Alienation

As you know, I am slowly learning Marxist theory. One aspect of Marxist theory that caught my attention this spring is the concept of alienation. I’m going to try to explain it in my own words, using a situation that happened to me recently as an example.

I have to put a disclaimer here—I am only a beginner at Marxist theory and you should definitely not consider me an expert! Marxist theory is a huge topic to learn and I’ve only taken a few steps so far. I expect I will continue learning it throughout the course of my life.

From the Marxists.org glossary:

“Alienation is the process whereby people become foreign to the world they are living in.”

The Wikipedia page for Marx’s theory of alienation lists four types of alienation:

  • Alienation of the worker from their product
  • Alienation of the worker from the act of production
  • Alienation of the worker from their Gattungswesen (species-essence)
  • Alienation of the worker from other workers

So workers become “foreign to the world they are living in” by being alienated from the means of production, from the products they make, from their species-essence, and from each other.

In the Marxists.org glossary, these paragraphs explain how a person could produce without becoming alienated.

“If the workers related to their product as an expression of their own essence and recognized themselves in their product and were recognized by others in their work, then this was not the basis for alienation; on the contrary, this was the only genuinely human relation.

“Let us suppose that we had carried out production as human beings. Each of us would have in two ways affirmed himself and the other person. 1) In my production I would have objectified my individuality, its specific character, and therefore enjoyed not only an individual manifestation of my life during the activity, but also when looking at the object I would have the individual pleasure of knowing my personality to be objective, visible to the senses and hence a power beyond all doubt. 2) In your enjoyment or use of my product I would have the direct enjoyment both of being conscious of having satisfied a human need by my work, that is, of having objectified man’s essential nature, and of having thus created an object corresponding to the need of another man’s essential nature. … Our products would be so many mirrors in which we saw reflected our essential nature.”

“Alienation can be overcome by restoring the truly human relationship to the labour process, by people working in order to meet people’s needs, working as an expression of their own human nature, not just to earn a living.”

When we can produce things that we need because we need them, for ourselves and for our communities, in a self-directed way and using our own talents, we are connected to what we produce and can experience satisfaction and pleasure from our work.

Under capitalism, workers cannot choose what to produce, instead we must produce what capitalists tell us to. What capitalists decide to produce doesn’t depend on what is needed by humans, other animals, and the environment, it depends on what is profitable for them to produce.

(In case anyone is going to argue— yes, some of the things that capitalism produces are things we actually need. However, in many cases we don’t need something and they use marketing to convince us that we do.)

I really liked Wikipedia’s list of four ways that people are alienated. Here I have described them in my own words.

1 Workers are alienated from their products because we don’t choose what products we produce and we don’t own them. We don’t even choose how they are produced—the way we make them is determined by those who own the means of production. We are simply selling our labor and obeying orders, so we are not necessarily using our own creativity and inventiveness in creating things. The things we create don’t reflect ourselves, they reflect the owners.

2 Workers perform labor under a system of coercion. The only way we can survive is by selling our labor, and the way we labor is externally controlled. The labor we do has no intrinsic worth to us because it’s only being done for the wages we receive.

3 The bit about Gattungswesen (species-essence) is a bit beyond my comprehension, but I’ll give it a shot. Humans are self-aware and conceive of ourselves as subjects and the things we produce as objects, while a non-human animal also engages in self-sustaining activities but without our level of awareness of itself as a subject. Since the objects we produce are reflections of ourselves, when we cannot produce objects of our own accord we are deprived of the ability to represent ourselves, and are thus deprived of our species-essence. (And if you want a better explanation, ask someone who knows Marxist theory better than I do!)

4 Workers are alienated from each other because we are trained to see ourselves as free agents in competition with each other instead of as teammates with common interests in a class struggle. (And I have to add my own comment here: when fake leftists insist that we have tons of free choice and agency, without actually doing anything in the real world to give us more power, what they’re doing is erasing the reality of class struggle and preventing us from eliminating oppression. They’re doing exactly the opposite of being a leftist—they are anti-left and pro-oppression.)

So let’s use an example to illustrate a point. Recently a friend of mine altered some clothes for me, and this experience gave me a concrete example of connection and disconnection to the act of production.

Workers who sew clothing for a living are alienated from the clothing they produce because they do not produce what they need to wear or even what their communities need to wear, they produce whatever their boss tells them to and the clothing they make is owned by their boss. It will get sold in other countries to people they will never meet and they will never earn the profit from it. They will only get small wages for their labor. The clothing they produce is not a reflection of who they are and is meaningless to them.

Workers do not control how clothing is produced. They cannot create their own hours or use their own creativity in their labor. They cannot control what fabric to use, where the fabric comes from, what patterns to use, or what pieces to sew and when. The act of production therefore is meaningless and cannot bring any joy as an activity.

Consumers who buy clothing are ignorant of the conditions under which it was produced. We don’t know where the materials came from, how they were made, who sewed the clothing, what it was like for them sewing it, or how it was transported to us. All we see is a product in a store. We never see the landfill the garments go into after we’re done using them. The clothing is therefore hardly meaningful to us at all.

Contrast this with what happened the other day when my friend altered some clothes for me.

The producer (her) used her own intelligence and skill to make something. She got to produce something that reflected her unique talents and skills and be recognized for her ability. She got to feel proud of what she is capable of making. She got to experience the satisfaction of creating something that was directly needed by someone she knows and who expressed appreciation for what she made.

The consumer (me) got to see the work and skill that went into an article of clothing that I wear, making the product meaningful to me. I experienced being cared for by someone who wanted to spend her time making something for me. I now have items of clothing that remind me of a positive experience with a friend, and therefore make me happy whenever I wear them in a way that store-bought clothes cannot.

This allowed me a little glimpse of what Marxist theory teaches: Alienation can be overcome by restoring the truly human relationship to the labour process, by people working in order to meet people’s needs, working as an expression of their own human nature, not just to earn a living.

I noticed that after this experience I felt both friendship and community. Even though we were doing work, it was not an experience of oppression, but an experience of positive human interaction and expression.

Socialists aren’t trying to eliminate the need for people to do work, (which would be impossible—obviously humans need to produce things in order to survive), we’re trying to eliminate the enslavement of workers so that we can do meaningful and self-directed work, enjoy our work, and express our humanity. Work outside a system of capitalism could be something positive, meaningful, and life-affirming.

I believe the Marxist theory of alienation is a good way to conceptualize why so many people are miserable and engaging in addictions, hopeless searching for meaning, magical thinking, and dysfunctional behavior. When you are alienated from the things you do every day and feeling bored and unfulfilled and unable to be the author of your own life, (and also unable to explain the source of your misery), you look for quick pick-me-ups and treats (like sugar, drugs, etc) and you engage in defense mechanisms and behave in ways that bring a sense of power or control over your life, however superficial that sense of power may be. You’re also susceptible to falling into belief systems and cults that offer false solutions to your problems. Capitalism itself offers us false solutions to problems constantly: marketing campaigns teach us that the key to happiness is purchasing the correct products. However, purchasing products in not actually a way to achieve happiness. I think the solution to many people’s mental illnesses (not ALL mental illnesses) is genuine human connection and human experience, such as meaningful, self-directed work and play, doing things that have intrinsic value rather than just external rewards, caring for others, and doing positive things for the community.

Book Review: ‘Bishop’s Run’ by B.D. Gates

I didn’t realize how hungry I was for a good lesbian novel until I read Bishop’s Run by B.D. Gates. Reading this novel made me realize how unsatisfying other novels I’ve read have been. I have to admit I haven’t spent much time looking for lesbian novels, and there may be good novels out there already that I just haven’t read yet. (Don’t worry, I will get to reading them eventually!) Mostly what I’ve read before is works of literature with “queer” themes by professional fiction writers. Although they are technically great pieces of writing, they aren’t as satisfying to my lesbian heart as a novel written by an ordinary lesbian for the entertainment of a purely lesbian audience.

Bishop’s Run is the story of Bishop, a woman who wakes up after a near-death experience and finds herself being nursed back to health and taken care of by the Witness Protection Program. She has to take on a new identity as a woman named “Lisa Baxter” and start her life all over in a new place. The novel takes us through her journey to recovery, starting a new job, meeting new people, and trying to hide and forget the life she left behind. Her new identity is provided by Witness Protection, and it’s quite different from her real life story, so it’s a process for her to learn to live convincingly as “Lisa Baxter” when her real self keeps threatening to reveal itself.

Bishop, now renamed Baxter, lands in a small town called Tenley in the southern United States. Although she is living in the Bible Belt, the story doesn’t focus on homophobia or intolerance—instead it paints a charming picture of rural life and friendly neighbors. The people of Tenley are very kind to her and make sure she gets everything she needs. The first part of the book is very positive—it’s all about her finding a job she enjoys, making friends, joining a softball team, and finding the other members of her local lesbian “tribe.” There is a long history of novels with lesbian characters who either die, go crazy, end up with a man, or lead a miserable life, and this novel does the opposite. It’s a refreshing story of lesbian success, health and happiness.

That’s not to say that it’s overly or unrealistically positive. It does contain the normal frustrations of lesbian life—like when you get your heart broken, or when you go through rough patches with your friends, or when your softball team isn’t playing well because of the dyke drama occurring among the players! And there is an occasional mention of homophobia, but it’s not the focus of the book.

There is a subtle butch/femme flavor among the characters, and I love the way it’s presented. Gates doesn’t try to categorize anyone using superficial markers or stereotypes. She rarely calls anyone by any label, and only uses the word “butch” once in the whole novel. She just describes their personalities and it comes through. The narrator, Bishop, is a “full-on dyke” and “not the frilly type,” who loves to crack jokes, play cards with the guys, and flirt with women. She is given the name of “Lisa” for her new life, but she finds it too feminine, and prefers to be called by her new last name, “Baxter.” Her butch personality is visible in a whole lot of subtle behaviors, like the way she flirts and carries herself. The women Bishop finds interesting are pretty women who are also strong people who can stand up for themselves, drive fast and shoot a gun. They come across as authentic and endearing lesbian personalities.

This is the first time I’ve read a novel with a happy butch narrator. The only other novel I’ve read starring a butch lesbian is Stone Butch Blues, which, although it’s an excellent book for many reasons, is characterized by almost never-ending misery. Bishop’s Run is the story of a happy butch, who lives her life the way she wants to as an out lesbian, who overcomes her obstacles and thrives in life no matter where she is planted. Although she has experienced some violence, it’s not related to her being a masculine lesbian. Despite having masculine mannerisms and being an obvious dyke, she feels no discomfort with her female body. She is the butch hero that the lesbian community has always needed.

One of the first things I want to know when I pick up a lesbian novel, after “Does anyone die or go crazy?” is whether there is a sex scene and whether it’s good (because sometimes they aren’t!) Let me tell you, there are several, and they are stunning. Gates describes sex between women in full detail in a way that is realistic and exquisitely satisfying both physically and emotionally. They are beautiful to behold and you may have to go back and read them twice.

This novel was refreshing both for its positive portrayal of lesbians and also its exclusive focus on lesbians. It’s not about “queer” people or any kind of special snowflake – it’s about a real lesbian community rather than an alphabet soup that includes the whole world. The way the lesbians in Tenley take care of each other is touching and beautiful. They don’t allow any dykes to go homeless, to be left out or alone, they befriend each other and watch out for each other. Older lesbians serve as role models for the younger ones to look up to. It’s a beautiful portrayal of the community we are longing for.

Here are a few words about the author. She is a butch lesbian living in a small Southern U.S. town. She’s old enough to remember what the lesbian community used to be like but “doesn’t feel any older than 28.” She started writing this novel just for fun but became more determined to publish it as it came along. Here are some words of hers from a short interview:

“When I started writing this around June 2015, I was writing out of boredom, and creating an alternate reality was a great escape. I “went to Tenley” every day and visited with the lesbian characters I’d imagined, I thought about them when I wasn’t writing and, quite suddenly, they were real and they were driving the story, telling me what was happening, what they were thinking, I just had to type fast enough to keep up with them. Then came the “Purge of 2016,” when all the lesbian and bisexual women were killed off on multiple TV shows in a matter of months and it broke my heart. All across my social media platforms, women were just shattered. I didn’t grow up seeing myself reflected on any screen that didn’t end with tragedy or death for any character remotely like me, so you’d think I’d be used to it, but I wasn’t. It hurt like hell. I hadn’t intended to publish “Bishop’s Run,” but when I looked at what I had been writing for myself and realized that damned few people, if any, were writing for real, honest-to-god butches, and that butches deserved our lives represented as much as anyone, I decided that my story wasn’t just for me anymore. So, “Bishop’s Run” is for the butches, and the women who love them.”

I was surprised to hear that she didn’t originally intend to publish it, because I think it’s the Lesbian Novel of the Year. It’s my all-time favorite one. Great things happen when we create our own materials and represent ourselves. This is a fantastic contribution to the lesbian community.

You can purchase the book on Amazon at this link.

Some crap from my spam filter

This blog attracts a lot of weirdos who google stuff like “what does a MtF vagina feel like” and they land on my post MtF transsexual explains what it’s like to have a vagina. I’ve considered taking down this post just so people googling that topic don’t land on my blog anymore, but I haven’t taken it down because I think I did a good job writing about that topic. Men who get their penises surgically inverted don’t have anything resembling a vagina, and as a human female I have a right to state that fact.

People who google this topic looking for trans-friendly information are generally shocked and appalled to learn that I understand female anatomy and can name the differences between female anatomy and surgically-altered male anatomy. They find my knowledge of biology “dehumanizing” to men and they oppose my brand of feminism on the basis that it centers human females, which they don’t think I should be allowed to do.

Here is the type of dumb comment that such people write:

“I don’t understand how you a biological female is bullying a transgender woman for not being a biological female!!!! It’s just wrong!!! It’s not her fault she was born male! You are a cold harden Female!! We are all only human!!! Grow a heart Lady! Have compassion! Is that how you would want to be treated if you were a transgender woman, I don’t think so !! You are what is fucked up in the world !!!!! You are what makes the world ugly!! You are hatred incarnate!!! One day you are going to need love and care in a horrible situation, and I hope to God you get someone better than yourself to be there for you!!!!!”

This is the sort of comment that says more about how stupid the commenter is than it says about me. Anyone who writes a comment that demonstrates they have poor reading comprehension, enjoy arguing against straw men, haven’t read my post, or don’t meet a basic intelligence requirement, is going to end up in the spam filter.

Any comment that I happen to find amusing is fair game to openly mock though!

Alright, person named T, here’s a response for ya.

Women aren’t “bullying” men when we point out they are men. The words ‘man’ and ‘male’ aren’t insults and there is nothing insulting about accurately naming someone’s sex. It’s not anyone’s fault they were born male or female, that’s just how it is. We’re all born with a sex, and the vast majority of the time we are either born typically male or typically female. I don’t believe that ‘compassion’ requires me to pretend that men are women.

What follows are nonsensical emotional arguments from you. You believe that because I understand human biology I am therefore “hatred incarnate” and “what makes the world ugly.” These assertions show that you are completely bonkers.

As a general note, there is always someone quick to call women ugly and hateful when they don’t accept bullshit from men. These are people who are upset that a woman is refusing to accept her subordinate status and treat men like gods. Well, guess what! I am very happy to report that I do not exist on this earth to validate and appease men, and I am not interested in catering to men’s feelings. If men feel upset that they were born male, that is their problem to deal with, not mine. All of my energy and compassion are directed toward women, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.

For further reading, check out What it means to be ‘woman-identified’ or ‘male-identified.’

I am a woman-identified woman, which means my mind is emancipated from patriarchy. I am a free woman! Dear readers, you can have the same happiness I have! Just stop catering to men!

Juno Dawson again…

Juno Dawson is a gay man who identifies as a trans woman. I mocked him in November for writing an article where he mansplained to feminists how to do feminism.

Now he is saying that “A lot of gay men are gay men as a consolation prize because they couldn’t be women.” Article here.

When Dawson was younger, he came to the reasonable conclusion that since he is male and attracted to males, that makes him a male homosexual. Later on, upon learning transgender ideology, he threw logic out the window and decided that, despite his male body, he is a “woman.” To date, I have never seen a logical definition from a transgenderist about what a “woman” is, but Dawson is quoted as saying the following:

“I just wanted to get f****d like a woman. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about what hole it’s going in”

That quote comes from this article by Douglas Robertson. I wasn’t able to find the original source for the quote in context, so if somebody finds it please let me know. It seems to me that no matter the context, this quote is very telling of what Dawson thinks about women.

In the article from Attitude magazine with the above-mentioned homophobic quote, the author summarizes a longer interview thusly:

“She opens up about the various elements of her life that led her to realise she was a trans woman, in order to encourage other people to explore their identity and start a healthy discussion about gender.

“With the increased awareness of transgenderism,” Juno says, “when we sit down and think: ‘Oh God, why am I struggling with alcohol, why am I struggling with drugs, why am I doing chemsex, why am I up all night on Grindr?’ Now one of the questions we’re asking ourselves is: ‘What’s my relationship with gender?’

“The whole point of The Gender Games is that I would love all the people who read it to question their relationship with gender.”

Another trans activist teaching young people that their emotional problems are caused by a mismatch between their body and their “gender.” Now, I’m all for people getting to know themselves and expressing themselves how they want, but transgender ideology is not about accepting yourself, it’s about rejecting your body as being ‘wrong’ and changing it, sometimes in ways that have high potential to cause harm. Rejecting yourself and trying to become someone else is not a path toward improved mental health. Transgender ideology assumes that there is such a thing as a body not matching a personality. I disagree strongly with that position—anyone, male, female or intersex, can have any personality, and because anyone can have any personality, there is no such thing as a personality not matching the body.

Dawson would love all people to question their relationship to gender. While I agree that all of us have a unique personality and therefore a unique experience of, and relationship to, the social constructs of masculinity and femininity, I don’t think anyone benefits from obsessing over this or making it into a life-altering issue. I have a unique relationship to masculinity and femininity too—for example, I wear my hair short and never wear makeup or high heels, but I also enjoy the colour pink and I like cooking and sewing. I could sit around making a list of all the things that are feminine or masculine about me and assign a gender label to that. But I don’t, because that’s a pointless activity. I am female, and that doesn’t change regardless of what kind of relationship to femininity I decide I have. I have a personality which is apparent to anyone who interacts with me and there is no need to label it with a “gender.”

I wouldn’t care at all if some people like applying useless labels to themselves, but if they are misogynist or homophobic about it then I have reason to care. There is a long history of gay men being regarded as not “real” men or having a “female brain” because they love other men, and this is sexist and homophobic. Dawson is a homophobic and misogynist man who rejects himself as a gay man and identifies as a “woman,” which to him is not an adult human female but a collection of attributes that anyone can identify into.

After Dawson’s article received a social media backlash for his obvious homophobia, transwoman Shon Faye wrote a response defending him.

In isolation, perhaps the quotation seems alarming to some gay guys, who recall being bullied for ‘acting like women’ or not being ‘real men’. I appreciate that the last thing you may want to hear after a lifetime of fighting for your sexuality to be respected is that that work and fighting could be erased and that someone is saying you’re actually a woman – just like the school homophobes always said. But I don’t think this is what Dawson meant. At all. Instead, I think she was referring to a very specific experience – the experience of some transgender women, who grew up as boys in the past twenty years when gay rights and visibility advanced thanks to the tireless work of gay campaigners but trans rights lagged behind.

Faye names here exactly what’s happening—feminine gay men are agreeing with the bullies who’ve always said they’re not “real” men. He doesn’t have a rebuttal to this other than “that’s not what he meant.” This is a really weak rebuttal, it doesn’t disprove the point. That’s because there is no difference between a male homosexual who identifies as gay and a male homosexual who identifies as a transwoman other than that the transwoman believes he’s really a woman. (This belief, of course, being nonsensical because a woman is an adult human female and males are not female.) Aside from this nonsensical belief, the material reality of both kinds of men is the same.

Faye says the following about his own journey from gay man to transwoman:

“As I hit puberty, I watched gay porn and knew I fancied boys – but that wasn’t the issue. I felt wrong. Not my sexuality – me. I never once wished to be a straight man. I wished I was not having the expectations of masculinity placed on me at all.”

The expectation that all men must be masculine is a sexist expectation that harms men, and it’s also harmful to women because part of masculinity is dominating women. Not wanting to be masculine doesn’t make a man a woman. Faye is demonstrating here that he agrees with the bullies too—he doesn’t want to be masculine, therefore he’s not a man. Here’s a photo of Shon Faye from the Attitude article:

Sure, his “gender” is feminine, but he’s still recognizable as male. When men grow their hair long and put on clothing that is culturally associated with females, they’re still male. Also note that the clothing he’s wearing here is something that plenty of actual women wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing. This sort of style is not something intrinsic to being female.

I’m so tempted to read Juno Dawson’s book to find out what attributes he thinks makes him a woman. So far all I’ve seen trans people rely on is sexist stereotypes, and no one has told me anything that leads me to believe it’s anything else. But judging by the crap he writes, I don’t want to pay money for his book.

 

Hannah Hart is the loveliest person

I read Hannah Hart’s memoir called Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded and the main thing I learned about her was that she is the loveliest person ever! I was skeptical at first about the idea of a 30-year-old writing a memoir, because what does someone so young have to reminisce about? Well in Hannah Hart’s case, it turns out, a lot!

She wrote about her childhood, which was difficult on account of her mother being schizophrenic. She wrote about the way her career took shape—with both struggles and triumphs. She wrote about coming out as a lesbian, which involved a period of denial at first, which she told in a most adorable way.

I had mixed feelings about the book itself. Some of the content is very interesting and engaging, and some of it I found not interesting or important enough to include in a memoir. The parts I liked the most were the parts about growing up with a mother who is ill and the parts about coming out.

Hannah told poignant stories about growing up in a neglectful and dirty home. Her mother was still able to work when she was young but her illness grew worse and worse. Hannah ended up being the primary caretaker for her little sister when she was still a kid herself, because her mother was no longer able to care for her. As a teenager and finally old enough to fully understand her home situation, she made the difficult decision of telling the authorities about her mother’s illness so that her little sister would get taken away and adopted. I cried several times over the hard things she had to do while still very young. I’m not sure if I would have been strong enough to handle it. Even as a young adult, one of her first tasks was to financially support her mother, since she could not work anymore and would have been on the street otherwise. Hannah’s family very much illustrates the need for better mental health services. It’s a crime that there isn’t better help for people with mental illnesses.

What I liked learning the most about her career is about the charity work she did on her Hello Harto tour. When her YouTube channel My Drunk Kitchen became wildly successful, she went on a crowd-funded tour doing shows in cities all around North America, Europe and Australia. The tour involved filming episodes of My Drunk Kitchen and meeting up with fans at local food banks. Instead of just greeting her fans while standing around in a room, she had them volunteer their time to help the local community.

In Buffering, she says:

“Visiting food banks while on the road gave us a bird’s-eye view of the different food resources available in each of the twenty-two cities. For instance, Second Harvest Food Bank in Oregon makes its own almond butter for distribution. Whereas at the food bank in Detroit, volunteers spent the day chipping frozen meat out of giant blocks of ice. It was a fascinating (and sometimes devastating) view of America. Or rather, a view of the many different “Americas” that exist in our shared land. (p56)”

You can watch a short documentary about her tour here:

When she talked about coming out, the first thing to explain was that her father is a Jehovah’s Witness, and due to his religion he does not accept her being gay. Like any gay kid with homophobic parents, she had to work through the idea that her desires were sinful before she could accept them. Now that I’ve read a few lesbian memoirs I’ve noticed that periods of denial are very common for us. There is a time period where we sort of know we are gay but don’t know it know it yet. Hannah had a huge crush on one of her female friends in college, and the girl liked her back, and they dated for quite some time while still thinking of themselves as straight. They had lots of sex while still thinking of themselves as straight. Hannah wrote a hilarious comment about how she imagined the two of them getting married “as two straight women.” Finally, she was able to admit that she was a lesbian. Her coming out video part one has over a million views:

The first time I heard of Hannah Hart was years ago when she was an unknown funny girl who had made a few videos of herself getting drunk and cooking very badly in a hilarious way. That first video she ever made, Butter Yo Shit, just recorded to cheer up a friend who was in a different city, now has over 4 million views:

I have to admit I haven’t been following her career very closely, because I’m not much of a YouTuber, I much prefer reading and writing over videos. I adore her first ten videos when she is still relatively unknown and hasn’t become a YouTube star yet, and I’ve watched them many times, but I haven’t watched much beyond the first ten. However, I’m still going to recommend that everybody subscribe to her channel and get to know this wonderful woman. She is cheerful, friendly, funny and caring, and she is going to spend her life doing great things. I can see her having her own talk show like Ellen Degeneres because she is just as sunny and inspiring. So many millenials are obsessed with themselves and their appearance and their identities, but Hannah Hart knows what’s important: creating community, thinking about others, and helping people who are struggling. I am truly in awe over what a fantastic person she is. If she can accomplish so much by 30, despite such difficult beginnings, imagine what she will accomplish with the rest of her life!

Whether you read her book or watch her channel, definitely get to know Hannah Hart—you’ll be glad you did!

Some old-fashioned men’s clothes to ponder

I’ve been looking for historical information on clothing and I came across some pictures of men’s clothing from the Middle Ages.

This first book is Handbook of English Mediaeval Costume by Cecil Willett Cunnington and Phillis Cunnington, 1952.

This book says that men wore tunics which “widened to a full skirt (p20).” They also wore stockings, (although they were made of wool, so these were nothing like the nylon stockings we know today—however, we would call a garment that fits close to the leg like that “leggings” nowadays and consider them only for women.) Some men wore their hair medium long, coming down to the neck.

That first man in particular looks like he’s wearing what we would consider women’s clothing by our standards today.

(Also side note: Who knew people already knew how to disco in the 11th century???)

Anyway, the next book is Military Uniforms of the World, Blandford Press, 1968, written by Politikens Forlag, translated into English by John Hewish.

Just check out these dandies:

The lovely man at the top left marked number 1 is wearing a Swiss Guard uniform from 1506. Lovely man number 2 is a Yeoman of the Guard, also from 1506. Look at those skirts, puffy sleeves, leggings, and long hair!

I’ve included the next picture so you can look at the shoes on number eleven’s feet. Those are cute little bow ties!

In later years, clothing was less fluffy and more practical, but in 1813 a skirt still appears on man number 260, a Private of the Greek Light Infantry. (Yes there is a Scottish kilt here too, but that won’t surprise anybody.)

I pondered these uniforms for a while and thought about how these men wanted to look really fancy because they were important, upper class men and wanted to be recognized for their status. All these fancy elements add to their elegance.

Isn’t that what a lot of transwomen are doing today? Putting on makeup and fancy dresses and then insisting on being treated like the most important person in the room who has to be recognized for their status. I’m not saying ALL transwomen, but definitely the more narcissistic and shallow variety. What we can learn from this is that this has always been male behavior. Long hair and dresses are far from unheard of on men—they used to be quite normal. The only reason they’re abnormal today is because there is a strong insistence on conformity to a certain style on men—a style that is utilitarian and drab rather than elegant and fancy. Men who want to be elegant and fancy and recognized for their status are nothing new, and they’re not feminine, they are masculine.

Just something for you to ponder.

Radical Feminist testimony on Bill C-16

Today there was a hearing on Canada’s Bill C-16, which amends the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Here is Meghan Murphy’s testimony:

As well, here is an article by Murphy explaining what is wrong with the bill.

To watch the full hearing:

  1. Go to this page: http://senparlvu.parl.gc.ca/XRender/en/View/Calendar/20170509/
  2. Click on May 10
  3. Click on LCJC meeting no. 67