The year 2016 was absolute shit in the world in general. But this post is not about that—it’s just about my blogging year. Some great stuff happened here in 2016!
My favourite two pieces from 2016 were the Manifesto of the Gender Rebels and my lesbian fairy tale, Beauty and the Butch. I love the Manifesto for the pride it demonstrates in being gender nonconforming and the way it summarizes the gender critical feminist position. I owe a big thank you to the commenters who helped me think of it and write it—arainandagale, captainyourface, and bullydawg. I love the fairy tale because I rarely ever write fiction but this piece seemed to just come to me suddenly. It was born out of the need for lesbian representation and the need to see ourselves reflected as heroes in stories. I am really happy with the way it turned out. I am so proud that I have written a manifesto and a fairy tale. I wonder what new genres I can write in 2017?
This year I had a major shift in my thinking about political lesbianism and this has caused me to go back and delete a lot of old posts. I started out thinking that ‘lesbian feminism’ was a political movement that I belonged to and that I needed to understand its history and build upon it. Several lesbians have taken the time to explain how ‘lesbian feminism’ was a misguided attempt by non-homosexual radical feminists to turn homosexuality into a political strategy to be chosen and how this has not only not worked as a strategy but has harmed lesbians. It took several blog posts and lots of discussion with several people to show me the problems with political lesbianism, and now I’ve turned right around. I no longer think it’s a good idea to turn sexual orientation into a political strategy or to present homosexuality as a choice, and a lot of the comments I’ve made here I no longer agree with. I have removed all those old posts because I don’t even want them to exist anymore. I have been processing this change in my politics a lot on my password protected blog; those of you only reading my main blog haven’t heard it mentioned very much, but it has been a major turning point. Now, when I read the work of ‘lesbian feminists’ of the ‘lesbianism-is-a-political-choice’ variety I read them to criticize instead of to learn. My tagline used to say “A lesbian feminist” and now it says “Lesbian, feminist, gender abolitionist” to reflect this change.
Along with this shift I have also shifted from seeing published authors as authority figures that I should learn from to seeing them as my peers and believing in myself as being an author of similar calibre. This is because I have seen that even feminists I respect and who have made large contributions to the movement can get some things wrong, and so I no longer have them up on a pedestal. Now that I’ve spent many years reading radical feminists I have come to understand the theory and history well and I can explain and apply the theory as well as my peers can. This has been a great year for learning how to believe in myself.
I’m still a radical feminist in most ways. I agree with the radical feminist analysis of women’s oppression, particularly the analysis of pornography and prostitution. However, I am alienated from radical feminists who believe in political lesbianism and who think that butch/femme is a deliberate, artificial performance of gender roles. I find that sometimes feminists want to theorize about lesbians without understanding what it’s actually like being a female homosexual and without listening to our input. As I move into 2017, I wonder if I will end up criticizing some of the same feminists I used to promote.
Another thing that happened in 2016 is that trans people have been reading my blog and some of them started having discussions with me. This has been great! Some trans people who are curious about what “The Terfs” are saying have found my blog accessible and less upsetting than some other trans-critical blogs. I am happy about this. It has been useful to clarify my position on issues when answering questions and it has been informative hearing trans people talk about their dysphoria. I feel like we have come to understand each other better and this can only be a good thing. I hope those trans people who hang out here will stick around next year.
I got tons of new followers in 2016, and lots of them have blogs about topics other than feminism, therefore I don’t know what brought them here. I am always curious about what brings people here and whether they like what I write or whether they are hate-following. If you are a new reader and have never introduced yourself, please do! I’d love to hear from you.
I have met some wonderful people while blogging on WordPress. Thank you to all the regular commenters and to the lurkers. You make it all worthwhile!