Tweet this shit, or spin these yarns over a craft beer at your favorite sex-positive-poly-queer-trans-feminine bar and grille

Hypotaxis

(This is a collaboration with the amazingly clever Phonaesthetica.)

About a month ago, AfterEllen.com published a lengthy trans-apologist piece absolving men-who-feel-like-women of all culpability in the destruction of women-only and lesbian space. The article was the usual, run-of-the-mill, “Why all you dykes gotta be so uptight?” bullshit espoused by liberal feminists who are far more concerned with protecting the delicate male ego than supporting women, much less lesbians. Unsurprisingly, the article culminated with the author expressing hope that the word “lesbian” will be diluted to accommodate men and no longer denote “female homosexual.”

The article was the same old trite, man-centric, mental-Cheetos one might find on Everydaymisogyny.com or the TransAdvocate: Lesbians are mean because they don’t want dick. Radical feminists are mean because their politics center women.

Predictably, the author of the AfterEllen.com article cited “internet sensation” Cathy Brennan as being the meanest mean of ALL TIMES, fixating on her…

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Michfest – going home, leaving home

Listening to Lesbians

I close my eyes and I am back in the Michigan woods, lying in fern and leaf litter, listening to the woods and the voices of women. I open my eyes and the shadow of leaves and voices remain while the sounds of Australian birds and the smell of Australian plants intrude. They’re not ferns, but they’re what I have and they are glorious.

Banksia Not remotely fernlike…

This year, for my first and only time, I went to Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, started by Lisa Vogel 40 years ago. I had gone with as few expectations as possible, helped by the flurry of activity in the weeks before I left and the daze I walked through the gate in.

The experience was a revelation, in expected and unexpected ways.

While listening to CC Carter sing about her hips, I realised with a rush that this is what representation might feel…

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Is there a ‘state of emergency’ around trans murders in the US?

Open Letter to MANA

Please email womancenteredmidwifery@gmail.com to sign-on to this open letter:

Open Letter to the Midwives Alliance of North America regarding the recent revisions to the organization’s standing Core Competencies Document:

August 20, 2015

Dear Midwives Alliance of North America Board of Directors and MANA Membership:

We are writing in response to your revisions of the MANA Core Competencies. MANA’s attempts at inclusivity are commendable in today’s complex world. We are concerned, however, by accelerating trends in our culture to deny material biological reality and further disconnect ourselves from nature, and the ways in which the revisions may support these trends. Midwives have long practiced the precautionary principle, counseling against the adoption of technologies and theories that have not been proven safe or beneficial to mothers and babies, and by extension, the entire human community. We respectfully ask the MANA board to reverse the 2014 revisions and consider the ways in which the attempted changes may have harmful implications for women.

Full letter at link here.

The “Equality Act” Hurts Women

On Speaking Out

By Kathy Mandigo

I have been extremely gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response I have seen to the essay I wrote, My Disservice to My Transgendered Patients, which was published on Radfem Repost.  Thank-you to all who took the time to send a comment, whether anonymously by way of a blog, or personally by other means.

A common theme that struck me was the expression of thanks for my bravery, appreciation for my courage as a health care professional to speak against the wave of transgenderism that has swept our society.

Thank You - Danke

I would say that, as I wrote and submitted the essay, I, too, thought I was taking a chance.  It took me many years to figure out my own position; when I realized that I disagreed with the prevalent medical view, it took time for me to sit with that and understand it; once I felt comfortable with what I had sorted for myself, I decided I had an obligation to make that disagreement known.  This lengthy process speaks to the pressure to conform, and to some reluctance, even fear, about going against the tide and possibly facing uncomfortable consequences.

The reality is that, to date, there have been less than a handful of negative comments, and they generally missed the points I made and were sent by anonymous people known for being professionally negative on the internet.  I have not taken such comments seriously.

That isn’t to say there isn’t cause for fear.  I know Canada is a different country than the US, that Canadians tend to yell at each other less (though we are working on reducing our civility) and we have fewer guns at large (though one of my medical school professors was murdered).

However, I believe it is important for each of us, as we can, to speak up for our beliefs, with our real names in our real lives.  If we fear losing our jobs – are those the employers we want to support with our efforts? is that an environment in which we want to spend so much of our waking hours?  If we fear losing family members – if they would leave us over this, I would venture to say they will leave us anyway, if not over this then over something else; meanwhile, we are withholding from them our true selves, our true thoughts, and our example of standing up for what we think is right.  If we fear losing our friends – are they truly friends if we can be censured for our honesty?

I suspect a big factor in people feeling afraid to speak out on transgenderism is that they see others being afraid, others using pseudonyms, and from that they assume such protection is necessary.

In my experience, to date, it is not, and, in my experience, I am standing taller and feeling more seen and validated than I ever have in my professional career.

That being said, I have not had any comments from my personal colleagues, I assume most likely because most of them haven’t seen the essay, and others already knew my thoughts.  I look forward to my colleagues whom I know to feel as I do to speak out, to increase our numbers and make our voice stronger.  I look forward to my colleagues having an honest public discussion as health care professionals about what, exactly, we are doing, and whether any of us want to continue down this path.

When we stay hidden, we give our power away.  Having seen the truth, living a lie diminishes us. Don’t all of us, when hearing of atrocities far from us in time or place, want to believe that, had we been there, we would have met the challenge and stood up for what we believed was right? Those of us who are early to see the lie have the responsibility, and honour, to light a different course and provide guidance, and perhaps, by our actions, we will bring relief to some who otherwise would have continued to suffer.

When we speak our truth, we feel our integrity expand and solidify.  We find new friends, with whom we can breath deeply.  We discover how very proud we have made some of those who love us. And then it gets easier to be a bit more courageous the next time, and the next, to the point where it no longer feels like courage, but simply doing the necessary thing, and we wonder what ever held us back in the first place.

The more of us who speak out against transgenderism, as real people with real jobs and real families and real friends, the sooner we can halt at least this faction of the gender industry and the atrocities being rendered in the name of gender dysphoria. Then we will have more energy and attention to turn to other, vital issues.

Exiles in their own flesh: A psychotherapist speaks

4thWaveNow

This is a guest post submitted by Lane Anderson (a pseudonym), a practicing psychotherapist who has worked extensively with “trans kids” and their families. She shares with us her clinical insights into her clients, child psychology, and the impact of the transgender phenomenon on our society as a whole.

If there are other mental health providers reading this post, please consider guest posting or responding in the comments section below the article.


I am a licensed psychotherapist. I’m writing this post on my last day at a teen health clinic, where I’ve seen patients and their families for nearly a decade.

In the past year especially, it’s become increasingly clear to me that I cannot uphold the primary value of my profession, to do no harm, without also seriously jeopardizing my standing in the professional community.  It’s a terrible and unfortunate conflict of interest. I’ve lost much sleep over the fact that, for a significant portion of my clients and their parents, I am unable to provide what they profess…

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Interview With Kathy Mandigo

Mark Cummings and Lynna Lopez interview Kathy Mandigo on Transition Radio.

Watch here.

Moar MichFest

IronFoxe reports on an Intention vs. Inclusion workshop.

“As someone with a history of being open to having this discussion, and more importantly as someone who has suffered negative consequences for having done so, I had low expectations for this workshop but I have to say I stand happily corrected. The organizers were dedicated to safety and respect, they laid out firm groundwork for having this conversation in an open manner, and they were sure everyone got to speak genuinely. They had thought-provoking exercises to engage us with, in groups and pairs and on our own, to challenge our thoughts and help us navigate where our sisters with differing views were coming from. They clearly had put a lot of effort and heart into creating that space, and they did an outstanding job of it.”

A slideshow from the final Fest, by Heart.

When Women Were Warriors weighs in.

“The fireworks. And fairy forest. I feel to type it all out somehow flattens what really happens on that land. The reason I bother to say any of this at all is because I hope to see women recreate space like that all over the world until there is no Man’s Land left.”

Lori King writes about a bit of herstory of Fest.

AspensPlease was ambivalent.

“Over the years, “I’m not down with that” became “I’m not up for that,” but my basic answer to Michfest remained the same. I vaguely appreciated its existence, I vaguely disagreed with the intention against trans inclusion. Because Michfest had nothing to do with me, I never tried to nail down my thoughts beyond that.”

Elle Kacee blogs of singing at breakfast, with videos.

Loving Lily was pleasantly surprised.

“Michigan was immaculate the whole time I was there. Women cleaned up after ourselves. There was no violence, yelling or public drunkenness. If you had camping gear or duffle bags or other possessions, you could put them on the ground with NO FEAR of anything being stolen or destroyed.”

image

Photo credit: Elle Kacee.

Recent Events at Orwell Correctional Institution

By Vliet Tiptree

Something is afoot at the Orwell Correctional Institution. There are stirrings at this large venerable penistentiary, which seems as old as the oceans which border it on both sides.

The prisoners are restless. The Warden and the guards know something is coming and have been especially vigilant removing suspected troublemakers to Solitary lately.

Orwell is a minimum-security prison. The prisoners are non-violent and receive more privileges than at other places in the System. This means they need a firm guiding hand, as prisoners given an inch will try to take a mile.

Orwell is one of only a few minimum-security facilities worldwide. There are plenty of maximum-security prisons elsewhere, some quite strict. The prisoners in those places are seldom heard from. They communicate only through lacy slots in their iron doors. No need for books in those places – the prisoners weren’t allowed to learn to read, as they were bound for prison anyway and literacy is a known risk factor for breakouts. Even in their yards these prisoners have to be robed and veiled, or the guards will attack them. Rickets is a common result as their skin is never exposed to sunlight. Yes, the Wardens at these places elsewhere run a tight ship. If their prisoners act up they may get the rest of their lips sewn shut.

Orwell is leagues more progressive than these places, and the prisoners are lucky to be there.

. . . . . . . . . .

The prisoners at OCI have all committed the same felony – Alive While Female. AWF charges always result in convictions and a life sentence.

The guards are almost all men, though they are assisted in day-to-day work by the Trustys, cooperative prisoners who can be relied upon to watch prisoners from within their cells for a few extra dollars or a pat on the head.

The prisoners are almost all women, though a few oddball guards have “gone native” and entered cells voluntarily. But this isn’t about that.

Prisoners daydream about getting out someday. But that would require a lot of expensive legal help – they’d have to go to the Supreme Court of Wardens – and the prisoners aren’t paid for most of their work. The hours are 24/7 and their bodies, minds, and souls are appropriated for this work, which the guards consider far too soul-deadening to do themselves. The prisoners take care of the guards and children, clean dirty things like toilets and floors, prepare huge amounts of pizza and steak and mancheeze and curry every night, and must serve the guards in uncomfortable costumes in which their surgically-altered secondary sexual characteristics must be fully displayed and frequently squeezed. Their main prison job is Sexual Access. They do get occasional tips and pats and few days off for childbirth, and, as the guards constantly remind them, their food and shelter is provided for free so they have it easy, actually.

Even though OCI inmates are treated more leniently than at many other prisons, OCI has ongoing disciplinary problems. Occasionally prisoners try to escape, but they are promptly catcalled back through the gates by off-duty guards. They are allowed to read, though they do complain that books at the prison library are extremely boring as they are all written by guards so that prisoners appear only as inanimate costumed objects in them, and also that the prisoners in the books are often unhappy, but unlike in real prison life, can be made madly happy simply by receiving another pat on the head. They also complain that in these books the worldwide Prison System is never mentioned. These rather over-privileged prisoners can be ungrateful, not understanding their luck in being kept safe and protected from marauding guards from stricter prisons.

To keep prisoners on track, TVs are kept on night and day, or loudspeakers play pop music, and each and every speech and song repeats the same two words over and over: PUT OUT…PUT OUT. Prisoners become pliant and amenable to Sexual Access after a few decades of this.

Prisoners can become Trustys by fraternizing with the guards – the quickest route to Trusty status is to fraternize with a Hefner, a male decades older than they – but as the prisoner passes the age of 45 (or younger at places like Malibu Surf Facility) she is likely to be demobilized and revert to plain Prisoner status. Most prisoners end up fraternizing, not just to become a Trusty, but also to avoid being called an Elle and correctively raped.

A small population of prisoners escape fraternization by pretending they have seen a ghost. They are transferred to a pleasant walled facility with candles and incense. There, they do the same work as prisoners and also have to do a lot of chanting and marry a ghost, but are permitted to remain celibate.

Life is not all Easy Street for the minimum-security inmates at Orwell. There are regular riots, started by the guards, not the prisoners. The guards build up some steam, egg each other on, break into the ammo shed, and start shooting at each other and the prisoners. Though the guards start the riots and the prisoners are injured and killed in special predictable unfortunate ways during these riots, the prisoners are later blamed for the riots, because of the Special Prison Rule of Proxy Violence , which means prisoners are responsible whenever guards get crazy..

. . . . . . . . . .

A century ago at Orwell, some of the prisoners came to the conclusion that they had done nothing to justify their imprisonment. They began remonstrating with the guards, marching around with signs, and fasting. The guards ignored them at first, but finally the Warden had to do something, so he awarded the prisoners an extra cookie ration, which the prisoners of course had to bake themselves. The prisoners wrote about these events and secreted their writings under the bathroom sinks, where guards never look.

Forty years later, the same thing happened again. A new generation of prisoners began making noises about freedom and justice, but this time the Warden was ready with a million excuses. First and foremost, he responded in scholarly tones, no one could even remember when there hadn’t been prisons and guards and prisoners. The Prison System must be natural. After all, would the Prison System have lasted so long, and occur so universally, if it wasn’t the best possible evolutionary result?

Furthermore, the prisoners enjoyed prison life; they would sometimes laugh and sing and dance a jig in blackface as they washed the rags and scrubbed the floors; they could even become Trustys and receive some respect. Also, prisoners were known to be too fragile to live outside the walls, and they were too weak, what with all their childbearing and some sort of bizarre interest in Nature, to handle guarding and engage in rioting and exploitation of the Earth.

To put a capper on it, there was the rule of nature that only guards could live outside the prison. As a token of his empathy, however, the Warden awarded the prisoners another extra cookie ration, which the prisoners declined, as they knew by now that the guards would sneak in at midnight and eat the cookies.

. . . . . . . . . .

Even with all this historical lack of success, the Orwell prisoners are protesting again. This time they have prepared legal, epistemological, ontological, normative, empirical, statistical, ethological, anthropological, historical, and novel arguments, not to mention that they have a whale of a lot of surveillance video showing dispositively that all their arrests were illegal and that their status is intolerably unjust and unheard of in the annals of humanity.

The guards refer their complaint to the Warden. A few empathetic words are spoken. The prisoners await a full apology, the gates swinging open, release papers, a final end to their imprisonment. They smile hopefully and put away the turkey and pickles, the ghee, the fire-sticks, the dirty clothes and the toilet rags and the pushup bras. They know their cause is just and only one rational response is possible.

The next day, a long long limo pulls up at the gates. The Governor is escorted into the Warden’s office and a meeting behind closed doors ensues. The guards are then brought into the guards’ gym and another closed meeting is held. Muffled noises are heard, but the prisoners can’t make out the words.

The prisoners bite their nails, bate their breath, begin packing the few possessions that belong solely to them into their pillowcases.

They are called into the yard. The guards, standing behind the Warden and the Governor, appear serious, grave even. The Governor moves in front, stroking his starred-and-striped tie.

The prisoners nudge each other, eyes alight. A historic announcement is coming!

The band strikes up a new tune, one that seems vaguely familiar. The Governor raises his hands like a conductor and the guards open their mouths and white balloons are released overhead. In perfect unison the guards begin to sing the song they have been rehearsing, with a refrain which will ring in the prisoners’ ears long after they are herded back to their cells and the doors clang shut for another generation: BUT WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ?!”

 

The End

________________________________________________________________

Alternate Ending in a Parallel Just World

The Governor smiles for his photo op, then gets into his limo. He settles back on the cream-colored leather, takes a deep breath, and flashes back to what he saw for an instant as he faced the prisoners and the chorus was sung.

Their faces scared him. He shrugs mentally, fastens his seat belt. “Get me out of here,” he tells the driver. The key turns in the ignition. And boom, without ado the Governor and his limo are transformed into a more suitable form of energy, becoming a cloud of excited molecules in a storm of heat and light. The gates of Orwell open wide and forever; cheering is heard; and the Governor always was just hot air.

Reprinted with permission from FeminismXX.

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