Why, God? Why dost thou torment me with this level of idiocy?
Oh, wait, it’s not God, it’s men who think they are God(dess).
Since I apparently have no life and nothing better to do with my time, I decided to explore a funfem site to hear about the current state of transactivism right from the horse’s ass…I mean, mouth. That’s when I encounter this gem, which I will not be linking to but which you are welcome to Google and read on Feministing: My Auntie Buffalo Bill: The Unavoidable Transmisogyny of “Silence of the Lambs.”
His comments are in italics. My comments are in bold. I read this garbage so you don’t have to. You’re welcome. Prepare to be horrified.
“Last week, our friends at Bitch Media published an ill-advised article celebrating the 25th anniversary of Silence of the Lambs and praising Clarice Starling as an influential feminist hero. Like too many feminist takes on the film, this article relegates discussion of Buffalo Bill and the “transphobia inherent in the character” to a side note at the end of a long piece, treating the villain who motivates the entire story as an unfortunate problematic element “that doesn’t stand the test of time.” This ahistorical dismissal of one of the most significant and impactful examples of pop culture transmisogyny — all so cis feminists can claim Clarice as a hero — is wildly inappropriate in a feminist publication, given that the film’s feminist metaphors are so directly linked to the legacy of transmisogynistic feminism.”
Count me as a feminist, and general, fan of “Silence of the Lambs.” It’s truly one of the best films in the horror and suspense genre, and as you apparently don’t know, it is based on a true story. You also apparently don’t know that feminism isn’t about men like yourself, but I will agree with you on one point. It is deeply inappropriate for a feminist publication to relegate the cross-dressing villain to a side note “that doesn’t stand the test of time.” The fetishism of the killer, far from being a side note, drives the entire movie. Far from being a side note, it drove the serial killer, Ed Gein, who inspired the film. Fetishism drives (primarily male) sexual predators to this day. A deep hatred and dehumanization of women permeates the psyche of the villain, which is not to be ignored by the female protagonist nor the viewing audience. As for not standing the test of time, our villain most certainly has done exactly that. Women are rapidly losing the rights and capital the feminist movement has gained to men in the guise of transgender activism. Women are losing the right to assemble only with women, are losing the right to have private, safe spaces away from biological males, and it is precisely to accommodate the manipulative and sociopathic elements of male transgenders who use these legal loopholes to indulge their fetish. A fetish shared by many if not most male serial killers of women, including Ed Gein. The fetish is no side note, nor is it an anachronism. It is a living, breathing reflection of our culture.
“Far from inadvertently stumbling upon a transmisogynistic supervillan, Silence of the Lambs actually actively promoted a transmisogynistic idea, birthed by people operating under the feminist label, that trans women are the ultimate representation of male violence. I know the people at Bitch want their feminism to be inclusive of trans women. But they can’t do that by ignoring the real harm that’s been done to us by cis-feminism. Silence of the Lambs is so fundamentally a work of transmisogyny, one that advances ideas so inextricably tied to transmisogynistic Janice Raymond-style cis-feminism, that any truly feminist engagement with this film must grapple with these issues.”
Aaaaand…we must once again make it all about you, all about men. What else is new? Anyhow, these people of whom you speak are not operating under the feminist label. They are the feminist label, and contrary to your claim, none of them has argued that transwomen are the ultimate representation of male violence. Feminism has long supported gender nonconformity in both men and women, and if this was the goal of the transgender movement, feminism and transactivism would be in agreement. The problem is that transactivism has enabled, if not outright encouraged, men to use the cloak of gender nonconformity, stealing the “born this way, it’s who I am” rhetoric of the gay/lesbian movement, to practice their fetish at women’s expense. And don’t tell me this has not happened. This article, which all but romanticizes a sadistic, misogynistic serial killer, is exhibit A. Exhibit B are the prominent transactivists who are sex offenders. Exhibit C is the total inability or unwillingness to admit the cancer in their movement, that many of their members are sexist and homophobic, are motivated by sexual fetishism, and have criminal tendencies. Exhibit D is the constant insults, personal attacks, doxxing, stalking, and rape and death threats that go totally unchecked in the trans community. Need I go on? I have already grappled with the transphobia issue, sir, and I suggest that maybe you need to grapple with the issue that is the damage done to women, girls, and sex-based protections and women’s safety due to transgender activism.
“Rather than a minor aspect of a film from the ancient past of 1991 “that doesn’t stand the test of time,” Silence of the Lambs‘ transmisogyny was a major issue at the time of its release and part of the impetus for Queer Nation’s protest of the 1992 Academy Awards, where the film won big and activists clashed with police in riot gear. If feminists today think this aspect of the film can be relegated to a slight head nod, that suggests its bigotry is actually less of a controversial issue now than it was at the time of release.”
There is, indeed, a problem that has grown since 1991, but it’s not transphobia, it is sexism against born women…which you are not. As much as I have grown to hate the queer movement over the past few years, it is a small comfort to realize that this is not new, that we have weathered this storm at least since 1991 if there were protests from the queer community over transgenderism from that time. At that time, however, there was a willingness from feminists and gays/lesbians to remain distinct, to speak their truth, and to actually agree to view, and praise, a movie like this. In this day and age, a movie like that probably wouldn’t even have been made, and it would probably not have received the accolades it deserved over this very issue if it were made. The producers and actors would have probably been bombarded with threats, faced a boycott and possibly career ruin if they undertook such a project today.
“Bitch’s article argues that Thomas Harris, author of the novel Silence of the Lambs is based on, “tried to dodge the transphobia inherent in the character by having Hannibal claim he isn’t trans at all.” The article calls this a “clumsy feint” before going on to accept the premise that Bill may not be trans by repeatedly referring to her as “queer.” The notion that this aspect of the story is a mess is used to brush it off as an issue that is not central to feminist analysis of the film. But this is no mess: the explanations for why Bill isn’t trans are, in fact, an accurate depiction of how medical gatekeepers tried to keep trans women they did not think would “pass” as acceptable women from transitioning.”
First of all, Buffalo Bill and Ed Gein were male. The pronouns are “he” and “him.” Moving on, I actually agree that having Hannibal deny his trans identity is a problem for the story, but not in the way that you might think. Whether an individual denies that he is transgender to distance himself from fetishistic killers, or insists he is transgender to hide behind “feminine essence/brain sex” theory and thus obscure the sexual motivations that fuel him (and coincidentally, fetishistic killers), the problem is that talk is cheap. Anyone can say anything. Men can make whatever claims are expedient for them, whether it involves denying trans identity, invoking trans identity, or invoking the “No True Transwoman” to excuse sex crimes in the trans community. Ultimately, what makes the difference is not what a man says, but how he behaves. Whether he is trans or not trans, queer or not queer, Buffalo Bill, Ed Gein, Hannibal, all of these characters and their various incarnations are a horrifying and intractable danger to women and, unfortunately, they happen to share a great deal in common with mainstream transactivists, something said activists refuse to do anything about.
As for the gatekeeping, the whole idea behind transitioning for the old school transsexual was to live as a woman. If you cannot pass as a woman and therefore not be accepted as a woman, it makes no sense to transition. Gatekeeping is standard in the medical profession to make sure that people receiving treatments are good candidates. And the majority of “transwomen” are heterosexual males who are driven by fetishism and who are not convincing as women, with or without transition services. These men need to be aware that the treatments they are asking for are unlikely to produce the desired result (realistic appearance as a woman, sex appeal), and thus would be both unacceptably risky and a waste of money. It has nothing to do with transphobia. I would love to take medications that prevent migraine episodes, but they are only approved for patients with chronic migraine, which I do not meet the criteria for. This means I would be spending more money and risking paralysis and other serious side effects when I could benefit more, with less risk, from taking sumatriptan. UV light therapy is an approved treatment for severe eczema, but patients with Fitzpatrick skin types I and II, or with a history of melanoma, will probably not be approved for that treatment because the risks outweigh the benefits. This is medical gatekeeping, intended to serve the patients’ best interests, and is not about prejudice.
“At the time of Silence of the Lambs’ release, medical gatekeepers decided who got to transition and who didn’t based on incredibly sexist and homophobic criteria.”
Transgender ideology is, itself, homophobic and sexist at its core, so of course transition services are going to use prejudiced criteria to ensure an accurate implementation of the parent ideology. That’s a feature, not a bug, my friend.
“Medical professionals divided those who came to them seeking to transition and live as women into two groups: transvestites and “true” transsexuals. Classification systems tended to divide trans women based on sexuality, but always came back to variations of these two broad categories.”
There is a reason for that, based on solid, long-standing research. Motivation for transition determines the success of transition, and a simple desire to dress as the opposite sex isn’t sufficient to justify the radical interventions employed for sex change. To even remotely justify such drastic body modification (still not sufficient, in my view, nothing is), you need to at least prove that you are actually incurably unhappy, i.e. dysphoric, about your unmodified body. Hell, hairdressers recommend that you wear a wig first before getting a drastic cut. How much more important is it to “be sure” when the cuts being made are surgical and permanent?
“Gender identity clinics determined who could transition: those who wanted genital surgery”
Of course…why seek medical services if your ultimate goal doesn’t involve genital surgery? Otherwise, you could simply be a gender nonconforming male and be done with it.
“Who didn’t disclose major trauma and mental health issues”
Duh…it’s better to make life-changing decisions based on facts and reason, not on feelings, however valid, that are malleable, temporary and not always reality-based.
“Who would live as straight women”
In other words, they needed to be gay men escaping dysphoria and homophobia, not straight men with a fantasy fetish and a desire to prey on women for gratification. That’s just sound medical ethics, as far as transition goes.
“Who would be passive and demure like women should be”
This is pure fiction. This is all in his head, and probably serves as an excuse for the narcissistic rage that so many straight men feel when their delusions are not validated by the women they are obsessed with. They can just claim that they are the ultimate strong, independent, opinionated women, the feminist ideal, speaking their minds and not being nice. See how that works?
“Who would leave their pasts behind them, fabricating a new history for themselves (gee, I wonder where the idea of deceptive trans women comes from)”
Another work of pure fiction. A “true transsexual” probably wouldn’t broadcast her past to the world, but has nothing to lose by being honest about her history with people she trusts. It is autogynephiles that are routinely dishonest about their history, who throw around accusations of “deadnaming” because they don’t want their history to be known, who claim that they were always women and have no male privilege, who use transition to cover a previous criminal history and blame that history on the alternate male personality, etc.
“And who could “pass” and achieve some level of normative attractiveness (that is, those who were hot enough in the eyes of gatekeepers). It’s not hard to look at the diagnostic criteria and see male gatekeepers dividing and categorizing trans women into those who should and should not be permitted to transition based on who these medical professionals wanted to fuck.”
Of course it’s all about transphobia. It couldn’t possibly be that doctors want patients to have realistic expectations for the results of their transition (the expectation being that very few men, especially straight men, can pass reliably as women). Or ensuring that the men who will now be occupying women’s space aren’t threatening, hulking figures that will intimidate born women. No, that couldn’t possibly be it.
“In the 80s and 90s, when feminism had led to generations of women who actively rejected regressive gender norms, trans women were required to conform to 50s housewife stereotypes.”
Huh? It is transactivists who insist that being a woman is defined by old sexist stereotypes, such that conforming to those stereotypes is sufficient to justify using spaces intended for the opposite sex, no body modification or gatekeeping required. Otherwise, how does one define gender identity? I am far from the first person to ask this, and so far, I have yet to see a satisfactory answer. It is feminists who challenge this idea, stating that it is *biology* that determines a person’s sex, and everything else is voluntary…not gatekeeping or body modification required. No tests or qualifications necessary to be a masculine or androgynous biological woman, or a feminine or androgynous biological man. There is a legitimate gripe here, but it does not belong at the feet of feminists.
“In discussing a profile of Buffalo Bill with Hannibal Lecter, Clarice explicitly states that, “there is no correlation between transsexualism and violence. Transsexuals are very passive,” expressing one of the sexist requirements to access a diagnosis.”
Transsexuals historically were very feminine gay men, much more feminine even than the average female peer. As such, they probably were very passive. Furthermore, there is no significant correlation between this group and violent or criminal behavior, and it’s partly because they are so rare.
“Hannibal agrees that Bill fails to meet this stereotype: “Billy is not a real transsexual. But he thinks he is. He tries to be. He’s tried to be a lot of things, I expect.” This is not supposed to be Hannibal the cruel monster but Dr. Lecter the psychiatric expert accurately representing the views of his field.
These views remain, at least partially, the accurate views of this field…flawed though they may be, they are far more accurate than the queer versions propagated today.
“Hannibal points Clarice to the three main centers for “transsexual surgery” in the US, saying Bill likely applied for surgery and was rejected.”
Good. They ought to do more of this in real life.
“We even learn that Bill and Hannibal met at least once, after Bill had murdered a “transient” and was referred to Dr. Lecter by her boyfriend Benjamin Raspail, who Bill later murdered. Hannibal kept Benjamin’s severed head, which Bill had dressed up in drag, and gives Clarice hints for how to find it.”
Exactly the kinds of crimes committed by autogynephiles…hence why they should not be allowed to transition to hide their past or access women’s spaces. Old news.
“After this, Bill’s violence apparently focused exclusively on cis women and using them to make what Clarice calls a “woman suit.” “Our Billy wasn’t born a criminal, Clarice,” says Hannibal. “He was made one through years of systematic abuse. Billy hates his own identity, you see, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual. But his pathology is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying.” Yes, even more savage and terrifying than being a transsexual. The horror.”
Blatant misrepresentation of what was actually said. No one said being a transsexual was horrifying or that transsexuals were evil people. It’s obvious (at least to those not looking to be offended) that our character was saying, “It’s not the transsexuality that was the problem, but the motivation and expression of the transsexuality.” I do have an issue with this passage, however. I agree that people like Billy are made, not born, and I agree that abuse plays a role…but so does genetics. What about male socialization, and the sexualization and violence that go along with it? How about that little thing called “personal responsibility” and “having a conscience.” In fact, I think the latter are the most important players here. But you don’t care about those things. It’s easier, like Hannibal and Billy, to blame others.
“Experience of abuse was indeed used to bar patients from transitioning;”
Ties into what I said earlier about making decisions based on fact and sound reasoning, not emotion…also making sure you try all other avenues before going for the most invasive, most permanent one. Again, standard.
“Not considered abuse here is the cruelty of medical gatekeepers whose rejection of Bill seems to have been her impetus to begin murdering and skinning cis women.”
Wow, straight from the horse’s ass. Not getting what you want is an excuse for torture, mutilation and murder. And I am not supposed to object to these people claiming affiliation with me, or cornering me in a bathroom or shower?
“In lines cut from the final film, Hannibal talks about Bill being too big to transition, which is why she finds fat women to skin. This is an excellent representation of both the requirement that trans women be normatively attractive to male gatekeepers and of the obvious double standard of requirements to be a woman placed on trans women: in this case that fat cis women can exist, but fat trans women cannot.”
Not at all what was being said. The size issue is about men’s stature…the fact that they are taller, have a larger bone structure and muscle mass, and are all around larger (not fatter) than women and therefore are not convincing as women. Also likely to be intimidating in women’s private spaces.
“The medical establishment’s pathologizing of trans women is not something buried in the past, and its parallels with gender essentialist transmisogynistic feminism are still visible today. Ray Blanchard, an influential leader in the field of medicalizing trans women, put forward the two categories of homosexual transsexuals and autogynephilic transsexuals. Homosexual transsexuals were patients who would transition to be straight women (yes, the very category itself is misgendering.)”
What was that about obscuring the past again, sir? Leaving the past behind? Who is it that wants to hide the fact that you were not always what you seem today? Also, it’s not misgendering to indicate that a transsexual had a non-female past. After all, without that past, there would not be a need for transition. You would just be cis, and therefore couldn’t lord your fictional oppression over actual women.
“Autogynephiles were those who were sexually aroused by the idea of being a woman. That’s it: you could be a good straight (but homosexual) girl or have a paraphilia. The concept of autogynephilia has had a cruel impact on trans women who aren’t straight, telling us our genders are actually just sexual perversions.”
Truth hurts, doesn’t it? I guess it’s time to play the suicide card. Or maybe make a suit out of women’s skins.
“These ideas are not buried in the past, either. The current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), which contains official psychiatric diagnoses, has changed Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria. But this does not mean trans people are no longer disordered in the DSM, which also includes Transvestic Disorder, a diagnosis that pathologizes trans women and crossdressers alike. As Julia Serano explained, “Transvestic Disorder can be applied to any person who is sexually active while wearing clothing incongruent with their birth-assigned sex.”
This is dishonest and everyone knows it. Gay men are famous for their gender nonconformity and they are never diagnosed as fetishistic cross-dressers. The transvestite label is reserved for a very specific type of cross-dresser, who becomes sexually aroused by himself as a biological woman (a highly sexualized version at that), not being a standard feminine man.
“Ray Blanchard chaired the paraphilia subgroup for the DSM-V, so of course he got Autogynephelia included as a modifier of Transvestic Disorder. The sexism of these ideas is extreme. Autoandriphelia, or a female assigned person being aroused by the thought of being a man, was proposed but not included in the DSM-V. Blanchard told Vice he didn’t consider autoandriphilia a real thing: “No, I proposed it simply in order not to be accused of sexism, because there are all these women who want to say, ‘women can rape too, women can be pedophiles too, women can be exhibitionists too.’ It’s a perverse expression of feminism, and so, I thought, let me jump the gun on this. I don’t think the phenomenon even exists.”
A man that acknowledged the reality of male violence and refuses to smear women with those accusations. I have to say, I like it. Also, females and males are not assigned, they are observed. And if you don’t agree with Blanchard? Try showing us some evidence?
“Blanchard thinks of trans men as passive women”
“And non-straight trans women as potentially violent men.”
That’s non-gay, sir…and he’s right.
“Sexist and homophobic standards for transitioning still have a great impact today, even if they are not how many gatekeepers operate: I know plenty of trans women who hide abuse histories and other issues relevant to their medical care because they are worried about being denied access to transition.”
And ultimately, by going ahead with transition without addressing the core issues, the patients only hurt themselves. It is never a good idea to be dishonest with someone responsible for your care, for your life. This is not the fault of medical professionals. (Actually, the whole transsexual phenomenon is the fault of medical professionals, but those that do a modicum of gatekeeping are at least attempting to do the right thing).
“Transvestic Disorder’s inclusion in the DSM-V is not a major issue for some trans women who live in large cities and are able to access informed medical providers who don’t follow outdated approaches to care. But the existence of a diagnosis just sitting there, waiting to pathologize non-straight trans women, is still dangerous to many, especially those who are, for example, isolated in rural areas and don’t have access to informed professionals.”
Does a book really sit and wait to do anything? Do written words really have the power to pathologize, to inflict violence upon, or cause any material change in your condition? Is this not personification and magical thinking? Does it really surprise you that a doctor might not want to trust a patient who thinks this way with life-altering decisions?
“As the film goes on, Bill’s actions make it clear that she was not diagnosed as a “true” transexual because she’s in the category of autogynephile. This includes making a woman suit, an act of fetishizing the idea of having a female body. Hannibal tells Clarice the key to Bill’s pathology is to look at what he “covets:” the female body. The biggest confirmation, though, comes when Bill dances in front of a mirror to Goodbye Horses, wearing the scalp of one of her victims and a women’s robe that she removes to reveal her nude body, tattoos loaded with transformational symbolism, and finally that she has tucked her penis between her legs, the ultimate visualization – even more than the skin suit – of her perversion. “Would you fuck me?” Bill asks her reflection. “I’d fuck me. I’d fuck me hard. I’d fuck me so hard.” The text of the film actively paints Bill as an autogynephile, sexually aroused by the idea of herself as a woman, one of the key reasons she was rejected by gatekeepers when trying to access medical transition. And, it seems, one of those gatekeepers was Hannibal Lecter – can you even imagine?”
I and every other thinking, non-psychopathic person would be very glad to know this pervert is recognized for who he is, and not allowed to claim womanhood and invade women’s spaces. Why would such an obviously sexually addicted, delusional person be a good candidate for…well…anything except involuntary commitment? He is clearly of the mindset that being a woman is about being fucked…is that what womanhood is about? What was that about sex stereotypes again? Does that sound like a sincere gender identity to you?
“Far from a “dodge [of] the transphobia inherent in the character,” Bill’s diagnosis is based in homophobic transmisogyny. Bill doesn’t just represent the pathologizing of trans women, but the specific pathologizing and ungendering of non-straight trans women. To accept the film’s dismissal of Bill as not really trans — and take this as an argument against the film’s transmisogyny — is to also accept that many trans women – include bi trans women and trans dykes like myself – are not really trans.”
That’s because you’re not really trans. There is no such thing as trans. And you are not a dyke, trans or otherwise. Dykes are biological women exclusively attracted to other biological women. Too bad, so sad.
“While the category of autogynephile is a construct of the medical establishment, Bill’s disturbing violence is very much representative of bigoted and hateful ideas about trans women advanced in the name of feminism. In Janice Raymond’s seminal work of transmisogynistic feminism, the book The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male (written under the supervision of influential feminist Mary Daly) she argues, “”All transsexuals [she means transsexual women] rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves …. Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive.”
You can object to the wording, but the concept is accurate. When a group of people is oppressed on the basis of their biology or material condition, and a privileged individual adopts a facsimile of the traits marked for oppression, claiming to be a member of an oppressed class…what else is it? Furthermore, if you object to how transwomen are portrayed in media…maybe have a chat with the real-life transwoman inspiration for those portrayals and, maybe, develop some self-respect and distance yourself from them. That might help.
Raymond classified trans women’s very existence as an act of sexual violence against cis women, which supported the transmisogynistic feminist argument that trans women were violent men invading women’s spaces. These ideas were used by feminists to successfully exclude trans women from accessing women’s shelters and to successfully lobby to put legal healthcare exclusions in place.”
Biology is transphobic. Statistics are transphobic. Accuracy in crime reporting is transphobic. Freedom of association is transphobic. The truth is transphobic.
It is in no way an overstatement to say this work – which we have only very recently been successful in fighting – has led to the deaths of trans women.”
No, risky decision-making (like sex work), mental illness, and MEN have led to the deaths of transwomen. Freedom of speech has not.
“Bill’s woman suit is Raymond’s idea that, simply by existing, trans women “rape [cis] women’s bodies” made gruesome flesh. Silence of the Lambs functions as a myth or fairy tale, telling a story that is specifically about gendered archetypes. And this tale deploys a feminist idea of trans women as the ultimate representation of male violence.”
Again, not what was said. Transwomen aren’t the ultimate representation of male violence. Men and transwo(MEN) who indulge in sadistic sex crimes are the ultimate representation in male violence. Biological women do not generally do those things. That is statistical fact.
“The Bitch articles quotes Jody Foster speaking about the importance of her character:
“The thing I really love about Clarice Starling,” Foster said, a few months after the film’s release, “Is that this may be one of the first times that I have seen a female hero that is not a female-steroid version of Arnold Schwarzenegger… Clarice is very competent and she is very human. She combats the villain with her emotionality, [her] intuition, her frailty and vulnerability. I don’t think there has ever been a female hero like that.”
I concur. I would much rather have a Clarice than a video game Badass Feminist (TM) that SJWs are always moaning about. An actual person, you know?
“The article argues that Clarice is fundamentally good, in addition to her heroism being linked to traditional femininity. Clarice Starling has indeed had an undeniable influence on female heroes in pop culture in general. But this cannot be divorced from the fact that one of the two primary examples of male violence this impactful hero stands against is a trans woman.
I disagree that Clarice is all that traditionally feminine, but I agree she is fundamentally good because her character and her actions prove it. And her antagonist is an example of male violence, once again, repeat after me…not because he is a transwoman but because he is a sexual torture killer who mutilates corpses.
“Clarice does in fact follow the mythological hero’s journey in fairly traditional ways, though it is a woman here descending into hell – Bill’s basement – to rescue the damsel in distress. Clarice defeats Bill, who crumples to the ground, curled into a shaking form clearly meant to convey (an ableist vision of) monstrousness. And Clarice rescues femininity from the darkest depths of male violence: the lair of a trans woman.”
How exactly is defending yourself against a dangerous pervert, or accurately portraying him as a dangerous pervert, ableist? Where does ableism factor in? Is this another transactivist, SJW dog whistle, like racism, that you just throw around to make your opponents look bigoted? And for God’s sake, Clarice isn’t defending traditional femininity…she is protecting ACTUAL FEMALES, and herself, from a sexually dangerous person. Hello?
“Incidentally, if you were to write a feminist examination of Clarice, there’s a pitch for you: what does it mean that the story of this hero who is lauded as feminist is about cis feminist triumph over the perverse, sexualized violence supposedly inherent in trans women?”
The truth. Also, real feminism. You’re welcome.
“Silence of the Lambs had a major cultural impact that has lasted to this day. As such, I’m hard pressed to think of a trans woman I’ve discussed it with who hasn’t had to grapple with the hateful ideas in this film.”
Hateful? Like women being murdered and mutilated for a man’s sexual pleasure? Yeah, that’s just awful, isn’t it?
“For a while as a teen, it was one of my absolute favorite movies.”
So you had taste at one point. I suppose there is hope for you.
“Outside of the woman suit, I didn’t totally consciously grasp other aspects of Bill that were supposed to make her monstrous, like the scene of her tucking.”
Tucking doesn’t make him monstrous. I’m pretty sure it was torture, murder, and mutilation part and tucking was just a way for him to imitate his victims, part of a larger picture of obsession and delusion. Way to miss the point.
” I thought very naively for a time that the film didn’t affect my understanding of myself.”
And it shouldn’t affect your understanding of yourself, unless you are a future serial killer with a woman fetish.
“But then I look at my own history with feminism – for example, how I delayed medical transition because feminists told me I’d be supporting the medical establishment, an institution that has harmed women”
True. Also true is the fact that you are not female, never will be female, you would be appropriating womanhood, and at your own risk. There’s that too.
“(interestingly, this same argument did not apply to trans men seeking to transition).”
Actually, it does. If you knew anything about lesbian feminism, or radical feminism, you would have seen that phenomenon discussed at great length.
“This was just a piece of the version of Raymond’s twisted logic that was en vogue in a supposedly trans-inclusive feminism at the time. And of course I accepted this and other arguments that my desire to transition was about me invading and co-opting women’s spaces, identities, and even bodies – I’d been primed to buy into these feminist ideas by Silence of the Lambs.”
You accepted at one point that womanhood and feminism was not about you? What changed?
“The film taught me how to understand my own gendered experiences and desires – it took my own moments of standing naked in front of the mirror as a child trying to see myself and cast them as monstrous, examples of my perversion instead of a girl trying to see myself in a world that told me I couldn’t be.”
If you see yourself that closely in the image of a serial killer, I am very, very concerned for the safety of the women in your vicinity. And I’m convinced that you are no feminist and for God’s sake, you are not female.
“Obviously, in real life the making of a woman suit would be grotesque and unforgivable. But Silence of the Lambs is fiction, and particularly a fiction that advances dangerous and harmful ideas about trans women.”
Yet you defended our villain, mere moments ago, doing exactly that which you just said was grotesque and unforgivable.
“Understanding Bill as someone denied access to transition because she was seen as an autogynephile, as someone who was pushed to her most heinous acts by the dismissal of medical gatekeepers, has opened up space for me to start to reclaim her character.”
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here! No standards, no couth at all!
“I even share a tattoo with her, depicting Jesus’ side pierced by the Spear of Destiny, where blood and water supposedly flowed out of him separately (there are areas of Christian thought that discuss Jesus as having a body that is exclusively female, as he did not have an embodied father – there’s tons of trans symbolism there).”
As a Catholic, I will thank you not to piss all over the most sacred of all Catholic religious figures by bringing your perversion into His depiction. As someone who knows a thing or two about theology, I suggest that you go back to Christology 101. Grade: F. Oh, and even though I know you think you are God, you are not God and you would do well to stop comparing yourself to God. Thanks. What narcissism!
“Bill is part of the legacy in fiction of trans women like me, and I can look to her when thinking about my own experiences with feminism, the medical establishment, and all those who try to dehumanize me. And while she has been cast as a monster, I learned early in my transition from Little Light’s crucial piece of writing “The Seam of Skin and Scales” to recognize the power in claiming and owning the traces of those who came before me, represented as horrifying monsters in cissexist stories. This is part of my understanding of how to survive in a world surrounded by these kinds of messages about myself. Little Light wrote, “I am choosing to stay here, and it is mine to choose. And if that means changing shape, if that means putting together the unexpected, that is any monster’s ancient right. It is damn well traditional.” It is my prerogative as a trans woman to do what I will with a character designed to pathologize, vilify, and ungender me.”
There is nothing wrong with pathologizing that which is, you know, pathological. Identifying in a serious way with a psychosexual torture murderer is pathological. And if you want to discuss dehumanization, how about the dehumanization of women by people like your transwoman hero? How about the way you willingly dehumanize and debase yourself by choosing such a hero?
“But, if people who aren’t trans women want to advance a version of feminism that values trans women and prioritizes our struggles, they must reckon with the real harm that has been done to us in feminism’s name. Cis-feminism does not get to brush aside or avoid culpability for the heinous ideas about trans women advanced inSilence of the Lambs, as these concepts are so fundamentally reflective of beliefs advanced in the name of feminism.”
As actual women and feminists, we will do with our movement whatever we damn well please, and it will be a course of action that actually advances OUR interests. NOTHING has been done to you in feminism’s name. The people who have consistently hurt and killed your kind are MEN. Meanwhile, I suggest you not “brush aside” or “avoid culpability” for the damage transactivism has done to women and girls.
“Given the damaging impact is has had on the lives of trans women, from a feminist perspectiveSilence of the Lambs is ours to claim or reject, just as its bigotry is something cis feminists cannot ignore or brush away because it is not central to how they want to engage with the film. Any non-trans-feminist engagement with Silence of the Lambs perpetuates cis-feminist refusal of culpability and ongoing marginalization of trans women.”
There you have it. The closing thoughts of a disturbed and predatory male with a woman fetish. Way to scrape the bottom of the barrel. And remember: this got published in a mainstream feminist publication and the comments are mostly supportive of this rubbish. The SCUM Manifesto was satire. This is serious. And that makes all the difference.