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 will run out of estrogen this week. The endo won’t renew the prescription without a new appointment. The clinic screwed up my last appointment. I went through hours of pain on the bus and in the waiting room to find out they had cancelled my appointment while I was waiting there for my appointment. I don’t have the mental energy to try again, and will have even less energy when my estrogen runs out. I can’t deal with the hours of pain and I can’t be sure that they won’t cancel my appointment again.

If we as trans people had better access to health care, this wouldn’t be so hard.

If we as autistic people had better access to health care and public accommodations, this wouldn’t be so hard.

If you consider yourself a cis or neurotypical ally, ask yourself and us how innaccessible such things are, and ask yourself and us what you can do to change things.
marjaerwin: (Default)
We need allies who respect butch girls and femme boys and don't try to push anyone to give up either part of who they are. I saw this on a trans-critical and often anti-trans blog:

http://peaktrans.tumblr.com/post/27601499806/my-princess-boy

I’m sure the family and friends who gave her the book meant well. “Look! Here is another child who does things he’s not supposed to do!”…but it quite devastated my niece. Not just because getting fifteen copies of the same book would be upsetting to any six-year-old, but because of the messages that these oh-so-tolerant family and friends had written in the front. Most memorable: the grandparent who wrote -

To Our Prince Girl - You Can Grow Up to Be a Man!

This is not the message of the book! The message of the book is that you can be a boy and like pink and sparkles, and that liking pink and sparkles does not make you any less of a boy! But the way that the book was interpreted by my family and by so many others was that it was the beginning of a transition narrative.

And that narrative was put on my six-year-old niece’s very small shoulders. The small shoulders that I held later that night as she cried about how she didn’t want to be a man, she wanted to be a girl, why couldn’t she be a girl, why not? Did wearing cargo shorts mean she was going to grow a penis? I suppose to an outsider her fear would be funny, but it still turns my stomach to remember how terrified she was. She cried like I did when I came home from school realizing that liking girls that way was not okay. But I was eleven. She was six. Six, and she already knew the world wanted her to change.


I for one want a world where any faab girl or any maab girl can be a tomboy, and no one says she's less of a girl because of it. I want a world where transitioners don't have to conform to gatekeepers' sex-role stereotypes. I want a world where any tomboy can be a girl without this kind of pressure and any princess boy can be a boy.
marjaerwin: (Default)
TRIGGER WARNING

http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/13/bill-affecting-transgender-use-restrooms-and-dress/

So he proposes laws that would criminalize peeing while trans. These laws would add to the discrimination, criminalization, poverty, homelessness, and profiling that many trans people face. These laws would get people killed.

But he doesn't just seem to want to starve people to death with his pen, he also talks about beating people to death with his own hands and feet.

“It could happen here,” Floyd said. “I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.


I'm not sure which is more appalling. An exterminationist movement relies on both: the bigots-in-power who legislate violence and the bigots-with-their-fists who beat and kill.
marjaerwin: (Default)
may be triggering:

http://michfest.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=116438&sid=1ef0cc1fc338edb2be16d2ec7a042416#p116438

This is why I think activists interested in welcoming trans womyn in womyn's communities should focus on more complete inclusion within spaces which have already chosen to be inclusive, instead of trying to get partial inclusion in spaces where many are determined to remain exclusionary.

I still think Michfest has an ethical responsibility to include trans womyn, because so much of the community fails to include trans womyn, and also because Lisa Vogel joined the capaign against Sandy Stone and against trans womyn throughout the lesbian community. But I don't think we can do much about it.
marjaerwin: (Default)
http://radicalhub.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/re-membering/

The essay is fascinating in its own right, but it also explains why transphobia and/or femmephobia might tempt cultural feminists. To Mary Daly, the central patriarchal myth had the male hero defeat the primal female goddess, dis-membering the female and replacing it with the sterile submissive feminine. In effect, you could say the patriarchy unsexes and ef-feminates the primal female. And in so doing makes her feminine.

I haven't examined this from every angle, but it seems as though they suppose that femininity, birth control, and all forms of transsexualism turn people into the castrated dis-membered female. I think it makes more sense to regard transsexualism as an attempt to embody the discovered self - creating one's own originality - whether re-membering or re-inventing. And some cultural feminists called out the attack on femininity for reinforcing androgyny.
marjaerwin: (Default)
"There are women of every description
In this cruel world, as everyone knows.
Some are living in beautiful mansions,
Who are wearing the finest of clothes.

"There are blue-blooded queens and princesses
Who have charms made of diamonds and pearl;

"But the only and loveliest lady
Is the Rebel Girl

"Though the rulers have locked her in prison,
And intend to break down her mind,
Still her will and her conscience have woken
The hopes of her class and her kind.

"And the barons of terror are trembling
At the spite and defiance she'll hurl

"For the only and loveliest lady
Is the Rebel Girl"

Remember Brad Manning. I wish we knew her real name. Let her live to see freedom, and transition. Let all the walls around her fall, all the empires which have condemned her fall, and all the injustices they have done to her be set right.

The original poem was by Joe Hill. I've updated it for Brad Manning, and for every rebel girl. Maybe it will even reach her.

http://www.boingboing.net/2011/07/03/bradley-mannings-arm.html

http://nymag.com/news/features/bradley-manning-2011-7/
marjaerwin: (Default)
I don't know what happened here. I don't know how the individual involved identifies, but I do know that the media mis-identifies many trans womyn as cross-dressing men. And there is a serious frakking power imbalance here:

http://weirdnews.aol.com/2011/05/13/detroit-cop-cross-dressing-prostitute_n_861644.html

Most of the comments, of course, make fun of the situation, and ignore the fact that (1) this society gives police officers a great deal of power over civilians (2) it gives cis people power over trans people and (3) it gives certain people a great deal of power over sex workers. For all I know, the officer involved may have *perceived* the relationship as consensual, and the sex worker involved may have *feared* extortion at the same time; it is easier to see power from below than from above.

On the same topic, I'm going to link to one of Darian Worden's essays:

http://c4ss.org/content/6816

*I am using cis in the narrower sense, to refer to people who agree with their assigned sex-identity and conform to its assigned sex-roles.

**I can't really say how much horizontal oppression is involved in the oppression of sex workers; in this case, horizontal oppression doesn't appear to be involved.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I am thinking of attending the Virginia Women's Music Festival at the end of May.

http://www.campoutva.com/musicfest.html

There are other womon-centered events which are more inclusive than MichFest. I'd encourage you to find them, support them, and maybe help them improve their inclusion policies.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Since the 1970s, the term "born womyn" has been used to exclude trans womyn, or to include other womyn and sometimes certain men, on the grounds of biology, socialization and originality. However, if we consider this more closely, I think it is clear that the term should include trans womyn on all three grounds.

1. Biology. There are biological differences between most trans womyn and most cis or otherwise non-trans womyn. However, they are not universal differences.

Some have described menstruation and fertility as important differences between cis and trans womyn. However, many cis womyn have never menstruated, and some trans womyn have had müllerian tissue and/or unexplained bleeding.

Others have noted certain differences in the limbic system of womyn and men. Trans womyn seem to have structures similar to cis womyn, such as the size of the BSTc, and different from cis men.

In my opinion, brain differences seem more important than reproductive differences. There are some problems with the brain-structure studies. The sample sizes are small, and its unclear how the few known differences may relate to gender identity/subconscious sex. There is some controversy about whether these studies have adequately ruled out any effects due to hormone replacement therapy. There is also evidence from the David Reimer case as well as the accounts of many trans womyn that subconscious sex can emerge extremely early and can resist socialization. I am skeptical of the alternative hypothesis that gender socialization shapes subconscious sex in the first months of life, and that subconscious sex is locked in after that.

2. Socialization. Both groups receive most of the same messages from our society, and both groups generally interpret these as messages about themselves. Of course, most cis or otherwise non-trans womyn are raised as girls, and most trans womyn are raised as boys.

There are certain obvious exceptions. The distinction between cis and trans socialization collapses for those who transitioned in childhood. It weakens for people whose parents and friends respected gender-atypical interests. Although most tomboys grew up with parents who pressured them to act in more conventionally feminine ways, a few grew up with parents who respected them and treated their daughter the same as they would have treated their son. One can reasonably say that those womyn had boyhoods. The distinction widens during puberty, as people's bodies differentiate. The vast majority of trans womyn who cannot transition before/during puberty go into severe depression during puberty. If you end up excluding someone because they survived hell, you should rethink your standards for inclusion.

The next issue is more subtle. This whole society treats being a girl/womon as a shameful condition and wanting to be a girl/womon as a shameful desire. I think that these are parallel but not identical. I think that these messages converge if and when someone learns to take pride in herself as a womon and/or chooses to transition, because these experiences unite the desire with the condition. If anything, it means overcoming an additional layer of misogyny to get from being a womon to proudly being one.

3. Originality. This is probably the hardest to define. I would say it is a matter of self-determination and the assertion of a womonhood in relation to womyn, and not in relation to men, which is an ongoing expression of one womon's authenticity and the whole community's integrity, and which does not depend on men, does not depend on the medical establishment, and does not rely on anyone but womyn to define who is a womon and what it is to be a womon.

And we can't have originality as communities unless we have it as individuals too. Self-discovery and re-discovery are part of originality. Many smaller transitions are part of originality: girl to womon, nonsexual to lesbian, and so on. As communities, I don't think we can define people out [of their gender] and still respect originality; I do think we can try to discern who is genuinely discovering themselves, who is trying to and can use some advice, and who is not.
marjaerwin: (Default)
But radical queer politics is getting increasing misogynistic. I would point to Bash Back!, Pink & Black Attack, etc.

I managed to avoid the fiasco at Camp Trans, but those events, and the subsequent debates, seem to bring the crisis into stark relief. Ultimately it is about womyn's independence and womyn's spaces. Ultimately it is about whether we are to exist as ourselves, or to be morally mandated into androgyny by our supposed allies.

We are not less-than because we are womyn. We do not need men to be whole. We are womyn and we are whole as womyn. We do not need to integrate "masculine" and "feminine" aspects into ourselves or our relationships. Subversivism runs on the same premises as heterosexism when it pushes the idea that womonhood is incomplete. We are not assimilationists because we live our lives instead of playing the androgynous-chauvinist roles you assign to us. We do not want to destroy Fest. We would rather see it thrive and embrace the sisters it has excluded so long.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I always thought WBW was a badly mistaken attempt to define womyn's inclusion for womyn's spaces. Because trans womyn are womyn, so exclusion from womyn's spaces is misguided, and trans womyn are born so, so it's not like trans womyn aren't also born womyn anyway.

I seem to have been mistaken. No, you see, WBW is, and has retroactively always been, about the shared experiences of cis WBW, not trans WBW. Um, right... So you focus so much time and effort to events which focus on the shared experiences of cis womyn, and so little time or effort to events which involve the shared experiences of all womyn, cis or trans.

The childhoods of cis tomboys tend to be much like the childhoods of trans tomboys. The childhoods of trans femmes, if their parents are supportive, tend to be much like the childhoods of cis femmes. Alas, a lot of womyn, both cis and trans, have suffered from gender policing. And in different directions. But that's not universal. That's not some "shared [cis] WBW experience."

The teens of cis womyn tend to differ from the teens of cis womyn, but there are no universals. There aren't even biological universals. Maybe 1 or 2 percent of cis womyn never menstruate. Maybe 1 or 2 percent of cis womyn and 5 or 10 percent of trans womyn have to see a doctor about something unusual during first puberty, such as unexplained bleeding. There aren't that many social universals. The teens of a dyke with heterosexist parents in a heterosexist community aren't going to look like the teens of a dyke with supportive parents in a welcoming community. That's not to mention wealth and poverty, disabilities, or other orientations.

The only consistent patterns are that 1. cis womyn are assigned female, grow up in a misogynistic society, and need to struggle to reclaim their original womonhood, while 2. trans womyn are assigned male, grow up in a misogynistic society, and need to struggle to reclaim their original womonhood.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I've taken a lot of criticism over spelling.

"Woman" and "women" describe womonkind by reference to men.

"Womon" and "womyn" describe womonkind by reference to our own original selves.

I'm particularly offended by the suggestion that "womyn" should exclude trans womyn. I think the experiences of trans womyn show that womonhood is not simply the product of gender socialization.

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