This Is Awesome

Check out Cathy Brennan’s latest attempt to insult me via her new, hilariously incompetent tumblr, radicalfeministmemes:

In the words of Michael Halila:

Watch out for the new radfem transphobe tactic of making their opponents seem both awesome and attractive. It, um.

My only quibble is I’ve technically only been kicking Y chromosome ass since 2010.


      • says

        Huh. I’m looking at “Kinsey Hope ladysticks LGBT male violence mental illness Michael Amper misogyny Monty Python most interesting man in the world online diagnosis octopus Paul Ray Witherspoon Philosoraptor pissed off Harry” but my search preview says it should be “Kinsey Hope ladysticks LGBT male violence mental illness misogyny Natalie Reed online diagnosis octopus Philosoraptor pissed off Harry”. Someone’s done some changes.

  1. Forbidden Snowflake says

    I don’t think she gets meme-style humor…
    You’re supposed to counter-position two statements that create some kind of absurd or ironic dynamic between them, not just take a *very pretty, incidentally* picture of whomever it is you have a hate-boner for and paste some phrase of hers you don’t like.
    And the ones she does with The Most Interesting Man In The World are just… sad.

  2. Luna_the_cat says

    Wow, that’s, um….

    Yeah, um.


    …No, sorry. I got nothin’. That’s just “Um.”

  3. says

    Maybe this is my cis/straight/maleness speaking here, but that doesn’t seem very insulting to me.

    I think it makes you look pretty good (and I’m not just talking about the picture).

    Somebody want to educate me on why this is an insult?

    • says

      That’s sort of the point. It’s not. I kind of fist-pumped the air when I saw these.

      Also why I bolded “attempt”.

      If she really wants to insult me, she should probably pick pictures that aren’t ridiculously flattering and things I’ve said that aren’t awesome.

      • Happiestsadist says

        Yeah, there’s something hilarious in taking a lovely picture of a gorgeous woman and sticking an excellent quote underneath while gleefully rubbing your hands and yelling that you’ll show them all.

          • says

            And then… THE COMFY CHAIR!

            Nobody expects the Cis Inquisition! Their two weapons are shame, self-righteousness, and bigotry. Wait…

          • Megan says

            Zinc Avenger: I can’t help but imagine a courtroom scene where everybody is waiting around expecting the cis inquisition to show up.

            “Amongst our many weapons are shame, self-righteousness, bigotry, and nice red uniforms – oh damn…”

    • 'Tis Himself says

      I see a picture of a pretty woman and a couple of pertinent quotes. I’m obviously missing the insult as well.

    • says

      I had the same confusion. The text implies that the images are supposed to be negative, but then the pictures themselves seem almost supportive.

      Very strange.

  4. says

    I thought these were flattering injoke memes from a friend. Instead…

    Maybe she’s trying to lull you into an accurate sense of superiority?

    • says

      It goes without saying this is the level that a particular strand of radical feminism has descended to: a hate movement whose hatred for trans women strongly resembles the general misogyny of the Men’s Rights Movement. I refuse to refer to these haters as radfems: pwonouncing it as wadfems gives the appwopwiate wespect their twansphobic weasoning deserves.

      • says

        Hey now, I know some very nice people with speech impediments. I am not, however, above transcribing their “arguments” with rampant, deliberate misspellings.

          • says

            Yes, “rhoticity”, the ability to pronounce the letter R, can be an aspect of both accents (as in the dropping of soft Rs in most English accents, Boston and New Hampshire -“New Hampshah”- accents, etc.) and speech impediments (like that of Jonathan Ross, or as his fans call him, “Wossy”… or as I call him, “Unwepentent Twansphobe”).

        • says

          As Natalie points out, the weak r is a feature of some English and US accents, and I suppose it is a lazy form of mockery that could give offence to people with speech impediments, so I’ll try to be a bit more circumspect about using it: preferably when I have something to say that is as funny as the scenes of Pontius Pilate and Biggus Dickus in Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’.

          There’s quite a Doctor Who connection that I can’t resist mentioning: the veteran writer and script-editor Terrance Dicks is affectionately known as ‘Tewwy’ on account of his accent. And arguably the worst story ever screened was the 1985 story ‘The Twin Dilemma’, where-in the titular twins both spoke with a weak r. The names of their characters? Romulus and Remus. (The results were not good.)

  5. daenyx says

    Wow. That’s… just really sad, that she thinks she’s insulting you, here.

    Well, where by “sad,” I mean “pretty hilarious.” Keep being awesome, Natalie.

  6. dorfl says

    I’m sure either the Klingons or Sun Tzu have a proverb about a the best enemy being an incompetent one, but I can’t seem to find it.

    • Nomen Nescio says

      Napoleon said something about never interrupting your enemy while they’re making a mistake, and of course Voltaire famously prayed for god to make his enemies ridiculous and had that granted. either or both of those might apply here.

  7. Sercee says

    Wow, Natalie, I thought you were a beautiful woman before I saw your picture! I’ve only seen your FtB avatar before now.

    These “meme attacks” seem like either a) covert attempts to compliment you despite her seeming public face, or b) a desperate attempt to claw at what she perceives should be an inexcusable crime but still realizes that, maybe, it really isn’t but she’s not ready to admit it…

    Or she just fails. *shrug* Either way, they’re really kinda nice.

  8. McKenzie says

    The part I find funniest is how big she’s blown up the second image and now the quality is terrible.

    And yeah, still not seeing how those are insulting in the slightest.

    • says

      At a guess, I’d say the idea is that they’re supposed to make people who happen to be transphobic radfems laugh by saying that the statement itself is an absurdity. I’m not sure what the term for it would be, but it’s something akin to schadenfreude I’m sure. For further examples, see every far-right comedian ever — the only punchline in conservative comedy is “they’re stupid because they disagree with us, amirite?”

  9. Robert B. says

    Wait, that was supposed to be insulting? I had to read the post twice before it sunk in that those macros weren’t made for you by a fan.

    I thought using your birth year (I assume that’s what it is) in the first one was especially complimentary. It implies that even when you were untransitioned and having a bad time, you were still winning.

    • Brownian says

      Wait, that was supposed to be insulting? I had to read the post twice before it sunk in that those macros weren’t made for you by a fan.

      Me too.

      But I’ve got a hypothesis as to what happened here.

      It’s been a tactic by the right and assorted racists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, and other general bigots, to criticise their opponents by ascribing to them characteristics of themselves: “Supporting same-sex marriage is the real intolerance.” “Atheists are actually religious fanatics.” “Liberals can’t handle facts.”

      Further, when describing themselves or their positions, they use terms which generally mean the opposite of what they think: “I’m pro-family.” “I’m anti-government spending.” “Serving in the military is a proud honour.”

      They’ve been doing this doublespeak so long, they’ve completely convinced themselves that truth and accuracy are insults and lies and deception are compliments.

      Hence, this.

      • Brownian says

        Oops, I was way off base with this, owing to being unfamiliar with Cathy Brennan and talking out of my ass.

    • says

      Oh, I wouldn’t say either of them are dumb.

      It’s just that when it comes to trans issues, each of them has learned
      to think without her intellect
      and feel without her heart

  10. Kels says

    Wow, that’s a pretty revealing trip through a damaged psyche. Even if I try to put on “CATHY BRENNAN HATE TEH TRANS HURR DURR” glasses (a poor fit at best), most of them still don’t make any sense.

    • says

      most incoherent “meme”-collection EVAR. I cannot even fathom what was supposd to be memetically funny about those two pictures

      and I absolutely resent her so thoroughly misunderstanding how the “ALL the things” meme works O.o

  11. Rasmus says

    For a second there I thought you had made those yourself.

    I hate to weigh in on stuff like this as a cis man (plus various other priveleges) who can’t really relate to these problems personally. I do think it would be nice for everyone involved if the attacks continue to be as flattering as these. 🙂

    • Rasmus says

      I should probably clarify. I’m not saying guys should be neutral when feminists are being bigots.

      But there is something about Cathy Brennan and her transphobic-feminist sisters that I can’t understand. They seem to be literally afraid of trans women. I don’t think it’s possible for me to understand how that works for them or what could possibly make them understand that there is no threat.

      • says

        But there is a threat. Radical feminism is built on essentialism and a strict dichotomy: all men are privileged oppressors and all women are oppressed victims. In that system, a trans woman doesn’t make sense, and just by existing, she threatens their worldview. This is why they came up with the notion that trans women are actually men who are trying to secretly oppress women by becoming them. Somehow. It leaves their worldview intact by casting trans women as evil male infiltrators instead of real people whose identity they’d have to respect.

        (that’s probably a little incoherent; sorry, I’m uncharacteristically tired for the hour)

        This is hardly something Brennan came up with; that vile piece of hateful nonsense called the Transsexual Empire was published in 1979, and all this current crop of radfems seems to be doing is rehashing it. Ever since I read the disgusting things they said about Sandy Stone, whose lecture I was fortunate enough to attend years ago, I’ve wanted to sign up as a storm trooper of the Transsexual Empire.

        • Rasmus says

          Right, but it also seems like a lot of radical feminists are okay with trans women. Radical feminist theory can apparently be interpreted in different ways.

          It seems to me that even if you are a cis woman who firmly believes that trans women initially transition for bad reasons, you still have to recognize the reality that trans women end up being in more or less the same boat as you.

          I also think that there are radical feminists who think that trans women transition for good reasons or who don’t care about their reasons.

          Maybe part of the reason why Cathy et al are so afraid is that they’re seeing their communities get divided because of the trans issue?

      • says

        Fear of trans women?

        Also, a big part is that trans people (not just women; they totally hate/fear trans men and GQ folk just as much as trans women) threaten a) the binary dialectic on which their version of feminism is based, and b) the theory of absolutist social-constructivism also required to maintain their theory.

        It’s as simple, really, as trans people reflecting that a huge amount of their beliefs are based on a mistake. We CAN’T fit into their theoretical framework, and our existence makes it clear the framework doesn’t work, doesn’t speak to reality.

        As always, people get TERRIFIED (and viciously hateful) of anyone or anything whose existence suggests they’ve been so wrong about something so important for so long.

          • says

            Both. I knew I’d heard that phrase used somewhere to describe one of the main motives causing theists to rigidly cling to their beliefs, and it felt applicable here because I see the same force at work (“I must be right, even if I’m wrong”), but no, I didn’t consciously know I was quoting Jesus And Mo.

  12. Emily says

    The caustic doublethink of the RadFem community — which contains so much paralepsis as to make Hamlet look like a decisive intellectual has always annoyed me. There’s one blog, by a RadFem living in Japan, that contains some of the most hysterically inept ‘me in the land of the Rising Sun!” cultural stereotypes, insipid ‘observations’, and orientalistic onanism that I have ever seen. “Japan is a land of mystery and complexity! Look at me go to an onsen! It’s against my lesbian principles, but what the hell. The water’s warm and it’s so so so ZEN!” Oh, yeah, she hates trans people as well.

    But the sheer meanness coming out of the camp is, well, approaching a psychopathology. I can understand debate and political crossfiring; but this sort of thing just appears to be little better than the worst puerility of the secondary school scene. Honestly. Tried yoga, any of that lot? At a certain point the mental stability in the people in question seems, emh, unbalanced. Anger will do that to you eventually. Living in the gravity of your own black hole. Maybe they hate trans folk so much because we escaped the pull of our own?

    • Sas says

      Is that an actual example, or a joke? I mean, did she really say it’s somehow anti-lesbian to go to an onsen?

  13. Dalillama says

    Wait, what? As others have said, if it weren’t for the explanatory text, I’d have assumed that you or a fan made those. The top one is a bit subpar in terms of text layout, but I can’t conceive of how those are meant to be insulting.

    • Kels says

      I’m pretty sure she thinks the first one indicts Natalie as someone uttering death threats against feminists, “real women” and probably her personally. I mean, *we’re* all smart enough to understand what Natalie means when she says that, but I doubt Teh Brennan does.

      As her fake-Tumblr shows, no matter how low you set the bar you’re probably overestimating her.

    • Kels says

      Oh, as for the second one, I don’t even know. It’s hard to imagine a reading that doesn’t make Natalie look awesome (which is accurate, of course).

  14. Emily says

    That fact that she is utterly photorific adorable kinda means an insta-fail for Brennan the Gremlin’s little evil antics

  15. says

    Wow. I’m a little overwhelmed to be quoted by you. Thanks! =D

    I, too, found the site in question, sadly without the pics posted here. The ones they did have… they don’t get the point of this meme thing at all, do they? Theirs are full of fail and hate. They’re funny like racist jokes, i.e. not.

    I’m a little stunned that there are vocal people in the radfem community who quite clearly see feminism as a hate group. I wish they’d realize what a gift they are to the so-called “mens’ rights” movement.

    • says

      Have you noticed how radfem transphobic arguments sound like every other denialist talking point ever? It’s sad, because it’s clear that many radfems have a reasonable case for feeling that way (victimization can do that to a person), but that doesn’t excuse *thinking* that way.

      • LeftSidePositive says

        I think it really shows how important it is to apply skepticism, and especially self-skepticism, to all aspects of one’s life and philosophy. I mean, there’s a lot about their understanding of oppression that’s right-for-the-wrong-reasons, and their whole “let’s glorify woman!!” is just as gender-essentializing and marginalizing as straight-up patriarchy (and it’s not as if patriarchy itself doesn’t have a whole lot of that woman-is-purer-and-the-nature-mother stuff anyway!). And the trouble is, when you’re right about something (“women are systematically oppressed”) for the wrong reasons (“men are irredeemably evil” or “womanhood must be unconstrained by all society and then will flourish in nature”), eventually those wrong reasons will cause you to be wrong about something else (e.g., “transgendered persons exist” or “maybe some prenatal care would be a good idea, and epidurals aren’t evil”).

        I mean, I tend to associate feminism with Amanda Marcotte, Rebecca Watson, Jaclyn Friedman, Jill Filipovic, Anita Sarkeesian, Godless Bitches, all of the excellent FTB ladies, etc., so I generally think of feminism as an evidence-based discipline where you present evidence for social problems, critically examine elements of our culture, and advocate solutions. I never feel like there’s anything one has to take “on faith” about feminism…and yet, there’s a strain that I keep forgetting exists (it does periodically show up and blow Feministe threads to 300+ comments) where it’s very, very ideological…

        • says

          Pretty sure the radfems don’t like third-wavers anymore than they do transpeople. Amanda Marcotte is an example — just as uncompromising and principled as radfems, but joyfully pro-sex-with-whoever and pro-fun; It’s a classic case of mistaking extremism for passion.

          As I said elsewhere on the page, it’s not hard to understand why radfems feel the way they do. But the really closed-minded ones have equated emotion and thought and the only thing that separates them from the people they most hate is the fact that they don’t have majority privilege. Not all radfems, mind you — you don’t have to hate men to be radical — but the ones that do, and often the ones that go along with those without thinking about it suffer from this problem.

          Now it’s possible I could be mansplaining here, so my apologies if I am. But it’s how I see the current situation; it’s just one of those situations where it’s clear that she who fights monsters…

          • LeftSidePositive says

            Certainly no mansplaining from my perspective, and I agree with your frustration about some radfems (again, of course, not all). But in a way, it’s kind of like how you can totally love Bill Maher or Keith Olbermann’s passion when they’re talking about liberalism and civil rights, and then they say something about women (or alt med) and you’re like…oooooohboy, that’s not righteous indignation I was cheering for, that’s just an ever-present pomposity and refusal to consider another point of view.

            And, in an interesting twist, the pro-sex faction certainly has their share of I-think-this-way-and-will-therefore-brook-no-criticism; I think ultimately it’s just an insidious part of human psychology. Amanda Marcotte has actually been doing some fantastic takedowns recently of the fallacies of the reflexive “I choose my choice!” attitudes (I don’t know if that’s necessarily a “third-wave” thing, but it’s one of those things that is really common to modern feminists and it’s super hard to see where it crosses the line from empowered to reflexive critical-thinking-deflecting). I’ve also seen people whose determination to be sex-positive makes them refuse to see really problematic aspects of our current sex culture and mainstream porn.

            So, yeah…complicated…

          • says

            Well, Amanda is also a very outspoken member of the skeptical community, to the everlasting annoyance of the elevator fetishists; I don’t think there are a lot of people who make a point of putting their feet in both areas and still leave time to DJ the fuck out of on a Friday afternoon; slicing and dicing unexamined prejudice is just what she does.

          • says

            @ Brian

            slicing and dicing unexamined prejudice is just what she does.

            Less so her own on occasion, though; remember what happened with It’s A Jungle Out There? She got rather defensive and foot-dragging about it, as I recall.

  16. says

    It is rather remarkable how screwed up the thinking is here. They’ve got their privilege hierarchy upside down treating transpeople as tourists, and unwanted ones at that. I mean, the origins of radfem are easy enough to understand, but it seems like it’s coming from the same place as people like Louis Farrakhan.

  17. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    I thought the accepted rule was that lolcat-esque macros were supposed to be funny?

    Because those weren’t. Except in the “that’s not true at all” sense.

  18. teh_faust says

    As has been pointed out, both the picture and the quote are pretty awesome.

    Maybe it’s really a secret tribute but she was embarassed to say so?

  19. says

    most incoherent “meme”-collection EVAR. I cannot even fathom what was supposd to be memetically funny about those two pictures

    and I absolutely resent her so thoroughly misunderstanding how the “ALL the things” meme works O.o

    • says

      Oh, you’ve made an appearance on the blog now, Zinnia. This person makes me want to barf so hard. I can’t even wrap my head around it. She’s like the pro-life atheists. Boggles the mind.

    • says

      Haha, I’ve been getting a kick out of your tumblr. What is strange is that looking at gaynotqueer’s ‘About me’ page, I found a number of things I could agree with… if it wasn’t for the fact that he’s a deranged transphobic bigot. You definitely rattled him, ZJ.

  20. Sandy says

    Note to self: portray subjects of my hate-tumblrs as LESS awesome than Jimi Hendrix surfing on top a shark through space. Huh.

    • embertine says

      This comment made me dribble hot Ribena all over my white cardy. SO THANK YOU

      (No really, thank you. I needed a good sporfle this morning)

  21. says

    So someone who hasn’t even got a coherent argument to dismiss, is trying to insult you, by displaying pictures of you that make you look even more awesome than usual?

    I can’t see how that is supposed to work. *shakes head slowly*

    • says

      UMMMMMM… I’m pretty sure she’s the one perpetuating the idea that biology is destiny, what with pulling the whole “penis=man” / “vulva=woman” schtick?

      • says

        That image is me attempting to make with the funny, and FAILing. I was trying to riff on the notion that this Brennan is fractally wrong about you and what ideas can reasonably be associated with you, but it clearly didn’t come out right. Ah, well. On the chance that you might be offended as well as puzzled, I apologize.

  22. Marcelo says

    Looks like she changed her post and it’s now just the pic with no words on it.

    And now there’s another one of you with a jacket of “Die Cis Scum” that to be honest, I’m hoping for context on this one.

    ps: You know you’re giving her a lot of page hits linking or not right?

  23. says

    Incidentally, you may want to contact the person who owns the rights to your images and have them file a DMCA take down notice with her site’s hosting service.

    She has made a rather boldly illegal point of pretending that she’s covered under fair use rules — she isn’t.

    • says

      I think only I own the rights to my image. Twitter might have partial ownership of that photo, and intellectual property rights to the avatar are likely shared with Shanna Cundal and Gravatar. My contract with FTB doesn’t cover rights to my image or likeness.

      But why would I want her to stop? As noted earlier, it’s a bad idea to interrupt your enemy while they’re making a mistake.

  24. amhovgaard says

    Oh dear. This may be the saddest attempt at an insult ever. So much worse than “You’re a cheese!”, which was a favorite of one not-overly-bright seven year old boy I used to know (no, it doesn’t make any more sense in Norwegian). This person needs help – possibly including an “Insults for Dummies” book (although I doubt if anyone would think it necessary to mention that awesome pics + awesome lines do not make effective insults).

  25. Cipher, OM, MQ says

    This… is fantastic.
    I unreservedly love those macros. You should use them for everything.

  26. Predator Handshake says

    It’s like a bizarro-world version of the end of 8 Mile where Rabbit says all the insults in his rap before the other guy can use them. I don’t know, I just like to relate things in real life to 8 Mile when I can.

  27. Cynthia says

    That’s a beautiful photo in the top one. You look like a stunning, confident woman.

    Cathy Brennan = clueless idiot. But we already knew that, didn’t we?

  28. ik says

    Incidentally, Radical Feminist Memes uses most image macro memes incorrectly and screws up stock memes when it would make sense to have new ones.

  29. Enezenn says

    Well, as the sillyness of this ‘attack’ is already pointed out by virtually everybody, suffice me to say that you look quite hot on that first picture! You might see it as a free ad for your blog, too?

  30. Eileen says

    Just found this blog, love it.

    I find it interesting that this person who posted this is a feminist or that that’s a feminist blog yet they are treating others like that. Isnt the point of feminism (my definition) would be everyone is treated equally… maybe I’m a humanist…. who knows.


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