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The Cotton Ceiling? Really? March 13, 2012

Posted by FCM in feminisms, logic, trans, WTF?.
Tags: , , ,
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this is a real-life exchange that took place between a lesbian activist, and a trans activist. the lesbian asked the trans “What’s the cotton ceiling?” and the following exchange ensued (if this is confusing in any way, its either my fault in formatting it, or its the fault of the trans for making such little sense in the first place.  the lesbian was totally clear at all times):

—–Original Message—–

From: [redacted lesbian]
Sent: March-10-12 12:04 PM
To: [redacted trans]
Subject: What’s the cotton ceiling?
Thanks.

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM, [redacted trans] wrote:
Hi there,

The cotton ceiling is a theory proposed by trans porn star and activist Drew DeVeaux to explain the experiences queer trans women have with simultaneous social inclusion and sexual exclusion within the broader queer women’s communities. Basically, it means that cis queer women will be friends with us and talk day and night about trans rights and ending transmisogyny, but will still not consider us viable sexual partners.

The term cotton ceiling is a reference to the “glass ceiling” that second wave feminist identified in the workforce, wherein women could only advance so high in the workforce but could not break through into positions of power and authority. The cotton represents underwear, signifying sex.

The theory of the cotton ceiling is useful in identifying the dynamic trans women are experiencing, and is meant to open up conversation around desirability’s intersections with transmisogyny and transphobia.

I hope this description is helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions.

From: [redacted lesbian]
Sent: March-12-12 1:34 PM
To: [redacted trans]
Subject: Re: What’s the cotton ceiling?
Thanks. Do you really think lesbians are transphobic for not wanting to have sex with a trans woman who is male-bodied?

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM, [redacted trans] wrote:
Trans women are not male-bodied. There is nothing male about our bodies.

I think that everyone has the right to decide who they want to have sex with, how they want to have that sex, and when they want to have that sex, or to not have sex at all. Consent is incredibly important, and no one should ever feel pressured to have sex of any kind with anybody.

However, I also think that people’s desires are often influenced by (and even dictated by) an intersectionality of cultural messages which include transphobia, transmisogyny, racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and xenophobia, among many other factors. This is a topic that many within the feminist movements and womanist movements have discussed in terms of racism, shade-ism, classim, and ableism, and is also being discussed now in reference to transphobia and transmisogyny. I believe that many cis queer women do not see queer trans women as viable sexual partners in large part due to the cultural messages that exist, both within queer culture and mainstream/straight culture, that tell us that trans women’s bodies are inherently undesirable except as a fetish for cis straight men. I also think that it is rooted in the belief that trans women are not women, which is transphobic and transmisogynist.

Trans women across the Anglophone world have identified these issues in our lives and are now engaging more and more in organizing around this. The workshop at the Pleasure and Possibilities Conference is a safer space for trans women to get together, name our experiences of oppression and exclusion, and discuss ways of changing culture to break down these barriers – as fits with the theme of the conference which is centred around overcoming the sexual barriers various groups of marginalized women experience.

From: [redacted lesbian]
Sent: March-12-12 1:59 PM
To: [redacted trans]
Subject: Re: What’s the cotton ceiling?
Thanks. So, just to make sure I understand this, a trans woman with a penis, and who has no desire to have a sex change, is not male bodied – correct?

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:02 PM, [redacted trans] wrote:
There is nothing inherently male about a woman’s body, unless she identified things about it as male herself. So, no, I do not consider trans women with penises to be male-bodied, unless that is how they identify.

From: [redacted lesbian]
Sent: March-12-12 2:04 PM
To: [redacted trans]
Subject: Re: What’s the cotton ceiling?
This is seriously problematic for lesbians. What you are saying is lesbians – who desire sex with females – are somehow bigoted for that desire, no? That’s exactly what nontrans males say to us.
Anyway, take care, [redacted lesbian]

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM, [redacted trans] wrote:
That’s a really nonsensical way of interpreting that. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

I have not actually been speaking about lesbian-identified women specifically, though they are some of the women who are within the category of queer women.

Trans women are female. When our female-ness and womanhood is denied, as you keep doing repeatedly, that is transphobic and transmisogynist. As I said earlier, all people’s desires are influenced by an intersection of cultural messages that determine those desires. Cultural messages that code trans women’s bodies as male are transphobic, and those messages influence people’s desires. So cis queer women who are attracted to other queer women may not view trans women as viable sexual partners because they have internalized the message that trans women are somehow male.

The comparison to what cis males say also makes no sense. What trans women are saying is that we are women, and thus should be considered women sexually, and thus be considered viable partners for women who are attracted to women. What cis males are saying is that queer women shouldn’t be exclusively attracted to women, which is completely different.

From: [redacted lesbian]
Sent: March-12-12 2:21 PM
To: [redacted trans]
Subject: Re: What’s the cotton ceiling?
I don’t want to put words in your mouth. I want to understand what you are saying. Trans women may be women, but they are not female. A penis is not a female organ.

“What trans women are saying is that we are women, and thus should be considered women sexually, and thus be considered viable partners for women who are attracted to women. What cis males are saying is that queer women shouldn’t be exclusively attracted to women, which is completely different. ”

It’s not completely different to lesbians, and it’s not completely different at all. Lesbians are sexually attracted to females. This does not include trans women with penises.

What you say makes sense *only* if you believe the fiction that people with penises are *female.* Correct?

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM, [redacted trans] wrote:
Trans women’s bodies are female bodies, whether or not we have penises.

And I’m done engaging in this conversation. You are clearly attempting to bait me in order to find some way of slandering me and my work online, and, frankly, I have better things to do with my time.

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM, [redacted lesbian] wrote:
I am not trying to bait you. I was trying to get you to make this statement: Trans women’s bodies are female bodies, whether or not we have penises.
That’s bullshit. And that bullshit means lesbians are expected to be sexually accessible to trans women with penises or face being labeled a bigot.
Best, [redacted lesbian]

/end of email exchange

where to start?  im *tempted* to start with the problem of appropriation of second-wave feminist concepts, in attempting to further the anti-feminist trans (mens rights) agenda…and the additional problem of doing that REALLY BADLY (omg) but instead, i think i will go right into what appears to be the following implied statement, being made by redacted trans: lesbian women must sometimes negotiate birth control when having sex with other women, if they do not wish to become pregnant.

but of course, *no* transwomen, or lesbian transwomen, will ever have to do anything to avoid becoming pregnant.

why not?  lets explore:

(click on image to view in full size)

please note that yellow, orange and blue are the only ones that can *get* anyone else pregnant, in case that wasnt clear.  hmmm, why might that be?  why does yellow have something in common with blue, while at the exact same time having nothing in common with white, even when living in trans-world where there is any such fucking thing as orange?  why oh why are lesbian transwomen different than lesbians?  why god why?

and the spot where orange and pink touch (BUT DONT OVERLAP) is i *think* what redacted trans was talking about in his email, but im not sure.  you know, the part where lesbians are supposed to be penetrated by lesbian transwomens dicks:(

i would also like to know: in this trans universe, where lesbian women must sometimes negotiate birth control when having sex with other women if they do not wish to become pregnant, do political lesbians not exist, where a political lesbian is a woman who decides to be a lesbian for political reasons, including not being subjected to unwanted pregnancy and reproductive harm via the penis?

these are all serious questions, and i dont think they are answerable, while still holding fast to the trans-ideology that is displayed in the above email exchange, where trans lesbians are supposed to be the same as lesbian women, and a lesbian woman could be in a same-sex relationship with someone who identified as a trans lesbian.  (ie.   both are female, and not male).  so instead of answering, this would probably be the part where the transactivist tells me to shut up.  or, is this where he threatens to kill me?  im kinda rusty, as i havent done this in awhile.  im sure i will find out soon enough.

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