A response to “How come I don’t like being called genderqueer or nonbinary”

This is another one of those excellent videos by Maria Catt (Carey) that I wanted to write a whole post about because she makes me think so much! Obviously, you should watch the video before reading this because I’m going to comment on what she said.

I thought it was funny how when a woman stops identifying as FtM everybody assumes she’s now “nonbinary” or “genderqueer” and calls her “they,” even if she says she’s a woman and wants to be called “she.” First of all, it’s hilarious that people who claim that “misgendering is violence” call a woman “they” even after she’s asked for female pronouns. Misgendering is only violence when it’s done to male autogynephiles—when it’s done to women it’s no problem at all. Secondly, they totally miss the point of detransitioning. The process of detransitioning is about reconciling with your birth sex. It doesn’t necessarily involve changing yourself to look more feminine, although it could. It’s mostly about realizing you are female. It’s about realizing that you don’t have to call yourself something other than a woman just because you don’t identify with femininity or don’t perform “woman” correctly according to other people’s opinions. The trans cult assumes that a detransitioning female is still not female—it’s like they can’t understand that a female who is gender defiant could actually be a woman!

It’s fascinating to me that she felt like she was artificially “playing a role” of woman before transitioning, but even while she was transitioning she still felt like she was “playing a role.” She was just playing the role of trans man instead of playing the role of woman. I think that people who are thinking of transitioning need to be aware that transitioning might mean still playing a role—just playing a different role than previously. The goal of someone’s treatment should be eventually to not be playing any role, to be in touch with the authentic self and doing whatever you please without caring whether it’s what other people expect or not. I see FtMs on YouTube deliberately speaking with a lowered voice and I think yeah, they’re acting. They’re playing a role. I don’t see how that could be helping with dysphoria. How can you be living your true self while you’re faking a voice? The “you” that you should want to be is the “you” that you are when no one else is looking, when you’re just by yourself, and not having to perform anything. That person is you, and we all need to get to a place where we can be authentic with other people if we want to be healthy and happy. Not necessarily with everyone, but at least with our nearest and dearest. Those two FtMs in a relationship together—do they still speak with those artificially lowered voices to each other when they’re alone together? Does the performance ever stop? Do they show their authentic selves to each other?

If a woman goes to a therapist and says, “I feel like this idea of woman is just a role I’m acting out, it doesn’t feel authentic to me,” the answer should not be “Play a different role then,” the answer should be “stop doing things that feel artificial, get in touch with yourself and just be you.”

Maria talks about her trans ally friends working hard to affirm her trans identity, and I think to myself, those friends were being inauthentic too. Instead of saying, “Hey, um, Maria, we’re not interested in playing pretend with you. We think you’re a great woman the way you are and we like you,” they’re pretending to go along with a lie just to demonstrate how good a Trans Ally they are. This is another performance! I don’t want friends who pretend things for me, I want friends who know the real me and who show me the real them. Without that it’s not really a friendship, it’s just people using each other to prove how liberal and tolerant they are about the latest oppressed group.

She talks about how calling herself a woman who has been traumatized (rather than a “nonbinary” or a “genderqueer”) gives her agency over her trauma symptoms. She can recognize the physiological reactions to trauma and being triggered and can work with those reactions to lessen them. But if she were invested in the idea of being “nonbinary” rather than a female survivor of trauma then she would be farther away from being able to deal constructively with her symptoms. This is so, so important. Therapists who have gender identity patients absolutely need to provide services for trauma, because some people are being diagnosed as trans in error and are made to further dissociate from their bodies when they actually need control over physical symptoms and reintegration with the body.

It’s interesting that she got fetishized by women in the queer community. This is a topic that needs to be explored further. I’ve heard of women who specifically want to date FtMs and I wonder why this is and what this means. Are they lesbians who want to be seen as straight? Are they straight women who want to be with a man who’s “safe”? I don’t know. I haven’t met any of these people, I’ve only heard of them second-hand. Maria says that “femme-identified” women were really into her when she was a trans man, and they assumed that she would be into them without even asking. What I believe I’m seeing here is heteronormativity happening. Women who are feminine want to be with someone masculine, and they assume that someone masculine will be into them because they are feminine.

I have to stress that this is not the same thing as butch/femme lesbians. Butch lesbians are women, not men, and they are not the “man” in the relationship, they are one of two lesbian halves of a lesbian relationship. They aren’t intentionally performing masculinity, they are just expressing their female personalities, which happen to be different than the personalities that people expect women to have.

This new breed of “queer” people are performing masculinity and femininity though. Take a look at this YouTube couple for example. One of them is a feminine woman who calls herself “straight” and is intentionally being all girly and sexy with her outfit and mannerisms. The other is a trans man who is performing masculinity with her outfit and mannerisms. This is a video where they talk about what they do in bed, and since they are both female they are doing the same things in bed that lesbians do, except they are acting out gender roles and calling themselves straight. I’m not comfortable calling them lesbians but I’m not going to call them straight either because they’re both female. For lack of a better word, I’ll just say they’re “queer.”

The important question is, why are female same-sex couples trying to look straight?

Maria says she actually got yelled at by a feminine woman who was looking for a trans man because Maria said she wasn’t interested in women. Wow! That is terrible behavior! I don’t get that. Maria says women in the “queer” community could be coercive and behave in fetishistic ways toward trans men. This just adds to my feeling that actual lesbians should stay far away from the “queer” community.

And this is where she makes another point about how becoming trans doesn’t actually help you deal with your shit. Maria had often felt like she wasn’t a woman because other women treated her as an “other.” Then when she transitioned, women were still treating her as an “other.” They were treating her in a particular way because she was a woman identifying as a man and that made her “exotic” to them. Since one of her issues in the first place was other women treating her like she wasn’t one, this issue just continued for her when she was trans. Very important observations!

What she says at the end I would like to paint in huge letters on a giant billboard.

“I have no interest in serving as some kind of “other” while they get to be women.”

And…

 “There have always been women who were not so quick to accept social roles. Who were always too assertive, and too loud, and too sensitive, and too crazy. And I think that I get to be a part of that heritage. I think like, just because I’ve had these feelings and just because I’ve had these symptoms, just because bad shit has happened to me and I’ve been affected by it, it doesn’t mean that I get kicked out, like no. If anything, I feel like I’ve really earned my stripes. I feel like if there was a sash for womanhood struggles, like a Girl Scout sash, and you got patches, I feel like I’d have a full thing full of patches. I definitely feel like for me, the title woman means that I made it through my girlhood. I made it through. I got bullied, I got told that I was incorrect, I got bad shit happening to me, I got traumatized, I got beat up, I got other women distancing from me, I got a lot of criticism, I got getting turned around, I got all this shit, and I made it through. And now I’m truly the woman I’m gonna be.

In conclusion, don’t call me genderqueer, don’t call me nonbinary. Don’t try and offer those identities as some kind of solution for why I can still be trans or how my existence as someone who doesn’t…who has a history of not accepting the rules of what women are allowed to talk about and how women are allowed to react…the fact that I have not abided by those rules does not mean that I’m not a woman. It means that I’m a particularly badass woman.”

Hell yeah! This is what we should be teaching gender defiant girls. That they are women, and they are particularly badass women!

Men hate us

In my last anti-porn article someone made a comment that I “openly hate men.” I was thinking of writing a response to that but I found I didn’t feel like explaining it. Women have been accused of hating men so many times, and it’s been explained so many times that expecting men to stop abusing us doesn’t amount to us “hating” them.

Then I saw this picture yesterday and it’s the perfect illustration of how men openly hate women.

This banner was hung by misogynist frat boys near the University of Cincinnati:

gag

This banner was created to warn (threaten?) women that if they come near they can expect to be given rough blow jobs (which means having a penis shoved down their throats until they gag.) The fact that the text is addressed to a parent of the woman instead of the woman herself makes it even more creepy. The words “your daughter” makes it sound like their target victim is a young woman, presumably a college freshman. The fact that they are addressing this to a parent of a college freshman makes it sound as though the message is addressed to parents (most likely fathers) who are dropping off their freshman daughters at college for the first time. They don’t seem to be the least bit ashamed of communicating to fathers what they will be doing to abuse their daughters. It seems as though they are expecting other men to find this funny.

This banner displays several things:

  • Men are quite proud of their misogyny and their desire to hurt women
  • Men think the abuse women endure in porn is a legitimate thing to do to women
  • Men assume that there will be no negative consequences when they abuse women (and they’re right—just a few days ago Global News reported that only 3% of sexual assault reports in Vancouver result in convictions—and the numbers are similar everywhere else. Men are effectively allowed to abuse women because there are rarely ever negative consequences for them when they do.)
  • Men don’t give a flying fuck about the way they make women feel with their disgusting behavior.

In Germany, where prostitution is legal, billboards like this show up around town:

german ad

(This image is taken from an excellent article by Manuela Schon which is an absolute must-read by the way.)

Can you imagine being a German woman and whenever you leave the house you see billboards advertising pussy for sale? How can you ever develop a sense of self or a healthy relationship with a man when your genitals are literally consumer products that men own and can buy and sell as they please?

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world—men consider women to be commodities that they own and can use however they want. In the so-called “developed” world we create ridiculous amounts of pornography, which is simply prostitution with a camera, and there are large problems with human trafficking (often of teenagers), child abuse, child porn, and intimate partner violence. In other countries, women are literal sex slaves and child brides and are open targets for rape. Men are never ashamed of the way they behave. They call it either “culture” or “religion” or “free speech” or “the woman’s choice” or any number of bullshit excuses without ever feeling an ounce of shame that they’re behaving like monsters from hell.

A father in Australia was put in jail for raping his own daughter from age 11 to 13 and selling her to other men to rape using ads on Craigslist. When he went to jail he said “it was fun while it lasted.”

The youngest convicted rapist is 11 years old. A boy in the U.K raped his sister, aged 9, two times. No doubt he learned this violent behavior from porn, which men around the world defend as “free speech.” The freedom for men to abuse women and to groom young boys into becoming abusers is protected above the freedom of women and girls to be safe from abuse. You can definitely make a case that exposure to pornography is child abuse against boys too. However, since it’s girls on the receiving end of that abuse I’m going to put my energy and compassion toward them.

When someone accuses me of “hating men,” my first reaction is “of course I do.” How can anyone not hate men? Their behavior is so terrible I’d be quite happy to never see another one of them again as long as I live. But you know what you will never see me do? You’ll never see me actually treating men as badly as they treat women. I have no desire to harm anyone—I just want to live in peace without being abused. When I’m accused of hating men, and this goes for all feminists, what we’re usually actually doing is pointing out their terrible behavior and expressing our rage. And when we fantasize about a world without men, most of the time we’re not fantasizing about literally killing them, we just want to get away from them and have some peace.

There are a tiny amount of feminists who advocate for reducing the male population by killing male babies. You’ll notice, however, that they haven’t actually carried out this plan, it’s been limited to just commentary on the Internet, and most feminists don’t agree with this idea. Male babies aren’t generally at risk of anything in the real world except for the grooming and abuse they’ll experience from adult men, and from things like racism, poverty, and violence which are largely perpetrated by men.

I mostly don’t want any men around me because I get so tired of dealing with sexism, mansplaining and macho behavior. But like everyone else in the world, I realize it’s #notallmen, and I do have a couple of male friends in real life who are really fun to drink beer and play cards with. There are about four or five men who read my blog who are pro-feminist and I don’t mind them commenting. Because it’s not about actually hating people on the basis of being male, it’s about hating macho male behavior, and so it follows that if you’re acting like a decent human being then I don’t have a problem with you.

It’s men who openly hate women. They proudly proclaim that hate all the time and act on it whenever they want to, because they like it and they can.

FtM anatomy: a clit by any other name…

The narrative we’re told about trans people is that they hate the bodies they were born with and want to live as the other sex. Therefore it would be expected that they would want to actually appear to be the other sex, rather than making their birth sex completely obvious, and that they wouldn’t want to use their hated body parts in the usual ways. But for some reason, this is not the case for lots of people currently identifying as trans. For some, it’s good enough to just rename the body parts while continuing to use them the same way anyone else of their birth sex would use them.

This is why we have people identifying as male while giving birth to babies and breastfeeding. You’d think that if someone hates being female and doesn’t want to be seen as female, she’d avoid the most female thing in the universe—pregnancy. But nope! A recent study of 16 trans men who are breastfeeding babies reveals that more than half (nine participants) don’t even get dysphoria while engaging in this timeless tradition of female mammals.

The secret to not getting dysphoria while using your female parts for their female uses is simply renaming. The women in the above study call breastfeeding “chestfeeding,” and apparently this is a strategy that works, since half of them can do it without experiencing dysphoria. (Chestfeeding sounds so creepy though, it reminds me of this.)

All of the female parts have special names for those females who don’t identify as female. Here is a very informative YouTube video where an FtM explains FtM anatomy. She has included some fantastic diagrams that she drew by taking screenshots of a real FtM and tracing over them in Photoshop.

Trans men don’t have genitals, they have “junk.” This is what a trans man’s “junk” looks like.

FtM anatomy 1

Artwork by nate doggydogg

Nate doggydogg doesn’t say “dick” while explaining this diagram, but from watching many FtM videos lately I can tell you that they normally call the clitoris a “dick” or a “cock.”

So as you can see, an FtM has a mini-dick complete with phallus and bell-end, and by the way, there’s also a pesky hole and some lips down there for some reason too, but let’s not talk about that.

When enlarged by testosterone, the clitoris mini-dick looks like this:

FtM anatomy 2

Artwork by nate doggydogg

Wondering how big it gets? Four centimeters when flaccid, and 6 centimeters when hard. (And for you crazy Americans that’s 1 1/2 inches to a little over two inches.)

FtM anatomy 4

Artwork by nate doggydogg

FtM anatomy 5

Artwork by nate doggydogg

Nate Doggydogg has been watching a ton of FtM porn and she has some very interesting observations.

Very Interesting Observation #1:

“There were only a couple of “guys” who were just about able to penetrate a lady’s “hole”.”

So, most trans men couldn’t penetrate a woman, and only two of them were just about able to. Meaning, those two couldn’t actually penetrate her, they just almost could. In other words, zero trans men that she found in FtM porn were able to penetrate a woman with their enlarged clitoris “T-cock.” The other point I have to make about this is she referred to a vagina as a “hole.” And yeah, that sounds gross, but what I want to say about that is that she also calls an FtM’s hole a “hole.” It’s almost like FtMs and “ladies” have the same hole! Is she bigoted for suggesting that?

Very Interesting Observation #2

“There were lots and lots of videos out there of trans guys being penetrated.”

What?? Why go through all the trouble to make yourself look like a man and make everybody around you pretend to believe you’re a man if you’re still going to get fucked in the vagina?

*headdesk*

At the end of the video, Nate Doggydogg warns her viewers not to watch porn if their parents are around. So she’s assuming her viewers are still young enough to live with their parents, and she’s telling them to watch porn. Awesome! [sarcasm alert].

What are the implications here for what it means to be a trans man? Any FtM who is carrying a pregnancy, getting her ova retrieved for IVF, breastfeeding, or having vaginal intercourse is making it quite clear she is female. If she wanted to be seen as a man, wouldn’t she hide her female biology away, not acknowledge it, not use it, and not let anyone else know it’s there? Wouldn’t that be the logical reaction to hating your femaleness? But apparently not. Some of these people are content to just rename their parts and grow a beard and that’s it. This leaves me with a burning question that I can’t answer: What are women gaining from renaming themselves as not-female while still letting other people know they are female? 

Although I expect that some FtMs out there are actually uncomfortable with their female bodies, there are some who have no problem with pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and vaginal sex. As long as they call it by other names, it’s okay.

What’s that Shakespeare quote again? Oh, yeah.

“A clitoris by any other name is still a sweet organ to have.”

Or something like that.

 

‘Transgender Ken’ cake causing the moral decay of America

This week in morally corrupt baked goods news, a lovely cake made from a Ken doll wearing an icing dress is causing a social media storm among people who have too much time on their hands and extremely misguided priorities.

Ken cake

I checked out the bakery’s Facebook page and it seems that most of the haters are not the Oppressed Laydee type but the religious conservative type. After reading a few all-caps rants about how one cake at a private party is SHOVING HOMOSEXUALITY DOWN ALL OUR THROATS I decided I had enough of that, and stopped reading.

I think Ken’s dress is lovely, and so is the flower sash.

You can read more here. Thanks to Miep for sending me the link.

Some questions for FtMs

Gosh, I’ve been watching tons of FtM videos. I really want to understand. But I’m always unsatisfied, because everyone stays on surface level. I like to get to the root of the issue and tackle the hard questions.

FtMs who make YouTube videos always say they knew they were trans because of vague feelings of “not liking my body” and “feeling like a guy.” But how is this different from every other woman not liking her body and how can someone who is female feel “like a guy,” exactly?

So here is a list of questions, complete with follow-up questions, that come to mind when I watch FtM videos. I don’t really expect to ever get these answered, but here goes:

  1. Please explain in your own words what a “man” is and what a “woman” is.
  2. What is wrong with having breasts, ovaries, a vagina, a clitoris, and a period?
    1. Many women find it uncomfortable having a period and having the equipment that can carry a pregnancy, because this comes with lots of difficulties (being responsible for preventing pregnancy, being targeted for sexual abuse, cramping and bleeding, etc) What is the difference between you being uncomfortable with having female parts and the discomfort that most other women experience? Is it a matter of degree or is it a qualitatively different feeling?
    2. Have you ever talked with other women about their discomfort and have you found similarities and differences?
    3. If the answer to question (2) is “because I’m a man and these are the wrong parts for a man” then I have two follow-up questions for that:
      1.  What is a man? and also
      2.  If you are a man, then aren’t your breasts, ovaries, vagina and clitoris a man’s breasts, ovaries, vagina and clitoris? Why do you need to change them if you are already a man? Gender does not equal genitals, so how can any genitals be the wrong ones for your gender?
  3. If you could choose how other people treat you, while staying in the body you were born in, would you still need to transition? Let’s say everyone was willing to treat you “as a guy” even without taking testosterone. Would you still need to take it then?
  4. What does it mean to be treated like a guy? And for that matter, what does it mean to be treated like a woman?
  5. What does it mean to “feel like a boy/man”? Do you think it’s really possible for a female human to know what it feels like to have a male body? Or is it more like you believe your mind or personality are male? If this is the case, then please move on to question (6).
  6. What exactly is a “male mind” or a “male brain” or a “male personality”? Please describe.
  7. What exactly is uncomfortable about hearing female pronouns? What do those pronouns represent for you?
  8. If you are attracted to women:
    1. What is wrong with being a lesbian, anyway?
      1. If the answer to (8)A is “Nothing is wrong with being a lesbian, I’m just not one, because I’m a man,” then please refer back to question (1), what is a man?
    2. What if there was no such thing as hormones or surgeries and you had to just live your life as a lesbian, how would your life be different?
    3. To ask that same question in a different way, in case I get a more thorough response by asking it this way, are there any measurable or observable differences between your life and a lesbian life? Let’s say you are FtM and you live with your girlfriend in an apartment with your cat, and you like weight-lifting in your spare time and you enjoy having strap-on sex. What is the difference between what you’re doing and what every other lesbian couple is doing? Is the difference just “I identify as a man,” or is there anything else?
    4. In regards to your life outside of home, how would your work life and family life and hobbies be different if you were a lesbian instead of an FtM?
    5. If you felt uncomfortable identifying as a lesbian or being seen as a lesbian, why? Have you ever tried to work on internalized homophobia? Why or why not?
    6. Have you ever spoken to other lesbians to find out whether they felt the same way you do about some of these issues? Why or why not? If so, what have you found out?

Let me tell you, I would love to know the answers to these questions!