#TERFpatriarchy, Germaine Greer and Radical Feminism

Views: 2572

I have, on several occasions, pointed out the difference between actual Radical Feminism and a type of patriarchy that’s sold as “Radical Feminism.” This patriarchy is called Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism (TERF). Perhaps the biggest difference between Radical Feminism and TERF ideology is that TERFs believe in certain sexed essences which authentically, naturally and self-evidently marks one as eternally “female” or “male.” Depending upon which TERF you ask, that which is essentially “woman” might be menstration, XX chromosomes, socialized habits, childbirth and/or something else entirely. For long-time TERF opinion leader Germaine Greer that which is essential to being woman/female is a large stinky vagina.

As it turned out, Greer wasn’t the only TERF who seemed happy to take up and use the patriarchal stinky vagina trope against trans women. I deconstructed the power TERFs seek when they deploy this patriarchal trope against trans women and I was happy to see that Radical Feminist opinion leader John Stoltenberg both liked and tweeted the article. Here, I want to further explore the ways in which TERFs seek refuge in patriarchy.

Here’s the basic supposition I think will hold true: the ideological difference between RadFems and TERFs is that RadFems seek freedom from patriarchy and TERFs seek freedom by carving out a section of patriarchy as being their very own space. TERFs seem to believe that if they can simply protect their space within a heteronormative contextualization of us and them/male and female, true freedom will surely follow. Protecting their place within a heteronormative contextualization of humanity leads those who are trapped within TERF ideology to develop a twisted gender morality which validates their patriarchal behavior as ethical, thereby reinforcing their denial.

For instance, in her new book Gender Hurts, TERF opinion leader Sheila Jeffreys remarks on her gender morality:

“Another reason for adherence to pronouns that indicate biology is that, as a feminist, I consider the female pronoun to be an honorific, a term that conveys respect. Respect is due to women as members of a sex caste that have survived subordination and deserve to be addressed with honour.”

For Jeffreys’ ad naturam morality, it is dishonorable not to recognize that sex is a natural binary and that people like Jeffreys authentically occupies a special space within this heteronormative contextualization of humanity. Iconic Radical Feminist theorists have written about this problem for decades. In the 1980s, Wittig noticed this troubling tendency towards a reductive essence-based objectification of women within the movement that became TERFs:

[N]ot only is there no natural group “women” (we lesbians are living proof of it), but as individuals as well we question “woman,” which for us, as for Simone de Beauvoir, is only a myth. She said: “One is not born, but becomes a woman. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society: it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine.”

However, most of the feminists and lesbian-feminists in America and elsewhere still believe that the basis of women’s oppression is biological as well as historical. Some of them even claim to find their sources in Simone de Beauvoir.

Colette Guillaumin has shown that before the socioeconomic reality of black slavery, the concept of race did not exist, at least not in its modern meaning, since it was applied to the lineage of families. However, now, race, exactly like sex, is taken as an “immediate given,” a “sensible given,” “physical features,” belonging to a natural order. But what we believe to be a physical and direct perception is only a sophisticated and mythic construction, an “imaginary formation,” which reinterprets physical features (in themselves as neutral as any others but marked by the social system) through the network of relationships in which they are perceived. (They are seen as black, therefore they are black; they are seen as women, therefore, they are women. But before being seen that way, they first had to be made that way.) Lesbians should always remember and acknowledge how “unnatural,” compelling, totally oppressive, and destructive being “woman” was for us in the old days before the women’s liberation movement. It was a political constraint, and those who resisted it were accused of not being “real” women. But then we were proud of it, since in the accusation there was already something like a shadow of victory: the avowal by the oppressor that “woman” is not something that goes without saying, since to be one, one has to be a “real” one.

Witting noticed that this group is seemingly constitutionally incapable of seeing that the very thing they cling to and defend is the patriarchy within themselves. Wittig continues:

The ideology of sexual difference functions as censorship in our culture by masking, on the ground of nature, the social opposition between men and women. Masculine/feminine, male/female are the categories which serve to conceal the fact that social differences always belong to an economic, political, ideological order. Every system of domination establishes divisions at the material and economic level. Furthermore, the divisions are abstracted and turned into concepts by the masters, and later on by the slaves when they rebel and start to struggle. The masters explain and justify the established divisions as a result of natural differences. The slaves, when they rebel and start to struggle, read social oppositions into the so-called natural differences. For there is no sex. There is but sex that is oppressed and sex that oppresses. It is oppression that creates sex and not the contrary. The contrary would be to say that sex creates oppression, or to say that the cause (origin) of oppression is to be found in sex itself, in a natural division of the sexes preexisting (or outside of) society. The primacy of difference so constitutes our thought that it prevents turning inward on itself to question itself, no matter how necessary that may be to apprehend the basis of that which precisely constitutes it.

Wittig wasn’t alone in noticing that TERFs seem ironically happy – in their misguided quest for empowerment – to seek empowerment by making a place for themselves within patriarchy. Andrea Dworkin took Germaine Greer to task for promoting this misguided attempt at empowerment back in 1974:

Germaine Greer once wrote for Suck — she was an editor—and her articles, the token women’s articles, were sometimes strong; her voice was always authentic. Her attempt was to bring women into closer touch with unaltered female sexuality and place that sexuality clearly, unapologetically, within the realm of humanity: women, not as objects, but as human beings, truly a revolutionary concept.

But Greer has another side which allies itself with the worst of male chauvinism and it is that side which, I believe, made her articles acceptable to Suck’s editors and Suck acceptable to her. In an interview in the Amerikan Screw, reprinted in Suck under the tide “Germaine: ‘I am a Whore, ’” she stated:

Ideally, you’ve got to the stage where you really could ball everyone — the fat, the blind, the foolish, the impotent, the dishonest. We have to rescue people who are already dead. We have to make love to people who are dead, and that’s not easy.

Here is the ever popular notion that women, extending our role as sex object, can humanize an atrophied world. The notion is based on a false premise. Just as the pill was supposed to liberate women by liberating us sexually, i.e., we could fuck as freely as men, fucking is supposed to liberate women and men too. But the pill served to reinforce our essential bondage — it made us more accessible, more open to exploitation. It did not change our basic condition because it did nothing to challenge the sexist structure of society, not to mention conventional sexual relationships and couplings. Neither does promiscuity per se. Greer’s alliance with the sexual revolution is, sadly but implicitly, an alliance with male chauvinism because it does not speak to the basic condition of women which remains the same if we fuck one man a week, or twenty.

There is similar misunderstanding in this statement:

Well, listen, this is one of the things a woman has to understand, and I get a bit impatient sometimes with women who can’t see it. A woman, after all, in this country is a commodity. She’s a status symbol, and the prettier she is the more expensive, the more difficult to attain. Anyone can have a fat old lady. But young girls with clear eyes are not for the 40-year-old man who’s been working as a packer or a storeman all his life. So that when he sees her he snarls, mostly I think, because she’s not available to him. She’s another taunt, and yet another index of how the American dream is not his to have. He never had a girl like that and he never will.

Now, I think that the most sensible way for us to see the crime of rape is an act of aggression against this property symbol. . . (but I’m not sure about this at all —I mean, I think it’s also aggression against the mother who fucks up so many people’s lives). And I must think that as a woman, who has not done a revolution, have not put myself on the barricade on this question, I owe it to my poor brothers not to get uptight. Because I am that, I am a woman they could never hope to ball, and in the back of my mind I reject them too.

Here again, the alliance is with male chauvinism, and it is incomprehensible. Mothers fuck up people’s lives in direct proportion to how fucked up their own lives are — that fuck up is the role they must play, the creative possibilities they must abort. Greer surely knows that and must speak to it. Women who walk, as opposed to those who take taxis or drive (another relevant class distinction), are constantly harassed, often threatened with violence, often violated. That is the situation which is the daily life of women.

It is true, and very much to the point, that women are objects, commodities, some deemed more expensive than others —but it is only by asserting one’s humanness every time, in all situations, that one becomes someone as opposed to something. That, after all, is the core of our struggle.

Rape, of course, does have its apologists. Norman Mailer posits it, along with murder, as the content of heroism. It is, he tells us in The Presidential Papers, morally superior to masturbation. Eldridge Cleaver tells us that it is an act of political rebellion — he “practiced” on Black women so that he could rape white women better. Greer joins the mystifying chorus when she posits rape as an act of aggression against property (a political anticapitalist action no less) and suggests that it might also be an act of psychological rebellion against the ominous, and omnipresent, mother. Rape is, in fact, simple straightforward heterosexual behavior in a male-dominated society. It offends us when it does, which is rarely, only because it is male-female relation without shame —without the mystifying romance of the couple, without the civility of a money exchange. It happens in the home as well as on the streets. It is not a function of capitalism — it is a function of sexism.

Here Dworkin is rightly criticizing Greer’s “Radical Feminism” – the same brand of “Radical Feminism” that would later have Greer publicly claiming that trans women are not women because trans women don’t know what it is “to have a big, hairy, smelly vagina.” Dworkin, like Wittig, notes that the “Radical Feminism” of people like Greer is lacking a simple, yet fundamental, truth about the struggle against patriarchy. As Dworkin notes:

[Greer’s writing] did not change our basic condition because it did nothing to challenge the sexist structure of society…  it is only by asserting one’s humanness every time, in all situations, that one becomes someone as opposed to something. That, after all, is the core of our struggle.

As Wittig notes:

For there is no sex. There is but sex that is oppressed and sex that oppresses. It is oppression that creates sex and not the contrary. The contrary would be to say that sex creates oppression, or to say that the cause (origin) of oppression is to be found in sex itself, in a natural division of the sexes preexisting (or outside of) society. The primacy of difference so constitutes our thought that it prevents turning inward on itself to question itself, no matter how necessary that may be to apprehend the basis of that which precisely constitutes it.

As pioneering trans-feminist and academic Suzan Striker noted over 20 years ago:

[T]he Nature you bedevil me with is a lie. Do not trust it to protect you from what I represent, for it is a fabrication that cloaks the groundlessness of the privilege you seek to maintain for yourself at my expense. You are as constructed as me; the same anarchic Womb has birthed us both. I call upon you to investigate your nature as I have been compelled to confront mine.

TERFs seem to think power comes from protecting the boundaries of being a thing – a class: woman/female – instead of, time and again, returning to that which we all share: our humanity. TERFs seek a type of  freedom by carving out a sexed space within a heteronormative contextualization humanity; a natural sexed binary to which TERFs – finally and for a precious short time – get to taste the power of being a gender gatekeeper. To the precise extent TERFs work to culturally contextualize trans women as ghastly parodies of the mystical “natural woman” do they actively strengthen the very patriarchy they claim to hate. When TERFs wittily rebuke trans women’s validity by satirizing, explicating, analyzing and noting the various ways a trans woman’s vagina might smell, they’re validating the very vaginal smell trope Radical Feminism worked so hard to dispel.

TERFs – like women who seek empowerment through participation in raunch culture – try to make patriarchy work for them by deploying the tools of patriarchy against other women. Female chauvinists objectify women through their participation in raunch culture. TERFs objectify women through sex essentialism. For TERFs, there really is a sexed essence that a god and/or Nature endowed them and for female chauvinists, this essence must be sexualized. Both the TERF and the Female chauvinists are actors for the patriarchy and both are rewarded – in a Foucauldian sense – with power for their troubles. I find it telling that the  long-term TERF opinion leader Germaine Greer has a history of seeking empowerment through both sex essentialism and raunch culture.

If you’re wondering why trans and intersex people aren’t guilty as (ironically) charged by TERFs of “reinforcing gender stereotypes” let me first quote you Dworkin:

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 o f 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 that 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.

There’s a reason trans and intersex people want to use prefixes like cis/ipso/trans and there’s a reason TERFs view such things as being problematic for their strategy of empowerment.

Consider reading:


Michigan Womyn’s Music Fest is Evil

Views: 9870

I have a story that will be coming out sometime this month and it comes from several hours of interviews I did with members of the Lesbian Avengers. They told me about what happened to their group back in 1999, when a mob of violent Michigan Womyn’s Music Fest (MWMF) TERFs held a trans kid against her will and threatened to murder her.

I’ve already released some of the interview in a MWMF post I did for TheTERFs.com. The entire interview is very difficult for me to listen to. I mean, after the physical and mental mob assault happened, one of the MWMF womyn tried to get the trans kid to put out… directly after they had psychologically gang raped her in public.

When an activist friend of mine raised this issue with MWMF*, the Fest claimed that trans people are lying about what happened, that their victim was mentally ill and drunk. They said that what they did to her was for her own good.

What Happened

In 1999, Camp Trans was largely organized by the Lesbian Avengers. The group bought a 16 year old trans girl to the MWMF ticket booth and informed them that they were from Camp Trans and that they had a trans youth with them. While the MWMF sold everyone in the group tickets, the moment the group of Avengers entered the gates, TERFs began trailing the 16 year old trans kid shouting, “MAN ON THE LAND!” This continued until the group turned into a mob that had surrounded the youth, screaming at her until MWMF security moved everyone to a tent where the trans youth was made to stand in front of an enormous group of TERFs who spent the next 2 hours berating her.  One adult openly threatened the life of the youth without consequence. The youth was marched to the gates of the festival and expelled.

[Lesbian Avenger] S: About 10 TERFs were waiting for us when we came in. The whole ‘MAN ON THE LAND!’ started as soon as we walked in. I mean, at the time, we’re kids, we’re teenagers and these are all adults. I mean, when I think about it now, it was just so fucked up. We were trying to give out t-shirts and stickers about being inclusive. But, it was getting bad.

[trans girl in the group] K: A huge crowd of yelling people formed around us and I started crying at that point. It got so loud that Nomy Lamm, who was performing there as part of Sister Spit, came over and stood up for us… The crowd and me were walked over to a tent area. The way that it worked was that there was a queue of people who were going to get to say whatever they wanted to say. I remember, specifically, one woman looking right at me and telling me that I needed to leave the Land as soon as possible because she had a knife and didn’t know if she would be able to control herself if I was around her.

Cristan Williams: WHAT? How did people react to that death threat?

K: Because of the way they were queuing, as soon as one person stopped speaking, another would start, so nobody said or did anything about the death threat. At that point, I checked out. I was first I was sobbing and [B] was holding my face close to hers, telling me that it would be over soon, but then I just checked out.

S: The moderator did nothing. It was just a mud-slinging, hatred pouring out. It was just like one by one by one being like, ‘You’re a rapist! You’re raping the Land! You’re destroying womanhood! I don’t know what I’m going to do to you!’ – it was just violent, hatred, and I know that most of it was geared at [K]. I was up there being attacked, but I wasn’t getting the brunt of it. This went on for at least two hours.  At least 30 people were allowed to speak at us, but there were around 75 under the tent, and if you included the people around the tent who were watching and listening, well over 100.




How, exactly, did MWMF know that this kid was “mentally ill”? I spent hours doing interviews for this story and I’ve found no evidence to support this fact assertion. Moreover, the kid wasn’t “intoxicated,” the kid was terrified.  At one point K was telling me that her friend held her face in her hands saying, “Shhh… It will be okay. It will all be over soon. Just look at me. Don’t look at them.” Now, imagine that after all of this, one of them tries to get you to put out. This was psychological rape. Any adult who took part in harming this kid in this way should – at the very least – have the decency to be ashamed… and the truth is that I know that they aren’t.

A fucking mob of adults did this to a trans kid. Can you imagine being a kid and being made to stand in front of a mob of TERFs, yelling at you, pouring out hate at you, making no bones about how despised and disgusting they think you are and then being told that at least one of them has a weapon and wants to murder you? And then imagine that nobody cared to do anything about a fucking adult, threatening to murder a trans kid in public. Imagine if you were 16 and this happened to you. Now that the truth is finally coming out, imagine that your abuser said that you’re crazy, you must have been drunk and that you deserved it.

Before the full story comes out, I invite the MWMF to clarify how they obtained this kid’s mental health records and if they don’t have the kid’s medical records, I’d like them to explain why they’ve publicly claimed that this kid was mentally ill. I invite them to publish the evidence to support any of their claims. I invite them to issue a statement and explain to everyone why the kid deserved what the she got.

I’d love to see that MWMF has to say, especially since the 16 year old was a straight edge teetotaler who has never been diagnosed as being “mentally ill”.

I hope to have the whole story published on the TransAdvocate this month.


TERFs plan to harass HRC tomorrow (Friday, 10/3/14) because HRC joined the National Black Justice Coalition, the Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the Nation Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the TransAdvocate (and many other social justice groups) in asking the MichFest stop their decades of trans discrimination:

So, apparently HRC owes MWMF an apology for asking that they stop discriminating against trans people.

Irony: These MWMF TERFs are appropriating the “Amazon” culture to promote their bigotry. The Amazons are based on the Scythians, a TRANS-INCLUSIVE culture.

Note: When I use “psychological rape” in this post, I’m talking about being forcibly positioned to accept a psychological violation that puts one in fear of their life. Moreover, I’ve used this term because the trauma was sexualized by a MWMF womyn when the kid was most vulnerable.

Update: *While the above twitter account exists to promote MWMF and organizing aspects of MWMF, after this post went up, this account now claims that it isn’t associated with MWMF.

Update 2: In addition to now claiming no affiliation with MWMF, the twitter account is now saying that they were referring to some other instance involving a trans kid.

Show some love the Trans Center & Archive!

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During the holiday season, show some love the Trans Center.

Please join me in being a monthly subscriber through a PayPal subscription:

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I’ve been a substantial donor to the center for years and It’s my goal to ensure that everyone knows that there’s an easy way to join me in supporting a resource as unique as the trans center.

I want to ensure the future of what we have. I want the Trans Center to be around for a new person meeting other trans folk for the first time, for the researcher and for the friend or family member. I want it to be there for my homeless brother or sister who needs a hot meal or the trans person who didn’t feel comfortable getting an HIV test anywhere else. I want it to continue to be a focal point for the activism that I and so many others do.

The Trans Center’s archive is unlike anything anywhere. There’s no place where we can just walk in off the street and immediately connect with 1000s of years of trans history from across the globe.

There is simply no other place like the Trans Center – in the world. It is the only one like it and I think that having it around in the future is important. That’s why I’m asking that you subscribe to the Trans Center.

If even just $5 a month is outside your means, ask me how you can volunteer 

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Cotton Ceiling: Uncovering the trans conspiracy to rape lesbians

Views: 24241

The mere mention of the “cotton ceiling” should send rapey shivers up your spine. If you’ve not heard of it here’s the lowdown from feminists:

Transgender cotton ceiling rapists hold male-only (Planned Parenthood sponsored) seminars, write books, host lecture tours, and endlessly spam lesbian websites and blogs with rape and murder threats over lack of male “inclusion” in lesbian social gatherings, lesbian organizing, lesbian events, lesbian music festivals, and – most importantly- lesbian bedrooms. 1


Planned Parenthood Toronto is helping to sponsor a March 31 conference in Toronto that includes a workshop inviting participants to discuss and strategize ways they might be able to “overcome” women’s objections to these participants’ sexual advances. We believe that no means no, that a woman’s right to say “no” to sex at any time is sacrosanct and that no explanations should ever be requested because none is ever necessary. The name of the workshop proposed is “Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling: Breaking Down Sexual Barriers for Queer Trans Women.”

- Petition against the cotton ceiling 2


Activists want to force lesbians to consider them as sexual partners. 3

Sounds really horrific, doesn’t it? Transwomen, full of male-privilege, feel that lesbians must submit to having sex with them or else they’re transphobic. Right? I mean, multiple lesbian feminists are all saying the same thing. Even Cathy Brennan has a cotton ceiling tag. Certainly these self-identified lesbian feminists wouldn’t lie, right? Certainly these self-declared feminists wouldn’t purposely misrepresent cotton ceiling in an effort to make ciswomen fear trans people, right? RIGHT?!?

[Cotton Ceiling commenter] you are a male sexual predator, enabling your male predator brethren. Which is why you and all your Cotton Ceiling buddies creep me the fuck out… These dudes in dresses are trying to guilt-trip you into sleeping with them, and name-calling you if you don’t. There is nothing wrong with not liking penises or male bodies, and preferring female bodies. To say otherwise is lesbianphobic. 4

Horrific, isn’t it? Planned Parenthood held a workshop to teach transwomen how to make lesbians have sex with them. I want to reread the previous sentence and think about that for just a moment. Then reread the rhetoric about the cotton ceiling. With a straight face, these self-identified feminists asserted that Planned Parenthood taught transwomen how trick lesbians into sex.

Seriously. And you know what? A lot of people believed it.

Here’s the reality:



There! See it? It says right there in the description: Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling will explore having sex with lesbians who don’t want to have sex with trans people! It says it right there… oh wait… it doesn’t say that at all.

Can you guess how many attended this,  the workshop-heard-round’-the-feminist-world?  Was it…

  1. 250 workshop attendees
  2. 150 workshop attendees
  3. 75 workshop attendees
  4. 50 workshop attendees
  5. 25 workshop attendees
  6. 10 workshop attendees
  7. 7 workshop attendees

If you guessed 7, you’d be correct. Let that sink in for a moment. All of this over a workshop with 7 people.

Care to guess what they talked about?

Would it really surprise you to know that what they talked about was body image and shame?

Seven people met to talk about body image and shame and Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) claimed that Planned Parenthood was organizing a meeting to teach trans people how to rape lesbians… and many, many people believed it. Were you one of the folks who believed that Planned Parenthood was teaching corrective rape?

TERF opinion leader and lawyer, Cathy Brennan
TERF opinion leader and lawyer, Cathy Brennan

I want you to pause for a moment and think hard about the notion that TERFs are pushing: transwomen support corrective rape.

Here, let me break down the basic TERF rhetoric:

TERF: Teh cotton ceiling is all about teaching trans people how to rape lesbians!1!!


TERF: Yeah, Planned Parenthood gave a workshop to teach trans people how to rape lesbians! No means no!

Dupe: That sounds a little strange to me…

TERF: Don’t believe me? Google any of the many, many, many TERF blogs that freaked over the Planned Parenthood workshop! #rapeculture

Cathey Brennan
Cathy Brennan

Dupe: Well, I did hear about how transwomen want to hang out in the women’s restroom…

TERF: Yup, it’s all about rapey rape culture!

Dupe: Yeah, I guess tranwomen are kinda rapey…

TERF: I KNOW, RIGHT?!?! Spread the word!

Dupe: I’m totally blogging about this!

Think about all the fear and enmity TERFs managed to generate over the Cotton Ceiling during this past year. They took a small meeting about shame and body image and purposefully twisted it to dupe people into believing that Planned Parenthood was teaching corrective rape tactics and MANY people believed it.

Planned Parenthood + Trans people = lesbian rape conspiracy... or not.
Planned Parenthood + Trans people = lesbian rape conspiracy… or not.

TERFs did what they almost always do. They equivocate in their arguments:

Original workshop description:  

Participants will work together to identify barriers, strategize ways to overcome them, and build community.

TERF Petition to stop the workshop:

Planned Parenthood Toronto is helping to sponsor a March 31 conference in Toronto that includes a workshop inviting participants to discuss and strategize ways they might be able to “overcome” women’s objections to these participants’ sexual advances.

Cathy Brennan, TERF Opinion Leader

Workshop supporters have suggested that “Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling” is intended to facilitate a discussion about the social construction of sexual desire. Even if this were the case, being a lesbian is not a prejudicial social construct to be overcome by expanding lesbians’ limited political consciousness around trans women’s “gender identity.”

From there all a TERF need do is appeal the transwoman-rapist meme the radical right pushes while referencing the TERF petition and sit back and enjoy their malevolent handiwork.

TERFs making sure their 'trans people are rapists' narrative gets into women's magazines
TERFs making sure their ‘trans people are rapists’ narrative gets into women’s magazines

Back when all of this began, trans folk were really clear about what the cotton ceiling was about:

This, from the individual credited for popularizing the phrase, "cotton ceiling"
This, from the individual credited for popularizing the phrase, “cotton ceiling”

Or as a cisgender dyke organizer put it:

The idea of the “cotton ceiling” is intended to draw attention to how even in spaces that are politically and socially welcoming of trans women, transphobia often retains its influence on how we understand who is sexually desirable and who isn’t. It’s no different from other politicized criteria for desirability—people who are, for instance, fat or disabled are also often welcomed into queer women’s space but not seen as desirable compared to those hot slim, muscular, able-bodied sorts. This isn’t our fault—our entire culture tells us what’s sexy and what’s not, 24 hours a day, and that definition is terribly narrow. But it is really easy to forget how much influence advertising propaganda and social pressure can exert on what gets us wet and hard, and to let the mainstream’s terms dictate our desires. 5

If a small group wanted to talk about how ableism affected cultural notions of beauty and/or desirability, would feminist circles tolerate TERFs going on a yearlong campaign, claiming that those who aren’t able-bodied want to force lesbians to have sex with them?

In a culture that devalues and oppresses trans people, why is it not appropriate to discuss how these cisnormative beauty standards impact notions of desirability, how these biases relate to the fetishization of trans people and how all of this impacts the perception of trans people in queer spaces? Why is it not appropriate for transwomen to ask themselves how this affects the way we see ourselves and/or how this affects the way others view us?

Why don’t TERFs want trans people to have this discussion?

How would such a conversation affect the anti-trans TERF narrative they’ve been pushing for decades?

because the fact of the matter is that unlike born-women, who have everything (literally, everything) to lose from rape culture, transwomen have at least something (everything?) to gain. to a transwoman, cutting off her dick and turning it (inside out) into a fuckhole between her legs makes her feel better. from transwomens own mouths, we know that these fake fuckholes alleviate transwomens suffering. turning their dicks into extra-large condoms for other men to penetrate (or not, whevs…thats my hat-tip to the internet “lesbian transwomen”) actually tamps down their anxiety, and feelings of dysphoria.  6

Today the Frankenstein phenomenon is omnipresent not only in religious myth, but in its offspring, phallocratic technology. The insane desire for power, the madness of boundary violation, is the mark of necrophiliacs who sense the lack of soul/spirit/life-loving principle with themselves and therefore try to invade and kill off all spirit, substituting conglomerates of corpses. This necrophilic invasion/elimination takes a variety of forms. Transsexualism is an example 7

[Transsexual surgery] could be likened to political psychiatry in the Soviet Union. I suggest that transsexualism should best be seen in this light, as directly political, medical abuse of human rights. The mutilation of healthy bodies and the subjection of such bodies to dangerous and life-threatening continuing treatment violates such people’s rights to live with dignity in the body into which they were born, what Janice Raymond refers to as their “native” bodies. It represents an attack on the body to rectify a political condition, “gender” dissatisfaction in a male supremacist society based upon a false and politically constructed notion of gender difference.

Recent literature on transsexualism in the lesbian community draws connections with the practices of sadomasochism. 8


This should be a simple issue. How could our oppressors – men – possibly become us? How? Just by saying they are?  By the male medical industry and doctors making money off this game, declaring that they can turn men into women?  Would you agree with these men if they claimed to be a different race than they are, a race they are in a position to oppress?  Would you believe them if they claimed to be of a different species?  Why not?

If you do accept them as Lesbians, would you (as a Lesbian) want to be lovers with one?  Why not?  If you are hesitant to say “no” to their claims and demands, in spite of what you feel inside, why?  What is it that makes you agree to something that doesn’t feel right?  Does it remind you of other times when it was hard to deal with a man who refused to take “no” for an answer? 9

How would a serious discussion about our transmisogynistic culture, and its influence over notions of beauty impact anti-trans TERF messages?

How does shutting down this discussion benifit the TERF narrative?

Does it benifit the anti-trans TERF aims and goals to not only stop this discussion, but to colonize it in such a way that feminists would instinctively view the discussion as being an inherent part of rape culture?

“Transwomen” are not and can never be women or Lesbians – they are simply men, trying to steal our identity and culture… One way to begin to fight their oppressing Lesbians and women is to refuse to give them what they want. At the very least, PLEASE stop calling them “women” in any form, and stop using female pronouns for them… they act like typical men and intimidate and guilt trip – everything is about them. And the hell with any Lesbian who gets in their way. Some have also learned what to say to sound believably female, but if you question a bit further, they revert quickly to male bullying techniques. As for those who do have surgery, men do a lot of bizarre things for sexual gratification, such as strangling themselves to have more exciting orgasms, which has resulted in some unintentional suicides (such as that by David Carradine.)

As Janice Raymond says, “All transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating their body for themselves.”  It’s actually reminiscent of the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” 9

I think there’s a reason TERFs have put so much effort into colonizing this discourse. I think there’s a reason that they framed their colonization of trans discourse as rape prevention and I think that reason is plain to see.

I submit to you that TERFs do not want the trans community to have this discussion and they certainly do not want the cis community to question where they picked up their views – good/bad/indifferent – of trans people. I believe that such a discussion would further isolate TERFs from the rest of the feminist world.


1. http://tinyurl.com/ms5289e

2. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/917/570/206/support-womens-sexual-autonomy/

3. http://tinyurl.com/oa3lsy9

4. http://tinyurl.com/mj3vlcc

5. http://www.transadvocate.com/if-trans-women-arent-welcome-neither-am-i.htm

6. http://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/rape-culture-birthed-the-neovag/

7. Gyn/ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism by Mary Daly, pp 70 – 71

8. Sheila Jeffreys

9. http://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/bev-jo-radical-lesbian-writing/

Cristan Williams Is A Liar!

Views: 2394

Or not…


An absolute lie, did you say?

A lie? Really?

It might be of interest to know that in the 1974 3rd edition, this book uses transgender as an umbrella term. However, in this 2nd edition from 1965, transgenderism is clearly used as a term that might better describe the transsexual experience.

In the book, The Transsexual Phenomenon (1966) – published a year after the above book came out – Harry Benjamin used transsexual as an umbrella term, inclusive of people who occasionally crossdressed and didn’t want hormones or surgery (Type 4 Transsexual), those who wanted to take hormones but not have surgery (Type 5 True Transsexual) as well as those who need to take advantage of every avenue of transition: legal, hormonal and surgical (Type 6 True Transsexual). Clearly, the 1965 book suggested the use of transgenderism for those who would be a Harry Benjamin Type 6 True Transsexual. In other words, in 1965 folks were making the same lexical argument  the transsexual classic, The Uninvited Dilemma (1983) would later make.

Until 1979, transsexual could be used to describe a Type 4, 5 or 6 transsexual. Dr. Paul Walker, a gay man from Galveston, Texas who was working with transgender activist Phyllis Frye at the time, codified transsexual in the 1979 HBIGDA Standards of Care to mean what we currently take transsexual to mean: a Harry Benjamin Type 6 True Transsexual. That same year, Christine Jorgensen publicly rejected transsexual in favor of transgender, noting – in the same way that the 1965 usage notes – transsexuals do not transition because of their sexuality.

In December of 1969, Prince used transgenderal once in her magazine for crossdressers.  She abandoned the term and never used it again. In fact, when the term popped up again in 1977, it was used to mean a transsexual. A few months after Prince used transgenderal, in 1970 a TV Guide used transgendered to describe a transsexual movie character. By 1975, West Coast trans support groups began using transgenderism as an umbrella term and in the previous year, 1974 trans groups in the UK were also using it as an umbrella term.

After Prince wrote transgenderal once, she didn’t use a trans+gender lexical compound again until 1978 – not even when she was trying to classify different types of trans people in 1977. By then, YEARS had gone by while the trans community had used trans+gender lexical compounds (and their derivations, eg transies, transperson, transpeople) in ways which parallel current uses and in ways that do not.

Either this is true or it isn’t. Either I have evidence to support my fact assertions or I do not. Either I’m lying and have conjured my evidence through the magic of Photoshop (or perhaps time travel?) or I’ve not.

I know that the Prince Fountainhead Narrative is fundamental to the  True Transsexual/Harry Benjamin Syndrome/Transsexual Separatist folklore, but damn… If you’re going to assert a faith position, at least do it honestly.  Stop trying to justify dogma with assertions that can be easily proven false. Simply come out and say that no matter what, your faith in the Prince Fountainhead Narrative is unshakable and that you will reject any and all evidence which calls the Prince Fountainhead Narrative into question.

The reality is the Prince encouraged people to believe that she bestowed transgender upon us. She was kinda egomaniacal in that way:

Prince’s self-promoted importance has been way overstated. Prince didn’t coin transgender nor did she pioneer the term. She wasn’t the first to use transgender, transgenderist, trans, transpeople or transgenderism nor was she where these terms got their cultural currency. These terms were ALREADY in use within the trans community – by transsexuals and non-transsexuals like – years before Prince used them. For example, years before Prince used transgenderist, the term was used in the first national trans study performed by the trans community itself in 1975.

Here's a strawman!!!!
Look! Here’s a strawman!!1!

A stwarman argument is when you want to attack a position, have no logical reason to attack it, and so instead lie about what the other person said. Simply compare what I actually said (blue quote) and what this person claims I said (the first sentence after my quote). Strangely, just prior to this she recounted how TERFs attempted to murder one of her dear friends for not being cisgender:

Non-trans people generally have the privilege of not being murdered for being trans.
Non-trans people generally have the privilege of not being murdered for being trans.

The post drones on and on, creating one fake position for me to take after another, so that she could (presumably) enjoy attacking absurd ideas I’ve never promoted. Apparently lies are the only rhetoric folks like this have left to cling to. IMHO, these folks are the young earth creationists of the trans experience. They seem to have no argument to make that isn’t laughable and yet, their place in this world seems to be predicated upon their fantasy being true:

  • A lesbian transsexual was targeted for not being non-transsexual; cisprivilege isn’t real.
  • Prince didn’t coin or pioneer trans terms; Prince is where transgender comes from.

In what other arena of discourse is this level of intellectual turpitude tolerated? In what arena of discourse are equivocation and strawman arguments so prominently featured?

The Scientific Method and the True TS method

I owe debt of gratitude to folks like this for inspiring me to respond to their fact assertions. None of the history I’ve discovered would have been uncovered and published in books and peer reviewed journals had they not thrown their historical fallacies in my face. All of that history would have stayed hidden and nobody would have been able to question their historical assertions about transgender. So, thank you creepy internet troll, for giving me yet another opportunity to put the evidence out there!

Sheila Jeffreys and Transsexualism: LULZ

Views: 1446

I want to take a moment to thank the lesbians in Sheila Jeffreys’ community for pioneering transsexual surgery.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/107923482″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

This is from an interview I did with the out gay individual who collaborated with with the lesbians from Jefferys’ community to create the first gender treatment center in Australia. I want to thank Jeffreys’ community for both inventing and defending trans healthcare in her country!

[Transsexual surgery] could be likened to political psychiatry in the Soviet Union. I suggest that transsexualism should best be seen in this light, as directly political, medical abuse of human rights. The mutilation of healthy bodies and the subjection of such bodies to dangerous and life-threatening continuing treatment violates such people’s rights to live with dignity in the body into which they were born, what Janice Raymond refers to as their “native” bodies. It represents an attack on the body to rectify a political condition, “gender” dissatisfaction in a male supremacist society based upon a false and politically constructed notion of gender difference.

Recent literature on transsexualism in the lesbian community draws connections with the practices of sadomasochism. – Sheila Jeffreys, TERF opinion leader, author and speaker

Gee… Why do you suppose Jeffreys failed to mention the fact that out lesbians did all the transsexual surgeries in her country back when Janice Raymond published the book she’s quoting from?

Bonus LULZ

I’ve been fighting the “transsexual” invasion in our Lesbian communities since 1973 when I first wrote about it in “Dykes and Gorgons,” and, more recently, in my article, “Defining Lesbians Out of Existence — the Pretenders — Part One: ‘Transwomen Are Merely Castrated Men.’” – BevJo, TERF opinion leader, author and speaker.


The post wherein I talk about getting published

Views: 1403

So, I just got final word that my research (you know, the research that’s supposedly fake) is getting published in Duke University Press’ peer-reviewed journal, Transgender Studies Quarterly.  It’s really gratifying to know that the research that came out of the Houston Trans Archive has led the folks who write the history books to consider the reality of a more rich and nuanced lexical heritage than the myopic view offered by the Prince Fountainhead Narrative.

You know what else makes me happy? Bikes at the Trans Center: