Dump your porn-watching husband and fire your male supremacist sex therapist

One of the things we do on radical feminist blogs is discuss the horrible advice given to us by the professionals who are supposed to help us but don’t, and provide a more woman-centered approach. This validates women’s feelings after they’ve been dismissed, ridiculed and gas-lighted by men, it makes us feel less alone, and it gives us the strength to face what we have to do.

Here is an article by a male sex therapist who excuses men’s use of porn as no big deal and his private business, and dismisses women’s objections to it. Now, I’m not an authority on heterosexual relationships, but I am a fully certified Radical Feminist Killjoy with a black belt in taking down patriarchal bullshit, and I think you’ll be quite pleased with my advice.

Husbands Watch Porn, Wives Despair—But Why?, asks sex therapist and professional male supremacist Marty Klein.

Klein opens his article by responding to a standard set of questions that wives ask him when they catch their husbands watching porn, and then explains some things, from a male perspective, about why wives should just disregard their feelings and let their husbands continue their objectionable habit.

Klein believes that porn is an innocent pastime, just entertainment the way romance novels and pictures of cats are entertainment, and that there is nothing for wives to be concerned about. He doesn’t even dimly grasp that porn is violence against women. He isn’t aware that porn represents a male-centered view of sex that is all about men’s use of women as sex objects, that there is verbal and physical abuse of women by men in a large percentage of porn scenes, that porn specifically celebrates male dominance and female submission, that plenty of porn is non-consensual, that many porn scenes specifically celebrate the non-consensual nature of the act, that porn actresses are physically harmed in a lot of scenes because of the brutal treatment, and a large portion of it depicts literal torture and rape of women. For a more thorough analysis than I’ve included here of what is wrong with porn, please read Pornland by Gail Dines and Pornography: Men Possessing Women by Andrea Dworkin (available in PDF). For a quicker read, my anti-porn trio of blog posts can be found here, here and here.

Since Klein hasn’t bothered to notice the really obvious misogyny inherent in the porn industry, the advice he gives to his sample letter-writer is completely ignorant and unhelpful. (Well, it does help the porn-watching husband.)

Klein reports that the wives who write to him asking for advice usually ask the following questions:

  • Why do men watch porn?
  • Why do men promise to stop watching, and then keep watching?
  • Why don’t men understand how their porn-watching breaks women’s hearts?
  • How can I make love with a man who watches porn?
  • How can I trust a man who watches porn?
  • Aren’t there any men who don’t hate women?

Klein gives the following answers:

  • Men watch porn because it’s entertaining to watch naked women (&/or men) while they masturbate. It generally has nothing to do with how they feel about women (or men).
  • Men don’t watch porn because their partners are inadequate.
  • Some men are jerks. Some of them watch porn, others don’t. Most men aren’t jerks. Some of them watch porn, others don’t. Porn-watching doesn’t predict jerk-itude.
  • Men promise to not watch porn because they don’t want to deal with their partner’s pain or anger. It’s an inappropriate promise to ask for, and it’s a foolish promise to make.
  • Men shouldn’t break their promises.
  • Women shouldn’t go hunting for evidence of men’s private behavior.
  • Almost all conflict about porn is actually about something else. If your partner never watched porn, would you two have an ideal relationship? If so (which I doubt), let go of the porn issue and enjoy paradise. If not, talk about the stuff you really need to talk about. If he refuses, let him know that’s a deal-breaker for you.

I’ve got some way more realistic explanations for these important questions.

Why do men watch porn?

There are many factors that lead to men watching porn, and they’re all about equally important. The porn industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that targets boys right from the time they are children. Even before the Internet, boys were familiar with porn in the form of their dad’s “dirty magazines” and videos only semi-hidden in the house, and late-night movies on cable TV, and advertising and magazines and calendars using women’s bodies as props and sex objects. Now that the average kid has a smart phone with Internet access, free high-resolution porn is only a click away.

Men are taught that they are entitled to women’s bodies. They are taught this through all the media they consume and through male-created culture, from locker room talk to social institions such as religion. Men are taught that they deserve beautiful women and that they have a right to expect women to cater to them sexually. Due to an almost complete lack of convictions for rape, and the popular promotion of rape culture, men are taught that they are allowed to “take” women whenever they want, no matter what—women’s willingness is irrelevant. This is something that men relish.

Rape in marriage has only been illegal, in some places, for a relatively short time in history, and is still legal in other places. It is legally and culturally acceptable for men to treat wives as sexual slaves, in many parts of the world, including in parts of North America. The prevalence of prostitution demonstrates that men will treat other woman as sexual merchandise, too—it’s not just wives that are abused.

Since men are taught that women are commodities and sexual playthings for them to use, and since they develop the habit of thinking of women this way right from childhood, it’s not surprising that they watch porn and think it’s normal. It’s heartbreaking, but not surprising. Men can’t understand why women object, because they don’t understand that it’s wrong to treat female people like things. Some of them don’t think we are people at all, and others know we’re people but get off on dehumanizing us.

Although men can certainly masturbate without looking at photos or videos of women being sexually used, they enjoy the exhilaration they get from viewing the sexual use of women and the reminder that women exist for their pleasure. It’s a high that comes from both sexual pleasure and the reinforcement of their dominant position in the sex hierarchy—an irresistible combination for them.

Why do men promise to stop watching, and then keep watching?

Men promise their wives they will stop watching porn, even though they have no intention to stop, because they don’t care about their wives’ feelings, they aren’t willing to examine the problems with their behavior, and their only interest is in getting their wives to stop complaining as soon as possible. They will say anything their wives want to hear so that they don’t have to talk about it anymore. They are interested in nothing but their own comfort.

Why don’t men understand how their porn-watching breaks women’s hearts?

Men are so conditioned to believe that women are things for them to use that they can’t even see that this is happening or that it’s not okay. They believe it’s natural for women to fulfill men’s sexual desires whenever and however men want, and they think that this is what women are for and that women agree with this treatment. They are taught this belief largely by porn itself, and the rest of the culture contributes too. Men are not willing to listen to women and understand how we actually feel. They cannot empathize with us and they’re not willing to try.

How can I make love with a man who watches porn?

It’s not enjoyable to make love to a man who watches porn. You can tell that he’s been watching porn by his attitude toward sex. I’ve heard several straight women now tell me that they can always tell if a man is a porn user by the way he treats her in bed, and I’m not surprised. Porn teaches men that what women really want is to be dominated and treated in a rough and callous manner. If a man thinks of women this way, he won’t be a good lover.

How can I trust a man who watches porn?

You most likely can’t trust him. He doesn’t respect women, and you’re a woman, so he doesn’t respect you. It’s difficult to face this, but it’s true.

Aren’t there any men who don’t hate women?

There are very few men who don’t hate women. In order to change this, please join radical feminism and help us create a culture where the sexes are equal and men are not allowed to abuse women. By fighting back against male supremacist institutions like the porn industry and prostitution, we tell men that they are not allowed to abuse us and they have to treat us like the human beings that we are. Men aren’t born hating women, this hatred is learned, and we need to teach a different lesson.

Our sex therapist explains:

“Some women seem to feel that there’s an implicit contract that their partner won’t watch porn, even though he never suggested such a thing. Therefore, they feel betrayed when he “breaks” the “contract.” That’s a mistake. You can dislike his porn-watching without deciding it’s a betrayal.”

Dear women, it’s not a mistake to assume your husband won’t watch porn, and to expect him not to. You have many legitimate reasons to expect that he won’t. For example, on your wedding day, he stood up in front of his and your family and friends and your religious leader and he promised to be faithful to you forever. Deliberately seeking out other women’s vaginas to get off on is not a part of being faithful, and he is breaking that promise. He also promised to love you. If his behavior indicates that he hates women, then that extends to you too. If he’s watching videos online of men shoving their penises down women’s throats until they gag, vomit and cry, or if he’s watching videos where “Dad” molests the babysitter, or videos where several men gang-rape a college student who was looking for her next class, then you are right to suspect that he hates women. It’s horrifying to realize that the man you thought was in love with you actually doesn’t think that women are fully human. Women who realize this will often use strategies to pretend it’s not true, such is convincing themselves that those women in the videos really “wanted” the abuse, or that the small amount of money they may have been given as compensation makes the abuse not hurt them, or that abuse is something sexy and fun, or any number of other excuses. Or they may not make excuses, they may repress their knowledge and just refuse altogether to think about it. But those repressed hurt feelings will eventually cause ulcers if they are not dealt with.

Men who watch videos of real sexual violence being enacted upon women and girls indeed are betraying their wives—and their daughters, and all women. Men who actually love women are sickened by violence against women.

Klein says:

“Some women seem to feel that because their partner watches porn they find disgusting or scary or confusing, they have a right to demand he stop watching it. A woman has no such right, any more than he has a right to patrol the TV, novels, or videos she watches. In an adult relationship, whatever objection she has to his porn shouldn’t carry more weight (or less weight) than his objection to her CSI or romance novels or cat videos.”

There is a reason why you would find abusive and misogynist porn disgusting or scary. It is disgusting and scary. Your husband would find it disgusting and scary too if he cared about women. Do not let anyone sell you the bullshit claim that videos of women being abused is the same thing as prime-time TV shows or pictures of cats. This is an obvious lie and anyone telling you this is deliberately dismissing your legitimate concerns in order to protect his abusive behavior. This is a tactic to allow him to continue hurting you.

“Some women seem to believe their partner has “left” them for porn. No sane person does that. People do withdraw from sexual relationships for many reasons, often passively or without adequate discussion. That’s a legitimate thing to complain about. Criticizing a man’s porn watching as the “cause” of a couple’s poor or missing sex life is as cowardly as a man withdrawing sexually without explaining his dissatisfaction.”

A porn user may very well withdraw from a sexual relationship. This may not mean he stops going through the motions of having sex with you. It might mean that he is having sex with the imaginary scenario he has in his head rather than paying attention to you, his real-life partner. Pay attention to how he treats his sex life with you.

Let me present two ways of viewing sex: the “menu of choices” or the “conversation.” In the “menu of choices” model, sex is a list of many possible activities that one can choose from as if choosing a sandwich off a lunch menu. The activity itself is the focus, rather than the relationship between the partners. The partner in fact is completely interchangeable because anyone could act out the activity, and the activity is what matters.

In the “conversation” model, sex consists of two partners relating to each other in a way that grows organically out of their feelings for each other and the time they spend together. Being together, doing things together, and talking with each other naturally produces sparks and feelings of excitement, and sexual activity is entered into as a part of their ongoing joy of their relationship. The method used to achieve orgasm isn’t what’s important. What is important here is the excitement of being together.

You wouldn’t enter into a conversation with your date with a list of things to talk about, or a pre-written script, and insist upon your date following those lines of dialogue whether she’s interested in them or not. You enter into conversations based on what the two of you want to talk about, because the two of you enjoy each other’s company, and because there is delight in finding out what your date might say. The conversation builds as the two of you interact, and the way you answer her depends on what she says. Same with sex. There should not be a script. There should be spontaneous response to your partner’s reactions and a mutual buildup of excitement as you interact.

If you feel that your husband has a preconceived idea in his head of what he wants to do, and expects you to act it out for him, regardless of whether that is one of your turn-ons or not, and regardless of whether you are feeling tired or anxious or insecure, and if you feel that he is not really making love to you the person, but just to the general concept of a woman, then your husband is viewing sex through the “menu of choices” model. He likely got this way from so many years of clicking on whatever sexual act he felt like watching at the time. Sexual acts are commodities that he as a consumer feels entitled to have. Sex with a man who thinks this way isn’t “making love.” It doesn’t create love between you, it just produces an orgasm for him.

Our male supremacist sex therapist asks the following questions of wives who have a problem with their husband’s porn use. These are designed to make women think they are being unreasonable. Let’s answer them from a feminist perspective.

Why do you feel you have a right to a porn-free house, and why is that right more important than your husband’s right to have porn in his house?

A woman has a right to a porn-free house because she has a right to a house free of abuse. Pornography is violence against women, and as such, is harmful to all women. Women have the right to expect love, respect, and support from their partners, and this obviously extends to not bringing material into the home that celebrates male supremacy and male violence against women.

Men should not have the right to abuse women, nor to consume depictions of the abuse of women, on the basis that women are human beings who do not deserve abuse.

It’s unbelievable that someone calling himself a “therapist” thinks that men’s desire to abuse women is just as important as women’s desire not to be abused.

Why do you give your husband’s porn-watching meaning that he doesn’t give it? And why do you believe that your interpretation—of HIS behavior—is more accurate than his?

This isn’t a simple matter of subjective opinion, like deciding which flavor of ice cream tastes the best. The violence and misogyny in porn is real, not imagined. Real men call real women bitches and whores in porn, real men choke real women in porn, and do things like double penetration, ass-to-mouth, rosebudding, simulated rape, real rape, and simulated molestation of underage girls. (As well as real molestation, in the case of child porn.) These abusive behaviors don’t hurt any less if the woman is compensated with money. These images aren’t any less harmful to women as a class because some of the women volunteered to step onto the porn set. Women don’t control what happens to them on the set—they are told what to do by male producers and male actors, and they are satisfying a demand from male viewers. None of it is driven by women’s desires. Even so-called “feminist porn” almost precisely resembles mainstream porn.

The reason you have a different “interpretation” of your husband’s porn use than your husband does is because you are naming the fact that porn is harmful, and he is denying this. You are allowed to trust your own perception. When you see violence, you are right that it’s violence. His denial is just that—denial. It’s not an equally valid opinion. The idea that male violence against women isn’t violence is not an opinion that should carry any weight. The apologies for male violence is another tactic of abuse.

Why is it OK for you to hack into your boyfriend’s private stuff?

Generally, I don’t recommend hacking into anyone’s private stuff. A person should only check into someone’s private things if they suspect a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. If your teenager was suicidal or running away from home you might read their diary. It would be a breach of privacy to do so, but you would do it because of the more important issue of keeping your child safe. If you have good reason to believe that your husband is accessing images of violence against women, you have a good reason to be concerned, because you are a woman, and you are allowed to protect yourself and your children from violence.

Partners should be able to trust each other and should have no reason to suspect wrongdoing. If you cannot trust your partner, then it’s probably best to break up. You can’t use snooping as a tactic to improve your relationship, because that won’t improve it. You want to be with someone who you don’t even feel tempted to snoop on, because you know he wouldn’t do anything to hurt you. If your partner is willing to do things that hurt you, then it’s over.

Why would you wreck a good relationship over his private behavior?

I wonder if a therapist would ask this question to a wife whose husband had been doing other harmful things “in private.” What if he was “privately” using illegal drugs in the home while she was out? Would this be “private behavior” that she shouldn’t interfere with, too?

This “private” excuse is bullshit. If you are doing something wrong, then it doesn’t matter whether you do it in public or private, it’s still wrong. When you contribute to an industry that sexually exploits women and girls, it doesn’t matter if you do it in the family home, on your smart phone, at the municipal library, at work, or wherever. The immorality of sexual exploitation is not location-dependent.

If your husband is engaging in immoral behavior that upsets you and if he won’t stop even when you tell him why it upsets you, then it’s not a good relationship. That’s an abusive relationship.

The field of sex therapy has always been a field dominated by men and male ideas about sex. Men have created the idea of the sexual “inhibition” which needs to be cured in women, which is a fancy way of saying that women shouldn’t be allowed to say no. Men have ignored the clitoris, have prioritized penis-in-vagina sex even when women don’t get any pleasure from it and they’ve named women “frigid” for not engaging in the kind of sex that men want them to have. Sex therapists will not help you to improve your sex life, they will just help your husband to keep his dominant position over you and continue engaging in harmful behaviours. A sex therapist who tells you to accept your husband’s porn use is nothing more than a male supremacist with a fancy title. Do not listen to him.

Here’s how to actually improve your sex life. First, make your husband read Pornland by Gail Dines and then explain to you, face-to-face, in his own words, what he learned from the book. I suggest proceeding one chapter at a time, to make sure he thoroughly understands all the issues. Discuss with him why he feels he needs to use porn, and correct any misconceptions he may have. For example, he might believe that you are forbidding him from masturbating. Men are so dumb that they have no idea that one can touch one’s genitals without looking at a computer screen. He may need this explained to him.

If he refuses to understand what’s wrong with porn, and if he begins dismissing your feelings or gas-lighting you, get a lawyer, and start planning to move out. If he never repents, finalize your divorce.

Next, overthrow the patriarchy. After the revolution, sex will get much better for women, along with everything else in life. Lots of your sisters are already fighting with you. We’ve got your back.

Today in compulsory PIV

Well, this article is just the perfect train wreck full of opportunities for patriarchy-blaming.

As a side note, can I still use the phrase patriarchy-blaming? This is a phrase I learned from my radical feminist sensei (“femsei”?) Twisty Faster, who used to blog at I Blame the Patriarchy back in the day, and who taught me the joyful art of radical feminist blogging. For any of you newbies who weren’t a part of the radical feminist blogosphere five to ten years ago, patriarchy-blaming basically means radical feminist theorizing.

Without further ado, here’s our article:

From the New York Post : Woman Born Without Vagina Raising Money So She Can Have Sex

“The family of a woman born without a vagina has launched a crowdfunding campaign for surgery that would allow her to experience intimacy and live a more normal life.

Her boyfriend of four months, Robbie Limmer, says he doesn’t care about the lack of sex in their relationship.

Moats needs $15,000 for the surgery and the crowdfunding page set up by her sister, Amanda, has already raised $5,720 in two months.

“He doesn’t really focus on the sexual side of our relationship because we can’t do anything since I don’t have a vaginal opening,” she said. “But I am looking forward to having a sexual relationship. I’m not sure if I want to wait until marriage, but I think having that option there is a lot more comforting.

“I’m a bit nervous to have sex for the first time after surgery because I’m not sure if something is going to go wrong down there or if it’s going to hurt,” she said.

Moats says her vagina looks exactly how it should — except that instead of a vaginal opening, there’s a little dimpled skin where the hole should be.

In the video that accompanies the article, she says

“It makes me feel less of a woman because I can’t do what women are supposed to do. They’re supposed to be able to carry children and create a family and have an intimate relationship and I can’t provide that.”

She also says in the video

“It’s very hurtful, the fact that I have to pay $15,000 for the surgery right out of college when I already owe a bunch of student loans. It’s very hard on our family, and hard on me.”

Her mom says:

“They [Insurance companies] won’t cover something like this which is so necessary for a relationship.”

Kaylee Moats has Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, which means that although she is a genetic female with most of the typical female anatomy, she is missing a uterus, cervix, and vagina.

While we’re on the subject of atypical sex characteristics—yes, they do happen. On rare occasions, some people are born with atypical sex organs. There is no need to deny this but there is also no need to reinterpret this fact in nonsensical ways. Just because a genetic female can be born without a uterus in rare cases, doesn’t mean that fully intact males with typical male bodies can just declare themselves to be “women” because they feel like it. That doesn’t make any goddamned sense.

Anyway, moving right along…

She believes she literally cannot have an intimate relationship without a vagina. The phrase “surgery that would allow her to experience intimacy” is shocking. Since when do you have to have a specific bodily configuration in order to experience intimacy? First of all, intimacy is about more than just sex. She is already capable of having a close personal relationship with another person, of sharing inside jokes, secrets, and private moments together, of knowing another person and allowing herself to be known on a deep level. Secondly, sex is about more than just her partner putting his penis in her vagina. She is already capable of a wide range of fulfilling sexual activity, even without a vagina. This idea that she needs surgery in order to experience intimacy is insane.

The way she defines sex is exactly how patriarchy defines it. She says, “We can’t do anything since I don’t have a vaginal opening.” For fucking serious? You can’t do ANYTHING? You can’t kiss, cuddle, fondle each other, touch either other, or have oral sex? Really? You can’t do any of that? Bullshit. She can already do almost everything there is to do. There’s only one option that’s off the table.

It’s normal, by the way, for one option to be off the table. Lots of people have limits on what they like to do or what they are capable of doing in bed, and that’s not a problem: you do what you like and what you are capable of, considering your limitations, and you enjoy those possibilities. There is no need to try and force yourself to do something that is beyond your interest or ability. What you can already do is fine.

In a patriarchy, where everything is defined in terms of men, and when women are simply objects owned by men, sex is defined as “when a man puts his penis in a thing.” I have a whole blog post on this subject if you’re interested, but basically, sex is defined as something a man does to an object, and the object can be absolutely anything, but men particularly like if their object is a woman because they like the power they have over women, and objectifying women through the sex act gives them the thrill of power and conquest along with their orgasm. Of course, this also comes with the delightful side effect of reminding women of their subordinate status, which men find important too.

When this woman says she “can’t do anything” sexually unless she gets a surgically created hole made where her vagina would normally be, it’s obvious how she is defining sex. She’s not defining it from her own perspective. She’s not defining sex as when she gets things that make her feel good and when she reaches orgasm. Nope, she’s defining sex as when her male partner puts his penis in a thing—that thing being her.

In a study available on Pub Med, it’s reported that women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome have normal sexual function, engage in masturbation as frequently as other women, and experience arousal and orgasm as frequently as other women. The only difference is that women with MRKHS experience orgasm only through petting and oral sex, not by penetration.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. It’s okay to just have manual and oral sex. This is not a problem and it doesn’t need to be fixed. Penetration is not necessary to have a fulfilling sex life. Now, just because I say this, doesn’t mean I’m anti-penetration. Some women really like it, which is totally fine. There is a good reason why women would like vaginal penetration, and that’s because our organ of pleasure, the clitoris, wraps around the vagina. However, if a woman born without this setup gets a surgically created hole, it’s not going to come with this option. She’s not going to get the pleasure that comes with a naturally-occurring vagina, she’s just going to get a pocket for her boyfriend to put his penis in. Getting this surgery does absolutely nothing for her pleasure.

Consider this woman’s options. She can keep her body intact and enjoy the normal sexual function of her external genitals. Or she can have surgery to create a hole for her boyfriend to put his penis in. Any surgery comes with a risk of pain or numbness in the surrounding tissue. Surgery on the genitals can cause you to lose your sexual function. She already has sexual function, but she’s raising $15,000 so that she can have a surgery that will risk taking away the sexual function that she already has.

Moats is male-identified, in the feminist sense of that term. I do not mean “identifies as a male” in terms of transgenderism. I mean that she sees things from a male perspective instead of from her own perspective.

I see things from a woman’s perspective, so I am horrified that she thinks there is anything wrong with her healthy body (she is atypical, but she is not ill!) and that she considers her boyfriend’s ability to fuck her to be more important than her sexual pleasure.

Her boyfriend generously says that he loves her as a person despite her not having a vagina and uterus, which, to be honest, is the bare minimum I would expect from any decent human being, but that still doesn’t stop him from funding her surgery with part of his paycheck.

If my partner didn’t have a vagina, and came to me saying she wanted to spend large amounts of our hard-earned money to get a surgical wound for me to stick things in, I would absolutely not contribute to that. I would tell her that I love her body the way she was born, and that I want her to skip the surgery so she can fully enjoy the body she has. I would tell her that I have no interest in putting things inside a surgical wound, and I would prefer to pleasure her and bring her to orgasm in exactly the ways that she’s already capable.

I think that men are completely capable of feeling the same way. They don’t feel this way, but they can. If they unlearn the ideology of male dominance, they can realize that a fulfilling sexual relationship is not when one person uses the other person as an object, it’s when two people who love each other both enjoy each other’s bodies as is and give each other pleasure in ways that work for them.

Because of the political climate we’re in, I have to add a disclaimer here. Just because it’s normal to be accepting of people with intersex conditions and atypical bodies, doesn’t mean that anyone should be bullied, guilt-tripped, or tricked into having a sexual relationship with a person who doesn’t fit their sexual orientation. Both lesbians and straight men can reasonably be expected to be attracted to women who are genetically female and missing a uterus, but that doesn’t mean we are interested in fully intact males.

Sadly, Moats fully buys into her own oppression. She thinks that she is less of a woman because she cannot provide a vagina for a man to fuck, nor can she provide children for him. This reveals her attitude that a woman’s purpose is to provide a man with a vagina to fuck and to provide a womb to create children. By this definition of womanhood, lesbians and spinsters (and even the average infertile straight woman!) is not a woman.

This is what “defining women by their biology” actually looks like. It means acting as though women are nothing other than vaginas and uteruses for men to use for sex and reproduction. We couldn’t have any other purpose, like, to have careers, to influence people, to fulfill our own dreams, or to do good things in the world. All those activities are for actual people, you know—men.

In the opening of the New York Post article, it says that her surgery would allow her to live a normal life. Does that mean her life is not normal now? A woman’s normal life under patriarchy is being a sex toy and baby incubator for a man. The feminist movement is working to change that. After we overthrow patriarchy, women will define ourselves on our own terms, look at the world through our own eyes, put our needs first in our decision-making, and do what we want to do in life, regardless of what men may think about it.

In case anyone is going to come along with the usual argument against anything feminists say, “Why can’t she do whatever she wants with her Free Choice and Agency and why are you judging her decisions and policing what women do with their bodies that’s not feminism!” let me just answer that right up front.

I am not saying that she should not be allowed to have the surgery. I’m saying that patriarchy creates the conditions in which women decide that being a fuck-hole is more important than being a person, and I’m saying that being a fuck-hole doesn’t benefit us, even though it might occasionally come with superficial, short-term benefits such as attention and praise. What is actually fulfilling, in the long term, is full personhood. Feminist activism should not seek to control women’s choices, it should seek to change the conditions that limit women’s role in society and give us the ability to make more fulfilling choices.

The choice that Moats deserves to be able to make is the choice to value her intact body and sexual function and view herself as a sexual agent in her own right, not as a receptacle for someone else’s use. It’s male supremacist ideology that convinces her not to make that choice. This harmful ideology has got to go.

How do you intend to address the upcoming trans generation?

This is another response to a troll named Angie who was commenting on this post.

Angie asked:

“Out of curiosity, how do you guys intend on addressing the upcoming generation of transgender folks, who’ve transitioned much earlier than the current generation?
I work in an elementary school, and we currently have a 5 year old transgender student. She identifies as a girl, is accepted by her peers as a girl, will likely be on hormone therapy before puberty etc etc. As an adult woman, having lived all but the first 3-4 years of her life as a girl…do you plan to tell her she’s not a real woman because she lacks a uterus? That she’s a man, despite being raised and socialized as female?
When our children come to us, utterly distressed and feeling trapped in the wrong bodies…what course of action do you folks advocate? Knowing that all of the science supports early intervention as the best route to good outcomes for trans kids…that years passing without intervention corresponds directly with rising suicide rates in transgender youth…do you still advocate denying these kids their identities, and insisting biology rules? Or does saving lives play a factor?”

Angie has swallowed trans activist propaganda whole without doing any critical thinking about it and therefore is missing some vitally important information about the “trans kids” that she is talking about. The most important things that Angie is missing about “trans kids” is that most of them will desist in their gender dysphoria as they get older, and that many of these kids are same-sex attracted, and would be considered gay, lesbian, or bisexual if we didn’t have this gender-worshipping social movement going on.

In a study called Factors Associated With Desistence and Persistence of Childhood Gender Dysphoria: A Quantitative Follow-Up Study published in the Journal Of The American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Volume 52 Number 6 June 2013, the authors cited a collection of other studies that investigated persistence and desistance of gender dysphoria and concluded that:

“Many children who experience gender dysphoria (GD), a sense of discomfort from incongruence between their gender identity and assigned sex, will not continue to experience dysphoria into adolescence and adulthood. However, a substantial minority (2–27% across studies) will continue to report GD and may seek services for gender reassignment later in life.”

Studies also show that a large percentage of kids with gender dysphoria are same-sex attracted. In the study Desisting and Persisting Gender Dysphoria After Childhood: A Qualitative Follow-Up Study published in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 16(4) 499-516 2010, the authors noted the high percentage of bisexual and homosexual attraction among the study participants and that people who persist in gender dysphoria after childhood overwhelmingly tend to be same-sex attracted:

“All persisters reported feeling exclusively, and for as long as they could remember, sexually attracted to individuals of the same natal sex…”

The DSM-5 says the same thing:

“For both natal male and female children showing persistence, almost all are sexually attracted to individuals of their natal sex.
For natal male children whose gender dysphoria does not persist, the majority are androphilic, (sexually attracted to males) and often self-identify as gay or homosexual (ranging from 63% to 100%).
In natal female children whose gender dysphoria does not persist, the percentage who are gynephilic (sexually attracted to females) and self-identify as lesbian is lower (ranging from 32% to 50%).”

Note in this screenshot from the DSM-5, it also mentions that less than half of kids with gender dysphoria will still have it when they grow up.

These “trans kids” we keep seeing in the media are very likely, according to the available research, to be same-sex attracted and to grow up to accept themselves as gay or lesbian. This is why Kenneth Zucker, a prominent Canadian researcher in gender dysphoria, advocated for a “wait-and-see” approach.

“Dr. Zucker argued in published research and previous interviews that his therapy should be guided by the age of the patient and based on best evidence, particularly longitudinal studies that showed that gender identity is “malleable” in young children, and that the majority will outgrow their cross-gender identity by the time they are teenagers, and most often grow up to be gay adults.”

Trans activists today do not want to wait and see if same-sex-attracted children will grow up to be comfortable in their bodies and accepting of themselves as gay or lesbian, even though they know this is a likely outcome. They want all children who express a trans identity to immediately be given puberty-blockers followed by cross-sex hormones and taught to believe they are literally the opposite sex. They think that anything else is “conversion therapy” which is yet another reversal of reality. Giving gay and lesbian kids body modifications so that they appear to be heterosexual members of the opposite sex is conversion therapy.

Lupron, the drug commonly used to delay puberty, is not approved for use on children for transgender treatment and is being used off-label with no documented long-term studies of its effects. There are already adults who were given Lupron for precocious puberty who are speaking out against “serious physical and emotional adverse events” such as pain and soreness, anxiety and depression, high heart rate, IBS, memory loss, insomnia, crippling migraines, osteoporosis, and more.

Children whose puberty is blocked and then go on to take cross-sex hormones become sterile, because their sex organs never mature. Also, MtF transsexuals whose genitals never mature may not have enough genital material to even use to create a vaginoplasty. This means they will look like eunuchs, not women.

Our troll Angie asked “how do you guys intend on addressing the upcoming generation of transgender folks, who’ve transitioned much earlier than the current generation?”
Well, here’s the thing, Angie. After all the incredible medical abuse these kids have suffered, I am 100% certain that they’ll be suing the doctors who did this to them as soon as they’re old enough to process and think critically about what happened to them. Sooner or later they’re going to realize that adults failed them by giving them dangerous drugs and telling them that they could become the opposite sex when they can’t, all because they felt uncomfortable with their gender nonconformity and their sexual orientation. They’re going to realize what gender critical feminists have been arguing all along: that it’s not okay to give dangerous drugs to kids and sterilize them, with unknown long-term side effects, just because they were playing with toys marketed to the other sex and with their immature thinking skills decided that this meant they were literally the opposite sex.

So what will I do to address the upcoming generation of people who were given dangerous drugs and sterilized before they were old enough to realize what their dysphoric feelings really meant? Several things: I will listen to them, promote their words, support their activism, and donate to their legal funds when they sue the doctors who abused them.

There is already a growing community of detransitioners, many of whom are lesbians, who are discussing other ways to deal with dysphoria, and I have already started reblogging and promoting them when they provide important information. See the list of detransitioners in my sidebar, and see Carey Callahan’s excellent YouTube channel. We will be seeing more and more detransitioners as time goes on, as more people realize they’ve been sold a bill of goods and decide to reconcile with themselves.

There are some other things in your comment that I take issue with, but they are smaller points than what I have laid out above. For example, you say that a boy can live “as a girl,” and that’s not true, because a girl is a young human female and there is no way for a human male to “live as” a human female. He is simply living in a feminine gender role. The people around him know he’s a boy, so he’s living as a special boy, not as a girl. I also take an issue with the phrase “feeling trapped in the wrong body” because there is no way for a body to be wrong. We are living animals and our bodies are literally what we are made out of and who we are. Bodies are good; we can mistakenly perceive them as “wrong” but they aren’t actually wrong.

Trans activists think that I am hateful, bigoted and phobic for not supporting the idea that some human beings are born inherently needing to take Lupron and be sterilized, but time will tell that it’s the people who promoted medical experimentation on kids who were the hateful bigots. I am in favor of giving everyone an opportunity to grow up in their natural body and accept themselves as they are, so they can have the best and healthiest possible life. Any decisions to make major body modifications should be made as fully-informed mature adults who are acting from a place of self-love and acceptance, not a place of fear and self-hate. Adults who are accepting of themselves rarely will want any body modifications, but if they do, I do not plan to stop them.

Someday the medical abuse of a group of mostly gay and lesbian people will go down in the history books as another method of homophobic gay conversion therapy, just like the lobotomy and shock therapy of previous decades. I certainly intend to support the victims of this form of abuse.

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.

Primary school goes gender neutral for TV experiment

Now here’s a story!

From the Daily Mail:

“In a unique TV experiment, a class of seven-year-olds was taught to forget all the differences between the sexes. The BBC’s idea was to create a gender-neutral classroom of seven-year-olds for a TV documentary. What would happen, wondered producers, if all differences between boys and girls were removed over a six-week period? Could it change the way the children thought and close the gaps in their achievement levels?”

This experiment got some things right, but it also got some things wrong. The positive aspect is that stereotypes about men and women were challenged, and the children were taught that they can do much more than they realized.

“In a series of psychometric tests, Dr Abdelmoneim and his team discover that the girls have much lower self-esteem than the boys and are inclined to underestimate their abilities.”

“To challenge the pupils’ preconceptions about the jobs on offer to them, the TV crew brings in a male ballet dancer, a female mechanic, a male make-up artist and a female magician.

“The children seem shocked by the role-reversal, but soon the girls are poring over a car engine and the boys are practising pirouettes.”

It’s a good thing to teach kids that men don’t have to be strong and unfeeling all the time, and that women are more than just wives and mothers. The kids in this class learned that they can do anything they want regardless of their sex, which is a good thing.

However, due to an increasing confusion over the difference between gender and sex, and the unfortunate denial that biological sex even exists, which is caused by the trans cult, the school felt that making all the students use the same washroom was a part of creating a gender neutral environment.

Gender refers to the social expectations and stereotypes we place on men and women, but sex refers to the real biological differences that allow us to reproduce. It’s a good thing to abolish gender, since people need to be free from negative stereotypes and limiting expectations. However, it is both impossible and unnecessary to abolish sex differences. Even if we teach girls and boys that they can grow up to have any personality and occupation they want, the fact that boys have penises and girls have vaginas remains true, and we should not be trying to convince anyone otherwise.

The students did not enjoy using the same washroom, particularly the girls.

‘You’ve got to start going to the same toilet,’ he announces to the class. The response is unanimous and resounding. ‘No!’ cry the children but – undeterred – the programme-makers push on with the experiment.

Dr Abdelmoneim admitted last week: ‘The children didn’t like the toilet.’ He said the girls were particularly uncomfortable with the arrangement. ‘The girls were like, “Oh they [the boys] come out with their bits dangling out and they don’t wash their hands.” ’

Mr Andre admitted parents were equally unhappy, adding: ‘The head put the toilets back to normal when the film cameras left.’

This is really unfortunate. Making boys and girls use the same washroom does not challenge stereotypes about who girls and boys can be, it just makes them uncomfortable. We separate the sexes in washrooms for the safety and privacy of both sexes. Although boys this young won’t usually commit any serious sexual offences, they seem to have been showing off their parts to annoy the girls. This behavior is not something girls should be subjected to.

I read the comments under this article and it was full of right-wing commenters complaining that “the Left” and “Marxism” are causing the collapse of society and that without femininity and masculinity people will not know how to breed. They were also being racist against Muslims for some reason.

I am so embarrassed that this idiocy is associated with the left. I am a far-left Marxist and I do not agree with the denial of biological sex differences and the desegregation of private spaces. Denying reality is not progressive, it’s just plain stupid. Nobody is harmed by the accurate understanding of biology and the granting of safety and privacy to people using washrooms and locker rooms.

Plenty of women on the left know what is going wrong here. We know where the analysis and the policies of the trans/queer cult have gone wrong. We’ve written excellent essays on it and we’ve spoken at many events about it. However, we are not being listened to. We are slandered as “TERFs” whose views are outdated and bigoted and our voices are shut down.

The Left is shooting itself in the foot by not listening to the smart women among its ranks who can see the problems its creating. The right-wing backlash is coming, and it’s too bad nobody wants to prevent it by listening to reason and creating reasonable policies in the first place.

Illuminate your vulva!

Have you ever felt inadequate as a woman and thought that what you really need is to give your vulva a luminous glow? Me neither! But we’re in luck anyway, because the company “The Perfect V” has a product that not only makes your vulva “appear youthful and fresh” but also gives it “luminous iridescent color!” Thank goodness —I was worried I was going to be stuck with a matte, colorless vulva for the rest of my life.

The Perfect V has a complete line of unnecessary products to put on the marketable body parts between your legs—you know, those parts that start with the letter V (although We Do Not Speak Its Name) and that need to be “waxed, shaved, lasered, sugared, trimmed or dyed and sometimes even sunbathed” in order to be acceptable enough for your man to stick his dick into? They have several creams, an exfoliator, a mist, a serum and a luminizer. As their website states: “We manicure, we pedicure and now we Vanicure™. The day of neglect and lack of a proper line of pampering products for the V after a hair removal session are over.”

Thanks to capitalism, there is no part of a woman’s body that doesn’t require a line of expensive products in order to be acceptable. The Perfect V’s products will perform the following necessary functions for your crotch:

  • Enhances, Renews and Improves its beauty
  • delivers radiance
  • provides an anti-aging treatment
  • Softens, moisturizes and hydrates
  • Neutralizes odor
  • leaves a light fresh natural scent
  • improves the skin’s texture
  • adds some extra prettiness
  • prevents dark spots

And judging by the words “luminous,” “brightens,” and “radiant” that keep appearing over and over on their site, I’m guessing that these products can also make your parts glow with light! That could be handy, actually. No more stumbling around in the dark trying to find the toilet when you get up to pee…just open your legs and let your luminous vulva provide an instant night light! Now that’s a perk!

Can you imagine if someone marketed products like this to men? A cream to moisturize and hydrate the penis? A perfume spray to make the testicles smell like the light scent of flowers on a summer breeze? A luminizer to make his equipment look “youthful” and “fresh”? I think this would be so ridiculous people would just laugh at it, and it wouldn’t sell at all. It’s just as ridiculous marketed to women, but women will buy it anyway, because we’ve been trained to have certain beliefs about ourselves. Although men are considered people, whose bodies exist for them to live in, women’s bodies are just decorations and sex toys for men to play with. Women jump at the chance to be hairless, smooth, youthful and fair-skinned, since a multi-billion-dollar marketing industry ensures that we all believe our bodies are supposed to look that way, and every corner of our culture supports the idea that our worth lies in our appearance.

This is actually a good exercise to find out if you really need a product. Ask yourself the question, “Do men need this?” Unless it’s something specific to menstruation, this trick will work. You don’t need your skin to look moist, pretty, youthful, free of brown spots, or luminously iridescent, on any part of your body. If it would sound ridiculous marketed to men, then it’s probably ridiculous.

I feel the same way about makeup for the vulva as I feel about makeup for the face. Not only do I think it’s unnecessary, but I’m also confused as to how you can have sex with someone wearing it. I have never kissed a woman with lipstick on and I don’t think I ever could. Wouldn’t it get on me? Wouldn’t I eat some of it? Yuck, I don’t want to eat lipstick. And if a woman had luminizer cream or perfume spray on her vulva, would I have to…lick the cream off? Would my tongue then be luminous and iridescent and freshly scented? The whole thing just creeps me out.

As a lesbian, I think that vulvas already look sexy, just because they’re vulvas. They don’t have to look a specific way in order to be sexy. And I think their natural scent is already a lovely scent. There is no need to try to “improve” on a body part that is already fantastic and wonderful. Only in a capitalist patriarchy can this bullshit make any sense to people.

The roots of trans oppression

One of the reasons that Leslie Feinberg researched the history of trans people is to find out whether they have always been oppressed and why their oppression began. She discussed the historical examples she found of cross dressing or sex change in her book Transgender Warriors  and traced the rise of discrimination against such people. Page numbers in this post will refer to the book Transgender Warriors.

Feinberg searched for trans people in history by looking for any mention of cross-dressing or sex change in historical texts. She did find lots of mentions of cross-dressing, but I’m a bit skeptical about whether anything she found actually constitutes sex change.

Here’s an example of something I’m skeptical about. She quoted Deuteronomy as an example of early bigotry against male-to-female transgender expression. “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter the congregation of the Lord” (p 50). This quote displays bigotry toward men who have lost their genitals, but does this have anything to do with transgenderism? In early societies men could have lost their genitals due to illness or accidents. They were doing physical labor and didn’t have modern hospitals. I don’t think we can know whether the writer of Deuteronomy had male-to-female expression in mind while writing this, or whether feminine men in this time period ever removed their genitals for transgender reasons. I am always skeptical of modern people taking these historical texts and interpreting them in terms of our understanding of transgenderism today. It seems like that is likely to turn out inaccurate.

I don’t doubt that there have always been cross-dressers and people who have been different from what we normally expect from men and women. I also don’t doubt there have always been people born intersex. It’s the way modern people interpret these things that draws out my skepticism. I do agree with Feinberg on one important point here, and that is that patriarchal societies discriminate against cross dressers and people who have a different gender expression than expected.  I view this through a feminist lens and I would describe this as patriarchal systems enforcing rigid gender roles on people and punishing those who deviate from the norm in order to reinforce patriarchy.

In addition to using religious texts and historical accounts, she also drew from communist theory for her theory of the development of trans oppression. This means that she blames the class division and patriarchy for trans oppression, which comes pretty close to my own theories.

“The accumulation of wealth in the form of herds, agriculture, and trade led to deepening class divisions among the Hebrews, so no wonder the religious beliefs and laws began to reflect the interests of the small group who owned the wealth and their struggle to strengthen their control over the majority.” (p 50.)

The invention of private property led men to need control over their wealth and their wives and children and this also led to strict divisions between the sexes.

She draws on the work of Frederick Engels to describe the overthrow of communalism and the rise of private property.

“In every society in which human labor grew more productive with the use of improved tools and techniques, people stored up more than what they needed for immediate consumption. This surplus was the first accumulation of wealth. Generally, men, who had primarily been wild-game hunters, domesticated and herded large animals, which represents the first wealth. Men, therefore, were in charge of stockpiling this abundance: cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and the surplus of dried and smoked meats and hides, milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Prior to this surplus, tools, utensils, and other possessions were commonly owned within the matrilineal gens. As wealth accumulated in the male sphere of labor, the family structure began to change, and men began to pass on inheritance to their male heirs. Those who had large families and other advantages gathered and stored more surplus. These inequalities, small at first, became the basis of the enrichment of some male tribal members over the women and the tribe as a whole.” (p51-52.)

“Shackling a vast laboring class meant creating armies, police, courts, and prisons to enforce the ownership of private property. However, whips and chains alone couldn’t ensure the rule of the new wealthy elite. A tiny, parasitic class can’t live in luxury off the wealth of a vast, laboring class without keeping the majority divided and pitted against each other. This is where the necessity for bigotry began.

I found the origin of trans oppression at this intersection between the overthrow of mother-right and the rise of patriarchal class-divided societies. It is at this very nexus that edicts like Deuteronomy arose. Law, including religious law, codified class relations.” (p52)

She even names some points about the development of patriarchy that agree with radical feminism.

“Once property-owning males ascended to a superior social position, those categories could not be bridged or blurred without threatening those who owned and controlled this new wealth.” (p62)

“The heterosexual family, headed by the father, became a state dictate because it was the economic vehicle that ensured wealth would be passed on to sons.” (p62)

“Males who were viewed as “womanly” were an affront to the men in power.” (p62)

“Hatred and contempt for women partly accounts for the growing hostility of the ruling classes toward men they considered too feminine.” (p62)

While reading these chapters I found that Feinberg had described the rise of capitalist patriarchy and named that as the source of trans oppression. She gave considerable attention to the way the European Catholic Church eliminated matrilineal belief systems and communal living. These earlier cultures tended to accept and even celebrate cross-dressing and include it as a form of expression in cultural and spiritual ceremonies, but the Catholic Church, representing the interests of ruling class men, eliminated these cultures and outlawed cross-dressing in order to protect its own power. I agree with her about this, although I would use slightly different words to describe it.

In my own words, the rise of capitalist patriarchy led to the discrimination against people she describes as “trans” because it created a hierarchy between men and women and separated the sexes into distinct roles. This means that people who blurred the lines by taking on roles not allowed to them by capitalist patriarchy were subject to corrective violence. This corrective violence was done to protect the patriarchal system and the ruling classes—both the economic ruling class and the ruling sex class (men).

Feinberg doesn’t specifically name the enforcement of gender roles as a method of protecting patriarchy, although I think she did understand this, she just didn’t put it into focus. Rather than focusing on the female sex class she focused on all cross-dressers as a group. I think it’s a mistake to consider both males and females to be part of the same oppressed group, since this disappears the sex hierarchy. Both male and female cross dressers are discriminated against, but they still have different places in the hierarchy. Men are expected to take their place as head of the family, husband and father, while women are expected to take their place as domestic servant and breeder. Both groups aren’t subject to the same discrimination.

To repeat a quote that I mentioned above:

“A tiny, parasitic class can’t live in luxury off the wealth of a vast, laboring class without keeping the majority divided and pitted against each other. This is where the necessity for bigotry began.” (p52)

It looks like she saw bigotry against cross-dressers and gender variant people as a deliberate strategy by the ruling class to keep the working class fighting each other so that they wouldn’t overthrow their economic oppression. This is a decent theory, because the ruling class does indeed introduce social issues in order to distract the proletariat from forming class consciousness and working together to fight for their own class interests. We can still see this happening today. However, I see the bigotry against gender variant people as rooted in the need for sex hierarchy between men and women and the enforcement of cultural beliefs  about men and women that are used to protect that hierarchy.

It’s important that communists, particularly communist women, analyze oppression on the axis of biological sex as well as economic class. Just as we need to create class consciousness among the proletariat, we need to create class consciousness among women, and we need to see ourselves as a class of people with a common class interest. I think it was a mistake for Feinberg to focus on both male and female cross-dressers as a group, rather than identifying with her sex class. All women are harmed by the enforcement of gender roles coming from capitalist patriarchy, although that harm will look different depending on whether we conform or not to feminine gender expression.  Women whose political analysis doesn’t come from viewing the female sex class as a distinct group will ultimately create politics that don’t support women’s best interests.  For example, Feinberg was against Michfest, even though it was created with women like her in mind, because she considered her political allies to be cross-dressing males rather than the female sex-class. Of course, feminists need to also be cognizant that they are listening to butch women and not doing things to alienate them from the movement.

One of the biggest failures of the left is the failure to recognize sex-based oppression and that other forms of discrimination flow from it. I think Feinberg’s analysis came close to the truth but just stopped short before getting there.

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!

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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.

Feeling creeped out by the forced-birth crowd

Earlier this year I deliberately sought out some anti-gay articles to find out what homophobes are saying these days, and I discovered they are obsessed with breeding. I was surprised to find out that anybody still thinks humans should grow our population when we are facing a climate crisis, dwindling resources and overpopulation.

Recently a friend shared an article from the conservative blog The Federalist that said our population problem is actually too few kids rather than too many. I ended up clicking on a tag “fertility rates” to see what else there was and I found there were lots of articles under this topic. The Federalist regularly publishes articles saying we should be having more kids. (And by “we” they mean white Christians in rich countries.)

One of these writers claims that “Humanity is threatened by too few people in the near future.” Evidently conservatives think that 7.5 billion people on the planet is a threateningly low number. Reading through a few articles on their site, it’s clear to me that they don’t believe in global warming, don’t believe there is a serious environmental toll on the planet from overuse of resources, don’t believe that any more than 10% of people live in poverty, are against abortion, and think that science is a left-wing conspiracy.

Ironically, they make fun of scientists because they perceive them to be biased, while they ignore factual information and believe in nonsense. God, I hate the right wing.

In reality, humans are living on a finite planet and have an economic system that is based on endless “growth” through massive consumption of resources and production of waste. We are causing large numbers of species to go extinct and entire ecosystems to be destroyed. If we continue on our present course we will destroy ourselves too, because we are living animals and a part of the environment we are destroying.

The Federalist has two very similar articles that hate on Bill Nye the Science Guy because he talks about the problem of overpopulation and suggests that we limit the number of children we have. This is really good advice because having fewer children means that there might actually be a living planet left for those humans who are still around.

The right-wing writers on the Federalist think that even suggesting that too many humans on the planet can cause problems is rooted in an evil hatred toward humans and is comparable to eugenics. They bring up abortion frequently in these articles, and they seem to be imagining that the left wing is anti-human and wants us all dead. Actually the left-wing wants to protect the environment so that we can protect life.

It’s incredibly creepy when men who don’t believe in women’s rights insist that we should be having more kids. They will be using women’s bodies to create those kids. There are still many women and girls around the world who do not have the option to say no to sex and who are impregnated against their will, which is exactly what caused overpopulation in the first place. American right-wing men want this here too. They want to reverse the gains that the women’s liberation movement have made and they want women to have no say in reproductive decisions and men to have free reign to use women’s bodies for their sexual pleasure and to make babies for them as they see fit.

As a radical feminist, I think that women should be entirely in control over our reproductive decisions and we should not be forced to create an army of soldiers for men to use in their battles with other men over resources. We should choose to have the number of kids we can reasonably take care of with the resources we have. When women are given the option to decline having kids, and when we have birth control to use, we make responsible decisions. Women who are given options have fewer children than women who are subject to male control.

Right wing men believe that they have the right to overuse the planet’s resources to the point of depletion and they believe that human females are some of the natural resources for them to use. They do not believe in our humanity and they don’t believe that non-human animals matter either. It is the right wing who is anti-life.

Quote: passing is a product of oppression

I’m still reading Trans Gender Warriors by Leslie Feinberg. I’m working on a post about the roots of trans oppression, but it’s not ready yet. Tonight I’m sharing a quote that I thought was absolutely amazing. Check this out:

“We have not always been forced to pass, to go underground, in order to work and live. We have a right to live openly and proudly. When we are denied those rights, we are the ones who suffer that oppression. But when our lives are suppressed, everyone is denied an understanding of the rich diversity of sex and gender expression and experience that exist in human society.

I have lived as a man because I could not survive openly as a transgendered person. Yes, I am oppressed in this society, but I am not merely a product of oppression. That is a phrase that renders all our trans identities meaningless. Passing means having to hide your identity in fear, in order to live. Being forced to pass is a recent historical development.

It is passing that is a product of oppression.” (p88–89).

This is amazing because this is exactly what I think. It’s okay to be a masculine woman or a feminine man, but people don’t think it’s okay, because they’re bigots. So masculine women have to pretend to be literally male and feminine men have to pretend to be literally female so they will be safe from the bigots who think their gender has to align with their sex. Passing means making people think you literally are the sex that corresponds with your gender expression. Not passing means that people know your sex as well as your gender. If it was okay for anyone to present how they want, then there would be no need to pass. Interestingly, radical feminists do think that anyone should be able to present how they want. The bigots are those who maintain that everyone who is feminine is literally female and everyone who is masculine is literally male. Strangely enough, modern trans activists are promoting this bigoted position toward their own community. I keep waiting for them to notice that they are transphobic, but so far, no luck.

I keep saying that Leslie Feinberg only lived “as a man” because she couldn’t live as a masculine woman. The reasons she couldn’t live as a masculine woman are called sexism and homophobia. Here it is right in her own book: being forced to pass as something you are not is a product of oppression. How refreshing, and surprising, to hear this from a trans activist!

If trans people weren’t discriminated against, then they wouldn’t have to pretend to be literally the opposite sex in order to live their lives. They’d be able to accept both their sex and their gender expression and everyone else would accept it too. There would be no rules that only certain gender expressions go with certain bodies. So, along the path to trans liberation, we need to be honest about sex and gender, rather than trying to hide one or the other. It’s okay to admit that transwomen are biologically male and that transmen are biologically female. No harm done in speaking the truth. Humans come in all types, some of us don’t look the way men or women usually look, and that’s okay! It doesn’t need to be hidden. It’s not bigoted to know who people are and accept them as is.

Also: she talks about not being a product of oppression in the middle paragraph. What she means by that is that she was not “passing as a man” in order to escape women’s oppression, as some people suggested. She was born unusually masculine for a girl, and she didn’t manufacture this deliberately as a strategy to escape women’s oppression. Just in case anybody’s wondering about that paragraph.

Sometimes I very much agree with Feinberg on something, but then other times we disagree. Following this amazing quote she talked about how we can’t define ‘woman’ in any way because defining it would leave people out. *sigh* You can’t win ’em all.