marjaerwin: (Default)
* Anti-trans radfems [1] are hopeful that trans men can vibrate themselves into becoming dcmc womyn [2]. For example, in Hot Hypothalami, Pinko Lesbo advises:

Don't reinforce the feedback loop in your brain. Get a vibrator. Practice having orgasms with new thoughts. Are the old fantasies creeping in? Turn the vibrator off. Don't reinforce old patterns with orgasm. Can't come? It won't kill you not to--try again tomorrow. Practice with new, positive fantasies, and eventually you will be rewarded with a new sexual response. We've all been colonized, but we can drive the invader off.


* And are scared that cis men are vibrating themselves into becoming trans womyn. I know that doesn't fit my experiences and doesn't fit many trans womyn's experiences.

* And are concerned about anti-female elements in some trans people's fantasies,

* But think it's easier for someone to change their whole gender than to substitute pro-female elements for any anti-female ones?

[1] as opposed to other-branches-of-fems.

[2] don't call me cis
marjaerwin: (Default)
I don't know what to think of this discussion:

http://arletterocks.tumblr.com/post/26452521377/on-creepiness

http://radtransfem.tumblr.com/post/79174724869/the-only-way-were-given-to-deal-with-it-is

Point one: there are genuinely threatening people out there.

Point two: I'll always have trouble recognizing the genuinely threatening people, without overtly threatening acts. I can't really define that. I'll always have fight-or-flight responses but these aren't restricted to the genuinely threatening people [someone in a police uniform, some man in no shirt, someone walking a dog, some several men talking together]. I mean I have a fairly strong 'creepdar' but it is prone to false positives and false negatives.

Point three: I'm going to suggest that some of our 'creepdar' is actually 'xenodar' and rooted in unconscious xenophobia. If our first reaction is to be afraid of someone, we ought to ask ourselves why we're afraid of them. A lot of the time, it is a bad reason, rooted in racism, or sexism, or fear of 'strange' behavior. A lot of the time it can mean hurting someone when we need to help them. At one point I heard a woman shouting and saw a man staggering and not speaking. I was confused and scared until she explained that he was having some kind of medical emergency and needed water. So I got water. I worry that trusting in our 'creepdar' can mean ignoring people in genuine emergencies, and ostracizing people with disabilities.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Another feminist, who I respect, has called me out on the ways we drive away older feminists, and generally we drive away good people. I think that, as trans womyn, so many of us are so used to being hurt by bad allies, that we drive away all allies, which hurts them and hurts us even more.

We expect that other feminists understand trans feminism and our constantly-shifting language, even if we don’t all understand intersex feminism, or womanism, or sex workers’ feminism, or the other outgroup feminisms we should be working besides and/or among. We are all someone’s bad allies. and should try to be better allies.

We sometimes take the worst anti-trans works of the second and third waves and take them as representatives of the rest. We sometimes take the pro-trans works and take them apart because their theory isn’t our theory. We too often ignore all the other works and the ideas from these older feminist traditions.

Look at how cisheterosexist empires have tried to destroy our communities and our histories. Look at how many of us thought we were all alone. Look at the generations trans womyn have spent rebuilding our community and redefining our understanding of ourselves. Well among these outgroup feminisms we have one of our wider communities, and in their history we have one of our histories, and if we destroy this we are doing the cisheterosexist empires’ work for them.

I don’t want to do that any more. Do any of us?

[cross-posted from tumblr]
marjaerwin: (Default)
I think I've already posted on this, but it is a recurring issue.

I think womyn-born-womyn was originally intended to emphasize connections between cis mothers and cis daughters, and then became a convenient way to exclude trans womyn. Even though we are generally speaking born womyn. But I always thought the term womyn was intended to decenter men.

I don't speak Old English, but iirc, manna originally meant any human being, although it was also grammatically masculine; cwen and wyf meant female human being; guma and wer meant male human being.

In effect, hegemonic English opposes (unmarked) man and (marked) woman, just as it opposes (unmarked) woman and (marked) transwoman, although in the first case its opposing two groups, and in the second case it's opposing one group and a subset of that group. Trying to get male human beings to identify as wer men, when that's relevant, is at least as difficult as trying to get cis human beings to identify as cis people, when that's relevant. Saying, 'well, we're not a subset of men, we can change the root' is easier here.
marjaerwin: (Default)
… because there are way too many trans-exterminationist pseudofeminists identifying radical feminism with transphobia and especially transmisogyny.

As a trans womon, I used to identify as a radical feminist, and I have learned a lot from radical feminism, although I already supported intersectionality and treated my feminism as one part of my support for human liberation.

I sometimes get the impression that trans-allied radical feminists are silent, and thereby enabling trans-exterminationists to identify their politics with radical feminism. I sometimes get the impression that trans-allied radical feminists are also many other kinds of feminists, and don’t usually feel the need to identify as radical feminists, while the trans-exterminationist pseudofeminists aren’t any kind of feminists, but latch onto radical feminism as a sort of slogan.

I should add that the orthodox seventies radfem view of gender, erasing any underlying identity, and of sex-and-gender-based oppression can be misleading. I don’t think we can reduce sex-and-gender-based oppression to one axis, since there are:

* privileging of normative masculinity over everything else

* privileging of gender conformity over gender nonconformity

* privileging of cis bodies over trans and intersex bodies

* privileging of ‘looks’ although these cannot be reduced to one axis

* more homeless men than homeless womyn

* and all the ways sex-and-gender-based oppression intersect with other types of oppression
marjaerwin: (Default)
Can we find some better way to discuss the creeps without demonizing the folks who fall in love with their friends or don't feel safe enough to let themselves fall in love with anyone but their trusted friends?

I’m getting sick of the denunciations of nice guys/nice girls. I know everyone’s aiming at the creeps, but all too often they hit the socially awkward folks, the demisexual folks, the other folks who fall in love with their friends, the loveshy folks, and the folks who are survivors, or trans, or struggling with body image issues, who don’t want to be romantic with someone they aren’t already close friends with.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Anti-trans ‘feminists’ who insist that we had male socialization, and they need a refuge from male socialization, and then blog about their butch boyhoods.

Anti-trans ‘feminists’ who insist that we are in denial about basic human biology, and then write about parthing.

Anti-trans ‘feminists.’
marjaerwin: (Default)
I contacted Elsie to ask this last December. I have not heard back yet. It's possible they didn't get my question, but at this point, I'd like to share it even without an answer.

Hi,

I subscribed to Lesbian Connection a few years ago, understanding that it was intended for the whole lesbian community. I am trans. I suggested Lesbian Connection to a few of my friends, and one of them pointed out the language under the guidelines. I had not seen this before. She thought the definition, "women-born-women who identify as lesbians" was intended to exclude us. I don't know whether that was the intention and whether that is still the intention. I do know that I am who I was born, and I am a woman.

I am trying to decide whether to renew my subscription and whether to suggest Lesbian Connection to my trans lesbian friends. I would like to be able to share a reply to clear the confusion one way or the other.

Thank you.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I found this on the HuffPo:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/03/foreskin-pride-march_n_1737114.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

I can't post to this particular poll. But it's so wrong it's offensive, it's completely misrepresenting the controversy. Hardly anyone is saying adult circumcision should be banned. And it's anti-circ activists, not the pro-circ ones, who are saying it should be a personal decision.

Routine childhood circumcision means the victim never gets to make that personal decision. A personal decision means a personal decision, not the parents' or doctor's decision. If something goes wrong, childhood circumcision can mean the victim suffers life-long pain, requires skin grafts, loses their penis like David Reimer, or dies.

I find it horrifying how female and intersex children's genitalia are still being mutilated. I believe that we need to oppose any surgery on any children's genitalia, except in cases of urgent medical necessity. As long as our society makes an exception for some unnecessary cutting-up of some children's genitalia, people are going to use that exception to enable cutting-up of other children's genitalia; in the west, most often cutting-up intersex children's genitalia, because of the privileging of [false] health values [conformity to the two-sex system] over ethical values [personal autonomy].
marjaerwin: (Default)
I still consider myself a radical feminist. Also an anarchafeminist and trans feminist. I take a lot of criticism, and sometimes hate, for being trans and for having unorthodox feminist views. But this maddens me more than all of that.

Commenting on this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/20/condom-seizures-sex-workers-hiv-aids#start-of-comments on the criminalization of carrying condoms, I noted:

"Sometimes it seems that the purpose of the law is to keep the powerful powerful and the powerless powerless. In this case, it's to punish/endanger/sometimes extort sex from prostitutes and punish marginalized demographics, not to protect prostitutes from abusive clients. Anti-prostitution sweeps target poor womyn, womyn of color, and trans womyn, and profile the targets."

And someone called me a "propagandist in favor of prostitution" who "serve[s] as the mouthpiece of sex traffickers."

*headdesk*
marjaerwin: (Default)
http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/07/20/on-perfume-chemical-cleaning-agents-and-scent-free-workplaces/

Indeed. In my case, nicotine seems to be the worst culprit, and can leave me struggling to breath for days after encountering cigarette smoke, but perfume is also a problem.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/19/us-condom-crackdown-hiv-study?INTCMP=SRCH

http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/19/us-police-practices-fuel-hiv-epidemic (hat tip to http://transfeminism.tumblr.com/ )

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/20/condom-seizures-sex-workers-hiv-aids?INTCMP=SRCH

It is murder by policy. I don't know what else to say here. I pass so I don't have to worry about being arrested and railroaded for walking while trans, but if I had a girlfriend visiting, I wouldn't want her to get arrested for non-microwave-safe saran wrap, or for being trans.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Okay, so you arrive at the game. You've spent a lot of time coming up with your character, her backstory, and eventually her game stats. You've been looking forward to the game. So you talk with the other players, and start playing. Something turns sour, or even creepy, and the game isn't fun any more. You don't want to give up quite yet. You don't want to leave and disrupt the story. So you keep playing and keep talking with the other players as if nothing had happened. And the guys might not realize that anything had happened.

The worst is when one of the male players starts making sexual advances. If they are doing this out of game, this is just creepy. If they are doing this in-game, it could be because the character is creepy, rather than the player, but they should be careful not to make the other players uncomfortable.

Another problem is when one of the male players stares at your boobs for the entire game. I have had this happen as much as most female gamers.

Another problem is when one of the male players decides to sexualize female characters, or to create his own female character and sexualize her. I'm all for male gamers playing female characters and female gamers playing male characters, especially because it gives people another perspective on the gender system. I know that some male players can play female characters whose sexuality is an important part of their character without sexualizing their character.

But few men realize how threatening the male gaze is. How many of them have been subject to the male gaze? How many of them have to deal with men shouting obscene sexual demands? How many of them have been sexually assaulted? bashed or raped? How many of them have helped their friends through the trauma? Maybe if some of these men knew how threatening the male gaze is, they would know better than to sexualize their characters, and be more aware of other issues that may be triggering to other players. Maybe.
marjaerwin: (Default)
A couple points to begin with:

- I haven't been able to find any local lesbian or queer community. So I'm pretty much on my own and I'm doing most of my activism online.

- I have a lot of trouble with interpersonal and organizational skills. I am also struggling with ptsd. So I do not have what it takes to be an organizer.
marjaerwin: (Default)
First: A recent article via Boing Boing, on how the dance industry standardized dancers' bodies, and wrecked dancers' feet, with the introduction of pointe shoes.

http://boingboing.net/2011/11/08/ballet-shoes-as-technology.html

Second: A recent post on a certain transphobic blog, on how "women's sports" enforce femininity, and in some cases require breast implants.

I haven't read the original article which Boing Boing links. I'm too angry and triggery right now, and nauseous, just from reading this.

I want a world where people can alter their bodies. I hate a world where people have to alter their bodies, and often wreck their health, at the discretion of employers, states, etc. And half-measures, which preserve hierarchy/subordination while trying to limit or regulate the abuses, are not enough. As long as hierarchy/subordination exists, it is abuse, and it will lead to future abuses. As long as the class system and the job system exist, they are abuse, and they will enable abuses from those higher-up and work to silence complaints from those below.

We see this with rape. Womyn who do not report sexual assault to the state, but speak out to other people, are silenced, as though only liars would have ethical, personal, or other reasons not to report to the state. And womyn who do report sexual assault to the state, depending on poverty, occupation, minority status, and which rulers' turf they were born on, may face harassment, jail, beatings, deportation, etc. Men, and womyn mistaken for men, face their own barriers.

If you want freedom and justice, then work towards equality and solidarity.
marjaerwin: (Default)
http://www.bilerico.com/2011/08/trans_inmate_transferred_from_female_to_male_priso.php

What words can describe the situation? Those who hold power use rape, or enable it, as an instrument of power. This is why I do not trust any one or any institution with rule over others.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I'm unfamiliar with the religious requirements, but to me, almost any workaround seems better than cutting children's genitalia:

http://www.bilerico.com/2011/06/the_anteater_vs_the_mushroom_debating_circumcision.php?utm_source=front_page&utm_medium=top_story&utm_campaign=Top_Story

Since the requirement only applies to sons, why not provisionally raise all children as daughters, until they are old enough to declare their sex and their willingness to undergo circumcision? Simple, really, and so much kinder.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Some of these ideas are controversial, but they should be food for thought:

1. Consent is a relationship between equals.

2. Consent cannot exist between ruler and ruled; the people cannot consent to the state or be bound by any obligation to it, and there are similar limits for more limited subordination.

3. Consent requires more than mere legal equality.

4. Consent in matters of the self is distinct from consent in matters of one's possessions.

5. One can never consent to what one cannot perform. One cannot consent to withdraw the right to withdraw consent. One cannot consent to give up one's conscience. One cannot consent to harm another.

6. One can consent in advance; one can withdraw consent at any time; in the most personal matters, one can withdraw consent at any time, and no one can demand any penalty; in non-personal matters, one can withdraw consent after reaching an agreement, but the other parties may be able to ask for compensation. In no case can they demand specific performance.

7. If one withdraws consent, others must immediately stop any act which would require one's consent.

The biggest question, in my opinion, is how equal must relationships be to be equal enough for consent. All I can say at this point is that as relationships are less equal, the obligations of the more powerful people should be tightened, and those of the less powerful should be loosened or voided altogether.
marjaerwin: (Default)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/09/german-feminist-alice-shwarzer

It isn't vital now and probably never has been vital. Reproduction doesn't even require turkey basters. It is amazing how people take heteronormativity for granted.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I am not conventionally butch, but I just want to take up the label again and defy the pressure to feminize. Sometimes I can deal with it. Sometimes I can't. Sometimes I feel torn apart as if the only way to embrace one part of who I am is to tear off the rest of who I am.

Feminism

Aug. 24th, 2010 05:14 pm
marjaerwin: (Default)
When men consider how they should treat other men, it is moral philosophy. When womyn consider how we should treat other womyn, it is feminism. It has taken feminism to separate the were-centered moral philosophies from the human-centered ones. It will take feminism-in-practice to discover the full potential of feminism-in-theory.

What do I look for in feminism-in-practice? (besides, of course, my beloved V.?)

I honestly don't know, but I'd suggest, for starters:

Womyn's freedom-in-equality, that is a social relationship of mutual respect, mutual cooperation, self-directedness and self-realization.

Womyn's completeness, recognizing that womyn are not the matching halves of men, but are whole among ourselves.

Womyn's space, that is a community defined by womyn's needs and contributions.

Womyn's originality, that is the rediscovery of our identity and potential as womyn.

P.S. Most of these are inclusive of men as well as womyn. Womyn's equality certainly has to encompass men as well as womyn; we will fail to treat ourselves rightly if we come to treat men wrongly. Womyn's completeness is just as important. It requires a strong push-back and heterosexism and against subversivism. I think that creating gynocentric spaces can help to encourage womyn's completeness. I think that once we defeat misogyny as well as patriarchy, then we can create spaces which are for all humans at once. In any case, the perception that we are incomplete on our own encourages many of the attempts of men and of other womyn to deny us individual control of our own bodies. I would point to the recurring argument that, among hetero people, husbands should be able to deny their wives access to birth control or abortion.

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