Male art that dehumanises women vs. female art that illuminates the reality of sexual violence and female objectification

Nordic Model Now!

Rae Story reflects on how when male artists create works that dehumanise women it is taken to be a comment on society as a whole, while women’s resulting brutalisation, isolation and objectification is seen as little more than a sideshow. She compares this with the powerful art of Suzzan Blac who mines her own traumatic memories of abuse and prostitution to create a blistering commentary on pornographic, female objectification and paedophile culture.

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School won’t let lesbian student change identities again

From the New York Post:

“School to student: Enough with the gender flip-flopping”

“Administrators at a Long Island high school forced a student to sign a contract barring her from changing her gender identity because she had switched it twice already, sources told The Post.”

Okay, it’s slightly odd to make a student sign a contract not to change her gender identity. Adolescents normally go through many stages of identity formation, you can’t really stop that process nor do you need to. And this student only changed her identity twice, which is not that much. However, adolescents these days don’t just get a strange piercing or dye their hair, or go around being goth for a while, now they force everyone around them to acknowledge their identities for them by changing the way they speak to them. The one thing I will agree with here is that the school should not be forced to change their school records and retrain all staff on new pronouns every time an adolescent discovers new feelings about her- or him-self. That would be an administrative nightmare and a waste of time. People are allowed to have a gender identity and change it whenever they want, but as has always been customary among humans, we refer to each other by our sex, which does not change, rather than our subjective internal feelings, which are subject to change any time, possibly several times a day.

Although trans activists claim that trans people were born inherently trans, and can’t be any other way, and will die of either murder or suicide if not allowed to transition, this adolescent girl identified as a boy for a while and then all of a sudden desisted just so that grandma and grandpa wouldn’t find out. Did she go back into the closet so that her grandparents wouldn’t find out, and continue to think of herself as male, while planning to come out again later on when it was safer? No, she just stopped thinking of herself as male.

“Now a gay female again with her original name, the student said she is likely to remain a woman for the foreseeable future.”

“I just came to the realization that gender is not a big deal either way,” she said. “People can think of me however they want. It’s not important.”

I agree with that last statement of hers. Your “gender” isn’t that important. It basically amounts to your taste in fashion, your choice of hairstyle, and your feelings about yourself. These can change any time and it’s no big deal and it doesn’t change who you are.

The fact that this student now identifies as gay was tucked away in there casually near the bottom like no big thing. This happens so often with articles about women who identify as men. The fact that they are lesbian is mentioned in passing like it’s no big deal, and no journalist, (aside from TERF bloggers) ever reports that this phenomenon is something largely affecting lesbians.

Lesbians are not born inherently male, folks. We’re born female and we remain female. We often feel different from other girls, which is normal. This doesn’t mean we’re male, it means we’re lesbian.

I hope this young woman finds happiness in the lesbian community.

A homophobic tennis player

Apparently there’s a kerfuffle happening in Australia over some comments by former tennis star Margaret Court.

From the Guardian:

“The former tennis champion Margaret Court has claimed “tennis is full of lesbians” following a row over remarks she made previously about gay marriage. She added that transgender children were the work of “the devil”.

Court’s earlier comments opposing same-sex marriage sparked furious debate about whether the show court named in her honour at Melbourne Park should be changed. However, she said that attempts to remove her name from it were “bullying”.”

I have mixed feelings about whether a building should be renamed because the honoree made offensive comments. I think a few years ago I would have agreed that the court should change its name to show its opposition to Court’s bigotry, but now I’m inclined to think that such a reaction would be overkill. After witnessing the increasing inability of anyone on the Left to tolerate discussion, questions or nuance, and to repress any speech that doesn’t meet current standards of ideological purity, I’m just totally fed up with trying to get people to stop saying certain things. There’s nothing like being a member of a group that’s been silenced to make you appreciate free speech.

It’s an odd feeling to have reached “peak left” when I still am actually on the left. I’m just on an imaginary left, one that is pro-woman and seeks to eliminate sex-based oppression as well as class-based oppression, and one that lives in reality and does the best it can to make practical, positive improvements for oppressed people. Sadly, that left doesn’t exist in the real world anymore, but a girl can dream, y’know?

I’m not entirely sure what the solution is to changing people with bigoted beliefs. Is making it impossible for them to speak and bullying them into silence really the way to do it? That often makes them shut up for a while, but all that hatred comes out of the woodwork eventually when they’re given a reason or an opportunity to express it. And sometimes, trying to bully someone just makes them more firm in their beliefs.

It would be nice if education, reasonable explanation, and rational debate could work on more people, but sadly, it works on very few. Especially those whose beliefs aren’t based on any substantial evidence or logic in the first place.

Margaret Court is quoted as saying the following:

 “We know that homosexuality is a lust of the flesh, so is adultery, fornication, all those things … they too know this, this is why they want marriage, because it’s self-satisfying. I think they know it comes against Christianity, the beliefs of God, but in some way it’s justifying.”

and…

“Everybody knows that it is wrong but they’re after our young ones, that’s what they are after”.

This is so baffling it’s actually sort of fascinating. I know those of you who were raised in any homophobic religious tradition have heard this sort of thing before, but I was not ever told that sinners were going to fry in hell during my childhood and I’ve long thought this religious stuff is very silly.

Her basic premise here is that homosexuality is “lust” and that makes it inherently wrong. I had to look up lust in the dictionary to make sure I wasn’t missing something, and indeed I wasn’t. It just means strong sexual desire. I actually have no idea what’s wrong with strong sexual desire…seems pretty normal to me? Many people of all sexual orientations experience sexual desire. In particular, heterosexual men are quite well-known for that quality. If sexual desire is a sin then isn’t heterosexuality a sin too? If God created us, then didn’t he create sexual desire on purpose to further the continuation of the species? This whole premise just makes no sense. I see no reason why lust would be considered a sin in the first place, so I see no reason why “it’s just lust” would be an argument against homosexuality.

I had to look up “fornication” too because this is not a commonly-used word outside of Bible-thumping communities. It means sexual intercourse outside of marriage. Once again, I have no idea what is wrong with that. If Court thinks that no one should have sex outside of marriage, then once again, she should be opposed to heterosexuality as well, since heterosexuals regularly have sex outside of marriage. And it’s a bit ironic that someone who thinks one should be married to have sex also opposes people getting married.

Then she says we want marriage because it’s “self-satisfying.” I don’t even know what she means by that. Marriage rights are important for many financial and legal reasons, like being able to access your partner’s health benefits and being able to visit them in a hospital room if they are ill. What is “self-satisfying” about it? Marriage is a commitment to another person, so it’s not about satisfying the self.

Then the bits about “everybody knows its wrong” and “they’re after our children,” like, whoa there. No, everybody doesn’t think love is wrong. When two people are in love and pledge their commitment to each other and care about each other and take care of each other every day and yes, also touch each other in intimate ways, that is beautiful and there is nothing wrong about it. I have no idea what could be wrong about any of that. And why do homophobic people always think we’re “after the children”? Like, “after them” for what reason? I’m guessing it’s either one of two things: they think we’re all child molesters, or they think that homosexuality is contagious and we’re trying to infect children with it. One group of people very highly likely to be child molesters is Catholic priests, and for some reason homophobic people ignore that and point the finger at us. Homosexuality is not the least bit contagious. Only around 5% of each generation is gay and we cannot increase that. (I know that about 1000% of young people today identify as “queer” but that is because queer is the new cool thing to call yourself, they’re not actually all gay.)

In some cases, if someone is promoting hatred against specific groups of people, and if there is a credible risk of real harm coming to them, then I think silencing them is appropriate, but here I do not. This woman is just an idiot whose views make no sense, and I know these views can be dangerous when held by people in positions of power, but as long as we have full equal rights under the law then people can say stupid shit and we can just roll our eyes.

I will continue to be the best person I can be and live my life as out lesbian so that I prove this sort of bullshit wrong every day.

Some TERFy dating advice for a Reddit commenter

A Reddit user wrote the following comment:

“I’m a 23 year old female, lesbian identifying. So, I’ve been seeing this girl for a few months. We live in different cities so we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, but it’s been going alright. We’ve kissed a few times, and she’s been flirting more lately. I’m definitely not a virgin but I’m a bit nervous. Because she has a penis. I’ve always considered myself super gay. Logically, I know I am dating a woman, even if she has junk I’m unfamiliar with. She’s been on HRT for about three months and still isn’t completely female passing, which I don’t care about. But I don’t know how to process the thought of sex. We’ve talked about it, and she let me know she would be fine with not doing PIV at all, and has let me know of other, non penetrative things we could do that I didn’t even know existed. My last relationship (with a cis woman) consisted pretty much entirely of her penetrating me with a strap on. And I feel like such a hypocrite, for being okay with that but possibly not with her organic penis. And then what if I do want it? Does that make me less gay? I’ve never even had an orgasm, by anyone (including myself) and if it happens during PIV was I really straight all this time? I had sex with a trans man once who was pre everything, and I was completely comfortable because he still had all the parts I was familiar with. So am I being transphobic because of her penis? Would really appreciate some advice.”

Now, since this commenter posted in trans-friendly subreddits, all the responses were about how she should go ahead and have heterosex even though she doesn’t seem to be comfortable with it. The material in the comments is an absolute train wreck.

Just FYI, this same comment was posted in two subreddits, here and here.

I’m going to post individual sentences taken from the responses, and then add my own commentary.

“It definitely will take some time and it will probably get easier as she gets further along in her transition.”

When you say that “it will get easier,” that implies that it’s not easy now. The reason why it’s “not easy” right now is because this woman is attracted to women but dating a man. This does not feel comfortable for her, obviously. This situation will never get easier, and it doesn’t need to. The idea of having sex with your partner should not feel uneasy or difficult. If you don’t actively enjoy sex with someone, then don’t have sex.

“Being with a transwoman and even enjoying sex with her doesn’t make you any less gay.”

Nah, when you are a woman and you enjoy having sex with a man, that does make you “less gay” because enjoying sex with a man means you’re not gay. If it turns out that this woman does enjoy sex with a man, that’s fine, and that means she’s bisexual. No need to worry about that—it’s okay to be bisexual.

“Oh, sweetheart. Everyone internalizes the weird shit our heteronormative society tells us, and there are few organs as loaded with symbolism as the human penis. You’ve just realized that you’ve internalized a lot of weird, transphobic shit that’s creating a hesitancy or blockage, so I totally understand feeling confused.”

Oh gawd, the irony! You are telling a woman who is likely a lesbian that she should be having sex with a man and enjoying it, but you’re saying that her reluctance to have sex with a man is “heteronormative.” Welcome to backwards land!

“Is ‘lesbian’ a label that you use to describe who you are, or do you find it occasionally is a box that shapes you into some preconceived notion of who you’re supposed to be?…Maybe experiment with letting go to your attachment to your labels and see where that takes you? You being you is far more important than you being faithful to your labels.”

So, basically, the solution to being a woman who isn’t interested in men is not to stop dating men, but to stop calling yourself a lesbian!

“Don’t start by jumping into the deep end with both feet. Work your way into it more easily – start things off with touching (through clothes at first) and GO SLOW. You’re entering what is new territory for you, and it’s only natural that you should be nervous.”

There’s nothing wrong with going slow, but what is really obvious here is that you are telling this woman that she should not listen to her feelings of discomfort and should go ahead with something she isn’t into anyway, despite the nervous feeling. Although it’s subtle, you are gaslighting her and you are working to break down her boundaries. This is abuse.

A few words on “feeling nervous.” Sure, it’s normal to feel nervous with a new partner, but pay attention to what kind of nervous you are feeling. Being nervous because you’re really excited and happy about someone and the relationship is important to you is a good thing. But if it feels wrong or uncomfortable and you’re not sure if you should go ahead because you’re not feeling right about it, then that’s a bad nervous. That’s a sign not to go any further.

“All humans start off as physically female in the beginning of their development, gaining male or female physical sex traits later on….So for trans women, our penises are basically (really) big clitorises.”

Nope. Just because a fetus starts off with undifferentiated genitalia, doesn’t mean that fully-formed adult males can claim their penis is a female organ. This is a bullshit argument.

“It’s not unusual at all for women to not be able to bring themselves to orgasm — hell, I can’t anymore.”

Dude…your inability to orgasm now that your penis has shrunk from estrogen has absolutely no relation to lack of orgasm in human females.

So this was some super terrible advice. Basically, lie about human biology, stop calling yourself a lesbian, and have sex with a man even though you don’t like it! This is really abusive and homophobic.

Here’s my advice!

It is not at all logical that a human who is male would be called a “woman,” since a woman is a human female. What is actually “logically” happening here is that you are dating a man. You say this man has been on hormones for only three months and doesn’t pass as female. Guess what? You are dating a fully-intact typical male. There is nothing female about him whatsoever. The feelings of discomfort you are experiencing are there because you are not attracted to men. That is okay. It is not at all bigoted or phobic to decline to have sex with men. Women do not owe men anything, not sex, not love, not our time or energy, not our validation, not anything.

You don’t have to feel like a hypocrite for enjoying penetrative sex with a woman but not wanting sex with a man. That is entirely normal and okay. A dildo is absolutely not a penis and neither is a penis a dildo. There is no reason why liking one means you have to like the other.

The trans/queer community is gaslighting you—that means they are forcing you to disregard your own feelings and your own knowledge of reality and instead accept someone else’s idea of reality instead. Somewhere in your brain you do understand that your partner is a man and that you are not happy. You are allowed to pay attention to what you can see with your own eyes. You are allowed to trust your own instincts. This is good and healthy for you. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. The best thing you can do for yourself at this point is stop dating anyone who is male, stay away from the queer/trans cult because they are extremely misogynist, and only date women who you are attracted to and who treat you well.

Best of luck to you, sister.

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!