Elevators

There is something that annoys me and I haven’t mentioned it yet because it’s such a very small nuisance that I feel I should just ignore it. But it keeps happening over and over, and now I think I should mention it.

Every single time I’m in an elevator with a man he insists I get off first, no matter who is standing closer to the door. I’m sure men think they’re being nice or polite or accommodating or chivalrous or some other positive thing, but I find this uncomfortable. I use an elevator both at home and at work, and so almost every day I end up in an elevator with a man who says “after you” and waits for me to get off before he does.

I know this is totally a first world problem, but it bothers me because it’s unnecessarily drawing attention to the fact that I’m a woman, which I don’t think should matter at all in a situation where people are getting off an elevator. I feel like it’s treating me differently because of my sex. I know that if I was a guy, other guys would get out of the elevator in order of who is closest to the door first. However, since I am in possession of female reproductive organs, for some reason it’s necessary for me to leave first. Why? Who teaches this to men, and why? I don’t get it.

To me, whoever is closest to the elevator door should get out first regardless of sex, since there is absolutely nothing about anyone’s chromosomes or genitalia that determines the choreography for leaving elevators.

Every time a guy who is closer to the door than I am waits for me to get off first, I feel annoyed, because it’s like he’s saying You’re a woman, and I’m treating you like one!” I just want to be treated like a person, just a regular person, who is part of normal elevator-leaving choreography, and not part of some special category who has to get out first.

So far I’ve never tried to say anything like “No, after you,” or “You’re closer to the door, bro” because (a) I hate talking to people and I use as few words as possible in social situations and (b) he would be totally confused if I refused to get off first and have no idea what my problem was. And to be honest, I would have a hard time explaining why this tiny little thing bothers me so much.

The only way I can explain it is this: I want to be just a person, no more, no less.

Personal Update

So my blog vacation lasted three weeks! This is not the first time I’ve gone on “blog vacation” only to come back in less than a month, which is actually a normal amount of time to spend between blog posts anyway! I guess I just declare “blog vacation” as a way to tell myself to spend three weeks not writing long essays, because this is what one has to do when one has a blog addiction.

I did do some spring cleaning around here, and it’s not done yet, but I’ve spent the last two weekends going through old stuff and throwing out things I no longer need, and now I need a vacation from that job. It’s actually pretty horrifying. I have made some trips down memory lane and remembered some just awful stuff while going through my old things. Luckily, it’s all thrown out now! And I finally let go of my cassette tapes from the 1990s. Damn! I loved those.

I made some notes for my novel. My next step is to do some actual research, and that will take some time. I figure it will be several months before I have an outline written and can start fleshing out each chapter.

I have been reading a novel written by a radical feminist reader who sent me some free copies. When it’s done I will review it, and then I am going to start reading another novel sent to me by a reader! My readers are awesome!

I have to come back to blogging this weekend, because all sorts of things are pissing me off and I need to write about them! Time to spend endless hours staring at my computer screen again. Dear computer screen, how I love thee!

Notice of blog vacation

Well, it’s come time again for a blog vacation. I am very, very committed to writing which means that sometimes I spend too much time on it. My day job involves using a computer all day and then I spend my evenings and weekends also at a computer to write blog posts. This weekend I wrote and rewrote my review of Tomboy Survival Guide, struggling to find the right approach, and then I started on another piece but had to stop because I got a migraine. My body is telling me that I’ve had way too much computer time and I need to do something else for a while. Always listen to what your body tells you.
I’m already planning out my next lesbian fairy tale, but making my notes the old-fashioned way, with paper and pen. I also need to do some spring cleaning around here. I’ll be around to moderate comments and read other blogs, but no new posts for a while, unless it’s just a reblog or a video.
You may consider this an open thread if you want to chat. 🙂

My blogging year 2016

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!

A gloomy Christmas

It’s that time of year again, when we are forced to visit our biological families and buy even more cheap crap from China than usual to support a consumerist holiday that may have once had something to do with Christianity. For those of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, gender nonconforming, or the only leftist from a family of conservatives, this capitalist holiday can be particularly irritating.

As you may have noticed, this is not a warm and fuzzy Christmas post—it’s a bitter, gloomy, and depressing Christmas post. If you are experiencing a magical holiday full of wonder and joy then you’d be best advised to get back to your eggnog and wassailing and ignore this post altogether.

It’s always hard to be the only gay or the only leftist in a family. When people say stupid shit like “Why do the gays have to flaunt it all the time?” or “Damn union thugs are destroying our businesses” you can either yell and scream or try to reason or you can get angry and leave, but they’ll never change, and what’s even worse, you can’t get away from them because they’re your family. As a child, Christmasses with this bunch were fun times with great food and presents, but as an adult, it finally becomes apparent just how evil they really are. If it were up to them, there’d be no social safety net at all, leading to much more poverty. Merry fucking Christmas!

This year, sadly, I fear it’s even worse than usual for us in North America, because the United States of Idiocy just elected Shitface as president, and American liberals have become an embarrassment to us all. Liberals are completely removed from reality right now and have nothing to offer anyone anymore other than a million different identities you can try on. What on earth can leftists even say to their family members anymore? People who are supposedly on the left (although if you ask me, they’re not on the left at all) are no-platforming anyone who deviates even slightly from their insane party line and shouting at people who attempt to make presentations, they’re forcing everyone to pretend that biological sex doesn’t exist and that we need to refer to everyone by their subjective, inexplicable, internal feelings, and they’re doing absolutely nothing to help the working class. At this point, if someone says to me that Liberals are insane I’m just going to have to agree. How depressing is that!

I can’t really say what the Liberals/Left should be doing, because human civilization is such a mess that it’s impossible to even know where to start. I read Deep Green Resistance this year, and I’m inclined to agree that civilization itself needs to go. But try suggesting at Christmas dinner that what we really need to improve “the economy” is to end the economy altogether, and you’ll be laughed right out of the room before the turkey has even been served. The only thing I can say about what Liberals/Leftists should be doing is getting their heads out of their asses and facing actual reality. That would be a good place to start, and then we could have an honest conversation about how to make things better for the working class, women, racial minorities, and LGBTs within this shit show of a world humans have created.

Now don’t take this rant to mean that I’m not on the Left anymore. I certainly am, although it’s hard to tell what that means. There is not much of an organized Left in North America, it’s really just the two wings of the Capitalist Party whether you’re in Canada or the U.S.A. I still care about human rights, equality, the environment, eradicating poverty, and feminism, and I always will.

The election of Shitface this year brought with it a massive unleashing of hate and bigotry, mostly directed toward racial minorities, but also toward women, LGBTs and leftists. It has been shocking to see the KKK out and about in broad daylight in the U.S.A. How can this be happening? But that’s the result of electing a racist shitface. All the other racist shitfaces feel empowered to let their racism come out in the open, after having at least partially hidden it for a while. And these shitfaces are going to sit down to Christmas dinner soon and gloat about the defeat of the Democrats and the rise of the neo-Nazis. I fear for those feminists, leftists, and queers who are on their way right now to visit their Trump-supporting families.

I wish I had some advice for how to deal with it. Relaxation techniques? Prepared statements? Public Service Announcements? Ear plugs? Alcohol? Drugs? Complete refusal to visit one’s family? I don’t know. If you are the “rainbow sheep” in your family, and you’re dealing with this right now, feel free to rant in the comments. I can’t say I’ll have any constructive advice, but I can offer my condolences.

I won’t be writing any new posts until the New Year, so feel free to consider this an open thread until then.

Happy holidays to all my union thugs, militant homosexuals and gender freaks! May we at least drive our conservative family members as crazy as they drive us.

A brief history of ‘gender’

Please read this excellent analysis of the word ‘gender.’

language: a feminist guide

In New York City in 1999, I heard a talk in which Riki Anne Wilchins (self-styled ‘transexual menace’, and described in the Gender Variance Who’s Who as ‘one of the iconic transgender persons of the 1990s’) declared that feminists had no theory of gender. I thought: ‘what is she talking about? Feminists invented the concept of gender!’

Fast forward ten years to 2009, when I went to a bookfair in Edinburgh to speak about The Trouble & Strife Reader, a collection of writing from a feminist magazine I’d been involved with since the 1980s. Afterwards, two young women came up to chat. Interesting book, they said, but why is there nothing in it about gender?

From my perspective the book was allabout gender—by which I meant, in Gayle Rubin’s 1975 formulation, ‘the socially-imposed division of the sexes’. Feminists of my generation understood gender as part of the…

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