#radfem2013

Are you looking to be baffled this weekend? It’s another twitter war, this time under the hashtag #radfem2013, and it consists of a lot of very angry women who are making very weird claims. “Because every time you tell lesbians transwomen are women, you support corrective rape.” “WTF is up with assholes who insist on telling lesbians to fuck men.” “Because demanding that lesbians suck dick makes you not an ally.” “Transwomen are men: predatory men who demand access to women’s bodies.”

It’s bizarre. It’s feminism+transgender hatred.

The lead bigot is someone named Cathy Brennan, who has a rather deranged blog in which she insists her views are the only rational ones.

Radical Feminism is an Evidence-based philosophy. The Evidence suggests that there is a Class of Humans (Women) made subordinate by and to another Class of Humans (Men). The Evidence suggests that Men want to keep it this way, and employ tactics and establish systems to ensure it stays this way. The Evidence suggests that Men commit a disproportionate amount of Violence against Women (Male Violence).

A favorite tactic of Men’s Rights Activists and Trans Activists used to Silence Women who rely on Evidence to support assertions like Penis=Male, Male Violence against Women is an overwhelming problem and Trans Women are Men is the claim that Radical Feminists aren’t “Rational.”

I can sort of agree with parts of the first paragraph: men as a class (but let’s not expand that to all men as individuals) do those things in our culture. But the second paragraph makes a gigantic irrational leap. They are claiming a freakishly conservative sort of genital essentialism: if you have a penis, you are MAN, through and through, and if you have a vulva, you are WOMAN, entirely and completely. Am I the only one who finds this inconsistent and contradictory coming from a group of lesbians? It seems to me they are already expressing the view that their natural desires are not constrained by the behavioral assignments our culture already imposes by definition of the physical apparatus in our crotches.

Transwomen are women…and an even more oppressed subclass of women than these “radfems” are. Saying that does not in any way tell people that they must have sex with them, any more than saying I’m a cis heterosexual male means I’m required to have sex with all women, or any woman for that matter. No one is telling these radfems that they must carry out any particular sex act with any particular individual or class of individuals, yet they’re acting as if acknowledgment of the humanity and worth of trans individuals is a dictatorial smack in their faces.

They sound a lot like right-wing bigots, actually.


Another facet of this argument: the usual lackwits are making triumphant announcements.

ha ha, Rebecca and PZ have finally discovered the RadFem rad hate group after denying their existence for months.

Wrong. I haven’t denied the existence of a demented feminist fringe: what I have said is that the kooks who are constantly denouncing people like me and Rebecca Watson and Amanda Marcotte as “radical feminists” don’t have the slightest clue. The fact that we clearly oppose the weird radfem agenda of transphobic hatred ought to finally make that clear to them…but give ‘em a day. They’ll be back to accusing FtB of being a hive of radical feminists again.


You want to see ugly? Here’s ugly. These kooks really hate trans people.

Comments

  1. Sastra says

    The fact that we clearly oppose the weird radfem agenda of transphobic hatred ought to finally make that clear to them…but give ‘em a day. They’ll be back to accusing FtB of being a hive of radical feminists again.

    How silly. We are in the Middle.

  2. says

    I have the honor of being thought “porn sick” by Cathy Brennan. I guess porn sickness is when you think that the right thing to do is respect every person’s gender identity and sexual orientation? Otherwise it makes no sense. Wait, none of it makes any sense.

  3. Pyra says

    I would suggest that there is a lot of baggage behind such sentiment. I am not a counselor, but I have been in counseling long enough to see the defensive tactics here as blatant displays of sharing baggage. And you’re right, it is just like the bigot conservatives in the genital essentialism. To make the leap from what a genital’s physical appearance might be to what that genital is supposed to do is a huge mistake here. And again, they really need to examine the fact that no one is suggesting any woman who is a lesbian must date a transwoman. Geez. This is just the weirdest thing I’ve read in a while.

    Also, I’m still flabbergasted the people denouncing Rebecca Watson, and the others thrown in with her whether they should be or not, are still piping up with drivel. There are more examples of personal baggage being put on display.

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but give ‘em a day. They’ll be back to accusing FtB of being a hive of radical feminists again.

    But, but, but, if they can’t think, which they can’t, they must sloganeer. Never mind the truth of their slogans. They believe them if they repeat them ad nauseum. It beats actually looking at evidence and thinking rationally any day.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    It’s the oldest trick in the book, tie your opponents to whatever radical element exists to slander the whole movement. Ergo, all Feminists are represented by Valerie Solnas, every environmentalist is represented by the ELF, every atheist is represented by Lenin, all Muslims are Al Qaeda members, and (for the sake of fairness) every Christian is represented by Eric Rudolph.

  6. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Hi. My name is Victoria. I used to be Victor, but I discovered I wasn’t getting enough pussy to satisfy my peen. So I decided to go through a physically invasive surgery that would transform my peen into a not-peen, endure the wholesale shunning from my professional and community life that comes with transitioning to another gender, and subject myself to the greatly increased risk of being raped and murdered that comes with being a trans woman. I’m confident this will get my peen all the pussy it needs now that I have easy, welcome access to women’s spaces.

    #ThisMakesTotalSenseAndIsNotAtAllBugfuckNuts

  7. says

    I like how the very paragraph that complains about being called irrational has a major logical error. Unless you equate male violence against women being a major problem with all men being violent vis a vi women, it makes no sense. This variety of radfem is really no different than MRAs in their reasoning, though far less dangerous in practice. They believe a bunch of stuff about how men are like this and women are like that and just think their side is better.They don’t take these as broad generalizations, but something that can be applied to every member of a class. This is also the emotional basis of racism.

    There are probably only a few thousand of this variety of radfem, at least those who are into it enough to build an identity around it, but they can make a lot of noise. They can frequently be seen on feminist sites accusing feminists of being fake “fun” feminists and tools of the patriarchy try to water down feminism to make it acceptable to men for talking about the real world instead of building some pretend world based on ideology, then super-imposing it on reality.

    I know Natalie Reed and Cristina Rad have been the targets of such people (Brennan herself in Natalie’s case) I’m betting you’ve all seen them if you spend much time in the femisphere.

  8. Eristae says

    What struck me was the sheer number of people who felt that they had a right to incredibly detailed information about my genitals. “Are you a woman?” wasn’t a sufficient question because these people had taken it upon themselves the judge the validity of my womanhood. Instead, they needed to know if I had a penis or a vagina. But no, even that wasn’t enough; after all, I might be a man who was mascaraing as a woman by having his genitals altered to look like a vagina! So then they needed to know if my genitals were attached to a reproductive organ that could bear children. But no, that couldn’t work because some individuals who they wanted to declare to be “real” women wouldn’t fit that mold (post-menopausal women, women with reproductive troubles, etc). So then they needed to know if society viewed me as a woman and had treated me as one when I was younger. But no! Even that could not be enough, because that meant that trans-women could be “real” women if we altered society to view trans-identified youngsters as their identified gender. So then they wanted to know if I had a penis again, and we were back to the beginning.

    Of course, no one could seem to define “male,” “female,” “penis” or “vagina.”

    And I object to the idea that these people have a right to information about my genitals.

    @SallyStrange
    I had the honor of being labeled as a “dude” by one anti-trans commenter, and Cathy Brennan decided to block me, unblock me to tweet me, block me again, unblock me to tweet me, block me again, over and over until I finally blocked her. *sigh*

  9. Nepenthe says

    @Josh

    Not all trans women have bottom surgery. From a cis-lesbian standpoint, “you must consider have sex involving penises otherwise you’re a Bad Person” is not a statement without pitfalls.

  10. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I am well aware that not all trans folk have bottom surgery. I am mocking the assumptions Brennan and her ilk make, not my own.

  11. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I might be a man who was mascaraing as a woman

    This is the greatest, most sublime autocorrect of all time.

  12. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yeah, Eristae. . it’s hard to predict when one is going to be blocked by Brennan, or when her account is going to be protected and then unprotected and then reprotected. Happens so fast you can almost hear the vibration as a low b-flat.

  13. says

    @5: To be fair, it’s usually Fred Phelps people try to saddle the Christians with. The reality is complicated, because the moderate elements often do end up as apologists for the radicals. Libby Anne has been doing a great series about how this happens in the homeschooling culture at her blog. Plenty of evangelicals who disagreed with Bob Jones University’s racist policies propped them up financially because they thought they were mostly fighting for a good cause and we have to forgive them a few faults. The same is still happening with Pat Robertson. It happened for a while with American communists and the Soviet Union.

    It’s ridiculous to suggest that it’s the the case with FTB, though without real evidence. For instance, if bloggers were approving quoting Cathy Brennan and promoting her as an authority on feminism and playing down her transphobia if challenged, that would be a problem, but nothing of the sort has happened.

  14. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Damn, too late, Josh made the point much better than I could.

  15. Eristae says

    This is the greatest, most sublime autocorrect of all time.

    Oh! That’s so funny! I almost want to say it was on purpose (a commentary on trying to define womanhood!), but I didn’t even notice it.

    Yeah, Eristae. . it’s hard to predict when one is going to be blocked by Brennan, or when her account is going to be protected and then unprotected and then reprotected. Happens so fast you can almost hear the vibration as a low b-flat.

    It was weird because she went and admitted what she was doing, insisting that the way to get it to stop was to stop using the hashtag. Usually people don’t want to own up to gaming the system.

  16. The Mellow Monkey says

    “WTF is up with assholes who insist on telling lesbians to fuck men.” “Because demanding that lesbians suck dick makes you not an ally.” “Transwomen are men: predatory men who demand access to women’s bodies.”

    I’ve seen this kind of thing a lot, usually from straight cis men who interpret “just accept trans women as women” to mean “IF YOU DO NOT FUCK THEM, YOU ARE TRANSPHOBIC.”

    Which is…a really odd interpretation, frankly. It seems to be coming from the point of view that the only way to validate a woman’s identity is to fuck her. That if you’re not willing to fuck a woman, then you’re rejecting her as a woman and not as a sexual partner.

    The hate and harassment and everything else aside, that’s really, really nasty.

  17. thedude says

    Yet another crazy sect of the religion that is modern feminism. What else is new?

  18. Nepenthe says

    @Josh

    I understand your intention, but in pretending that all trans women transition in the same manner you erase one of the problematic bits of the “Cotton Ceiling” debate. Cathy Brennan may be bugfuck nuts, but she’s not 100% wrong all the time. (And Hitler built the Autobahn.) Incidentally, isn’t “bugfuck nuts” deprecated here?

  19. anteprepro says

    Feminism: The sadly radical idea that women are people.
    #Radfem2013: The sadly not-so radical idea that trans-women aren’t people.

    Seriously, what the everliving fuck is wrong with them?

  20. Nepenthe says

    That if you’re not willing to fuck a woman, then you’re rejecting her as a woman and not as a sexual partner.

    Seriously, google “Cotton Ceiling”. And then enjoy.

  21. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Nepenthe

    in pretending that all trans women transition in the same manner

    As I explained, I am not pretending that all trans women transition in the same manner. I am mocking the simplistic and offensive assumptions made by Cathy Brennan. I cannot be more clear than I’m being right now. I understand why my post would seem that way, but now that I’ve explained it, I don’t know why you continue to act as if I’d made that assumption. I’ve just told you, “No, I get that. I’m mocking the silliness, I don’t believe it myself.” Are there any English words that could be more plain?

    If I had said, “OMG YOU’RE SO STUPID TO READ IT THAT WAY” I would have piled splash damage on. But I didn’t. I made it clear that I don’t condone that assumption. To my way of thinking, I’ve mitigated the damage I could have done, and I did it in public very close to the original post.

    So what is your continuing complaint?

    Also, no, I’m not going to disown “bugfuck.” Sorry.

  22. hjhornbeck says

    ha ha, Rebecca and PZ have finally discovered the RadFem rad hate group after denying their existence for months.

    I’m giving myself a headache trying to get into that mindset. Doesn’t this commenter’s acknowledgment of those RadFems kinda rule out FtB/SkepChick being RadFems? There’s very little agreement between the two camps, and only one group embraces the RadFem label. Worse, this commenter claims to be well aware of both groups.

    So… isn’t this an admission that FtB/SkepChick AREN’T RadFems? Why then do friends of the SlymePit love to call us that? Has this commenter been allowing their peers to use an inaccurate term for some time, or do many of them somehow think the two groups are identical while acknowledging they’re different?

    Normally I have no problems slipping into the SlymePit’s mindset, but this contradiction is so blatant I am honestly giving myself a headache.

  23. Eristae says

    I’ve read a fair bit about The Cotton Ceiling, and it is my understanding that The Cotton Ceiling has never been about “Woman A won’t have sex with Transwoman B, therefore Woman A is bigoted.” The Cotton Ceiling is about saying “Woman A says that transwomen are universally unattractive and sexually undesirable, therefore Woman A is bigoted.” In fact, the response of, “I shouldn’t be forced to have sex with anyone!” to the statement, “It is bigoted to say that all transwomen are unattractive and sexually undesirable” is in and of itself problematic because it takes the focus off trans-rights and moves it to who an individual woman would have sex with.

    But it isn’t impossible that I’m misunderstanding something.

  24. The Mellow Monkey says

    Nepenthe, I’m aware of the term. Natalie wrote about it well here. Anyone suggesting that they are entitled to have sex with someone is being a creepy asshole and perpetuating rape culture. But the rejection and desexualization of trans women is something different from that. The rejection and vilification of trans women within the cis lesbian community is a serious problem.

    This is not about individuals owing sex to other individuals. Anyone trying to twist it to use it that way is being an asshole. The “debate” that goes in that direction is almost entirely driven by transphobes trying to make it all about their own personal sex lives.

    Natalie really says it better than I could:

    First of all, it is definitely, most emphatically, NOT about you. And frankly, the assumption transphobes so frequently make that our top priority is sleeping with transphobes is pretty silly (and pathetic). Listen, transphobes, seriously: we have no interest in fucking you. We don’t find you attractive. This is not about individual situations, nor is it about trying to deny or compromise anyone their right to choose when, where, with whom, and under what circumstances they consent to sex. It’s about how the category is represented, the patterns, the shared attitudes of a community, not what occurs between individuals in individual sexual scenarios. It’s also about the problems with extrapolating individual sexual needs, desires, hang-ups, baggage or whatever into blanket, “empirical facts” of who is or isn’t desirable. It’s about how those conceptions of an entire class of human beings as objectively (rather than just to your own close-minded sensibilities) undesirable lead to dehumanization, and to being treated as less valid, less deserving of respect.

  25. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    The other bizarreness, hj, is that folks like Karla Porter and Justicar are cozily tweeting with Brennan all palsy-walsy. It makes no goddamn sense at all unless the pitters’ motivation is purely “Anyone who hates the people I hate is automatically my friend even if this new person is the personification of the the false things I hate about my enemies.” Or something.

  26. hjhornbeck says

    Nepenthe @20:

    Incidentally, isn’t “bugfuck nuts” deprecated here?

    I thought that was because of the “nuts” part, as that’s ableist…

    Josh @23:

    Also, no, I’m not going to disown “bugfuck.” Sorry.

    … no “nuts,” no ableism. Sounds like a good compromise, no?

  27. says

    Thedude:
    Modern feminism is not a religion.
    A movement seeking social, political, and economic equality for women is not a religious movement.
    If you are going to make such an outlandish claim, I need you to define ‘religion’ and ‘modern feminism’.
    I look foward to hearing the rituals feminists follow, as well as their holy book, their dogma (do be careful to define this correctly as well), what symbols are worshipped, which traditions are followed, what spritual or divine beliefs they have…you know the trappings of religion.
    Do note, that just because feminism has a set of beliefs, or that there exist extremists does not make modern feminism a religion.

  28. hjhornbeck says

    Josh @27:

    The other bizarreness, hj, is that folks like Karla Porter and Justicar are cozily tweeting with Brennan all palsy-walsy.

    So they are allied with Radical Feminists, know exactly what they stand for, and yet are comfortable calling us Radical Feminists?

    … I think you just broke my brain. If anyone wants me, I’ll be spending the next few hours prone and stuffed with Ibuprofin.

  29. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m afraid, no, that I’m not all the way there with “nuts.” As someone with mental health issues myself I’m not at all convinced that something that has so long passed into the amorphous vernacular constitutes a real threat to those of us with mental health issues. No, my preferences are not the only ones and they’re not controlling. But neither are yours, and this is not a “settled case” that I’m going to concede is completely obvious to all of good will.

    But I’m not going to die on this hill over it either, and I don’t want to derail any further. Just be aware that not everyone (hey, even some people with mental health issues!) is assenting to the ableist claim about “nuts”. It is quite contestable and not at all so universally agreed to.

  30. moarscienceplz says

    … no “nuts,” no ableism. Sounds like a good compromise, no?

    I certainly don’t want to make people with actual mental disabilities feel bad, but for Pete’s sake, can’t we have some terms to mock the Pat Robersons and Deepak Chropras of the world?

  31. Sassafras says

    Another frustrating thing is that Brennan and her buddies are not just reacting to their straw-version of the cotton ceiling, they actively claim the authority to relabel cis lesbians who sleep with trans women as straight. They want other cis lesbians to fear social stigma and loss of community for sleeping with trans women.

  32. la tricoteuse says

    moarscienceplz:

    Says who?

    I expect the argument will be something along the lines of “‘nuts’ is slang for testicles, therefore all uses of ‘nuts’ are related to men and could not possibly have some other origin, therefore misandry!”

    That is to say, nonsense.

  33. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    We didn’t have a language argument in weeks, so this should be fun, but could we please not do it in a thread on how trans women are basically being erased by radfems? The relevant word is helpfully italicised. You (general you) might notice how it may possibly be ironic that a thread on this particular topic gets derailed in less than 40 comments. Ironic, or, well.. telling. Let’s not be those people.

    Note to Josh: you’re bowing out gracefully, so this is not addressing you.

  34. barfy says

    When PZ says, “It’s feminism + transgender hatred,” EXACTLY what the fuck does he mean?
    Unless and until he disavows the “feminism” that the radfems spew, then everybody has the right to smear him and everybody who agrees with him, with the same vitriol that the radfems so rightly deserve.
    Their worldview is not freedom of identity and from repression, it is a belief in the superiority of women and the repression of – not just the patriarchy – but traits associated with being male.
    So, what should the term “feminism” espouse? Simply this: A freedom for people labeled by society as women to discover their own identity, traits and preferences as they determine – so long as it does not trample the rights of others.
    Notice that this definition, with “women” changed to “men” should also be a part of any discourse about a person’s rights. Therefore, we find a more cogent and useful rubric is to hold Identity Politics in a superior position to both feminism and whatever term you might apply to the male version.
    The reason feminism rightly holds such a prominent position in the discourse of Identity Politics is because it unfortunately falls under the greatest oppression – BY FAR.
    Interestingly, I have seen feminism defined as, “a person who celebrates the empowerment of humanity across the spectrum of identity.” Unfortunately, although I love the message of the definition, I detest the sexist appropriation of that definition.
    The radfems see men only as oppressors or facilitators of women’s needs and desires, and not as an independently credible worldview. This is how they can engage in hatred.
    So, again, does PZ believe in the radfem version of feminism- save the transgender hatred- or does he believe in something else?
    I’m hoping for something else.

  35. says

    When PZ says, “It’s feminism + transgender hatred,” EXACTLY what the fuck does he mean?

    I’m not PZ but my guess would be that that is addressed when he says that the first paragraph makes sense while the second part doesn’t.

    I.e., the feminist part makes sense while the gender-essentialist trans-hating part doesn’t.

    You have specific quotes indicating a belief in female supremacy you want PZ, or whoever, to condemn? Please, present them.

  36. says

    I wont put words in PZs mouth, but his view of feminism matches quite nicely with mine: a movement seeking social political and economic equality for women.
    That is not what these radical feminists are espousing .

  37. says

    I don’t believe in female superiority. Most feminists don’t. We want a world where men and women can live together as equals, with equal respect, with no one subservient to the other.

    Idiots who see ‘feminism’ and equate it to the oppression of men have it all wrong. They’re dumbasses like Barfy.

    Radfems don’t help because they make the same assumption of essential inequity that MRAs do, just flipping the genders…and they add the trans-hating bigotry on top of it all.

  38. says

    The transmisogny is hardly the only thing wrong with this brand of radfem. We just focus on it because that’s their most dangerous aspect. There’s no danger of them getting all men declared rapists and kept away from women or getting piv sex banned, but trans rights are in real danger and bigots being able to say “look, even feminists agree” makes things worse.

  39. hjhornbeck says

    barfly @38:

    Unless and until he disavows the “feminism” that the radfems spew, then everybody has the right to smear him and everybody who agrees with him, with the same vitriol that the radfems so rightly deserve.

    Uh, he kinda did that in the OP, or were his use of the words “hatred” and “very weird claims” too subtle for you to spot? Perhaps you didn’t think his explanation of why their claims are bunk was a clear indication he didn’t share their views?

    The more important question to me is why you missed this. Do you hate feminists so much that it can override basic reading comprehension? Curious, headache-suffering minds want to know…

  40. says

    This variety of radfem is really no different than MRAs in their reasoning, though far less dangerous in practice.

    this, unfortunately, isn’t true. They may be less dangerous to most of us, but to trans women and sex workers (especially sex workers in developing countries) they’re very dangerous. Those two demographics have been harmed severely by the vile alliance between this type of radfem and the conservative right.

    “Nuts” is the misandristic equivalent of “hysterical.”

    where in the world is “misandric” actually a thing?

    So, what should the term “feminism” espouse? Simply this: A freedom for people labeled by society as women to discover their own identity, traits and preferences as they determine – so long as it does not trample the rights of others.

    I notice a complete lack of acknowldgment in this definition of how people’s preferences are shaped; how ignorant, and how libertarian (but I repeat myself)

  41. Eristae says

    When PZ says, “It’s feminism + transgender hatred,” EXACTLY what the fuck does he mean?

    *glance up, glances down, glances up, glances down, glances up, glances down

    Unless and until he disavows the “feminism” that the radfems spew,

    Er, if you don’t think that PZ is disavowing the transphobic feminism that you speak of, what exactly is it that you think he is doing?

  42. The Mellow Monkey says

    Jadehawk

    They may be less dangerous to most of us, but to trans women and sex workers (especially sex workers in developing countries) they’re very dangerous. Those two demographics have been harmed severely by the vile alliance between this type of radfem and the conservative right.

    QFT

    People are marginalized, denied basic rights, hurt and even die as a result of that alliance.

  43. says

    I can sort of agree with parts of the first paragraph: men as a class (but let’s not expand that to all men as individuals) do those things in our culture.

    Er, yes, all men as individuals have, and will do these things. There’s no avoiding doing it at least some of the time, no matter how well intentioned you are.

    where in the world is “misandric” actually a thing?

    Imagination land.

    Wrong. I haven’t denied the existence of a demented feminist fringe: what I have said is that the kooks who are constantly denouncing people like me and Rebecca Watson and Amanda Marcotte as “radical feminists” don’t have the slightest clue. The fact that we clearly oppose the weird radfem agenda of transphobic hatred ought to finally make that clear to them…but give ‘em a day. They’ll be back to accusing FtB of being a hive of radical feminists again.

    Accepting the concepts of patriarchy and kyriarchy, and working to oppose them, is ‘radical’ to those mooks. Besides, when they say ‘hate group’ they mean ‘they hate men’, not ‘they hate transgendered people’. I mean, they sometimes try to use transgendered people, but considering the shit those very same anti-feminists throw at trans people… it’s just stupid.

  44. microraptor says

    I’ve known about the anti-trans sentiments among the radfems for years, but I’ve never been able to understand it.

  45. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I see that barfy is still a terrible thinker and a worse human.

    (Taking small comfort in how unchanging some things are.)

  46. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    JFC, Cathy Brennan is a horrible person.

    You did hear about her habit of digging through legal databases (she’s a corporate lawyer in Maryland) in order to find the AAB names of trans people (mostly trans women, due to her fixation on them) and publishing them? Including sending messages to these people’s employers/landlords saying “Are you aware that ___ was once ___ and is TRANS?!!”

    She sees this as a “fair” response to being told that her views are narrow.

    Also, I’m going to petulantly whine that Brennan and her ilk are a narrow slice of radical feminism. They are not typical radfems.

  47. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I ran Josh’s OSG #7 past a dozen of the Pullet Patrol selected at random (their punishment for trying to knock me over with a keg of grog and failing). Twelve legs up, on their backs, wings flapping incoherently. Dang, another 12 months of free bacon sammiches, popcornz, swill, and grog for Josh. *notices receipts are up since such rewards are in place*.

  48. Gregory Greenwood says

    Jadehawk @ 46;

    Those two demographics have been harmed severely by the vile alliance between this type of radfem and the conservative right.

    This has always mystified me ever since I first came across it – how can anyone who identifies as a feminist align themselves with the conservative right? To a movement that is riddled through with the most toxic misogyny and is engaged in an outright war on women?

    I find it hard to grasp that the adherents of this particular type of radfeminist ideology hold such deep seated transphobia that they are prepared to ally themselves with a group that they must surely realise has its crosshairs set on all women – cis and trans, straight and lesbian – and that will inevitably stab them in the back as soon as it serves their purpose.

    Talk about self-destructive extremism.

  49. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    On a radfem board, I called a TERF on the curious confluence of her views with those of the religious right.

    Cue sputtering.

  50. says

    This alliance isn’t new. It also happened with the anti-smut campaigns of the 70s and 80s. Women who aren’t the right kind were never in their circle of protection. They just moved on from sluts to trans women.

  51. Nepenthe says

    @microraptor

    It makes no sense whatever from a radical perspective, imo. If gender is a socially constructed category, then having a penis doesn’t make a person a man any more than it makes a person a woman. It would be accurate to say that society generally considers people with penises to be men or boys, but why feminist are supposed to agree with society is a bit beyond me. And, frankly, no one’s ever interrogated me on the state of my hormones or genitals before deciding to discriminate against me for being a woman. I’ve never been able to figure out how TERFs like Brennan justify their anatomy-based gender essentialism to themselves.

  52. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    On Twitter right now, people are wishing very minor annoyances for Cathy Brennan. It is rather funny.

    Esteleth, she does that? My dislike of her being just an other Lisa Vogel/ Janice Raymond clone has turned into an active hatred. She is dangerous to the safety trans people.

  53. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    They just moved on from sluts to trans women.

    Incorrect. They never stopped crapping on sluts.

  54. Gregory Greenwood says

    Rutee Katreya @ 49;

    Er, yes, all men as individuals have, and will do these things. There’s no avoiding doing it at least some of the time, no matter how well intentioned you are.

    Sadly, I have to agree with you here 100%. We all live in a system of patriarchy that saturates men with undeserved gender privilege from day one. Even with the best will in the world, it is inevitable that at some point you will do or say something that contributes to the reinforcement of that privlege and to the systemic oppression of women. In hindsight I can see several instances in my life where I have done so, however unintentionally, and still to this day I stumble from time to time and do something like this that I only realise is problematic after the fact. This is not to say that all (or even most) men as individuals have some evil masterplan to advance a misogynist agenda, but rather that living as a man in a society with so much male privilege makes it essentially impossible to avoid contributing to the oppression of women in some degree at some point in your life. All we can do is be aware of the toxic, pervasive character of the patriarchy and do all we can to recognise and reject our unearned gender privilege.

    As a cis/het man, I don’t want to be part of the problem. I want to believe my intentions are
    nothing but good, but intent is not magic, and I must accept that in practical terms there have been and will be times when I am part of the problem. This is not to say that I cannot help try to make the world a more equal place, or that my genitals make me a bad person – it is simply a recognition of social reality.

    Does this bruise my oh so precious man fee-fees? Sometimes, perhaps, but there is more at stake here than my delicate ego.

  55. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Janine:

    Esteleth, she does that? My dislike of her being just an other Lisa Vogel/ Janice Raymond clone has turned into an active hatred. She is dangerous to the safety trans people.

    Yep. Brags about it too. All in a day’s work of “defending women.”

  56. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Nepenthe:

    I’ve never been able to figure out how TERFs like Brennan justify their anatomy-based gender essentialism to themselves.

    As near as I can tell, it is the confluence of two different strains of thought, each of which are at least somewhat plausible, into an ugly third containing a glue of false assumptions.

    To wit:
    (1) Gender is a social construct. In an ideal society, that person A has a Y chromosome and a penis would mean functionally nothing with regards to what job they hold, how they are viewed and treated by others, etc.
    (2) The patriarchy is a system set up to control women (as a class) for the benefit of men (as a class). Sexual violence is a key tool used to control women and perpetuate the patriarchy.

    TERF sees trans people as (dangerously) toeing the line about gender: if trans is a thing that someone can be, then that means that there is something psychologically inborn that differentiates male from female. Since this – to the TERF mind – is an impossibility, there must be a “real” explanation about what trans people are about. Enter the second statement. Trans women are the agents of the patriarchy sent to bring those naughty rebellious feminists to heel, by infiltrating the safe spaces women have set up for themselves.

    Nonsense, of course. But that’s – as near as I can tell – the TERF view.

  57. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Yep. Brags about it too. All in a day’s work of “defending women.”

    It would be nice if she stopped “defending women”. That is just a variation of predator men, dressed as women, using the women’s bathroom.

  58. Gregory Greenwood says

    Nepenthe @ 58;

    I’ve never been able to figure out how TERFs like Brennan justify their anatomy-based gender essentialism to themselves.

    Looking at what Brennan has said;

    “Because every time you tell lesbians transwomen are women, you support corrective rape.” “WTF is up with assholes who insist on telling lesbians to fuck men.” “Because demanding that lesbians suck dick makes you not an ally.” “Transwomen are men: predatory men who demand access to women’s bodies.”

    And particularly all the stuff that seems to be about penis = male and male = rapist, I get the impression that Brennan sees the penis as less a reproductive organ that can be (and all too often is) misused, and instead sees it as being automatically equal parts weapon, tool of oppression, and mark of evil. The humanity of the person the penis is attached to is irrelevant to her – the penis tells you all you need to know.

    And not just the phyiscal penis itself – even should the organ be repurposed, the fact that this person once had a penis seems in Brennan’s mind to leave an indelible mark upon that person. A stain of character and mind that will compel them to sexual violence. One would wonder what her outlook on intersex individuals is – do they bear the mark of the pee-pee beast or not?

    Well, except for the near certainty that her opinion on them would also be hideously prejudiced and offensive. Bigots usually like to spread their paranoid hatred around.

    I wonder if she even realises that the inevitable side effect of saying that penis=male is that, by implication, vulva=female? Is she even aware of the splash damage that is doing to transmen? Does she care?

  59. says

    They just moved on from sluts to trans women.

    no they didn’t.
    1)there wasn’t a time when they weren’t shitting on trans women
    2)the damage they do to “sluts” is, frankly, minimal.
    3)the damage they do to “whores” on the other hand is immense, and has always been.

  60. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Is she even aware of the splash damage that is doing to transmen? Does she care?

    I could tell you what she thinks of transmen. But it is disgusting and horrible.

    Also, this:

    [T]he fact that this person once had a penis seems in Brennan’s mind to leave an indelible mark upon that person. A stain of character and mind that will compel them to sexual violence.

    is exactly what she thinks.

  61. barfy says

    “Idiots who see ‘femiinism’ and equate it to the oppression of men have it all wrong. They”re dumbasses like Barfy.”
    Poor PZ. When it comes to reading comprehension, at least on this topic, his words sound like the frothy fart of the lactose intolerant.
    I DON’T SEE FEMINISM THIS WAY. NEVER DID. NEVER WILL.
    But, until and unless you distance yourself from the radfem VERSION of feminism, you wallow in their excrement. What you completely fail to comprehend is that the radfems can engage in this hatred BECAUSE of their view of feminism – not in spite of it.
    See Phyllis Chesler, Andrea Dworkin, Mary Daly, Jill Johnston, Robin Morgan.

    Please inform me what part of my version of feminism that makes me a fucking idiot.

  62. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Barfy, TERF is a tiny minority of radical feminism.

    PZ HAS distanced himself from TERF, rather explicitly.

    Separate the TERFs from the rest of radfem – what’s your beef with the rest? That we’ve said that something is rotten in the state of Denmark?

  63. says

    No seriously, “you feminists hate men b/c Dworkin” is really fucking DUMB.

    Like I said, provide us with specific quotes you think indicate that there is something about our feminism that translates into gender essentialism and hatred of men. Then we can talk. Spouting off names like Phyllis Chesler and Robin Morgan is not enough. The first and last time I heard the name “Robin Morgan” was in the mouth of an MRA anti-feminist. Are you an MRA anti-feminist, barfy? If not, why are you parroting their talking points?

  64. Gregory Greenwood says

    Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula @ 68

    I could tell you what she thinks of transmen. But it is disgusting and horrible.

    Thanks for the forebearance – I think I am rage-y enough as it is.

    … is exactly what she thinks.

    So, we have finally found it then – an example of the mythic ‘misandry’ that MRAs witter on about interminably. Unfortunately for their delusions about ‘teh oppressun of teh pour menz’, Brennan and those like her really do exist on the fringe of the fringe of feminism. Accusing most radfems of holding similar opinions, still less the broader feminist movement, is beyond ridiculous.

    It would be far, far worse even than saying that every single atheist is identical to T-foot, or that everyone left of centre is Stalin reincarnated.

  65. hjhornbeck says

    barfy @69:

    But, until and unless you distance yourself from the radfem VERSION of feminism, you wallow in their excrement.

    So your response is to ignore everyone who’s responded to you, and again ask PZ to do something he already has done? THAT is what makes you a fucking idiot, not your feminism.

  66. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    Well, Brennan’s “misandry” is more “take anger at male-perpetrated violence against women and hold it against all people possessing a y-chromosome, no matter what,” but yes.

  67. says

    I DON’T SEE FEMINISM THIS WAY. NEVER DID. NEVER WILL.

    Saying this out loud isn’t going to erase the rest of the stupid shit you’ve said.

    But, until and unless you distance yourself from the radfem VERSION of feminism, you wallow in their excrement. What you completely fail to comprehend is that the radfems can engage in this hatred BECAUSE of their view of feminism – not in spite of it.

    No, they can engage in their hatred of trans people because the hatred of trans people is society’s default. Pretending that feminism is a special source of it, rather than just another part of society infected with it, is funny and not true.

  68. says

    So, we have finally found it then – an example of the mythic ‘misandry’ that MRAs witter on about interminably. Unfortunately for their delusions about ‘teh oppressun of teh pour menz’, Brennan and those like her really do exist on the fringe of the fringe of feminism. Accusing most radfems of holding similar opinions, still less the broader feminist movement, is beyond ridiculous.

    No, there’s no power to back up the dislike of the majority.

  69. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Mellow Monkey @ #26: That’s a fantastic comment overall, and it really highlights just how badly a lot of people (occasionally wilfully) misunderstand that that discussion’s about.

    hjhornbeck@ #30: Yeah, my brain’s kinda 404ing at that too.

    barfy @ all the damn time: Stop being so very intensely full of shit. Also, radical feminists aren’t actually all transphobes. Some of us are even trans* or genderqueer ourselves.

    Jadehawk @ #46: This is really true. While MRAs are dangerous to all women in general, this type of radfem is focused mostly on sex workers and trans women, and does have their blood on their hands.

    Cathy Brennan is pretty legendary as The Worst. Her habit of doxxing and outing trans* people, including minors, is pretty well-known. And as she’s a lawyer, she just looooves sending legal threats, Westboro style to people who stand up to her.

  70. Old At Heart says

    (First of all, whoever posted the silliness way up above, if it is misogyny and misogynistic, it would be misandry and misandrynistic as the equivalents. Misandric is just terrible word invention. It’s still stupid, but at least it sounds more official so I lose less brain cells skimming it.)

    Rutee @49. I disagree. Laying blame to all individuals is exactly what MRAs (and radfems) want. They want to be able to point at your statement and say “see? Incurable. Even their staunchest male allies are scum to them, so why should we, the masses, bother?”. Including the future tense implies a hopelessness that a great many people try to fight against. I’ll assume your definition of “men” is a male over the age of majority (as I’m fairly sure exclusively male newborn babies have not yet instated systems to systematically discriminate against women, that would be stupid), then your assertion, by using past and future tense as you did, is “Nothing in the history of the world or forever after, going forward billions of years, will ever rectify this current systemic fault of humankind”.

    And that’s a bull statement. Or a sow statement, wouldn’t want to discriminate feces, they’re equally fertilizer. It’s not even a strawman, “All men as individuals have, and will do these things” was your exact words, infinite forwards and backwards progression with no exceptions, since you went against the “some do, but there are exceptions” case. Things are bad on a systemic level. That’s the general case, I agree 100% with PZ and above posters there. You don’t. Of the folks controlling the world, an inordinate amount of them are male, and of the folks who set up current systems we live in, an inordinate amount of those are male, too. We both agree here. And of those systems, a good deal of them, some intrinsically others extrinsically, benefit men more than women. We probably agree here too. And I’ll go so far as to say that most, four or five sigma, of men do benefit from those programs. This is where your blanket statement collapses and begins to look like a comical MRA’s strawman instead of someone actually trying to move forward the cause. The statement was “employ tactics and establish systems” that you disagreed with. That every single man past present and future to ever grace the Earth or Gliesce 42b or Betelgeuse 5 not only benefits, but actively employs tactics to subjugate women as a whole, and not only that, but not just contribute or support, but ESTABLISH systems to cement this subjugation. And the WILL statement also includes pure future in an individual case (arguments can’t use individual cases! Exceptions always apply!) that a man, 99 years old, 30 seconds from clinical death, WILL actively employ tactics and establish policies, even then in those 30 seconds, to make sure that his death does not go without repressing somebody.

    You’re an idiot. Well, your argument is idiotic and that is the only representation of you we have, at least. If men as individuals had that much power, and were truly as individuals that hostile, even the marginal steps taken to start women’s rights would never have gone through. Women working? Voting? Wage equity laws (even if they don’t always work)? Which of your sinister omni-sexist men let those through? We would be looking at a world of not fanciful “bras are shackles dresses are jail uniforms” conceptual slavery, but a MUCH more literal version of it if your version of reality were true.

    Make sweeping generalizations. Make impactful statements. Heck, insinuate that the feminist struggle is pointless and will never amount to anything ever due to the inherent current wage disparity and sexist conduct that while better than in the past, are not perfect right now and therefore never will be. I ain’t stopping you. I’m just saying that you seem far more pessimistic and extremist than even the radfems when you say that particular bit of pithy hopelessness. I normally defend and agree with statements similar to yours, because without context they can be implied to be quite true as a general case. But when you yourself eliminate the general case in a flurry of rage, if I can present even a single case of a present-tense male not actively establishing new tactics to oppress women for the remainder of their life, even if I need to take a snapshot juuuuuust as they flatline, I’ve defeated your argument. And we don’t want that. We want progress, not easily-defeated debate.

    Of course, take my comments with a grain of salt, after all, I am a hostile, hyper-powerful trend-setting psychopathic monster that is actively instituting tactical societal or governmental policies to oppress you as a specific person and going by future tense, am always planning on doing in the future. At least, according to that very rash statement of yours I am. I guess I play a long game, but my agenda for Sunday still has some room for bypassing parliament and inventing new oppression systems by myself, maybe I will. [/sarcasm]

    (I’m also a comment-and-runner, I only look at any given topic once. So I probably won’t see any reply you post, but debate is for the sake of the audience anyways, so if you wish to defend your “at the individual level they establish and plot Past and Future (“Have, and Will”) misogyny” case, go ahead, but if your reply is just petulance and a “well I really agree with PZ’s statements but I wanted to look cool by being part of the extreme fringe several feminists just knocked”, I’m not here, so save the pixels.)

  71. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

  72. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Old At Heart: Yes, that’s why pay equity still doesn’t exist, rape rates are disproportionately women raped by men (6%ish of men admit to rape), women still don’t have the right to their own fucking bodies and assholes like you can blithely elide things like institutional power.

    At least thanks for saying you won’t be back to shit your dumbfuckery over this thread more?

  73. says

    I admit, I only skimmed Old At Heart’s teal deer; but is there anything in there that isn’t basically just “I don’t fully understand what it means to live in a kyriarchal society” and “OMG, don’t talk about what it means to live in a kyriarchal society, or else the MRA’s will lob strawmen at you”?

  74. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But, until and unless you distance yourself from the radfem VERSION of feminism, you wallow in their excrement.

    Until you renounce MRA fuckwittery, you wallow in their excrement. Don’t like it? Don’t try the analogy liberturd. Liberturds aren’t as rational as you pretend they are, they have their own problems like arrogance and ignorance.

  75. ilex says

    debate is for the sake of the audience anyways

    As part of that audience (and usually a lurker), I am quite aware that dropping seven paragraphs of (willfully?) ignorant bullshit and then running does not constitute debate.

    I am a hostile, hyper-powerful trend-setting psychopathic monster that is actively instituting tactical societal or governmental policies to oppress you as a specific person and going by future tense, am always planning on doing in the future.

    Nope. Just intensely tiresome.

  76. The Mellow Monkey says

    I am a hostile, hyper-powerful trend-setting psychopathic monster that is actively instituting tactical societal or governmental policies to oppress you as a specific person and going by future tense, am always planning on doing in the future.

    This is in no way a misrepresentation of what was said. /sarcasm

  77. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Microraptor

    I’ve known about the anti-trans sentiments among the radfems for years, but I’ve never been able to understand it

    I’ve known about it for decades, and I understand it rather well. It’s rather existentialist, to be honest. To call it gender essentialism is true, but it is more properly “manichaean gender essentialism” Theoretically you could have a gender essentialism that doesn’t *also* involve raising the value of one gender and lowering the value of another. But it hasn’t happened on this planet yet.

    I actually teach classes on this in my intro to feminisms course. I can go on if you like, but there are various reasons an existentialist approach to human rights has developed and become powerful. Not least because of WW2 and the holocaust: people wanted an ethical system that said, “Never again” and meant it. Clearly the deontology of divine command didn’t do it. You couldn’t count on contractarianism to make a government respect its citizens. So, what then?

    The infinite, the universal, the transcendent is what. If we can’t give human beings an infinite, transcendent value, then there will always be the possibility that some community or nation will believe that mass killings are desirable based on comparing the value of those human beings (to the nation considering the killing, not to those people themselves) to the value the society places on its own goals.

    Infinite worth was the way out of the despair of WW2. Existentialism spread like wildfire. Good stuff, in its way. It gave us terms & concepts like “devalue”.

    If you see yourself as horribly devalued, however, and you latch onto infinite value ethics as your level to try and achieve your safety, a couple things happen. First, you try to universalize: you want to get every woman on your side, the struggle si that important. Thus, “we’re all in it together”, thus “we’re all exactly the same in the way that matters most”, thus, “those sufficiently different from me that I truly can’t imagine myself ‘the same as’ cannot be in my category”, thus “those falsely claiming to be in my category are jeopardizing my movement and thus my safety, thus it is appropriate to call an attack their destabilization of this category upon which I rely for my ultimate safety”.

    It also shows how the same women can claim to be anti-racist (“we’re all in this together, of course I care about women of color”) but end up pursuing an agenda that has nothing to do with ending racism (“the real oppression is sexism it’s universal to every society: when we get rid of the real oppression, *THEY* won’t need racism to divide us and all those subsidiary oppressions will pass away” – AKA there will be no racism after the revolution, so don’t worry your nappy little head about white supremacy).

    It also shows how when existentialist feminists are called on, say, racism, they can so vehemently denounce an attempt to end racist behavior as siding with the oppressive powers that be. Paying attention to racism within women’s communities is “dividing us”. When we are all one, glorious, unified, colorless “us” of women. Did I mention colorless? Hmmmm, what’s a synonym for colorless???

    Anyway, this is the kind of thing I could go on about, so I’ll shut up now, but if you are interested on a personal level, you can always email me @ teh google. Just use my ‘nym w/ no space.

  78. says

    I have never had much time for the gender essentialist school of radfems – and they didn’t like me for being “male-identified”. (I studied physics & loved science, ooh err.) And the modern ones can just fuck right off.

    But the older feminists really do need to be understood in context. Don’t write off Dworkin, Morgan et al. They were writing in the 70s and admittedly have some rather dodgy views here & there, because they had no established body of feminist thought to help them think these things through! And their work has been vastly demonised by antifeminists – maliciously cherrypicked and misquoted to make it seem terrible. (Do feel free to write off Raymond, though.)

    The anti-trans sentiments made a certain amount of sense in historical context, back at a time when the few out & obvious trans women were also outspoken anti-feminists. Claiming gender essentialism, and being proper nice ladies in contrast to those horrid hairy-legged harpies. And frankly, yes, not growing up female *was* pretty relevant, and possibly still is. Without a feminist framing to guide them, a lot of newly transitioning women back then had NO idea what we had lived with growing up. They apparently saw femininity as fairytale prettiness, not a marker of subhuman status. A few decades of living life as a woman has been very educational for these pioneers, too. It’s not just feminism that has changed; the trans community has also learned and grown in the last 40 years.

    I’m talking history here; I am NOT defending the odious Brennan. Even if she were 40 years back in time, she’d still be one of the nasty ones.

  79. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    I dunno, Alethea, I mean, the reason that the out trans women back in the day were as anti-feminist as they were seemed to be strongly related to the fact that in order to access transition, you had to conform to regressive and extremely (hetero)sexualized appearance, demeanour and also have an appropriate history as dictated by cis gatekeeping doctors.

    And I must say I flinched at the “not growing up female *was* pretty relevant, and possibly still is” part. Though not everyone who is on the trans* spectrum has that awareness at a young age (or they’re fluid), I’d say a majority of trans women grew up female. They just got to grow up female while being constantly misgendered by others.

  80. The Mellow Monkey says

    the reason that the out trans women back in the day were as anti-feminist as they were seemed to be strongly related to the fact that in order to access transition, you had to conform to regressive and extremely (hetero)sexualized appearance, demeanour and also have an appropriate history as dictated by cis gatekeeping doctors.

    Expanding on this for those unaware of the history: At the time, trans women who were attracted to other women, expressed “unconventional” viewpoints, and/or were deemed “too unattractive to be women” by cis doctors were denied medical transition. Yes, how hot a doctor found a trans woman was a determining factor in her ability to receive treatment.

  81. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Thanks for expanding on that, Mellow Monkey. I was going to go into detail and then brainfarted a little. :)

  82. says

    Crip Dyke, it sounds like you remember the 70s too…

    And oh, yes, I do know about the gate-keeping. It’s still around, though thankfully to a lesser extent. But whatever the cause, it did seemed that there was a lot of buy-in to it. You know, intent isn’t magic. If you spend your time dissing feminists as nasty unfeminine types, not proper women, then whether you secretly believe it or not, that’s still what the feminists hear being said. What I’m saying is that back then, there was hostility on both sides, and it was mostly due to mutual ignorance. In general we’ve learned better, though sadly some assholes haven’t.

    As to the experience of growing up perceived as female vs perceived as male – yes, it matters! It’s directly relevant to that question of ignorance. No, of course it’s not relevant to whether you are a woman or a man, but it definitely changes how and what you have learned about the world. You can’t simply not have male privilege just because you don’t want it. Trans women today, with all the information of modern feminism to draw on, are still often taken aback at the detail and extent of their loss of male privilege.

    And even so, they are still willing to sacrifice this privilege, because their identity is just that important. Which I think is pretty damned strong evidence that it’s not about espionage or rape or whatever other bugfuck ideas Brennan has rattling around.

  83. Gregory Greenwood says

    Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula @ 76;

    Well, Brennan’s “misandry” is more “take anger at male-perpetrated violence against women and hold it against all people possessing a y-chromosome, no matter what,” but yes.

    Yup – ‘misandry’ isn’t really the right term, but it is the closest thing to the grotesque straw feminism that MRAs like to rail against that we have encountered so far – which really goes to show how out of touch wiith reality the MRAs really are.

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Rutee Katreya @ 78;

    No, there’s no power to back up the dislike of the majority.

    Agreed – there is clearly no comparison with the horrifying reality of patriarchal misogyny. Brennan is an unpleasant bigot, but a marginalised and powerless one at the end of the day.

    Of course, the MRAs will be furious when people point that out. It will ruin their ‘wot about teh menz?’ (self)pity party, and you do know how much they like to play the victim…

  84. Azuma Hazuki says

    I am so sorry about all this. On behalf of all the feminists and lesbians who aren’t nuttier than a flock of marzipan fruitbats, I am so sorry. This is only a tiny fringe of us, the equivalent of Fred Phelps in the general Christian body politic.

    I’ve got lots of trans* friends, some cis guy friends, and plenty of straight woman friends. Can’t we all just get along? :( Life is too short and too horrifying to waste it on hurting one another more.

  85. says

    Yeah, I don’t mean to talk smack about Robin Morgan or any early feminists. I just find it funny because the feminism-haters seem to know so much more about it than me. I formed my feminism on the basis of my experiences and basic critical thinking. I was exposed to formal feminist scholarship later on. Morgan, like Dworkin, has some inflammatory remarks that are twisted into something they’re really not, and cited by anti-feminists as “evidence” that feminism is all about hating men and masculinity. Perhaps one day I’ll get around to auditing a women’s studies course, but in the meantime I’m perfectly content to continue to absorb new knowledge in a slightly haphazard way – for instance, a friend of mine is doing her history dissertation about women in the middle 20th century involved in human rights struggles. She introduced me to Pauli Murray, who was a pioneering civil rights activist, queer woman of color, might possibly have been a trans man if she’d been born a century later, who was out there practicing civil disobedience against segregation laws as early as the 1940s.

    The philosophy of equality that gives rise to feminism also gives rise to the struggle for LGBT equality, racial justice, environmental justice, and all the rest of it. Feminism is an academic subject but it’s also a movement and I don’t need to know of and approve of every single last self-identified feminist in order to be a feminist. I understand where people like Andrea Dworkin and Robin Morgan are coming from. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, the sheer amount of men who exhibit shitty, sexist behavior towards women, and you have to react to that. Malcolm X called white people devils for a while; James Baldwin explained how his risk-benefit analysis of possible interactions with white people prevented him from acting on the possibility that a given individual white person he encountered was NOT racist. They were right. People in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq who’ve lost children in drone strikes are right to paint Americans as evil. We are part of an evil system and we have more power than anyone else on the planet to change things. Our relative power implicates us. As a white person, my power to exercise white privilege morally obligates me to do more with it than get away with speeding. The power men have in society leaves them with an involuntary but inescapable obligation to do something about misogyny. It’s really not fair, but then, neither is sexism or racism or any other form of bigotry.

    /intoxicated ranting

  86. John Morales says

    SallyStrange:

    …morally obligates me… involuntary but inescapable obligation…

    Speak for yourself.

    (I choose my own moral obligations)

  87. Azuma Hazuki says

    @96/Sally

    That was drunken rambling? You type better and more coherent and more insightful things drunk than I do sober, then.

  88. says

    Speak for yourself.

    Don’t tell me for whom I’m allowed to speak.

    I “choose my obligations.”

    That was a vacuous comment, why’d you make it? Fuck your stupid comments.

    @ Azuma Hazuki

    Many thanks!

  89. John Morales says

    SallyStrange:

    Don’t tell me for whom I’m allowed to speak.

    I didn’t. I told you for whom you weren’t speaking.

    That was a vacuous comment, why’d you make it?

    Because you employed the plural first person.

    Fuck your stupid comments.

    Fuck them all you want, but that specific one clarified that your ‘we’ and ‘our’ didn’t include me.

  90. says

    WHoa man. You mean to say that my use of the general plural first person to describe my opinion of what constitutes good behavior isn’t shared by 100% of people???? Like, holy shit, not everybody agrees with me about everything!

    Well knock me over with a feather!

    Like I said, vacuous. Vacuous and pointless.

  91. John Morales says

    SallyStrange:

    You mean to say that my use of the general plural first person to describe my opinion of what constitutes good behavior isn’t shared by 100% of people????

    Tell me more about how your opinion about involuntary but inescapable obligation I supposedly have as a man is in fact obligatory and inescapable.

    Condescending, too, which is extra special since there’s basically zero content.

    I put it to you that it’s less wrong to have zero content than to have wrong content.

  92. says

    You mean to say that my use of the general plural first person to describe my opinion of what constitutes good behavior isn’t shared by 100% of people????

    This sentence is missing a clause, or something. Basically I was trying to say that my use of “we” and “us” doesn’t mean that I expect literally every single person in the world to share my opinion about what constitutes good behavior. It’s a pretty common convention. “We should decrease our carbon emissions” is not the same as “Everybody agrees that we should decrease our carbon emissions.” Only a fucking idiot would use “we” and “us” so very literally. Why is John Morales trying to pretend like I’m a fucking idiot, then act like he’s a clever boy for falsely imputing idiotic expectations to me, solely based on his overly literal, pedantic interpretation of a fucking pronoun?

    John, if you would like to talk about WHY you disagree with my opinion please just fucking do so, but stop wasting your time posting these silly nit-picking objections which don’t get at the substance of what you’re trying to say.

  93. says

    Tell me more about how your opinion about involuntary but inescapable obligation I supposedly have as a man is in fact obligatory and inescapable.

    This is what you should have fucking started off with, you arrogant twit. Too late now. The discussion is now about why you’re incompetent at theory of mind and basic English usage.

  94. says

    Tell me more about how your opinion about involuntary but inescapable obligation I supposedly have as a man is in fact obligatory and inescapable.

    Golly, it takes a lot to entice you to say something of substance. I explained above. You explain your objection.

  95. John Horstman says

    I’d like to request that everyone make an effort to remember to capitalize “Radical Feminism/RadFem” when referring to this particular warped worldview so as to specify that it’s a proper noun referring to a particular philosophy and not simply cede the category of strains of feminism that are radical (radical = changing extant social structures, especially power hierarchies) to a group of hyper-defensive, tribal, transmisogynist, sometimes androphobic (androphobia being an irrational fear of men, as opposed to a fear of men that is entirely rational, which is a possibility) women. Trans rights activism itself is incredibly radical, as it seeks to dismantle a gender binary that pervades nearly every aspect of our contemporary social organization, and so are many varieties of feminism that are not characterized by a seething hatred for anyone who is not a cisgendered woman.

    @SallyStrange (re: 96): FYI, the way we view it in academia, feminism is praxis, while the formal academic component consists of Feminist Theory, Women’s Studies, and more recently Gender Studies. Also, I agree completely that privilege implies an ethical obligation to leverage that privilege to subvert and dismantle the privileging system; any other path is exploitation, as one benefits at the expense of the marginalized. That John Morales apparently (this appears to me to be the case based on your comments; I’m willing to grant that appearances can be deceiving if you’d like to make a case to the contrary, John) wishes to avoid the ethical responsibilities that go along with his various forms of privilege is unfortunate, if understandable (because it’s really hard, though usually not as hard as being in the marginalized group).

  96. John Horstman says

    @John Morales (re: 103): By existing as a person who is read as a man, you benefit from a system that also disadvantages (people who are read as) women. This is exploitation. The only way you can avoid being implicated in the perpetuation of this exploitation is to actively oppose it.

  97. John Morales says

    SallyStrange:

    You explain your objection.

    Sure. I don’t dispute your opinion, I’m noting it’s your opinion and not mine.

    Specifically: I don’t share your morality and I most certainly feel no obligation as a man to do something about misogyny.

    John Horstman:

    That John Morales apparently (this appears to me to be the case based on your comments; I’m willing to grant that appearances can be deceiving if you’d like to make a case to the contrary, John) wishes to avoid the ethical responsibilities that go along with his various forms of privilege is unfortunate, if understandable (because it’s really hard, though usually not as hard as being in the marginalized group).

    I can hardly be more explicit about it, and I sneer at your reference to these purported “ethical responsibilities that go along with [my] various forms of privilege”.

    (I don’t take well to moral blackmail, to say nothing of moral coercion; or: trying to lay a guilt-trip on me is futile)

  98. John Morales says

    John Horstman:

    [1] By existing as a person who is read as a man, you benefit from a system that also disadvantages (people who are read as) women. [2] This is exploitation.

    1. So?

    2. No, it really isn’t, and I’m amused you imagine my mere existence constitutes exploitation)

    (Please see my parenthetical @110)

    Tony, you’re suggesting I should stop responding, right?

  99. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Morales, you sound like a pitter. Seriously. Did you forget about theory of mind and how language works again? Very Paul W of you.

  100. cristanwilliams says

    This anti-trans movement has been around for decades and has done immeasurable harm to trans folk. Most recently, the movement’s leaders petitioned the UN to remove trans protections.

    They petitioned 2 US administrations to institute a forced program of reparative therapy for all trans folk and lobbied to have trans folks ‘legislated out of existence.’ (see “Technology of the Social and Ethical Aspects of Transsexual Surgery”) They were partially successful in that they were able to get trans health care excluded from care programs at a Federal level as experimental and cosmetic, which trickled down to private carriers who took up a Federal standard. They instituted a national program of outting trans women to their employers with the goal of ending their careers (eg Sandy Stone) and have been known to out trans kids to their schools.

    They have a very long history of working to support a world without trans folk in it. If you’ve heard an anti-trans meme, it probably originated with the TERFs. I’m glad folks are realizing what a hate group this movement is.

    Why then did the Southern Poverty Law Center feature Cathy Brennan as being the voice of reason on their blog? Why is it that the SPLC refuses to acknowledge the TERF movement as a hate group?

  101. says

    Careful, PZ. There is not a unity of opinion among radical feminists. Radical Libertarian (not the free market worshiping variety) feminism, for instance, looks a heck of a lot different than radical-cultural feminism. These folks seem closer to the latter type, but even within these respective camps there is a diversity of perspectives. Just don’t want to see all of radical feminism painted with broad strokes here.

  102. OptimalCynic says

    Maybe instead of calling them feminists we should call them FRAs? They seem to be following the same kind of pattern.

  103. says

    Rutee @49. I disagree. Laying blame to all individuals is exactly what MRAs (and radfems) want
    I don’t care what tantruming children or transphobes want.

    They want to be able to point at your statement and say “see? Incurable. Even their staunchest male allies are scum to them, so why should we, the masses, bother?”.

    Anyone illiterate enough to read ‘structural problems are everyone’s business and affect everyone’ as ‘all men are scum’ is worth little more than dismissal in the most mocking way possible.

    I’ll assume your definition of “men” is a male over the age of majority (as I’m fairly sure exclusively male newborn babies have not yet instated systems to systematically discriminate against women, that would be stupid), then your assertion, by using past and future tense as you did, is “Nothing in the history of the world or forever after, going forward billions of years, will ever rectify this current systemic fault of humankind”.

    You’re not very good at reading, considering I made no statement on future societies. All currently existing dudes are going to keep making these mistakes though. Not every time and at every opportunity, but that’s not really necessary to enforce patriarchy at all.

    And that’s a bull statement.

    I’m glad the quote you invented fell under the category of untrue things.

    “All men as individuals have, and will do these things” was your exact words, infinite forwards and backwards progression with no exceptions, since you went against the “some do, but there are exceptions” case.

    I said nothing about future people, but I don’t believe in unicorns.

    Well, your argument is idiotic

    I’m glad the argument you invented out of wholecloth is something you disagree with.

    Of course, take my comments with a grain of salt, after all, I am a hostile, hyper-powerful trend-setting psychopathic monster that is actively instituting tactical societal or governmental policies to oppress you as a specific person and going by future tense, am always planning on doing in the future. At least, according to that very rash statement of yours I am. I guess I play a long game, but my agenda for Sunday still has some room for bypassing parliament and inventing new oppression systems by myself, maybe I will. [/sarcasm]
    Oh, little Brown University Child (Better known to the regulars here as Matriarchy), don’t you have anything better to do with your time than strawman me? this is growing increasingly pathetic. You really miss the others that much, do you? Go throw them another pity party – oh wait, you overstayed your welcome.

    ——————————————

    Agreed – there is clearly no comparison with the horrifying reality of patriarchal misogyny. Brennan is an unpleasant bigot, but a marginalised and powerless one at the end of the day.

    …except against trans people, unfortunately.

  104. Zeppelin says

    @OldAtHeart, 80

    “Misandrynistic” makes no sense as a word though, because the greek word for man is anér (or andrós in the oblique form we’re using to form “mis-andr-istic”), not “andryne” or whatever.

    It’s gyn-é “woman”> mis-o-gyn-ist-ic, andr-ós “man” > mis-andr-ist-ic.

  105. jamessweet says

    the existence of a demented feminist fringe

    It’s notable that when this “demented fringe” does appear, they aren’t actually spending a whole lot of time with the “All men are rapists” idea and all that. They seem more concerned with transphobia than misandry.

  106. says

    John Horstman@107

    [That someone]… wishes to avoid the ethical responsibilities that go along with his various forms of privilege is unfortunate, if understandable (because it’s really hard, though usually not as hard as being in the marginalized group).

    (my emphasis)
    WTF
    Sure, speaking out against e.g. misogyny and maybe temporarily using a part of my privilege really compares to e.g. being treated like a piece of meat nearly everywhere I go, being told when growing up over and over again that “girls can’t do that”, knowing that violence committed against me will not be taken seriously, and will be blamed on my character or behaviour and not on the perpetrator.
    But it’s usually not as hard.
    How good of you to concede that.

  107. Gregory Greenwood says

    Rutee Katreya @ 120;

    …except against trans people, unfortunately.

    That is one of the ugliest elements of this whole business – Brennan is a member of a group that has historically been oppressed and continuies to face grossly unjust oppression and marginalisation to this day, and her resposne when encountering a group that faces, if anything, even greater abuse at the hands of patriarchal society is not to try to find common cause or attempt to use her own experiences to empathise with what the members of that group are going through, but rather is to jump at the opportunity to contribute further to their oppression, even going so far as to ally herself with conservative rightwingers who despise the group she identifies with very nearly as much as they do transwomen. I just don’t understand the patholigical hatred of transpeople that seems to motivate her actions in this regard.

  108. The Mellow Monkey says

    … a member of a group that has historically been oppressed and continuies to face grossly unjust oppression and marginalisation to this day, and her resposne when encountering a group that faces, if anything, even greater abuse at the hands of patriarchal society is not to try to find common cause or attempt to use her own experiences to empathise with what the members of that group are going through, but rather is to jump at the opportunity to contribute further to their oppression …

    See: Racist suffragists.

    Privileged people attacking those with less power than them is an ugly, ugly side manifestation of social justice that has existed for a long time. It’s good to be aware of it, to resist it, to do everything you can to fix the damage caused by it, and search your own assumptions and actions to ensure it isn’t guiding you, too.

  109. sueboland says

    To read a real radfem arguing the opposite viewpoint, see Twisty Faster at I Blame the Patriarchy who has been discussing this very topic.

  110. says

    Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Kuiper-Belt said:

    But the older feminists really do need to be understood in context. Don’t write off Dworkin, Morgan et al. They were writing in the 70s and admittedly have some rather dodgy views here & there, because they had no established body of feminist thought to help them think these things through! And their work has been vastly demonised by antifeminists – maliciously cherrypicked and misquoted to make it seem terrible. (Do feel free to write off Raymond, though.)

    This is the same thing people trot out to make themselves feel better about their love of the founding fathers when people point out their stance on slavery (Thomas Jefferson comes to mind), but in this case it ISN’T true. My grandfather was a Klansman, an abusive husband, and maybe even a criminal. He was also one of the only people in my young life that nurtured me. I learned at an early age about the duality/complexity of hatred/ignorance/wrong ideas. I’m not demonizing Morgan/Daly/Raymond/Brennan as people, but I am disagreeing with THEIR IDEAS.

    Your point about there being no “because they had no established body of feminist thought to help them think these things through!” can be shown to be not true by Dworkin herself. From her book “Woman Hating”:

    Hormone and chromosome research, attempts to develop new means of human reproduction (life created in, or considerably supported by, the scientist’s laboratory), work with transsexuals, and studies of formation of gender identity in children provide basic information which challenges the notion that there are two discrete biological sexes. That information threatens to transform the traditional biology of sex difference into the radical biology of sex similarity. That is not to say there is one sex, but that there are many. The evidence which is germane here is simple. The words ‘male’ and ‘female,’ ‘man’ and ‘woman,’ are used only because as yet there are no others.

    and

    We can presume then that there is a great deal about human sexuality to be discovered, and that our notion of two discrete biological sexes cannot remain intact. (Note: The following sentence is underlined repeatedly in my used copy.) We can presume then that we will discover cross-sexed phenomena in proportion to our ability to see them.

    In addition, we can account for the relative rarity of hermaphrodites in the general population, for the consistency of male-female somatotypes that we do find, and for the relative rarity of cross-sexed characteristics in the general population (though they occur with more frequency than we are now willing to imagine) by recognizing that there is a process of cultural selection which, for people, supersedes natural selection in importance. Cultural selection, as opposed to natural selection, does not necessarily serve to improve the species or to ensure survival. It does necessarily serve to uphold cultural norms and to ensure that deviant somatotypes and cross-sexed characteristics are systematically bred out of the population.

    and

    We are, clearly, a multi-sexed species which has its sexuality spread along a vast fluid continuum where the elements called male and female are not discrete.

    and

    Transsexuality is currently considered a gender disorder, that is, a person learns a gender role which contradicts his/her visible sex. It is a ‘disease’ with a cure: a sex-change operation will change the person’s visible sex and make it consonant with the person’s felt identity.

    Since we know very little about sex identity, and since psychiatrists are committed to the propagation of the cultural structure as it is, it would be premature and not very intelligent to accept the psychiatric judgement that transsexuality is caused by a faulty socialization. More probably, transsexuality is caused by a faulty society. Transsexuality can be defined as one particular formation of our general multisexuality which is unable to achieve its natural development because of extremely adverse social conditions.

    There is no doubt that in the culture of male-female discreteness, transsexuality is a disaster for the individual transsexual. Every transsexual, white, black, man, woman, rich, poor, is in a state of primary emergency as a transsexual. There are 3 crucial points here.

    One, every transsexual has the right to survival on his/her own terms. That means every transsexual is entitled to a sex-change operation, and it should be provided by the community as one of its functions. This is an emergency measure for an emergency condition.

    Two, by changing our premises about men and women, role-playing and polarity, the social situation of transsexuals will be transformed, and transsexuals will be integrated into community, no longer persecuted and despised.

    Three, community built on androgynous identity will mean the end of transsexuality as we know it. Either the transsexual will be able to expand his/her sexuality into a fluid androgyny, or, as roles disappear, the phenomenon of transsexuality will disappear and that energy will be transformed into new modes of sexual identity and behavior.

    While I disagree with Dworkin in places, none of what she says is vitriolic, hateful, or excluding trans people in society. This can’t be said for others like Raymond, Daly (who compared trans women to Frankenstein), or ““Sorry about your dick” Brennan. Daly never recanted her statements about trans people and as far as I know, neither has Robin Morgan (who is still alive).

    The anti-trans sentiments made a certain amount of sense in historical context, back at a time when the few out & obvious trans women were also outspoken anti-feminists.

    If you’re going to make this claim, then by all means please elaborate on who you’re talking about. The only person I can think of that might fit this bill is Virginia Prince. That’s one voice. What about Marsha P. Johnson, the women of the Compton Cafeteria riots, or Sylvia Rivera? Your suggestion that trans women in the seventies were

    Claiming gender essentialism, and being proper nice ladies in contrast to those horrid hairy-legged harpies.

    can be refuted by reading Sandy Stone’s The Empire Strike’s Back, was a response to Janice Raymond’s “The Transsexual Empire”. Stone was living in a women’s music collective, Olivia Records. The vitriolic rhetoric by Brennan isn’t anything new. Stone was actively sought out by radical feminists at the time. This was in 1977, and Olivia Record’s response again points out how your comment about history is off the mark:

    Recently a leaflet has been circulated here concerning Olivia’s relationship with Sandy Stone, who since spring of 1976 has worked with Olivia as a recording engineer. Sandy is a transsexual, and Olivia is being criticized for not making that fact widely known immediately on beginning to work with Sandy. It is further being said that we are ripping women off by calling ourselves a women’s recording company while working with a transsexual engineer. In the following paragraphs we would like to explain, for those who may not know, what a transsexual is; to recount our process in hiring Sandy Stone; to clarify our politics around working with Sandy; and to answer specific criticisms that have been brought forward.

    A transsexual is a person, from an early age (perhaps from birth), identifies as the opposite gender from her or his genetic sex. In the case of Sandy Stone, this means a person who grew up outwardly as male, but who inwardly experienced being essentially female. In many cases this includes feminist identification, which, because of imposed stereotypes, as well as the intolerable position of being female inside a male body, results in an extremely painful life situation. For many women, evolving a consciousness of class and sex oppression involves uncertainty, anger, and the turmoil which accompanies any major life process. For transsexuals, who are simultaneously evolving through confronting their true sexual identity, these processes are doubly difficult.

    Medical technology has recently provided, for those with the means to afford it and the guts to withstand it, a way to surgically transform the genitals from those of birth to those of the opposite gender. Persons like Sandy, who have undergone sex reassignment surgery, are technically known as male-to-female postoperative transsexuals and live lives no different from other women. However, although a great deal of attention is usually focused on the surgery itself, it is not generally understood that the process of sex reassignment is a long, gruelling and painful one, requiring years of hard work prior to surgery, and this too-well publicized step is merely the confirmation of a process that has already gone to near completion by that time. The impression fostered by the media, that sex reassignment is effectuated by a single operation, simplifies and distorts an extremely complex and subtle process to which the preoperative transexual must address most of her life for years prior to genital reassignment. Sandy Stone was referred to us as an excellent woman engineer, perhaps even the Goddess-sent engineering wizard we had so long sought. In our second meeting, when Sandy told us about her transsexuality, we had to reassess our commitment to her, and her for us. We did this, as we do everything at Olivia, collectively and from the point of view of our politics. In our first reaction to the situation, we had these reservations: Should we validate a process (sex reassignment) that, seemingly, only the privileged have access to? Should we hire someone who had male privilege? Could we accept and trust Sandy as a woman?

    We reasoned that while it requires some material means to undergo the sex reassignment process, a person does not gain privilege by doing it-quite the contrary (a very few well-publicized transsexuals aside.). Because Sandy decided to give up completely and permanently her male identity and live as a woman and a lesbian, she is now faced with the same kinds of oppression that other women and lesbians face. She must also cope with the ostracism that all of society imposes on a transsexual. In evaluating whom we trust as a close ally, we take a person’s history into consideration, but our focus as political lesbians is on what her actions are now. If she is a person who comes from privilege, has she renounced that which is oppressive in her privilege, and is she sharing with other women that which is useful? Is she aware of her own oppression? Is she open to struggle around class, race, and other aspects of lesbian feminist politics? These were our yardsticks in deciding whether to work with a woman who grew up with male privilege. We felt that Sandy met those same criteria that we apply to any woman with whom we plan to work closely. Because of our politics, and despite our initial feelings of strangeness around the situation (feelings which, alas, it seems many women must go through when confronted with a transsexual woman), we were able to begin working with Sandy. Our daily political and personal interactions with her have confirmed for each of us that she is a woman we can relate to with comfort and with trust.

    As to why we did not immediately bring this issue to the attention of the national women’s community, we have to say that to us, Sandy Stone is a person, not an issue. Our judgment was that her transsexualism was a fact that might be a concern to any woman who would work closely with her (such as the women Olivia would record.) We felt fine about telling those women, because there was a context for it, and because we have a struggle relationship with them. Beyond that, we saw no way to communicate the situation to the greater women’s community without Sandy being objectified. And if Sandy were to become the focus of controversy, we all felt we needed a period of time in which to develop a foundation of mutual trust and support and a solid working relationship, to help us withstand that turmoil. We see transsexualism as a state of transition and we feel that to continue to define a person primarily by that condition is to stigmatize her at the expense of her growth process as a woman. One unfortunate consequence of this decision has been that we did not demystify to the community at large how Sandy was able to acquire her skills, and we regret this.

    Our hopes for sharing skills and providing women access to work are much closer to fulfillment because of, not in spite of, Sandy Stone. The women in our technical department are thrilled that Sandy has joined them. She has contributed to our group not only her many technical skills, but also a vision of ways to share them that goes beyond what we were able to imagine. For example, besides training women in sound engineering, she will actually be building our recording studio and will be apprenticing other women in the techniques of designing and building electronic equipment. She is also in the process of writing a book for women which will be a step-by-step explanation of the recording process.

    Almost a year has passed since we started working with Sandy, during which she has been our colleague in hard work, struggle, wonderful accomplishments and even finer plans. All of us are looking forward to the day when work can begin on our studio and Sandy can start training other women. As we do of each other, we ask everything of Sandy, and she gives it. She has chosen to make her life with us and we expect to grow old together working and sharing. -Women of Olivia Records

    And frankly, yes, not growing up female *was* pretty relevant, and possibly still is. Without a feminist framing to guide them, a lot of newly transitioning women back then had NO idea what we had lived with growing up. They apparently saw femininity as fairytale prettiness, not a marker of subhuman status. A few decades of living life as a woman has been very educational for these pioneers, too. It’s not just feminism that has changed; the trans community has also learned and grown in the last 40 years.

    So growing up trans isn’t relevant? Did or do you have any idea of what trans people have lived with growing up? What it’s like to be told repeatedly, that you’re not who you think you are, sometimes to the point of having reparative therapy? Growing up being criticized for characteristics seen as feminine, demeaned because of it, and ultimately trying to hide it to survive and fit in? No, we don’t know what it’s like to “grow up female”, but you seem to assert that we’ve all just thought it was about prancing around in a pretty dress. That’s what I’m hearing, maybe I’m over-sensitive about this.

    I’m talking history here; I am NOT defending the odious Brennan. Even if she were 40 years back in time, she’d still be one of the nasty ones.

    What you’re doing is giving a false narrative of history. If you’re not defending Brennan, I’m not sure what your point IS. Brennan/Raymond/Daly/Jefferies have and are doing damage to trans people’s lives.

  111. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @gregory greenwood

    It doesn’t start as pathological hatred of trans people. It starts out as desperate concern for one’s own safety and health and the safety and health of loved ones.

    If you buy the existentialism-influenced argument that women have some essential core, something that transcends differences, makes all women “one”, and if you have been viciously injured by sexism and/or sexist violence so that you really feel that you’re only going to be safe again by completely overthrowing patriarchy (no harm reduction is possible or moral), and if there is something that makes all men “one”,

    well once you see things that way, it’s all men against all women, and women have to be perfectly united if they’re going to succeed, and they have to succeed if person x doesn’t want to be (raped, fired, beaten, whatever) again, well then

    *achieving perfect unity*

    is a matter of desperate safety. In a world where trans people exist, it’s damn difficult to know at any moment who’s on your team. The existence of FtM people is problematic because the traitors show that whatever is transcendently the same about women obviously doesn’t get to the need to band together, right? Since they’re really women? If they weren’t, then what is the thing that transcendently binds all women together? Wow, total threat to unity, thus to safety, must stop.

    The existence of MtF people is problematic, because in a world of all men against all women where ambiguity could never have existed if there is any hope of full unity necessary for safety, and we have to cling to the possibility of safety, they/we represent the depths to which people men will sink to get close to them…and the only reason to get close to them is to threaten them.

    QED.

    This is all about safety in a world where all men oppress all women, and there is only one oppression (‘cuz we have to identify the transcendent even in oppression, and, duh, sexism is the one true oppression -all others are spinoffs to keep women divided), and trans people make the fight for safety harder, because we threaten women’s unity…which is necessary because you can totally see how all men are unified to hurt women, right?

    This isn’t irrational. This is starting with some bad premises. And some of those premises – “all men are unified to hurt women” are going to have strong evidence of truth for some women. Despite the fact that sampling bias makes our own experience a bad predictor, it’s a hell of a lot better than NOT using your experience.

    With the odds on women & girls being targeted by one form of violence or another, there are going to be some of us at the lucky end that pass through unscathed, and some of us at the unlucky end that are brutally victimized by multiple men in positions of trust.

    For these women, there is every reason to believe that feminism is a battle for survival. And it’s not even always about direct abuse. women may be themselves relatively unscathed, but see horrible things around them, or read them. Again, sampling bias makes it a bad predictor, but you’re much better off using than not using your experience. So people do. Not unreasonable. It just leads to a really awful place that is not at all justified by the totality of the evidence.

  112. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ sueboland

    which opposite viewpoint? And define “opposite”. A lot of viewpoints have been put forward on this thread, and to communicate with us, you’re going to have to be a ton more specific.

  113. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    I’m guessing that by “opposite” sueboland means “of TERF,” given that she cited Twisty Faster.

    Considering that I’ve seen self-described radfems decry intersectionality theory as an attempt to co-opt and silence feminism, I’m going to agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of the issues, Crip Dyke.

  114. vaiyt says

    @John Morales:

    Specifically: I don’t share your morality and I most certainly feel no obligation as a man to do something about misogyny.

    Sure, it’s your prerrogative. That still makes you a shithead, though.

  115. says

    It’s notable that when this “demented fringe” does appear, they aren’t actually spending a whole lot of time with the “All men are rapists” idea and all that. They seem more concerned with transphobia than misandry.

    Probably because ‘misandry’ doesn’t extend to actually affecting men, whereas trans people are actually hurt by cis-sexism. Because misandry isn’t a real thing, but cis-sexism is.

  116. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Thus, “we’re all in it together”, thus “we’re all exactly the same in the way that matters most”, thus, “those sufficiently different from me that I truly can’t imagine myself ‘the same as’ cannot be in my category”, thus “those falsely claiming to be in my category are jeopardizing my movement and thus my safety, thus it is appropriate to call an attack their destabilization of this category upon which I rely for my ultimate safety”.

    This explains so. Fucking. Much.

  117. catof many faces says

    Wow, it’s like a mirror of the MRA assholes… Well, except i bet these women get more actual stuff done.

    Scary, Scary people quoted on that site.

  118. ck says

    @Crip Dyke,

    What a depressing (and likely all-too-true analysis) of the situation. The easy answers to complex problems are always tempting and intoxicating, but almost never correct. Essentialism is probably the very first easy answer to the complex problem of classifying things in the world, and it is everywhere. Racism, sexism, and so many other -isms (including creationism) are all dependent on it.

    @catof many faces,

    Oh, they do. They get things like making it impossible for sex workers to report abusive clients, and getting trans people denied rights. Okay, I admit that this is probably a little unfair. I’m sure they’ve worked to provide options for women fleeing abusive partners (although likely not for trans-people), lobbying for easy reproductive health care availability, etc.

  119. says

    Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Kuiper-Belt said:

    But the older feminists really do need to be understood in context. Don’t write off Dworkin, Morgan et al. They were writing in the 70s and admittedly have some rather dodgy views here & there, because they had no established body of feminist thought to help them think these things through! And their work has been vastly demonised by antifeminists – maliciously cherrypicked and misquoted to make it seem terrible. (Do feel free to write off Raymond, though.)

    This is the same thing people trot out to make themselves feel better about their love of the founding fathers when people point out their stance on slavery (Thomas Jefferson comes to mind), but in this case it ISN’T true. My grandfather was a Klansman, an abusive husband, and maybe even a criminal. He was also one of the only people in my young life that nurtured me. I learned at an early age about the duality/complexity of hatred/ignorance/wrong ideas. I’m not demonizing Morgan/Daly/Raymond/Brennan as people, but I am disagreeing with THEIR IDEAS.

    Your point about there being no “because they had no established body of feminist thought to help them think these things through!” can be shown to be not true by Dworkin herself. From her book “Woman Hating”:

    Hormone and chromosome research, attempts to develop new means of human reproduction (life created in, or considerably supported by, the scientist’s laboratory), work with transsexuals, and studies of formation of gender identity in children provide basic information which challenges the notion that there are two discrete biological sexes. That information threatens to transform the traditional biology of sex difference into the radical biology of sex similarity. That is not to say there is one sex, but that there are many. The evidence which is germane here is simple. The words ‘male’ and ‘female,’ ‘man’ and ‘woman,’ are used only because as yet there are no others.

    and

    We can presume then that there is a great deal about human sexuality to be discovered, and that our notion of two discrete biological sexes cannot remain intact. (Note: The following sentence is underlined repeatedly in my used copy.) We can presume then that we will discover cross-sexed phenomena in proportion to our ability to see them.

    In addition, we can account for the relative rarity of hermaphrodites in the general population, for the consistency of male-female somatotypes that we do find, and for the relative rarity of cross-sexed characteristics in the general population (though they occur with more frequency than we are now willing to imagine) by recognizing that there is a process of cultural selection which, for people, supersedes natural selection in importance. Cultural selection, as opposed to natural selection, does not necessarily serve to improve the species or to ensure survival. It does necessarily serve to uphold cultural norms and to ensure that deviant somatotypes and cross-sexed characteristics are systematically bred out of the population.

    and

    We are, clearly, a multi-sexed species which has its sexuality spread along a vast fluid continuum where the elements called male and female are not discrete.

    and

    Transsexuality is currently considered a gender disorder, that is, a person learns a gender role which contradicts his/her visible sex. It is a ‘disease’ with a cure: a sex-change operation will change the person’s visible sex and make it consonant with the person’s felt identity.

    Since we know very little about sex identity, and since psychiatrists are committed to the propagation of the cultural structure as it is, it would be premature and not very intelligent to accept the psychiatric judgement that transsexuality is caused by a faulty socialization. More probably, transsexuality is caused by a faulty society. Transsexuality can be defined as one particular formation of our general multisexuality which is unable to achieve its natural development because of extremely adverse social conditions.

    There is no doubt that in the culture of male-female discreteness, transsexuality is a disaster for the individual transsexual. Every transsexual, white, black, man, woman, rich, poor, is in a state of primary emergency as a transsexual. There are 3 crucial points here.

    One, every transsexual has the right to survival on his/her own terms. That means every transsexual is entitled to a sex-change operation, and it should be provided by the community as one of its functions. This is an emergency measure for an emergency condition.

    Two, by changing our premises about men and women, role-playing and polarity, the social situation of transsexuals will be transformed, and transsexuals will be integrated into community, no longer persecuted and despised.

    Three, community built on androgynous identity will mean the end of transsexuality as we know it. Either the transsexual will be able to expand his/her sexuality into a fluid androgyny, or, as roles disappear, the phenomenon of transsexuality will disappear and that energy will be transformed into new modes of sexual identity and behavior.

    While I disagree with Dworkin in places, none of what she says is vitriolic, hateful, or excluding trans people in society. This can’t be said for others like Raymond, Daly (who compared trans women to Frankenstein), or ““Sorry about your dick” Brennan. Daly never recanted her statements about trans people and as far as I know, neither has Robin Morgan (who is still alive).

    The anti-trans sentiments made a certain amount of sense in historical context, back at a time when the few out & obvious trans women were also outspoken anti-feminists.

    If you’re going to make this claim, then by all means please elaborate on who you’re talking about. The only person I can think of that might fit this bill is Virginia Prince. That’s one voice. What about Marsha P. Johnson, the women of the Compton Cafeteria riots, or Sylvia Rivera? Your suggestion that trans women in the seventies were

    Claiming gender essentialism, and being proper nice ladies in contrast to those horrid hairy-legged harpies.

    can be refuted by reading Sandy Stone’s The Empire Strike’s Back, was a response to Janice Raymond’s “The Transsexual Empire”. Stone was living in a women’s music collective, Olivia Records. The vitriolic rhetoric by Brennan isn’t anything new. Stone was actively sought out by radical feminists at the time. This was in 1977, and Olivia Record’s response again points out how your comment about history is off the mark:

    Recently a leaflet has been circulated here concerning Olivia’s relationship with Sandy Stone, who since spring of 1976 has worked with Olivia as a recording engineer. Sandy is a transsexual, and Olivia is being criticized for not making that fact widely known immediately on beginning to work with Sandy. It is further being said that we are ripping women off by calling ourselves a women’s recording company while working with a transsexual engineer. In the following paragraphs we would like to explain, for those who may not know, what a transsexual is; to recount our process in hiring Sandy Stone; to clarify our politics around working with Sandy; and to answer specific criticisms that have been brought forward.

    A transsexual is a person, from an early age (perhaps from birth), identifies as the opposite gender from her or his genetic sex. In the case of Sandy Stone, this means a person who grew up outwardly as male, but who inwardly experienced being essentially female. In many cases this includes feminist identification, which, because of imposed stereotypes, as well as the intolerable position of being female inside a male body, results in an extremely painful life situation. For many women, evolving a consciousness of class and sex oppression involves uncertainty, anger, and the turmoil which accompanies any major life process. For transsexuals, who are simultaneously evolving through confronting their true sexual identity, these processes are doubly difficult.

    Medical technology has recently provided, for those with the means to afford it and the guts to withstand it, a way to surgically transform the genitals from those of birth to those of the opposite gender. Persons like Sandy, who have undergone sex reassignment surgery, are technically known as male-to-female postoperative transsexuals and live lives no different from other women. However, although a great deal of attention is usually focused on the surgery itself, it is not generally understood that the process of sex reassignment is a long, gruelling and painful one, requiring years of hard work prior to surgery, and this too-well publicized step is merely the confirmation of a process that has already gone to near completion by that time. The impression fostered by the media, that sex reassignment is effectuated by a single operation, simplifies and distorts an extremely complex and subtle process to which the preoperative transexual must address most of her life for years prior to genital reassignment. Sandy Stone was referred to us as an excellent woman engineer, perhaps even the Goddess-sent engineering wizard we had so long sought. In our second meeting, when Sandy told us about her transsexuality, we had to reassess our commitment to her, and her for us. We did this, as we do everything at Olivia, collectively and from the point of view of our politics. In our first reaction to the situation, we had these reservations: Should we validate a process (sex reassignment) that, seemingly, only the privileged have access to? Should we hire someone who had male privilege? Could we accept and trust Sandy as a woman?

    We reasoned that while it requires some material means to undergo the sex reassignment process, a person does not gain privilege by doing it-quite the contrary (a very few well-publicized transsexuals aside.). Because Sandy decided to give up completely and permanently her male identity and live as a woman and a lesbian, she is now faced with the same kinds of oppression that other women and lesbians face. She must also cope with the ostracism that all of society imposes on a transsexual. In evaluating whom we trust as a close ally, we take a person’s history into consideration, but our focus as political lesbians is on what her actions are now. If she is a person who comes from privilege, has she renounced that which is oppressive in her privilege, and is she sharing with other women that which is useful? Is she aware of her own oppression? Is she open to struggle around class, race, and other aspects of lesbian feminist politics? These were our yardsticks in deciding whether to work with a woman who grew up with male privilege. We felt that Sandy met those same criteria that we apply to any woman with whom we plan to work closely. Because of our politics, and despite our initial feelings of strangeness around the situation (feelings which, alas, it seems many women must go through when confronted with a transsexual woman), we were able to begin working with Sandy. Our daily political and personal interactions with her have confirmed for each of us that she is a woman we can relate to with comfort and with trust.

    As to why we did not immediately bring this issue to the attention of the national women’s community, we have to say that to us, Sandy Stone is a person, not an issue. Our judgment was that her transsexualism was a fact that might be a concern to any woman who would work closely with her (such as the women Olivia would record.) We felt fine about telling those women, because there was a context for it, and because we have a struggle relationship with them. Beyond that, we saw no way to communicate the situation to the greater women’s community without Sandy being objectified. And if Sandy were to become the focus of controversy, we all felt we needed a period of time in which to develop a foundation of mutual trust and support and a solid working relationship, to help us withstand that turmoil. We see transsexualism as a state of transition and we feel that to continue to define a person primarily by that condition is to stigmatize her at the expense of her growth process as a woman. One unfortunate consequence of this decision has been that we did not demystify to the community at large how Sandy was able to acquire her skills, and we regret this.

    Our hopes for sharing skills and providing women access to work are much closer to fulfillment because of, not in spite of, Sandy Stone. The women in our technical department are thrilled that Sandy has joined them. She has contributed to our group not only her many technical skills, but also a vision of ways to share them that goes beyond what we were able to imagine. For example, besides training women in sound engineering, she will actually be building our recording studio and will be apprenticing other women in the techniques of designing and building electronic equipment. She is also in the process of writing a book for women which will be a step-by-step explanation of the recording process.

    Almost a year has passed since we started working with Sandy, during which she has been our colleague in hard work, struggle, wonderful accomplishments and even finer plans. All of us are looking forward to the day when work can begin on our studio and Sandy can start training other women. As we do of each other, we ask everything of Sandy, and she gives it. She has chosen to make her life with us and we expect to grow old together working and sharing. -Women of Olivia Records

    And frankly, yes, not growing up female *was* pretty relevant, and possibly still is. Without a feminist framing to guide them, a lot of newly transitioning women back then had NO idea what we had lived with growing up. They apparently saw femininity as fairytale prettiness, not a marker of subhuman status. A few decades of living life as a woman has been very educational for these pioneers, too. It’s not just feminism that has changed; the trans community has also learned and grown in the last 40 years.

    So growing up trans isn’t relevant? Did or do you have any idea of what trans people’s

    I’m talking history here; I am NOT defending the odious Brennan. Even if she were 40 years back in time, she’d still be one of the nasty ones.

    You are givin

    Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Kuiper-Belt said:

    But the older feminists really do need to be understood in context. Don’t write off Dworkin, Morgan et al. They were writing in the 70s and admittedly have some rather dodgy views here & there, because they had no established body of feminist thought to help them think these things through! And their work has been vastly demonised by antifeminists – maliciously cherrypicked and misquoted to make it seem terrible. (Do feel free to write off Raymond, though.)

    This is the same thing people trot out to make themselves feel better about their love of the founding fathers when people point out their stance on slavery (Thomas Jefferson comes to mind), but in this case it ISN’T true. My grandfather was a Klansman, an abusive husband, and maybe even a criminal. He was also one of the only people in my young life that nurtured me. I learned at an early age about the duality/complexity of hatred/ignorance/wrong ideas. I’m not demonizing Morgan/Daly/Raymond/Brennan as people, but I am disagreeing with THEIR IDEAS.

    Your point about there being no “because they had no established body of feminist thought to help them think these things through!” can be shown to be not true by Dworkin herself. From her book “Woman Hating”:

    Hormone and chromosome research, attempts to develop new means of human reproduction (life created in, or considerably supported by, the scientist’s laboratory), work with transsexuals, and studies of formation of gender identity in children provide basic information which challenges the notion that there are two discrete biological sexes. That information threatens to transform the traditional biology of sex difference into the radical biology of sex similarity. That is not to say there is one sex, but that there are many. The evidence which is germane here is simple. The words ‘male’ and ‘female,’ ‘man’ and ‘woman,’ are used only because as yet there are no others.

    and

    We can presume then that there is a great deal about human sexuality to be discovered, and that our notion of two discrete biological sexes cannot remain intact. (Note: The following sentence is underlined repeatedly in my used copy.) We can presume then that we will discover cross-sexed phenomena in proportion to our ability to see them.

    In addition, we can account for the relative rarity of hermaphrodites in the general population, for the consistency of male-female somatotypes that we do find, and for the relative rarity of cross-sexed characteristics in the general population (though they occur with more frequency than we are now willing to imagine) by recognizing that there is a process of cultural selection which, for people, supersedes natural selection in importance. Cultural selection, as opposed to natural selection, does not necessarily serve to improve the species or to ensure survival. It does necessarily serve to uphold cultural norms and to ensure that deviant somatotypes and cross-sexed characteristics are systematically bred out of the population.

    and

    We are, clearly, a multi-sexed species which has its sexuality spread along a vast fluid continuum where the elements called male and female are not discrete.

    and

    Transsexuality is currently considered a gender disorder, that is, a person learns a gender role which contradicts his/her visible sex. It is a ‘disease’ with a cure: a sex-change operation will change the person’s visible sex and make it consonant with the person’s felt identity.

    Since we know very little about sex identity, and since psychiatrists are committed to the propagation of the cultural structure as it is, it would be premature and not very intelligent to accept the psychiatric judgement that transsexuality is caused by a faulty socialization. More probably, transsexuality is caused by a faulty society. Transsexuality can be defined as one particular formation of our general multisexuality which is unable to achieve its natural development because of extremely adverse social conditions.

    There is no doubt that in the culture of male-female discreteness, transsexuality is a disaster for the individual transsexual. Every transsexual, white, black, man, woman, rich, poor, is in a state of primary emergency as a transsexual. There are 3 crucial points here.

    One, every transsexual has the right to survival on his/her own terms. That means every transsexual is entitled to a sex-change operation, and it should be provided by the community as one of its functions. This is an emergency measure for an emergency condition.

    Two, by changing our premises about men and women, role-playing and polarity, the social situation of transsexuals will be transformed, and transsexuals will be integrated into community, no longer persecuted and despised.

    Three, community built on androgynous identity will mean the end of transsexuality as we know it. Either the transsexual will be able to expand his/her sexuality into a fluid androgyny, or, as roles disappear, the phenomenon of transsexuality will disappear and that energy will be transformed into new modes of sexual identity and behavior.

    While I disagree with Dworkin in places, none of what she says is vitriolic, hateful, or excluding trans people in society. This can’t be said for others like Raymond, Daly (who compared trans women to Frankenstein), or ““Sorry about your dick” Brennan. Daly never recanted her statements about trans people and as far as I know, neither has Robin Morgan (who is still alive).

    The anti-trans sentiments made a certain amount of sense in historical context, back at a time when the few out & obvious trans women were also outspoken anti-feminists.

    If you’re going to make this claim, then by all means please elaborate on who you’re talking about. The only person I can think of that might fit this bill is Virginia Prince. That’s one voice. What about Marsha P. Johnson, the women of the Compton Cafeteria riots, or Sylvia Rivera? Your suggestion that trans women in the seventies were

    Claiming gender essentialism, and being proper nice ladies in contrast to those horrid hairy-legged harpies.

    can be refuted by reading Sandy Stone’s The Empire Strike’s Back, was a response to Janice Raymond’s “The Transsexual Empire”. Stone was living in a women’s music collective, Olivia Records. The vitriolic rhetoric by Brennan isn’t anything new. Stone was actively sought out by radical feminists at the time. This was in 1977, and Olivia Record’s response again points out how your comment about history is off the mark:

    Recently a leaflet has been circulated here concerning Olivia’s relationship with Sandy Stone, who since spring of 1976 has worked with Olivia as a recording engineer. Sandy is a transsexual, and Olivia is being criticized for not making that fact widely known immediately on beginning to work with Sandy. It is further being said that we are ripping women off by calling ourselves a women’s recording company while working with a transsexual engineer. In the following paragraphs we would like to explain, for those who may not know, what a transsexual is; to recount our process in hiring Sandy Stone; to clarify our politics around working with Sandy; and to answer specific criticisms that have been brought forward.

    A transsexual is a person, from an early age (perhaps from birth), identifies as the opposite gender from her or his genetic sex. In the case of Sandy Stone, this means a person who grew up outwardly as male, but who inwardly experienced being essentially female. In many cases this includes feminist identification, which, because of imposed stereotypes, as well as the intolerable position of being female inside a male body, results in an extremely painful life situation. For many women, evolving a consciousness of class and sex oppression involves uncertainty, anger, and the turmoil which accompanies any major life process. For transsexuals, who are simultaneously evolving through confronting their true sexual identity, these processes are doubly difficult.

    Medical technology has recently provided, for those with the means to afford it and the guts to withstand it, a way to surgically transform the genitals from those of birth to those of the opposite gender. Persons like Sandy, who have undergone sex reassignment surgery, are technically known as male-to-female postoperative transsexuals and live lives no different from other women. However, although a great deal of attention is usually focused on the surgery itself, it is not generally understood that the process of sex reassignment is a long, gruelling and painful one, requiring years of hard work prior to surgery, and this too-well publicized step is merely the confirmation of a process that has already gone to near completion by that time. The impression fostered by the media, that sex reassignment is effectuated by a single operation, simplifies and distorts an extremely complex and subtle process to which the preoperative transexual must address most of her life for years prior to genital reassignment. Sandy Stone was referred to us as an excellent woman engineer, perhaps even the Goddess-sent engineering wizard we had so long sought. In our second meeting, when Sandy told us about her transsexuality, we had to reassess our commitment to her, and her for us. We did this, as we do everything at Olivia, collectively and from the point of view of our politics. In our first reaction to the situation, we had these reservations: Should we validate a process (sex reassignment) that, seemingly, only the privileged have access to? Should we hire someone who had male privilege? Could we accept and trust Sandy as a woman?

    We reasoned that while it requires some material means to undergo the sex reassignment process, a person does not gain privilege by doing it-quite the contrary (a very few well-publicized transsexuals aside.). Because Sandy decided to give up completely and permanently her male identity and live as a woman and a lesbian, she is now faced with the same kinds of oppression that other women and lesbians face. She must also cope with the ostracism that all of society imposes on a transsexual. In evaluating whom we trust as a close ally, we take a person’s history into consideration, but our focus as political lesbians is on what her actions are now. If she is a person who comes from privilege, has she renounced that which is oppressive in her privilege, and is she sharing with other women that which is useful? Is she aware of her own oppression? Is she open to struggle around class, race, and other aspects of lesbian feminist politics? These were our yardsticks in deciding whether to work with a woman who grew up with male privilege. We felt that Sandy met those same criteria that we apply to any woman with whom we plan to work closely. Because of our politics, and despite our initial feelings of strangeness around the situation (feelings which, alas, it seems many women must go through when confronted with a transsexual woman), we were able to begin working with Sandy. Our daily political and personal interactions with her have confirmed for each of us that she is a woman we can relate to with comfort and with trust.

    As to why we did not immediately bring this issue to the attention of the national women’s community, we have to say that to us, Sandy Stone is a person, not an issue. Our judgment was that her transsexualism was a fact that might be a concern to any woman who would work closely with her (such as the women Olivia would record.) We felt fine about telling those women, because there was a context for it, and because we have a struggle relationship with them. Beyond that, we saw no way to communicate the situation to the greater women’s community without Sandy being objectified. And if Sandy were to become the focus of controversy, we all felt we needed a period of time in which to develop a foundation of mutual trust and support and a solid working relationship, to help us withstand that turmoil. We see transsexualism as a state of transition and we feel that to continue to define a person primarily by that condition is to stigmatize her at the expense of her growth process as a woman. One unfortunate consequence of this decision has been that we did not demystify to the community at large how Sandy was able to acquire her skills, and we regret this.

    Our hopes for sharing skills and providing women access to work are much closer to fulfillment because of, not in spite of, Sandy Stone. The women in our technical department are thrilled that Sandy has joined them. She has contributed to our group not only her many technical skills, but also a vision of ways to share them that goes beyond what we were able to imagine. For example, besides training women in sound engineering, she will actually be building our recording studio and will be apprenticing other women in the techniques of designing and building electronic equipment. She is also in the process of writing a book for women which will be a step-by-step explanation of the recording process.

    Almost a year has passed since we started working with Sandy, during which she has been our colleague in hard work, struggle, wonderful accomplishments and even finer plans. All of us are looking forward to the day when work can begin on our studio and Sandy can start training other women. As we do of each other, we ask everything of Sandy, and she gives it. She has chosen to make her life with us and we expect to grow old together working and sharing. -Women of Olivia Records

    And frankly, yes, not growing up female *was* pretty relevant, and possibly still is. Without a feminist framing to guide them, a lot of newly transitioning women back then had NO idea what we had lived with growing up. They apparently saw femininity as fairytale prettiness, not a marker of subhuman status. A few decades of living life as a woman has been very educational for these pioneers, too. It’s not just feminism that has changed; the trans community has also learned and grown in the last 40 years.

    So growing up trans isn’t relevant? Did or do you have any idea of what trans people have lived with growing up? What it’s like to be told repeatedly, that you’re not who you think you are, sometimes to the point of having reparative therapy? Growing up being criticized for characteristics seen as feminine, demeaned because of it, and ultimately trying to hide it to survive and fit in? No, we don’t know what it’s like to “grow up female”, but you seem to assert that we’ve all just thought it was about prancing around in a pretty dress. That’s what I’m hearing, maybe I’m over-sensitive about this.

    I’m talking history here; I am NOT defending the odious Brennan. Even if she were 40 years back in time, she’d still be one of the nasty ones.

    What you’re doing is giving a false narrative of history. If you’re not defending Brennan, I’m not sure what your point IS. Brennan/Raymond/Daly/Jefferies have and are doing damage to trans people’s lives.

  120. thumper1990 says

    Bloody hell… that link is disturbing. Transphobia, misandrism, and claims that “Real women do not like penetration all that much” before comparing heterosexual sex to “shoving a dick in a surgical wound”. WTF?

    Idiots like this are why I refused to identify as a feminist for years. I’m glad I discovered they’re not the norm.

  121. thumper1990 says

    @Rutee Katreya

    Because misandry isn’t a real thing

    …huh? Did you read that link? Of course it exists.

    @John Morales

    WTF man? You are correct in saying you have no obligation to try and combat misogyny, but considering that combatting it would require as little effort on your part as not engaging in it and calling it out when you see it, would you not agree that refusing to combat it, and thus remaining part of the problem, makes you an awful person?

  122. thumper1990 says

    Shorter Barfy: I am a moron incapable of nuance. Feminism is monolith and if one set of self-described Feminists believe this shite, then everyone who identifies as Feminist must believe it.

  123. says

    Wow, it’s like a mirror of the MRA assholes…

    And if you point that out to them, they’ll claim you have just stated you’re a member of the MRA. Seriously.

    The delightful and amazingly mature Brennan also called me a “rapey prick” and a “lesbophobe” – which caused great amusement to my lesbian and trans lady friends – after I caught her out in a full blown lie.

  124. says

    thumper1990, “shoving a dick in a surgical wound” is the TERF description for sexual penetration of a post-op trans woman’s neovagina – as is evident from the rest of the comments relating to genital reconstruction surgery.

    The quantities of fear and loathing involved there, as well as the pathological cyberstalking of people, is both creepy and irrational. Br*nn*n seems to love inventing words like ‘pretendbian’ – not that all trans women are attracted to women anyway – but has taken a leaf out of the anti-marriage equality people by describing those in gay and lesbian relationships where one (or, in some cases both) partner(s) is (are) trans* as ‘fauxmosexuals’.

    It’s pretty uncool to not only deny others their gender self-identification but also to deny their sexual identity – my relationship with my current partner might have been described as a normal heterosexual coupling, but I’m not exclusively heterosexual. So my gender transition would have the effect of my partner being viewed in an alternate light as a lesbian, but she is exclusively heterosexual and her sexual orientation hasn’t changed, and isn’t deserving of being mocked as ‘pretend’ or ‘faux’ sexuality. Br*nn*n’s bullshit is highly disrespectful to partners of trans* people as well as trans* people themselves.

  125. thumper1990 says

    @Xanthe

    Oh, I didn’t know that. Thanks. That is pretty disgusting in and of itself though.

    I think “pretty uncool” is putting it lightly. It’s fucking disgusting. What the fuck gives them the right to rampage around pigeonholing people in regards to gender and sexuality without having the decency to take into account the opinions of ther person they are pigeonholing? Having read Crip Dyke’s posts, I get their motivation… but frankly, fuck their motivation. I “get” the motivation of many racists, but their opinions still disgust me. Ditto here. The people who wrote the comments PZ links to are awful people.

  126. says

    And if you point that out to them, they’ll claim you have just stated you’re a member of the MRA. Seriously.

    The delightful and amazingly mature Brennan also called me a “rapey prick” and a “lesbophobe” – which caused great amusement to my lesbian and trans lady friends – after I caught her out in a full blown lie.

    I’ve come to the conclusion the best way to deal with CB is to confront the substance of what she claims, but when it comes to the personal attacks, I don’t respond at all to them. She’ll get into a discussion with you, but soon after she’ll insert some kind of heated rhetoric (example: referring to your genitals as a “ladystick”) to facilitate an angry response, then when she gets that response, claim victimhood, wash, repeat. And if she can’t anger you, she’ll put you up on one of her attack sites. She’s got a post about me on Pretendbian, though I’ve NEVER called myself a lesbian.

    Some in the trans community think that she shouldn’t be engaged at all, but I think that’s a mistake. She’s already had an effect on trans legislation in Maryland. A bill that would protect trans Marylanders from discrimination died in committee, and one of the recipients of Brennan’s political cash is the person who killed the bill (even though it had 23 sponsors and only needed 24 votes to pass out of the chamber and he had 1,000 constituents contact him to support the bill). She is effecting the lives of trans people.

  127. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Because misandry isn’t a real thing

    …huh? Did you read that link? Of course it exists.

    For reasons I’ve never understood, at a level I’m still not clear on, the decision was made to take words like “misogyny” and “racism” which have been understood for decades to refer to individuals’ attitudes, repurpose them to describe entrenched societal structures of discrimination and privilege, and act like this new, restricted meaning should be obvious to everyone.

    So, there are certainly individuals who have a genuine hatred of men, like the individuals the OP discusses and the doctor who insisted on testing my 7 year old daughter for herpes and asked her a bunch of leading questions with a frickin’ gleam in her eye when I brought her in to urgent care with a bacterial vaginal infection, but there isn’t really an entrenched social structure which discriminates against men except as a manifestation of discrimination against women, so “misandry” comparable to “misogyny” as it’s now used in these circles doesn’t really exist.

  128. WharGarbl says

    @Azkyroth
    #147

    For reasons I’ve never understood, at a level I’m still not clear on, the decision was made to take words like “misogyny” and “racism” which have been understood for decades to refer to individuals’ attitudes, repurpose them to describe entrenched societal structures of discrimination and privilege, and act like this new, restricted meaning should be obvious to everyone.

    I think Australia change the dictionary definition misogyny to apply to cultural sexism.

    So, there are certainly individuals who have a genuine hatred of men, like the individuals the OP discusses and the doctor who insisted on testing my 7 year old daughter for herpes and asked her a bunch of leading questions with a frickin’ gleam in her eye when I brought her in to urgent care with a bacterial vaginal infection, but there isn’t really an entrenched social structure which discriminates against men except as a manifestation of discrimination against women, so “misandry” comparable to “misogyny” as it’s now used in these circles doesn’t really exist.

    Happens to some of my family member with daughters too.
    Misandry, as in “hatred of men/boy”, do exist. It’s the systematic sexism against men that doesn’t exist (or at least not as prevalent as sexism against women).

  129. thumper1990 says

    @Azkyroth

    Oh I see; thanks for the info. Yes, I’ve heard this theory before in another guise, “Racism = prejudice + power, therefore anti-white racism doesn’t exist”.

    I said that argument was bollocks when I heard it then, and I say it’s bollocks now. The fact that whatever bigot you happen to be talking about doesn’t have the societal power to enforce their prejudices doesn’t mean the prejudice doesn’t exist. It’s less widespread and less societally entrenched, and therefore has less effect on the whole and is obviously less of a problem for society as a whole, but it doesn’t magically mean that an individual can’t hold those prejudices.

  130. thumper1990 says

    @whargarbl

    Misandry, as in “hatred of men/boy”, do exist. It’s the systematic sexism against men that doesn’t exist (or at least not as prevalent as sexism against women).

    Yes, this. Should’ve read the whole thread before commenting :) Can we find a way to differentiate? Perhaps “Societal sexism” when discussing the huge, wide ranging, societally-entrenched sexism?

  131. Gregory Greenwood says

    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden @ 129;

    Thanks for that – I have a better understanding of why and how TREFs wind up holding the opinions that they do, even though reading the stuff people like Brennan write still triggers my intellectual gag reflex due to the sheer level of transphobia on display. I can see where the basic assumptions come from, and can even understand how a person who has experienced or seen some of the true horrrors perpetrated against women in our society could come to the conclusion that it is a simplistic situation of ‘us against them’, but the end result is horrific bigotry that rises to near MRA levels of toxic hatred at times.

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    thumper1990 @ 138;

    Bloody hell… that link is disturbing. Transphobia, misandrism, and claims that “Real women do not like penetration all that much” before comparing heterosexual sex to “shoving a dick in a surgical wound”. WTF?

    Don’t forget the people who were fantasising about the creation and deployment of some form of bio weapon that would kill all men (a category in which they included transwomen, just for an extra frisson of transphobic bigotry), with some adding in the idea of keeping a few blokes alive so that they could use genetic engineering to create the perfect ‘male donor’ walking spermbag/sex toy. There are some interesting parallels to the manic extremes of MRA misogynistic fantasising here. Both groups seem to like to indulge in idle daydreams of gendered genocide or enslavement from time to time

    Then there was one individual who seemed to like the idea of ‘fixing’ all men by compuslory castration, with optional sperm harvesting ahead of time at the discretion of female relatives. Apparently, post global castration parties, all violence, war and criminality would end, male health would improve, and the now ‘civilised’ blokes could be returned to society as productive citizens.

    The strangest part was that this person wanted the castration to be performed publicly, with naked men frog marched to town squares, ritually castrated in front of cheering crowds including children, and then made to walk home naked. Any men who resisted would be killed on sight, and women who objected would be subjected to what amounted to Orwellian ‘re-education’. It was like a bad piece of distopian science fiction with a weird mutilation-pron subtext.

    There suely are some odd people among the TERFs.

  132. thumper1990 says

    @Gregory

    Yes, I read the whole thing. She used the term “milked” for obtaining a sperm sample… and whether or not it would be obtained was obviously down to the man’s partner/mother/legal female guardian. There were many calls for gender-genocide.

    They’re just upside-down MRAs.

  133. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Oh I see; thanks for the info. Yes, I’ve heard this theory before in another guise, “Racism = prejudice + power, therefore anti-white racism doesn’t exist”.

    I said that argument was bollocks when I heard it then, and I say it’s bollocks now.

    It’s not so much “bollocks” as it is an ascended Humpty-Dumpty argument. It’s not that anti-white bigotry doesn’t exist, it’s just that “racism” doesn’t just mean “race-based bigotry” any more. Even though that’s how most people historically and currently understand it.

  134. says

    *sigh* So when did a post about radfems and trans people turn into a post about anti-white bigotry?

    I mean I know it’s pretty rampant. Why just the other day I pulled over in a black neighbourhood because I was driving a nice car. Then I was followed in the mall by security because I’m white. I’m telling you, it’s tough being white!

  135. thumper1990 says

    @martiabernathy

    Sorry, I didn’t intend to derail, I was just providing an example of the same argument being used for a different prejudice. My point is that just because one group is societally dominant doesn’t preclude members of that group from being subject to individual incidences of prejudice based on their membership in the dominant group. Bigotry is bigotry is bigotry; the fact one form is less widespread than another doesn’t make it any better. I hope to live long enough to see it all eradicated.

    And at no point did I say, or even imply, that white people experience racial prejudice anything like that which non-white people are subjected to.

    @Azkyroth

    I was unaware of the official change in definition. I’m aware some people define it as needing the power to actually back up the prejudice, but I see no logical reason why that should be an intrinsic part of the definition. It’s perfectly possible to have a prejudice without the societal power to do anything about it, or one that is not widespread or societally entrenched.

  136. thumper1990 says

    *Editig-out my First-World privilege*

    *And at no point did I say, or even imply, that white people experience racial prejudice anything like that which non-white people are subjected to in the US and Europe.

  137. says

    but I see no logical reason why that should be an intrinsic part of the definition. It’s perfectly possible to have a prejudice without the societal power to do anything about it, or one that is not widespread or societally entrenched.

    defining racism/sexism/etc. solely by prejudice is an exercise in mind-reading, though. you don’t really know what someone “feels, in their heart-of-hearts”, and this is usually where people get pointlessly indignant; and what are you going to do argue against someone who insists that they don’t hate women or black people or homosexuals? tell them you know better what they feel? that generally doesn’t work well, even if you happen to be right.

    OTOH, effects are measurable. Consequences are observable, empirical things. So it makes much more sense to define racism/sexism/etc. as consequences that make one group worse off than another, regardless even of how the people causing these consequences may or may not feel about the group.

  138. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ azkyroth

    Actually, that entrenched structure definition is as old as Lucretia Mott. The point was made that Black slaves frequently hated white folk…and the response was, “Are you really trying to compare the emotional reaction to being enslaved, which includes hate, to the emotion reaction of slavers to their slaves, which also includes hate?” Of course, that’s not at all a direct quote, but the issue was addressed during the abolition movement.

    I agree that there’s a colloquial use – that is, in fact, more common these days – that racism is merely prejudice. But, no, it was quite clear when people were first talking about this that the problem wasn’t merely that some whites hated Black folk & some Black folk hated whites. The problem was institutionalized disadvantage. It was then, it is now.

  139. thumper1990 says

    @Jadehawk

    I didn’t mean to suggest we should try and read people’s minds, merely that we judge them by their actions. If someone is saying racist shit, they’re probably a racist. My point is that if that racism is directed at white people, it’s no less racism than if it were directed at non-white people. Equally it is perfectly possible to be prejudiced against men, cisgendered, heterosexuals and other dominant groups. It’s just not widespread, not culturally entrenched, and the people engaging in it are likely to be part of a culturally disadvantaged group, and therefore it’s not as damaging. I simply object to the idea that power is necessary to be prejudiced. It isn’t, it is merely necessary to make life miserable for those whom you want it to be miserable for.

    And yes, you’rso far I am talking about active prejudice rather than the passive kind instilled in all of us by our society; but my point still stands with that. If, for example, Afro-Caribbean-British sub-culture engenders a mistrust of white people in general in the same way white-British culture engenders a distrust of black people, that’s still passive racism. (I’m not saying either of those cultures do engender such prejudices, it’s just an example). You need power for your prejudices to do any real, widespread damage, but you don’t need power for the prejudices to exist in the first place.

  140. thumper1990 says

    A more on-topic example: these TERF pillocks are going to do real harm with their transphobia, because that is an opinion shared by a lot of people and directed at an already marginalised group. Their misandrism, on the other hand, is not going to do a lot more than annoy people who read it. It’s not going to cause real damage to men. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t misandrism or that misandrism doesn’t exist.

  141. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    You keep saying this:

    I simply object to the idea that power is necessary to be prejudiced

    I wasn’t going to comment, but lawd-a-mercy, how can you be so thick?

    You quote the right aphorism, racism = prejudice + power; and then you say, but even without power, you can still be prejudiced and it’s still wrong and a problem it just isn’t this societally entrenched thing that has the same nature or effect.

    F’ing DUH. That’s the whole point. If you have prejudice but not power, you still have prejudice, get it?

    No one is saying that prejudice should be tolerate.

    What Lucretia Mott & Fredrick Douglass and Audre Lorde and Gloria Steinem and who knows how many others have been saying is that,

    Who gives a flying F whether slave owners “hate” their slaves, or merely believe they deserve their enslaved lot?

    There’s a system going on. Since Mott/Douglas, we’ve gone on to argue that tolerating the systematic disadvantage of a group is actually great evidence that you think less of that group – if you wouldn’t think it was just fine and dandy if identical laws were passed targeting you. (if you would think it fine and dandy, you don’t think less of the group, you’re just a general misanthrope)

    So, yes, power + prejudice is different than Prejudice without power. You yourself are making this argument! But when other people say, let’s use the original definition of racism and not the watered down one that has come to be about individual bad actors and their fee fees, you go to this weird place where you’re saying that they are saying that prejudice is not a problem.

    Look at what you yourself have written. Prejudice is a problem. It’s not the same as racism. Anti-white prejudice is a problem. In the US, Canada, NZ, Australia & many other places, It’s not the same as racism.

    You just refuse to understand that your long winded explanations about societal entrenchment are exactly what other people are saying using the word racism.

    If you don’t like the word choice, fine. But to assert that other people are trying to say prejudice is okay when that is *not F’ing at all* what they are saying, is not only ludicrous, but on this thread – ***this thread***, it’s privileged wanking and needs to go *NOW*.

  142. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Their misandrism, on the other hand, is not going to do a lot more than annoy people who read it. It’s not going to cause real damage to men. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t misandrism or that misandrism doesn’t exist.

    Of course not.

    It means it’s a prejudice and not an oppression. We all get it. We all have gotten it. We’re the ones that got it a long time ago.

  143. says

    I simply object to the idea that power is necessary to be prejudiced.

    so you’re objecting to a strawman. well, everyone needs a hobby, i guess.

  144. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @GG

    Thanks for that – I have a better understanding of why and how TREFs wind up holding the opinions that they do, even though reading the stuff people like Brennan write still triggers my intellectual gag reflex due to the sheer level of transphobia on display.

    Yeah, and the sheer incompetence of the feminism at times as well. I understand how it happens. I have sympathy for the human in the equation who may have been viciously hurt, it that’s how they came to this place of urgently demanding unity and believing it a precondition of safety. But it’s a poor, poor way to do feminism.

    In fact, I really tend not to use things like “TERF” because I think it totally sells short the problems with this type of feminism. The vocal embrace of trans oppression is not the defining characteristic of any brand of feminism. It is a natural outgrowth of doing feminism a certain way, and not the only harmful outgrowth.

    I can see where the basic assumptions come from, and can even understand how a person who has experienced or seen some of the true horrrors perpetrated against women in our society could come to the conclusion that it is a simplistic situation of ‘us against them’, but the end result is horrific bigotry that rises to near MRA levels of toxic hatred at times.

    Oh, I think the worst of this type of trans hatred equals the worst of MRA misogyny, no problem.

  145. daniellavine says

    Although I can understand the frustration involved when dealing with accusations of “misandry” I think it may be a little silly and counterproductive to rule out misandry as a concept just because MRAs like to use it as a bumper sticker slogan.

    I do believe that patriarchy hurts men too and I think it’s completely fair to describe those aspects of patriarchy that do hurt men as “misandry.” For example, I think the assumption that men are by nature less nurturing and affectionate than women is misandristic and I do think this assumption influences the results of custody hearings. (Yes, I’m sorry to bring up MRA talking points but it’s a good example.)

    Just so I’m not completely off-topic this TERF stuff is so heinous and disgusting. I think I agree with those saying it’s just the MRM with the values inverted.

  146. daniellavine says

    Now that everyone’s talking about misandry on the thread about trans-hate I feel sorry for participating in the derail.

  147. says

    So, I have a question.

    Catherine Brennan is an attorney, and uses her resources as an attorney to “out” transwomen in order to silence them and potentially put their lives in danger. Why has she not been disbarred for this conduct?

  148. says

    That’s a good question, only an attorney from Maryland could answer. You have a couple thousand dollars to find out? I don’t, and neither do most of the people she goes after.

  149. Esteleth, the most colossal nerd on Pharyngula says

    It may be that her use of legal databases and such is carefully done to fall under the rubric of something that a layperson could do?

    But I’m betting that “the people she hurts don’t have the means to go after her” is the answer.

  150. says

    I think it may be a little silly and counterproductive to rule out misandry as a concept just because MRAs like to use it as a bumper sticker slogan.

    I see thumper isn’t the only one who enjoys fighting against strawmen.

    I think it’s completely fair to describe those aspects of patriarchy that do hurt men as “misandry.”

    I don’t; it would be a severe misnomer, since PHMT isn’t an anti-manhood prejudice; it’s prejudice against those who are too womanly for True Manhood™, meaning it’s misogyny used to harm men (see also: homophobia)

  151. WharGarbl says

    Their misandrism, on the other hand, is not going to do a lot more than annoy people who read it. It’s not going to cause real damage to men. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t misandrism or that misandrism doesn’t exist.

    True, it’s not causing real damage to men (some might argue it’s causing damage during custody hearing, but that’s another thread and another place). But I think it’s causing a LOT of damage with the rest of feminist movement. This is just anecdotal evidence, but during my college years, quite a few of my female and male colleagues refused to identify with any feminist organization because they believe they’re “a bunch of man-hating woman”.
    Granted, there’re a few of those “feminist” organizations who apparently espouse those view. But that’s apparently enough to poison the well for them.

  152. says

    …huh? Did you read that link? Of course it exists.

    Uh, no, that link isn’t evidence of misandry. That link is evidence that one woman isn’t a fan of men. There’s no societal power to propagate misery for the majority.

    Their misandrism, on the other hand, is not going to do a lot more than annoy people who read it. It’s not going to cause real damage to men. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t misandrism or that misandrism doesn’t exist.

    Yes. Yes it does mean that, you collosal jackass. Misogyny doesn’t just refer to some abstract hatred of women. It means there’s real fucking effects on a wide scale that affect everyone. You are outright admitting misandry isn’t a thing. Fuck you – this was supposed to be about cissexism, not about how sometimes not everyone sufficiently worships cock.

    True, it’s not causing real damage to men (some might argue it’s causing damage during custody hearing, but that’s another thread and another place). But I think it’s causing a LOT of damage with the rest of feminist movement. This is just anecdotal evidence, but during my college years, quite a few of my female and male colleagues refused to identify with any feminist organization because they believe they’re “a bunch of man-hating woman”.

    Horse hockey. Most of the people who insist that feminists hate men wouldn’t be able to name a single person or time they’ve actually seen it. The meme propagates itself because it’s a comfortable way to dismiss people opposing patriarchy, not because somewhere, there’s a few feminists it actually applies to.

    Although I can understand the frustration involved when dealing with accusations of “misandry” I think it may be a little silly and counterproductive to rule out misandry as a concept just because MRAs like to use it as a bumper sticker slogan.

    No, you jackass. I rule it out because there isn’t societal bias against men.

    I do believe that patriarchy hurts men too and I think it’s completely fair to describe those aspects of patriarchy that do hurt men as “misandry.” For example, I think the assumption that men are by nature less nurturing and affectionate than women is misandristic

    This assumption means men don’t have to put nearly as many hours into child rearing, and don’t have their fucking careers put on hold because they might have children. In what galaxy is something that helps men on average ‘misandristic’?

    and I do think this assumption influences the results of custody hearings. (Yes, I’m sorry to bring up MRA talking points but it’s a good example.)

    Then you think this absent evidence – when men actually fight for custody, they win a little less than half the time (in the USA). Considering that in the USA, considerably fewer than half of all men are the primary caregiver, and that we default tot he primary caregiver in assigning custody…

  153. says

    What’s up, Azkyroth, Thumper? Surely you wouldn’t be objecting to using the correct ecological definition of “community” in a post about wildlife habitat and conservation. Why are you objecting to the correct sociological definition of “misogyny” in a post about women and societally sanctioned bigotry against them?

  154. says

    Most of the people who insist that feminists hate men wouldn’t be able to name a single person or time they’ve actually seen it. The meme propagates itself because it’s a comfortable way to dismiss people opposing patriarchy, not because somewhere, there’s a few feminists it actually applies to.

    QFT. Y’all seem to be greatly overestimating the rational basis for the belief that feminists hate men.

  155. says

    Just to be clear, “women” includes trans women. This post is primarily about how trans women are affected by societally sanctioned bigotry against them. In this case, we’re examining how cis women are propagating that bigotry. That fact by itself is another indication of why the “personal prejudice” lay definition of misogyny and similar terms is inadequate to accurately describe the phenomenon.

  156. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Why are you objecting to the correct sociological definition of “misogyny” in a post about women and societally sanctioned bigotry against them?

    Almost, Sally. Almost.

  157. WharGarbl says

    @Rutee
    #173

    Yes. Yes it does mean that, you collosal jackass. Misogyny doesn’t just refer to some abstract hatred of women. It means there’s real fucking effects on a wide scale that affect everyone. You are outright admitting misandry isn’t a thing. Fuck you – this was supposed to be about cissexism, not about how sometimes not everyone sufficiently worships cock.

    You are aware that like all words, definition changes overtime. In example of misogyny.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/17/julia-gillard-australia-misogyny-dictionary
    Oxford changed its definition from the original
    A lot of this back and forth arguing can probably be defused if everyone agree on the definition. The problem I see is that there’s currently two definition of misogyny/misandry.
    Older definition: hatred of *gender* (implied individual behavior)
    Newer definition: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against *gender* (implies societal based prejudice)

  158. says

    You are aware that like all words, definition changes overtime

    Are you aware that defiinitionsa re context sensitive, and amongst a bunch of people working to end structural problems based on class, the one that matters will be about classes of people?

  159. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Why are you objecting to the correct sociological definition of “misogyny” in a post about women and societally sanctioned bigotry against them?

    I’m not; I’m expressing frustration with the creation of a correct specialized term-of-art definition of a word which already has a commonly understood meaning juxtaposed with the expectation that this common understanding of meaning will simply evaporate now that a specialized term-of-art definition has been established. You’d think after all the problems with “energy” and “theory” the lesson would have been learned…

  160. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Let me rephrase: I am acknowledging that the situation causes frustration, by inviting accidental misunderstanding which tends to be interpreted as bad faith, in the process of explaining it to someone who I initially assumed to be merely accidentally misunderstanding.

  161. ck says

    thumper1990 wrote:

    Their misandrism, on the other hand, is not going to do a lot more than annoy people who read it. It’s not going to cause real damage to men. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t misandrism or that misandrism doesn’t exist.

    Their anti-male bias may not hurt men, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause damage. First, it gives MRAs ammo to use against feminists. MRAs aren’t above just lying about what feminists say, but when radfems say stupid shit like that, it gets a little harder to say that feminists don’t believe the things MRAs say about them. Secondly, (and most importantly,) it diverts attention away from things that actually matter, because these things have to be answered one way or another for them to retain credibility. At a time when it’s increasingly rare for the public to know what modern feminists actually stand for, this is quite problematic.

    I guess what I’m saying is that these radfem retributive fantasies may not hurt men, but they do hurt feminists (radical or not).

  162. ck says

    er, to clarify “it gets a little harder to say that feminists don’t believe the things MRAs say about them” because I phrased it poorly and it sounds really bad as-is:

    It’s far easier when you can dismiss the stupid MRA claims by saying, “No one believes that”, or “Prove it!” Having to spend effort to dismantle the lies takes more effort, and requires that the audience actually be interested in seeing the argument dismantled.

  163. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Their anti-male bias may not hurt men

    I certainly find it distressing [insert obligatory, already-implicit putting-in-perspective here].

  164. thedude says

    @Tony

    Modern feminism may not have all the elements that most religions have, but the lack of evidence for their views and the zeal with which they attack any who hold different views or dares to question their views makes religion to be the best description. The main object of worship in modern feminism is the vagina. The main dogmas of modern feminism is that all women are oppressed, and that all men are oppressors. Anyone who dares to question these dogmas, or mention any evidence that the situation isn’t necessarily that simple, are labeled as heretics, or as the modern feminists call them: misogynists, MRAs, rape supporters, chill girls etc.

  165. John Morales says

    thedude, you are in utter denial; go look in the sidebar at the social justice links for a shit-ton of the evidence you deny.

    (Well, that you attempt to deny, in your semi-incoherent fashion. There is plenty of evidence for their views, one aspect of which is that you are addressing what you putatively perceive to be those very views)

    Anyone who dares to question these dogmas, or mention any evidence that the situation isn’t necessarily that simple, are labeled as heretics, or as the modern feminists call them: misogynists, MRAs, rape supporters, chill girls etc.

    <snicker>

    Your argumentum ad lapidem is too feeble to bother with, loser.

    (Most amusingly, this very thread consists of mainstream feminists calling out a fringe faction of feminism and is substantial evidence that your contention is counterfactual ;) )

  166. thumper1990 says

    @Crip Dyke

    OK. So Racism/Misogyny is institutionalised disadvantage; any prejudice without the institutionalised disadvantage is distinguished from those that do.

    I’m with you now, I think. The original comment made was “Misandry doesn’t exist”. I was going by the everyday definition, “prejudice against men”. I was unaware of the arguments by Mott/Douglas/Lorde/Steinam and of the sociological definition, and so misunderstood completely. I’m sorry for letting my ignorance derail the thread, and will endeavour to use the more up to date definitions from now on.

    @Jadehawk #164

    Not intentionally, I assure you. I simply misunderstood.

    @WharGarbl #172

    I’d agree with that. I’ve always been an egalitarian and was aware of the more commonly known aspects of societal sexism such as disparities in pay, and would argue passionately that that was unfair, but for years I refused to call myself a feminist because I thought that radfem was feminism. I’ve since learned differently and now am perfectly happy to inform people I am a feminist, but from the looks I get sometimes I think a lot of people think the same as I used to.

    @Rutee Katraya #173

    Actually that link has quotations from many different women in the radfem movement, all of which display some level of transphobia or anti-male prejudice.

    Fuck you – this was supposed to be about cissexism, not about how sometimes not everyone sufficiently worships cock.

    Fuck you. That is not what I said, or what I implied, or what I think. Don’t put words in my mouth, and don’t paint me as some male-supremacist fuckwad just because we had a disagreement over semantics.

    That said, I do owe you an apology for misunderstanding you earlier. I apologise for my ignorance.

    @Sally Strange #175

    I didn’t. I objected to the idea that misandrism didn’t exist. But I think I’ve got it now.

    @Azkyroth #182

    Yes, that was the problem. Again, I’m sorry for derailing.

    @ck #183

    Yes, I’d agree with that. See my reply to WharGarbl.

  167. thumper1990 says

    @The Dude

    Come on, even I know that’s bollocks and I didn’t even know what misandry meant.

    re·li·gion/rɪˈlɪdʒən/
    noun
    1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

    Yeah, that sounds like feminism. /snark

  168. Rey Fox says

    The main object of worship in modern feminism is the vagina. The main dogmas of modern feminism is that all women are oppressed, and that all men are oppressors.

    Nope, sorry, you fail. That was pathetic. Please go back and research feminism again. Real sources this time, not those bitter guys down at the pub.

  169. says

    The main object of worship in modern feminism is the vagina.

    The majority of feminists are straight, you collosal fuckwit.

    The main dogmas of modern feminism is that all women are oppressed, and that all men are oppressors.

    all women are oppressed, but all extant humans minus, potentially, few isolated tribes are oppressors. Kyriarchy is not kind to white women trying to isolate themselves from their role in the oppression of others – typically on class or racial grounds… or on grounds of trans-status, as is shown in the OP.

    ————————————-

    Actually that link has quotations from many different women in the radfem movement, all of which display some level of transphobia or anti-male prejudice.

    anti-male prejudice which does nothing and affects nobody. That’s not even a little like structural disadvantaging, and you specified misandry. And don’t just blithely put that up next to cis-sexism and pretend it’s even a little the same. You know what that woman DOES to trans people? Do you have even the smallest inkling of what HAPPENS when Brennan outs someone? Christ on a fucking stick.

    Fuck you. That is not what I said, or what I implied, or what I think. Don’t put words in my mouth, and don’t paint me as some male-supremacist fuckwad just because we had a disagreement over semantics.

    You were continuing a conversation on the non-oppression of men when the subject of the OP outs trans women. You were, in fact, making this about insufficient worship of cock, rather than cis-sexism.

  170. WharGarbl says

    @Rutee
    #180

    Are you aware that defiinitions are context sensitive, and amongst a bunch of people working to end structural problems based on class, the one that matters will be about classes of people?

    Yes. I’ve highlighted the problematic word in your response.
    The definition you stated is broadly understood within the movement (at least I hope it is, else it would imply that a lot of feminist view “casual sexism” as “malicious hatred against women”). But said definition may not be well understood outside of the movement.

    It is anecdotal evidence on my part. But during my college years, women and men who, in retrospect, have a lot of feminist ideas but refused to identify themselves as feminist since they view feminist as a bunch of “man-hater”. One reason, in retrospect, came from the hyperbolic use of “misogyny”.

    Put it this way, you can’t expect somewhat similar minded men and women to join the movement if their first impression is that feminists believe all men are “woman-hater” (which, at the time, was what misogyny meant to most people I know of).

    @Rutee
    #191

    anti-male prejudice which does nothing and affects nobody.

    It is one thing to say anti-male prejudices are comparatively less prevalent and harmful then anti-female prejudices, and therefore it’s natural that significantly more resources are poured into combating anti-female prejudices. It is another thing to say that such anti-male prejudice incidences and harmfulness is zero.

  171. thumper1990 says

    @Rutee

    Actually, my original comment at #1139 said:

    Bloody hell… that link is disturbing. Transphobia, misandrism, and claims that “Real women do not like penetration all that much” before comparing heterosexual sex to “shoving a dick in a surgical wound”.

    I commented on their bigotry in general, mentioning their anti-male prejudice as well as their transphobia. Hardly demanding everyone worship cock, is it? I apologise for misunderstanding you, but you could have bothered to merely define the term rather than getting pissed at me for disagreeing on semantics. You just kept repeating there was no such thing when it was fairly obvious I didn’t understand what you meant.

    anti-male prejudice which does nothing and affects nobody.

    As for this; I am perfectly willing to accept that there is no such thing as “misandry” as defined as an institutionalised disparagement and oppression of men in general, but this is clearly nonsense. WharGarbl has already said what I’m thinking:

    It is one thing to say anti-male prejudices are comparatively less prevalent and harmful then anti-female prejudices, and therefore it’s natural that significantly more resources are poured into combating anti-female prejudices. It is another thing to say that such anti-male prejudice incidences and harmfulness is zero.

  172. says

    Oh hey look a topic about how trans-women are being outed and discriminated against by certain feminists!

    Let’s derail it and talk about how men are being discriminated against! Who gives a fuck about trans-women? You can go sit in the corner and wait your turn to be talked about.

    Fuck, this thread is like the goddamned HRC.

  173. thumper1990 says

    @Katherine

    Yeah, not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the notion that power is necessary to the definition of certain words previously seen as a category of prejudice.

    But fair enough, I’ll drop it.

  174. says

    @Katherine

    This is why I tend to shy away from commenting on cis blogs about trans issues. Nothing gets done and it rarely stays on topic. Just yesterday, Cathy Brennan called someone a rapist because #radfem2013 conference venue cancelled their event. But talking “the notion that power is necessary to the definition of certain words” is much more important. It effects the lives of trans women much more than radical feminism has in the past. Screw the fact that Janice Raymond’s work has effected trans women getting surgery for DECADES. STOP THE PRESSES, men might be harmed .000000000000000000000025440404003% of the time. THIS MUST BE DISCUSSED!

    I’m seriously fed up.

  175. says

    @Martia:

    It kind of reminds me of back in SciBlog days, when PZ would post about FGM. Inevitably there would be someone showing up to talk about circumcision, and the comments would go from why FGM is despicable to whataboutthemens.

    It doesn’t matter the topic, if it tangentially effects men, well men are obviously the most important aspect of the topic, let’s talk about them.

  176. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Martia & Katherine,

    I’ve been following the thread sporadically, so I missed the derailment, but I’m sorry this happens to topics about trans women even on this blog (where I always expect better than elsewhere).

  177. says

    @Beatrice, I don’t blame PZ, I think it’s the way that it goes on cis blogs in general. I’ve even had it happen over at Feministing, when talking about trans issues (granted it’s been a few years ago and it’s gotten better there since). It’s like you’re not even there, not speaking. People just talk over you about whatever their pet issue is, regardless of the original topic. In the end, that’s just a waste of my time.

  178. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Martia,

    I was thinking more about the rest of us comentariat who should know better and refuse to add to the derailment.

  179. says

    @Beatrice:

    I think I’m mostly angry about it cause of HRC than anything else. Sent them a strongly worded e-mail of why I’m pulling my donations to them and they basically responded with a “but we really DO care about trans* issues! Give us your money, also buy this credit card!”

    Complete insincerity. Then just to come around here and see trans* issues pushed to the curb again it just makes me upset.

  180. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Oh cripes, it turns out that Cathy Brennan lives less than a mile away from me. Makes me want to move.

  181. says

    Tony @ 118:

    You, uh, must have missed the part where I said “not the free market worshiping variety” right smack in the middle of the term “Radical Libertarian Feminism.” The only people who think Libertarianism means worshiping the free market and selfishness are Americans. Everywhere else in the world it is synonymous with Marxist and Anarchist intellectual traditions beginning with Proudhon (who coined the term), not the narrow ideological concept of liberty promoted by right-wing capitalists. #themoreyouknow

    So to answer your question: no. :)

  182. thedude says

    Rutee:

    The majority of feminists are straight

    There is appearantly no limits to the stupidity in here. Worship =/= sexuality.

  183. vaiyt says

    You’d think after all the problems with “energy” and “theory” the lesson would have been learned…

    I suppose scientists should find new words, then?

  184. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Beatrice, #200:

    I think you mean ‘Marti’ … Abernathy is a common last name, “Bernathy” not so much.

  185. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Crip Dyke,

    Ups, you’re probably right. Sorry, Marti!

  186. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    There is appearantly no limits to the stupidity in here.

    Funny how it’s almost entirely coming from you.

  187. says

    207 & 208

    :) No biggie. It’s all good. Some people misgender me as well, so mispronouncing my name isn’t the biggest offence ;)

    201 Katherine, it’s not surprising. HRC cares about one thing, money. It SURE as heck doesn’t care about trans people. 2007 ENDA showed that, and they’ve reinforced it all the way up through today.

  188. says

    The main object of worship in modern feminism is the vagina.

    A lie, asserted without any evidence;

    The main dogmas of modern feminism is that all women are oppressed, and that all men are oppressors.

    Another baldfaced lie, again asserted without any evidence;

    Anyone who dares to question these dogmas, or mention any evidence that the situation isn’t necessarily that simple, are labeled as heretics, or as the modern feminists call them: misogynists, MRAs, rape supporters, chill girls etc.

    And yet another lie, again asserted without any evidence, and in direct contradiction of the existence of the thread which consists of feminists criticising other feminists without describing them by any of the terms you cited from the Slymepit quick reference. Given a choice of you continuing to derail the thread with your bullshit, or you fucking off and never returning, I vote for you to fuck off.

  189. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    TheDudebro:

    You can lie as much as you want, it doesn’t make your lies true.

    Gee, project much? You lie without evidence, ergo, you have nothing cogent to say. End of story. Funny how that goes,

  190. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    The only people who think Libertarianism means worshiping the free market and selfishness are Americans. Everywhere else in the world it is synonymous with Marxist and Anarchist intellectual traditions beginning with Proudhon – Jason

    This is simply not true. In the UK, for example, the “Libertarian Alliance” is devoted exactly the same kind of selfishness and market worship as American “libertarianism”. I’m afraid whatever the word’s origins, it cannot now be used to refer to the traditions you mention without inviting confusion.

  191. says

    cis = not trans

    Given there are trans blogs which have transgenderism as their main focus and trans* people make up most commentariat, then it shouldn’t be too hard to imagine the converse.

  192. says

    A good place for your “red cents” is something like Transgender Health Empowerment. They do good work for people who need it the most.

    David Smith, who is still on the the BOD of HRC said in 2007 that HRC would never be against a gay civil rights bill (whether or not trans people are in it or not).

    The best thing the trans community can do is build community and help itself, rather than expect organizations that are mostly L&G focused to do anything for them.

  193. thedude says

    Xante:

    I vote for you to fuck off.

    I vote for you to grow up, but I won’t be holding my breath.

  194. John Morales says

    [meta]

    thedude is clearly a snipe troll with nothing to say.

    (The only thing it’s good for is adding to page hits by virtue of refreshing and posting here, so at least it puts some money in FTB’s coffers)

  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Thedudebro, typical MRA. Loud, ignorant, full of attitude, without the ability to carry an evidenced argument. Which starts when they realize their unevidenced opinion isn’t anything but blather.