In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

Reproductive organs: This is the shit I’m talking about

[Trigger warning: transphobia]

This is the shit I’m talking about: TERFs love to insist that women are not defined by our reproductive organs, until they need an excuse to exclude trans women, at which point we’re defined exclusively by our reproductive organs. And they always have to throw in a little goddess-moon-divine-menstruation magic, too, and that’s another one: Conservative Christians using their religion to police women’s bodies is wrong, but using foofy sacred-divine-goddess mysticism is perfectly acceptable for TERFy purposes.

Trump’s new policy about transgender service members is bullshit.

With three early-morning tweets on Wednesday, Trump has declared that thousands of troops who have chosen to risk their lives for their country, who have done what millions of Americans — including Trump himself — have never done, won’t be allowed to serve because their healthcare is too expensive. And that is an uningnorable factor — Trump has also established that a group of people can be declared a “tremendous burden” and marginalized and cast out into the cold.

This is, of course, bullshit.

While We Were Out: North Carolina’s Bathroom Law

[Content note: mentions of transphobia and child sexual abuse]

While Feministe has been down, an issue erupted in North Carolina about where trans people are allowed to pee. In response to a local ordinance in Charlotte outlawing discrimination against trans people, the North Carolina legislature passed HB2, a law mandating discrimination, requiring trans people to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate rather than the gender with which they identify.

Here are some highlights, if somehow you missed it while you were missing us.

Betty Peters hates Common Core, PowerPoint, and “counting up”

Alabama School Board member Betty Peters really, really hates Common Core. Like, a lot. A lot. No, seriously, you really can’t appreciate how much she hates Common Core. And it’s because the homosexualists are trying to make our sons wear outfits, and do math in stupid ways that didn’t get us to the moon, and the SPLC and their PowerPoint presentations full of charts, and we have to stand up for our children.

Every time Tina Healy comes out to her mom, it’s great

Tina Healy, a disability support worker and an advocate for Gender Diversity Australia, came out as transgender three and a half years ago. But she comes out to her mother every few weeks — her mother has Alzheimer’s, and her dementia started developing two years ago, around the time Healy first came out to her. Healy visits her mother every few weeks, and every time she does, she comes out again, and every time she does, she gets the “same, beautiful” response.

Breaking: charges in the murder of Islan Nettles


James Dixon has been charged with manslaughter in the 2013 murder of Islan Nettles, a young black trans woman in NYC. He is pleading not guilty. The crime is not being charged as a hate crime because the police say they cannot tell what was said before Dixon beat Nettles to death, but no motive beyond transmisogyny transmisogynoir has been suggested.

Insofar as one can be pleased about anything in this situation, I am glad that Nettles’s death was not allowed to pass unnoticed and ignored by the city, and I am glad to say that the linked NYT article genders her correctly, although it refers to her gender identity as her “sexual orientation.” It is unclear to me whether this is a result of ignorance, a mistake, or because “sexual orientation” is included as a protected category in NY’s hate crimes law and gender identity is not, though gender is.

I don’t have anything analytical to say about this, but I remember how upsetting this murder was to many of us here, and I wanted to update the community.

Trans women and the future


This article, by Kai Cheng Tom, is a moving and beautifully written piece about what it means to be a young trans woman of color and to read over and over again about the violent death of women like you.

I have argued for years that male rape of women is a terrorist act, reminding all women what men can do to us, how vulnerable we are, how we have no way to exist in safety in this world. That the knock-on effects of one woman’s rape extends to her family and friends (if she feels comfortable enough to share the story) and beyond, if the news media picks it up. I do not mean to imply by this that survivors of rape should keep quiet or that rape should not be reported in the news. The problem is not knowledge. The problem is rape.

I gave up an extra unpaid job writing for a local Queens newspaper more than fifteen years ago because I was having to cover community board meetings etc. that took place in the evening, and thus had to take the G train back home to Brooklyn late at night. The G train ran seldom and was usually empty, and this was just the time that a man dubbed by the local news as “the G-train rapist” was operating. So much for a career in journalism.

Edit: I think this kind of unremitting, unrelenting violence against trans women is also terrorism. Look at the effects on the trans women who are not its direct victims. Look at the way Kai Cheng Tom has to live in fear, how hard it becomes to envision a future free of that violence and the fear of it. I felt something that I think is a little similar when I was 18 and I started to find out how many of my friends had been raped: I started to think that being raped was inevitable. But as a cis white woman, I had many more resources for support, ways to help me move past that feeling.

And at least I could give up that job–women who had paid jobs late at night on the G line couldn’t. And what are trans women supposed to do? Stop being?

Trans women need a future. They deserve a future. So what I’m posting here is a link to a piece on trans people over 50. Some transitioned later, some earlier. But they’re still here, still living, still making lives and happiness. If we are all lucky, this is what the future looks like.

Edited because I lost the thread originally and forgot to make the parallel between rape of cis women and transmisogynist violence that I was trying to create clear. Sorry about that. That’s what I get for composing directly on-site instead of drafting.