«

»

Feb 07 2011

Spinster aunt mutters in Yiddish

If you are anti-IBTP-on-Facebook — and no spinster aunt can blame you for that — you have been spared the recent grim ennui of a painful exchange between a dude named Alexander who fancies himself feministically enlightened, and a blamer named Ana who does not entirely concur with Alexander’s self-assessment. It’s a classic Clueless-Dude Time-Drain. Hell, you already know what went down even if you didn’t read it. You’ve probably seen 2583 of these feminist vs. feminist-dude splitsplats.

This one was especially funny, though, because of the unintentionally ironic caption the dude Alexander gave his feministical little Jezebel link. “If you were wondering whether men hate you [...]” was how he put it. I’m not even kidding. He couldn’t seem to grasp why some blamers might have a problem with a man strolling in and telling a bunch of women that men hate them.

Look, just to be clear: when a man hangs around the feminists, it’s weird enough, but when he announces “men hate you,” it strikes rather a different — some might say “menacing” — note than when, say, an award-nominated spinster aunt says it it. You’re not one of the girls, dude.

Just sayin’.

But really, it’s comical, the predictability with which dudes who fancy themselves feministically enlightened just can’t seem to shut the fuck up when they are found to be duding the joint up a little too hardcore. They all appear to have been issued the same script. The script goes like this:

Blamer: Points out that the dude himself is at this moment exercising the very male privilege he has just derided in somebody else.

Dude: Gets defensive [he is feministically enlightened, and no woman is gonna tell him otherwise]. Implies, by dint of hilarious and supercilious walk-on-eggshells-cuz-this-chick-is-touchy language, that blamer is overreacting and misunderstands him.

Spinster Aunt: Steps in and tells the guy to go back to feminist school.

Dude: Counters with a display of vast feminist knowledge, perhaps stating [as dude Alexander did] that Jill’s ideas are not original; he happens to know that Andrea Dworkin thought this stuff up already.

Spinster Aunt: Mutters “Oy vey,” and repairs to the barn to shovel horseshit of a more pleasant kind.

Blamer: [now joined by more blamers] tells dude what time it is, i.e. that merely by persisting as a dude with a dudely perspective in a dude-free feminist forum he is, in fact, an exemplar of the abhorred oppressor.

Dude: Makes disingenuous apologies because of course he never meant to step on any toes or annoy anyone in any way, but doesn’t cop to exercising privilege except in an abstract, generalized, all-men-do-it sort of way.

Blamers: Get cheesed off because dude can’t take a hint.

Dude: Gets cheesed off because blamers won’t appreciate what a learned and magnanimous fellow he is.

[This will continue until I come in for lunch. There'll be 20 or 30 replies in the pile-on, and I'll be obliged to pull the plug. Then I'll do a blog post about it, and 75% of the time the dude will email me to outline all the ways in which I am wrong about him.] The end.

It has been said about 173,942 times — including on the aforementioned Facebook thread — that feminist ally dudes who genuinely want to advance the cause can best do so by minding their own fucking beeswax. Theirs, after all, is the beeswax that most thoroughly and systematically jams women up.

There’s quite a bit of dudely beeswax that needs minding, too. Dudes might quit using porn, for example. They could quit sticking their dicks in people with lower status than them (both literally and figuratively). They could get vasectomies, or clean their own toilets, or read a bunch of feminist theory, or explain to all their buds the ways in which their boo-yah mores are violent and oppressive. If they are sensitive artistes, they could even quit mooching off their girlfriends. They could combine all this useful, proactive, pro-feminist, anti-domination behavior with — to echo a cry that has risen in many a parched feminist throat — shutting the fuck up and getting the fuck out of our way.

Hahaha! Hoooo-boy! That’s a hot one. I have to say, the notion that more than a handful of men would ever do any of that stuff makes me throw back my head and laugh, as the poet said, a hollow, mirthless laugh.

But back to the point, which is this: I’ve pretty much had it with these supposedly well-meaning dudes who try to exercise their nascent feminist chops on my personal patriarchy-blaming blog. Patriarchy blamers in general, and I in particular, in no way require the “feminist” male perspective on anything, ever. See the FAQ for more information.

So I am revising, somewhat, the blogular comment policy. I end up doing this every year or so, when the dudeliness starts getting out of hand and wearying me, which it always does because I am never enough of a hardass.

The revision is this: This blog is goin’ dudeless. If you are commenting as a dude, don’t do it here. I don’t ever want to have to read fingernail/chalkboard crap like this again:

“So let me get this straight, you are blaming the porn industry and men in general for the poor decision made by this woman? It is pretty sexist for you to assume this woman was incapable of make [sic] her own decisions. I’m pretty sure that no one was holding a gun to her head telling her to get breast enlargement or die. I really don’t understand why any women get breast enhancement. They don’t look good, except sometimes while wearing a bra. They don’t feel good. And if the woman decides to have children, breast feeding is not an option. Of the maybe 20 guys I have talked to on the matter, none of them would marry a woman who had fake breasts.” — some random asshole with a Hotmail account.

As always, dudes are welcome to both spectate and contemplate the ideas discussed in this blog and in other feminist work. But from now on, I’m inviting them to do us the courtesy of shutting the fuck up. Of course, I’ll grandmother in those guys who’ve been around for years and have shown themselves capable of human decency.

New dudes can bypass the sex restriction by going incognito. I got no problem with that as long as they complete the prerequisites, never use the personal pronoun “I,” and knock it off already with the fucking tiresome-ass male viewpoint and supercilious tone. Good luck with that, though, because you know as well as I do that sooner or later they always start mansplaining or yakking about dudesex. If we can tell they’re dudes, they’re out.

As far as IBTP on Facebook goes, effective immediately dudes are invited to stop posting status updates on the wall (“Wall”. Really? Facebook is stupid). Blamers, even on Facebook, are not interested in dude-directed discourse. For now the Facebook comments will remain open to all comers, and we’ll see how it goes.

The purpose of all this is not to censor men or punish men or hate men or do anything to men at all (although if that’s what they want to think, it’s no skin off my nose). Rather, it’s to keep the blogular discourse as free as possible from the contamination of male privilege.

End transmission.

129 comments

3 pings

  1. joy

    Jill, this is awesome. Can you de-dude the Facebook too?

    Another painfully ironic moment: the other dude-blamer who later joined the pile-on and demanded, every fifteen minutes according to the time stamp, that we tell him why his opinion had stopped mattering.

    Dude. We weren’t ignoring you and your awesome dudely opinion (well, maybe some of us were). We’d all gone to bed.

  2. thebewilderness

    Criminy!
    If it weren’t more trouble than its worth I’d hate them back. They certainly provide ample opportunity and reason to do so.
    Thank you for making this a mansplainer free zone.

  3. joy

    By de-duding the FB, I mean, with a flamethrower if necessary.

    I’m sorry, as always, that you have to deal with this nonliteral horse shit.

  4. norbizness

    I blame Bud Lite and its tireless promotion of anxious masculinity; it’s reached near-toxic levels and promises to culminate in some sort of 28 Days Later type of scenario.

  5. Jill

    “promises to culminate in some sort of 28 Days Later type of scenario”

    Ha, I think it already has.

  6. kibbleforlola

    That email: the mind, it boggles.

  7. Satchel

    Yiddish is such a good language for invective!

    Thanks for creating and enforcing the policy.

  8. magickitty

    I love love love you, Twisty.

  9. FemmeForever

    ….which it always does because I am never enough of a hardass.

    I am. If you would like me to take over this function I will do so with bells on but only if you’re OK with an absolute ban because that is my service.

    In fact every time I go to FB I am assaulted by a picture of a male face. This is triggering and harshes my mellow without fail so I echo Joy’s plea to extend the ban to FB.

  10. bzzzzgrrrl

    Hallelujah and thank you. This is the best thing I have read today, and possibly ever.

  11. roesmoker

    Yes. This will undoubtedly improve the discourse. Clueless dudes can hie themselves to Feminism-101 and RTFAQ.

    What about transfolk? Are MTFs ok?

  12. Darragh Murphy

    Feeling your pain FemmeForever. Short of an outright ban, which may be difficult to do on FB, it seems that meeting men’s postings and comments over there with stony silence appears to be pretty effective. Nothing hurts a man’s feelings more than to be blatantly ignored by a woman or, worse, women. And by “hurts a man’s feelings” I mean makes him feel justified in physically, emotionally, verbally attacking the woman who is ignoring him. But it does seem to take the wind out of their FB posting sails. Either that or simply posting “you appear to be a man on a feminist forum. Please shut up and go away.”

    Women who use male names online pose an interesting problem.

    I’m one of the blog lurkers who has been too intimidated by the level of blaming discourse over here to comment, so I adore the new FB site which, for me at least, feels more conversational and casual; so it would really stink if IBTP FB goes away.

  13. Cas

    > What about transfolk? Are MTFs ok?

    This question is cissexist.

    Transgender women are women, not men. There’s no way in which they would not be “ok” to post under a system that says men can’t post, because they’re not men.

    Trans women experience both misogyny and cissexism, so they have a double helping of personal experience.

  14. Solveig

    Many thanks for a great post, as usual, my regular dosage of sense in the world. I hate those dudes. It’s not so much that they can’t fuckin’ stop trying to boss women around and feel superior, but much more that they can’t fuckin’ stop playing the GAME.

    The game of ?quien es mas macho? that they continuously carry on as they frantically, desperately, search for their masculinity and self-worth. Which they can only “win” by smashing someone else down, being “mas macho,” a conquerer-asshole.

    Then they come waltzing into a space like this, which is openly pissed off at men for a thousand great reasons, and try to play the game with ya’ll…and y’all won’t play because you know how stupid the game is in the first place.

    They think they’re so clever and yet they are so lacking in the most basic self-awareness. So incredibly clueless, inane, and common.

    This is a great space of freedom on the internet. A haven of free-thinkers. People who get it. Why should you let Those Who Don’t Get It (TWDGIs)—and who inadvertently insult every woman reader-participant in this feminist venue, conversation, community of ranters and blamers?

    Dude-free. What a thought. How incredibly nice that would be for a change—

    I just survived the Superbowl with my partner’s patriarchal (Syrian-American Catholics) family, which is super hierarchical, yet all of its members fancy themselves enlightened, feminist. In short, they’re liberals.

    Very nice except when they’re telling you to shut up, literally, if you call Ben Roethlisberger a rapist and a lout, and who would freak out totally if I started to describe the masculinist politics of the game, the pageantry, the rituals (i.e. the passing of the shiny, silver, penis trophy from one hand to another, and the touching of the sacred object, the icon of masculinity, American-style, the fucking Superbowl fetish that is shaped like a phallus.

    I had to leave at halftime and go over to my girlfriends’ party to be able to say what I wanted to say, to be able to speak as myself. And then to have to sit through that incredibly dull and perverse mass-delusion and insanity that convinces Americans that the GAME is true, permanent, the state of nature. When it is so obviously none of those things. What the fuck are we doing, one of them said to me during the party. Why are we watching this disgusting display of symbolic violence? Well, she didn’t say it quite that way—she said something like, “so much manly crap.” And then she said, “It’s so depressing.” Yeah.

    Sometimes it is so exhausting to live here as an intelligent being. I’ve blamed the patriarchy all my life, and the blaming never ends. It is very lonely, sometimes. Most times. I’m so glad that y’all women are here.

  15. Jill

    “What about transfolk? Are MTFs ok?”

    Sure, why not? Like I said, the gist of the thing is to put the kibosh on the exercise of male privilege; maybe I should have emphasized this more explicitly.

  16. Swoonie

    I pretty much run my life by this policy, as much as I possibly can. Sometimes, I even surprise myself when I stop to reflect (not often enough), realizing how few men I interact with on a day-to-day basis (outside of work, where I can’t do anything about it, and the interactions are generally very brief and of course, work-related). It’s a joy, i tell you. Until I somehow find myself thrust into a dude-centered situation, (read: normal society, also: restaurants, etc) and it literally seems like a foreign land. ‘Who are all these strange humanoids?!’

    Bless you, Twisty.

  17. roesmoker

    @Cas – I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be cissexist. I’m working on my trans understanding and terminology, thank you for educating me. I’ll shut up now :)

  18. joy

    And once more, we have females feeling the need to “shut up” on a feminist blog. (Not by Jill’s decree.)

  19. thebewilderness

    That happens a lot. Especially when peeps do not read the FAQs and make galloping assumptions instead.
    It is always important to school feminists on how they are screwing up feminism by using the wrong word to describe themselves.

  20. Darragh Murphy

    Shut up AND smile, natch.

  21. Mrs.. G

    You’ve just explained how I felt about the one yammering male who would enroll in a women’s studies class and regularly dominate class discussions.

    Another gem: I once took a feminist film theory class and the one guy that enrolled in the class believed that Fatal Attraction was a movie that celebrated strong women. No kidding.

  22. joy

    Seems almost like … hmm … how we have to act around -males.-

    Naah, it can’t be -that.-

  23. Gumption? Nah.

    @Cas
    “This question is cissexist.

    Transgender women are women, not men. There’s no way in which they would not be “ok” to post under a system that says men can’t post, because they’re not men.”

    Truth. But where did roesmoker say otherwise? She only asked about trans men. The magnanimous reader would just assume that roesmoker took it as a given that trans women are allowed to participate. Thus, “what about transfolk?” becomes “does trans-ness negate male privilege to the extent that MTFs are welcomed in otherwise dude-free spaces?”

    Which is wordy, grammatically questionable, and unnecessarily careful. Unless a female blamer has some reason or other to assume that she might be given cause to “shut up now :),” natch.

    :-)

  24. Farie

    This is the best news I’ve heard all day!

    Men who declare themselves feminist are by and large some of the most morally suspect creatures out there. Example:

    An article, for a supposedly progressive poli-sci class at a supposedly progressive institution of higher learning, written by a self-identified feminist man, included a formal citation for– I am not making this up– the idea that issues that apply to people may also apply to women. Now that’s some radical scholarly thinking!

  25. yttik

    That was fun to read, Twisty.

    It goes without saying that the reason dudes have to keep informing you that they’re a dude, is because they think that implies status and privilege. The second thing they like to do is act like feminism is a competition and naturally they’re much better at it than you.

  26. ashes

    Mrs. G — I’m having a flashback to my second year WS class. A white gay man from South Africa (he was gay so didn’t have any other privilege and that whole apartheid thing didn’t really impact him because he’s gay, you know) walked in and, in the first five minutes, interrupted the prof to ask what ever happened to chivalry in modern society. When the prof told him that those questions were better asked in a 1st year class and would he maybe like to go there? now? he got in a snit and lodged a formal complaint against her for sexism. I kid you not. Oh, yes. He was also a “feminist”, but not one of “those” feminists. Wink. Nudge.

  27. sonia

    About f*n time. More Twisty, less dudes.

  28. sonia

    p.s. although, “transwomen” are men.

  29. Kelsey B.

    Mrs.. G: My favorite dudely denizens of gender studies courses are the ones that think it will get them laid! Ahahahaha, good god what a bunch of idiots.

    I’m also having kind of a not-my-Nigel moment in regards to Comrade PhysioProf. However, I am mostly excited about the new rule, seeing as the comment section on every other blog I visit seems to be dedicated to explaining things to clueless men. That, and debating whether or not there is such a thing as the male gaze.

  30. Notorious Ph.D.

    My brain is currently doing gleeful cartwheels over the notion of divorcing the gender of a poster (“posting as a dude”) from biological sex. We’ll only know someone’s a d00d (and thus subject to banning) if they can’t resist the impulse to start waving their penis around (e.g., “This is all very interesting, but I don’t think you realize how men see this”).

    Goddamn revolutionary brilliance, that is.

  31. Comrade PhysioProf

    Mutters “Oy vey[.]”

    That’s itte??

  32. Fueltank

    Mrs G — What you said. It is the incessant questioning that makes it all so tiring, because there never seems to be any listening going on…

  33. Lidon

    Thank you!

  34. Hermionemone

    Quite OK, thank you for asking!

  35. Jill

    Mutters “Oy vey[.]”

    “That’s itte??”

    It’s Yiddish, ain’t it?

  36. Mar Iguana

    “What about transfolk? Are MTFs ok?”

    “Sure, why not? Like I said, the gist of the thing is to put the kibosh on the exercise of male privilege; maybe I should have emphasized this more explicitly.”

    Transubstantiation: If a priest can turn a wafer and wine into flesh and blood, I suppose doctors can turn boys into women. Miraculous. No male privilege there. Nope. Kind of a big “if” there though, no?

  37. Sargassosea

    “Cissexism”. Hahahaaha-ahaahaha.

    Poor transwomen with their double helpings of oppression; life is so hard when you CHOOSE to appear to be a member of the sex class in order to escape the horrid confines of male privilege.

    My guitar gently weeps.

  38. Comrade PhysioProf

    Yeah, butte the title of the poste suggested MOAR YIDDISH!

  39. yttik

    “..if they can’t resist the impulse to start waving their penis around..”

    This is good, this is a simple, genderless rule. Gender behind the keyboard isn’t really the primary issue, it’s those who insist on waving a virtual penis around, as if it were a weapon of superiority.

  40. sam

    Sounds like someone may be watching “The Nanny” on the new Antenna TV. Between the Judaism, New Yorkism, and feminine-ism my 8-9pm weekday evening slot is booked until further notice. Televised women’s humor is rare like ambergris.

  41. smaller

    Sonia, transwomen are not men. Please avail yourself of Cas’ post, up page.

  42. TwissB

    A cautionary note. A lifetime of male privilege does not necessarily vaporize when someone goes MTF.

    @Darragh Murphy: Yes, yes. Training for a women’s rights street action which began by asking each passerby if they supported X cause, included this rule: If a dude responds by wrinkling his brow and asking the volunteer to help him understand this or that troubling aspect of X cause, the volunteer will just say “Thank you” and move briskly on to the next passerby. Two reasons – as blog posters found, bad-faith dudes just want to dominate you by wasting your time and also you can drive them crazy by turning your back and walking away.

  43. Sargassosea

    smaller -

    Are transwomen in any danger of being impregnated against their will, or even “accidentally”?

  44. allhellsloose

    @smaller. Transwomen are men. They were born men. Regardless of how they came via surgery and hormone ingestion to be turned into female, initially they were men. With the subsequent privilege of belonging, for a good proportion of their life time, to the patriarchy. They, transwomen, cannot understand what it is like to be a woman, a FAAB, from birth. It simply does not compute.

  45. Notorious Ph.D.

    @ Comrade: Don’t go getting all vertutzt, now.

  46. bymarg

    Zetsn zikh! I’m a longtime reader, seldom commenter, in part because I dislike opening my anti-dude sentiments to dudes. Grandmother in the fellas who’ve shown a true grokking of what we’re doing here. But not having to indulge the hothouse orchids of tender defenses of white male privilege on IBTP any longer is awesome.

  47. MPMR

    This patriarchy business is tsuris, and I need it like I need a Lock in Kopp. We kemfers come here to listen to our Bren Twisty, and instead we get chai kock from a bunch of Groyseh Macher men that causes us all hartsvaitik. They can kiss my tuchas. Feh!

  48. Gumption? Nah.

    @allhellsloose

    Have you ever heard of “transmisogyny?” (I would suggest googling Whipping Girl by Julia Serano as a very 101 start).

    Transwomen are raped, murdered, and refused medical care because of their gender. That sounds like woman-hood to me.

    Jesus. Errasing and mis-gendering other women makes for pretty low-quality blaming.

  49. justpassingthrough

    @Gumption? Nah.

    The recognition of how vastly the life experience of Female At Birth women differs from the life experience of transwoman is *not* transmisogny or “cissexism”. Insisting that transwomen and women are identically “female” denies the role society plays in shaping gender; it minimizes *our* lifelong struggles; it minimizes the pain we endured as female children attempting to navigate patriarchy with our sanity intact.

    Sorry, but you’re going off the rails with this one.

  50. justpassingthrough

    @Gumption? Nah.

    The recognition of how vastly the life experience of Female At Birth women differs from the life experience of transwoman is *not* transmisogny or “cissexism”. Insisting that transwomen and women are identically “female” denies the role society plays in shaping gender; it minimizes *our* lifelong struggles; it minimizes the pain we endured as female children attempting to navigate patriarchy with our sanity intact.

    Sorry, but you’re going off the rails with this one.

  51. AlienNumber

    @Gumption– transmisogyny sounds like an interesting term and all, but what about allhellsloose’s point that transwomen were born men? Maybe a better term than transmisogyny is “men’s hatred of men who dare to feminize themselves in a world order that hates women”? A little long-winded, but also seems a little less inaccurate than the misappropriation of the term “misogyny” or even, dare I say, “women.”

  52. joy

    Not to mention that gender is a regressive concept created and maintained by the patriarchy, largely for the purpose of maintaining and oppressing the class “women”.

  53. Notorious Ph.D.

    Gumption, I think that part of the problem for those of us not in the trans community (or who don’t have trans friends & acquaintances) is that we don’t understand the terminology. Because I’m not familiar with it, I see the term “transwoman” and am not sure if the “-woman” part is what has been transitioned to, or from. So if nothing else, you’ve inspired an ignorant person (me) to look it up and educate myself.

    But you make an excellent point here: “Transwomen are raped, murdered, and refused medical care because of their gender. That sounds like woman-hood to me. Sadly true.

  54. roesmoker

    What Notorious said – I don’t feel like I know enough on the subject to be able to speak to it, so the last thing I wanted was to come across with a privileged/dudely attitude of “Here’s something I know very little about, so I will ask stupid questions and argue with the people who are living it every day!” Hence the shutting up.

    Not to womansplain but it seems to me that the issue of who qualifies as a woman for the purposes of feminism is a contentious issue between cisgendered and transgendered people. I could see it either way. Anyone who gives up their privilege to become a woman seems like she would understand the goals of feminism – not to mention having been oppressed as a trans, and anyone who lived as a woman before transitioning to a man would definitely have experienced oppression by the patriarchy as well.

    So everyone but cisgendered dudes?

  55. AlienNumber

    The point becomes less excellent the moment you do this to it:
    “Gay men are raped, murdered, and refused medical care because of their gender.”

    This doesn’t sound like woman-hood to me all of a sudden.

    Rape, murder and refusal of medical care — when they happen to men because of their gender expression happen not because these men were/are women, but because other men use violence to express that they don’t like it much when some men feminize themselves and thus try to threaten the patriarchal order.

    A woman doesn’t need to feminize herself to be at high risk for rape, murder and the refusal of medical care. In fact, sometimes her risk for these things increases when she refuses to feminize herself.

  56. damequixote

    There was a special on cable that featured MTF trans persons and how they felt about their transformations. One was dissapointed. Apparently, he used to be the center of the room and every idea he had was ‘brilliant’. He was also very self sufficient. Now that he was she, she lamented the loss of body strength (having to rely on others for help) and being ignored or just plain disregarded.

    It was clear watching this person’s life narrative that there had been a lot of ‘fantasy’(pre-op’)about how women lived and the attention directed at them by men.Thus a lot of dissapointing reality ensued.(Flashback to my past profession where I was the only woman surrounded by macho dudes in a macho environment and how they joked/believed that if they were women they would have men doing their bidding. Even then they couldn’t let go of the idea they would be in charge…LOL)

    Point being; IBTP. And after living as a woman, so did she.

  57. Jill

    “understanding what it’s like to be a woman from birth” is not a useful distinction on Savage Death Island.

  58. miska

    “Transwomen are raped, murdered, and refused medical care because of their gender. That sounds like woman-hood to me”

    It doesnt to me. Because women are raped/murdered etc because of our BORN SEX. Because we are FEMALE. Transwomen are not raped/murdered because of their born sex (which is male, duh).

    And male privilege (and its accompanying male entitlement complex) does not automagically disappear once a male starts wearing a dress and going by the name “Veronica”.

    If male privilege was so superficial that it could be neutralized so easily, then our feminist work would have been done, oh, you know … a few waves ago. ‘Course it’s not that simple to neutralize male privilege. Which is why we end up banning males from our spaces. A decision I wholeheartedly applaud, btw. Go Twisty.

  59. allhellsloose

    Transwomen are raped in a neo-vagina. a neo vagina that was once a penis (the outer skin) that is pushed into a surgically made hole. This neo-vagina needs special care. It has to be dilated regularly or it becomes defunct – this particular medical advice is usually given to the transwomen by women. I’m not anti trans by imparting this information.

    And I also agree. They are raped, by men. They are murdered, by men. They are refused medical care by both men *and* women. By the profession that made them who they are in the first place.

    Women are refused abortions (they got pregnant by men) by men and women. Women are raped, murdered and refused medical care on a daily basis. I can see totally the symmetry of transwomen and women in this scenario (without the abortion I hasten to add). But it doesn’t negate the point I made earlier. Transwomen were born men. Hence they have a distinct advantage within the patriarchy over FAAB women. They are not women.

  60. Hermionemone

    Here’s a thought experiment: your daughter is kidnapped just days after birth, taken away to some secret male supremacy cult compound, raised and forced to act as a boy. Presume that the cult administers drugs and other measures that make this plausible physically. Finally as a teenager or young adult she escapes, and (through DNA records or something) returns to you dazed but hopeful, wishing for acceptance and help integrating into normal life as a woman. Do you reject her, or would you accept and help her to become ‘some kind of’ woman, albeit with a different form of oppressive experience behind her?

  61. tinfoil hattie

    To live one’s childhood as a girl is certainly different than living one’s childhood as a boy under patriarchy. Certainly adults’ lives are shaped by their childhoods, and I daresay girls have it worse under patriarchy.

  62. Jill

    I’m not shutting down the trans/cis/etc discussion, but I am shutting it down on this blog, today. Having been down this road before, I know where it’s going, and I’m sorry, but I just don’t have time to moderate it. Next!

  63. justpassingthrough

    Rape, murder and refusal of medical care — when they happen to men because of their gender expression happen not because these men were/are women, but because other men use violence to express that they don’t like it much when some men feminize themselves and thus try to threaten the patriarchal order.

    Exactly. Patriarchy considers it high treason to deny the superiority of masculinity, and transwomen, having chosen to disavow themselves of their exalted status, are punished swiftly and mercilessly by the enforcers and upholders of the status quo. In patriarchy’s eyes, the enforcers aren’t punishing women, they’re punishing gender traitors.

  64. Cyberwulf

    Jesus, people. Are we doing this? Are we really doing this?

    MTFs who present as female don’t benefit from male privilege. They get all the crap that we cisgirls get, and all the extra crap that comes with being trans. All FTMs have presented as female and been treated as such at some point in their lives.

    Banning people for sounding like obnoxious dudebros who don’t get it is awesome. Banning people because they’re trans and don’t fit your narrow definition of a “real woman” is bigotry. And we all know who benefits when marginalised groups turn on each other.

  65. Cyberwulf

    Apologies, Jill, I posted while you were posting. Shutting up now.

  66. justpassingthrough

    Sorry, I didn’t see the comment about shutting down discussion of trans issues. Shutting up now.

  67. Sargassosea

    It was Cas who brought the whole thing up – why not knock her fire down?

  68. tinfoil hattie

    In patriarchy, anyone who does not present/live as a het dude is punished for veering over to the “fem” side, and therefore can speak to having been oppressed because of sex/gender.

  69. MPMR

    To help shift the topic, I will now post an English translation of the yiddish mutterings I made above (Comrade, is this what you had in mind?):

    This patriarchy business is serious trouble, and I need it like I need a hole in the head. We activists come here to listen to our charismatic firecracker Twisty, and instead we get poop from a bunch of Big Shot men that causes us all heartache. They can kiss my heiney. Bah!

  70. joy

    If one does not out oneself as a dude and drip male privilege, there is theoretically no problem. Even if one is a dude, was raised a dude, became a dude, whatever.

    Did anyone ever actually say anything different? (And yes, I read the whole thing.)

    On to the next interesting discussion, minus “What about the MEN? Dear God, What About The Men?!?!” please.

  71. Comrade PhysioProf

    (Comrade, is this what you had in mind?)

    YESSS!!! You are ganz meshugah!!111!!!11!!!!LEBENTY@2@@

  72. hero

    Vhat about the goyim!?

    So, the Deathly Savage Island, a schmeckle-free zone, is it?

  73. Rachel

    Twisty, should the apocalypse ever truly be nigh, know that I will seek you out, and join your biker gang/martini cult/Fallout 2 faction.

    Dang, this almost makes me sad I quit Facebook. Almost.

  74. Mehitabel

    Dear Twisty, I have a question that’s been bothering me all my life, I’m curious what you think especially as a scientist. With only the extremely rare and isolated counterexample, how come patriarchy is pretty much universal in human societies? And it looks like it’s pretty much the same way in other primate groups too, from what we can tell. What do you make of this?
    Thanks very much,
    Mehitabel

  75. Kathleen

    withdrawal of consent for men to be present? countdown to definition-of-rape-culture onslaught of men who never cared IBTP existed but now feel they MUST COMMENT HERE in 3… 2….

  76. damequixote

    “biker gang/martini cult/Fallout 2 faction”…..count me in on that.

    So…why are we waiting for that whole apocolisp thingie?

  77. nails

    meh I think I might shift the convo over to my blog (assuming anyone cares enough to follow it over there). Its one of my pet peeves on radical feminist sites. I’ll be blogging it tonight or tomorrow.

  78. pheenobarbidoll

    Question- Why am I supposed to be ok with a male who lived male was treated as male and was taught as a male to HATE ME, given privileges I am denied from the second someone said “it’s a boy” and has been treated better than me up until the point he decides to become a woman and dress like a stereotypical version of ME? Why is that ok, because now the person has to worry about rape and murder( which I had to worry about since yanno, someone declared ” its a girl”- it’s not like my possible rapists were reduced in number)because they wish to dress in a stereotypical version of me that’s been forced upon me and I never wanted anyway? How is being denied the ability to dress as a stereotypical ME (a woman) and become ME (a woman) oppressive? It’s not oppressive when people of a dominant group are denied the ability to dress as an Indian. It’s not oppressive when those of a dominant group are denied access to my culture and practices, or identifying group. So why is it OK for someone coming from a dominant sex group to appropriate and then stereotype the hell out of my oppressed sex?

    I don’t get it. And I don’t get how the sudden existence of boobs means I should forget the years of the Mighty Penis and all that entailed.

    Or the fact that Men Hate Me.

    What, the transgendered person overcame that brainwashing overnight and no longer hates me?

    We need to bottle that shit and sell it. Feminist work would be done.

  79. Jill

    “I’ll be blogging it tonight or tomorrow.”

    Dogspeed, nails. This is, like, the touchiest issue in all of feminism. Well, this, and “I choose to enpornulate myself because it empowers me.”

  80. Darragh Murphy

    I’m not sure why. If 1 in 10,000 males present as m to f transgendered, as estimated by the Dutch TGF, that means there are around 300,000 m2f’s. Worldwide. And that’s a generous estimate.

    300,000 in the whole world.

    There are around 30 or 40 million fundamentalist Christian women and girls in the USA alone. But rad feminism bats not an eyelash in brushing them under its nose.

    Not saying the 300k don’t exist or positing an opinion of the 300k’s experience of the P versus the experience of the 3 BILLION wrt the P, just saying
    300k relative to 3Billion?

    Angels on the heads of pins and all that.

  81. joy

    Why is ignorance of The Issues presumed whenever these things come up and women refuse to shut up or kiss ass?

    Like Teena Brandon and others too numerous to name, I was encouraged by the medical profession to call myself trans when they got wind that I liked women and felt uncomfortable being enpinkulated. It sounded like sweet sweet freedom, but after a year of research and life In The Scene, it started to stink of lesbophobia to me. And moreover, it seemed like a really good way to keep feminists from being feminist.

    The Man: “If you don’t like oppression, that means you’re actually an oppressor inside! Congrats. As for the rest of ‘em, well, sucks to be them.”

    But in fact, transitioning seems like quite the logical thing to do, if you’re into neither crushing oppression of yourself nor outright immediate feminist revolt.

    A yardstick: women don’t need to out ourselves as “I’m a woman” every time we comment; we don’t see straight women saying “I’m a straight woman” (though it’s usually obvious once anything related to hetsex gets put on the killing floor); if men or transfolk are able to carry on un-male-privileged discourse, what’s the big deal?

  82. nails

    I guess people aren’t willing to wait for me to get home and blog, but don’t forget what Andrea Dworkin wrote about this issue. Its an emergency to be trans. It really really is. Not doing anything about it isn’t an option for the person experiencing it, so all this stuff about how they are “choosing” to upset all of you really bothers me, and was going to be the first thing to get addressed on my post. I am going to be home in the next hour or so to write, and will come back here and link to the post so savage death island can remain peaceful.

  83. AlienNumber

    (Apologies, Twisty, for continuing this). Just thought it was very important to let the old lady Andrea speak for herself:

    http://www.womanist-musings.com/2009/08/andrea-dworkin-on-transgender.html
    (I’m not endorsing the accompanying commentary, except you know the part about empathy etc)

    “One, every transsexual has the right to survival on his/her own terms. That means every transsexual is entitled to a sex-change operation, and it should be provided by the community as one of its functions. This is an emergency measure for an emergency condition.
    Two, by changing our premises about men and women, role-playing and polarity, the social situation of transsexuals will be transformed, and transsexuals will be integrated into community, no longer persecuted and despised.
    Three, community built on androgynous identity will mean the end of transsexuality as we know it. Either the transsexual will be able to expand his/her sexuality into a fluid androgyny, or, as roles disppear, the phenomenon of transsexuality will disappear and that energy will be transformed into new modes of sexual identity and behavior.”

    Revolution!

  84. nails

    Pheeno- who they are isn’t like an outfit or a trend. It is who they are inside, and they aren’t doing it to annoy you. It is clear that you haven’t made an attempt to do any basic research into the typical experiences of transgender people before judging them (I mean from a clinical standpoint, not just what they have to say about their own situation). It reminds me of mormons who think that people choose to be gay just to fuck up *their* peersonal shot at heaven, those selfish damn gays! Why do they have to screw up HF’s plan for the rest of us, right? pfft. It has nothing to do with you, really, and choosing not to be trans would be a huge relief to many people if it was actually possible, but it isn’t.

    I was going to write a whole new post but it seemed like a better idea to just amend my last post on transphobia to include this “what your childhood was like is what makes you a woman/not” thing.

    http://skeptifem.blogspot.com/2010/10/transphobia.html

  85. justpassingthrough

    @Nails

    Hang on a sec. Just because some of us aren’t keen on further reinforcing the gender binary via support of gender transitioning (Don’t like the confines of the little blue jail cell you were born into? Move into a pink cell and, voila!, problem solved) doesn’t mean we’re devoid of empathy for binary casualties. All of us are binary casualties in a way. I could delve into this further but I don’t want to muck the place up with gender identity politics. I’ll just leave it at: I feel for the trans population, I am not offended by their presence here or anywhere, but at the same time I have problems with the whole shebang, perfectly valid concerns wrought from within a feminist framework, thankyouverymuch, and I deeply resent being labeled “transphobic” because I have those concerns.

    If you want to initiate an honest conversation about the topic, try doing it without insulting those you’ve issued invitations to.

  86. justpassingthrough

    This is beginning to remind me of those terribly fun BDSM debates. “But, but, but, some people are BORN to be submissives. I’ve ALWAYS known this was the lifestyle for me. BDSM is in my BLOOD! I can’t help it!!!” Followed by the inevitable: “Stop criticizing my lifestyle! You don’t know what it’s like to be ME.”

    I just had to mention that because I know a buncha people are going to enjoy that analogy.

  87. Cyberwulf

    Interesting, justpassingthrough. Your last two comments remind me of: ‘How DARE you alienate a MALE ALLY by calling me a sexist! Now watch as I say something incredibly fucking sexist!’

  88. awhirlinlondon

    Fucking Facebook. I fucking hate fucking Facebook.

  89. speedbudget

    Guys. Isn’t it nice there aren’t dudes in this space to muck up the discourse?

  90. Mar Iguana

    “understanding what it’s like to be a woman from birth” is not a useful distinction on Savage Death Island.”

    Unfortunately, it’s kind of useful everywhere else.

  91. Treefinger

    My condolences that the trans “debate” is getting rehashed on your blog again, Twisty. I’ve been sitting on this for a while though, so I guess I’ve gotta add to the derail. My apologies.

    “Privilege”, I opine, consists of experiences in two major categories: how you are treated by the outside world, and what gendered messages you internalize about yourself (mainly through media- and we live in pretty media-saturated times now, so). Oppression and Privilege have external and internal functions. For instance, oppression may take the form of the marginalized class being treated like shit directly, or being made to feel like shit so that it’s members make no attempt to liberate themselves, and perhaps even feel they deserve their oppression. Quite frequently, it takes the form of both at the same time, but I make the distinction because some groups’ experiences are more nuanced.

    Trans women will definitely experience people treating them as men before they transition (though the effect of people gendering them as male and then seeing their feminine behaviour will cause them to experience massive amounts of homophobia and transphobia), and from that they are afforded male privilege. But trans people tend to internalize media and other social cues that target the gender they identify with. A pre-transition trans woman is going to identify with women in advertising, porn, movies, and the women they know, and it will have a very similar psychological effect on them as a cis woman: they will internalize misogyny even though nobody intended them to. Few trans women walk around thinking they own the world- they know how lowly regarded the gender identity they have is. True, you will find that trans women don’t know the full extent of how cis women are treated until after they transition, due to being treated like males (albeit second class males). However, this knowledge is simply added to the feelings they experienced before.

    Trans men will suffer sexist oppression before they transition, but similarly, it is entirely possible for trans men to absorb the social messages directed towards the privileged class as they grow into adulthood. I know because I certainly did (for the record I’m a non-transitioned female who has always identified with masculinity). I grew up seeing shit that would enrage me now- but it didn’t bother me at the time because I thought it didn’t apply to me. As far as I was concerned I was an awesome dude, and any problem anyone had with me was individual, not sexism-based as well. My feminist awakening disabused me of some of the grosser notions I picked up, but I still have to remind myself when I see misogyny that not only is it wrong in principle, it’s personal. These things are saying “fuck women”, and whether or not I like it, I’m included as a woman. Believe it or not, this took me a while to grasp. The power of the way I interpreted my socialization meant that I was virtually able to ignore my own oppression in most cases. I’ve no doubt trans women’s internalized misogyny does the same in reverse. Sure, they will be surprised by some of the facets of misogyny they were immune to when perceived as male, just as if I decided to transition I would be surprised at the benefits I started to gain once I started to pass.

    As longwinded as that was: at the moment, I believe the only feminist issues that are completely irrelevant to the experiences of all trans women include ones involving being a biologically female baby/child, childbirth, and diseases/public recognition of the seriousness of diseases that are directly linked to cis female anatomy (cervical cancer, vaginismus, what have you). Ditto with types of male privilege and trans people. There are trans people that begin living as their identified gender as children, trans people that grow up internalizing the “wrong” power dynamics, and lots of other variety that makes the issue of privilege not so simple in our case. Since no one cis woman has experienced EVERY type of misogynist oppression, it’s entirely too pedantic to exclude trans women because they can’t experience every female experience. It’s really negligible whether trans women can be called women based on “the experience of misogynist oppression”, so you might as well err on the side of respecting their wishes.

    My point: trans women as a whole are about as threatening to cis women as any given group of other cis women. And their experiences really can be illuminating about the patriarchy. If a trans woman is being a dick in a woman’s space, ban her as an individual. It’s not that hard. Sure, trans women’s feminism is overwhelmingly sex positive/liberal, so one that actually wants to join IBTP might be hard to find; but I promise that trans people differ on core issues, and radicals are out there. Moreover, since the sex positive community is FAR more trans-positive at the moment, can you blame the majority? I can’t.

    Re: whether gender is completely socially constructed or biologically influenced: I don’t pretend to know. But I also don’t think it matters. We have to deal with the fact some of us are trans now. Radical feminist revolution, if you will; but until then, we live in deeply fucked up times, and have to make do as best we can.

  92. MgWex

    Some of these comments have been exceptionally transphobic. Surprisingly so, really. MAAB individuals who identify as trans may, indeed, have experienced male-privilege at some point in their lives, but not only is that incidental, it shouldn’t even be considered male-privilege. It should be considered passing privilege.

    The gender binary is not only shitty because it assigns women some of the inherently shittier roles (like weakness and submission), but also because it randomly associates super great things (emotional awareness, creativity, empathy) with those really crummy roles. MAAB people who identify strongly with women, and come to identify as such are so obviously not appropriating women’s oppression, because men (and other privileged people) just don’t wake one morning and say to themselves, “you know what would be super great? If I decided to live my life as a woman from now on just so that I could get a taste of what misogyny is like and then when I think I’ve finally become happy and stable in my new community of strong wonderful women, be told that I am a privileged appropriative asshole by a zillion blog commenters who think I am not a real woman.”

    Seriously, why would anyone do that? People think about and struggle with their gender identity for years. Transwomen don’t give up male or cisgendered privilege easily. I think the fact that a transwoman decides she is actually happiest in a place of such horrible vulnerability to attack and discrimination is strong evidence to support a lack of appropriation.

  93. Jill

    I knew when I wrote to quit posting about the so-called trans debate that it would immediately ramp up the postings on the so-called trans debate. Why do I do these things? It’s almost like I’d never seen this exact conversation on my blog 172 times!

    Now I guess I have to write a whole nother post clearing all this shit up. Oy vey.

  94. Sargassosea

    Can we talk about F to M transpeople then? Maybe someone could explain to me how that’s all fine ‘n dandy too. Is it something like, “Oh leave him alone he’s not hurting anyone! Quit being so transphobic you big meanie!”?

  95. Sargassosea

    “Now I guess I have to write a whole nother post clearing all this shit up. Oy vey.”

    Yay! Maybe the 173rd time it’ll stick.

  96. pheenobarbidoll

    “It is who they are inside, and they aren’t doing it to annoy you. It is clear that you haven’t made an attempt to do any basic research ”

    I’ve heard that very same argument from white people who stroll onto reservations believing in their souls that they are Indian. It’s who they sincerely believe themselves to be inside. (and I’m not talking about the hippy woowoo assholes who just like our culture better and romantisize the shit out of it)

    I’ve done the research, I’ve read and spoken to trans people at length and I still get the appropriation alarm bells ringing.

    I don’t have an issue with the fact that they transition from male to female. I consider a transperson whichever gender they identify with. But I cannot forget that until that transition took place, they were still fucking me over (intent or not) by being male and were taught to hate me.

    You do not undo a lifelong brainwashing of hate overnight.

    And it’s not my job to wait patiently for them to unlearn that hate, anymore than it is for me to wait patiently for a white person to unlearn their hate for POC. It is not my job to teach them. And it is certainly not my duty to forget any past oppression they contributed to, visited upon me.

    Bottom line- While they were male, I was crushed under their boot heel of privilege, so you’ll just have to excuse me if I flinch.

  97. Toni

    I am so friggin grateful for this site.

  98. Sargassosea

    Trans-activist arguments are based on individual, personal, me-me-me feelings.

    This is a radical feminist space. Radical Feminism is POLITICAL; it’s not about individual feelings.

    My personal feelings are super-dooper important to me but they don’t amount to shit when I look around myself (Hey! Try it sometime!) and see approximately 3.5 billion women-born-women with overarching life and death issues staring us in the face every single minute of every single day. WE matter, as a WHOLE. It’s about US. Here, on a radical feminist blog.

    On a personal level, if you “feel” like a woman then far the fuck out, go for it! But don’t send activists to tell ME how they didn’t know how hard it is to be a “woman” because if those poor souls had LISTENED to women in the first place (that pesky male privilege has a way of blocking one’s ears) they might have decided it would be more advantageous to just be who they are in the body they were born with.

    @Nails – You’re a woman toting men’s water.

  99. allhellsloose

    Just to derail the derail. I would like to add my congratulations to the blog now becoming male privilege free. And. Freedom. I love it.

  100. Noanodyne

    There is a whole range of radfem bloggers who have been writing and talking about trans issues for a long time. Women like mAndrea feminazi, miska fabmatters (who has commented in this thread), Gallus Mag GenderTrender, and dirt from Dirt have covered this issue in depth. If you go to their sites (or mine) you can also find lists of other radfem blogs to read on this subject. You may not agree with them, but trying to shout them down by claiming they’re “phobic” or haven’t considered all the issues or don’t know what they’re talking about is just typical silencing of women’s legitimate views on their own experience.

  101. Metal_teaport

    miska, I think I disagree slightly but it depends a lot on what you mean by neutralizing privilege. I think it has to be relatively easy for a privileged person to lose at least some of their privilege or such societies would cease to function.

    A lot of the benefits that come with privilege are “indirect” benefits of less suffering. While these are by no means insignificant they could be expanded to a non-privileged group with the minimal of loss for the majority of privileged people. An easy example with sexuality would be marriage. Straight people won’t suffer at all if gay people can marry but gay people would gain significantly. There therefore needs to be a method of control to stop the majority realizing that the current system sucks, neutralizing all privileged would be great for a lot of people and they’d personally lose very little. (This avoids the issue of losing having someone to look down upon which is probably reasonably significant).

    For the patriarchy to work it necessitates that a man loses at least some of his privileged if he expresses feminist ideals, or makes a move towards things considered traditionally “feminine”. (Similarly a women is downgraded further for doing the same). The same would be true for any other privileged group. I think this also counts for transwomen. They have to lose male privilege when they make the transition or we’d risk having to start treating women like equals. Of course their past experience would be different however I don’t think it is fair to argue they still have full male privilege.

    I know this is coming down to “the patriarchy hurts men to” but I think the point I’m trying to make is “the patriarchy necessarily hurts men too”. Of course there are significant active benefits that all members of privileged groups receive, I just think these would have ended a long time ago if it wasn’t so easy to lose the benefits of privilege for saying or doing the wrong thing.

  102. Sargassosea

    One last thing before I zip it:

    When we have come to a place where talking heads on the television fall all over themselves to correct their usage (sex v. gender) when they are talking about the outcome of a celebrity’s pregnancy, for example, it is a clear sign to me that this crap has really gone too far.

    And if THAT isn’t “appropriation“, I don‘t know what is.

  103. CLD

    Adding to the derail-derail, this is AWESOME! Dood-free space. Thank you Twisty!

  104. AlienNumber

    A Public Service Announcement: remember, lipstick is bad for you (and for the bunnies on which it’s tested– google Draize test if you’ve got doubts).

    As are boob-jobs. Boob-jobs are bad for you.

    As is (heterosexual) marriage. That’s bad for you too.

    etc

  105. TotallyDorkin

    Why has nobody mentioned that women are brainwashed by the patriarchy to be sexist and misogynistic like men are? Just because someone was FAAB does not mean that they automatically understand the oppression they live under and its source.

    EVERYONE is taught to hate women, not just men. It’s just easier for women to recognize that this is bullshit because they feel all of the oppression that is generated by this mode of thought.

    There are a lot of people here who need to realize that in addition to being subject to the oppression women face in our culture, transwomen are subject to whole extra set of oppression due to their trans status that FAAB women do not need to worry about (such as being rejected by both men and women, being at higher risk for violent hate crimes than FAAB women, and being at higher risk of losing their job due to their trans identity).

    If you think a transwoman’s vestigial male privilege benefits her and results in less oppression in our society, you are sorely mistaken, and need to do some research. If you accept that there is an inherent cisgendered privilege in our society yet still reject transwomen from your feminist discussions, you are committing the same kind of oppression that you blame men for all the time.

  106. lawbitch

    Some random dude and his buddies won’t want to marry me if I get a boob job. WHAAAA! Oh, the horror of it all!

    Love the new policy. A toast with my margarita glass to you, Twisty!

  107. speedbudget

    Wait. You mean I can’t get married if I get a boob job? I thought that was a requirement for marriage. I am so outta the loop.

  108. yttik

    One thing that many women tend to do is focus on too many details, take things too literally, and constantly worry about everybody and everything else, but themselves. And yes, I am womansplaining. This is something else that is so predictable, a blogger will encounter a dude who is annoying everybody with his insistance on male superiority and go write a “No Dickheads Post.” In response you’ll get half a dozen comments worrying about the rare disabled person who really does have a dick stuck to his head, and aren’t we being ableist by banning people with this disorder? That is followed up by a dozen other comments demanding to know if we’ve been completely inclusive of every possible scenario and accusing some posters of being gender supremists, racist, etc, etc. Ultimately the author of the “No Dickheads” post will be forced to clarify that yes, indeed, she is being completely inclusive, she recycles religiously, she is aware of every possible social issue on the planet and works tirelessly to make things better. Then and only then, after she has proven her self sacrificing committment to every other cause in the world, can she Just Say No To The Dickhead.

    You know what male bloggers do? They say, “the guy was an ass, he’s out.” That’s pretty much the end of the story.

  109. lawbitch

    Twisty cited the perfect email to illustrate the exercise of male privilege and the male gaze. As if blamers are sitting around here waiting with bated breath to be deemed worthy of some random dude’s approval. I so welcome the new policy!

  110. pheenobarbidoll

    “If you think a transwoman’s vestigial male privilege benefits her”

    Benefited. Past tense. All men benefit from male privilege. They all have it. Just like all white people benefit from and have white privilege.

    Changing one’s sex does not erase that it was had. And had at women’s expense.

    Does she have it now? No.

    Did HE? Yes.

  111. tinfoil hattie

    In response you’ll get half a dozen comments worrying about the rare disabled person who really does have a dick stuck to his head, and aren’t we being ableist by banning people with this disorder?

    Can’t stop laughing. Thank you.

  112. random_anomaly

    Sigh. Thank you for putting into words what I was too frustrated/exhausted to articulate (and others probably were too). It’s amazing that he couldn’t see his own hypocrisy, or at least it would be, if we hadn’t seen the same thing so many times.

  113. Z

    “Benefited. Past tense. All men benefit from male privilege. They all have it. Just like all white people benefit from and have white privilege.

    Changing one’s sex does not erase that it was had. And had at women’s expense.

    Does she have it now? No.

    Did HE? Yes.”

    I see, now here’s the failure. See, what you’re failing to get is that trans women are women born women same as cis women. There never was a “he”. There was only ever a she. A she who got beaten into hating herself and into hiding. A she who knew she was a she and knew it was wrong to be a she. A she who knew exactly what people thought of her and others like her.

    SHE got the kind of male privilege that comes from having a butch nickname or being a tomboy- temporary and at a very high cost.

    Stop telling trans people what OUR OWN lives were like.

  114. Cara

    You know what male bloggers do? They say, “the guy was an ass, he’s out.” That’s pretty much the end of the story.

    I think Twisty does that already; her willingness to wield the banhammer is one of the things I love about reading here. My hunch is that the post to explain the new policy was merely to entertain us.

    The debate seems a bit pointless because if someone strolls in spewing bullshit Twisty’s going to see it and whack them. They can post as Mary Queen of Scots or Dirk Diggler, but if they’re tracking Chadness all over the rug she’s going to notice that.

  115. Shinila

    Men can not be feminists. Period. It seems the more feminist a guy is, the creepier he is in trying to get us to surrender to the fact ‘not all men are bad’.

    I leave them well alone.

  116. Shinila

    I also worry about the fact feminists always get the same rants from ‘feminist dudes’. Always a feminist dude telling us we’re doing it wrong or we’re not considering the kids in Africa. Funny how no one is asked on Men’s Right’s boards to consider these little kids. Men are allowed to be unhappy with their lot apparently.

  117. Shinila

    Just to clarify, I think it’s down to male privilege men get to moan about women taking over the world, but we have to consider every other ‘ism’ before we imply we’re paid 30% less. etc

  118. nails

    What do you guys think of people of color that pass for white then?

  119. nails

    “This is beginning to remind me of those terribly fun BDSM debates. “But, but, but, some people are BORN to be submissives. I’ve ALWAYS known this was the lifestyle for me. BDSM is in my BLOOD! I can’t help it!!!” Followed by the inevitable: “Stop criticizing my lifestyle! You don’t know what it’s like to be ME.”

    I just had to mention that because I know a buncha people are going to enjoy that analogy.”

    Do you think that the medical community has just remained ignorant of transsexuals all this time or something? Its not something someone made up one day for kicks. It is a cross cultural phenomenon that has existed for a very long time and shows up in a consistent percentage of the population. BDSM meets none of that criteria, so your comparison is foolish. Way to boil down something like this to a fashion trend, just like so many other people did in this thread.

  120. nails

    sargassosea
    “On a personal level, if you “feel” like a woman then far the fuck out, go for it! But don’t send activists to tell ME how they didn’t know how hard it is to be a “woman” because if those poor souls had LISTENED to women in the first place (that pesky male privilege has a way of blocking one’s ears) they might have decided it would be more advantageous to just be who they are in the body they were born with.”

    Trans people are killed, raped, fired, and disowned for transitioning. Its not easy or fun, and most spend a very long time trying to be happy with the body they were born with because they are scared of what their family and friend and coworkers will do in response. It doesn’t work to just live with the assigned gender. Clinical research backs this up, completely. The distress felt by a person who is trans by just doing what other people expect them to isn’t something to sneeze at. I doubt you would tell a gay person to just bang who society expects them to.

    “@Nails – You’re a woman toting men’s water.”

    why, because I looked into this before I formed an opinion? because that opinion differed from yours?

    Do you think feminist solidarity is important or not? I don’t know why you would say something like that to me except to make me feel foolish or excluded. I won’t be insulted or intimidated out of speaking the truth about transgender people. What other people think of me and the insults they throw are way down on the list of things I consider before I speak my mind. I have a feminist blog, ffs. Either say what your actual objection is to what I posted or don’t, this petty crap is meaningless and divisive.

  121. nails

    Pheeno

    “I’ve heard that very same argument from white people who stroll onto reservations believing in their souls that they are Indian. It’s who they sincerely believe themselves to be inside. (and I’m not talking about the hippy woowoo assholes who just like our culture better and romantisize the shit out of it)”

    The two things are so different it is almost impossible to compare. On the one hand you have a phenomenon that is
    1.cross cultural
    2.exists in a persistent percentage of the population
    3.cannot be alleviated by other means
    4.is remarkably similar to other conditions that have to do with altering non-gendered body parts (and therefore lack the motivation to appropriate anything)
    5.that is extremely risky for the person experiencing it to act on
    6. appears early in childhood and persists for a lifetime
    7. concerns an actual physical feature rather than an abstract metaphysical one

    your example, by definition, cannot meet the first condition or the last. You are comparing what is likely a physiological phenomenon to cultural trends.

    “I’ve done the research, I’ve read and spoken to trans people at length and I still get the appropriation alarm bells ringing.”

    What research did you look at? What data would convince you that you are wrong?

  122. AlienNumber

    People of color who pass as white have a tendency to fight against racism as much as they can, e.g. Adrian Piper, who always makes sure to say that she’s African-American, especially if you say racist crap around her.

    See letter 2 on this page:
    http://www.iub.edu/~iuam/online_modules/aaa/artists/piper.html#

    Oh, and this poem is awesome.
    http://www.adrianpiper.com/dear_editor.shtml

    Not the example one had in mind?

  123. Meghan Murphy

    This is awesome. Thank you one million times over. I’ve been working on a comment policy for our blog, which desperately needs one. Yours has been a HUGE and hilarious inspiration. As was this post. I feel slightly less ragey now. How pleasant.

  124. rubysecret

    re: the transgender arguments above.
    I’d just like to point out a project that a friend of mine is trying to get published. It’s a photo/essay exhibit with portraits of trans individuals, and text of them telling their stories. I saw it in person in a gallery and it was incredibly moving. For most, the opportunity to listen to these people perspectives is a very rare thing. The author/photographer has been having trouble getting it picked up by a publisher, and has been raising funds on kickstarter in order to self publish. Anyway, for those confused or unfamiliar with such voices, pre-ordering a copy of the book would be a great way to learn more about the community. Or, just listen to the author’s video about the project.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/transfigurations/acclaimed-photodocumentary-transfigurations

  125. joy

    So much for “no dudes.”

    The Facebook page is currently under siege from MRAs insulting our intelligence, patronizing us, and calling us fascists.

  126. Laughingrat

    This is something else that is so predictable, a blogger will…write a “No Dickheads Post.” In response you’ll get half a dozen comments worrying about the rare disabled person who really does have a dick stuck to his head, and aren’t we being ableist by banning people with this disorder?

    Wow, thanks, that’s so true–fighting ableism is totally the same as concern-trolling. And when someone brings up racism, do you say things like, “I don’t care what color anyone is! I don’t even care if they’re purple!” as if racism isn’t really real? As if you have to create extreme, silly examples just to imagine it?

    And no, nobody’s asking you to care about disabled people before you care about women (as if the two groups are mutually exclusive, for crying out loud). It’s not too much to ask that, while fighting for women’s rights, you avoid sneering at others’ battles for freedom and dignity.

  127. pheenobarbidoll

    What research did you look at? What data would convince you that you are wrong?”

    There is no (credible) data that I know of that shows from the moment a penis is spied on an ultra sound, a born male isn’t the recipient of male privilege at the expense of women and girls everywhere and that he was not taught to hate me because I am a woman.

    Up to the point he transitioned to a she, he had MP.

  128. Orangeban

    [Every now and then I like to let a dudecomment through so you guys can hone your chops -- Twisty]

    Now, this comment is coming way after this post was made, but frankly, this ruffled my feathers to the point where I had to step in. Yes, I am likely being immature and stupid but dammit, someone on the internet is wrong and I must chane that!

    From a blog run by a feminist this is shockingly sexist. And dont try to weedle out of that claim with the “they can be dudes, just as long as I dont know” rubbish.This is discriminating and insulting to everyone. You generalize fifty percent of the population in the name of geder equality. Can you not see the hypocsisy?

    I am man but I am also a feminist. By this I mean I want the genders to be equal. This isnt some ridiculous concept. Men can want female equality in the same way a white person can want equality for all skin colours.

    My second point. I dont leer at women,nor do any of my friends friends, and frankly if some girl came up to me in some really revealing top or skirt or whatever, I dont think she did it to conform to mans wants or anything ridiculous. Rather than say what I think she wore it for Ill just ask afemale friend BRB

    Okay turns out it was for fun. She likes looking nice and she likes people knowing that, good for the self esteem and all. People can look sexy for reasons other than patriarchy.

    I leave with a question. I am gay, where do I fit into the patriarchy?

  129. Rididill

    @Orangeban

    Oh how funny, and what a great example of why dudes are banned. I do hope this was meant ironically, cos if not, you’ve got a long way ahead of ya buddy.

    1) ‘Yes, I am likely being immature and stupid but dammit, someone on the internet is wrong and I must chane that!’

    Good luck to you on THAT fun job, and I do hope you are consistently applying this rule to ALL wrong people on the internet. In fact, why don’t you send us a list, in order of wrongness, to demonstrate your good faith, or else explain why exactly you chose this ‘wrong’ person on the internet out of all the ‘wrong’ people you could have picked? Like, the misogynist homophobes, for example?

    2) And dont try to weedle out of that claim with the “they can be dudes, just as long as I dont know” rubbish.This is discriminating and insulting to everyone. You generalize fifty percent of the population in the name of geder equality. Can you not see the hypocsisy?

    Your inability to listen to/understand that ‘rubbish’ is precisely why you are missing the point. The reason to ban dudes is because they come on with very irritating dude-like behaviour which stems directly from their unexamined male privilege.

    Dudes who are aware of their male privilege, and have reflected and interrogated that, and can respond in light of their awareness of the opressiveness of their male privilege, are welcome. For example, Physio Prof. Dudes who are not, for example, you, are not welcome. This is why, it is not, in fact a generalization. It is a warning, a severe warning to dudes, to examine their privilege (which YES all men have, due to the PATRIARCHY) before commenting on this site and putting us through the same ridiculous stupid bullshit that ignorant dudes tend to post on feminist blogs. Unfortunately, dudes do not tend to listen to this or understand, as you have amply exemplified, so it kind of makes more sense to ban them totally. And they don’t even listen to that, so what the fuck can you do.

    If you don’t understand the difference between exhibiting male privilege and being a man, you do not belong on this blog, which, as it reads, is FOR ADVANCED PATRIARCHY BLAMERS ONLY.
    Go read feminism 101.

    The rest of your post is just too ridiculous for words. You think we haven’t heard this shit before? This is 101 level, and a key example of dudely behaviour on feminist blogs.

    I have never ONCE seen a woman on a feminist blog exhibit such utter ignorance about feminism yet still feel the need to put their stupid comment, broadcast it to everyone, and then demand that said blog writer/commenters educate them about the basics of feminism. GO READ A FUCKING BOOK OR TAKE A FUCKING WOMEN’S STUDIES CLASS LIKE THE REST OF US DID AND SHUT UP UNTIL YOU AT LEAST HAVE A HANDLE ON THE VERY BASICS. THIS IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THE DUDELY PRIVILEGE I REFERRED TO ABOVE AND WHY DUDES ARE NOT WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lurk until you’ve learned, is my advice.

    You’ve never heard of internalizing patriarchal norms of performing femininity, huh?

    You’ve never heard why it might be problematic that dressing in a certain patriarchy-approved way IS necessary for your self-esteem?

    And that the definition of ‘looking nice’ was not, in fact, originally invented by your friend, but may, in fact, have something to do with the patriarchy?

    Also that she has implicilty admitted this, by saying she wants other people to see her looking nice?

    Ever heard of the ‘male gaze’?

    You’ve never heard that ‘my friend says this so your theory is wrong’ is a stupid way to argue? Don’t you ever find your friends making homophobic statements and using YOU a reason that they are not REALLY homophobic even though they say and do homophobic things? How do you feel about that?

    ‘I leave with a question. I am gay, where do I fit into the patriarchy?’

    You tell me, I don’t presume to speak for oppressed groups other than my own. You might want to take a queer studies class as well, in fact.

    Oh and by the way, congrats on ‘not leering at women’. You get a special cookie just for you. Being gay, I’m sure that’s a huge fucking achievement.

    Slow hand clap.

    The lengthiness of this reply is another reason we don’t let dudes like you on here. If I had to spend this time on every ignorant fool who pops up his head, we’d never get anything done. As it was, just too priceless to ignore.

  1. Spinster aunt gets translucent « I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] happened again. There’s a goddam “trans debate” thing roiling in the comments of yesterday’s post. My blogging chops are obviously rustier than I thought; back in the day I would have nipped the [...]

  2. “Safe Spaces” and Banning Male Commenters « Kittywampus

    [...] joking aside, Twisty Faster really has banned male commenters from her blog, I Blame the Patriarchy. Unless they’re already trusted dudes; then they’re grandfathered in. Or unless they [...]

  3. Men make lousy feminists |

    [...] doesn’t have much to do with reading Twisty, I promise. It’s got to do with the guys who hang out in the feminist spaces I hang out in. [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>