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Mar 07 2011

Spinster aunt has cute niece

Niece #2

Now that I Blame the Patriarchy has become the I Heart Transgender Rights blog, it is my duty as an absentee spinster aunt to encourage those readers who have questions about transgenderism to kindly do their own fucking research on their own fucking time. As opposed to infesting the comments with questions like “why should we call a MtF a woman?”.

The situation is analogous to when dudes infiltrate the blog to demand that feminists teach feminism to them. It’s tiresome, right, because the dudes don’t really want to know, they just want to bait you, right? Well, in a similar vein, it is our blogular position that the existence of a culturally sanctioned oppression of transgendered persons, including sanctions practiced by certain subsets of feminists, is, like the oppression of the sex class, to be considered settled fact. Advanced Blamerism will henceforth include the appreciation of this settled fact. Hence, blamers may no longer expect me, or anybody else conducting discourse under IBTP’s auspices, to explain transgenderism, or to assuage prejudice-based fears, or to defend transitude against transphobic “arguments.” Demands for these explanations and arguments and assuagements will be met with the usual sneers, and — I suppose it is inevitable — the occasional brief but explosive little flamewar.

Do they still call them “flamewars”? It’s been so long since I’ve used the Internet.

In closing, I repeat, for the eleventieth time and for your blaming pleasure, a couple of articles from the Savage Death Island Constitution:

Femininity, the practice of femininity, and the fetishization of femininity degrades all women, regardless of the gender assignment of the practitioner or fetishizer.

Stereotyping is a tool of the patriarchy.

Gender will be eliminated by the revolución.

The wieldment of male privilege is prohibited.

Now, let’s all just fucking get the fuck along. Jesus fucking Christ.

70 comments

4 pings

  1. tinfoil hattie

    Your niece is a beautiful beam of sunshine. I LOVE the photo!

  2. MaryK

    Joe’s (where this photo was taken, yes?) has some seriously awesome almond croissants.

  3. Laughingrat

    That is a terribly cute niece. Hey, you know that French lentil recipe you posted once? I made a version of that and it was a little slice of truth and beauty. Is good food an antidote to hatred?

  4. AlienNumber

    Love from Cambridge, where it’s almost spring or something. It’s making me nostalgic for a better future.

    Thank you for your patience. I love your blog!

  5. Notorious Ph.D.

    Is that ro-tel? Goodness, I remember when she was so little her feet didn’t even reach the floor: http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2006/01/22/future-shock/

  6. tinfoil hattie

    First camellia bloomed on our bush today. Spring!

  7. Bonnie

    Hear, hear, Jill.

  8. Suzan

    Thank you Twisty for several things. First for not being part of the mob that defines feminism and lesbianism as requiring a religious hatred of transsexual and transgender people.

    I’m a post-transsexual old dyke and this has been the main cause of a small clique since I first came out in the late 1960s.

    But also thanks for reminding us there is more to life than killing and eating our comrades. Like nieces who are cute as a button. Demonstrations for Planned Parenthood, in support of the teachers and in support of the workers in Wisconsin.

    And a time for this old dyke to dig her garden and put in some greens, tomatoes and herbs.

    I’ve loved you and your blog ever since my partner turned me onto it several years ago.

  9. Shopstewardess

    It’s not exactly that I blame my brother for not making me an aunt (spinster I have managed all by myself), but at moments like this I do suppress the odd twinge.

  10. tinfoil hattie

    Suzan! Start a gardening TV show: “This Old Dyke”! I will watch faithfully!

  11. Darragh Murphy

    Spring snow melt is flooding my basement and I am building a big old dike down there to hold back the waters. Thaw is a good, though sometimes painful, event.

    Love the niece.

  12. Sidra Vitale

    Laughingrat asks: “Is good food an antidote to hatred?” I say: yes.

    I offer the following riff off Calvin Coolidge[*]: Four-fifths of all our troubles would disappear, if we would only sit down to a decent meal and savor that fucker.

    [*] No deceased Presidents of the United States of America were injured in the creation of this quote.

  13. nails

    If you really consider this anti-transwomen rants to be the same as the anti-feminism rants then you should treat the posters who make them the same way. You wouldn’t let 3ish posters crap all over feminism threads the way you have let a few people crap all over transwomen threads. You wouldn’t warn and make 3 posts about cutting it out already with the anti feminism. You gave a crap ton of warning to them already and they didn’t stop. Banning folks who have acted like assholes seems like its very reasonable at this point.

  14. humanbein

    Ban the bomb!

    Ro-Tel! How big she’s getting. Sigh!

  15. tinfoil hattie

    Children. They never fail to make me smile. Wanna hear something REALLY irrational? I love kids. All kids. Babies, toddlers, Pre-K, K-8, tweens, teens, cusp-of-adulthood kids. It’s an addiction. I wish I could hug ‘em all. On that note, why don’t I just sign up at my local elementary school to mentor some girls? Why not, indeed?

    Meanwhile, when the revolution comes, I volunteer to be one of the kid-herders. Because I happen to be suited to it.

  16. buttercup

    Ro-Tel has grown so! A child to make a spinster aunt proud, I am sure. Long may she blame.

  17. Comrade PhysioProf

    Dubble Bubble is the fucken bestest!

  18. tinfoil hattie

    CPP, I beg to differ. While Dubble Bubble does run a close second, NOTHING is better than the stale, nearly un-chewable Bazooka pink slabs o’ gum from my childhood. Better comix, too.

  19. Agnieszka

    When the revolution comes, kid-herding, as currently practiced will not really be required, since much of what makes kids require herding is their natural human rebellion to being treated as a lower class of being. The youngest of the young humans will probably still need assistance getting around or feeding themselves. Young humans will probably still enjoy exercising themselves with others possessed of similar energy levels.

    Once they get a little tired, you can send them to me for arts and crafts, or nap time.

  20. Jill

    “You gave a crap ton of warning to them already and they didn’t stop. Banning folks who have acted like assholes seems like its very reasonable at this point.”

    Yeah, after the initial shock that a big chunk of the audience for my blog seems to be intolerant wads, I was sort of stunned. Then when I finally figured out what to do about it, it was unfortunate timing that I threatened to do all that banning and then was unable to commit the time to see it through. Nails is right; although I have banned three or four of the most prolific irritators, I have been sorely lacking generally as an internet feminist aunt blogger. However, rest assured that in future, trans-dissing will get what’s coming to it around here, same as all the other crap that pisses me off.

  21. Sue Doh Nhym

    Wait, isn’t this the part where the jerks come out of the woodworks talking about how they just want to LEARN and when you take that tone, it is very offputting.
    It is stunning that no one has accused you of Breaking Feminism once again.
    Is using the dreaded “I” to say, I love this blog!

  22. Nora

    The flamewars (or whatever the kids are calling them nowadays) are always worth waiting out at IBTP. I was actually just re-reading some of the Great Blowjob Wars of 2006.

    Eheu! fugaces labuntur anni.

    Your niece is thoroughly adorable.

  23. tinfoil hattie

    @Agnieszka – Aaaah, but I mean literally “herding” – running around the yard with them, nipping at their heels – and yes, helping the littlest ones eat, bathe, etc. This way, see, I get to be a kid AGAIN. The RIGHT WAY this time.

  24. nails

    Thank the lard!

  25. wev

    “rest assured that in future, trans-dissing will get what’s coming to it around here”

    I’m so glad to hear it and truly hope this is put to rest in time for you to enjoy Spring.

    Assuming trans-women are not even women unless Judgmental Commenter says they are and arguing for treating them as if they are merely their genitals rather than human beings is not only offensive, it is straight out of the patriarchy playbook.

    How can the people writing that stuff not see what it is they are doing?

  26. nakedthoughts

    Dear twisty,

    I love you lots,

    hugs,

    NT

  27. Linda

    “The situation is analogous to when dudes infiltrate the blog to demand that feminists teach feminism to them”

    Except they’re not demanding you teach them. They’re trying to teach you.

  28. janna

    I would watch “This Old Dyke”.

    Linda and ilk, I suspect that if Twisty wanted to be “taught” about transgender rights, she A) probably wouldn’t go to people who base their opinions on stereotypes and assumptions, and B) if for some reason she did, she would read YOUR blog. Of course, I don’t know Twisty and don’t claim to speak for her, but it’s illogical to assume that people spend all the time and trouble to create and update a blog so that they can be educated by random internet dudes.

  29. tinfoil hattie

    Linda, I am interpreting your comment as some very clever snark. Am I correct?

  30. Nora

    “Linda, I am interpreting your comment as some very clever snark. Am I correct?”

    That was my assumption too, so I clicked on over to her blog. Turns out, the comment about “trying to teach [us/Twisty]” was very much non-sarcastic. D:

    But! Who gives a shit about authorial intent these days anyway? I’m content to enjoy the deeply funny and apt irony in what is otherwise a completely underwhelming argument.

  31. Linda

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that. I meant to say I love you Twisty!

  32. _fluff

    Oh, Twisty. I love your blog so damn much, and the way you’re inclusive of everyone wounded by the patriarchy while being totally cutthroat towards the patriarchy it/himself thrills me to the core. I wish I had a helicopter with a banner so I could drag praises to you across the very heavens.

  33. Tehomet

    Your niece is adorable.

    Happy international Women’s day, and here’s to the time when it will no longer be necessary.

  34. Emma in Sydney

    Cute nieces are the shiznit. I have one, and several cute nephews, who are being indoctrinated in heartwarming nature crap and patriarchy blaming at every opportunity.

  35. Nepenthe

    Do you think that that shirt comes in XXL? Dubble Bubble is clearly superior to all other chewing gums. When I was a miniature human, I created a continuous string of Dubble Bubble stretching about 25 yards through a hotel suite. Why my parents didn’t kill and eat me at some point is beyond my comprehension.

  36. Suzan

    Ruby, the people you are encountering are most likely in transition which is a time of change and learning.

    Prior to our coming out our socialization is often via observation of the world around us and doesn’t have the experience which requires 5-10 years.

    That said those of us who were born with transsexualism or transgenderism are as varied in their presentations of femininity as assigned female at birth women.

    All many of us ask on the shaming for buying into the selling of exaggerated femininity is using the same standards. If one gives natal women a pass women whose lives have been hit with a trans-prefixed word should get the same pass.

    Because we were raised in the same cultural mix of messages.

    But what I find far more ironic is the trashing of those of us who have been part if the feminist cause since coming out, who are part of the lesbian community and are willing volunteers for even the shit work. We have been trashed for being indistinguishable from natal women with the implication that we are spies or something.

  37. AlienNumber

    Great questions Ruby, but maybe we should shut it before we get kicked off (thanks, nails, for the special requests).

    The answer to your questions generally seems to be: if femininity performance, however stereotypical (boob jobs, waxing, electrolysis, make-up, the limp palm etc) is required for Survival then it is free from political analysis, at least on this radfem blog.

    (the definition of survival is also not open to debate).

  38. Kelly

    Please do a post on the We Are Equals campaign, in which Dame Judi Dench reads out a bunch of stats about how women come off worse in a lot of arena while whatshisface latest-bond wears a blonde wig.

  39. Comrade Svilova

    Thanks, Twisty.

  40. Comrade Svilova

    And, yes, Kelly, that ad is bizarre. I’m glad the stats are getting air time but somehow the ad doesn’t quite work.

  41. ruby

    Suzan, you are probably right. I am an esthetician and the three transwomen I know are clients, 2 are transitioning and the other is fully transitioned and very feminine but she is coming to see me(for facials and waxing)so that in itself is a bit self-selected(meaning the trans-women not interested in beauty wouldn’t be the ones coming to me so I am not introduced to the broader spectrum of women.)

    I’m interested in this in part because anything I know and understand helps me better serve the GLBT community that I am smack in the middle of(Long Beach, CA.)but also because I am interested in how much of how we identify is just cultural rather than biological. I am much more stereotypically male in how I think and communicate, whereas, my husband is much more stereotypically female when it comes to nurturing and communicating.

    If a trans-woman wanted to identify herself as female, how else would she do it then adopting some of those things we see as overtly feminine? I can look at a butch lesbian and see that she is born female even if she does not act feminine but what about a male to female trans?

    And I earnestly believe that anyone born female or identifying as female deserves inclusion. No worry of spies here, unless someone tells me that Phyllis Schlafly is trans.

  42. Mandolin

    Hi Ruby,

    Just fyi, I think it’s generally considered polite to affix “person” to the end of “trans,” e.g. “a male to female trans person.”

    Otherwise it reads a little bit like–and this is just my attempt to analogize–when women are called “females” in the same sentence that calls men “men” instead of “males.”

    My impression from what I’ve read is that the issue of signaling feminine gender is somewhat complex–because the default gender is male, we police women’s presentation more strictly than men’s (which partially accounts for why it’s easier for trans men to pass). Some trans women have features that can be read as feminine more easily than others. They may be able to present as female with fewer overtly feminine signs.

    I’ve met trans women who pass by having well-kept long hair and wearing women’s jeans. I’ve met trans women who don’t “pass” in tutus. But of course, the latter may or may not be trying to pass at all; not every trans person thinks stealth is a worthwhile goal.

    “I can look at a butch lesbian and see that she is born female even if she does not act feminine but what about a male to female trans?”

    This isn’t necessarily true, for what it’s worth… e.g. butch lesbians sometimes report harassment in bathrooms because other women decide they look like men.

    Sorry if that’s all too 101.

  43. Suzan

    Ruby,
    Like with natal females some women with transsexualism or transgenderism are stereotypically prettier than others.

    I’ll confess as as someone who is long past having been through transition I forget what it was like. Also I don’t really understand transgenderism, the whole set of arguments about gender and identity are strange to me. I grew up with existentialism which is more about being trough doing than being because of identity.

    I was young and cute when I had sex reassignment surgery, for me getting people to see me as female was a matter of taking hormones and wearing more feminine clothes.

    I was a child of my times and part of all the movements of the 1960s and 70s including hippie. Those things shaped me. Now I’m a 63 year old dyke. I look like an old hippie dyke, sort of how I looked in the 1970s only 40 years older, a bit more patient and lax in the judging others. Maybe a little wiser.

    I think the grasping for clear markers is part of the same insecurity that sells shoes that one can’t walk in for 5 times what I can get a really nice pair of Borns or Merrills for that I can walk in and that look nice.

    Others going through transition with me thought me weird because I would rather get a lens for my camera or a guitar as an expensive gift than jewelry so what can I say?

  44. M

    ““The situation is analogous to when dudes infiltrate the blog to demand that feminists teach feminism to them”

    Except they’re not demanding you teach them. They’re trying to teach you.”

    So, “less analogous” and more “exactly the same”, then?

  45. M

    Argh! Pesky punctuation marks.

  46. ruby

    Mandolin, thank you. I said trans-woman rather than person to identify male to female trans-person but I would rather use the longer male to female trans-person than refer to someone in a way that is demeaning.

    “we police women’s presentation more strictly than men’s”

    You have totally hit the nail on the head for me with this. This is the reason why I have not thought about what female to male trans-persons do in order to identify as male.

    When I think of myself as female and different than my husband, who is male, it is mostly the constructs of femininity that come to mind. I spend a half-hour putting on makeup and styling my hair, he showers and shaves. I wear restrictive, uncomfortable, body conscious clothing and he puts on a shirt and jeans that allow for movement and comfort. I go get an expensive and painful laser treatment to look younger and prettier, he ages naturally and looks even better and more capable as a mature 43 yr old. Other then that stuff, and how we are treated externally by the world, and of course, our anatomy, we are very similar people. For that reason, it was(and still kind of is)difficult for me to imagine another way of identifying as female without the feminine “stuff”.(because it is how I identify as female and it’s sometimes a very negative identification) Not that you cannot be or feel like a woman without the feminine trappings(plenty of natal women do) but how you present yourself to others. I know at 20, I was much more concerned about how others saw me than now at 37 and I was much more willing to trade comfort for valuation by men. Anyhow, thanks for the input.

  47. KJB

    Nails, I must comment again that you are awesome.

    Twisty – I second the sentiments painted behind your niece! It means a lot to me to find a feminist who is genuinely pro-equality. Thank you.

  48. goblinbee

    Ahhh…such a cute niece-ling!

  49. Bushfire

    Since we’re obviously in the business of going over and over and over and over a conversation that Twisty has asked us to shut down several times now, I’m wondering if someone could point me to another such conversation that I’m interested in. I’ve been seeing references to “the great bj wars of 2006″ and I’m interested in reading that. Does anyone know what month it was in so I can search the archives?

  50. AlienNumber

    In honor of the One Officially Sanctioned Women’s Day I was watching Madonna’s “What it Feels Like for a Girl” video. (Nothing like a little car banging for a little catharsis).

    Then I found out that the opening is from the movie The Cement Garden, that I must soon watch:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZU9vSItPjg

    “Girls can wear jeans
    And cut their hair short
    Wear shirts and boots
    cause it’s ok to? be a boy
    But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
    cause you think that being a girl is degrading
    But secretly you’d love to know what its like
    Wouldn’t you
    What it feels like for a girl”

  51. AlienNumber

    (kidding about the car banging! and also sorry about the poor spelling in the lyrics transcription above)

  52. Mandolin

    “Mandolin, thank you. I said trans-woman rather than person to identify male to female trans-person but I would rather use the longer male to female trans-person than refer to someone in a way that is demeaning.”

    Hi Ruby,

    I’m sorry; I think I was unclear. Trans woman is perfectly acceptable usage. So is trans man. (I think it’s preferred without a hyphen now, so that trans is an adjective, like “a redheaded woman” “a skinny woman” “a trans woman.”)

    A couple times in your comment you said “a trans” instead of “a trans person” or a “trans woman” or a “trans man.” I think at one point you said “a male or female trans.” That’s the odd usage… it’s a bit like saying “a black” instead of “a black person” or a “black woman” or a “black man.” There may be circumstances in which it might be acceptable to say something about “blacks” but mostly the preferred usage I hear is “black people”…

    some examples to try to be clear, e.g.

    Generally appropriate usage:

    She is a trans woman. / She is a black woman.
    That woman is trans. / That woman is black.
    That woman is a trans person. / That woman is a black person.

    Not:

    She is a trans / She is a black. (“She is trans” or “She is black” would be okay, though.)
    That woman is a trans / That woman is a black (but, as above, this is okay without the article in front of it)

    Sorry if that seems picky. I don’t mean to belabor the point. I’m sure there’s a simpler grammatical rule to point out. But since I don’t know what it is, using examples was the best I could think of.

    “I know at 20, I was much more concerned about how others saw me than now at 37 and I was much more willing to trade comfort for valuation by men.”

    I hear you!

  53. Mandolin

    Bushfire:

    I’m not sure if this is the beginning of the war or not, but it’s definitely part of it:

    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2006/06/14/judgemental-sex-pedantry/

    The salient bit being: “I posit nevertheless that no woman, since the dawn of the patriarchal co-option of human sexuality, has ever actually enjoyed this submissive sexbot drudgery. There’s a reason that deep-throating a funk-filled bratwurst makes a person retch” and “How dare I presume to impugn the sanctity of a woman’s right to the blow job? I do so mostly on accounta I will get a big bang out of the impassioned arguments defending it.”

  54. Sargassosea

    “First for not being part of the mob that defines feminism and lesbianism as requiring a religious hatred of transsexual and transgender people.”

    Oh for fucks sake. Hyperbolize much?

  55. nails

    It isn’t hyperbole. Go read the threads again if you need some proof, its all in there, a bunch of times.

  56. yttik

    I don’t have any hatred towards transpeople and certainly not the religious variety of hatred. That is hyperbole.

    The path to social justice will not be paved by pointing out the perceived flaws of every woman you encounter. In fact, that is precisely why the revolution has never happened. Equality is about every woman having full human rights, even those you judge unworthy, Nails.

  57. nails

    yttik

    I am pointing out the flaws of the ARGUMENTS of people I meet because they have real harmful effects on real transwomen in real life. Funny how when you accusme me of preventing the revolution the solution is to shut the fuck up and do what you say. Sounds more like patriarchy to me. You never explain *how* or *why* any of what I say is preventing the revolution, you simply assert that I am doing it and expect me to just accept it based on yer say so. Where the fuck were you when everyone was personally attacking me, anyway? That is the kind of stuff that makes the revolution not happen, according to you, but you don’t seem to get around to noticing the same thing going on within your side of the trans debate. What a coincidence, eh?

    You also insinuate that I said somewhere that some women (the ones I disagree with) don’t deserve rights, or something I am doing is oppressing them and preventing their pursuing said rights. Well, again, you simply say it and expect that to be proof- I need explanations in order to examine ideas. Until you can provide that, it appears that you are indulging in the same kind of judging-of-perceived-character-flaws that you just said was preventing the revolution. This is the problem with arguing about “tone” or “framing”- you end up contradicting yourself at some point.

    You saying you don’t hate transwomen doesn’t mean much more than a dude saying he doesn’t hate ciswomen. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  58. Comrade Svilova

    Wait, when did Nails advocate restricting human rights? I thought Nails was advocating (like Twisty) for trans people to be treated with respect and have their preferred pronouns, names, etc. used, as well as access to public facilities. That’s not restricting any woman’s rights, that’s more rights for more women/people! *cheers all around*

  59. yttik

    “You never explain *how* or *why* any of what I say is preventing the revolution..”

    Because it serves to silence women and creates an ever shrinking group of patriarchy blamers. There is strength in numbers, there is solidarity in sisterhood. Real live women were talking about sexual assault in restrooms, about being frightened by someone they perceive as male coming in, and you completely ignored their concerns, choosing instead to label these women haters. Women are always being asked to put their concerns on the back burner for the greater good of everyone else.

    “This is the problem with arguing about “tone” or “framing”- you end up contradicting yourself at some point.”

    The process is the outcome. The tone, the framing, the understanding of power issues, is what will create the outcome. All of the best revolutions focused on this, on non violence, on civil disobedience. They did not invest all their time making sure every participant did not harbor one single thought that they believed was politically incorrect or somehow flawed. Women have never been able to overthrow the patriarchy because we are so judgmental towards each other that there can never be unity. Most of our time, our energy, our thought, is invested in proving somebody wrong, in policing our own, in making sure that other women are called out for every single thing we judge to be an imperfection in their ideas, their politics, their way of dressing, their like or dislike of BJ’s, their support of Science, etc. By the time we are finished there are no blamers left standing who are deemed worthy of the struggle.

  60. NotThisAgain

    Every time I want to say something, nails says it better and more precisely.

    kitty, everything you post is full of contradictions and straw men. Oh yes, the vitriol is really all about fear of being assaulted in restrooms. Sure.

    For someone being “silenced,” you sure post a lot about how talking or thinking about anything that affects people who aren’t you is silencing.

  61. Emma

    Thank you Twisty! I love this blog and thank you for standing up for all oppressed people! My future comments will be far more intellectually stimulating >_<

  62. Logoskaieros

    A woman who worked at a battered women’s shelter once told me about a time when they wanted to serve transgendered women, but some of the ciswomen had really negative responses to the idea of sharing sleeping space with them. The woman thought there was no right answer to this; there was no way to serve both groups of women without harming some of them. She could tell the ciswomen to get over their prejudice, but that wouldn’t make the very real fear and vulnerability they felt go away. But turning away transwomen felt unacceptable to her.

    Last year I heard someone give a paper about Stalinist Russia and this prompted a discussion about tyranny. (I swear this is relevant bear with me.) We talked about whether is was acceptable to turn on your friends and neighbors for your family’s own survival. Someone argued that instead of trying to figure out which actions are morally upright under tyranny, we should acknowledge that this is one of the very evils of tyranny: it can create situations where there are no good solutions. Where every choice you have is shitty on some level.

    Oppression could be like tyranny in this way. That doesn’t mean all choices become equally acceptable, but it means sometimes we don’t have the luxury of an oppression-free choice. We have to choose between subverting oppression and success/survival/happiness all the time. Do I let that misogynistic comment of my boss slide? Do I participate in a social event that I enjoy even if objectifies women? Do I help someone I love even if they’re being an oppressive douche? Sometimes there is no way not to (partly) be a tool of kyriarchy and you have to choose between imperfect options.

    (I think the shelter ended up accepting transwomen, and I think in those circumstances that was the best option.)
    (Sorry if this was too long.)

  63. Cubyrop

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter.

    If I recall (and correct me if I’m wrong), this entire debate sprang from Twisty’s decree that male blamers refrain from espousing their enlightening dudely perspective in the comments section.

    As I understand it, certain blamers took this to mean no male-bodied person was welcome on IBTP, and therefore transwomen (who according to the Gender Police are not true “women”) should be banned as well.

    In this hypothetical women’s restroom where we are shooting the shit about patriarchy and how much we blame it, does it matter what any of us harbor in our personal undergarments?

    At the end of the day, regardless of genitalia, pronouns, or presentation, we are here to blame the Patriarchy, not each other. If transwomen make you uncomfortable, then perhaps that is something you need to come to terms with on your own time, on your own blog.

  64. yttik

    “Oh yes, the vitriol is really all about fear of being assaulted in restrooms.”

    No. It’s about not being heard, about being labeled a hater and a bigot when you try to talk about your own experiences, because your experiences are supposed to take a back seat to everyone elses. Like right now, you care nothing about trying to understand what I am saying because it’s much more fun to accuse me of using strawman arguments or contradicting myself or being squishy brained or hating science. Anything people can do to discredit the argument and the woman making it is much more fun then actually addressing the legit issues people have brought up.

    I completely agree with Twisty, “Femininity, the practice of femininity, and the fetishization of femininity degrades all women, regardless of the gender assignment of the practitioner or fetishizer.” There are transpeople who fetishize feminity and there is a huge porn industry built around it. I am opposed to that aspect of transgender issues, not to individual transpeople themselves.

  65. NotThisAgain

    There are women who fetishize feminity and there is a huge porn industry built around it. I am opposed to that aspect of women’s issues, not to individual women themselves.

  66. AlienNumber

    Really? Women fetishize femininity in porn?

    Silly me, I thought women were fetishized femininity in porn.
    (What’s next? Black people fetishize racism? Jews fetishize anti-semitism?)

  67. tinfoil hattie

    Twisty’s Law: Sooner or later, every post on IBTP – even one about cute nieces! – will devolve into an argument about trans*.

  68. Hermionemone

    It is helpful to recall who and what is the enemy.

    Individual estheticians working to help women achieve and feel an improvement in their appearance, are very often kind, generous, realistic and wise givers of the gift of self-esteem (however small and short-duration), even though as a whole the beauty industry and the expectations it sets up are of course, massively evil. It’s not the people involved, it’s the system that must be eradicated and replaced.

    Individual transwomen can be bright, intelligent, passionate, able and compassionate friends to the women who let them into their lives (and vice-versa). It serves no-one to categorically exclude or impede them from participating in women’s life, if that’s what they choose. Sincere ones harm no-one, any ones making a nuisance of themselves (or worse) can be shunned as individuals just like anyone. Transwomen can be feminists just as ciswomen can (though, regrettably, not enough as yet). It may be that transsexualism will disappear post-patriarchy (I’m not betting on it) but regardless, the evil (if you view it in those terms) is the patriarchal system driving trans-persons to extreme measures to accept themselves, rather than the people involved.

    There are plenty more substantial evils than the question of whether transwomen are women enough to use the women-designated potty rooms. For example, recent National Geographic magazines have profiled countries and cultures in which young pretty women and girls are shown all made up and dressed in fancy satin gowns, in what is their interpretation of western glamour magazine beauty, of course contrasted by the photographer with the dirt, mud, dilapidated surroundings of their poor and native homeland. Their eyes look hopeless and sad, knowing how bleak their future is about to be, married to a traditionally abusive tribal partner, steeped in mysogyistic customs. No education and no future, but they get to wear a pretty dress for their wedding. Now that’s f*d up, but it’s not the girl’s fault for wearing the dress. That’s when I dream of a global underground rescue network. How do you save people from the lives they’re embedded in while respecting the individuals’ choices and (as far as can be stomached) the cultures?

  69. Zygar

    Black people fetishize racism?

    Isn’t that the entire point of the Uncle Ruckus character in Boondocks?

  70. Jill

    “Twisty’s Law: Sooner or later, every post on IBTP – even one about cute nieces! – will devolve into an argument about trans*.”

    Ha! Ain’t it the truth. If only I had been at my desk when the Ruby comment rolled in — the one asking to have transgenderism explained, on a post where I said “hey, no more using this blog to ask for explainations of transgenderism” — I might have nipped it in the bud. But now there are too many responses.

    Once again I say unto youse guys: this is not the Transgender Outreach Society. There are numerous authoritative resources available on the Internet if you wish to deepen your understanding of trans politics. The topic is done. Over. The end. The next one gets nuked, I don’t care how many responses it has. I’ll nuke the responses, too. You have been warned.

    I know I said this before and sort of haven’t come through, but I’m totally serial this time.

    Thanks all.

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