Sometimes you need this


Like today, for instance.

[Cartoon removed because trolls exist.] [Or, less facetiously, because people told me it was from a transphobic site.]

Update
I’ll just replace the cartoon with a screen grab of a comment on Michael Nugent’s 4,839-word post rebuking Adam Lee yesterday, the fourth in his series of posts rebuking Adam Lee for writing an article that criticizes Richard Dawkins.

“Crackity Jones” is Richard Sanderson, who has repeatedly posted a flagrant flaming lie about me on that post of Nugent’s. Does Nugent write 5000-word posts rebuking Richard Sanderson and his allies for telling lies about people? No. Does he even moderate comments on his blog? No.

crack

Crackity Jones September 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Ophelia has a spot of bother after her latest copypasta displays a cartoon from an artist who is a transphobe. Some of her commentators are politely trying to minimise the splash damage. This is not the first time Ophelia has got into trouble in this area. Seems to be she has a bit of a problem with trans issues.

Sanderson is obsessed with me, for some reason, and he’s a dedicated energetic liar.

Comments

  1. Al Dente says

    As a member of the Penis-Havers club, I can explain that cartoon to any of the fairer sex who need it explained to them. :)

  2. octopod says

    Wow, I hate to have to point this out, but that cartoonist’s work is really quite nastily anti-trans. :(

  3. Al Dente says

    octopod @5

    I’m sorry but I don’t see anything anti-trans about that cartoon. Or are you referring to other cartoons by that cartoonist?

  4. reinderdijkhuis says

    You need to see a few of them in context (which I wouldn’t recommend, because then you’ll also notice that her cartoons are only ever good by accident). See this one, for example: Bringing Gender Back for a clear TERF trope.

  5. Jason Dick says

    Yeah, I noticed that just now. Damn. Now I feel bad for trying to credit the artist :(

    TERF’s are pretty seriously horrible people.

  6. says

    sigh

    Fine. My bad. A couple of Twitter-slime pitters are taunting me over this. I saw the cartoon on Facebook and didn’t seek out the provenance. This particular cartoon made me laugh because of its fit with a current situation (which I won’t name, because I’m sanctimonious that way).

  7. Hj Hornbeck says

    There’s a serious point hidden behind this cartoon. Sexist people are sexist, in that they rate the views and opinions of one sex more than another. This means that the favored sex has a disproportionate impact.

    On top of that, we recognize that the fortunate have some obligation to give that up for the unlucky. That’s why we do progressive taxes, redistributing wealth to partially level out the differences.

    So not only do men wield a disproportionate impact in fighting sexism, as its primary benefactors we have some level of obligation to fight against it.

  8. Hj Hornbeck says

    Benson @9:

    Fine. My bad. A couple of Twitter-slime pitters are taunting me over this. I saw the cartoon on Facebook and didn’t seek out the provenance.

    Careful, there. They’ve got you playing identitiy politics: because we do not agree with X about Y, we cannot agree with them on anything or support them in any way. I disagree quite strongly with TERFs over their exclusion of trans* people, but if they got something else right, I wouldn’t mind agreeing with them on that.

    If you were consistently posting TERF stuff and favoring it over similar material from less problematic sources, then you’d be legitimizing their views and we’d have a problem. But a one-off cartoon with only an indirect connection to TERFs, when you’ve made it clear you disagree with trans* exclusion? That isn’t a “bad.”

  9. Jason Dick says

    @Ophelia: Feel free to delete or edit to remove the link of my first comment, if you’d rather not have any more clicks sent from your page to theirs.

    I do still think that the artist has some pretty good stuff. At first some of the images just fell flat to me. I didn’t understand the joke, or the intent. Some of the others were great, though. Now that I realize they’re a TERF….yuck. Either way, I don’t like the idea of promoting an artist who has such horribly bigoted views. So I feel quite bad about my comment :(

  10. Bernard Bumner says

    Hi Hornbeam @11 – is it that you have the privilege of being able to ignore the TE to cherrypick the RF?

    Would you do the same where people advocate racist rather than transphobic ideas?

  11. Hj Hornbeck says

    Bernard Bumner @13:

    is it that you have the privilege of being able to ignore the TE to cherrypick the RF?

    To qualify as cherry-picking, I’d have to ignore or minimize the TE in favor of the RF. I didn’t; I explicitly pointed out the exclusionary component, and said I disagreed with it.

    Would you do the same where people advocate racist rather than transphobic ideas?

    The German government, under the control of the Nazi party, was one of the first organizations to recognize that smoking led to an increase in mortality, and their cruel experiments on prisoners led to important discoveries about hypothermia. Should I reject anti-smoking campaigns and survival courses because they use research done by violent racists?

    There is a legitimate concern here about normalization. If Benson made a habit of linking to TERF materials, even though she knew where they came from and had plenty of alternatives, I wouldn’t be so quick to defend her. But this is a single cartoon that is only problematic because of its source, and even then you had to either know TERF lingo or read carefully to discover the source was problematic. It should be entirely forgivable, at minimum, especially if Benson made it clear she didn’t endorse trans exclusion once she knew of the source. Which she did.

    That some people aren’t willing to forgive this no matter what Benson does outs them as demanding perfection from imperfect beings. Only the most fanatic religious fundamentalists agree to that.

  12. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Cathy Brennan uses the second cartoon on that blog that Jason Dick linked to for one of her twitter accounts.

    Yeah, that site is as transphobic as hell.

    Ophelia, I have to be honest and state this, I would feel better if you stated that you removed that graphic because of the bigotry of the creator and not because troll exists.

  13. says

    It was a simple cartoon. I hadn’t looked at the site it came from, and still haven’t. I took it down because people yelled at me, starting with the trolls. That’s the reason. I take the word of the non-slime people that the source is shitty, but I don’t know that first-hand myself, and I’m not nearly interested enough to look.

  14. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Speaking as a trans woman who has some familiarity with TERF arguments and tactics; the creator of that graphic meant that image to be transphobic. And every image on that site is pure TERF.

    You may not care enough to check it out (And, frankly, I do not blame you.) So I will repeat my request, say you removed that image because it is bigoted, not because slymetrolls started crowing.

    This is because I would have raised the issue even if Crackity Sanderson have not taken this issue to try to score rhetorical points.

    And just a reminder, as long as Crackity Sanderson associates with “That’s Cissexist” and “Clownfall”, he has to room to call anyone on being transphobic.

  15. Bernard Bumner says

    @Hi Hornbeck,

    Firstly, I noticed that autocorrect changed your name in 13 – apologies for not spotting that before posting.

    I readily acknowledge that you condemned transphobia, and I don’t believe you are callous.

    I would take a dim view if you relied on Nazi sources to make anti-smoking arguments, given the wealth of non-Nazi literature supporting the message. If you relied on Nazi sources to convey the message to an audience with a number of victims of Nazi ideology, then I would consider it a serious misjudgement at best.

    There are other sources for anti-smoking messages. There are other cartoons offering commentary on sexism.

    I make absolutely no criticism of Ophelia for not realising that this came from a TERF, and I share your disdain at the opportunists who try to attack her by pretending that she is transphobic.

    I’m only pointing out that you risk collateral damage to your friends and allies by even appearing to provide succour:

    I disagree quite strongly with TERFs over their exclusion of trans* people, but if they got something else right, I wouldn’t mind agreeing with them on that.

    I (perhaps uncharitably) initially read that as meaning that you could ignore the trans-exclusion – even whilst strongly disagreeing with it – for the sake of agreeing a common point.

    My reading may be wrong, but it isn’t implausible.

  16. says

    Speaking as a trans woman who has some familiarity with TERF arguments and tactics; the creator of that graphic meant that image to be transphobic. And every image on that site is pure TERF.

    So nice to have an illustration so quickly of what I was discussing this morning in a post on the “One of These Things Is Not Like the Others” thread. There, I wrote:

    People who have certain life experiences as members of an oppressed group generally have a better sense than members of the dominant group for interpreting the motives of others in their group. Having lived as a woman and experienced the pressures against refusing to be a “chill girl” and the rewards for being one, it’s very likely that I’m more attuned to the signs than you are, just as I might, for example, more readily spot a misogynistic troll. There have been occasions when I’ve thought Josh was being excessively hostile in his responses to comments from other gay people or about gay issues, but almost invariably subsequent experience showed that his initial assessment was right.

    Furthermore, the point of calling attention to chill-girl behavior isn’t just to express our anger, though there’s that, too. It’s important because we’re the ones who chiefly bear the consequences – chill-girliness is harmful to other women.

    As I recall, I skimmed the comic, felt like something about it might be off, and forgot about it. Janine, with her knowledge and experience, is far better equipped than I am to recognize the hateful agenda. She’s also, unlike me, someone who directly bears the consequences of people mainstreaming or minimizing this sort of thing. The last thing I want to do is ignore or dismiss that harm.

  17. says

    And I’m a little irritable since I’m reading a chapter by Sarah Lucia Hoagland in Feminist Interpretations of Jean-Paul Sartre, and I’m agreeing and underlining and putting little stars next to all of the good points, and then out of nowhere she launches into this anti-trans rant. Sartre was douchey when it came to sex and gender, but existentialism is probably the most transphilic philosophy imaginable. It’s twisted to use it to oppose people’s free projects. My only hope, since it was written in 1999, is that Hoagland has moved away from that position.

    people mainstreaming…this sort of thing

    Astroterfing? (Sorry.)

  18. gmcard says

    The “because trolls exist” is kinda weird. Seems like “because of TERF themes I didn’t pick up on (which are more explicit in the cartoonist’s other work)” would be better; that makes sure people understand why it was problematic (and that it’s not just trolls who found the cartoon problematic). Also fits in well as a comparison to Harris/Dawkins/etc.–that it’s actually a good thing to own up to posts with problematic elements.

  19. says

    Well yes but on the other hand I don’t actually want people telling me word for word what to write on my blog. If I didn’t accept that it should be taken down, I wouldn’t have taken it down.

  20. Jason Dick says

    I honestly don’t think the posted comic had any TERF themes. Any TERF themes in that comic would be involved in what the man was inserting his view into, and what that view was. But neither of those are hinted at or implied in the comic. The author may have been thinking along the lines of posting bigoted opinions and having a transgendered woman reply, which would be a horrible thing to do, but the work itself doesn’t hint at that theme.

    In case anybody is curious what it was about but doesn’t want to click through, the comic has a picture of a bald man with red pants and suspenders and a white shirt, bursting into a room with the text:
    “Behold

    A man has arrived
    to share his manly view”

    Among the extremely trans-inclusive friends I hang out with online, this is very much the kind of thing that they enjoy saying. And I definitely feel that there are many contexts in which it is apropos. Yes, the author may have been thinking of a very bigoted context, and I am still upset at myself for not checking their other artwork more thoroughly before linking or suggesting it was good. But I don’t think there’s a basis for the statement that that cartoon itself is bigoted.

  21. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Well yes but on the other hand I don’t actually want people telling me word for word what to write on my blog. If I didn’t accept that it should be taken down, I wouldn’t have taken it down.

    I was not trying to tell you what to say. All I said that what I would feel better about.

    So I will explain what is meant by “Gender Fatigue” and why it is transphobic.

    TERFs like the talk about how they are gender critical. And part of that mindset is that they are out to dismantle gender. Trans people, and especially trans women, are seen as holding up traditional gender roles by simply working at being seen as women instead of just renouncing gender altogether.

    Hence, gender fatigue.

    So the very idea of that comic was screaming transphobia. In a lot of ways, you might as well been holding up Cathy Brennan’s “Sorry About Your Dick” stick figure man.

    And Crackity Sanderson, who has been communicating with TERFs ever since the Slymepit and TERFs joined in whining about the Block Bot, knew where that cartoon came from and what it mean. So he started crowing about it. Never mind the fact that many of his allies are actually transphobic. Because it is more important for him to score rhetorical points instead of actually making an actual ethical stand, Crackity Sanderson will go off about this.

    And I will ask this question, Ophelia. What if I commented about that cartoon first and asked you to remove it because of it’s transphobic content. Would you have made a comment about how you had to remove it because of trolls?

    There was nothing good or cute about that cartoon. And please do not position this as you not liking to be told what to say. Please consider what that cartoon means? Is that really an idea you want to even seem like you are endorsing?

  22. Hj Hornbeck says

    Bernard Bumner @18:

    I (perhaps uncharitably) initially read that as meaning that you could ignore the trans-exclusion – even whilst strongly disagreeing with it – for the sake of agreeing a common point.

    It was a fair reading, and at the time I didn’t see any trans-exclusion in the cartoon. But

    Jason Dick @23:

    Yes, the author may have been thinking of a very bigoted context, and I am still upset at myself for not checking their other artwork more thoroughly before linking or suggesting it was good. But I don’t think there’s a basis for the statement that that cartoon itself is bigoted.

    then I started looking for dog whistles. As Lee Atwater famously put it,

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “N*r, n*r, n*r.” By 1968 you can’t say “n*r”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N*r, n*r.” [1]

    Not only does coded language allow you to get away with saying racist/sexist/classist things, you might trick non-racist/sexist/classist people into supporting you. I myself was thinking of sharing an image elsewhere, until I saw octopod raise the TERF flag and went “hmmm, I might be missing something here.” On and off over several hours, I scratched my head trying to work out what that was. “I suppose that one comic ‘reinderdijkhuis’ linked to made it explicit, but I didn’t spot anything else as bad. Though, now that I think of it, that rainbow comic looked like a coded message. And it was weird the masthead used the word ‘cotton’ but I’m HOLY SHIT HOW COULD I BE THAT BLIND….”

    The blogosphere is fired up over the cotton ceiling today, a term porn actress Drew DeVaux and other queer trans women are using to challenge cis lesbians’ tendency to support trans causes generally but draw the line at sleeping with trans women or including trans lesbians in their sexual communities. Some cis lesbians have responded in outrage to the term (trigger warning on link for heavy transphobia), claiming that it implies sex with cis women without their consent, perpetuates rape culture, and reveals trans women’s patriarchal motives to break into their bedrooms as they presumably have broken into their bathrooms.

    This spectre of rape that cis lesbian “radfems” habitually raise, centered around the supposed inherent threat of the phallus, minimizes the appalling rates of physical and sexual violence committed against trans women, particularly trans women of color and sex workers. It also twists the picture of systemic violence to make it look like trans women are a huge, systemic threat to cis lesbians when in fact trans women as a group face incredible systemic barriers in almost every aspect of life.[2]

    The “cotton” refers to underwear. The idea being here that no matter how much basic, nominal acceptance a trans woman can receive in feminist or queer or women’s spaces, we’re still always ultimately rejected when it comes to breaking the sexual barrier, and being accepted as women to such a full extent that we are accepted sexually as women.[3]

    Emphasis mine. Suddenly, that odd “rainbow” comic made perfect sense. It pictured the acronym “QUILTBAG” (queer, undecided, intersex, lesbian, trans*, bisexual, asexual or allies, gay) over a rainbow, but the “L” was parachuting out. “Get the L out” is actually a really obscure slogan calling for lesbians to leave inclusive spaces, as according to radical lesbians having “men” there only propagates the patriarchy.[4] “Sisters before Misters” was actually a middle finger to trans* women. And that cartoon I was going to share, about men invading women’s spaces, wasn’t actually about sexist dudebros trying to invade safe spaces, it was about trans* women trying to invade lesbian spaces in search of sex. Hopefully I don’t need to explain the code behind picturing a hairy guy invading a space to explain things by this point.

    In that moment, a page I originally thought contained a mix of funny but heavily obscure comics was revealed to be a vicious cacophony of sexist dog whistles. EVERY comic was dripping with hate, but in some of them it was so carefully hidden that it looked like feminist commentary. Those could easily float around Facebook, with only a select few snickering over the true message being passed around. Imagine sharing an image that mocked Obama for being a warmonger, following the link to the source, and stumbling across a white supremacist website. If you were black, that would be horrific.

    Hopefully that should explain why the image had to go, and why I was wrong to edge towards the “devil’s advocate” chair. My apologies for taking so long to clue in.

  23. Hj Hornbeck says

  24. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Hj Hornbeck, I do expect cis people to understand every little detail when it comes to what are, to outsiders, confusing details. But I do thank you for taking the time to figure out what they mean. And I hope you can understand why I said that every comic on that blog screams TRANSPHOBIA.

    Hell, even the title contains two dog whistles. “The Emperor’s New Cotton Granny Pants”. The first part refers to Janice Raymonds’ The Transsexual Empire while Cotton Granny Pants refers to “the cotton ceiling”.

    Ophelia, do you still think I am just trying to tell you what to say?

  25. gmcard says

    Janine, I suspect the “tell me what to write on my blog” was directed at my comment @21, which was definitely phrased as ‘don’t say “this”, say “that”‘ (though the later wasn’t meant to be a verbatim request; I’d have been better off putting it like “maybe something in the spirit of ‘…'”).

  26. Hj Hornbeck says

    Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen@28:

    And I hope you can understand why I said that every comic on that blog screams TRANSPHOBIA.

    The horror of it all is still sinking in a little…

    Hell, even the title contains two dog whistles. …. The first part refers to Janice Raymonds’ The Transsexual Empire

    …. OK, more than a little.

    Ms. Raymond makes her position absolutely clear. Trans-sexual women ‘are not women. They are deviant males.’ Trans-sexual men are not men, but women. The first, basic underlying cause of trans-sexualism is the sex stereotyping system in a patriarchy, ‘… a patriarchal society and its social currents of masculinity and femininity is the First Cause of trans-sexualism.’ Thus trans-sexuals exhibit one form of response to the same problems that women face in a patriarchal society. ‘Like trans-sexuals, many women have felt hatred of their bodies and (sic) its functions, and have found themselves in a psychically disjointed state because they could not accept their role[…]

    The major secondary cause of trans-sexualism, it is argued, is the medical speciality which has grown up around the performance of trans-sexual operations. This is the trans-sexual empire. Not only surgeons, but psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, deportment instructors, speech therapists, electrologists and the like have formed powerful teams, sometimes using national funds, which enable the fulfillment of the wish. Trans-sexualism is, apart from scattered historical myths, a new phenomenon, dating from the growth of the trans-sexual operators in the fifties. […]

    As I read through Ms. Raymond’s book, I experience anger, constant irritation, and a lot of bitterness. I scribbled pages of critical notes. Reading it doesn’t seem at the moment to hurt me personally, because it is all so far removed from who I am and what I’m about in this world. But I know that its publication will make my personal space in the women’s movement more problematic, make it less easy for me to trust women who don’t know me well, and vice versa, as well as making things harder for pre-operative and post-operative trans-sexuals in general. […]

    ‘The Trans-sexual Empire’ is a dangerous book. It is dangerous to trans-sexuals because it does not treat us as human beings at all, merely as the tools of a theory; because its arguments may make things more difficult for trans-sexual women and men as they strive to come out; and because it seeks to create hostility towards us among women who have no actual experience of trans-sexual people, find the subject disturbing, and want some simple, straight-forward answer that allays their unease. […] My living space is threatened by this book. Although I have had to challenge it in its particular content, as a trans-sexual woman, its dogmatic approach and denial that female experience is our basic starting point are a danger signal for the whole women’s movement.
    Riddell, Carol. “Divided Sisterhood: A Critical Review of Janice Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire.” (Liverpool, News from Nowhere, 1980)

    That book sounds like a cross between “On the Jews and Their Lies” and Christina Hoff Sommers. And this cartoonist endorses it? Shiiiiiit.

  27. Silentbob says

    @ 25 Janine

    I think there might have been a misunderstanding. The cartoon originally in the OP wasn’t the one titled “Gender Fatigue”, it was this one.

  28. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    I have seen a lot of people use that image on Twitter. If it was made by the same artist who runs that blog, it is easy to not see anything transphobic about it. That can only be inferred if you know what the artist is working at.

    So here is my silly question, who made that “manly opinion” cartoon?

  29. Silentbob says

    @ 32 Janine

    I’ve no doubt it’s the same bigot who created all the other images on the site linked @2. (“A Man Has Arrived” is currently on page three of that site.)

    But Ophelia didn’t know that, she removed the image when she found out, and the reason she wrote “because trolls exist” is that she has a dedicated entourage of harassers who watch everything she does like a hawk looking for some opportunity to smear her with disinformation. In this case, twisting the inadvertent posting of an image by a cartoonist who turned out to be a transphobe into “she has a bit of a problem with trans issues”, to quote the comment in the updated OP. (That interpretation, of course, is utter rubbish.)

  30. says

    Knowing the dog whistles of sexism, transphobia, racist etc is not at all easy, I only know about some of these cos Brennan and pals got rather upset about the block bot. So I’ve read quite a lot about TERFs and seen their cis-is-a-slur, terf-is-a-slur, pretty much the whole trans experience is a slur, “arguments” … It seems to fit with all forms of oppression really, those in the privileged group don’t see it. I didn’t know all the implications of “Gender Fatigue” as Janine explained them, only that some terfs/tokens use that term so it would raise a red flag!

    It’s something Sanderson will never understand, or me, as we are not subject to it. But we both could try and avoid it and be aware when people say, hey that was a shitty thing to say, here’s why. Sanderson couldn’t give a shit, to him it’s a game where he “wins” points by using other peoples hurt and oppression against them.

    He is constantly trying to “use SJW rules against them”, was ecstatic when Brennan called me an “MRA” cos that is the one of the scary words that leads to them being “shunned” as they see it. So anyone making a sexist mistake, a transphobic mistake must, by “our rules”, be immediately shunned for all time. As that is how it works in his shrivelled little mind. Sorry Sanderson, you are consistently a sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic shit head. Stop doing that and “we” and any other “SJWs” will leave you and pals alone. Hell even fuck off somewhere with a bunch of your fellow bigots and keep yourselves to yourselves and we’ll ignore you. We won’t obsess over you and everything you do years later either, funny how that works isn’t it?

    Everyone is cissexist, sexist, racist, etc, etc, to a degree, all we say (I think anyway!) is be aware of those biases and listen to the experts.

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