Archive | July 2013

“TERF Empire” are their own Death Star

59913_483922858367822_1177255215_nNo dears, it’s not the title of a bad sci-fi B movie.

When Trans pioneer Dallas Denny published an article in The Transadvocate voicing her misgivings a book to be published promoting Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism (TERF), Gender Hurts by Sheila Jeffreys, she received a letter in reply, purporting to be from a group of academics.

Apart from disingenuously attempting to play the victim and trying to claim that Ms Denny is attempting to silence radical feminists, the letter in question is full of hate and has threatening undertones;

I am writing to let you know that we were all sent a copy of your recent letter to Rutledge Press in reference to Sheila Jeffreys’ forthcoming book, Gender Hurts, and have organized a small but growing group to address the issue. We realize a corrective is urgently needed. We have held preliminary discussions to ensure that as academic women we will confront the questions beginning in the fall semester 2013 and again in the spring semester 2014.

The letter, a prodigious example of arrogance and bullshit sounded a warning and rallied us from across the curriculum. We recognize the telltale signs of a dangerous movement that feigns legitimacy in postmodern pseudoscience and meaningless jargon—, you catchin’ my cis drift? 

We will continue to coordinate our efforts so that our classrooms will be at the forefront of questioning transgender as a valid political movement—or perhaps that is just a veil for a misogynist hate group.  We will take a holistic approach and posit the distinct possibility of a fatuous diagnosis designed to camouflage less sympathetic and socially accepted issues. Students after they sift through the death and rape threats sent by Transgender “activist” to women and feminists will understand why the syllabi are not posted on-line or on the blackboard, and our decision to procure texts from other than usual sources will make clear sense to them.

The questions students will invariably ask is: why? Why the distinctly male rage? Why the threats and why the attempts to silence women and other academics?  In order to illuminate these questions we will turn attentions toward Michael Bailey’s The Man That Would Be Queen and Dr. Anne Lawrence’s notions on transgender narcissistic rage, as both may serve to posit alternate theories of equal merit that students can understand.

In the classroom the first order of the day will confront the ever ubiquitous over used manipulative claim of “transphobia”—which sounds hollow when students see that the primary victims are natal women who happen to hold opinions and write things that you and others do not happen to like.

Be cognizant that any reasonable undergraduates will question a movement that lies and plays fast and loose sans accepted ethical considerations… That’s called education.

Thank you for your time and attention, and most specifically for the inspiration and the opportunity to show another generation what academic freedom really means on the ground and in the classroom. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors to delude people, and yes we’re flippin’ you the bird. Take this as the “fuck you” it is intended to be.

Sincerely

Women For Academic Freedom

J.K.-NY

B.N.S.-NY

L.L.-NJ

C.M.-NH

M.S. -IN

N.S.-OH

A.E.-OH

This letter, laughingly calling trans people a misogynistic “hate group”, purports to be raising an “army” of graduates to fight Dallas Denny, and all transwomen.

When Ms Denny did a search for Women for Academic Freedom, it threw up their page on the blog site Gender Identity Watch.  As if the very name does not sound enough like an extreme right neo-Nazi group, their objectives remove any doubt in the matter.  They claim “We do not single out individual males as predatory, nor do we think any particular male is more likely to harm females. Further, we do not believe that transgender or transsexual women are any more likely to harm females,”

Really?  Except the paragraph preceding that one would seem to completely contradict that statement;

Specifically, the proliferation of legislation designed to protect “gender identity” and “gender expression” undermines legal protections for females vis-à-vis sex segregated spaces, such as female-only clubs, public restrooms, public showers, and other spaces designated as “female only.”  Females require sex-segregated facilities for a number of reasons, chief among them the documented frequency of male sexual violence against females and the uniquely female consequence of unwanted impregnation resulting from this relatively common form of violence. Public policy, therefore, rationally permits sex segregation in certain settings where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.

If “Public policy, therefore, rationally permits sex segregation in certain settings where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists,” then one can only logically gather from that one sentence alone that Gender Identity Watch do not recognise the legitimacy of transwomen as actual women.  But then this is clearly evidenced by their statement, “the proliferation of legislation designed to protect “gender identity” and “gender expression” undermines legal protections for females vis-à-vis sex segregated spaces, such as female-only clubs, public restrooms, public showers, and other spaces designated as “female only.””  If Gender Identity Watch “recognize the legitimate needs of transgender and transsexual women to operate in the world free from irrational discrimination” then why should they perceive transwomen as any sort of threat?  They clearly do not see transwomen as actual women but men who pose a threat, which one can only call – irrational discrimination.

Even their claim “We do not single out individual males as predatory,” can be shown to be hypocritical.  On the day of writing this article, the front page story on Gender Identity Watch was a reblog of an article about Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, allowing transwomen to use public bathrooms.  The said blog, in sensationalist form, focuses upon one transgender woman, Paula Witherspoon, who as Paul Ray Witherspoon in 1990 was convicted of sexual offences against children.  It goes onto state “So good ol’ Parkland Hospital in Dallas has changed its policy to allow men like Paul Ray Witherspoon to use female toilets to protect his “gender identity” at the expense of any teenage girls who might also be using said toilets”.  That sort of language, men like Paul Ray Witherspoon clearly illustrates that Gender Identity Watch view all transwomen as a threat and the same as one individual.  Tell you what dears, there are more men and boys sexually assaulted in public toilets than women and girls.  Using the same logic, should we close down all men’s public restrooms?

There are people who dislike the term feminazi but I personally cannot think of any better term to use when addressing women like this.  When one sets one particular gender apart and tries to claim that gender is better than another, then goes on to ignore the legitimacy of transgender people, and treat them as inferior, then that is exactly the same sort of thinking as those who talked about a “master race”.  Exactly the same sort of thinking which was a cancer across Europe between 1933-1945.

As far as being academics is concerned, then I find that laughable.  For if they not only refuse to recognise the existence of transgender people but refer to them as “a dangerous movement that feigns legitimacy in postmodern pseudoscience and meaningless jargon” then they actually fly in the face of peer-reviewed scientific research which strongly asserts that gender identity is formed in the womb;

“Sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy, whereas sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy. This means that in the event of an ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain.  Our observations on reversed sex differences in the brains of patients with transsexualism (Harry Benjamin Syndrome) support the idea that HBS is based on an opposite sexual differentiation of i) sexual organs during the first couple of months of pregnancy and ii) the brain in the second half of pregnancy.” (Sexual differentiation of the human brain in relation to Gender Identity, Dr. Swaab, Dick F and Dr. Alicia Garcia-Falgueras, 2009)

But then, I already question the academic qualifications of those who send threatening letters, ‘flipping the bird’ at people and telling them “fuck you”.  That, coupled with their apparent appalling ignorance of scientific evidence, would suggest to me that they have the same level of academic qualifications as those who portray a stegosaurus with a saddle on its back and a tyrannosaurus rex using it’s teeth to dig up orange carrots.

Yes, I am likening them to the religious right.  I have no problem in doing so because by their own language, they do that adequately enough themselves.  Indeed, many of the arguments used by the US religious right are no different from Gender Identity Watch.  And as the religious right tend to be a bunch of odious, scientifically ignorant, hateful bigots, all one can say is birds of a feather flock together.

These people call themselves feminists.  I hotly dispute that on the grounds that feminism is defined as “a belief or movement advocating the cause of women’s rights and opportunities, particularly equal rights with men, by challenging inequalities between the sexes in society.” (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary). Under this definition, anyone can be a feminist, regardless of biological gender or gender identity; all that qualifies is that you seek the rights of women and for them to be equal with men.  The difference with the above women, as evidenced by their own words, is that they see themselves at war with and above men, and anyone who happened to be born with a penis and testicles.  That is not feminism, that is misandry – hatred of men.  The two are not only not the same thing, they are actually diametrically opposed and those who identify with that brand of “radical feminism” are therefore an insult to both the term feminist and the female gender.  To use an analogy, you can be the greatest patriot for your country, but that does not mean having to hate other countries.  When that happens the patriot crosses the line and becomes a bigot. I see absolutely no difference between that and gender politics.  We no longer accept that from men who claim to be superior, nor should we accept it from women.

If anything, this mindset actually turns many away from feminism, particularly those who should be embracing it.  There are many women worldwide who consider Margaret Thatcher as a feminist icon.  Except that Margaret Thatcher (whom I had no love for incidentally) rejected any such idea.  She is on record as saying she hated “the strident tones of women’s libbers” and “I despise feminism.  It is poison.”  If the first woman Prime Minister of the UK thought that, then just what do ordinary women in the street think of the radical feminist mindset?  They are their own worst enemy.

Many of those women who subscribe to the “radical feminist” label also declare themselves to be lesbian as a political statement.  By politicising sexuality, they thereby assert that it is a choice, which can only serve to erode the recognition that sexual identity, like gender identity, is not a choice but is in fact formed in the womb.  It is therefore also an insult directly to lesbian women, and by extension of making homosexuality a matter of choice, gay men.  And of course, it logically follows that given they choose to be lesbian, they do not recognise bisexuality or pansexuality.

We therefore see that this is little more than a hate group of highly unintelligent and poorly educated people spreading their poison.  Thankfully such people are indeed a minority.  In the USA and elsewhere in the world the rights of transgender people, are making huge inroads to cisgender conformity. Their agenda must inevitably fail, for the simple reason that they are already on the road to being on the wrong side of history.

Moreover, because they marginalise themselves so very much, not only are there few people willing to listen to them but they themselves actually refuse to engage with a great many people.  Yet one more indication of their low intelligence.

Every time transgender people gain more recognition – be it the right to use a public restroom, or to apply for a job previously closed to them – it should be seen as a victory, not just for the transgender community, not just against cisgender stereotypes, but for the advancement of mankind – and against the hateful, bigoted mindset of the Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists; which also makes it a victory for feminism, and for women.

They can make all the “right” noises they want about claiming to support the rights of transgender people but they condemn themselves by their own words as being bigots, and like all bigots, that shall be their downfall.  Every time I come across people like this, no matter what bigotry they support, I am reminded of Roger McGough’s poem There are Fascists;

There are fascists,
pretending to be humanitarians;

like cannibals on a health kick,
eating only vegetarians.

Loves

Xandra xxx

Article in The Transadvocate:

http://www.transadvocate.com/the-terf-empire-declares-war-against-trans-people.htm

Gender Identity Watch blog:

http://genderidentitywatch.com/

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Possibly going elsewhere

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So dears, for a little while now I have been encountering a problem here on WordPress.  I have been finding myself unable to like or comment on some posts.  Even here on my own account.  I get the message that the browser reset.

This happens only on WordPress and frankly I am getting tired of it.  So tired that I am thinking of closing my account and starting a new one on another blogging site.

Is anyone else having the same problems?  Does anyone know of any fixes?

I know I’ve gained a few followers, and I would like to think friends here.  I would hate to leave.  But if I do, I’ll keep you all updated and let you know where my new account can be found.

Same Sex Marriage becomes Law in England and Wales

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Okay Lovelies, I know I’m a little late with this but I am more than pleased to report that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 has received Royal Assent and is now Law in England and Wales.

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/marriagesamesexcouplesbill.html

The Bill passed through the Westminster Parliament with alarming speed.  It was originally thought it may not become law until the new year.  Needless to say there are those opposed to it who are voicing their concern with just how quickly it has proceeded through parliament.  For my own part I am not a fan of knee-jerk legislation and I worry that they may have not got everything right.

However, only time will tell and a big hug and heartiest congratulations to England and Wales in taking this momentous step forward.

It had been hoped that the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill currently progressing through the devolved Scottish Parliament would be in place before the Westminster Bill. Sadly that was not to be.  It is worth pointing out however that the Scottish Bill covers all marriage; heterosexual and same sex, and that the parliament took their time over it to make sure everyone is covered, including trans people, and that it is absolutely watertight against opposition.

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/64983.aspx

This therefore is not a time for sour grapes or bearing grudges dears.  I am not nor have I ever been anti-English and I send all same sex couples in England and Wales wishing to marry my heartiest congratulations upon this wonderful news.

Loves

Xandra xxxx

Conflict within the LGBT community – a rant.

Right, listen up and listen up good.  I have just about had enough of conflict within the LGBT community.

I have been reading things which suggest that I am something less than equal because I am not transgender.  Apparently according to some – and you know who you are – I merely put on a “persona” as a woman.  Those stating this claim it does not make a difference.  Well if it doesn’t, why even say it then?

You are defining a difference.  And when you do that, you demean another human being.  Well to Hell with  you.  I am making a stand for myself and crossdressers everywhere.  You don’t know who I am, you don’t know other crossdressers, so don’t bloody well tell me I am “different”.

Do you know what you are saying is like?  It is like making a racist comment then saying to anyone of a different race to you “Oh but not you.  We know you’re okay.”

I’ll even go one further.  I once encountered a man-hating feminazi who dismissed the entire crossdressing and transgender community on the grounds that no male to female transgender can ever be a women as “I have a womb, they do not.”

How does that feel?  Make you feel uncomfortable, does it?  Insulting?  Hurtful?  Good.  Now you know how I and other crossdressers feel when you say we are just “putting on a persona”.

You may see it that way but Xandra is an integral part of me – perhaps the better part of me, and when you try to make any differences, your words are hurtful.  You may wish to keep that in mind.

Your claims are every bit as insidious as the gays and lesbians who deride bisexuals and claim they don’t exist.  We are all in the LGBT community, we – of ALL people – should be the ones standing by each other and presenting a united front against the bigots.  One would have thought the trans community would be the first to realise that.

Oh, and as I have been crossed, you have brought the bitch out, so my final parting shot is to the person whose blog mentioned this in the first place.  I’ll remind you dear that it was not too long ago you were writing about going back to being a man, and it was me among others who advised you that it wouldn’t work.

Book Review: Fanny and Stella.

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I have just read and thoroughly enjoyed Fanny and Stella by Neil McKenna, which covers the infamous Boulton and Park case which rocked and scandalised Victorian London and the lives of the two central characters, Ernest “Stella” Boulton and Frederick “Fanny” Park.

Boulton and Park were two performers who officially were on-stage female impersonators, but equally wore female attire in their private and personal lives, often frequenting theatres and other public places dressed as women and in the company of men, or attempting to pick men up.  They rarely used their male names and went by the names of Miss Stella Boulton and Mrs Fanny Graham (nee Park).  When times were hard (and sometimes when they weren’t so hard) they would also prostitute themselves for money.   On the evening of 28 April 1870 the two were arrested while leaving The Strand Theatre in London and subsequently charged “with conspiring and inciting persons to commit an unnatural offence”, the case going to the Court of the Queen’s Bench in 1871, the highest criminal court in England.

Forget all you have read about ‘Victorian values’ of stiff morals and genteel ways.  Fanny and Stella exposes in lurid detail a hidden Victorian world, in both London and in Edinburgh, where Stella stayed for a while whilst convalescing after an operation for Fistula in Ano; a world of clandestine homosexual parties of crossdressed men.  It aslo exposes the seedier side of male prostitution of the time, including some  of them taking quite fantastic chances, such as luring straight men into sex against a wall, pulling their knickers to one side so the man in question thought he was entering a woman’s vagina.

Forget all you have read or heard of the romantic image of the noble Victorian London Bobby as well.  Neil McKenna exposes a Metropolitan Police force rotten to the core with corruption and where some constables would prey upon male prostitutes and crossdressed men, sometimes for money, sometimes for sexual favours, and sometimes both – and a minority of whom would then still arrest them.

In what reads like a historical novel and hard to believe at times it is a true story, Neil McKenna concentrates mainly upon Stella Boulton, who was always the centre of attention of many young (and not so young) beaux.  And it is not surprising, for the illustrations show that Stella was a strikingly beautiful woman, and this, coupled with her feminine ways described, convinces one that the only thing which stopped her being fully female was the misfortune to be born with male reproductive organs.  Stella was undoubtedly not only a crossdresser, she was obviously transgender.  It also shows however how she was mollycoddled and spoiled both as a child and adult by a mother all too ready to bow to her every whim, which turned her into a petulant, moody and often bitchy woman, prone to go in the huff or throw a tantrum if she did not get her own way.  Still, one cannot help but warm to Stella due to Neil McKenna’s portrayal of her.

The book covers how after the arrest of Boulton and Park, they were subjected to intimate examination by no fewer than six doctors and how the net widened to include several others associated with them, including other female impersonators and not a few men of substance.  It describes their encounters and how the careers of a Post Office Manager and no less than the US Consul to Edinburgh and Leith were ruined, and how a member of the British gentry and Member of Parliament possibly may have feigned his own death to flee the country and escape investigation.  Eventually, it shows how the case against Boulton and Park collapsed due to lack of evidence and the defence being able to prove police corruption.

Above all, one thing becomes patently clear in the book; and that is how the vast majority of society were actually quite accepting and tolerant of “The men dressed in womens clothes”, to steal a line from the book.  Rather it was the establishment in general, and one bigoted Metropolitan Police Inspector in particular, who frowned upon people like Boulton and Park, and were determined to make an example of them.  It also shows quite humorously how eventually England was considered safe from what was considered to be a foreign disease from the European continent.

A fantastic read, well researched, superbly written and a work which keeps the reader riveted, as well as laughing one moment and weeping the next.

Fanny and Stella is published in the UK by Faber and Faber, £16.99

ISBN: 057123190X

Available on Kindle from Amazon.

Link to Neil McKenna’s website:

http://www.neilmckennawriter.com/

Girl in the Mirror

Just exactly who are you,
girl in the mirror?

I know you have come far,
but at times I wonder,
just who you are.

I know that I
have done you wrong;
cursed you, abused you,
ignored you too long.

But you were determined
to be here and let me see
you need to exist
and how I need
to let you be.

In the end, you won;
let me see the beauty
of that lovely face;
your style and flair,
and your feminine grace.

And so you are here,
and here to stay.
No more can I ever
send you away.
Nor can I shun you,
or make you vanish.
Pretend you don’t exist
or claim you are banished.

Yet sometimes I wonder,
how you came to be?
And am I you,
or are you me?

I only know
I need you here now
and you need never more roam.

Girl in the mirror,
welcome home.

© Xandra Durward, 2013.

A Genentic Abnormality? A Mistake?

I’ve just been arguing with a biology graduate on Facebook who maintains that intersex people are a, quote, “genetic abnormality” and a “mistake”.  He also maintains, contrary to research I have read, that gender is determined in the womb but brain sex – gender identity – is not.

To my mind an “abnormality” or a “mistake” suggests something which is incorrect, wrong, or needs to be corrected or cured.

Oh, he also likened intersex children to those born with tails, extra digits, and with eyes but blind.

Feedback please peoples.