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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?
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.

Workplace Sexual Harassment: Framing the Issues July 25, 2011

Posted by FCM in feminisms, gender roles, PIV, rape, trans.
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i wrote about issue-framing here and i wanted to write about it again.  yes, its that important that feminists get this and understand it at a deep level: men get it and understand it and use it against us all the time.  and its time for us to start doing it too, en masse.  we need to frame the issues to benefit *us* for a change, because issue-framing is at least half the battle, if not more.  if youve never thought about it or cant tell who benefits from the way issues are currently framed, chances are whomever it benefits, its not you.

so.  on the issue of workplace sexual harassment and sex-discrimination: how is this issue currently being framed?  well, undercover punk has cited this paper about a million times and i just had the extreme displeasure of reading the article in its entirety: apparently, if you frame the issue of workplace sexual harassment and discrimination just right, you get to include protections for transgender and transsexual persons “right” to gender-nonconform in the workplace.  thats right!  men are constantly, CONSTANTLY bemoaning the fact that there are any social controls on them at all, and this includes having to wear “appropriate” clothes to work.  and…shaving.  solution: call yourself transgender, and you get to redefine workplace-appropriate, to suit yourself.

you also get to work within the current frame of sexual harassment and discrimination, which is intended to and does benefit men (and not women) and to further frame (and reframe) the issue to benefit men, MOAR.  those special snowflake men who dont feel the way they imagine men should feel (ie. the opposite of what they currently feel, when they imagine they feel like women feel.  got that?  good).  and transmen get a bit of a coattail-ride here, so they arent saying anything, but they absolutely should be.  heres why…

when the question is asked (in the offending–and offensive–article above) “what is the harm of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination” the author answers her own question, as authors are wont to do.  heres what she said to herself:

self?  the problem with it is 1)  the unfair consideration of biological differences between males and females; 2) the resort to archaic notions about the skills, abilities, or desires of men and women; 3) the perpetuation of stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity; and 4) the unwelcome instigation of sexual behavior in inappropriate settings.

lets hope she came to this conclusion after she did her research and not before…but theres probably not much chance that that happened is there?  oh well.  if teh menz can routinely start with a conclusion and work their way backwards, (ie.  how can we make it so we win, no matter what?) instead of actually being honest and examining the issues objectively, so can she.  im just saying.

so anyway, shes framed the issues thusly (the “problems” in her estimation are sexual harassment versus sexual discrimination) and narrowed it down to 4–apparently shared–harms.  but i think it can actually be narrowed down to 2, and she didnt include either one of them.  first, i think the “harm” of workplace sexual harassment is that references to unwanted PIV are a rape-threat.  okay?  everyone, and i mean everyone considers PIV “sexual behavior” (instead of calling it what it is: penis-in-vagina, and female-specific harm) and “unwanted PIV” is fucking rape.  thats what it is.  of course, men have framed this issue to benefit themselves:  they dont know their PIV-references are unwanted until they try it, and are rebuffed!  but guess what dickwads?  from my perspective, its unwanted the first time, and you shouldnt get a second chance to rape-threat me (ie. referencing unwanted PIV) at fucking work.  but they do.  and they get second, third and fourth chances too, being that the standard of illegality of this rape-threatening behavior is apparently “its so egregious that it would tend to repulse a dirty old male attorney.”  DUBIOUS.  STANDARD.  at best.

and the harm of “sexual discrimination” is probably two-fold:  one, if women cant work for a living, or be truly upwardly mobile (aka. gainfully employed) we are going to be financially insecure and threatened with looming homelessness, both of which lead to our vulnerability to mens PIV-centric sexuality and being threatened with male violence and rape.  and two, if you force women to behave “femininely” in the workplace, and forbid them to act “masculinely” you are reserving true success (as defined by men in the male-dominated workplace) for men, and leaving women at the bottom being sweet to everyone and making the coffee.  and…see #1 for why thats a problem.  and, see “sexual harassment” for more context too (see, even differentiating harassment from discrimination is questionable when viewed from womens perspective isnt it?)

these are the harms of all of this, to us.  to women.  its not that we think “sex” and the workplace dont mix, who has time to worry about that?  jesus fucking christ.  i cant even open up my email or buy my lunch without being bombarded with a hundred demeaning and sexually charged images every day, at work. no, thats not the problem at all (well it is, but we arent talking about the complete eradication of pornified images from the entire world, or im not in this post).

and i dont give a fuck, as it were, whether i am allowed or forbidden to “express” my real, true heartfelt gender at work: whether i even have a “heartfelt gender” is highly questionable.  again, who has the time for such namby pamby idiotic bitching about trite bullshit that doesnt even matter?  what i do care about is that pretty much however i *behave* at work, whether its stereotypically feminine or not, i am at extreme risk of failure, or failure to thrive, because i was born female and for no other reason but that. women-born-women literally cannot do anything right, where feminine behaviors are not correlative with male-defined success, and masculine behaviors are reserved for men. thats the harm of enforcing stereotypical behaviors at work, for women.  its not oh boo-hoo, you arent honoring the trueness of my preferred favorite gender.  its not oh poor me, everyone gets to act out their gender except me.  okay?

and this is how the transactivists are framing the issues of workplace sexual harassment and sex-discrimination–issues that women and feminists have been working very hard on to gain any ground at all mind you.  we gained an inch or two, and they took the wheel and laid on the gas and are off into poor-teh-menz territory quicker than shit.  what about teh menz!  which is ironic, considering that the way it was before demonstrably and intentionally benefited men too.  they win, no matter what.  this is what happens, when they are allowed to frame the issues, including the alleged harms and the “solutions” too.

we cannot let them do this.  or at least, it behooves all of us to see what they have done, and what they are doing and to name it.  quite alot depends on it.  women-centered reality is the only one thats going to save any of us from mens tyranny: we have seen the world through mens eyes, including our own destruction, and its all very…sexy, actually.  which is fucking hideous, and a huge red flag that something is very, very wrong.

Decoding the FAAB/MAAB “Argument” February 12, 2011

Posted by FCM in authors picks, feminisms, gender roles, health, PIV, radical concepts, trans.
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transactivists and fun-fems seem to have a lot invested in this one, dont they?  this keeps coming up, and the pomos are absolutely hell-bent on denying that FAAB is a meaningful distinction.  even though there are actual criteria that define it, pomos insist that there shouldnt be.  that its not fair to distinguish FAAB from MAAB.  or at least, that the differences between FAAB and MAAB are irrelevant.  now why would this be?

admittedly, i am not a great chess-player. but luckily for me, the pomos arent playing chess.  i know a strategy when i smell one.  and i smell some strategizing here, big time.  (to the war room!)  obviously, the FAAB issue is a very important battle, and they’ve given that much away from the beginning, by spending inordinate amounts of time on it.  so, whats over that particular horizon that they want so badly?

if FAAB as a meaningful category were removed from the feminist game, what would be different?

well, one obvious result, if the pomos got what they wanted here, would be that in successfully rendering FAAB meaningless, then its opposite, MAAB, would also be rendered meaningless. being two-sides of the same nonexistent coin and all.  they never really mention MAAB by itself, or call attention to it at all, instead preferring to lash out at FAAB (by discounting the importance of girlhood for example) but i think its an omission of the glaring kind.  again, they arent so great at keeping secrets.  so the question that needs asking here is probably this: who would gain if MAAB were rendered meaningless?

lets explore!  first, a little (recycled) graphic:

this chart outlines how the FAAB/MAAB distinction is made, based on the presentation of a childs genitals at birth.  “girls” are pink (female assigned at birth) and “boys” are blue (male assigned at birth).

now, regarding “gender,” i always believed that the female gender (or FAAB, if you will) was a way to funnel girl-children into an oppressive female gender role, based on their assumed ability to become pregnant.  which lets face it, almost all FAABs are capable of, and most of them are actually impregnated at some point, worldwide.  almost all. 

BUT.  whats to be made of box #3?  its pink toooo!!!111!!1  here, we have obviously intersexed babies who are unable to reproduce as females, also being assigned-female-at-birth.  why?  and why are MAABs relegated to a mere one square, when males as a sexual class are always entitled to HAVE MOAR?  (i am sorry, but this one really sticks out at me.  MAABs are fucking obsessed with everything always being representative of them, MOAR.  so much so that if and when they are ever relegated to a corner, as this chart illustrates, i believe this indicates that there is something there worth exploring.  and particularly, as here, if they are trying to divert attention from it and onto something else, its roughly equivalent to about sixteen billion red flags).

what i am thinking at the moment is that FAAB itself, as a category, appears to represent all bodies that cannot cause female-specific harm to other people, in the way of pregnancy, medical-events and trauma-bonding, via PIV.  doesnt it?  not all FAAB bodies can *be* harmed this way (if they arent impregnable).  but NONE of the bodies represented by the FAAB distinction can cause female-specific harm.  no…that appears to be left up to the MAABs.  MAABs of course being non-impregnable (non-female) children, with enough of a dick to pass as male, as an adult.  because who would raise a child as a “boy” if it didnt even have a dick?  and on what basis exactly?

do we get it now?  when deciding whether a nonimpregnable child is MAAB/FAAB the only consideration appears to be whether theres enough of a dick there to be a threat.  YES = MAAB.  NO = FAAB.  the MAAB distinction literally turns on this: whether this person will pose a legitimate threat to women.

and every single MAAB alive was chosen as an oppressor of women, and groomed as one, because of his ability to cause female-specific harm.  based upon the appearance of his genitals, at birth.  the meaning of “gender” and the entire purpose of it is to funnel everyone into an oppressive female gender role, UNLESS they are likely able to cause female-specific harm.  then they are groomed for that, instead.

okay?  the ability to cause female-specific harm appears to be the main distinguishing characteristic of all human beings, under patriarchy.  it is THE main event.  its even more important than the ability to reproduce (this is why there are only 2 genders, but 3 sexes.  ah that pesky box #3!)  those who are able to cause female-specific harm are represented by MAAB.  everyone else, isnt.  this is not irrelevant.  far from it. 

so regarding the question, “if FAAB were removed from the feminist game, what would change?” the answer appears to be this: MAAB would also be removed from the game.  and with it, the fact that THE crucial line drawn in the sand for millenia has been based on the known dangers to women of the penis, and the creation of a master class based solely and demonstrably on the ability to cause female-specific harm, would become invisible.

it would signal the end of radical feminism, in other words.  it wouldnt be necessary, anymore.  and this is not a small thing.  not at all.  all of this also has very little to do with sparkly shirts, if it has anything to do with them at all.

Is “Joe the Plumber” a Transwoman? December 19, 2009

Posted by FCM in entertainment, gender roles, pop culture, self-identified feminist men, thats mean, trans.
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EDIT:  this video was removed from youtube but is available here.  its worth the watch.  click through to observe joe the plumber in his natural habitat (embarrassing himself and speaking out of his ass) and continue below:

heres a video of a male speaker demonstrating a facet of male-privilege: demanding respect.  he thinks that just because he is alive, and conscious, that he has the right to espouse his opinion (on a topic he clearly knows nothing about), and to be taken seriously, and to not be criticised, to boot! 

i think we can all agree that joe is male, and he is demonstrating male privilege in this video.  because from the time he was born he was never told otherwise, this man clearly thinks that hes not only entitled to his asinine opinion about *whatever* (insert any opinion on any topic) but also the god-given right to “not be chastised for it.” joy behar is no feminist, but she is an outspoken woman and she knows better. women are used to being criticised, chastised, silenced, and everything up to and including being threatened, raped, tortured and killed when we speak out, or “act up.”  men arent. FULL STOP.

so knowing what we know about male privilege and how it works, including who has it and who doesnt, watch the video.  then, read up on the behaviors and actions that make up transactivism, and utterly define transwomen to a “T” including agendas and communication styles, and tell me: is joe the plumber a TRANSWOMAN?  because thats exactly how many transwomen behave, when they arent getting the respect they want demand, and the freedom from criticism they have been used to, all their lives.

now, i dont really think that joe the plumber is a transwoman, but in all honesty, he could be. he could be a non-operative (ie. still has his dick); lesbian (ie. still fucks women with the dick he still has); male-sexed, male-gendered, and male-identified transwoman.  in other words, inside his own mind, he “feels” at odds with everything he says, feels, thinks, and sees in the mirror, but chooses not to do anything about it.  ok. now, for those of you who are still with me: should this person be allowed to use a womens restroom, if the desire overcame him to do so?  why or why not?

in other words, is the only thing that *makes* him *not* trans is that he self-identifies doesnt-not-self-identify as a man?  honestly.  what makes him a man, and not a non-operative lesbian male-sexed male-gendered male-identified transwoman?

but my main point is this, and it explains why transwomen and aggressive, entitled men behave exactly the same under similar circumstances, and the similarities are utterly uncanny.  joe the plumber isnt a transwoman.  transwomen are men.  period.

It’s Pat!-Privilege December 13, 2009

Posted by FCM in entertainment, feminisms, gender roles, health, PIV, pop culture, race, rape, self-identified feminist men, trans.
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actress julia sweeney as “pat”


theres been a lot of talk lately both here and elsewhere about what i describe as gender-bending.  the trans- are doing it.  the queer-identified are doing it.  the GLBs might be doing it, and the non-gender-conforming straights too.

but no matter how gender-bendy any of us first-world privileged people think we are being (i make more money than my spouse, and i am a hardass!  give me a prize!) one fact remains, and i think feminists everywhere need to take a hard look at it.  women in other parts of the world, in *most* parts of the world in fact, and in the rural and urban-poor first-world too, are being oppressed based on not their gender, but their born-sex.  how can you tell?  they have a gaggle of kids following behind them calling them mommy, thats how.  either that, or they are being injured or killed in childbirth.  because world-wide, womens female gender-role as heterosexual wives and mothers are as rigorously enforced upon them as is their born-sex.  they dont have a choice.  and to whatever extent *we* have a choice there, we are privileged.

you may or may not remember the character “pat” from saturday night live, but i am certain that i am dating myself by using the reference.  heres what wiki has to say:

Pat (whose full name was revealed on an episode of “Saturday Night Live” as Pat O’Neil Riley) was a somewhat overweight character with short, curly black hair who wore glasses and a blue western-style shirt with tan slacks. The character spoke in a nasally voice that sometimes squeaked. Pat apparently suffered from very sweaty palms, and constantly wiped them on his/her clothing while making a strange whimpering sound, further adding to the character’s unappealing quality. Sweeney wore no makeup and colored her lips beige to further hide any sex identity clues.

The sketches always involved the celebrity guest hosts of the show playing everyday people who encounter Pat and then go to great lengths to discover Pat’s true gender without being so rude as to actually ask (since Pat can be short for either “Patrick”, a traditionally male name, or “Patricia”, a traditionally female name). Pat remained completely oblivious, endlessly frustrating the questioners with answers that leave the character’s sex vague. The character often made statements that seemed to reveal a sex, only to then immediately confuse things again. (A typical example might be, “Sorry if I’m a little grumpy, I have really bad cramps… I rode my bike over here, and my calf muscles are KILLING me!”) In another sketch, Pat tells Kevin Nealon that his/her name is Pat Riley, same as the coach of the Lakers, “except there’s a big difference between him and me. I’m not the coach of a professional basketball team.” Other gags included Pat’s attempts at humor, which served to confuse everyone further, such as when asked what Pat is short for, the character would reply, Pat is short for “P-a-a-a-a-a-t!”, or when asked in an application for sex, Pat responded “Please!”. Another joke was when Pat was asked the full name, to which the character responded that Pat almost never referred to the character’s self by the middle name, as it was embarrassing, to which an eager audience was filled in that it was “O’Neill”, again continuing the joke.

The character was popular enough to spawn a feature length 1994 film called It’s Pat (from the lyrics of the character’s theme song on Saturday Night Live). In the film, Pat meets Chris, another sexually ambiguous character played by Dave Foley. (On SNL, Chris had been played by Dana Carvey.) They quickly fall in love and propose to each other at the exact same time. Before the wedding, however, Chris breaks up with Pat on account of Pat’s arrogance and the fact that Pat cannot decide on a direction in life.

emphases mine.

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