By way of explanation


  • Soon before her self-banishment to the howling wilds of South Florida, Giuleah was told by "those who foster her" that Catgut had an opening for a southern correspondent. It was no twentynothing nation, but Giuleah reasoned that someday she's be thirtysomething anyway.

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April 17, 2006

Comments

Bixi

Feminism is a political movement and an analytic lens for all times, for all places, for all people, including within gay male communities and within trans communities...

Thank you for writing about this difficult issue, giuleah. When you try to wrap your mind around it all, it just dissolves in your hands. To seek gender liberation, to be a "good feminist," is to work toward the dissociation of particular characteristics from particular genders. If you're working toward the realization of that goal (which I think a lot of trans people are not), then why the impetus to change genders at all? Then again, if gendered characteristics are completely dissociated from sex and there is no essential maleness or femaleness, what does it matter if someone wants to change their gender? And why, if there's no essential femaleness, I might ask myself, am I so glad that I was born a woman? Hmm.

I expect (but do not anticipate) that every person I encounter be a feminist, and what I must be sure of is that I give male-born men as hard a time about their misogynist viewpoints as I would give trans men espousing similar viewpoints.

Lissa

Very prescient. This is about fifteen minutes of editing away from being an ass-kicking, face-owning, apoplexy-inducing opinion column. Go publish it somewhere already, eh?

*grin*

maddy

"Women want to be penetrated; that’s what makes them women.” What we have here is what I'd call a pretty assinine description of womanhood. Why do newspapers and magazines get criticized for not publishing more pieces by women? Is it because the 51 percent of the population which wants to be penetrated is not having its voice heard? Are people sitting at home asking themselves, ""I wonder what those who enjoy penetration think about the idea of national healthcare. What's the view of willing penetratees on a sound exit strategy for Iraq? What unique issues do they feel are being overlooked by the mainstream media--besides, of course, how damn good it feels to be penetrated?" (Incidentally, I'd say that issue has gotten a lot more play in the media in the past half century, although when compared to press coverage of the thrill of penetrating, it has a lot of catching up to do.) When you learn that there is to be a woman speaker at a


Never mind that it comes from suave, confident Flo--the "man in a woman's body." I question Flo's authority on the subject of sex difference. And I want to know where Flo (he? she? penetrator or penetratee?) stands on the question of "a woman's right to choose." For Flo, this right must not be one of choosing whether to be penetrated--only when, where, by whom and under what circumstances. Which is clearly wack. Flo may not want to be penetrated, but supposing Flo got pregnant. Gender essentialism may not be total crap, but Flo's version sounds like it to me.

Anyway, who says trans men are "former women"? I bristle at the idea that they have more authority on the subject of sex difference than the rest of us. On the other hand, I seriously doubt that transsexuals and trans people of all varieties are worse offenders in the realm of gross sexism than the rest of us. Many have developed more complicated and enlightened views of sexuality and gender through their experiences--and for the rest, well, they can think what they need to think for the time being. If these facile definitions make their lives easier and give them more social and sexual confidence, then fine. Biological men and women alike have been relying on facile notions of sexual identity for long enough, and until we get over it, trans people should be able to take part in the fun.

Bixi

No, no one can have fun! No fun!

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