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The Cotton Ceiling? Really? March 13, 2012

Posted by FCM in feminisms, logic, trans, WTF?.
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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?

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.

The Ambivalent Pregnancy May 28, 2011

Posted by FCM in gender roles, health, PIV, politics, radical concepts.
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i have written many times about “unwanted” pregnancy versus “wanted” ones, and in fact this is the way the issue is always framed when discussing pregnancy isnt it?  as if there is no in-between ground, where women are impregnated and carry the fetus to term, and “welcome” a “growing family” or whatever, but they dont necessarily actively desire the pregnancy, or another pregnancy.  but in actuality, the ambivalent pregnancy is very common, and women self-report this experience all the time, if you ask them.  “not trying but not protecting” is the way its been described to me, for example.

translation: we are having unprotected unmitigated PIV-centric sex, and i probably wouldnt have an abortion if i got knocked up.

but this is not the same thing as “wanting” to become pregnant is it?  and even if the woman would not classify herself as having incurred an unwanted pregnancy if she became impregnated this way, there are those who would say it was wanted, as if she had been wishing upon the stars and praying to god to bring her a desperately-wanted child.  but this isnt the case is it?  in fact, the “desperate longing” imagery we are faced with in pregnancy-related discourse probably only applies in a minority of situations, where a couple is experiencing fertility problems.  everyone else can become pregnant pretty easily cant they?  this is the default for all species, so far as i know: not to be sterile.

so while we have men and transwomen who cannot tell the fucking difference between a wanted pregnancy and an unwanted one because they dont care (women as “natural mothers” on the one hand, and oh how i wish i could have teh baybees!  those women are so privileged! on the other.  ie. all pregnancies are wanted, because men imagine that we want them, or they themselves desire “wanted pregnancies” which is extremely redundant, since women desire wanted-pregnancies too…desire being what makes them wanted.  DUH!) we also have a problem of framing the pregnancy-issue to specifically exclude the untold millions (billions?) of pregnancies occurring over time and place, where the woman would have been just as happy without becoming pregnant, but she was subjected to PIV-centric sexuality anyway and her number came up.  what about those women?

their pregnancies are just as dangerous as all pregnancies are…ambivalent, wanted and unwanted pregnancies can all kill you.  all pregnancies put women at serious risk for a number of complications, and women who desperately long for wanted babies are known to do crazy things, completely disregarding their own health and lives, and the wellbeing of their existing children too, to carry one (or one more) fetus to term.  but ambivalent pregnancies are “crazy” too, arent they?  to literally risk your life, for something you dont really care about, one way or the other, or about which you are conflicted or cannot decide?  who does that?

indeed, who does do that, and why, are questions that need asking.  its time to change the frame of pregnancy-related discourse to include the experience of the ambivalent mother.  this desperately-longing versus desperately-dreading trope is kinda all played out.*

*especially the desperately-longing part!

Jessica Valenti, The (Face and) Voice of Third-Wave Feminism and PIV-Positive Rhetoric, Nearly Dies From Pregnancy-Related Complications February 6, 2011

Posted by FCM in feminisms, health, international, PIV, politics, pop culture, WTF?.
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you have got to be fucking kidding me.

jessica valenti, the voice of third-wave PIV-pozzie “young feminists” is stepping down from her position at feministing because she is too old (and elite?) to be the voice of “young non-elitist feminists” anymore.  this in and of itself is practically worthy of its own post.  i mean really.  she gets some respect, some credibility (amongst her own of course), some cash, some security, and her first thought is that its time to pass the torch to someone younger?  of course, because her own stated mission is to “give young feminists a platform to state their position and launch their careers” this was kind of the forseeable result.  we were just discussing this here a few days ago in fact.  shes no spring chicken anymore.  but to build a sunset provision into your own career as a feminist, based on age, is just so heartbreakingly short-sighted and well…pomo.  a perfect example of their own anti-feminist, misogynist ideology biting them in the fucking ass.

as is this:

recently, valenti almost died from pregnancy-related complications, including preeclampsia and resulting liver failure (and one complication that even i had never heard of before, a “variation of preeclampsia” called HELLP syndrome), and delivered a 29-weeks gestated fetus that almost died too.  she now (NOW!) believes that maternal health is an important issue, and she will be addressing it regularly now (NOW!)  i guess these things do matter afterallNOW.  now that its affected her, personally

because the only thing that matters is the personal lived experience of individuals, and not history, not data, and definitely not the lived-experience of anyone that doesnt (or cannot) experience life in a way that supports your own pomo, sex-pozzie agenda.  now, valenti is asking her supporters to donate money to “womendeliver“, an organization that supports (“fights for” in her words…rawr) maternal health.  whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean, and whomever the fuck that is expected to benefit.  this is what we are supposed to take away from all of this?  this is all anyone is supposed to actually do, in the face of actual shit-and-grit live-reporting on the dangers of PIV-centric sexuality and pregnancy-related complications?  as opposed to, say, making some actual connections and bringing radical awareness and change into our own lives?  even wanted pregnancies are fucking dangerous, and what makes women “want” them in the first fucking place is highly suspect. 

this is of course in addition to any possible critique of the unwanted pregnancies women are subjected to all the time, and the dangers (to women) of PIV-centric sex.  i wouldnt expect any of them to blow a lobe examining that part of it, but they cant even bring themselves to critique the dangers of pregnancy itself.  and how it only affects women, and not men, and that it has affected women forever, billions of them, across time and place.  even women they knowindividually.  and this is key.  they arent examining or even acknowledging how PIV-centric sexuality and pregnancy-related complications affect individual women, even though they are interested in examining everything else, on an individual level.  on this issue in particular, they are wearing blinders, and they arent taking them off, even when it affects one of their most beloved characters.  no, they arent interested in examining this one, at all.  i wonder why that would be?

it distresses and saddens me greatly that valenti had to go through what she herself describes as a harrowing and terrifying medical event, and especially one thats pregnancy-related.  it really does.  the inequity of it all just isnt fair, by definition, and i shouldnt have to fucking say it.  but apparently i do.  because what takes second place in the distressing and saddening competition here is probably this: feministe writes about valenti leaving feministing, and what lead up to her decision to leave, without once mentioning the pregnancy-related complications that almost killed her.  even though valenti herself has written about how important that event was in her life, and how it caused her to “take time away to reflect” and that it directly lead to her decision to leave.  this fucking twenty-something fun-fem took the time to write a tribute to her beloved mentor which by her own admission reads like a fucking obituary, (an obituary!  oh god…it burns) and could only mine the story of valentis life and her contributions for the nuggets that benefitted her, and pomo feminism.  like her dedication to young pomo feminists, and helping them get a leg up in the “how to get rich being a feminist” competition/career track, via the mainstream interwebs.

yes, that might be the worst fucking part.  valenti has now passed the torch to a bunch of twenty-something PIV-pozzies who are so hell-bent on feeding their own narcissism building “careers as feminists” where their own ass-biting agenda is to cater to the young and inexperienced, (as opposed to, for example, telling the truth no matter what, or advocating for women as a sexual class, around the world) and to 100% support PIV-centric sexuality, and already, less than a week after shes gone, its been made entirely clear that none of them have learned anything from this old hags “lived experience” with PIV and pregnancy and none of them ever will.

the latest post from feministe: hatin’ on katy perry.  on sunday.  probably their busiest day (or one of them, and less than a week after valenti announced she was leaving) this is what they lead with.  onward and upward, i guess?

Failure of Application vs Failure of Reason December 18, 2010

Posted by FCM in books!, entertainment, international, liberal dickwads, politics, pop culture, race, radical concepts.
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i wanted to expound on the concept of “application versus reason” that i mentioned about a month ago (help!  i’m being repressed!).  analyzing social inequities using the “equality model” is standard liberal dickwad politics 101, in that it allows self-identified progressive males to analyze “unfairness” without being distracted by the ugly realities of male privilege, and the ways that women are and continue to be victimized as women, by men and male institutions.  in the above clip, the monty python players make hi-larious fun of class-based inequities, and their extreme silliness and ability to absolutely hit the nail on the head with regard to analyzing class assures monty python its place in history and in the hearts, minds and living rooms i mean ipods of good liberal dickwads everywhere.  i mean lets face it.  they are funny mkay?  and smart.  and they know it!

but the equality-model as the foundation for modern liberal dickwad politics (ie. liberal politics) was first advanced in the male civil rights context.  in other words, the idea that there is no legitimate reason to treat black men any differently than white men are treated.  but disenfranchised men, and only men, were meant to be included in the arguments against slavery, and all race-based anti-discrimination discourses that came later.  in her essay “reflections on sex equality under law,” catharine mackinnon notes that including women in federal workplace discrimination legislation was an afterthought, and sneaky politicking by a racist senator that was intended to bring about the failure of anti-racist legislation by including teh wimmins in it.  (heartwarming isnt it?)  for some reason, it passed anyway:

but just because women were now technically protected under anti-discrimination law in certain situations, it doesnt mean what we might like it to mean, when the laws were drafted and intended to apply to only men, and in fact have only men in mind throughout.  and where the favored liberal-dickwad argument is “but thats not fairrrrrr, you wouldnt do that to a white man.”  for example, in an employment context: you would never stick a white man in the kitchen of a restaurant instead of letting him wait tables.  or, you would never execute a white man for sticking his dick into someone.  etc., etc.  male-centric anti-discrimination discourse addresses and prevents failures of application onlymeaning: if it makes sense for a white man, it makes sense for a black man.  if it doesnt make sense to make a white man do something, then it doesnt make sense to make a black man do it either.  not surprisingly, unfair-application isnt the issue though, when addressing the ways women are victimized as women, by men.  namely, female-reproductive issues and the sexual abuse of girls and women by men:

what the failure-of-application or “equality” model doesnt address, doesnt anticipate and doesnt care about at all, is the failure of reason that comes into play when any male-centered discourse is applied to women.  for example, sick time, and the 40-hour workweek.  its all well and good (under an equality model, its not “unfairrrr”) to give everyone (or no-one) 5 days a year of sick-time right?  its all well and good (under an equality model) to force everyone to sit at their desks for 8 hours a day, every day, if they expect a paycheck.  but women are subjected to medical events that men arent, just by virtue of being biologically female (care to name them?).  they are also more likely to be the caretakers of the home and of children because they are socially female.  you see where i am going with this.  and it gets worse.

the inapplicability insanity of applying of male-centric disourse to womens bodies and lives becomes glaringly obvious when observing the mental (and legislative) gymnastics regarding the fetus, and its relationship to the pregnant woman carrying it.  the best they have so far been able to do (bless their clueless hearts!!!1!!11  actually, no.  fuck them all.  srsly.) is to regard the fetus as a body part.  because men have body parts tooooo!!111!11  but a fetus is NOT a “body part,” and its in fact completely irrational and unreasonable to regard something as something it isnt:

ignore the dangling words at the end there.

do we get it now?  its not merely unfairrrrr when male-centric discourses are used against women, as women.  its literally insane.  its not rational.  so, when the liberal dickwads snort and knee-slap over the monty-python players in the “witch village” clip, what is being criticised here really?  men murdering women of their own class based on misogynist religious superstition (literally, insanity masquerading as logic) and sex-based discrimination in the legal system?  HA!  not likely:

taken in the context of monty pythons usual social class-commentary and criticism of the ruling elite, this is clearly a criticism of religion and superstition sullying the legal process, which is usually rational, although perhaps unfairly applied, against men, by other men.  whew!  thank (us rational men) this doesnt happen anymore!  except that it does.  this very type of shit happens all the time, when you are a woman.  reason, fails.  logic, fails. 

more examples!  the male-centric discourse surrounding sex, which is that PIV = sex = PIV.  you went over to his house because you wanted to have sex, and he stuck his dick in you against your will…well, sorry, but you actually asked for it.  HUH?  yes!  reality of course being completely irrelevant here, which is the problem when we are dealing in INSANITY.  a mother abusing her child gets an extra-harsh sentence for “abusing a trust relationship” because we are allegedly, as a civil society, horrified when people abuse trust-relationships.  right?  not so fast.  even *if* the male-centric legal system applied this one equally to male abusers of children (they dont), we are still left with a significant problem, in that its not even fucking true.  we *dont* value trust-relationships, at all.  or at least, when a trusted man rapes a woman, its not really rape at all in most peoples minds, because she knew him, and trusted him.  HUH?  the examples of this kind of shit are endless, and the legal frameworks of both motherhood and “sex” are extremely…fertile…ground.

the equality-model and liberal-dickwad politics dont work for us, because they dont protect us in the way we need protecting: from men, exploiting girls and womens biological femaleness for our destruction and their gain. 

and we have to understand that its not intended to.  men create this chaos, this unreasonableness, and force women to live in it, because it benefits men to do so.  our adpoting male-centric liberal dickwad politics isnt going to help us a damn bit, when men *are* our problem, and they always have been, and they fucking revel in it.

“Having Children” Is a Euphemism May 28, 2010

Posted by FCM in gender roles, health, kids, PIV, pop culture, radical concepts, rape, WTF?.
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my mother never wanted children. she married young, was forced into it by her own mother to hear her tell it, and she was on the pill 5 years when she started having side effects from it. so she quit taking it. and my dad, the privileged, entitled fuck of a man he was (and still is) refused to wear a condom, and continued to fuck her anyway i mean they continued to have sex, regardless. and she ended up pregnant with me. (happy times! yay!)

i was 2 months old when she got knocked up again. she went in for a post-natal checkup, and got the good news. did i say good news? i meant soul-crushingly awful news, horrible news, wish you could travel back in time and do everything different news. my sister was on the way. (blessed be! oh beautiful motherhood!)

my brother was conceived under similar circumstances, but his conception wasnt really discussed, as it paled in comparison to the drama that was his birth: as soon as he came out, he turned blue. he was terminally ill, had a congenital heart defect which was supposed to have killed him within the first few weeks of his life. (oh the joy! i am welling up, seriously). but my mom was a nurse, or more specifically, a woman who wanted to be a doctor but never went any further because she got knocked up a bunch of times and got stuck with all the childcare and domestic duties and put my dad through medical school instead. but i digress. she literally saved my brothers life, many times, until the last time, when she didnt. he died when he was 21.  my mom had been divorced from my dad for 10 years by then. he was rich. she was poor.

my mom tells me that people her age all talk about their kids. “how many kids do you have?” is a common icebreaker. she didnt mention whether this is prefaced by “do you have kids?” or not, but i think i know the answer to that. anyway, this kind of piqued my interest, since my brother was no longer around. i asked her whether she says she has 2 kids, or 3. she said she always responds “i have three.”

i love my mother, and i loved my brother. i love my sister, and i am sure they all love me. but “having children” is a sick and inadequate euphemism for what happened to my mother, for what my father did to her, in the context of her marriage, and in the grand scheme of her life. it renders so much of her suffering, and so much inequity in so many het relationships completely and utterly invisible. it all disappears, behind a romantic smokescreen we know as “marriage,” wrapped up in a fanciful and improbable lie regarding womens “true natures” as mothers and caregivers. so many women dont choose this, and would never choose this, to hear them tell it. but they live it, regardless.

“having children” is a euphemism for what men do to women, one of many, the almost inevitable result of mandatory PIV and compulsory heterosex.  “sex” is a euphemism too.  people dont tell the truth, do they, when they are talking about things that affect women, and the reality of womens lives?