Fun with homophobic weirdos

Here’s one thing that’s political and doesn’t bum me out. Homophobic weirdos and their baffling and hilarious anti-gay brochures!

I hate-follow Autostraddle, and most of their articles either make me want to projectile vomit or roll my eyes right out of my head, but every once in a while they write something genuinely good. Here is an article about the homophobic brochures going around Australia right now. Whenever there is a vote or a change in law regarding same-sex marriage, all sorts of religious and right-wing buffoons create bizarre and laughable explanations and scare tactics designed to get people to oppose civil rights for gays and lesbians.

Oh man, they never fail to disappoint! Do click on the link to Autostraddle, but I’ll just post an image from their article here, because I just adore it.

See, because seat belts can’t be tied by putting the open ends together or the inserting ends together, that means that persons born with a homosexual orientation don’t deserve civil rights. Of course, they’re not talking about seat belts, they’re using a family-friendly euphemism for a penis entering a vagina. According to homophobic weirdos, there is nothing more important in the universe than penis-in-vagina sex that produces a baby. That’s what they live for and all they know. That’s not only the purpose, but the very definition of marriage. Just check out this other homophobic ad from the same Autostraddle article:

This writer explains marriage in the following way:

“When the wife’s egg is fertilized by the husband’s sperm in the marital act of love, a flash of light occurs and a baby is conceived. Nine months later, “their” baby is born….They have created a new life together. THIS IS MARRIAGE!”

So you see, folks…marriage is not the union of two people in love, and it’s not even the union of “one man and one woman,” as the homophobes define it. Marriage is the act of human procreation!

Of course, this means that even straight couples who don’t have children or who are infertile cannot possibly ever be married. Their marriages are not valid. The state should immediately revoke their marriage licenses, or the hounds of hell shall be released!

You know, every time I look at that seat belt graphic, I love it even more. The assertion that only one of these is a real seat belt is so precious! I’ve been trying to figure out how I can create an equally awesome graphic that responds adequately to the supreme level of awesomeness that this seat belt graphic achieves.

I pondered the meaning that this designer was trying to convey. Same-sex relationship are wrong, apparently, on the basis that our genitals don’t interlock while we’re having sex. Apparently that interlocking feature is the defining factor in what makes a relationship. What small, strange lives these people must have. And what terrible sex lives they must have! Even for straight people, the non-crazy ones anyway, sex is way more than just a mechanical motion of in-out, in-out. Most of the things that humans do during satisfying sex are common to all sexual orientations and body types: kissing, caressing, touching, cuddling, petting, and manual and oral stimulation are things we all do. But that one defining feature of heterosex is the only thing that counts for these homophobic weirdos.

Another, slightly more serious article from the Guardian also discusses the homophobic brochures going around Australia, and offers more quotes shedding more light on what exactly these folks are worried about. One fear is that if we allow same-sex couples to legally marry, then teachers will start teaching how to have gay sex in classrooms. Another fear is that homosexuality is a “curse of death” because it “terminates the family line.” (Again, what is this obsession with breeding? There are already 7.5 billion people on the planet, for gosh sake. If a small percentage of the population doesn’t reproduce, there will still be world overpopulation.) Another fear is that if we legalize same-sex marriage, that will directly lead to transsexuals raping women in washrooms.

Now, I do have to add a small disclaimer to that last point. It’s true that genderist ideology seeks to eliminate sex-segregated spaces which can lead to harassment of women in what were supposed to be our private spaces. I’m concerned about that too. I don’t think anyone is likely to actually rape a woman in a washroom—what is most likely to happen to women is verbal harassment, intimidation, and flashing by men who believe they are “women.” (Although you never know what men will do, some of them are pretty damn dangerous.) But legalization of same-sex marriage doesn’t desegregate washrooms and locker rooms. Same-sex marriage has absolutely nothing to do with genderist ideology, and the only reason these two things have become linked is because organizations that used to fight for gay rights have started promoting the gender identity movement. This shouldn’t be happening, and I’m frustrated that an ideology that harms lesbians is being associated with our fight for our own rights.

I always get the impression from the insane rantings of homophobic conservatives that they think heterosexuality is so fragile that if you merely suggest that homosexuality exists, all previously heterosexual people will suddenly lose interest in the opposite sex and will forevermore engage in no other activity than homosexual fornication. Also, judging by the symbolism used in their graphics where women are coloured pink and men are coloured blue, I get the impression that they fear humans won’t be able to figure out how to breed if we get rid of old-fashioned gender roles.

To get all radfem about it, those who are invested in preserving patriarchy know that you have to rigidly enforce heterosexuality, PIV sex, old-fashioned gender roles, and frequent reproduction, to keep patriarchy going. They think that without all these institutions in place, civilization would collapse, which reveals that they define “civilization” as capitalist patriarchy. Those of us who have a vision of a better, more egalitarian and sustainable civilization than capitalist patriarchy are very scary to them.

So, just for fun, I’ve created some silly graphics to respond to the awesome seat belt graphic above. Inspiration for creative work comes from unexpected places!

Here are my Awesome Graphics on the topic of which relationships are “real” relationships because the people “fit” together. Obviously I am going to use Comic Sans and liberal use of unnecessary all caps and random quotation marks, just to follow the conventions of the genre of crazy people’s crazy graphics. I also tried to capture the baffling incoherence that this genre generously offers. I hope you will like my submissions:

#logic

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Let’s talk about who’s actually hateful and bigoted here

Well, folks, I am back from a lovely and relaxing trip and ready to address the stinking pile of horseshit that people crapped onto my blog while I was away.

I published a guest post by a woman who was harassed at the Vancouver Dyke March, and her harasser showed up in the comments to continue the harassment. It’s absolutely amazing to me that a harasser can get called out on his harassment and then decide that the appropriate response is to continue harassing. How messed up of a person do you have to be to think that’s a good idea?

Mr. Wanda Normous made a feeble attempt to claim that he hadn’t harassed anyone by reporting that he didn’t use a loud voice when talking to her. However, he admitted in his own words to engaging in the following behaviours:

  • “follow around to counter your hateful message until you took it out of the park with you”
  • “walk or stand immediately outside of your personal space with my terror breasts exposed.”
  • “I used two tools to evict you”

In these quotes, Mr. Normous has admitted to following a lesbian around and being in her personal space with the purpose of “evicting” her from the march. This is clear harassment and intimidation.

Let’s take a moment to discuss who is actually hateful and bigoted in this situation. There is a trans march and a dyke march. No lesbians are on record as saying they do not think there should be a trans march. No lesbians have attended a trans march to intimidate anybody. Lesbians have not tried to take over the board of directors of a trans march and kick out the trans people from the march. This is something that trans people are doing to the dyke march, and it’s happening only in that direction. It’s not going both ways.

Speaking for myself, I have been to a trans march. While I was there I just stood on the sidelines and watched. I did not lecture anyone about what they may or may not put on their sign. I did not select a person whose sign I believed was objectionable and follow them around in order to intimidate them. I do not believe I have the right to dictate to trans people what they put on their signs in their own march, nor do I have a right to harass anyone. I believe it’s acceptable for Pride festivals to include a trans march and for trans people to show their pride about being trans. I do not wish to stand in the way of this.

All the dyke marches in every city that holds them have been taken over by queer politics and are now hostile toward anyone who understands what a woman is and what a lesbian is. Comments from lesbians are deleted from Dyke March Facebook pages in every city and marchers hold signs that say things like “No TERFs” to make it clear that actual female homosexuals are not welcome there. The Dyke Marches now cater exclusively to men and bisexual women who agree with queer politics.

There is no logical reason why trans people need to be centered or even invited at all to a dyke march, since THERE IS A TRANS MARCH. A dyke march should center dykes.

What is happening here is that female homosexuals are being completely kicked out of Pride festivals; we cannot have our own march any more, we cannot even speak about our exclusion without being labelled bigots. It’s not just that trans people wanted their own march, which would have been fine, but they wanted every march to cater exclusively to them.

It is abundantly clear that the actual hatred and bigotry here is coming from trans people and is being directed at lesbians. Claims that lesbians are excluding trans people are complete reversals of the truth.

Speaking of lies, Wanda Normous wrote some real whoppers in the comments on my last post.

He has claimed that  “your desire to exterminate transwomen is plain” and that “you only care about hurting and excluding transwomen” and that “you’re just deciding for folks whether or not they’re women.”

Neither I nor the writer of the guest post gave any indication that we wanted to “exterminate” transwomen. In order for this alleged “desire” to be “plain,” we would have had to express it. This claim is purely a product of Mr. Normous’s imagination. Just for the record, no, I do not wish to exterminate anyone.

Neither I nor the guest writer has an interest in hurting transwomen. As for exclusion, I do think that transwomen should be excluded from the dyke march, however I do not think they should be excluded from the trans march. It’s pretty basic logic that the dyke march is for dykes and the trans march is for trans people. Having a march for each group does not exclude anybody—holding a march for each group is actually inclusion. Questions: If transwomen should be included in the dyke march, then why even have separate marches? Why not just make it one big march? And if trans people should be included in the dyke march, does this also mean that dykes should be included in the trans march? Why or why not?

A sign that says “dyke power is female” does not exclude anybody. It’s true that dykes are female. Stating a simple and neutral fact is not exclusionary.

Last but not least, the third lie mentioned above was “you’re just deciding for folks whether or not they’re women.” Nope! We’re not. Nobody can decide who is a woman and who is not. You’re just born that way. Nature and biology determine whether you’re born male or female. Nobody can decide anything about it. People can’t assign a sex to a baby any more than they can assign fingers or toes to a baby. Women are identifying the difference between male and female, but we cannot possibly decide it from our desire or will—nobody can.

I want to particularly highlight the following phrase from Wanda Normous:

“USELESS FUCKING TERF GARBAGE”

This is hate speech directed toward lesbians. Although Mr. Normous is very concerned that lesbians should not be allowed to represent a uterus on a sign because that is allegedly “hate speech” against him, he has no problem with calling lesbians “useless fucking terf garbage.” It’s very, very clear that Mr. Normous has serious misogyny issues. A misogynist and homophobic man who harasses and intimidates lesbians has absolutely no business attending a dyke march and he should be considered an unsafe person and banned from the event.

In contrast, I am a trans-critical writer who makes an effort not to use unnecessarily antagonistic language when talking about trans people. I never use the slur “tranny” and I even refrain from using the words “mutilate” and “delusional.” I believe in giving people basic courtesy and respect, in order to show that I am engaging honestly with issues and not just trolling. For a transwoman to show up on my blog and use this sort of disrespectful language when I have used no such disrespectful language toward him is very telling. Once again, the hatred and bigotry in this situation are coming from trans people and directed at lesbians; it’s a one-way street.

I did notice that Mr. Normous intentionally “misgendered” me by referring to me with male signifiers. This did not harm me in any way, because using incorrect grammar in a sentence does not cause people harm. I found it mildly amusing, but it really didn’t matter at all. However, I have to note that according to trans ideology, misgendering is “violence,” and so according to Mr. Normous’s own political position, he has committed “violence” toward me. Funny how the “violence” of misgendering only matters when directed toward transwomen; when directed at lesbians it’s not a problem.

The last point I’m going to cover for tonight is this:

“your narrative that women are only as good as their reproductive organs”

This is not at all the narrative that feminists present. It is a bald-faced lie to claim this. It is patriarchy that positions women as only good for reproduction and PIV sex. The entire feminist movement has been based on women’s knowledge that we are more than just wives and mothers and that we can do anything we want. Our work has been based on allowing us to control our reproductive capacity so that we are not reduced to our biological functions and can enter the workforce as men’s equals. To name the female reproductive anatomy does not reduce women to just their reproductive anatomy. Similarly, if I identify that I have ten fingers, that does not reduce me to just fingers, and if I identify that I have two eyes, that does not reduce me to nothing but eyes. This attempt at an argument is beyond pathetic.

Over and over I have witnessed transwomen behaving with masculine socialization (entitlement, dominance, and aggression), making ridiculously misogynist and homophobic statements, engaging in misogynist and homophobic behaviours, and telling bald-faced lies about feminists. I am absolutely not impressed and as long as they behave this way I will not be a political ally toward them. Although I would theoretically support some parts of trans activism, such as gender-neutral toilets and the right to wear the clothing one wants to wear, I cannot ally with people who are this hateful toward my demographic.

Over and over, transwomen demonstrate, with their own words and behaviour, that they do not resemble women in the slightest, and that they are particularly dangerous men. Feminists hardly have to call attention to the fact that transwomen are male; they do it themselves.

Anti-lesbian harassment at Vancouver Dyke March

This is a guest post by Katherine Jeffcott who attended the Vancouver Dyke March on August 5, 2017. She says:

I thought I would share my account of the dyke march in Vancouver, including pictures. As you know, I’m big on making women central in my feminism. So, I made a sign which stated simply “dyke power is female”. Here is me with my sign:

Well, we were marching, when this trans woman who was obviously a volunteer or a marshal, came up to me and yelled at me. She said my sign was transmisogynistic (because it doesn’t include male anatomy). Essentially the uterus offended this person. So she yelled at me, but one of my sisters quickly came up and put her arm around me, indicating I wasn’t alone. I kept marching. Meanwhile I was surrounded by other awesome women with amazing signs. Like this:

And this:

We weren’t saying anything against trans, we were simply focusing on women. Interestingly enough when the parade ended and we were in the park, this same trans person followed us everywhere:

They removed their top and followed us in a pink speedo where ever we went. We didn’t say or do anything to provoke this person. All we did was talk about women and female anatomy. Eventually I felt freaked out enough that my partner came and picked me up. I literally had shaky palms and was sweating. I was nervous until I saw my sisters with their sign that said Trust In God: Grumpy Old Dykes. Then I felt at home.

But my question to you is, what about women? Why are we being intimidated in our own spaces? What is it about our anatomy that is not acceptable?

What I love about being a lesbian

Today I’ve had cramps and bloating and I discovered a really good remedy for period pain is watching awesome YouTube videos of lesbians being lesbians. It makes me smile and takes my mind off the discomfort.

Here’s another video by Mainely Butch:

I noticed that almost everything she says about why she likes being a lesbian is butch- related. For example, she enjoys shopping for clothes in the men’s section and she enjoys the way straight women smile at her and the way men look at her when they see a beautiful woman on her arm.

The reasons why I like being a lesbian are not the same as this because I’m not a butch. I’m going to write about why I like being a lesbian and my perspective is both femme and feminist. I’m not sure what order these items should be in. I’ll write them in the order that I think of them but that’s not necessarily order of importance—these points are all important.

I love having sex with a woman. I did try sex with men when I was younger and it was boring and didn’t work for me. When I’m with a woman, she has a body that I’m really into and I love touching her so much, I can sometimes orgasm just from touching her. And she can bring me to orgasm as many times as she wants. I love that sex with women can feel never-ending, because you can be intimate in subtle ways throughout the day, kissing and casually touching each other, and then you can give each other pleasure in an unlimited way whenever you want. It doesn’t feel to me like we ever stop being intimate. And I love that it’s unstructured—you aren’t limited to specific roles or scripts.

I love having a “husband” who’s female. My partner does all the things a husband would do for a wife, like driving the truck, fixing furniture and appliances, etc, except she’s female. I love that I can live with a woman who can do everything a man can, and I love that we don’t need a man in any way. I love that she takes so much care with the things she builds and repairs and does a way better job than men do.

I love that I can go through my whole life not using any birth control. I don’t have to worry about the hormonal effects of the pill, or getting an I.U.D inserted, or being scared of pregnancy. I’m glad nobody is injecting me with semen and my vagina stays in its natural state all the time. I’m glad that sex is divorced from reproduction for me, and it’s just for fun and I don’t have to have babies.

I’m glad that my home is permanent female-only space. I can go home every day knowing that there are no men in my home, and I can display radical feminist books on my shelves and I can hold radical feminist meetings in safety and speak my mind and never have to explain or justify my beliefs to a dude.

I’m glad that my partner doesn’t think that certain tasks are my job to do because I’m a wife. We each do half the chores and what we decide to do reflects our interests and abilities rather than what sex we are. And speaking of household chores, I’d be really resentful if I had to do free labor in the home for a man. I’m glad that the time and energy that I put in around the house benefits another woman, rather than a man.

I’m glad that my partner knows what menstruation is like, so when I’m feeling hormonal she doesn’t make fun of me and think I’m crazy, she does helpful things and is nice to me, because she knows she has felt the same way.

A few points of Mainely Butch’s that I agreed with: women smell better, lesbians are powerful, women are better at conversation, women have intense passionate relationships, and women are smart!

The last point MB made is that being a lesbian is so good because it means being who she is. That was a beautiful note to end on and I feel the same way. I’m so happy to be in a gay-friendly area and to be able to live my life how I want. It’s beautiful!

The lesbian creation myth

Intro: There was a small conversation between two commenters here saying that we need a lesbian creation myth. Miep said that sounded like something I would write, and I thought, ‘indeed it is’! What I came up with is a story of the creation of life on earth which culminates in the creation of lesbians. It loosely imitates the Biblical creation myth while turning all the male-centered ideas into female-centered ones. Every radical feminist blog needs some Earth-Mother-Goddess-Hippy stuff once in a while, right? I am an atheist, and I wrote this purely for entertainment. It should not be taken as my literal beliefs–it’s just to make you smile. I very much enjoyed writing this, and if anyone else has a lesbian creation myth waiting to be written, I’d love to read it!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In the beginning, when Mother Earth created life, she first made tiny organisms that could withstand the harsh conditions of her newborn planet. Earth was cooling and creating solid surfaces of rock and water, and the Mother’s fertile spirit moved across the newly-formed land and oceans, leaving bacteria to flourish. She was pleased with her creation, since there was something living for the first time in the barren landscape. Then the Mother commanded, “Let there be photosynthesis,” and algae grew, and it began to use light from the sun to make food.  Once again the Mother was pleased with what she saw.

The Earth continued to change, and eventually there was an ample supply of free oxygen. Mother Earth saw that her planet was ready for more advanced life, so she commanded, “Let fish fill the sea, and plants grow on land.” An abundance of new life covered the Earth. The Mother saw how successful her small animals were, and she was encouraged. She knew she could do even better. She changed the conditions on her planet again, so her first creatures died out, and then she prepared the planet for the next era.

When her planet was ready, Mother Earth commanded, “Let there be giant animals to rule over the land” and many new species of birds, reptiles and mammals covered the Earth. They were greater and stronger than the animals she had made before, and she was pleased with her creation.  Mother Earth enjoyed her creation for a time, and continued to introduce new species whenever she was in the mood, and then one day she decided she wanted to make a more intelligent creature than ever before. It would have consciousness of its own life the way the Mother did, and it would have new abilities that other species didn’t have, like the use of advanced tools and language. She decided that the ape was a good prototype for her new primate, and she began to give some of them the new traits.

Her new species, which she called Woman, evolved quickly. She helped the species along a little but its genetic coding also helped it to evolve on its own. The species flourished and it grew in both number and power. It continued to improve until Mother Earth’s enemy, the Devil of Death and Destruction, noticed how well the creatures were doing, and decided to interfere. The Devil was a malicious and effective demon, who took it upon himself to destroy the lovely things that Mother Earth created. He attacked the male of the species, giving him a deeply-embedded desire to destroy everything Mother Earth held dear: her Women, her other animals, and her plant life.

Mother Nature did the best she could to stop the evil from spreading. She added extra compassion to some of her new creatures so they would have the desire to defend all life. She was pleased to see some of them make good progress against the Devil’s plan. But it wasn’t enough.

The Mother had created Woman in her own image, fertile and conscious animals who would create and protect life. But her creatures had to mate with the males of their species and some of the males had become quite evil, obviously causing distress to the women.  The Mother loved her women and wanted them to be happy, so she decided to give them a gift. She created a special kind of woman who would defy the Devil’s wickedness by not mating with his hateful brutes. Instead, they would mate with their own sex. This wouldn’t result in a baby of course, but it would result in extra protection for all of womankind, because of their love for the female of the species. Not only would they be immune to the Devil’s tricks, but they would protect other women from them too.

The genetic coding that turned some women toward their own sex also occurred in some of the males, and they too turned toward their own sex. The Mother considered this an acceptible by-product of her plan—after all, it wasn’t a whole lot of them, and it wasn’t stopping the rest of the species from procreating.

Once the woman-loving women were created, they began to defend all of womankind, as the Mother had planned. She was very pleased that her plan had worked, and finally took a day off to rest.

The evil encoding that the Devil of Death and Destruction created still exists in some of the male genes, but a league of exceptional women created in the Mother’s image are leading the battle against it, and expect to succeed before long.

Video: Growing up butch

This is a video by the excellent vlogger Mainely Butch!

This made me think about whether I could describe what it’s like growing up femme. I think that would be hard to do though. Women describe what it was like growing up butch by naming the reasons they were different from other girls. So how do you describe growing up the same as other girls?

I was pretty typical when I was a kid. I enjoyed lots of the activities and clothing that was assigned to girls. I played a hell of a lot of Barbies. However, I wasn’t a total princess. I liked playing outside, and I generally wore pants, not skirts. As a teen I didn’t understand makeup or underwire bras and I didn’t want them anywhere near me. (I do wear underwire bras now, but still no makeup.) No one ever mistook me for a boy though. Even if I put on men’s clothing, which I sometimes do, I still look like a woman. Clothing can’t hide my obviously female shape.

I didn’t suspect I was a lesbian when I was a kid even though I did have noticeable “warm and fuzzy feelings” toward other girls, followed by explicitly sexual feelings as I approached puberty. I was taught to believe that everyone is heterosexual and so I assumed I would be, until the truth finally made itself undeniable.

I would say that every point that I could make about what’s it’s like being a femme is something that comes from my adulthood.

For example, I remember being at my first party for lesbian and bi women. I wore a tight pair of jeans and a pink sweater. At that particular party, there was a lipstick lesbian couple and a few androgynous-looking women and one masculine lesbian. The lipsticks were pretty to look at, but there was one woman in that group who made me totally nervous, and that was the masculine one. She saw the fear in my eyes and she knew something about me even before I did. Not long after that day I realized I was attracted to her in a way I wasn’t to the others. She knew it, too. I found out weeks later that she still remembered the outfit I wore at that party, and that detail lit a fire inside me. She was already involved so we didn’t do anything, and I don’t know her anymore. But later on another butch lit me on fire, and we are still together now.

I am happy with my feminine body and I love when my partner calls me pretty. Although the idea of being a wife to a man makes me nauseous, I love being my partner’s wife. Being a butch’s girl is the absolute best thing in life.

Being a femme means feeling different on the inside even though you don’t look any different to other people. Straight women will often assume I’m one of them, but I always know I’m not. Sometimes a coworker will say something to me about a man being handsome, and I just feel surprised and confused. How do they know? It seems arbitrary to me, deciding which men are handsome. To me, they just look like men. But show me a photo of k.d.lang and I’ll need a fainting couch to swoon onto.

I’m still exploring what it means to be femme, and it really helps when other lesbians talk about their experience.

Thanks for the video, Mainely Butch!

Olive Yang, butch hero

I was very pleased to come across this article about an Asian butch lesbian named Olive Yang, who spend her life as a cross-dressing warlord.

From the New York Times:

“MUSE, Myanmar — She was born to royalty in British colonial Burma, but rejected that life to become a cross-dressing warlord whose C.I.A.-supplied army established opium trade routes across the Golden Triangle. By the time of her death, last week at 90, she had led hundreds of men, endured prison and torture, generated gossip for her relationship with a film actress and, finally, helped forge a truce between ethnic rebels and the government.

Olive Yang grew up as one of 11 children in an ethnic Chinese family of hereditary rulers of what was then the semiautonomous Shan state of Kokang. According to relatives, she wore boys’ clothes, refused to bind her feet and frequently fell in love with her brothers’ romantic interests.

Concerned about their unconventional daughter, her parents arranged for her to marry a younger cousin. Shortly after she became pregnant, archives show, she left her husband to pursue a life among opium-trafficking bandits. Her son, Duan Jipu — named for the American jeeps Ms. Yang had seen in the Chinese city of Kunming during World War II — was raised by other family members.

Ms. Yang’s pursuit of a career as a militia leader and opium smuggler grew in part out of her desperation to escape traditional gender roles, her relatives said.”

Now, I’m not trying to say that leading the illegal drug trade is heroic, but defying traditional gender roles is. I am proud of this woman for escaping from a marriage she didn’t want and dressing how she wanted and pursuing relationships with women. Her bravery reminds me of Joan of Arc. Long live gender rebels!