Tag Archives: queer politics

#1 Queer Theorist Recommended!

31 Jul

[Neutrois? Yes. Neutrois.]


10 Jun


Why I Can’t Talk About Trans Politics as ‘Sense-making’

11 Apr

In the last several days preceding the narrowly-avoided U.S. government shutdown over defunding family planning clinics, I started noticing many Twitter folks talking about how ‘abortion isn’t a women’s issue’. Today, Feministing posted “Why I won’t be talking about abortion as a ‘women’s issue’ anymore”.

Ok, fair enough. I’ll play your little gender game for a bit and act like gender is something an individual feels in their mind rather than a role that is socially imposed (WEE! Gender Fantasyland is fun!). In this world, men have babies because ‘man’ is a gender, not a biological reality like reproductive organs. Got it.

However, in this world where trans men are ‘real men’ (whatever the hell that means), they often claim to be male as well. Supposedly, becoming a male is just a matter of injecting yourself with testosterone, having your breasts removed, and (albeit infrequently) having a neo-phallus constructed. (Maybe you don’t even have to do that – just will yourself into being another sex. . . it’s all just a postmodern thought exercise after all, isn’t it?)

Stepping out of this world. . . let’s look at what we’re actually talking about when it comes to who can and cannot get pregnant, who can and cannot therefore receive abortions. We’re talking about females. Female things like uteruses, fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervixes, vaginas, oh my! Most trans men still have these organs, hence they still have the possibility of becoming pregnant.

Why is all this so nonsensical? Because trans activists refuse to acknowledge that one is not actually able to change their sex. Transsexuals do not exist. Unless you can change all the chromosomes in your body and compel new organs made of your own tissue to spontaneously generate, no, you cannot change your sex. There’s really such a bizarre inability for them to admit that biological realities can be named through sex and, hey, that doesn’t take away from your Gender Fantasyland fun of clinging to “I’m a man/woman”. However, if you are trying to assimilate into that system of sex-gender matching (which trans activists critique superficially but don’t follow through on in practice), then you might find it necessary to insist everyone also join you in Biological Fantasyland as well.

It’s So Basic

11 Apr

Trans/Queer activists want radical feminists to know that sex and gender do not always match up (as if we have no knowledge of the topic). They assume that, because many of us are against transition (medical, surgical, etc), we are ‘essentialists’ which are reinforcing sex-gender roles. We are not the ones promoting matching one’s gendered presentation with their chromosomes and genitals. They are.

They pose ‘cis’ (as in cis-gendered, cis-sexual) as the opposite of trans (awesome! more binaries!). As they define it, cis means having one’s sex ‘match’ with their individualized sense of gender, i.e. ‘gender identity’. In order for trans folks to deal with their ‘mixed’ sense of sex-gender, trans activists largely advocate for the means to transition into ‘the other’ sex/gender. While the act of transition is portrayed as a revolutionary thing to do, it is actually inherently conservative and assimilationist in its results.

By transitioning, most trans individuals are attempting to come as close as possible to resembling what the ‘cis’ person of their transitioning-into sex/gender looks like (in genital appearance and secondary sex characteristics, and – on the socially-constructed gender side – comportment, mannerisms, clothes, etc). What they are trying to do is – to the best of their ability – become a facsimile of a cis person.

So who’s more essentialist? Who are the ones saying that the expression of stereotypical, Western “feminine” traits by someone who is male-bodied means that they are actually a woman and that a female-bodied person who wants to wear non-femmey clothing is actually a man? It’s not the radical feminists.

Links: February 24, 2011

24 Feb

I recently joined Tumblr. Woohoo.

Some good news this morning: “Julian Assange Ordered by Court to Be Extradited to Sweden”:

Judge Howard Riddle, in his ruling, said that allegations brought by two women qualified as extraditable offenses and that the warrant seeking Mr. Assange’s return to Sweden for questioning was valid.

Womanist Musings: “Bill Maher Pronounces Sexism in the Middle East Worse Than in America” . . . because Maher is still an asshole. Here’s a handy image to help him understand why he is wrong: (via)

Noanodyne: a great roundup of rad fem blog links on ‘cis privilege’ and the likes. . . “Come on in, have a seat at the table”. Generally, just go read all of Noanodyne’s recent posts.

Scum-o-Rama: “The ‘Gendered’ Intersex Brain”

Here’s a good compilation of links to stories on how Republicans are trying to take away abortion rights across the country.

And the most upsetting for last. . .

TruthvsCompliance: “Pornography isn’t abusive???? Trigger Warning!” . . . a very detailed review of the film “Hardcore” [really, really strong TW for descriptions of sexual assault and pornography].

Links: February 6, 2011

6 Feb

Radical Profeminist: “‘A Political Hierarchy in Gender Binary Drag’, or When is a binary not a binary? When we’re talking about a gendered, raced, sexed, classed HIERARCHY”

“Questioning Science at Questioning Transphobia: an engaging discussion”

Questioning Transsexuality: “That Pesky Orwellian Queer Umbrella”

Boner Killer: “The Importance of Women-Only Spaces”

Echidne of the Snakes: “Wikipedia’s Absent Women”. . . on Wikipedia being very male-dominated, the implications, including the example of ‘gendercide’ and the bullshit surrounding that Wikipedia entry.

“RIP, Maria Schneider”. . . Suzie on the death of actress Maria Schneider and her role in “Last Tango in Paris”. [TW for sexual violence and the minimization of rape.] The post begins with this quote from Schneider:

Never take your clothes off for a middle-aged man who claims that it’s art.

Mother Jones: “Is Providing Abortions Creating a ‘Nuisance’?”. . . (article found via Maddow Blog):

The first doctor to try to offer abortion services in Wichita, Kansas, since Dr. George Tiller was gunned down in a church in May 2009 has been blocked from doing so—by her landlord, who has claimed this would create a “nuisance.” [. . .]

The nuisance, however, would stem from protests the landlord anticipates—not from anything that Means would do.

Media Matters: “Foxy News: The Cable News Home for Sexism, Scantily Clad Women” [TW for reference to BDSM]

New York Times: check out all of Nicholas Kristof’s recent columns on the revolution in Egypt: Feb. 2 (Wednesday), Feb. 4 (Friday), and Feb. 6 (today, Sunday).

“Record Level of Stress Found in College Freshman”. . . some notable info on differences in female and male students’ emotional health (i.e. the effects of patriarchy and educational institutions):

Continue reading

Radical Feminist Dictionary: Alphabet Soup

5 Feb

Alphabet soup: 1.) the mish-mash of letters forming acronyms for, usually, ‘queer’-related identity categories; 2.) an acronym used to lump all “non-hetero plus miscellany” people into a category while simultaneously presenting itself as a way of not treating all non-hetero plus miscellany folks as one category.

Example: “GLBTLOLWTFBBQ” (via Lesbian + Women’s Liberationist)

[Previous entries: Strip Clubs, Gender, Anti-Prostitution]

Quotable: Material Matters

29 Jan

Martha Nussbaum, from “The Professor of Parody”. . . on Judith Butler, parody, and theory without real-life application:

“For women who are hungry, illiterate, disenfranchised, beaten, raped, it is not sexy or liberating to reenact, however parodically, the conditions of hunger, illiteracy, disenfranchisement, beating, and rape. Such women prefer food, schools, votes, and the integrity of their bodies. I see no reason to believe that they long sadomasochistically for a return to the bad state. If some individuals cannot live without the sexiness of domination, that seems sad, but it is not really our business. But when a major theorist tells women in desperate conditions that life offers them only bondage, she purveys a cruel lie, and a lie that flatters evil by giving it much more power than it actually has.”

The entire article can be read here (opens as a PDF).
For a summary of the main points of the article, check out this page.

Links: January 19, 2011

19 Jan

Femonade: “24-Hour Menergy”. . . on Mary Daly’s Quintessence and men’s energy.

Rmott: “Unsuitable”. . . on the claim that formerly prostituted women were simply in the wrong line of ‘work’. [TW for sexual violence, prostitution.]

A Radical Profeminist: Beyond Double Standards: Audre Lorde wasn’t “Queer”-identified. She was out as a Lesbian. Now, what is it called if White Gay and Trans People Don’t Honor and Respect Her Naming of Herself? Lesbophobic? Misogynist? Racist? Anti-feminist? All of these?”

Womanist Musings: “Dr. Martin Luther King: Words for Thought”. . . on lesser-known not-as-comforting-to-white-folks quotes of his.

Echidne of the Snakes: “Did Misogyny Influence Jared Loughner?”

Salon: from Mary Elizabeth Williams, “Why we won’t stop punishing the Octomom: A rumored new fetish video takes America’s sadistic obsession with Nadya Suleman to new lows” . . . [TW for sexual coercion & descriptions of porn] it’s not a perfect article, but this part is quite good:

Who wants to see “Octomom porn,” fetish or otherwise? Because it seems the point of a video of a lady who admits she had a “baby addiction,” who says she recently only had $300 to her name, really isn’t about getting anybody off in the traditional sense. It’s about the reality that there will always be an audience that takes pleasure in seeing a seemingly prideful woman debase herself. How dare she have all those kids, right? How dare she mismanage her finances? The Hollywood Gossip has sneeringly referred to the rumor of her fetish video as “classy” and E! sarcastically called her admission of money and baby woes a “shocker.” Let’s all just delight in her self-destruction, shall we? Let’s take her down a few more pegs, maybe with a gang bang or two. Sexual humiliation is the tried and true expression of rage against a woman who transgresses societal norms, and Suleman, with her 14 kids, doesn’t just transgress, she transgresses with fecund vengeance.

Also from Salon, on the potentially lethal bomb that was left along an Martin Luther King parade route on Monday in Spokane, Washington. . . I haven’t seen anyone in TV news cover this except for Rachel Maddow. Uh, kind of a big deal, folks.

Radical Feminist Dictionary: Gender

7 Jan

“‘Gender’: the putrid sum of stereotypes attached to biological sex. Includes gender roles, gendered expectations, gendered socialization, gender inclination, “gender orientation” [. . .], gender fetishes [. . .], sexist norms, sexism in general.”

(via Bluetraveler)

[Previous entries to the Radical Feminist Dictionary: Strip Clubs]