I don’t know if it’s because I’m feeling pretty fresh and minty after having taken a few personal
days months, or simply because I’m experiencing a nostalgic hankering for the days of yore when we so often enjoyed polite, pinkies-in-the-air discourse on the topic, but I just couldn’t let this email from an anguished blamer languish another minute in my electronic pile.
I’m trans-critical. So I know we disagree on that but, and while I’m competently radical feminist literate, I’m more and more feeling very weird about the dominant online trans-critical approach (as opposed to, say, what I feel like is often implicit if not always explicit in radical feminist literature which is that trans-criticism, if it can exist, has to be critical of the societal implications for further or novel kinds of dominance over women as a political class) which seems to be that one must oppose transgenderism based on some kind of gross chronological lens for viewing the ontological position of women as an underclass (eg, the vagina literally physically appeared on earth first) whereas I take a deeply strategically-focused political view that the drive to exploit appears first and the setup and use of women (whether because of vaginas or not, because honestly who gives a fuck, except in the use of our biology as a political tool re reproductive rights, etc.) as an underclass comes second to that primary societal and/or psychological force to exploit. I feel that’s strategically important because it’s politicizes rather than moralizes about women’s subjugation which is necessary to, well you know, change the world.
So, I don’t even know. I know our views aren’t strictly aligned but fucking hell, I feel like I’m crazy right now. I want to know if
1. I’m not incorrect to think there is a political and strategic criticism of transgenderism to be made (in fact, I think you’ve kind of made it on your blog yourself regarding gender roles but of a somewhat paler shade than my own, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) and
2. That maybe there’s a reason the thinkers who write books have a better political understanding of the subjugation of women regarding gender roles and the biological determinist blogging nutters are the ones blabbering all over the internet (present company excluded for cheap dig at bloggers) and what I really need to do is just fully internalize that sentiment and not get so caught up in how dangerously wrong *for women and feminism* they are which is making me a crazy person?
Alternatively, I’m delusional which I’m receptive to hearing too.
Thanks for your time.
Your email has lots of big words and time is short. If I understand you correctly (which I probably don’t, since I read at about a 10th grade level), you’re saying you are tortured by the blogular culture of trans criticism, which counts among its gnarly features a lack of scholarly literaritude and a focus on the primacy of XX-based vadge ownership. Also, you want to know if you are crazy.
I regret that I cannot diagnose an internet-feminism-related descent into madness — although a suggestion that you quit reading blogs that maddenize you might not go amiss (I myself am never happier than when I am miles away from any web browser, as may be deduced from my recent 2-month hiatus) — but I’ll gladly provide my own view on trans criticism.
My own view goes like this:
As you know, a patriarchal paradigm obligates the citizenry to align precisely with either Gender A or Gender B, with the result that those who (for whatever reason) don’t align are oppressed and screwed over. It is inevitable that this binary gender system will produce a vigorous exploitative element, because the gender-binary is synonymous with patriarchy, and patriarchy is synonymous with institutionalized exploitation.
Concomittantly, because the vigorous exploitative element is so injurious, the system must also attract a vigorously outraged element (the published feminist theorists, the Savage Death Islandists, the blamers, the radical feminists, the “biological determinist blogging nutters”). If the binary gender situtation didn’t fuck almost everyone over, internet feminism wouldn’t exist.
Nobody and nothing can exist outside the paradigm.
I state the obvious as a preamble to the notion that trans-criticism as a scholarly pursuit more or less misses the mark. It will surprise nobody when I reaveal that, instead, I am all for the patriarchy-critical, because I have eyeballed the situation with a wild surmise and concluded that the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women (a.k.a. the megatheocorporatocracy, a.k.a. the Universal Cult of Domination, a.k.a. the kyriarchy) is the only reason anyone ever talks about gender at all. Or does gender at all. Or critically analyzes on blogs the differing approaches to gender at all.
By contrast, on the planet Obstreperon, where patriarchy was abolished centuries ago following the Spinster Aunt Rebellion of 3658, “male” and “female” are quaint anachronisms, recollected only dimly by the creakiest and wispiest of superannuated crones who in their innocent youth were told frightening tales by their frail grannies about anti-abortion legislation, plastic surgery, pornography, and the horrid olden days before uterusbots liberated the sex class. Since on the planet Obstreperon there is no sex-based oppression context within which to define femininity, the word has no meaning and the behavior does not exist.
You know what does exist on Obstreperon? Jetpacks!
Here on Savage Death Island (Obstreperon’s Earth outpost), femininity is defined as the performance of dude-appeasement. So I’d like to ask everyone: to what extent does femininity afflict your identity? Before this question is interpreted as baiting or argumentative, let me remind the blametariat that all women of every description, including trans women, are obliged to perform some degree of femininity or face the consequences.
As for whether bloggers as a class are less qualified to pronounce on theorietical issues than women with advanced degrees who publish scholarly works at small presses, I am moved to remark that sweeping generalizations are the enemy of truth and beauty.
Fight the power.
Note: This blog does not acknowledge a “trans debate.” Everyone has a right to exist on her own terms. As always, hatas and anti-trans comments will get the heave-ho.