There is literally no wrong way to be female

A commenter by the name of Thomas Reyes stopped by to say hello on my Leaving the Trans Cult post. Here is my answer to his comment:

“Just bc a couple of trans people had a bad take doesn’t mean that you should have decided we all hate you. I really appreciate the time and effort that you originally put in to trying to understand where we are coming from. Trans people have such varied view points and I find myself isolated from the entire most of the community bc of the differences between us. Being trans is just a deeply isolating experience.”

It’s not just “a couple of trans people” who “had a bad take.” Misogyny and homophobia are essential and fundamental components of trans activism and it’s not just a few bad apples, it’s the entire belief system and everyone who upholds it. I’ll agree with you that trans people have a variety of viewpoints, and there are in fact some trans people who I get along with just fine. I don’t actually hate people who transition. I hate misogyny and homophobia.

“Being trans is hard. Every time I go on the internet I am reminded that a huge portion of the population thinks I need to be fixed or killed or that I should just fuck off and never make my problems visible. When cis people that I am friends with say shit that makes me scared that they are among that group of people I usually just try to talk to them about it. But sometimes it’s too scary, I understand why many trans people respond so intensely.”

Is that true though? I don’t know if a “huge portion of the population” wants you killed. I would guess that plenty of dumb assholes with no brain cells probably say some really hateful stuff in the comments below articles and YouTube videos. If I wanted to get really depressed, I’d take those dumb assholes really seriously and fall into despair. But what about thoughtful people who write coherent replies in complete sentences and whole paragraphs? Do any of them want you dead? I honestly doubt it. I think that all sane, regular people are fairly okay with people making body modifications.

I hardly think this needs to be said, but I do not want any trans people killed. I’m not even trying to stop anyone from getting body modifications. Everyone is welcome to do what they want with their own body.

Regarding the word “fixed—” gosh, I think that’s an entire discussion on its own. How would you “fix” a trans person, exactly? Like, I don’t think that people with dysphoria really need any fixing, they just need help with a mental health problem. There’s no shame in that—I’ve needed help with mental health issues throughout most of my life. I’ll probably need help again a few more times. But that doesn’t make any of us “wrong,” it’s just part of the experience of being human. It’s a struggle to learn how to live our lives in a way that feels comfortable.

I could go on about the word “fix.” I think it’s actually trans activists who want to “fix” dysphoric people. Trans activists think dysphoric people absolutely need extensive body modifications because they can’t go on the way they are. But those of us who are radical feminist/gender critical think that trans people don’t need fixing. We believe that all bodies are acceptable, that all personalities and styles are acceptable, and that anybody can express who they are without changing, lying about, or hiding anything.

“I think the girl brain boy body or vice versa shit is stupid. I have no idea why I’m trans. But please understand that when cis people talk about it its predicated on the assumption that if we cant give them a good enough reason then we should die or have to go back to our gender assigned at birth. Last year I tried to be a girl again and it was one of the worst years of my life. I felt so unlike myself and I found it impossible to speak to people. I dont know why I’m trans but I know that I am not a woman. That is all that I have. We are not a united group.”

Whoa, whoa, WHOA. Do you think that I want you to “go back to the gender you were assigned at birth”? Let’s start right at the beginning here and correct the dozen mistaken assumptions in that comment.

Firstly, humans are born with a sex. Nobody assigns a sex to a baby;  the sex is simply observed. However, society assigns a gender role to everyone based on cultural ideas about who boys and girls are. Masculinity is assigned to males and femininity is assigned to females. The feminist movement has been fighting against this for decades because this is harmful to everyone, but it’s especially harmful to girls and women, who are at the bottom of the power imbalance of patriarchy. (We are losing the battle because we are ruled by capitalism and capitalism sells the idea of masculinity and femininity in their advertising to sell more stuff.)

As a feminist, I oppose assigning gender roles to anyone, and I do not want kids to have sexist ideas forced on them. People should be allowed to express themselves as they naturally are.

So let’s get back to this “going back to the gender you were assigned at birth” comment. I do not want any women to feel they have to perform a feminine gender role. A person should only be feminine if their personality is naturally feminine. If you don’t enjoy being feminine, then I definitely do not want you to attempt to fake it just to please other people. Nope, nope, NOPE.

However, the SEX you were born with is female, and at no point have you ever stopped being female. You’re still female now and always will be. Being female simply means having female reproductive organs. A woman is an adult human female. If you are born female, and you reach adulthood, you are a woman. All the cultural expectations of what women are is another topic entirely.

It’s scientifically impossible to stop being the sex you were born. It’s also unnecessary. Whether your body came with equipment to produce sperm or ova absolutely should not define who you are. (It only defines who you are because we live in a patriarchy. Feminists oppose defining people by their sex.)

You say that you “tried to be a girl” as if there is some effort involved in this. There is no effort required on your part in order to be a girl. A girl is a young female human. Being a girl is the state of being a young female human. It’s not a performance. It’s just your biological reality. There is absolutely nothing you have to do to be a girl other than (1) be a young female human and (2) exist. There is no more to it than that. Every time someone tells you that you have to act a certain way because you’re a girl, that’s called sexism. As a feminist, I strongly oppose anyone making you think that girls have to perform or work at anything in order to be considered girls. Sexism harms all girls and women, even those who appear to embrace sexist stereotypes.

Every single human female on the planet is “being a girl” correctly, because there is no wrong way to be female. Every personality that every female has is correct, every feeling she has is correct, every style and interest she has is correct, and every way she has of relating to her body is correct. Feeling uncomfortable with breasts and periods is a female experience, and taking testosterone to appear more masculine is a female experience. There is literally nothing you can do to fuck up being female. Nothing. You’re doing it right no matter what.

“Have you ever been close to a trans woman? My girlfriend is very nice.”

No. Why would I? I’m a lesbian. I’m not interested in any kind of man. I prefer that men just leave me alone. Men who make body modifications aren’t any more interesting to me than men who don’t, except for when they campaign to take away women’s rights, and then I’m only interested in them in a political sense, in order to fight their misogyny.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to do more reading.

VRR vandals prove, once again, that TERF is a misogynist slur

On August 16th, Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter reported that a dead rat had been nailed to their door:

The unknown vandal was likely trying to intimidate women and express his misogyny.

Only a couple of weeks later, a second act of vandalism occurred. Someone wrote death threats against “TERFs” along with the never-ending mantra “transwomen are women” on the doors of the shelter.

Trans activists are still claiming that “TERF” is just an acronym for a subtype of feminist; however the way they use the word shows clearly that they intend it as a slur. This graffiti is transparently about intimidating women and making us scared to set boundaries that exclude men. Vancouver Rape Relief does not have an anti-trans policy—they have an anti-male policy. Because it’s almost always men who rape and assault women, and because men largely have the power to get away with their crimes against women, shelters are needed that exclude men in order to give rape and assault survivors a safe place to recover. Women who identify as transgender are not excluded from the service.

Trans activists, who theoretically ought to be doing work to help trans people, put a lot of energy and effort into silencing and intimidating women who understand the reality of male violence and fight against it. This appears to be far more of a priority than, say, opening shelters for trans people fleeing violence.

Only the lowest form of scum on Earth would think of bullying victims of violence who are attempting to find a safe shelter in which to recover. The level of cowardice and misogyny on display in this vandalism is astonishing.

Anytime you call women TERFs, you take the side of violent misogynist scumbags who use bullying, intimidation and threats to put women in our place and attempt to stop us from organizing for our liberation.

It was already clear but it becomes even more clear all the time—TERF is a misogynist slur.

UNBC women’s centre posts ‘No Terfs’ sign on door

Hello friends,

This ridiculous sign actually made me come out of my blogging hibernation to make a post. At the University of Northern British Columbia, students have put a “No Terfs” sign on the front door of their Women’s Centre, ironically right above a sign saying “All Welcome.”

This is 2018, and women who understand human reproductive anatomy and whose activism focuses on rights for female humans are no longer welcome in places that purport to enhance rights for female humans. Such women are such loathsome garbage that they aren’t even considered part of the ‘everyone’ who is supposed to be included in all-inclusive spaces. Organizers aren’t able to grasp the basic illogic, stupidity, and misogyny of this position.

Human rights abuses against the waria of Indonesia

From the Guardian:

Stripped naked and beaten: transgender women flee Indonesian city in fear

Transgender people have been fleeing the sharia-ruled Indonesian province of Aceh amid fears of further violence, an exodus that comes in the same week the national parliament proposed criminalising gay and all extramarital sex.

In the provincial capital of Banda Aceh, scores of transgender people have fled following the arrest and public shaming of 12 trans women in neighbouring North Aceh.

The 12 women, known as waria, were arrested on Saturday night when police, accompanied by locals, raided beauty salons and forced them to strip off their shirts and have their hair cut in public.

In detention the waria were compelled to undergo an ad hoc form of “gender re-education”, which included wearing men’s clothing, physical exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups, and instruction on lowering their voices, until they were deemed suitably “macho”.

Sources close to those detained say they were also stripped naked and beaten by police, and upon release are suffering psychological trauma.

I found this BBC article explaining who the waria are. They are cross-dressing males: “the word waria comes from the Indonesian word “wanita” meaning woman, and “pria” meaning man.” This word reminds me of the word “he-she” that was used in the U.S.A in the mid-20th century.

According to the BBC’s information, the waria work as street vendors and some are in the sex trade. According to the Guardian article, some of them work in beauty salons.

It is common that men who are naturally feminine are homosexual, and it’s also common that such men are assumed to be homosexual whether it’s true or not.

From the Guardian article linked above, “A recent survey found that nearly 90% of Indonesians who understood the term LGBT felt “threatened” by the minority and said same-sex relations were not permitted in their religion.”

Interesting how people are so “threatened” by working-class men wearing makeup that they need to create laws against them and get police officers to torture them. How much power and influence do a small group of poor men have, that this level of state intervention is required to stop them?

In fact, the same thing has happened in North America. Cross-dressers, both male and female, were harassed by both police and private citizens and severely punished for being cross-dressers and for being gay, in the not-so-distant past.

The Guardian is calling these waria “transgender women,” which is certainly the way the Western world would prefer to label them. I am concerned that calling male cross-dressers “women” erases the likely fact that they are gay men, and I don’t like the erasure of gay people.

Indonesia is cracking down on homosexuality and feminine men because they are threats to patriarchy. The traditional family unit where a masculine man is in charge of a feminine woman and their children is essential to maintaining patriarchy. Feminine homosexual men, as well as masculine homosexual women, are a double threat to patriarchy because they break the rules of sexuality as well as traditional gender roles. They are also the most visible members of the gay community, since their difference is obvious and cannot be hidden. Targeting the most visible members of a community keeps everyone else in line.

It’s possible that some of the waria could be bisexual, heterosexual, or asexual, but that wouldn’t change my analysis of the reasons why they are hated.

The treatment of these waria is an abhorrent violation of their human rights. They should have the right to wear clothing normally designated for women, as well as the makeup and accessories that go with it, and wear their hair long, without being punished.

I do not believe the solution here is to pretend they are literally female. The solution is to stop sexism and homophobia.

From Trans Mission to Feminist Mission

A reader generously gave me a gift of the new book Trans Mission: My Quest to a Beard by Alex Bertie. Bertie is a young trans man YouTube star who is making waves in the queer community.

The book was a quick read. It was a memoir of his life so far and description of his transition. At age 22, he hasn’t done much else with his life besides become a trans man. He has also become a graphic designer, but that is not an important element of the book. Trans Mission is aimed at a young adult audience, and provides a sort of “how-to” guide for other young people who want to become trans men. It contains Bertie’s personal story as well as information on being trans, such as what it’s like getting hormone shots and how to make your own binder.

I’m using the same strategy with pronouns that Holly/Aaron Devor used when writing Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society, which is to use male pronouns when referring to the trans man after transition, and female pronouns when referring to her childhood. Although it may seem confusing at first, it acknowledges the reality of her girlhood as well as his post-transition lived experience in the social category of trans man, both of which are significant. There will be someone disappointed no matter what approach I take with pronouns, so at least with this balanced approach I will piss off everyone equally!

I was interested in reading this book because I have watched lots of Bertie’s YouTube videos and find him interesting. I am interested in the topic of female masculinity and strategies that masculine females use to survive in a sexist, homophobic world. I’m always hoping that trans people are going to answer some of the questions I have. I was curious about whether Bertie would rely on sex stereotypes to describe his trans identity, as so many people do, and whether I would find any reason to believe that he is a lesbian reacting to sexism and homophobia, as so many trans men seem to be.

I find every woman’s story of dysphoria and survival valuable and inherently worthy of consideration, regardless of her views on gender. I enjoyed reading Bertie’s book.

In terms of defining “man” and “woman,” Bertie presented it as logical to identify as a man despite being female. He actually admitted to being biologically female, which surprised me, and he also mentioned the word “lesbian” a couple of times in connection with his pre-transition self. In Bertie’s point of view there is no contradiction in being a man with a vagina. Lesbian was just the way he thought of himself before he arrived at his current identity of trans man.

Bertie did mention some things that relate to sex stereotypes, which is always something I take note of. As a child, she preferred boys’ clothing and boys’ activities, and she preferred the company of boys since they shared her interests. She felt uncomfortable with long hair and hated wearing dresses and makeup. As a girl she was expected to be only attracted to boys but instead she was mostly attracted to girls. Her classmates bullied her for being far more masculine than the average girl, and sadly, most of her teachers were not equipped to help her deal with the bullying.

The expectation that girls look and act a certain way is a part of the sexism that upholds patriarchy. Bertie isn’t the only girl to find herself unable to perform a feminine gender role—lots of us aren’t comfortable with this social construct that expects us all to be feminine and heterosexual. In reality, girls come in all types, and all of them are valid, even if they don’t conform to society’s expectations.

When young Bertie first cut her hair short, it was a monumental occasion that terrified her and she felt that she needed to justify her desire for short hair.

“During half-term break in year 10, I confessed to my dad how my long hair made me feel, armed with images (evidence) of girls with short hair. It was quite emotional – I think I ended up sobbing in my bedroom with pictures of Halle Berry up on Google. What a sight. The feelings were complex. At the front of my mind was guilt; considering I already wore ‘guy’s clothes’, I knew I was going to look incredibly masculine after the haircut, and I felt bad that I was incapable of being a ‘normal’ child for my parents.” (p57–58).

And an interesting comment from a few pages later reads:

“I must have had a very masculine-looking face, because after that haircut strangers called me a guy about 70 per cent of the time, and I wasn’t even trying to present as more masculine.” (p61)

Bertie did not report being uncomfortable with her body before puberty, and here she implies that having short hair and wearing boys’ clothes was not a deliberate attempt to be masculine. It sounds to me like in her early life she was just a girl who was more comfortable with short hair and clothing typically marketed to boys, and by wearing these things she was not trying to be a boy but was just trying to be herself.

She also felt distressed about wanting to wear boxers and leave her legs hairy. From a later chapter, after coming out to as “trans” to her parents:

“Suddenly I didn’t have to pretend any more: I could put my boxer shorts in the washing pile instead of sneaking them into the machine; I could wear shorts with my hairy legs on display; I could get my hair cut a little bit shorter. I felt free.” (p109)

This begs the question: why couldn’t she do any of these things before? Why didn’t she just go ahead and cut her hair, wear the clothes she wanted to wear, and refuse to shave her legs? Why did she have to declare herself “male” in order to do this?

As I sit here writing, I am a woman who has short hair, whose legs are hairy, and who wears boxer shorts, at least to sleep in. I literally am doing all these things right now, as a woman, without feeling like I need to explain myself or align myself with a gender identity. Any woman can do these things, even a femme!

It’s scary being a teenage girl and navigating a world that wants you to spend time and money looking a certain way and that teaches you that you are unacceptable if you don’t comply. I remember being a 16-year-old sitting cross-legged in the classroom one day while working on a group project. I was wearing shorts, and all of a sudden I noticed that my legs were hairy because I hadn’t thought about shaving them in a while. I immediately panicked and tried to find ways of hiding my legs. I placed my books strategically to hide the hair, and got up as soon as I could. It felt horribly embarrassing and I felt like I was neglectful for not shaving. I am not that 16-year-old any more. I never decided to use a “gender identity” to explain why I didn’t want to shave my legs, because this strategy didn’t exist back then. Instead, I did shave my legs for a few more years and then I became a feminist. Now I go around with hairy legs and I think that anyone who has a problem with it can fuck right off. I understand now that the shame I felt that day in the classroom had nothing to do with there being something wrong with my body, it had to do with being expected to do things I was not interested in doing just because I’m female and knowing that I was considered unacceptable for failing to meet people’s expectations. It’s scary to break society’s rules when you are young, but it gets easier as you get older and as you become more feminist.

So is Bertie’s transition just about sex stereotypes? Well, no, that’s not the whole story. Bertie does have body dysphoria. She was very distressed about her female body during her teen years, and not just to the same extent that all teen girls hate their bodies. She really felt like she couldn’t be seen in public with breasts and couldn’t live her life as a woman. Girls don’t all feel that badly. This is a serious condition that only some people get.

Trans activists want us to believe that they were simply born “a man in a woman’s body” (or vice versa) and that this is genetic rather than social. They want us to believe that the reason for their distress is the mismatch between their gender identity and their body, rather than the expectations held by society that people with their body type should act a certain way. I’m always carefully examining what trans people say about the reasons why they think they are trans and I often get clues that their dysphoria is coming from social causes (sexism and homophobia.) In Bertie’s case, I do not see evidence that she was born inherently dysphoric. She did not report believing she was male right from a young age. She reports having a happy childhood and being supported in her tomboyish ways by her family. She only reports hating her body starting at puberty, around the same time she developed an attraction to girls and felt increasingly under pressure to behave in a feminine way. There are a couple of interesting comments I’d like to report at this point regarding Bertie not wanting to be seen as a boy. In a letter she wrote to her father during her teen years:

“I can’t even bear the thought of going out in public with my own family in case someone mistakes me for a boy.” (p7)

From the letter from her mother near the back of the book:

“On one occasion in middle school, Alex came home absolutely furious. Once he’d calmed down, we realized he’d been in a difficult situation on the school bus. The children had been told to climb aboard, girls first. When Alex tried to get on with the girls, he was told off and asked to wait. Alex tried to explain to the teacher that he was a girl, but the teacher became angry…I was confused; he seemed to want to look like a boy, so I couldn’t understand why the mistake had made him upset. Looking back, it was an early sign that Alex had very mixed emotions about his gender.” p270–271

In Bertie’s quote from page 7, her young self was uncomfortable being mistaken for a boy, and in mum’s anecdote, Bertie specifically asserted herself as a girl and was distressed about not being believed. This doesn’t indicate the existence of an innate gender identity as male. It indicates that Bertie did grow up understanding herself as a girl and that she became distressed when other people saw her as performing girlhood incorrectly. It seems as though the problem wasn’t her body, at least not at first, the problem was that girls were supposed to be a certain way and she wasn’t like that.

I have a theory that is based on everything I have read so far about masculine girls with dysphoria. Girls who are not typically “feminine” and especially those who are attracted to other girls can have a very hard time understanding themselves as being girls, since they are not at all what society expects from girls. It’s very distressing being totally different from what is expected since humans are social animals and strongly desire validation and acceptance from our social group. Some people who are bullied for being different and who desperately want to fit in feel real trauma from this pain. A girl can respond to this trauma by hating her body parts that mark her as female. She blames those female body parts for being the reason why she can’t be herself, instead of blaming sexism, heteronormativity, and patriarchy. It’s common for mental illness among girls to be internalized. When things are wrong we tend to blame ourselves, and we tend to develop depression and self-hate rather than outer-directed mental illnesses like aggression and anti-social behaviour. I think that reacting to sexism and homophobia by hating oneself is in fact a typical feminine response.

I would like girls and women to learn to send their anguish outside themselves. Get angry about how you’re being expected to be someone you’re not, recognize those expectations as the problem, hate the bullies instead of hating yourself. Gender ideology moves in the wrong direction. Transgenderism is an approach that blames the body for the pain of being different when the body is not at fault.

I realize that dysphoria can run deep, and it won’t be easily untangled, and it can’t be wished away just by attempting a positive attitude. I am a person who developed depression at puberty and has had it ever since, and I know that “just cheer up” is not an adequate response. Neither is “just accept your body” an adequate response to legitimate dysphoria. I think major interventions are required. But I don’t think a masculine woman who hates her female body parts is literally a man, and I don’t think people benefit from pretending this is true. Honesty is very important in addressing mental illness and the best thing for someone to do if they are dissociating from their body is to reconnect, not to further distance themselves.

Bertie’s book has a lot of information about how to transition for young women who may want to do the same. It will likely have the effect of validating and motivating more transitioners. I see this book as a part of what I will call “social infrastructure” to steer young people toward transition. By social infrastructure I mean all those organizations, social media channels, medical clinics and preachers of the belief system that have been set up to promote transgender politics. There’s a whole system set up to make sure young people who don’t fit in and who hate their bodies are steered toward blaming their bodies and changing themselves, using medical interventions that are not entirely safe.

I am not interested in telling any specific people what to do with their particular situation, and I am not advocating for preventing anyone from making body modifications. But I do think that the politics and approach of transgenderism are going in the wrong direction. They blame the individual for a systemic problem, which misses the problem and reduces our ability to change the system. When teenage Alex Bertie asked for help with her discomfort, there was lots of material already in existence to train her to believe in gender identity, and no one steered her toward an analysis of sexism and a rejection of gender roles. No one can predict what would have happened in a different world, but perhaps in a world where Bertie was accepted as a tomboy lesbian, and where a strong anti-sexist culture was in place, she would have never developed distress about her body. Girls deserve to live in a world that doesn’t cause them distress.

When debating online with transsexuals during 2016 and 2017, I found that, to my surprise, some people have a very neutral attitude toward body modification. They don’t think it’s a big deal to cut off body parts, or to take artificial hormones that have unknown effects on the body. They’re confused about why I would find it to be a problem. I guess we all have our values, and people don’t have to value having an intact body if they don’t want to. I do try to explain as best I can that cutting body parts is an injury, and that injury can leave negative effects such as pain and numbness. This shouldn’t be the default treatment for mental illnesses, it should only be a last resort in rare cases, and it should only be available to adults.

We need to create more social infrastructure offering a feminist analysis of patriarchy. We need organizations, YouTube channels, educational materials, the whole works. There needs to be an alternative to gender identity ideology for people to turn to. Girls should have resources to depend on when they are hurting that let them know that society is messed up, but they are perfect the way they are, and can be any kind of woman they want to be. We need strong female role models demonstrating many different ways to be women.

If feminist women could create YouTube channels and organisations where they talk about their daily navigation of sexism and how to survive body hatred, that would be extremely valuable to young women. It’s New Year Resolution season, dear readers. Make plans to help girls in any way you can. They need to know how to fight back as they grow up in a commercialized misogynist culture that increasingly narrows the confines of what girls are allowed to be. The next generation is counting on us.

Studies show sex robots increasingly unsafe

The following “fake news” article was inspired by this real article and was written for your entertainment.

July 18, 2068

By: Nathan Green

WASHINGTON – Growing numbers of men are concerned that their Total Lifestyle Companions™ (TLCs™) may be unsafe after numerous reports of hacking, often by ex-wives. The hacked TLCs™ have been reported to turn against their owners by making disparaging remarks, destroying items in the home, and even committing acts of violence. In response to this growing issue, TLC™ owner Hugh Hogbottom has founded a non-profit organization called Consumers of Robots Advocacy Protection or “C.R.A.P.” which, according to its website, exists to “Protect the interests of owners of all personal robotic devices” by “researching, lobbying and making safety issues known to the public.”

I was able to speak to Hogbottom in his home in Northwest Washington. On the day of my visit, his TLC™, named Bobbi, was properly behaved. She welcomed me into the home and served coffee for us as we sat in the living room to chat. The house looked tidy and cared for, and Hogbottom told me it had been over a week since the last incident.

“She behaves most of the time, but there have been a few incidents,” he said. “I’m constantly on edge because I don’t know what might happen next.”

Photo credit: Thesun.co.uk

He shows me the one piece of evidence he has of Bobbi’s misbehaviour, although, as he explains, most of the incidents haven’t been recorded. The piece of evidence is a slip of paper that was supposed to have been a shopping list.

“I told Bobbi to write some things down that I needed,” he said. “I dictated some items to her, but when I looked at what she had written, instead of seeing my list, it said: ‘Every man, deep down, knows he’s a worthless piece of shit.’ I was shocked. At first I didn’t understand what had happened.”

At six-foot-three, with an athletic build, Hogbottom appears to be a pillar of strength, but when he speaks of his betrayal by Bobbi I see the weariness and pain in his eyes.

As well as the shopping list incident, there have been many incidents of Bobbi making shocking remarks to him, sometimes in front of friends. On one occasion, Hogbottom says he was telling his friends about the time when he gave his ex a triple-orgasm, and Bobbi suddenly shouted “You lying bastard, you were absolutely pathetic in bed!” Hogbottom says he was shocked and humiliated.

“I began to suspect my ex-wife had hacked into Bobbi. I did marry an ‘organic’ woman before getting my TLC™, and I think she may be jealous. I left her five years ago because I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of the relationship, and I think she’s upset because she realizes the TLC™ is a more satisfactory partner than her. I ended up going online and finding lots of stories of the same thing happening to other men. I realized we needed to raise some awareness and protect ourselves.”

Indeed, men have been increasingly making these reports. According to research carried out by the C.R.A.P. foundation, 32% of men report that their former organic wives have at some point hacked into their personal robotic devices for malicious reasons. Of that group, 65% report that their robot has said something negative toward them, 86% say their robot has deliberately destroyed their home or possessions, and 7% say their robot has attempted to harm them during sex, by either strangulation or by cuts or burns to the penis. One man, Peter Clutterbuck, experienced the worst nightmare of men who use personal robotic devices: his robot, Tootsie, released a sharp blade through her front-hole during use, severing his penis. He says her front hole, which was usually a great device, had suddenly become “like a guillotine.” Clutterbuck joined the C.R.A.P foundation from his hospital bed, and vowed to “make sex robots safe again” so that nothing like this would happen to another man.

“It’s rough out there,” says Hugh Hogbottom, as he nervously sips his coffee. “Things are getting worse for men every day.”

So why do women do it? Hogbottom blames jealousy.

“Organic women know they can’t measure up to the appeal of robotic companions. My Total Lifestyle Companion™ is beautiful, doesn’t age, doesn’t nag me, keeps my house clean and always wants sex. My ex-wife couldn’t compete with that, and she knows it. That’s why she wants to hack the robot, to get even. I suspect this is the case in most hackings. What organic women need to realize is that 64% of men are now choosing robot partners over “organic” ones, because they are getting a better deal. This is progress, it’s the way of the future. If organic women want to compete, they’ll have to step up their game.”

I was able to track down Hogbottom’s ex-wife, Susan Solanas, to ask her for a statement. Although she did not reply to my request for an interview, I did find her personal blog where I was able to access the following comments:

“I can’t believe the things my stupid ex has been saying. We got a divorce because I found out he’d been cheating on me with several women. I asked him to go to marriage counselling and he refused, so I left him. Now he’s claiming that he left me because I wasn’t as good as his stupid sex robot. I was just going to ignore him at first, but he was writing social media posts full of lies on pages where I’d obviously find them, and it was getting so obnoxious I finally had to take him down a notch. I’m a computer programmer working in the area of control of AI, and the stupid knucklehead hasn’t changed any of his passwords since we were married, so I was able to get into his robot as easily as walking through an open door. I’ve been making the thing tell the truth whenever Hugh lies, which has been irritating the hell out of him.”

When I asked Hogbottom to comment on the content’s of Solanas’s blog, he called her a “jealous, lying bitch.”

Hogbottom believes that more research is needed to find out the reasons why the robots are getting hacked so often. He’s determined to find answers. He says a spokesman at the Total Lifestyle Companions™ company has already said they are working on ensuring the next generation of products are not hackable, but he doesn’t think this is enough.

A fundraising page on C.R.A.P.’s website says he has already reached $50,000 toward a large-scale research study on hacking by ex-wives. Donations have come largely from men and their non-men allies who don’t want to see anyone else get hurt. Hogbottom is optimistic that answers will be forthcoming.

At the time of publication, there is one notable comment on the C.R.A.P website that stands out from the others. While most comments are supportive, there is one comment from a user named “organicbitch” that reads “You can start by changing your passwords, stupid.”

Not identifying with a gender can be so much easier than this

Articles about nonbinary people are always entertaining because they promise to explain and clarify what nonbinary is but they don’t; instead they contain nothing but extravagant nonsense.

The article I’m discussing today is called  What it Means to Call Ourselves Non-binary and despite the promise of the title, sadly and unsurprisingly it contains no definition of nonbinary. (Unless the word nonbinary does in fact mean rambling text and unnecessary labels.)

Let’s dive right in:

“Being non-binary or genderqueer is inherently kind of confusing because it depends on not identifying with a gender. Therefore, it’s definitions are wide and varying and complex. Here’s how just a few of us on staff think about what it means to call ourselves non-binary. Guess what? Our definitions are wildly different!”

Okay, I’m already rolling my eyes. And just to warn you right here, if you do plan to read the full article, please take a moment to stretch your eye-rolling muscles before you start, because you’re going to be doing a LOT of eye-rolling, and you don’t want to pull a muscle.

For some reason, “not identifying with a gender” is presented as complex and confusing. Why? I don’t identify with a gender, and I find it very simple and easy. Here’s what you do: Go about your day as usual. Wear the clothes that you feel comfortable in, and go about your daily activities like you normally would. While you’re doing this, don’t bother assigning a gender label to your interests and appearance. Just skip that step altogether!  Pretend gender doesn’t even exist and ignore any messages about whether your clothing and mannerisms are “correct” or not. If someone tells you that you should look or behave a certain way because of your sex, tell them they are shallow and sexist and that you disagree with their views. Tell them that people are varied and complex and we are not stereotypes and in fact, those stereotypes are harmful and need to go. You don’t need to tell them that you don’t identify with a gender, because there is nothing odd or unusual about you at all! There is just something wrong with them. They are being shallow and sexist.

I can sum up “not identifying with a gender” in one simple phrase: “I’m a person who doesn’t buy into sexist bullshit.” Done!

Simple! Easy!

However, folks who identify as nonbinary try to take something as simple and easy as “not identifying with a gender” and turn it into something very complicated, in addition to ambiguous and vague.

The first writer, Alaina, says:

“Non-binary is the easiest way for me to publicly recognize that my gender is not woman or man or anything really, and so I keep it around. For now. But like, what does it mean? I don’t know! It means that my gender is not on the binary. Which is not very specific at all. Very unhelpful, indeed.”

So I guess this article shouldn’t be called “What it Means to Call Ourselves Nonbinary.” Instead it should be called “People Who Have No Idea What They’re Trying to Say Jabber On About Nothing to Fill Space.”

“And like, I don’t know, maybe I’m too much of a Gemini or whatever, but my innermost self changes literally hourly…. How could I expect to find a gender that expresses that?”

Wow. Why would you need to find a “gender” that expresses your hourly feelings? It’s normal to feel different from moment to moment. We have different physical and emotional reactions to each event of our days. This is standard human experience. Why on Earth do you need a “gender” label to describe the normal experience of being human? WTF.

Also, isn’t it fitting that these writers decided to use language and vocabulary that sounds like a spoken conversation among teenagers? It’s almost like nonbinary is a teenage fad!

“I just want to be able to exist and like be a person who is just themselves and is only seen as that, an individual human being. Non-binary is the closest I’m getting to being able to talk about myself in that way.”

Again, I find I’m dropping my jaw in disbelief. You were already “just a person” who is “an individual human being” before you ever heard of gender identity theory. You were born an individual human being just like everyone else. All of us are individual human beings who are just ourselves. My question to you is “What is making you think that anyone is anything other than an individual human being?” All of us, even those of us who don’t identify as nonbinary, see ourselves as individual human beings. I’m flabbergasted as to why this universal truth about humans would require a label at all.

Here’s some advice: Just live your life as an individual human being, and if anyone you encounter has a preconceived notion that you should be something in particular that they’ve come up with, they are wrong. Either ignore them or prove them wrong, as appropriate for the situation.

The next writer, Cee, says:

“I’m definitely not an expert on this, but my understanding of nonbinary is simply someone who exists outside the two option male/female gender binary.”

You sure aren’t an expert! You don’t even know the difference between gender and sex, which is essential knowledge for this conversation. Let me help you out: sex is biological, and it refers to reproductive characteristics that come in two types: male and female. In rare cases there are individuals who are born with atypical sex characteristics, but the vast majority of us have typical reproductive anatomy and are easily classifiable as male (producing sperm) or female (producing ova.) Gender is a social construct that can mean many things, but primarily it means: (1) the attributes and roles that are socially assigned to people based on their sex, and (2) a social category that is not clearly defined but which corresponds with a set of preferred pronouns.  Now that we’ve got that cleared up, yes, there is a male/female binary. It exists in nature, it’s the way we’re born, and it doesn’t matter whether we’re comfortable with it or not because we cannot change it. Gender, on the other hand, can come in infinite types, since we can keep making up ideas about gender forever and ever.

Everyone exists outside the social construct of gender because we are material bodies that exist in the real world no matter what constructs we dream up. Almost everyone exists within the male/female binary because the vast majority of us are typically male or female, and even people born with intersex conditions can often be classified as one of the sexes, because they are similar to one or the other. If someone had equal amounts of male and female sex characteristics, then I could possibly agree that they exist outside the sex binary but this is something physical, not something you can “identify” as. And there is no “third sex,” by the way. There is no sex gamete besides sperm and ova. People who are unclassifiable are still variations on the two sexes, not another sex entirely.

Cee reports having certain preferences in dress and behaviour, and she reports preferring not to have breasts. This is totally normal and none of that means she isn’t a woman. Although there are lots of women who like having breasts, myself included, there are also lots of women who don’t like having them. It’s normal if you do and normal if you don’t, and in both cases you are still a valid woman.

The next writer starts off by apologizing:

“Not to start off on the wrong foot, but I’m terrified that everything I’m about to write is wrong. I am a white, afab, spilled-glitter-on-my-tie-of-center, liberal arts-educated human with money in savings and a Toyota Corolla. What gives me the fuckin’ right, ya know?”

Holy crap! Women have always been expected to stay silent, and it looks like what she has learned in SJW communities is more of the same. She literally thinks she has no right to speak. Sure, as a person with money, she isn’t qualified to write a piece about how it feels to live in poverty, and as a white person she isn’t qualified to speak about how racial oppression feels, but she is certainly qualified to write about her own experience.

“Like, I fully expect everyone else to assume I don’t have any real problems so I’m inventing a gender crisis to seem interesting.”

It’s interesting that she brought this up on her own. Now I know this is exactly what I should think about her.

“I assumed all women felt deeply ambivalent about being women. For the first quarter-century of my life I lived into the idea that “being a girl can mean whatever I want it to mean,” and I did whatever I wanted and cut my hair short a bunch of times (but never said I wanted a boy’s haircut, always a pixie — always one centimeter and a razor fade from having my head look how I really wanted it to). At my first A-Camp, all that suddenly felt like punkass bullshit.”

Wait, wait, wait—WHOA. What are you calling “punkass bullshit”? Because it sounds like you think that the idea that women can feel ambivalent about being women is “punkass bullshit” and it also sounds like you are calling your correct statement that being a girl can mean anything you want it to is also “punkass bullshit.” I’m not sure what else I’m supposed to interpret here besides that. It sounds like you started out a non-sexist woman who accepted herself as-is but then turned into a sexist when she learned genderist ideology. That wouldn’t surprise me, because genderist ideology is profoundly and shockingly sexist. So now you think that wanting to have short hair means you’re not a woman. The 1950s called, and they want their gender roles back!

“To be clear, being a girl can mean whatever you want it to mean.”

Okay, good. So please explain, on what basis do you believe that you are not a woman, if women can be anything?

“I know that in the venn diagram of gender there are many women who share many characteristics with me except that they feel really strongly about being women.”

Huh? Who feels strongly about being a woman? I’m not even sure what that means. I just know I’m a woman because I know what parts I have and I understand what the word woman means. A woman is an adult human female, and I’m an adult human female, so I’m a woman. It has nothing to do with a personal conviction.

“It feels more and more alien when people call me “ma’am” or “lady” or “miss,” which happens a lot here in Texas. That language is so far from the way I see myself that it makes my brain hurt trying to figure out how other people still see me that way.”

I’m not sure how simple forms of address used for all adult human females could possibly encapsulate “the way you see yourself.” How would they do that? They are just forms of address. They don’t express how I feel about myself either. These words aren’t there to express any personal feelings.

My brain hurts trying to figure out how you can have a university degree and still not understand basic human anatomy and basic functions of common words.

“She/her pronouns don’t make me feel much of anything, positive or negative.”

Well, of course they don’t. They’re just pronouns. No reasonable person gets emotional about grammar. I don’t feel anything about female pronouns either, or any other pronouns. They just exist so we can refer to the people around us when we talk.

“They/them pronouns make my heart click together, make my legs stop shaking in their subconscious effort to burn off my endless anxiety.”

Oh my gawd, why? What is it with these people and randomly assigning intense emotional meaning to neutral and insignificant things? Hearing a pronoun makes your heart click together? Fer feck sake, I’m gonna write an article for Autostraddle about how conjunctions and subjunctive tense verbs make my soul fly among the heavens.

The next writer, Cecilia, identifies as ALL of the following:

  • Witch
  • Knife-Licking Femme
  • Glitter Witch Femme
  • Cyber Femme
  • Child in a Miyazaki Film
  • Futuristic Ash Ketchum
  • Cis-Passing Art Hoe
  • Neutral Cis-Passing Take Me Seriously I’m A Capricorn Rising

However, even though all these descriptions apparently describe her, the word “woman” does not. How someone can be both female and feminine but somehow “not a woman” is beyond me. How a woman can consider herself a movie character but not a woman is beyond me.

She seems to choose her gender labels according to spiritual energies and artistic expressions. It’s fine to have spiritual energies and artistic expressions, and many of us have these. But there’s no reason why any of these require a “gender” label, and there’s no reason why anyone other than herself needs to take any interest in this. I feel a lot of resonance with certain artistic expressions too, but I just experience them without going around making other people validate them for me or change the way they talk about me because of them. There’s no need for that.

The last writer mentions having to explain over and over what nonbinary means, and yet she doesn’t offer an explanation in her write-up here. You’d think that if she was in the habit of explaining what nonbinary means, and if she was writing for an article about what nonbinary means, she’d at some point define what nonbinary means? Nope! She just offers a rambling account of her life that doesn’t add up to much of anything. She likes to wear a binder and doesn’t like her breasts touched. Okay, fair enough, so you don’t like having breasts. Not all women like them! You’re allowed to have boundaries! None of this means that you aren’t an adult human female!

I remain open to finding out what nonbinary means, and I will continue reading the articles I come across. But according to what I’ve read so far about being nonbinary, it can mean any of the following:

  • Being cool, special, geeky, or artsy; having feelings and experiences
  • Not fitting in with the popular clique
  • Being uncomfortable with certain body parts
  • Believing that normal human feelings require special labels
  • Requiring the people around you to refer to you by a label you like

Except for the obsession with labels, being nonbinary is no different from being any other human being. Genderist ideology requires that we apply unnecessary labels to normal human traits and take very seriously things that are neutral and unimportant. It’s a bunch of, shall we say, “punkass bullshit.”

I’m not buying it.