Vlog Post 4: Lesbian Erasure

Good afternoon, sisters! This is my 4th vlog post at youtube.

Here I talk about Lesbian Erasure.

Oh & you get to meet my 4th dog: Sallybear, my other Taiwan Mountain dog. I changed her name from Ming Li, which is what the Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) named her when they rescued her. I think Sally suits her better. 😉

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!

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!

The Thing About Third Sex, Cis, and TERF

Here’s the thing. Do you know how I know that transgenders do not really believe there are more than two sexes and that they are somehow another, third sex? Men who claim to be women aren’t out there trying to garner donations and support for healthcare on behalf of a third sex. They are not creating new medical spaces, shelters, prison wards, etc. for a third sex. They are not trying to create spaces where this third sex can go to get away from the oppressive men who threaten them, beat them, rape them, and kill them. Nope. What are these men doing? They are trying to take away spaces from women. They are trying to take away medical services from women. They are trying to take over spaces designated for women like bathrooms, changing rooms, prisons, shelters, etc.

Do you know how I know that “cis” is nothing more than a slur? Just listen to them when they try to explain why we should all be embracing “cis.” Listen to them as they tell us, with straight faces, that we are all comfortable with our bodies, comfortable with our sexes and the sexual stereotypes that go with them, and comfortable with our “gender presentations,” whatever they are. While they are saying all of that out of one side of their face, they are spitting the term at us with phrases like, “Die Cis Scum!” This was a term created to other women because some straight white men with a fetish for being seen as women felt othered when they were called trans women and not simply, women. So they, being men, had to take their frustrations out on women and coined the term “cis” in order to other everyone else, so they could feel special and dominant again.

Do you know how I know that “TERF” is simply a slur against women? Well, aside from the fact that many transactivists have admitted that it is a slur, I mean. Well, I actually wrote a whole post on this, but it boils down to this: when you create a term to describe me and you center that term around yourself, you are doing it wrong. My life is not centered on you. I am not trans-centered. I am woman-centered. I am Pro-Woman. So creating a label that you are now going to force down my throat while crying about how I had better not label you in any way but that which you deem appropriate or else you will set me on fire or whatever, you are using that label as a slur.

I keep hearing about how if we take away their ability to use “cis” and “TERF,” then we are crippling trans people in how they interact with, well, people in general. This is simply not true. I am a woman. Period. That’s it. I am not “cis” anything and I am certainly not a “TERF;” but those two labels keep being forced onto me by a group of people who only want to self-label and damn everyone who don’t give them that right. Anyone else see the irony here?

I don’t understand why this is so hard for transgenders to understand. “Cis” doesn’t describe us, “woman” does; and “TERF” is a hateful slur designed to silence women, which I guess is why they keep using it. But, even though we keep telling them that and keep telling them we are offended by these terms (because with these professional victims, you have to use victim language to get them to understand), they disrespect us by continually using it and then get mad when we won’t use “proper” pronouns!

So that’s how I know these things, dear reader. There is nothing about their own safety, their own healthcare, their own spaces because they want what women have; and they keep using “cis” and “TERF” quite simply because they are slurs that they can use to silence and gaslight women. They want to self-label and still have the control to label us. They want to take our spaces because, right now, they don’t can can’t have them.

Put simply, men want what they don’t or can’t have and they want to have the right to continue to control women even when they call themselves women.

 

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?

 

 

 

The Real Goal of Male Transgenders or Trans “Women”

Here’s the thing. The real goal of male transgenders, or trans “women,” if you will is not to be or become women, it is not to be safe from other men, it is not to join women in the fight against the patriarchy. It is simply: to control women.

I was approached on Twitter the other day (accosted really, since he bombarded my feed with tweets even after it was clear I had him blocked) by a male transgender who, after reading my post about the term “TERF” being a slur, had nothing to say about the term “TERF” nor had he any remorse for using a word that a woman (actually, women, plural) was telling him was a slur. He also stated quite emphatically that men were not the problem; because in my post, I mentioned how women feeling safe was a main issue of wanting to have our own spaces and when I mentioned how some male transgenders argue for the same safe spaces, I said that they should create their own spaces because men were their problem as much as ours and we should not bear the brunt of their needs for safe spaces by losing our own.

No, this man was not concerned about using a slur or especially about no longer using it (a perusal of his Twitter after blocking him showed me that he continued to use it as a slur), nor was he concerned about safety from men. His main and, well, only concern was that women see him as a woman. That’s the crux of the issue, isn’t it? Male transgenders don’t want to change the violent ways of men, especially since so many male transgenders are, themselves, violent men. They don’t want protection from said violent men and they of course would never advocate for women to be safe from violent men. No what they want, what they have always wanted is to control women, to make us call them by the names and pronouns that they choose while they force us to be called the names that we do not choose (read: they are hypocrites). These men want to force lesbians to have sex with them by shaming us into accepting the penis as a female body part and that we are bigots if we do not fuck them. These men want to force us to give up our personal and private spaces so that they can have them instead; not for their own safety, but simply because they want them. These men want to force women to see them as women even though our own common sense, science, and biology, hell our own eyes tell us differently. The goal of these men has not been to be safe from violence and share spaces under that common need, it is and always has been to control women. Period.

Here’s the thing, dear reader: if these male transgenders really believed they were women, they would not need confirmation from women. They would not need confirmation from anyone because they would know they are women. Does it piss me off when people see me as a man and don’t see the woman that I am? Of course! It makes me feel invisible as a woman. But I am still a woman, regardless of what others see. Their inability to see that at first glance does not negate the fact that I am a woman. I do not need other people to confirm that fact for me.

Another thing: I am a woman who is very woman-centric; and no, I do not believe that is because I am a lesbian, as I think any woman can be woman centric, regardless of her sexual and/or intimate partners. By woman-centric, I mean I put women first. I advocate for female causes, I donate to women’s shelters, I fight for women’s rights to have women-only spaces, etc. I even buy books by women authors, try to shop at women owned businesses when I can, and even hired a woman when I need to get things done on my property. You don’t see this with male transgenders. They are all still male centric. Even their name for us, “TERF,” is male centric because is supposes that we are centering our wanting to be around other females as an anti-trans thing. The very term is flawed not just because it is a slur used to silence women and not just because not all of us are radical feminists. No, this term is flawed for the very simple reason that it centers us around transgenders when we are not. We are women-centered.

But we all know that male transgenders were born male, socialized as male, and have male privilege, whether external (recognized as male by society), internal (the feelings of privilege they hold), or both. When I say they are male-centric, I mean that they center everything on being male. They come at women instead of to women, they try to dominate women, conversations, and situations, they don’t respect women, female causes or issues, and they could care less about women’s rights.

We even see this kind of behavior and worse from some of the men who have had surgeries to create some sort of facsimile of a woman out of their bodies. They still need outside confirmation. They still act like the men they were socialized to be from birth. They still treat women the same. Look at Janet Mock. Here is a man who is held up as the ideal trans “woman,” who other male transgenders consider the end of the rainbow, where they want to be themselves, who, we all assume, had the surgeries to make him into a Frankenstein-esque version of a woman; but he is still a sexist, misogynistic asshole who clearly has no respect for and, in fact, hates women. That is the man he was socialized to become and a few hormones and surgeries didn’t take those misogynistic feelings away, nor did they change how badly he treats women.

So here’s what I don’t understand, dear reader. Why do women keep falling for this? I mean, intellectually I can understand that women are socialized, conditioned to believe that men are more important, their opinions, wants, needs, etc. matter more than our own. But I still have a hard time grasping how so many women can be so blind to what these men are really doing. In my opinion, it isn’t that they can’t see it, but that they won’t see it. They refuse to see it because they are so conditioned and socialized to clear the way for men that they refuse to see what these men are really doing: trying to control women from the inside.

We saw the same kinds of things in the LGB movement for years and years: lesbians standing up with gay men for male causes, but when it came time to step up for women’s causes, there were no gay men to be seen. Even though we were lesbians and therefore had no need for men in our lives, we were still women and therefore socialized to put men and men’s needs first and foremost.

I do have hope though. I mean, more lesbians have opened their eyes over the years to see that the gay rights movement has actually been the gay male rights movement, so I have hope that more and more women will open their eyes and see that these men are not and cannot become women. These are men still trying to control, dominate, harass, and violate women. They are just doing it under the disguise of “being” women.

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.