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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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.

Follow-up to “Ass”uming Butches Into Extinction

Since there were, understandably, a lot of questions about how this butch woman, Doffy, responded to her doctor’s gross misjudgment of who she was as a person, I thought I would follow-up with that information.

I would first like to point out that yes, I know this person, she is a real human being, she is a butch lesbian, and she took and posted the pic herself.

Secondly, As you will see in one of my pics that I will post here, I would like to add that Doffy had absolutely no problem with sharing every inch of the picture, including all of her personal information. The decision to redact personal information including her address, phone number, date of birth, and hospital record number, as well as the doctors’ names, and the hospital she visited was mine and mine alone. It is one thing to say, sure I am fine with you posting whatever, but it is an entirely different beast to have every piece of your personal information posted out onto the internet like that. So I decided her name was enough; and while I am in possession of both the original pic and the redacted version, I still feel that way.

Now that those bits of information are out of the way, on to her response.

When Doffy originally posted this information, a mutual friend of ours asked her what a lot of people are asking: “This was outrageous! How did you respond?”

I was quite vocal at the registration desk. I said with a loudish voice…I am NOT trans, I do NOT take drugs to look this handsome and I have fallopian tubes…the secretary looked at me like I had 3 heads and laughed a bit. Said she’d make sure to note it…which she did not…and I said “I am surprised that the medical industry would assume without question! I am taking my drug free fallopian tubes to the waiting area”

Later, she followed up with:

But dont be mad or upset on this account. I made sure to inform the entire registry office and the registry office in the triage AND the 5 doctors and 3 nurses that I am in fact female… that the doctor who wrote the chart was obviously and easily confused. And the fact that she (the doctor who wrote that without questioning me) did not even order an x-ray on a finger cut to the bone and that that very finger is broken…only proved my point of incompetence both medically and physiologically.

When I was thinking about posting about this, our mutual friend asked Doffy for her permission to post the pic of her chart notes and she responded with the following texts:

 

 Doffy-text-1Doffy-text-2

 

As you can see, she was OK with posting the pic containing all of her personal identification and even had a sense of humor about the whole incident; but that’s what we women do, isn’t it? Sure, we get mad in the moment that it happens, but later we laugh it off as someone’s silly mistake. That is part of what makes this so dangerous and why I felt such a need to post about it. We women need to stand up and know that it is OK to be angry in situations like this, that we can be offended about someone catering to the patriarchy like that and it is OK to do so.

What Doffy went through can happen to any of us who don’t succumb to societal pressure and conform to the binary way of thinking and being. When I was discussing this last night, a horrible thought occurred to me: what if this butch lesbian had been unconscious or unresponsive when she was brought into the ER and the assumption that she was a trans man had been made? It is clear from the texts, that her doctor didn’t do any kind of checking with Doffy when it came to meds. So, what if she were unconscious and they decided to be “helpful” and prescribe this, in their misinformed opinion, “John Doe” testosterone for the duration of her stay at the hospital?

I realize I am taking this to an extreme, but if something like that is even a possibility, how frightening is that for butch lesbians or for any woman who doesn’t conform?

Guest Post — A Black Butch Speaks: Addressing Female Oppression by Pippa Fleming

This is a fantastic analogy on how we treat young black and butch girls who hate their bodies and wish to change things about themselves in order to become more like the rest of society instead of being taught to love themselves and their bodies, society be damned.

 

As lesbians and especially as butches, we need to step out more, be more visible, let our voices be heard, and even mentor a young butch struggling with her body and how it does not conform to society’s standards.

 

Society needs to change, not the individual it chooses not to accept.

Bev Jo -- Radical Lesbian Feminist writing

A Black Butch Speaks: Addressing Female Oppression

Guest Post by Pippa Fleming

I’ve been holding silence for quite some time but now it’s time for me to speak.

When a Black child presents with signs of internalized racism, we want to protect them. We want them to know they are perfect as they are and loved for exactly who they are. If we are conscience Black folks, we try to infuse our young people with the knowledge, skills, wisdom and support necessary, so they may survive and thrive in this racist society.

If little Lakesha comes home with “mommy I hate being Black and I want to be white” we are shocked, dismayed and sadden by her self loathing and rush to find the source of her oppression. Is it school, the media, her peers, society or all of the above?

So why when little butch Lakesha comes home with…

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