Exhibit A: Why I Hate Wife-n-mommy Culture 

I will, soon enough, be writing a whole bunch of posts as to why I hate what I term the wifenmummie (or wife-n-mommy) culture. I don’t have the energy to tackle that task right now, but I will give you an example of why I find it so outrageous.

I was browsing my timeline on Facebook. I came across a post from a relatively new friend. I like her a lot. This isn’t a criticism of her. She is trying to be a sympathetic friend and she also, like many young people, is wrapped in her life, her life, her dreams. But we must stand our ground and tell the truth…even, and especially, to our friends.

This friend, who shall be called Suly, wrote a post advertising a GoFundMe for a friend going through hard times. Some of those hard times, for example, the loss of her cat, tugged at my heart, and I sympathized. I wanted to help…but those few sympathetic causes were not the focus of this Facebook post. The primary hardship the recipient faced, and the primary reason for soliciting donations, stopped me from having anything to do with this project.

It turns out this friend of Suly, the recipient of Suly’s beneficence, is a wife and aspiring mother who recently went through fertility treatments and failed to get pregnant. She wants to try again, because she wants to have a baby so badly and she feels so guilty and so useless because she can’t give her husband the family he wants (not the exact wording, but very similar language). Only…she doesn’t have the money right now to go through another course. So Suly wants us to donate money so she can throw wifenmummie a Harry-Potter themed party to make her feel better, which is innocent enough, AND/OR…wait for it…a loan to pay for another course of fertility treatments.

Hold the phone, lady!

No way no how am I spending my hard-earned money on that!

The party, like I said, is innocent enough. I wouldn’t have given money, but I might have given supplies, a small gift, or a card…maybe even a gift card. After all, wifenmummie has endured some real losses besides failed fertility treatments, such as the aforementioned loss of her cat. I don’t believe all fundraising needs to be for destitute people, people in dire circumstances, dying people, or only for serious ventures or basic needs. For example, I have no problem donating to the Special Olympics, to Make-a-Wish, to my local nursing home for a new activity center, to a school’s performing arts field trip, etc. One of my proudest moments was donating a big bill on a street corner to the boys’ Little League Team so they could travel out of state to a big game. With that said, I do expect people who are *able* to do so to do their part, and I expect the project to a) be a legitimate need or goal and B) to reasonably require the funds and resources being requested in order to get the project done in a satisfactory and timely manner. Granted, these judgments are subjective, but suffice it to say, this party didn’t even come close to meeting my relatively loose requirements.

I mean, anyone who can afford fertility treatments can afford recreation…and Suly was more than able to fund her own generosity. This is a woman who can afford multiple big ticket events, such as a trip to Disney World, a year, is buying a house, and has all kinds of money to spend on clothes, makeup, merchandise from her favorite fandoms, etc. And she lives, and shares assets with, her fiance who is also doing very well for herself. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but…wht are you asking us to fund a party that you are more than capable of throwing yourself? I’ve thrown big parties with much less wealth. Skip a few shopping trips, Suly, or dip into your vacation money, and do it yourself. Seriously.

As irritating as this is, though, that’s not my biggest problem. My biggest problem is, you guessed it, the fertility treatments.

Unreal.

There is no way I will take even the remotest chance that my money will go towards fertility treatments. Such treatments aren’t medically necessary in avoiding death, disability, or disfigurement. They’re not healthy for mother or baby. They’re very often unsuccessful, which amounts to wasted money and time, and most importantly, they’re unethical. They entail playing God in one of the most misogynistic and heterosexist ways imaginable.

By the way, Suly and wifenmummie live in England, where their health care is largely paid for by the state. A huge chunk of the audience for this post is American, a group of people that is a) struggling economically, b) has a minimal safety net, and c) has to PAY for healthcare that they actually NEED! All too often, people are paying large sums of money that they don’t have and ruining whatever credit or assets or security they had for care that they truly can’t live without. Yet these women think nothing of asking this same population of people to fork over their minimum wage incomes to find what is essentially a cosmetic procedure for a well-off couple.

How dare you? The gall of such a request!

And of course, no one calls this out for what it is, nor do they call out this woman’s husband, for whom the woman feels “guilty” and “useless” as a wife. NO ONE told this woman that her lack of fecundity wasn’t het fault, that she had no reason to be guilty, and that there is more to being a wife than being fucked and being pregnant. NO ONE called Dear Hubby out for being selfish, sexist, and entitled. No, they reinforced this woman’s feeling of failure and now are trying to finance the means to “fix it.” Hate the oppressive housewife role? Take Valium! Hate sex role stereotypes? Change your sex! Hate being targeted for your weight? Go on a diet! Hate your lack of fertility? Get treatment? Hate your inability to be the wife your husband wants? Change yourself!

What’s curiously absent is the real solution to all these problems…change expectations. Change priorities.

I suppose I should consider the source: Suly and Alma (fiancee) are a lesbian couple who want to pursue artificial reproduction…so perhaps they’re a bit biased? Ya think? They mourned the Brexit decision, in part, because they thought their rights, namely their reproductive options, would take a hit. That’s right…a nation’s success, identity and sovereignty must be suppressed because someone somewhere wants a designer baby. And the thousands of people that want their country back will just have to be content to serve wifenmummie’s baby fever. Even if you do not support, or are not affected, by Brexit, you have to admit that the reason given here for opposing it is mind-blowing in its self-centeredness.

If this doesn’t ooze privilege and entitlement, I don’t know what does. If you don’t see what’s wrong with this picture, there’s nothing I can do for you. If you still don’t understand why I hate wifenmummie culture, there’s more where this came from.

As you can imagine, I declined to participate in this endeavor. My money went to Alley Cat Allies instead.

Shipwreck on Lesbo Island

You don’t get to puff yourself up that you’re building the future, then crow about choice when people challenge you on the future you’re building.

I guess that’s as good a place to start as any. Saye Bennett wrote on her blog that she is “still skeptical” on the topic of bisexuality. Well, the post, and particularly the comments, sent my mind abuzz and one post will not adequately address it. But Lao Tzu said that the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Here is my first, single step, and that is to make sure we are even discussing the right questions.

Thus far, we have discussed whether bisexuality exists, and if so…why does it *seem* that they are all straight? Those questions still matter, especially to those who dodge critical examination by hiding behind nature (“Don’t judge me you mean old lesbians! I was born bi! I don’t control if I love a man or not!”) Upon reading and writing comments, however, I realized that wasn’t the crux of the matter.

The real question is: What purpose does it serve to have the B lumped in with the LG? How does it add to, or undermine, gay activism and culture?

On a superficial level, it makes sense. Unlike gender, bisexuality is about sexual minority status, or being not-straight in a straight-and-narrow world. Anyone and everyone, whether they are really homosexual or not, needs legal protection and cultural acceptance in the event that a) they are caught engaging in same-sex relations and/or b) are perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be homosexual. Laws that prevent discrimination don’t just protect oppressed classes, but also those perceived to be associated with oppressed classes. A good example is disability law: Just as an employer cannot deny reasonable accommodations on the job, they also cannot force you to use accommodations or alter your job descriptions and responsibilities because your boss *thinks* you have a disability that requires it. It’s the same with religion. If you are perceived to be Muslim and discriminated against because of that perception, the law protects you and employers cannot claim that the law doesn’t apply because it turns out you’re not really Muslim. I feel sexual orientation law can, and should, work in the same way.

Furthermore, I think the concept of bisexuality may have been helpful once upon a time when homosexual was scary, deviant, and criminal. The idea that even people straight as an arrow can and do have homoerotic desires and have same-sex encounters perhaps assisted society in seeing themselves in the gay/lesbian community and hence normalized same-sex attraction. Having more members of a minority in society, and having those minorities in the ranks of “normal” people, tends to have that effect.

Lastly, we may not have a choice as to whether L, G, and B are lumped together. Just as LG were lumped together by larger society during the AIDS crisis, aka the plague, the dying times (!), trans activism may well have the same effect on the LGB. Lesbians have been fighting transactivists for decades, as have gay men (although they have not been as viciously targeted). Bisexuals, though, are new to the fray. It has come to my attention in the past year that bisexuals are transphobic for defining their sexuality in terms of two (bi) biological sexes (sexual). At least one person in my circle calls herself queer and outright refuses the bisexual label because bisexual is “reductive” (“I love people, not body parts!”) and exclusionary (“Think of the trans!”) So I am forced to add bisexuals to the ever-growing list of people who aren’t allowed to say no to cross dressing creeps. If bisexuals ever got a clue and took a stand against this trend, LGB could work well together.

With that said, working well in a crisis involving a common enemy doesn’t necessary translate into working well as a matter of course. That brings us to today’s topic…the drawbacks of the B in LGB.

I don’t imagine that there’s much harm to lesbians when homo-leaning bisexuals (which I call violets) and homoflexible women align with the lesbian community (provided they’re honest) because these women have presumably committed themselves to women’s communities, women’s issues and also strongly prefer women sexually. I could be wrong on this, but they don’t seem to be the issue. Rather it’s hetero-leaning bisexuals (lavenders) who have a habit of crashing onto the shores of Lesbo Island, then leaving when the next male rescuer comes along, but leaving the remains of the shipwreck behind. In other words, they dominate lesbian time and space, marginalize lesbians, and yet don’t contribute to the movement or culture or accept the risks of being publicly visible as lesbian.

Saye and Dirt have talked at great length about straightbians and the damage they do to lesbian communities, as well as talking about what distinguishes later-in-life lesbians from straightbians. I will not belabor that here, in part because they do a better job and because I do not have the expertise in that area. I want to talk about lavenders (assuming that they really are bisexual-leaning-straight, and NOT straightbians) and their impact on lesbian communities. Here is where I question whether it makes sense to lump lesbians and bisexual women together.

Because let’s face it: Lavenders by definition are more straight in their romantic and sexual interest and relate far more to straight culture, and spend far more time in it, than lesbian culture. And lesbian IS a culture. Think of an ethnic group. They are ethnic in their genetics and their appearance, but also their language, their history, their traditions, their way of life. It’s a culture, an identity, and a biological link, all in one. Lesbian is the same way. Every time a lavender joins the lesbian community, then leaves it for a male partner, a marriage, children, and straight ambitions (aka the flat with the white picket fence and apple tree), she creates the impression that this is the proper trajectory for a lesbian. Lesbianism is a phase. Lesbians really want men, eventually, once they heal from whatever trauma or brainwashing they supposedly endured. Lesbians should aspire to get married, have children, or otherwise blend into the straight lifestyle. It normalizes straight culture and straight expectations in the ONE place it shouldn’t be happening.

When I came out, I knew I was different but didn’t know how. I never wanted to get pregnant or get married. I had fantasies early on of just magically creating a child or hatching a child. When I discovered adoption and fostering, I knew I found my place. I always wanted to work, to live independently, by my own rules. I never played at getting married, never really liked boys that much (and no, I wasn’t sexually abused as a child). Yet all I would ever hear was how “You never know, they all say that, you might change your mind!” (Curious how they never say that to little girls who dream of a princess wedding to a handsome prince and lots of little babies.) I have also heard, more than once, about so-and-so who was convinced she was a lesbian…until she met this amazing guy! When people who call themselves lesbians or bisexuals do this in large numbers, it leaves the rest of us in the dust, coerced, not believed. Where does it leave us? It leaves us in one of two places: We are either left behind and demeaned, or we get dragged into the straight rat race we have been trying to escape since forever.

The more time we spend focusing on the ways lesbians are Just Like Everyone Else, especially in family life and motherhood (a STRAIGHT priority, c’mon!), that is precious time and energy not spent on supporting lesbians who don’t fit the mold-childless lesbians, unmarried or domestically partnered lesbians, lesbians adopting or fostering, single lesbians, lesbians who want and NEED a safe, validating, and SEPARATE space to be lesbian their way…the way most lesbians were throughout most of history, both out of necessity and out of desire. How many people know that when adoption laws were first drawn up, not only were single parents allowed to adopt, they were among the first to adopt and many of these “single” parents were gay and lesbian parents going stealth. Gays and lesbians were instrumental in devising family structures outside of marriage and children and fighting for the rights of unmarried and non-straight people. How many people are aware of the fate of gay and lesbians teens in foster care or in religious cults (beyond the sensational Duggar headlines in tabloids of course?)

Note: Yes, lesbians and gays can get married now, and I feel they should enjoy the benefits available to any other couple. However, I don’t agree with legal rights being exclusive to married couples, straight or not. I hate the wedding industry and the wedding culture, which, like it or not, was built by and for heteropatriarchy, and no amount of “subversiveness” will change that to any significant degree. Get married if you like the symbolism, get married if you want, or need, the rights and privileges attached…but let’s not stop there. You shouldn’t have to get hitched to be set. It’s one step of many to get to our real goal. 

But not many people know this, and even fewer people care. There is, however, a lot of buzz about all the different ways to get pregnant and the details involved in each method. There is plenty of buzz about fancy lesbian weddings with the white wedding dresses, the huge cake, and who takes which partner’s last name. We talk about our houses, our school involvement, our thoroughly assimilated lives. We talk about issues mostly related to heterosexual married mothers because of lesbian assimilation and lavender infiltration, even though there is a whole world devoted to these very issues, and precious little space for those that don’t conform. No, straight people and lavenders must have attention on them at all times. Any little space or time not available to glorify them is a horrible assault on their rights.

What is left out are those who cannot or don’t want to assimilate. Anyone that wants to discuss the alternatives, anyone who criticizes the dominant cultural forces that affect lesbians and, by extension, violets and celibate women, is accused of being exclusionary, of interfering with their right to choose, of judging, etc. How, exactly, little old me and my curmudgeon alter ego have the power to stop two multi-billion dollar industries (wedding and artificial baby industries) and overwhelming cultural forces is not explained.

But mark my words, something WILL be explained, over and over, forcefully as needed, by yours truly, until the day I die…artificial reproduction favors men and undermines women and lesbians. Certain forms of artificial reproduction, in particular artificial insemination, drastically favors male babies. We damage our health and spend larges sums of money bearing and raising these male children. We spend time making sure they don’t grow up to be toxic masculinity personified (which is men’s issue, something men should solve, not women), instead of protecting women from said toxic masculinity. Even if artificial reproduction equally distributed the sex of babies, or even favored female babies…guess what? We don’t need more babies. There are plenty of FEMALE babies, young children, older children, teenagers, young adults in foster care, in institutions, on the streets and in shelters, in abusive households, worldwide, who NEED us. Yet while REAL, ALREADY LIVING women and girls suffer, get abused, die, and are ignored, we pour our resources into creating designer babies, families, lives…and we pretend that this benefits women or advances the lesbian cause. It’s pop culture feminism at its finest. We buy the right media, wear the right clothes, make the right statements…and utterly fail to change the real, material conditions in which women as a class live. More perverse, those that DO try to critique and change material reality are silence by the choosy choice brigade. I’m not buying it. I’ve spent too much of my young life being bullied into silence and acquiescence. I refuse to let my space, my life, be co-opted and dominated for that purpose anymore.

Remember back in the day of King Henry and his many wives? How he killed them for failing to bear sons? Lesbians are being damaged and the soul of lesbian culture is being slaughtered to bear and raise male babies by heteropatriarchal standards. Yes, it’s history repeating itself. Wake up.

When you fail to honor lesbian and woman-centered culture, when you abandon us, leave your shipwreck on our island…you destroy lesbian culture and thus lesbian lives. When you leave us for straight culture, you drag us with you without our consent or leave us to get figuratively beat up by the dominant culture. And I just won’t go, and I won’t take the blows.

Lesbo Island doesn’t care much for passing visitors, but immigrants and displaced members of the lesbo diaspora are always welcome. Think hard about which category you fall into. Enjoy your stay.

Ban the Burqa: How Men Ruin Stuff

So talk of the town is that France is once again banning the Burqa, or more specifically the burkini swimsuit, from public spaces. Supposedly it liberates women, condemns terrorism, and promotes French culture…or something. Yeah, I don’t get it either.

My obligatory list of disclaimers: Countries have the right to control their borders and to preserve and promote their national identity and culture. I’m not going to argue that the Burqa is liberating, feminist, or just another choosy choice. I’m also not going to argue that identification isn’t a safety concern. If a private establishment such as a store needs you to show your face for security cameras, you need to show it. If a government official or law enforcement needs to see your face, you need to show it. If a private establishment says, “No masks or sunglasses,” that applies to burkas. Any kind of photo ID such as a driver’s license needs to show your face. And most Muslims and Islamic scholars agree. Equal rights, not special rights.

With that being said, do you really think banning the Burqa outright has anything to do with any of these goals? Puhleeze. Maybe they didn’t notice, but the majority of terrorist attacks aren’t committed by women in burkas…they’re committed by *men.* That’s right, it’s another example of the infamous male violence we feminazis always whine about. So how do we solve the problem of male violence? Well, OBVIOUSLY, it is to police the clothing, speech, and activities of women! Not actually to address men, or male culture, or the males being violent! No way! 

Picture this: A country decides to end sexual assaults against women, promote women’s liberation, and condemn male violence by banning women from wearing provocative clothing in public instead of addressing the men who assault women. Stupid, right? Well, how is banning the Burqa any different? It’s not. So where do people claiming feminism come off saying that banning the burkini is some kind of statement against, or somehow putting an end to, child marriage, honor killing, domestic violence, etc? For real? 

Here’s an idea. Work with the Muslim community, and especially Muslim women, to end the roots of violence and patriarchy in their culture. Don’t antagonize them. Ban destructive customs such as honor killings and make sure they are prosecuted by the courts (in case laws against committing murder aren’t enough). Encourage dialogue between communities in schools, universities and workplaces. Include Muslims in French culture without ultimatums.The list could go on. And none of them include blaming or policing women for men’s shortcomings. I guarantee you once you address the ROOT of the problem and SOLVE it, Muslim women will have the same rights and freedoms as any other woman and the burka problem will solve itself without government intervention.

As I said earlier, countries have the right to police their borders and preserve and promote their national identity and culture. If those boundaries exclude Muslims, or exclude certain articles of Islamic faith, that is their right even if I think it’s abhorrent. But if hegemony is what you want, you need to say so upfront. No country that proclaims liberty the way France does has any business restricting freedom of speech and religion, and possibly freedom of association, the way France is trying to do. It’s not liberty to restrict and conceal ideas that you find objectionable. It’s fascist. If that is your goal, them say so. That way Muslims and all those who value liberty know where they stand. They can choose to either protest or leave. Enough with the double speak because believe it or not, Muslims aren’t stupid. 

It’s not even just Muslims. Conservative Christians and Jews often wear similar swimsuits. People with highly sensitive skin, with disfigurements, or who are skin cancer survivors also like burkinis. Swimmers like them because they are sleek, warm, practical…and many find them attractive. Imagine that! Are you going to tell a melanoma survivor that she can’t swim or enjoy the outdoors because you don’t like how she is dressed? Or that she needs to endanger her health to enjoy the same rights as everyone else? That her tunic might inspire a total stranger to blow up the Eiffel Tower? Pound sand.

As can be predicted, the laws of physics were put into motion with this burkini ban: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The opposite reaction? If women can’t cover up in public spaces by wearing a burka, they, or rather their men, cover up in an even more radical way! Muslim women just don’t go out in public at all! Before Muslim women could do what they wanted in French society if they covered up…now they aren’t even part of French society. They are confined to their homes, and not necessarily by their choice. Their men keep them at home. Their men forbid them from participating in society while uncovered. And France and her defenders don’t seem to care. Shouldn’t they, if their concern is for the rights of Muslim women? Yes, but that was never their concern to begin with. That was their excuse. Their real concern was making sure “authentic” French people didn’t have to look at Muslims. In that respect, the burka ban is a smashing success.

To me, this is a classic example of the dualistic possession by men of women’s bodies. As others have said, conservatives (in this case Muslim men) want women to be private property, and protecting private property means concealing it’s treasures in public, to be revealed only in the presence of the “owner” (husband or father.) By contrast, liberals (mainstream French culture) want women to be public property and all but fully exposed for the world to “enjoy.” Why can’t Muslim women be the property of…Muslim women?

By the way, I have several burkinis and France need not worry. France will never see them, nor will they see a dime of my money or a moment of my patronage.

Still Skeptical: My Response To Joannadeadwinter

Saye Bennett

This post is my response to joannadeadwinter‘s latest post Ooh, Look, A Bisexual! as part of our ongoing and respectful conversation about our views on the topic of bisexuality.  I wanted to say “thanks again” to joannadeadwinter for initiating this discussion and for her thoughtful, intelligent, insightful, and respectful interactions!  Everyone, please feel free to join the conversation, either here or on her blog…

Love Image: #PicsArt #FreeToEdit

I admit my thinking about sexual orientation has always been rather black and white.

My admittedly strong opinions are based upon my own absolute certainty of my sexual orientation from the time I was a child, as well as my observations over the years of other women I have known, and have known of.

And: in my observations, all of the women who I have known, or known of, who have said they were bisexual turned out to be straight women who…

View original post 1,408 more words

How to, like, totally defend a psycho sex killer of women from, like, a totally feminist perspective!

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”

What?!

“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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hot Car Death Meme: A Whole Lot of Chest Beating

“To the living, we owe our respect but to the dead, we owe only the truth.” –Voltaire
I’m going out of my typical realm here and writing about parenting…specifically memes targeting the parents of young children who die of heat stroke while trapped in cars.

I won’t be discussing hot car deaths in detail in this post. I will save my in-depth thoughts on this subject for another time. Rather, I want to discuss a particular meme, as well as the larger trend on social media and on “news” channels…where we talk much and say little, substitute memes and anecdotes for facts, and where virtue signaling is more important than possessing actual virtue. And it just so happens that memes around hot car deaths are the latest thing on my black list.

Here is the offending meme:

Atrocious spelling and grammar aside…

What the hell is the point of this post? Who is it targeting?

Think about it…the idea is to remind people that not everyone is fit to be a parent and a good indicator that you, too, are unfit is not being self-motivated to monitor your kids and needing reminders to do so. Okay, let’s pretend we all agree on this…what parent believes this about themselves? No one. What parent consciously thinks that they’re the kind of unfit parent that needs reminders? None. How many childless people are going to decide against having children ten years from now because they saw this meme on Facebook? Don’t make me laugh. How many parents whose children died this way thought ahead of time that they would become a statistic? Probably none of them. No one thinks it will happen to them…and that’s exactly the problem. In any case, this meme assumes that said unfit parents are already parents and already using reminders… so it’s a bit late for them to go back in time and not be a parent. As such, this meme is totally wasted on the unfit masses replicating their DNA.

Furthermore, how do we, as a society, monitor potential parents, decide who is unfit, and then prevent them from having, or being in the presence of, young children? Forget the legality or the (nonexistent) ethics of such a scheme. It would be literally impossible to enforce these standards. And even if we could achieve this society of ideal patents…there will still be the occasional hot car death because it’s not just unfit parents who experience this. Many if not most of these parents were considered average to exemplary parents, upstanding citizens, and with no evidence of prior abuse or neglect of a child. They would have passed a parental fitness test with flying colors and they still fucked up. Why? Again, the meme doesn’t seem to address these parents, and does not explain who is a fit parent and how to prevent unfit parents from having children.

What if this meme isn’t targeting the garden variety mediocre parent? What if this meme is targeting the truly negligent, or possibly intentionally homicidal, parents? This meme is even more wasted on this population. Negligent people, by definition, are not aware of risks, do not care about, or tend to minimize risks, and lack the ability or desire to plan to avoid these risks. They don’t think bad things happen to them and/or don’t care if bad things do happen. That’s…kinda what makes them negligent. If these people had the inclination to internalize the message in this meme and act on it…they wouldn’t be negligent. (Never mind that using reminders to help you remember your children proves exactly the opposite…that you’re aware of the risks, you’re humble enough to realize you could face those risks, and you CARE enough to learn the facts, accept help, and avoid those risks however you have to…regardless of how strangers on the internet feel about it. In other words, those parents AREN’T negligent at all…and chances are, their children will live, and THAT is our goal, not one-upmanship.) Anyway, I digress…and what about the homicidal parents? Well…I think it’s safe to say that if you’re disturbed enough to kill a child, especially in such an excruciating way…a Facebook meme isn’t going to change that.

So what’s this meme good for? Who is it targeting?

Honestly, I think it’s for the posters themselves. Death by automotive oven is a mundane, surprisingly common, yet horrible way to die that seems to affect all kinds of children and parents with no rhyme or reason. And honestly, secretly? I think it terrifies them. I think in their heart of hearts, they know they could be next but are too ashamed to admit it. So they obsessively follow, and write threatening, vitriolic comments on, stories regarding hot car deaths to distance themselves from the “bad” parents and virtue signal to the world that they are good parents and hopefully get positive feedback from other “good” parents. It’s not unlike a patient with OCD who engages in assurance-seeking behavior, or ridding themselves of obsessive thoughts of hurting their kids by compulsively reading and talking about other people’s children being hurt. Or a child with PTSD re-enacting their trauma through imaginative play. It’s a way to rationalize, to distance, to feel good…and I can see right through it.

I have pointed this out, too, many times on comment threads on Facebook, and always end with a warning. All parents think it can’t happen to them…until they check the backseat. The reaction I get is telling…they almost universally act the same way all guilty people act. They get defensive or they run. And they’re free to do so, but I guarantee you…however tough they act on Facebook, every time they step out of the car, my warning will be ringing in their ears.

Leapin’ Lesbian Lizards!

Hilarious and informative…maybe the future really IS female!

The Quantum Biologist

Today’s weird animal is a local: The New Mexico Whiptail Lizard. I see them often when I go for walks on the sunny side of the Sandias, or around the volcanoes. All in all, they’re actually pretty normal lizards. They enjoy eating insects, and sunning themselves on rocks. Only the females have something rather odd about them. The one pictured below is a female.

How do I know it’s a female? Because they’re all female. All of them. All their lives. Male New Mexico Whiptail Lizards no longer exist. So how do they reproduce? It’s called parthenogenesis, and it’s responsible for all those virgin births you occasionally hear about. It’s not quite cloning; the female’s DNA simply recombines with itself during meiosis, so each daughter is slightly (but only slightly) different from her mother. Oh, and I should point out that while it’s not absolutely necessary that two female…

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