Jenner’s, “Hardest Part About Being A Woman”

As you may or may not know … wait, who are we kidding? He’s all over the news, he has completely immersed himself into the media because he gets off on all of the attention. So you have most likely already seen the BuzzFeed interview of Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner, entitled “Caitlyn Jenner on The Moment She Felt Most Proud to be a Woman” (sic). In this bit of his interview, he also discusses what he feels is the hardest part of being a woman. He said this:

Jenner - Hardest Part About Being a Woman

There you go folks! The hardest part of being a woman all comes down to: what to wear. 

Of course a man would think the hardest part of being a woman would boil down to clothes. In his autogynephile mind, all a woman is, is her clothing, because that’s what gets him off: dressing as a woman and, of course being seen as a woman.

We are all a part of his pornographic fantasy, nothing more.

This was posted in a group I belong to on Facebook, one that discusses gener critically; and here are what a couple of the womyn there had to say:

First Feminist:

“I was so furious. I posted to my page with this comment…

Woman of the year… The hardest thing about being a woman is what to wear…

Call me when your cramps hurt so bad you can’t walk.
Call me when you have a pregnancy scare.
Call me when men honk at you and make lewd gestures at you at twelve years old.
Call me when you don’t get paid adequately for your increasingly difficult labor, and you go home only to find more labor dictated by gender roles.
Call me when you are force married.
Call me when you are sold by a pimp and then blamed for being “in the business.”
Call me when your entire life’s choices are limited by decades of belittling and social conditioning, to the point where you self limit and call it a choice.

Call me when you stop being a stereotype of what the world wants from me.

The hardest part of my day is NEVER figuring out what to wear.  I defy roles you exalt. Bye.”

Second Feminist:

“It’s unbelievable! Out of all the issues that make being a woman difficult!? Doesn’t this just scream to everyone that this is what he truly believes: that to become a woman, one merely dresses in a certain way. Of course this is the most essential aspect to being a woman for Jenner; playing dressup is the aspect that gives him the greatest (erotic) thrill…despite its oh so many challenges! (eyeroll)…what a burden.”

It is inconceivable to me that anyone can take this man, or transgenderism itself, seriously. I mean, here is this group of people who could have been gender non-conforming people, brave warriors standing along side their gender non-conforming sisters and brothers in the lesbian and gay man communities. Instead, they choose to conform to strict gender roles, uncompromisingly adhered to stereotypes of the opposite sex. These completely gender CONFORMING people, transgenders, all believe that to be the opposite sex, one must only have to dress as the opposite sex and then to either drastically shorten or lengthen their hair, depending on which sex they wish to “identify as.”

Transgenders cannot live as they are, they cannot be their true authentic selves in the body they were born into for fear of retribution, so they wear the clothing that society has decided is only for the opposite sex, then they buzz off or grow out their hair (or, in the case of male transgenders, just wear a wig and you’re good!) and voila! They are the opposite sex!

Or in the case of about 80% of male transgenders, they wear the clothing that society has decided is for the opposite sex because they are autogynephiles. They, literally, get off on wearing “women’s clothing.” They also get off on being seen and treated as women. Going into the women’s bathroom, changing room, etc., also gets them off!

This is all so crazy, I cannot stand it! A man is voted Woman of the Year, taking the award away from women who are ground breakers like, Venus Williams, who has amassed 43 championship titles, won 3 Olympic Gold medals and has the fastest serve on record today. Or how about Tony award winning, Viola Davis, the first African American woman to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Then, of course there is the first woman to become an Army Ranger, Capt. Kristen Griest, who overcame such incredible adversity and against all odds, surpassed both men and women who could not make it and she became the first female Army Ranger, opening the door for other women to not only become Army Rangers, but also Navy Seals!

There are incredible women out there and it is insulting to all of them, to all of us, when women’s magazines and organizations name a MAN to be their Woman of the Year!

This madness has to stop. Women need to rise up together and with one voice, demand that actual women get awarded for this and other awards. It is our time now, sisters! Rise Up!

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“TERFs” Do Not Actually Exist, Fellows

I honestly cannot believe that we have to continue to discuss this over and over and over again; but I guess when you are dealing with juvenile young men with male privilege who have yet to have fully developed brains and older men with male privilege going through midlife crisis, not to mention all of the women who, for some disturbed reason, support all of these men, then I guess womyn just have to continue to calmly stay on point and tell these men and the women who support them, again, that they are wrong. In so many ways, yes, but I am focusing on this for a minute.

I am not sure how this has come about, but “TERF” is not an identity. “TERFs” do not actually exist. They are not a community of womyn within the larger LGB community. “TERFs” are not a group of womyn working and plotting against transgenders. They are certainly not working together to exterminate transgenders, something of which I have been accused.

“TERF” is, once again, a slur. This slur is used to silence womyn. None of us actually “identify” as “TERFs.” This slur is actually thrust upon us and shoved down our throats by men who are so upset over the fact that there are womyn out there who are not falling to our knees in our utter devotion to porn sick, cross dressing, autogynephile men who claim to be women, but expect to still be treated and adored as men, with their male privilege, and their penises, intact.

“TERF” may have been created by two heterosexual women trying to give a name to radical feminists who do not wish to have males in their private spaces, but just every other slur in the world, its meaning has changed, morphed into some crazy kind of battle cry for males to use as they attack womyn mercilessly online, threatening to assault, rape, even kill womyn who do not agree with them and who do not fall all over themselves to believe that men (or boys) can be women (or girls).

The slur, “TERF” is a term that includes –all- womyn (and some gay men) who know the truth about biology, all womyn who understand even the most basic science. I am not a radical feminist, but I have been called a “TERF” over and over again, just for stating my opinion, an opinion I am allowed to have and share online or anywhere, an opinion that I share with hundreds of thousands of other womyn (and some men).

I don’t know how much more plainly I can state this, dear reader. “TERF” is not an identity, it is a slur used to silence womyn. We who are labeled as such are not the violent ones here. We do not issue threats of violence. We do not keep lists of male or female transgenders with their contact information so that we may harass them in real life.

Oh yes, dear reader, you didn’t know that? Male transgenders and their female allies keep lists of womyn who they decide are “TERFs.” They say they keep such lists so as to warn other transgenders to steer clear of us, but what they are really doing is targeting women. They keep us and as much personal information about us on a list they call “TERF tracker.” One of the founders of “TERF Tracker” was a woman who aligned herself with the most violent transgenders against womyn. She later tried to align herself with womyn who know the truth about transgenders, but she did so as a ruse, to befriend women (and a few men) so that she could gain information on us. She then turned back to transgenders and now runs a gay and lesbian liberation page that does nothing more than attack womyn like me, womyn who know that men cannot become women and that women cannot become men.

This woman is one of those who makes the assertion that “TERF” is an identity women take on and share with other womyn. She puts forth the idea that a woman who is not a friend to other women is the “leader” of the “TERFs” when there is no such organization of “TERFs,” so there can be no such “leader.”

The other founder of “TERF Tracker” was later found out to be a violent child rapist, He even admitted as much. Just another entitled, cross dressing, porn sick, autogynephile who was later found out to be a child rapist or a rapist of women.

But I digress. I do not wish for my blog to be about these women, one of whom aligns herself with violent transgenders, the other of whom is a woman who enjoys attacking womyn, outing anonymous bloggers such as myself, or that man, that child rapist. They deserve no time or attention on my blog.

No, this post was intended to assert to you, dear reader that “TERF” is not an identity, not a label womyn call themselves, and certainly not a term womyn “reclaim” in an effort to take its power away. Since we never claimed it as ours in the first place, we certainly cannot “reclaim” it now!

No, “TERF” is and has always remained a slur used to silence, threaten, and harass womyn. Make sure to spread this truth around, my sisters, as those who do not know what a “TERF” is are vulnerable to believing the transgenders who call themselves “activists” when they try to assert that “TERF” is an identity we call ourselves. Post about “TERF” being a slur, tweet about “TERF” being a slur, talk to your friends about “TERF” being a slur. Just get out there, sisters, and inform others about this slur!!

Make sure that your friends all know that this label, “TERF,” that is shoved down our throats by transgenders, the very people who claim that self-identification is the most important thing, the people who claim that people who ID them as someone they are not (i.e., “misgender,” which is a misnomer, it should actually be, “missexed”) are actually committing violence against them, the people, mostly men, who claim that “TERF” is an identification that we use to describe ourselves when in reality, they force the label onto us, make sure that your friends know that “TERF” is nothing more than a slur used against women, to silence us and to threaten violence against us.

I call upon all of you, dear readers, to tell, post, tweet, text, whatever you need to do, to make sure that people know that “TERF” is not an ID, it is a slur!

Political and Born This Way Lesbians – Why The Battle?

Last night, I found and was reading a post on Facebook from several days ago that was a discussion between several women who identified either as political lesbians or born this way lesbians.

First, some quick definitions so we all know where we’re at on this:

A lesbian is an adult female who is attracted to other women physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, and intimately. There are no penises on lesbians or in lesbian relationships (so no men or males).

A born this way lesbian is a lesbian who feels she was born gay, that being a lesbian was not a choice for her.

A political lesbian is a little trickier, because there is more than one definition. Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, a political lesbian was a heterosexual woman who was tired of men personally and politically, so she became celibate and called herself a lesbian. But she was a lesbian in name only for political reasons.

A few years ago, the definition morphed into a woman who came to her lesbianism through her politics, but she was a lesbian in every way.

Now, the definition of a political lesbian is that a woman chooses to be gay because of her politics. Through her work in politics and activism, she realized that heterosexuality was a learned behavior to further oppress women and instead of continuing in that, she decided to make the conscious decision to become a lesbian, but she is a lesbian in every way. Quite a few political lesbians under this definition are late in life lesbians, becoming so after one or several relationships with men and maybe even some children.

I think that covers it. I am sure that if I am wrong on any point that someone will come along and correct me (well, except for the definition of a lesbian)!

Anyway, on to my post. As I was saying, I observed a post between some born this way and political lesbians and almost all of them were being respectful of each other and not arguing against each other’s beliefs, simply arguing for their own beliefs. It was a nice discussion. At first.

Then came a couple of political lesbians who so strongly believed that both heterosexuality and homosexuality are choices that women make, they were convinced that they were right, they were convinced that born this way lesbians were not only wrong, but ignorant for holding their beliefs.

Of course, what I failed to talk about when I was laying out definitions of both born this way lesbians and political lesbians is that neither can prove that they are right or that the other is wrong. These are feelings, you see, beliefs based on how women feel. So while one can believe strongly that they are right, they cannot prove that they are right because, well, it’s kind of like religion: they have faith that they are who they are based on their internal feelings as women and lesbians.

So I was kind of shocked to be reading this, not only the part about the political lesbians thinking they were right and born this way lesbians were ignorant, but the blatant disrespect from these couple of political lesbians toward the born this way lesbians was something I have seen, but that I had hoped we were passed by now.

It was like watching the bad parts of religion, the “my religion is the only right religion and you all are going to hell!” kind of thing; and it was very, very sad to watch.

It made me wonder why we battle so much over this. Why aren’t we just a bunch of lesbians who believe that we arrived at lesbianism in different ways, but that we were all here now and working together?

Based on some of what the one or two disrespectful political lesbians said in that thread, I suppose they would say that by believing one is born a lesbian, one must also submit that others are born straight women and if a woman is born straight then she is born into a life of sub servitude and sex, whether she likes it or not, whether it is painful or not, whether she wants it or not. So by believing one is born a lesbian instead of it being a choice that one makes, one is then buying into and supporting women’s oppression.

That seems kind of harsh, doesn’t it? That because a woman believes she was born a lesbian, she is supporting, ignorantly, women’s oppression?

I don’t believe that for one second. As you may remember from the last post that I did on this subject, I a one of the lesbians who considers herself born a lesbian. I didn’t make the choice to become a lesbian, it was not my choice. It was not my choice to be bullied, bashed, and harassed for being who I am. It was not my choice to be left out in the civil rights department simply because I love women. It was not my choice to not be able to get married simply because I was born a lesbian. Knowing all that we know, I find it difficult that ANY woman would choose this. Even later in life lesbians. I believe they were born lesbians, but they were just in denial for a while and now they are realizing their true selves.

BUT, even though I believe all of that, I still respect political lesbians enough to support them as lesbians, as sisters. I am of the “live and let live” model when it comes to other lesbians. So, I support political lesbian’s right to not only believe whatever they wish, but to also express those beliefs. I support their fight against women’s oppression in any way they can fight it; because, after all, isn’t that what we are ALL fighting for here?

Remember that, sisters. Because yes, we may have come to lesbianism in different ways, on different paths, but we are both discriminated against. We are both denied rights. We are both harassed. We are both bashed. We are both beaten. We are both killed. For being lesbian women. And as lesbian women, we are both fighting for the same thing: to end women’s oppression by liberating women from men and this patriarchy.

Let’s end this battle, sisters!

My Line In The Sand

I was reading a thread in a Michfest Facebook group the other day when I saw a woman shame and scold a friend of mine for calling a trans woman a man. This woman said she understood the anger, but not the hate of calling trans women men. In other words, she was trying to shame my friend, another woman, into silence, which is a tactic men have been using for years, especially the men who call themselves women and trans “activists.” They use shaming techniques to trick liberal feminists into siding with them and they save most of their violence for the rest of us, those of us who see past their delusions and to the reality of it all.

But I understood where my friend was coming from: it wasn’t rage or hatred or even anger, it was truth. That was her line in the sand and so it is mine as well. My line in the sand is biology. If I may geek out on your for a moment, dear reader, as Captain Picard said when he was speaking of the Borg invading their space, he said each time the Borg advance, we fall back and fall back and fall back. “Not again,” he said. “The line must be drawn here. This far. No farther.” That’s how I feel about these men who call themselves women, these men who, to fulfill their fetishistic desires, take “woman” as they see her through their male privileged, sexist, misogynistic eyes and they emulate her while declaring they are a better woman than most of us who were born females in this male dominated society.

They want us to use female pronouns. They want us to redefine woman so they can be called a woman in every instance, not trans women, but women. They want our spaces, our bathrooms, our dressing rooms. They want to be housed with women in jails when they commit acts of violence against, you guessed it, women, so they can further their abuse. They don’t want a compromise, they want total domination. They want a total submission. They want nothing less than total surrender.

I feel the same way about the women who call themselves men or the butches who simply need to be considered male while still claiming to be butches, using male pronouns, etc. They don’t want a compromise any more than the men do. They want it all. They demand they be seen the way they want to be seen and not based on any kind of reality or truth in this or any other universe. To this, I say, “No!”

Like my friend in that Michfest Facebook group, I draw my line here, at biology. The trans “women” were born male and no matter how many surgeries they have or how many hormones they take, if they even have or take any, which a lot do not, they are and always will be male. The women who call themselves men are the same: they were born female and no amount of hormones or surgeries will ever change that. Ever. Their biology will always remain the same. Males born males will always be males and females born females will always be females. These are immutable facts. I have put up with the shenanigans of transgenders for so long now, with the hate, the trolling, and the violent threats that my line in the sand is drawn here and I will not move back any farther. I will not concede an inch!

My line in the sand isn’t built on anger, rage, or hate. My line in the sand is built on biology. Biology and reality will win out over delusion and narcissism. Biology is the truth and eventually, when more and more women see the violence, see the narcissism, see the demands for not just a few but ALL of our spaces, these women will also rise up and say, “No more!”

I can feel that time coming. Can you?

 

 

 

Make No Mistake, “TERF” Is A Slur

I find it difficult to believe that we women have to keep saying this and writing about it, but I guess we do because men’s voices are the only ones people want to listen to, not ours’; but make no mistake, “TERF” is a slur created by men to silence and even shame women. I was reading a post by GallusMag the other day where she talked about a man who claimed to be a woman who works for Twitter and who is accused of rape. In the comments section, GallusMag (who was locked out of her WordPress blog because of that post, which is WordPress’s way of telling women that if you write about their friends and colleagues, they will shut you down and fast) posted a pic of a news agency, The Daily Dot, actually using the word “TERF” as if it is a normal, accepted word by everyone and not a word made up by men in their ongoing effort to silence women in the issue of transgenderism. It made me incredibly angry because this was supposed to be a news organization, or at least, that is what I am lead to believe. Maybe they are a trash-rag that doesn’t really report the news so much as they report gossip and innuendo?

So let’s talk about this slur for a minute. A lot of transgenders and their allies like to keep saying that it is simply a description of radical feminists who are “trans-exclusionary.” But let’s get real here, ok? This slur may have started out as a simply description by a man who felt slighted by some women who feel that men, even in dresses, should not be allowed in certain spaces that are for women, spaces like restrooms, changing rooms, showers, dressing rooms, etc.; but the word went way beyond a description and into slur territory within a few minute of it being created.

First, there is no “TIRF” or trans-inclusionary radical feminist. There is, in fact, no term that is opposite of “TERF” that is used, ever. There is only “TERF”; and that term is used to silence, to bash, to put down, to shame, etc. not just radical feminists, but all women who see biology as a real thing and gender as a social construct. It is used against women, especially women who disagree with men who claim to be women, in any way.

Second, the term is not just hurled at radical feminists. I as just called a “TERF” this evening and I have never purported to be a radical feminist, not in any of my tweets or writings’ but there I was, having  label thrust upon me against my will, a label that by its very “definition” shouldn’t include me. But as I said, this slur isn’t just for radical feminists, it is for all women who disagree with men, especially men claiming to be women, i.e., trans “women” or male transgenders.

Let’s think about that for a minute. Let’s think about how (metaphorically) rape-y that is to have a label such as “TERF” or “trans-exclusionist” or “trans-exterminist” thrust upon a woman against her will. Slurs that she has never claimed, never called herself, never acknowledged, but slurs that are forced upon her, whether she likes it or not. That is a part of rape culture, is it not? To force something onto a woman that she does not want? Something that she has not given you permission to do. Especially when this comes from a group of people who want to self-label and do not want others to label them. How hypocritical of them to then force women to accept a term that they all know well and good is a slur meant to silence women.

Third, the only time women can even seem “trans-exclusionary” is when we want to have women-only spaces, like restrooms, dressing rooms, social gatherings, rape crisis centers, shelters, etc. But that is no more “trans-exclusionary” than it is for POC to be “white-person-exclusionary” when they desire POC-only spaces. Just like POC should be able to gather without white people so they don’t have to watch what they say around white people or cater to white people or have white people take over everything, we women should be allowed to have our own spaces without men, without having to worry about what we are saying around men or that they men will take over. Just like POC whould be able to gather and discuss what it is like to be a POC in this white-dominated world, we women should be allowed to gather as sisters and discuss what it is like to be females in a male-dominated world. We should not be slurred with “trans-exclusionary” simply because we wish to gather with other women in female-only spaces.

We should also be allowed to feel safe. We should be allowed to have penis-free restrooms, dressing rooms, shelters, jails, rape crisis centers, etc. so that we can feel safe. For thousands of years, the penis has been used as a weapon, as a weapon to control women, to hurt women, to exert power over women. It has been used as a weapon and we are seeing more and more how trans “women” are accused of or convicted of the rape and murder of women but they continue to be allowed to be placed in female prisons even if they still have their penises. This is so wrong on so many levels but in today’s PC culture of not wanting to offend these men, they are not placed where they are supposed to be: with other men. Instead, the rights and the safety of women are circumvented for the rights and safety of men who claim to be women because they are afraid of, you got it: men.

Before someone jumps into the fray and says that trans “women” have the right to feel safe as well, to that, I say two things: (1) of course, (2) but women are not a threat to trans “women,” men are. Men are dangerous and men do almost all of the damage to women, transgenders, and every other group out there. Women should not have to forgo their own safety to guarantee the safety of men from other men. If trans “women” wish to truly feel safe while respecting women’s need for safety and privacy, why don’t they create their own space, their own restrooms, their own rape crisis centers and shelters, their own changing rooms, etc.? The answer is clear: because (a) they don’t respect women and (b) they don’t want to be safe from men, they want what women have, they want to take over everything that woman is and that women have.

Finally, most women care about other women. There are some women who are so conditioned by the patriarchy that they believe the misogynistic bullshit that men and rape-culture spews down all of our throats. But most women want other women to be safe, they want us all to have our own private spaces, away from men and their penises. As I said, the penis has been used as a weapon against women for thousands of years and most women would agree that not allowing men and their penises, even if under dresses, into our private spaces where we are half naked and vulnerable or where we are running away from abusive men or where we are going for help and treatment after having been raped is something that all women should have without being called “TERFs” or “trans-exclusionary” in any way.

I know this because, as a butch woman, I have received the “look” from women in restrooms or changing rooms when they think I am a man. There have been women who say things to me in an effort to get me to leave the restroom or changing room; and in one instance, there was even a woman who physically tried to keep me out of a restroom, thinking I was a man and shouldn’t be in the women’s restroom. So I know that most women care about other women and other women’s safety; but men are trying so hard to shame these women into hating the rest of us for wanting our own space and using the slur “TERF” is one of the ways that they do this.

They threaten all woman with “TERF” if they don’t allow all men into all women’s private spaces and that is how “TERF” is used as a slur. It is used to control women by using shame to get them to see men in dresses as women and treat them as women when they are not. It is time for women to stop fighting against other women and fight with us. Stop allowing men who claim to be women walk all over you and demand that you see them in a certain way when common sense and science tells you to see them as they are; and stop allowing men to create and use slurs like “TERF” to silence your sisters who do see them as they are: men trying to re-define woman and abolish what the word really means so they can take over all of our spaces, once and for all.

Is Being Gender Critical and Butch Mutually Exclusive?

I’ve been meaning to talk about this for a long time now. Can one consider herself butch, aka, a masculine woman while also being critical of gender? It’s a question I have been thinking about for several months and now is the time for me to put my thoughts down on paper, so to speak, and figure this thing out for myself. Some of you will, of course, disagree and that is cool, but I would be willing to bet that there are a lot more of us out there than we think.

I’ve been an out lesbian for half my life now (over 20 years) and I didn’t consider myself butch (or “a” butch, ymmv) until almost 10 years later. It took me a long, long time to come to the realization that butches were women, we didn’t wish to be men, we were women who just happened to be masculine. Once I came to that realization, I was able to accept my true self: a gender non-conforming, masculine woman, or more simply, a butch lesbian; or even more simply: a butch.

It’s hard to be a butch in this world. Don’t worry, I am not about to play the oppression Olympics here, I completely understand that there is enough discrimination to go around and there are hard times for all of us. But let’s be honest here, I cannot speak for femmes, straight women (even the butch ones), gay men, straight men, or lesbians who are neither butch or femme because I am none of those things. So I will stick to what I know: being a butch lesbian in this patriarchal society.

Before I continue, I wanted to put out there that even though I am not speaking about femme’s experiences here, I welcome their input about this post or their own experiences; especially the anonymous femme who briefly talked with me about the hierarchy of femmes and butches in my last post (Who Gets To Decide What “Lesbian” Means?). I hope she sees this post so she can come back to leave her thoughts on the issue.

So let’s dig in to this complicated subject matter, shall we?

As I was saying before I digressed a bit, being a butch lesbian in this patriarchal world is tough. We have almost no “in real life” role models, very few, if any in the media, and when I was a young dyke, there were even fewer than there are now if you can imagine that. Because this society believes that men own masculinity (and women own femininity), we butches have therefore had no choice but to model ourselves after the men in our lives and go by how the media presents men; and this is nothing if not problematic. Because of this society, because the patriarchy frowns on women wearing “men’s” clothing (and vice versa), and because there are almost no butches in the media, these are two very big reasons why a lot of straight and even gay people assume we all want to emulate, if not actually be men.

The lack of butch role models and having to use men or the media’s idea of men as our guides (well, I don’t, but I did when I was younger because I didn’t know any different and I see it more and more in these young butches today) presents other problems. For those unfamiliar with on-line butch-femme communities, there is a clear hierarchy of “butchness” or masculinity and it discriminates against butches who do not identify as male and it especially celebrates the female transgender, or the trans “man.” In this hierarchy, there are the levels of butchness that I mentioned, such as soft butch, butch, hard butch, male identified butch, and trans “man.” Usually we butches who know what sex is and celebrate the women that we are, are set low on that totem pole, somewhere around soft butch.

You see, even in the (on-line) butch-femme world, a lot of people are conditioned into the patriarchy just enough to believe the bullshit that men/males own masculinity and women/females own femininity, that females cannot be masculine, and that to be masculine, one must either be male identified or they must transition into some facsimile of a man, aka the trans “man.” So even in the butch-femme (on-line) world, female, and therefore feminine is “less than” and most people do not consider a butch to be masculine if she doesn’t deny biology and instead accepts and even celebrates that she is also female. In the comments of my last post, I said this maligned treatment comes from femmes, but I meant some femmes, not all; and to be honest, quite a few male identified butches and trans “men” feel this way as well, that female is less than; or more appropriately, that feminine is less than masculine. Like I said, a lot of this comes from the male identified butches and trans “men,” but it can also come from femmes as well. There are quite a few femmes out there these days who clearly want straight men without actually having to date straight men. They like the analogy that butch = man, that they can have only PIV sex, that they use male pronouns, etc. It is quite frustrating, to say the least. As I said, not all femmes are like this, but more and more of them are coming out of the woodwork as sex becomes more and more conflated with gender and the binary, as dictated by the patriarchy, wins out above all else.

To be fair, I don’t have to be a femme to see this coming from the other side of things as well; but even more than the hierarchy of femme, I also see things like how so many butches expect femmes to be like straight women and how a lot of them even toss femmes aside in favor of straight women. I also see the masculine and feminine stereotypes of the heterosexual world playing out in that a lot of both butches and femmes expect the butches to be the dominant ones, or the “tops,” to borrow a BDSM term and they expect the femmes to be the submissive ones or the “bottoms.” This is problematic in so many ways because it relies on society’s assumptions that feminine is always and only for women while masculine is always and only for men, so the above butches and femmes assume the woman (feminine) is always supposed to submit to the man (masculine). That is unbelievably sexist and it is almost always internalized, born of the conditioning we face being born and raised female in this society; and the sickest part, for me, is that all of that sexism is coming from and pointed towards females, women. So because there are not a lot, if any, butch and femme role models, we end up falling into the traps of our own conditioning by believing the bullshit of the binary, by seeing feminine as women and women as feminine, as well as masculine as men and men as masculine. That, dear reader, is where the idea of male identified butches and trans “men” come from: that blind loyalty to the binary and the patriarchy that conditioned us so very well.

I have always held the notion that transgenderism is a fad, a way of being a special snowflake, of distinguishing yourself from the “norm” so that you can be considered “cool.” It’s exactly like the on-line BDSM fad of several years ago in the butch-femme world (the straight and gay men’s world as well, but again, I cannot speak of what I don’t know). Suddenly, there were daddies, babygirls, masters, and mistresses all over the butch-femme on-line communities. Why? Again, it was a way to be different and special, to separate yourself from the “norm” and appear to be “cool.” Transgenderism is the same thing: a fad. I have said before and I will say it again: if society would stop with the preconceived notion that females or women own femininity and males or men own masculinity and instead allowed people to express themselves in any way that they wish, dress as they wish, wear make-up or not, have long, short, or no hair, walk, talk, and act as they wish, all regardless of their sex, then there would be no need for transgenderism and no need to “transition” into anything.

Masculine and feminine, like gender, are socially constructed, but I don’t view them as genders. Masculine and feminine are simply descriptors that do not belong to either sex. This means that that men can be feminine and that there is nothing wrong with that. On the flip side, women can be masculine and there is also nothing wrong with that.

So with that, I think I have come to the end of it, dear reader. It started as a question in my head: whether or not I could consider myself a butch lesbian and gender critical at the same time. While I consider myself a lesbian essentialist, I do not consider myself a butch essentialist. I may have been born a lesbian and was quite the dyke for a long time, but I found butch through exploration and an ultimate discovery of who I was (and am) as a woman.

I was chatting with a friend the other day (at least, I would like to be able to call her a friend) and she said that for her, “lesbian” is a “descriptor that others can understand.” I liked the way that sounded. Oh not for lesbian, but for butch and masculine. For me, butch has always meant and will always mean, masculine woman, but in this society, people get confused by putting those two words together, masculine and woman, so I say butch.

In that context, butch is a descriptor that others can understand, to varying degrees, of course. Like I said, there is the fad of being male identified and/or transgender, neither of which are actually butches, but the premise is the same. I use butch, not as a gender or an identity, but as a descriptor to signify to the world that while I am masculine, I was, am still now, and always will be a woman. I am a masculine woman, a butch.

So the answer is: yes, I can be critical of gender and be a butch lesbian at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.

Gender Is Not “Assigned” At Birth

Here’s the thing. It is a very serious problem when women, feminists, radfems, the media, etc., or a combination of any of the above use the phrase, “the gender they were assigned at birth.” Why? because it is incorrect wording that, when used repeatedly gains notability and with more use, it gains credibility as people see it as a true statement when, honestly, it is not. Gender is not something that is “assigned” to infants at birth. It’s not a seat assignment that someone gives you when they look between your legs and either see a vulva or a penis. That would be sex. Once again, people are confusing sex with gender.

Nothing is “assigned” to anyone at birth. Sex is determined at birth when the person delivering the baby sees its genitals and declares, “It’s a girl/boy!”; and before some joker wants to come in screaming about intersex people, that is a red herring and we all know it. Intersex people are not trans are not intersex people. Stop trying to muddy the waters. The above determination of sex is not gender being assigned to that child like it is a homework assignment or something. Determination of a child’s sex at birth is basic biology 101 and it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with gender.

The sooner people can stop confusing sex with gender the better; and the sooner people can stop using the phrase, “gender assigned at birth,” the better because then we can all start discussing what gender really is and how harmful it is to women.

Gender is a social construct; and it arrives through socialization. True, this socialization may start just after birth when the child’s parents or the nurses at the hospital or who ever decides to dress little boys in blue and little girls in pink so that people know what sex the child is; because in our society, sex is a class and there is a clear hierarchy, with women being on the bottom and men on the top. The sooner the little boys and little girls are discovered and differentiated, the clearer their future will be to the people around them. But that is not the same thing as being “assigned a gender” and having that child (or adult) suddenly and magically “know” what it is like to be a girl or a boy (or a woman or man).

Gender through socialization happens over a period of time; and this is what women mean when they speak about having shared experiences that are different from men who are born and raised boys then decide later that they wish to declare themselves to be women. When we say this, we are not saying that we all share the same upbringing. Obviously, women of color have different experiences than white women, women brought up in a poor household have different experiences than women brought up in wealthy households, etc.; but the fact that we were all born as little girls and then raised in this patriarchal society is our shared experience.

This next part is hard to describe. I honestly thought it was obvious until I started seeing so many male transgenders (aka “MtFs,” which is a misnomer, since males cannot become females) talk about how they know what it was like to be raised as girls, since they “felt” like girls. This was mind boggling to me and reeked of their own male privilege. How arrogant of men to sit there, as the oppressive class, and dictate to women, the oppressed class, what it is like to be women! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and reading.

As women, we all know what it is like to be born and raised as little girls in this society. It is something that, unless you are a woman, is difficult to describe or understand; and sometimes, the socialization of women is so complete, some women don’t even see it. This is why so many women in today’s “feminism” are so pro-male, why they are ok with so many men taking over feminism, why they are ok with men in the government restricting women’s access to healthcare, and why they are ok with men who role play as women co-opt our experiences, our words, even our very private spaces. We women are socialized or conditioned to put men first, always. Men have no idea what it is like to be conditioned to apologize before asking a question, or apologize for asserting yourself and creating boundaries, or to take up as little space as possible. These are just some of the things women are taught since birth; and I don’t mean taught like consciously in school, I mean a deep subconscious conditioning beginning from infancy and continuing into adulthood.

Side note: before a male transgender tries to speak up about how he does know about those things because he is trans or about how women don’t know about this, that, or the other because they are “cis,” try stopping for a moment and actually listening to a woman instead of making this about you. That is what men do.

Now see, any of the transgenders who actually kept reading my post instead of just stopping after the first paragraph when I said that sex is not gender, just stopped reading. It is impossible for men to magically know what it is like to be a woman, just as it is impossible for women to let go of all of their lifetime of socialization and know what it is like to be a man. Sure, I get treated differently sometimes when someone thinks I am a man vs. when they realize I am a woman, but this isn’t the same as being born a boy and raised as male with all the privilege that goes along with it in a society dominated by the male class.

But male transgenders actually believe that putting on a dress and/or taking some hormones negates everything they have been taught while living as boys and men and they suddenly “know” what it is like to be women. Forget all of the male privilege that has been shoved down their throats for years, they don’t see that that is what makes them think they are allowed to have access to everything and that if they say something is true, then god damnit, it’s true.

And there is where we come to it: how gender harms women. Let me relate a story really quickly. I was reading a blog post of a male trans on Tumblr. This guy was, as he put it, “presenting in women’s clothes” while out with some friends bar hopping. They decided to go to a mostly straight bar in a mostly gay neighborhood and while he was there, he took off his top (he was wearing something leather underneath) and security told him to put it back on.

The interesting thing at this point of the blog is that the man honestly thought he was passing as a woman. He mentioned in his blog how he wasn’t sure if or how security could make any determination that he was trans, so he didn’t think it was about him being trans at that point. He posted a picture of himself at the bar that night and there is no question in anyone’s mind but his own that he is a man dressed in what society has deemed “women’s” clothing.

Can you imagine? Can you imagine a delusion so powerful that what you see in the mirror is the complete opposite of what the rest of the world sees, but you are so determined in your delusion that you dare anyone to contradict you? It’s like people with an eating disorder who look in the mirror and see a very fat person staring back at them but the rest of the world sees the reality: an unbelievably, unhealthy skinny person who is killing themselves. This is how some of these male trans are. In their delusion, they look in the mirror and see a beautiful feminine woman, while the rest of the world sees the reality of what is actually there: a man in what society deems as “women’s” clothing.

Anyway, I digress. Nearing the end of the evening, he decides to use the bathroom before heading home. Now, this bar did everything right: they had a women’s bathroom, a men’s bathroom, and a unisex bathroom. This is the best compromise for male and female transgenders who feel they should not have to use the bathrooms of their own sex out of fear, while also allowing the women in the establishment the privacy and respect they should be given, as well as keeping female transgenders safe from being attacked in the men’s bathroom.

But instead of using the unisex bathroom, this person who was, clearly, a man, decided it was his right to use the women’s bathroom; and when he did so, he was confronted (rightfully) by security. He held his ground and he sat down on the floor of the women’s bathroom and called the police, claiming that he feared for his life. The police were confused as to (a) why he called them and (b) why he was in the women’s restroom. He asked to be escorted out of the bar safely and they did just that. He is currently in the process of making complaints to any lawyer or legal entity he can in an effort to “change” things at this bar, because the compromise of a unisex bathroom wasn’t enough for this guy. He “said” he was a woman so that should be good enough for the rest of the world and damn any woman who wants any kind of privacy or safety of their own.

When you make laws based on something as ambiguous as gender and the law makes it clear that if someone states they are such&such, then they must be recognized as such&such, regardless of the reality of the situation, you open the door to all sorts of privacy and safety issues for women. A male transgender who is, by definition, pre-op and most likely not living as a woman full time should never be allowed into women’s private spaces; but because sex has been overlooked for the sake of gender, women are, yet again, getting thrown under the bus for the sake of men.

If this man had actually be raised as a girl and socialized to live as a woman, he would never have inserted himself into another person’s space like that and then demanded that he be allowed to stay or else he would sue. If he had actually been a woman or even if he had been someone who respected women, he would have known how nervous and uncomfortable women would be in an enclosed private space like that with a male-bodied person and he would have used the unisex bathroom.

For men like this, it is all or nothing. he either gets his way every single time or else people are being transphobic and must be sued or arrested or, if they are radfems, they should be beaten, raped, or killed for their horrible offense of knowing, seeing, the truth.

Sex is not gender, ladies and gentlemen. Sex is a class and women are at the bottom of that class, dominated by men in a patriarchal society that will always put men first. Gender is a social construct that is taught to all of us through socialization and it re-enforces sex stereotypes in an effort to keep the female class on the bottom of the heap.

My hope is that more women stop choking on the kool-aid these men are shoving down their throats and wake up to see that we are the equivalent of the human batteries in the Matrix. We are sold a bill of goods from the moment we hit this world and waking up out of that coma is not only hard, for some women it is almost impossible. But more and more of us are waking up everyday and realizing that sex matters. Our sex matters; and giving up our rights for the sake of men is not something we should be blindly accepting, it is something we should be fighting against tooth and fucking nail.