Vlog Post 2: Here, I Talk About “Misgendering”

Good afternoon, sisters! This is my next vlog post at youtube. It’s on “misgendering,” which, honestly, isn’t even a real thing, much less suicide-inducing!

If you like my videos, would you mind voting them up at youtube? I am getting down votes & have no trouble imagining transgenders & other members of their cult voting my videos down, en masse! :o/

I hope you like this one! Let me hear from you, 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?

 

 

 

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.

The Bullshit Surrounding Butches and Male Pronouns

You know, this whole craziness with butches and the use of male pronouns on-line started out innocently enough. There we were, back in the day, flocking to  AOL and/or gay.com chat rooms: tons of lesbians connecting from all over the country and world. There weren’t many butch-femme chat rooms and those in existence weren’t populated by that many women (side note: when I say woman in this post, I mean a biologic female), so most of us hung out in the lesbian chat rooms; because, hello, we were all lesbians. Note that this was well before “lesbian” became a bad word.

While some women had pretty obvious names that let others know if they were butch or femme, a lot didn’t and it caused a lot of confusion. So somewhere along the line, people started calling butches “hy” as a way to recognize that this was a masculine person who was not a man; and “he” was used as well, sometimes as an alternative, sometimes as a preference.

I, myself never used either because (a) I am a woman, (b) I really hate made up and misspelled words, and (c) it felt wrong and stupid calling another woman “he.”

Again, this was JUST on-line. I never ever heard anyone in real life refer to butches with male pronouns.

Unfortunately, that innocent beginning snowballed into this massive cluster fuck of pronouns where everyone has their own opinion as to what butches should or should not be called. Most people, femmes and butches alike, default to “he/hy” for ALL butches, even those who they know have expressed a preference for female pronouns.

Then, there are those butches who prefer to be called “she” but don’t mind being called “he.” This attitude about it really pisses me off because this way of thinking reinforces the default to “he/hy.” It helps to reinforce the invisibility of the woman in the butch.

When butches who prefer “he/hy” are accidentally called “she,” they flip their shit. It’s like the world is ending for them because someone called them “she” or “ma’am” or whatever. A battle ensues, people are accused of “feminizing,” etc. It’s crazy.

On the other hand, those who prefer to be called “she” are expected to love being called “he/hy.” We are supposed to feel honored and happy that someone has just ignored the fact that we are women and created this cloak of invisibility around us under the guise of “respect;” and god help us if we try to correct the person using the incorrect pronouns. You would think we suddenly grew a third nipple in the middle of our forehead or something!

The deeper issue here is, of course, misogyny. Male privilege tells us that women, in this and many other societies, are considered less than. Men are considered better, stronger, faster, and smarter than women. Men have almost all of the power in politics, men compromise almost all of the top corporate positions, men are considered to be the leaders of the world. A man’s opinion is considered to be the only one that matters and god help the woman who dares to stand up to him and tell him he is full of shit.

Because women are considered less than, calling someone (particularly a man) a pussy or a bitch or a girl is considered an insult. In that same vein, calling a butch “she” is also considered an insult.

So since woman is the insult, then man is the compliment. The number one compliment for FtMs or male-ID butches (my god, how that term is SUCH an oxymoron!) is that they are called “sir” in public by straight people. Their ultimate horror is for someone to use female pronouns when speaking to/about them; or an even WORSE thing to have happen to them is to be “feminized” (more misogyny).

Continuing on the thought that being a woman is an insult and being a man is a compliment, then butches, who are masculine women, are then supposed to LOVE being referred to with male pronouns; and if we don’t like it, we just have to suck it up and/or fuck off because that’s just the way it is.

It’s all just so fucking heteronormative and misogynistic. Calling us “he/hy” doesn’t just make the women that we are invisible and it doesn’t just perpetuate the misogynistic view that women are less than, it also makes other people start to actually SEE US AS MEN.

Suddenly, all of the erotica written by femmes and butches has “he” and “she” in it, as if it were about a heterosexual couple. All of the things butches are expected to do are all male related: fixing cars, loving sports, drinking a beer with our hand down our pants while watching the game and bitching at “our woman” to make us a sandwich, etc.

In everyone’s eyes, we BECOME men! This is why so many non-femme/butch lesbians assume that butches and femmes are simply emulating straight couples. How could they NOT think that when all of the butches and femmes are calling butches “he” and expecting us to take out the trash and complete our honey-do list?

It all starts with words. Words are very very powerful and when we are not careful, something as innocent as trying to tell who is who in a chat room can snow ball into all of us falling back into the same old bullshit where femmes treat us like men, straight people and other lesbians think we all want to be men, and the young butches coming out today all think they have to transition because, hell, if they are masculine, then they MUST be men, right?

That, right there, is part of why I decided to stop with the silence and start speaking up about these issues: those young butches out there who think their only choice in life is to transition.

It’s time to change our way of thinking. It’s time to stop using male pronouns for women and denying who we are. It’s time to stop comparing butches to men and treating us as if we think and behave like men. Men don’t own masculinity and it’s time we stopped pretending that they do.

It’s time to stop female invisibility.

What ARE you, anyway? She or he?

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I saw this on Facebook yesterday and it made me think of all those times when a woman around me clearly thought I was a man and treated me as such by clutching her purse, looking over her shoulder, distancing herself from me, etc. On the one hand, I applaud women protecting themselves. After all, men are the number one cause of violence against and death of women; so, yes, please make sure you are mindful of the men around you who you think might do you harm.

On the other hand, when this and a thousand other little things like it happen to me daily, I can’t help but feel invisible in this patriarchal world. People, in general, see the hat and the “men’s” clothing and they automatically see a man standing before them, while the woman who is actually there is completely invisible.

As a Butch, I am invalidated by the straight community, shunned by parts of the lesbian community, and outright mocked by the trans community. The straight community thinks I should be more feminine, parts of the lesbian community think I just want to be a man, and the trans community thinks I am a transman in denial who should just transition already.

But I am a woman.

Butches are women.

We were born women and we were raised women in a male dominated society.

We may be masculine, but we are still women.

True, there are some butches who like to play the pronoun game on-line by demanding that everyone use male pronouns when talking to them. These are women who feel like they cannot be masculine unless they are as close to being male as a woman can possibly get, which includes using male pronouns. These are butches who live completely in the binary that the patriarchy has forced down all of our throats and with which the patriarchy has blinded so many of us into thinking that only men can be masculine and only women can be feminine.

This way of thinking and being is troublesome for butches as it perpetuates the invalidation of the women that we truly are. It continues to make us invisible in this world and creates a false sense of security for those butches who take on male pronouns; as if they are somehow now immune to what the world at large truly thinks of us because they make people call them “he” on-line.

This has also caused a shift in the butch-femme community where most femmes on-line use male pronouns with butches as the default. The very people who know us best, the women who have always seen us and have always been there for us now see only the maleness and no longer see the women that we are. It’s as if, suddenly the yin is invisible to the yang, making neither whole.

In the real world, of course, this does not happen. Butches are all women and we embrace the women that we are, accepting and relishing in the use of female pronouns; but on-line, we are bombarded with male pronouns and treated as if we are strange for not accepting and embracing them as our own.

Butches are not men.

Butches don’t want to be men.

Butches don’t want to be compared to men in any way, shape, or form.

We are women who love women.

Period.