gang affiliated men, literally disposed of thirteen year old Ebony Williams.

The existence, the prevalence of such crimes in a civilized society should make our stomachs turn, should make it impossible to sleep, should fill us with rage. Frankly, to live with the knowledge of such horrific events, should render us in a perpetual state of vomiting and weeping.

So why am I writing about this? I’m writing about this because just when I thought liberal feminist media could not sink any fucking lower, Jezebel published, yesterday, a fawning interview with a child murderer and rapist, who is male, and who now “identifies” as a woman. See, we’re supposed to feel sympathy for this man because he feels he is a woman and he feels the conditions of his imprisonment are unfair and because he feels he has been treated unfairly by women who point out that he is a murderer and rapist.

(Trust me — they’ll do the same for Jared Fogle if and when he decides to come out as trans, and you’ll be a filthy transphobe if you disprove of their support of trans-Fogle.)

Let me be more precise: WOMEN are supposed to FEEL SORRY for a man who participated in the rape and murder of a female child because this man now feels like a woman.

I wonder if he “felt like a woman” when he was cleaning up after the murder of Ebony Williams. Or if he “felt like a woman” when he was smirking in the courtroom during the trial. Or did he first “feel like a woman” when he embarked on a storybook romance with the Zodiac Killer? (Google the latter, I’m not linking to any of this shit.) Or did he really, truly “feel like a woman” when Jezebel, a two-bit “feminist” website featured him as part of some “human rights” story?

In the whole of the Jezebel piece, the name of this man’s victim is not mentioned once. The details of the crime – which are horrific – are entirely obscured. Then again, the purpose of the piece is not to pay homage to Ebony Williams or the countless other girls like her whose lives were ended cruelly, brutally, at the hands of men.

At the heart of this piece is a “story” about how the convicted murderer was “hurt” when Laverne Cox and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project retracted previous public support for him after the gruesome nature of his crime was brought, once more, to the public’s attention: “[Cathy Brennan] publicized that Blast had been convicted for the murder of [. . .] Ebony Williams.”

The writer puts this information forth as though the story hasn’t been public record since 1993 (which it has), as though the interview subject was “mysteriously imprisoned” (which he wasn’t), as though anyone with internet access couldn’t Google the subject’s name and find countless documents detailing the crime (which they could), alongside a lengthy New York Times piece about his relationship with The Zodiac Killer.

The writer then notes that the convicted “was threatened and insulted online and received hate mail on the inside calling her a freak and woman hater . . .”

We’re supposed to feel bad about this. We’re supposed to feel sorry for this man because he was “insulted online.” And really, if we’re going to start filling online publications with “human interest” stories about people who were “insulted online,” then there will be no fucking room left for any other news.

Furthermore, we’re supposed to feel that he’s the victim of Cathy Brennan? Are you fucking serious? Laverne Cox withdrew public support for this man because despite Cox’s desire to make sad puppy dogs out of violent males who “feel like women,” even Cox couldn’t stomach the details of what this man did to Ebony Williams. Even Laverne-#Ilovemenbuthatepatriarchy-Cox didn’t want to align himself with this male person’s heinous crime.

But let’s blame Cathy Brennan. This writer’s purpose isn’t about advocating for prisoners’ rights, about critiquing the prison industrial complex, it’s about showing her allegiance to the bullshit notion that feminists (I mean the kind who advocate for and care about female human beings) are the cause of all the pain and suffering poor, poor men who feel like ladies endure. And it’s about ensuring that “thought crimes” – such as acknowledging that trans women are actually male — are more offensive to us as a society than “actual crimes” – like raping, murdering, and burning children.

The real purpose of the Jezebel piece is to vilify women who call bullshit on people like the article’s subject. If this wasn’t, in fact, the purpose then there’d be no reason to mention Cathy Brennan.

In the Jezebel piece, the murderer discusses his self-described “elation” when he found out Laverne Cox and the SRLP were going to “be” his “voice.” The world was going to hear my words, he writes.

Mind you, there was no one to be Ebony Williams’ voice, nobody to hear her words. Then again, she was just a girl.

The convicted then expresses how crestfallen he was when TERFS [. . .] started a smear campaign calling me a rapist.

 I know that I now live in a world where logic is not terribly en vogue, but when you’ve been convicted in a court of law of RAPE, it’s not a fucking “smear campaign” when someone calls you a rapist. Like, calling Jefferey Dahmer a cannibal isn’t a “smear campaign.” Calling Ted Bundy a “serial killer” isn’t besmirching his character. If you killed people and consumed their body parts, you’re a fucking cannibal. If you raped a child, you’re a fucking rapist. It’s not conjecture. It’s fact.

And if what makes one a TERF is acknowledging that it’s reprehensible, sickening, and incomprehensibly repulsive to make a folk hero of a man who raped and murdered a child then I’m happy to be a TERF.

The writer of the Jezebel article, however, wants us all to know that she is not a TERF. She tells us this by giving this criminally minded, murderous, person a platform to obsess over Cathy Brennan (how feminist! how responsible!), a woman who has absolutely nothing to do with this person’s crime or case.

The writer wants you to know that, unlike Cathy Brennan, she will happily defer to a child murderer, who is male, for insight on what makes one a feminist:

How do you think transphobia shaped the way Cathy Brennan described you – or the danger she claimed that you posed? Would you call her a feminist?

 Let’s take a moment to let this sink in. Really sink in. Here a writer for a so-called feminist publication is encouraging a violent, gang affiliated, MtT, who, by all legal accounts, participated in the rape and murder of a child, to ruminate on his feelings about a woman who, in his warped little mind, has “wronged” him. In the mind of this person, Cathy Brennan, and not his heinous actions, are the cause of his suffering.

The writer, vis-a-vis Jezebel, vis-à-vis Gawker Media, suggests that it is not the facts of the crime itself, not the fact that Ebony Williams was raped and murdered and burned, that suggest this person “poses a danger,” but Cathy Brennan who suggests this person “poses a danger.”

And, ironically (or not so ironically), in bringing Brennan up repeatedly in the course of the interview, stoking the flames of the interviewee’s irrational ire, the writer poses a danger to Brennan.

Oh, and then, the writer asks this “man who identifies as a woman” whether or not he thinks Brennan is a feminist, as if his answer should matter to the reader.

I, for one, do not care what this man, complicit in the death of Ebony Williams, thinks of another woman, thinks of feminism. I do not take my political worldview from unrepentant men who participate in brutalizing and murdering girl children. And I certainly don’t get my feminist theory from fucking Jezebel.

She is a monster, the convicted says of Cathy Brennan.

[She] is not a feminist, the murder and rapist says. I am a feminist. I am against women being harmed. I am against women being raped.

 And we are to believe he is against these things, just as we are to believe he is a woman.

Ebony Williams, sadly, wasn’t around for his change of heart. Ebony Williams didn’t encounter the womanly, feminist version of this man. In the course of her devastatingly short lifetime, I’d hazard that Ebony Williams didn’t meet many nice feminist men like the one who raped her and placed her body beneath a bridge to be burnt like so much garbage.

As for Cathy Brennan, her crime was daring to bring up Ebony Williams just as LGBT media and trans activist groups were in the process of canonizing her murderer.

Because this, apparently, is what we do now: if someone who identifies as “trans” has to face consequences for an unethical or illegal action, we make saints of them. If said “trans” person is a “trans woman” we automatically interpret their deserved consequence as “persecution.” In this way, trans women – even the ones who straight up murder people – benefit from male privilege. I mean, this gratuitous display of moral and ethical exemption has never been extended to women and girls.

Also, if “feminist publications” wish to extend their sincerest sympathies to people in prison, there are lots and lots of women in prison as a result of abusive spouses and boyfriends, lots of young women behind bars as a result of long histories of sexual abuse, lots of women serving out grim sentences because they were trafficked by men. There are lots of girls who, unlike Ebony Williams, survived adolescence and ended up incarcerated because they were societal throwaways.

But Jezebel isn’t interested in “being the voice” of those women.

So fuck Jezebel, and fuck their parent company, Gawker Media.

For my small part, I’ll be encouraging those I know to stop reading and sharing articles from these sites. I’ll tell anyone who will listen that Jezebel doesn’t care about girls like Ebony Williams, that Jezebel has a vested interest in encouraging violent males to target women who disagree with their brand of “feminism.” And I’d encourage any well-intentioned feminist reader of this blog to do the same.

The Advocate: Anti-Hate, Pro-Stupidity

(TW: Another blog about Greer/long/not nice.)

The human brain’s default setting is stupid.

We like our politics, pop culture, and discourse around anything of import to be stupid to suit our stupid fucking brains. Really, for some, it’s not that they’re incapable of being stupid, it’s just that stupid feels better: critical thinking, self awareness, studying history, reading books – these can each be uncomfortable, downright painful experiences.

And if you’re thinking to yourself, “Gee, it’s really mean of her to say people are stupid,” then you’re fucking stupid, too.

The reason I’m talking about stupidity, and the publicly verifiable fact that most people are stupid, is that when I saw The Advocate op-ed about Germaine Greer, all I could think was, “Holy fuck this writer is stupid and every single person who agreed with the conceit of this article is stupid, too.”

I mean, let’s not mince words. The article I’m about to address is fucking stupid as fuck. It’s so goddamned stupid that I contracted second hand stupid just by reading it.

However, the sentiments the article expressed are as odious and harmful as they are stupid, so that’s why I’m bothering to write about it at all.

I gave up on the “gay community” and publications that grow out of “the community” a long time ago. What passes as LGBT activism and media these days is little more than a collective jerk off among gay men, men who feel like women, and straight women who want to participate. Current “L”GBT media is outrageously hostile toward women — lesbians, in particular. Shit, as of late, it’s begun to embrace and promote pedophilia as evidenced by a recent article in Baltimore OUTLoud.

So, as a woman who cares deeply about women and girls, as someone who is ENTHUSIASTICALLY AND PROUDLY OPPOSED to adults having sex with minors, and as a dyke, I see nothing for me in what now passes for gay activism and journalism. The current LGBT movement is yet another boy’s club that sometimes admits women who are willing to proselytize.

The Advocate is supposed to be some authority on issues impacting gays, some sort of gold standard in homo-journalism. People defer to The Advocate, but as I asserted above, it’s nothing more than some collective stroke off competition.

Anyway. Today, they published a marvelously stupid article by some fucking idiot about Germain Greer. The title of the article was “Greer’s Feminine Mistake” – which is, I guess, a clever play on The Feminine Mystique, which Greer did not write, a fact the writer is probably unaware of. And really, most of these writers who are freaking the fuck out about Greer had almost certainly never heard of her, had never read her, have no freaking clue about her contributions to feminist theory, much less existence – until she hurt men’s feelings when she acknowledged reality.

The writer begins her op-ed with the following line: There’s this feminist named Germaine Greer . . .

Maybe the writer is trying to be dismissive, as in, “There’s this president named Barack Obama” or “There’s this County Clerk named Kim Davis . . .” or “There’s this gay publication called The Advocate . . .” Or maybe she’s intimating that she had no idea who Greer was until Greer insulted Bruce Jenner. It’s hard to tell.

She follows this bit of sarcasm? ignorance? by writing, Greer is one of those TERFS . . . who are strident “feminists” who hate trans women.

 Here, the writer does what so many leftists, so many liberal feminists do when they talk about women whose feminism does not center men: they make it seem as though the individual’s political and philosophical perspective is rooted in the hatred of trans people. Whether or not they believe – or even think about – what they’re saying is another matter.

All feminists who do not center male persons must be contextualized as women who HATE male persons. This rhetoric is important: no one is pro-hate. Just as I believe humans are, by default, stupid, I also believe that humans are, by default, good. (Yes – there are outliers. There are people who ARE “pro-hate” and there are people who ARE evil. These, I would assert, are the lunatic fringe exceptions to the “stupid-but-good” human rule.) It’s like those “Mean People Suck” bumper stickers I saw around in the late nineties (I think? Or was it the 00’s?) – yeah. Mean people suck. Did anyone ever feel otherwise?

The problem is that because people are so fucking stupid, if you equate feminist critique of gender with “hate” or “hate speech,” every well intentioned dumbass will thoughtlessly agree gender critical feminists are bad because gender critique is hate and hate is bad, okay?

 No one stops to think “how” gender critique is “hate” – they just accept that it is “hate” because that’s what’s been repeated on a rhetorical loop: Trans women are women; gender critique is hate – that’s what men are selling these days. That’s how consumerism works: the product doesn’t have to be sound or good for us or particularly useful, we’re told by men to make the purchase, and so we do.

We’re that fucking stupid.

Truth is more complicated.

Greer never said she “hated” trans people. She simply asserted what we all know to be true: trans women are not female. Oh, and she also said, in a roundabout way, Bruce Jenner is, like the rest of his family, an attention seeking celebrity who is also not female.

These are pretty plain, uncomplicated, easily verifiable observations. These observations might tug at the cozy delusion-blanket that swaddles our sluggish lump of gray matter, but that bit of discomfort isn’t hate – it’s reality, it’s life.

The truth often sucks, but for society, what sucks worse – in the long term, at least – is pretending the truth doesn’t exist.

Speaking truth to another human being is not, in and of itself, a hateful act.

Hell, the hardest, harshest truths I’ve had to hear in my life have often come from the lips of those I love most.

Women are conditioned not to speak the truth, particularly not to speak truth to power. Much of what went so hard with society during the – now derided – women’s liberation movement of the 60s and 70s was that women were speaking painful truths about their own lives, truths that shattered patriarchal notions of what a woman should feel, should be, should say.

The writer of The Advocate article goes on to express outrage about Greer’s comment regarding trans women’s appearance and behavior. A lot of people have zeroed in on this moment from the interview. Again, in my estimation, Greer was simply giving voice to what we all know – even if we pretend we don’t. Obviously, as a not-so-conventional looking gal myself, I’m no fan of condemning a group based on looks alone, but I don’t think Greer was engaging in condemnation, she was plainly observing. And remember, as Phonaesthetica and I observed in our post a few days back, Greer was being dragged and baited into this conversation after making it perfectly clear she had no interest in the topic.

Feigning incredulity, the writer asks, What even does a feminist look like? She answers her own question with something about Dworkin looking like a “stereotype of a feminist” and Jane Fonda being pretty. Then she makes some weird segue into the “glamour” embodied by Laverne Cox, and deprecates herself as looking like an “eighth-grade art teacher” – which I guess is a bad thing? My takeaway from this part of the article was something along the lines of “if Germaine Greer, an old, yucky, Second Wave feminist, observes that many trans women don’t look like female human beings, it is bad and mean and looks-ist, but if I say that trans women are pretty and I, myself, am dumpy, like an art teacher, it is funny and good.”

She also says that she knew this dude who was a biker and then transitioned and is now a “dyke on a bike” – despite the fact that a man cannot be a “dyke” and also WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT? Seriously, what do any of these ruminations have to do with feminism? She lapses into this clunky stream-of-consciousness prose about all the trans women she knows and what they look like as though this somehow proves that Greer is hateful, as though to suggest the way one appears is, in and of itself, a feminist act – and she does this a mere two sentences after chiding Greer for being “un-feminist” for mentioning that people don’t all look alike.

She also addresses Greer’s comment about behavior, There’s a right way for women to behave? Well, I think that undoes about 200 years of Western feminist thought. – Funny. I didn’t hear Greer say anything about a “right way for women to behave.” She did, however, allude to the behavior of men who think they’re women.

Also, “Undoes 200 years of Western feminist thought”? Really? What would Wollstonecraft say about this? Wait. This writer probably doesn’t know who Wollstonecraft is because the woman didn’t live long enough to make an unpopular comment about Bruce Jenner.

And I find it very difficult to believe this writer, and those of her ilk, give a flying fuck about “200 years of Western feminist thought” when they’ve made their disdain for the last thirty years of feminist thought so abundantly clear. Seems to me the only feminist thought that matters is feminist thought of the past ten years, you know, the kind that men have manufactured . . .

What follows the “trans women are pretty and I am ugly” symposium is this:

Greer also once said, “No so-called sex change has ever begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant.” Clearly this woman has never met a baby-crazy trans woman walking around the house with a pillow under her shirt.

 Okay. Perhaps I’m being ignorant here or, um, stupid, but do adult human beings engage in this behavior? I mean, adult human beings who aren’t struggling with major mental illness? Is this supposed to illicit sympathy in the reader? Because for me, it evokes profound concern for the adult so unhinged that they would “walk around the house with a pillow” under their shirt to simulate pregnancy. I mean, yeah. When I was a little kid I, and other little girls I knew, sometimes did this — it was child’s play; we enacted – as children – an experience we were conditioned to believe was our destiny. However, of the great many women I know who have struggled painfully with fertility not one has ever, at least to my knowledge, spent any amount of time with a pillow under her shirt. See, for women, female reproduction is not an act, an artifice. Nor do I think sticking a pillow under your shirt in any way expresses an understanding of what it’s like to have a uterus and ovaries, nor does it express a genuine desire to have them. What it does demonstrate is a need – perhaps fetishistic, perhaps not – to seem like a woman. And isn’t this what the Greer “debacle” is all about? That a woman refuses to play a game of pretend when reality is at stake?

And doesn’t it make sense that a male defined, highly commodified, branded “feminism” used mostly to hock pornography, music, clothes, and prostitution would have a vested interest in making women like Greer, women who’ve seen some shit, women who are not set to their human “stupid default,” women who can actually see and articulate that there are real issues, real struggles faced by women and girls that don’t involve a person’s right to participate in a slut walk, or to “change genders,” rendered insignificant? Greer’s feminism isn’t sexy, isn’t salable, isn’t stupid.

The writer concludes on a “free speech” note, I guess, arguing: I think we need to let people hear Greer out so we can all collectively look at her and say, “Well, that was a bunch of crazy BS. Oh, isn’t I Am Cait on?”

And thus, she proves my point. We’d rather not listen to the “crazy old woman” who has meaningful, important, and complex thoughts to share about the problems facing female human beings. Instead, we’d be better off to watch a privileged, wealthy, white Republican in an expensive dress drink chardonnay with his “gal pals.” Not hateful feminism. Just stupid.


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 change.org 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, AfterEllen.com 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 Everydaymisogyny.com 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 AfterEllen.com 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 AfterEllen.com 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.

AfterEllen.com’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,” AfterEllen.com 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.

AfterEllen.com 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 AfterEllen.com), 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 Advocate.com 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: http://genderidentitywatch.com/dawn-ennis-of-the-advocate-magazine-interviews-cathy-brennan-july-13-2015/

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.

A meditation on the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival : 1975-2015



The nutloaf was nutty. The drumming was drummy. I bought a dykey leather bracelet, got my period, howled like a wolf, showered in the open air and woke up in a tent underneath several inches of water during a thunderstorm. I washed dishes in a communal trough and let a silky wolf spider shimmy up my arm. I felt Lisa Vogel’s true love for each one of us in the fireworks show on Saturday at Night Stage.

It was Fest. It was the last Fest.

Before I left, I rubbed my new bracelet in the dirt and on the bark of trees in an effort to take the Land back with me. I tore off a piece of a fern, put it in my mouth, chewed, and swallowed.

I’m in the denial stage of grief: Lisa will hear our pain; feel our need; change her mind, I keep thinking. And…

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