Change Your World-NOT your Body

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Butchphobia


Yesterday a Butch friend sent me a message asking if I had been aware of the post you see here. She said she along with 300 other plus members received this message in a facebook group regarding Femme Invisibility. No, I wasn't aware of that. I had seen the message on a note I was included on from the Femme who issued this, but I had no idea this went to every woman in this particular group. Clearly this woman is no "friend", and clearly these are not the actions of a friend, at least not where I come from. These are the actions however of a very cowardly, insecure, self hating woman who completely bends to the slightest of pressures. I've debated for the last two days on whether or not to post about this, and after much thought I decided it not only in my best interest (for the sake of clarity) but in the interest of truth which I hold as high as I hold nature herself.

I will give you a blow by blow as I understand it, then my feelings on the matter. Sometime last week I believe, a member of this "femme invisibility" group commented this:  "I was sharing my frustrations about femme invisibility a while ago, and was reminded by a friend that many transwomen regularly experience femme hyper-visibility". Obviously after reading such nonsense I commented something to the affect of the complete co-option of Femme identity and misogyny of such nonsense. Clearly to even take into account such a post modernistic (be-anything-you-can-think-of) notions, the woman who commented has no respect for women and even less for Femme lesbians, given she would even entertain the thought of how a MAN (autogynephile btw) feels in a FEMME community. WHA? Not being exactly new to how misogyny coupled with post modernism (which equals queer theory in a nutshell) has infiltrated the Femme/Butch community I expected a small bit of flack. The FB "friend" who wrote the above is one of the maintainers of the group, if I hadn't mentioned that yet. She commented back to me that men are allowed in her "femme invisibility" group to co-opt Femme identity as they choose and I need to take my opinions regarding truth and common sense elsewhere. I was immediately silenced aka "banned" per a very typical patriarchal tactic-women speaking the truth must be shut up at all cost or patriarchal systems will suffer and die.


Again, being banned, not something new when one is a speaker of ugly truths, as I am. That this was a "friend" who silenced my Butch woman's voice? Well that hurt my heart a bit. Not simply from a personal standpoint but because this silencing is another brick in the wall of Butch Invisibility. It affects us all because it says, you  have no voice here, here being Femme space. Men and male-centrism is more important than your Butch WOMAN'S voice in these Femme spaces. So while I grieve a little for my own hurt heart I grieve more for what this indicates for the hearts of my Butch sisters! Butch women were excluded from early feminists groups, then lesbian separatist groups and now from Femme/Butch spaces themselves! I would bet not a single woman in that community had even slightly harbored the idea of how these actions towards one Butch woman's voice affects how all Butch women will be affected, not one. And if by chance there were one Femme who did, this public attack of me by a "friend" no less, lets her know if she even wanted to open her mouth she too would be silenced and singled out as a "hater" of sorts.And patriarchy being what it is, women are conditioned that womens worth is built upon approval, therefore no approval equals worth/less. A smart patriarchal way to keep women in check, especially smart when other women are using it against other women. And by smart I mean sickening.


I also expected some fallout because very recently a lesbian I used to know was appointed a maintainer of this "femme inv." group. She claimed to have severed her "friendship" with me and my ex because of our "trans" views. But truth be told, she was gung ho on helping to rid an LJ "lesbian community" of its "trans" disordered when we first became "friends". I suspect it had more to do with the fact of her obsessive stalking of a close lesbian friend of mine. My friend G. ended up meeting her realtime because she had become part of a lesbian clique I was a part of. So when G. and her partner decided to get married she invited all from this clique to her weekend wedding. Both G. and her partner had concerns I'm told right off the bat regarding her "stability". Then when this lesbian started calling G. dozens of times a day for months on end, trying to initiate a romantic connection with her (whom my friend said "not even if she were the last dyke on earth"), my friend ceased even speaking with her online. After months of G's rebuffs the calls finally stopped. It was then both my ex and myself were "unfriended" by this particular lesbian. So can we say ummm "axe to grind"?


How much any of this has to do with DV's (the community maintainer) feeling the need to attack me on a public level, I dont know. But I bet more than even she knows. As to DV's misogynistic Butchphobic behaviour, unacceptable! Even the "trans" disordered who read this blog I'm sure will wonder what the hell she is talking about, as nearly nothing she said has anything to do with my convictions or what I write about. Clearly she is not a reader of this blog, or else she figured she could just blatantly lie about my stances since I was banned and couldn't refute them, perhaps a little of both. I advocate a NEW RADICAL LESBIANISM that incorporates a Wittigian radical feminism. I advocate Butch VISIBILITY. I advocate women (whatever the variety) learning to love themselves AS women. I advocate it be acceptable for women to say "I" without shame. I advocate mentally ill people be treated humanely, not drugged and mutilated into freaks of society. I advocate Butch FEMININITY. I advocate lesbians taking the L back from the alphabet soup it has been drowned in. While that doesnt even begin to cover it, you get my point, and if you are a regular reader, you know my point.


This public attack is also because I was on her "friends" list at FB. She pulled the juvenile school yard crap when the weak minded/hearted get caught talking to one of the "not so cool kids"(according to the crowd), they had to quickly let the "cool kid group" know "oh I was just telling him/her what a douche-bag I though they were" then laugh so their new "friends" will laugh and think they hate this kid as much as they do, even though none of them know said kid. Its for show, appearances, fear at not being liked. Remember what I said above about women and approval.


Regarding DV's advocating "diversity", what she and those of her simple mindset advocate is CONFORMITY. A person who does everything in their power to ID as a particular something isnt diverse, its the same old shit. A Butch woman who loves her body, her life, her spirit, her mind amid a lifetime of invisibility, erasure, shame is diverse! A Butch woman being present as a woman in ALL womens spaces is diverse! Interesting though, when Butches express such feelings, the first thing out of misogynist's mouths is "self hating" or "trans in denial". Hmmm wonder why that is? Projecting much? And DV's notions of "acceptance" is pure misogyny. I will NEVER accept a straight (white-middle-class) man as Femme! And the women that do are nothing more than pure products of patriarchy. These are the women who would have men in our bathrooms, showers, locker rooms. Because a MAN said he's a "lesbian" it must be so, because MEN MUST be listened to and obeyed! Yeah right! No man will EVER be Femme or lesbian! One has to wonder how little women value women when they not only allow men to co-opt female identity BUT advocate for men co-opting women's identity!


Only those who accuse others of "hate" hate. DV hates. She hates herself and hates her life. She struggles to convince herself and others how "happy" she is which only makes her hate herself more and feel more disappointed in herself. She is a page out of Fromm's Escape from Freedom, in every sense. She cannot comprehend how a Butch woman could feel good about herself as a woman, when she feels so failed as a woman which insinuates she does not really SEE Butches AS women. The "invisibility" she claims to be fighting isnt Femme Invisibility, it is a core self invisibility. Until she can work through her own issues of self, she will continue doing the nothing she has been doing regarding Femme Invisibility.

All this to say this is sign of where the Femme/Butch community has let itself be led,  Femme's turning on and attacking Butches all in order to gain male approval from MEN no less! Any Femme who chooses male in any form over that of Butch WOMEN is plain and simple no fucking Femme!


dirt
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13 comments:

  1. Seems to me, as an outsider of the lesbian community, that her (the woman who banned Dirt) entire argument is predicated on the acceptance of the trans communities portrayal of their condition. Basically there are two differing points of view on what trans people, particularly men who wish to be female, are experiencing. One is the view put forward by these people themselves. That they were born in the wrong body and that they need to have their bodies "fixed" to "match" their brains. The other view, the details of which are still undergoing debate, is that trans people are suffering from a mental illness which cause them to have a deluded belief that they are a different sex from the sex that they actually are. This is somewhat an oversimplification of both sides but it is done to serve a purpose. Basically, they are either insane or they are right.

    Since the homosexual community was a victim of the psychiatric profession for so long, they are rightly distrustful of the pronouncement of a disorder, especially where there is question of sexual or gender behaviour that is not the norm. For many years homosexuality was treated and classified as a disease. It is for this reason that many within the homosexual community feel an automatic inclination to believe the trans people when they claim that they have been wrongly classified as mentally ill.

    It is also the natural reaction of any human being when confronted with a person who is mentally ill (if the illness that afflicts them allows them to still function somewhat). The non-ill person over time is convinced of the reality of the insane person's delusions. This is a fairly well known phenomenon where as they say "being in a relationship with a crazy person makes YOU crazy". The manipulation and justification of the alternate view of reality becomes so persuasive and is so persistent that it actually obliterates anyone else's ability to correctly perceive reality.

    However, the fact that a sane person agrees with them does not mean that an insane person is sane, it just means that their illness is very powerful.

    So, is trans a disease or have the trans-supporters all been confused by the contagious power of the trans-delusion? that is really the ultimate question isn't it? Here in this situation that dirt is dealing with, and in all the conflicts within the world that trans people touch. If we can answer this question, all the others fall into place. The conflict is not about who hates who. That is a distraction born of the primary question: Are trans people mentally ill or are they a perfectly reasonable expression of natural diversity?

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  2. (continued)
    Now just to briefly consider this though, we should think about whether there are any other mental diseases where people have a "mental picture" of how they believe that their body "should" look that is contradicted by the easily observeable reality of how their body does look.

    Interestingly enough, this kind of delusion is far from unique. The most striking comparison lies with another illness where the sufferer believes that they need to cut parts of themselves off in order to be happy. The person who suffers from this disorder believes that they "should" be or in fact already are, an amputee. They have a "mental picture" of themselves with some or all of one or more of their limbs cut off and they are desperately seeking someone to "fix" them by removing the offending appendage. Most doctors upon examining such a person will very clearly and sanely point out that there is nothing wrong with the "offending" limb and tell the patient that they are clearly insane. Very reasonable, they are in fact, mentally ill. Since we don't have the same issue surrounding physical challenges that we do have over strictly prescribed gender roles and their strict tie to physical sex, it is easy to recognise that the patients desire to "be a disabled person" is completely insane.

    Despite this, there are some "compassionate" doctors that are willing to perform these amputations. After the surgery is done, the patient can certainly "pass" as a disabled person, use a wheelchair, disabled bathrooms, parking spots etc etc. This doesn't mean that the patient is a true disabled person, even though they have achieved a physical challenge, the core of their problem remains, they are insane. I don't think that there are any truly "disabled" persons advocating for these sick individuals to be given disability benefits, parking spaces, wheelchairs etc, even without surgery, simply because they "believe" in their heart of hearts that they are REALLY TRULY disabled. It's very easy to see that this is not the case, no parking authority anywhere will give a disabled parking pass to someone who can walk just fine but wishes they couldn't.

    I personally believe that if we could get all the shit out of the way, the layers of double-talk justification, the "compassion", the misogyny, the homophobia, the belief that gender roles are strict and must be tied to physical sex, the bad science done by lazy and dishonest scientists, we would realise that the trans disorder is just as much a manifestation of delusion as the wanna-be amputees are. And we wouldn't be fighting for their right to live out their delusion more effectively, but rather to actually cure them. Why cut off the limb if the brain is what is broken?

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  3. (continued again)
    So, obviously you can see which side of the question i fall on. Same goes for Dirt, she cries out "Foul" in the wilderness and points out "Dude, that Emperor has no clothes!" But all the layers of shit stand between our current reality and any hope of trans people actually getting effective treatment!

    The patients who believe they need their legs cut off have had their brains scanned. It looks like there is an area of the brain, where mental picture of the body is constructed, that is malfunctioning in them. With further study we can HELP these people! But only because we recognise that they require help which DOES NOT AGREE WITH THEIR DELUSION. Actually cutting the limbs off these people doesn't make them sane or happy. Some then need another bit cut off, etc etc. Even the ones that claim to be happy once "transitioned to disability" are certainly not a reasonable argument to justify mutilating any further sufferers rather than finding a REAL cure. The only way to cure this illness is to CURE it. We need to locate and repair the part of the brain that creates the deluded image of the body. The core group of trans people that feel this same way would probably respond to the same treatment. then they would be HAPPY with themselves the way they are! The cross-dressers who just like wearing different clothes can be left alone because they aren't hurting anyone and aren't deluded. The poor people who are really homosexual and NOT trans at all, can be fostered in expressing their true selves rather than trying to become acceptable in the straight world. And the Lesbians can stop calling Dirt names because she doesn't want to ride the crazy train with the rest of the people who have bought into the delusion. Problem with this is, you have to actually apply some logic to the problem and a bit of scientific knowledge rather than prejudice and emotional knee-jerk responses in order to get to that place.

    It NEEDS to be done though. Too many have been mutilated because of their delusions or someone elses. Too many have been violated or attacked, banned or shamed because of the power of the delusion. As was once said by an angry short haired woman
    "Stop The Insanity!". But in order to stop/cure it, we have to acknowledge it rather than doing the mental gymnastics to justify the delusion and convince ourselves that the delusion is real and not the product of a diseased mind. We have to acknowledge a disease as a disease before we can end the suffering of those afflicted with the disease. We have to actually have the sense to ask the important question, the one that the woman that banned Dirt won't even consider asking: "Are Trans people insane?"

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  4. There are various reasons people wind up trans just as there are various trans. This is something that no one wants to speak about. Its assumed by straight and gays alike that most men who transition are queenie and most women who trannify are Butch, when in fact these are the two smallest groups who develop this disorder.

    The majority of men are white, affluent, hetero masculine (in the patriarchal sense) men. They develop this disorder through a combo of their familial, their male privilege and the patriarchal idea that "woman" is something to posses/own. These are the men who as boys masturbated in their mothers/sisters panties/clothes. This continues into their adulthood, at a point that isnt enough, they want to own/rape "woman" so they seek to do that through trannification. These are the men claiming to be "lesbians" through default. These are the men trying to get into womens locker/dressing/shower rooms.

    The next primary set of trannifiers are dykes. Plain old dykes. They trannify because of familial/pathological internalize misogyny. Most will at some point try to co-opt Butch identity at some point, fail, then move onto to trannification.

    With feminisms failure and a strong patriarchal backlash that has shrunk the "roles" of women to that of nothing more than sex objects, there has been a HUGE amount of straight young women who ten years ago would simply be "fag hags", are now through their ignorance/youth/familial issues/objectification are trannifying defaulting to that of "gay men"!

    All trannifiers suffer a multitude of other disorders that along with the trans disorder never get addressed. These other disorders also play a role into each persons individual trans disorder.

    Trannification has nothing to do with biology, it IS a mental disorder. And disorders reside in the mind, so why are we destroying bodies/lives. As there isnt a single well adjusted trans person alive, clearly the current "treatment" isnt working.

    "The vase reconstructed houses the elusive rose"

    dirt

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  5. This is from someone who tried to comment but their comment wouldnt go through:

    "God damnit my whole post just disappeared and now it won't post it. I must have made a pact with the devil.

    What I said was a lot of stuff but mostly that the group is picking on you and you are the best thing that ever happened to their group. If not for you, the "IF's" (invisible femmes) at FB would be not only be invisible but non-existent. It's an overgrown kaffee clatch. 400 members or so speaks not only to invisibility but EXCLUSIVITY and privilege. You were the only one who gave them anything worth reading or thinking about, and now you're banned. Talk about chopping off your nose to spite your face!

    A scene from their next tea: "More coffee, Mabel? How's that crumpet, Lynae? You won't believe what Dirt wrote today on OUR GROUP PAGE, I almost shit my knickers. Have a croissant, Dolores, they're delicious. Oh yes that Dirt, she was so clearly ANTI- "whatever" I had to fire off a rebuttle immediately and couldn't hit the "ban" button fast enough."

    You are the only true ally they had and they tossed you. I may not be a brainiac but i can smell shit around there, and it's all over some stilletto heels, not butch boots.

    They just lost their readership. God knows they didn't have much in the way of participation, and now they will revert to their post-every-three-day schedule. "LOVE HURT! Everyday she's hurt me!! Ooowh God!" It took two days for the resident shrink to respond to that. They HAD to link your blog, so they didn't die from boredom."

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  6. Hi Dirt,
    Butchphobia continues to be a serious problem, indeed! Femmes accepting trans women as THEIR OWN is alarming indeed.

    I'm really interested in this phrasing: "I advocate Butch FEMININITY" that you've used recently. I also saw that Master Amazon opposed it in a post a few weeks ago (I really wish you were on WordPress so that I could track your blog more easily!!), as many of my feminist allies oppose MY framing of "femininity." I think you & I are both referring to FEMALE Ways of Being-- which patriarchy has traditionally umbrella-ed under the term "femininity." Clearly neither of US take issue with reclaiming the term, but many others do.

    I'm marinating some post-themes that center around Behavioral--not aesthetic--femininity (for example, nurturing and teaching). But I've also been considering how I can re-phrase the female-centered aspect to EXCLUDE the term "femininity" *because* it is so maligned/ill-received in the feminist community. So this is a long way of saying that I'm really interested in YOUR recent use of the term and how it is interpreted by other butches.

    Thank you, as always, for your incredibly WORK. In sisterhood, UP

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  7. You're a hater. What a worthless, homophobic rant. It's hard to believe that anybody takes you seriously.

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  8. You're right, I oppose taking on the word 'femininity', having NEVER being feminine since I began rejecting femininity at age 7. First dolls, then dresses, then marriage to a man or having babies, ect. ect...and took on the hardcore tomboy role, to grow up to being a Butch dyke, always too masculine/mannish for my family's taste, tormented in school for it, ect. ect. And beat over the head constantly(metaphorically) and even hated by my mother because I was never 'feminine' enough, and they always tried to feminize me. For me, femininity, is a disempowering word....fine for feminine women, but antithetical to my entire Butch Dyke Being...since age 7, till now!
    It was coming out that I found I had a place to be, as a Butch Dyke, as a masculine/nonfeminine womon...but I also learned from other strongly FEMINIST, yes Feminist Butches about Goddess and women's spirituality, about our strength as Amazons, as Strong Women, as resisters of Patriarchy, of taking up our space, and truly being Ourselves...of pride in ourselves AS Females, as Dykes....it was the older radical Butches I modeled myself after, the ones I so admired(and also lusted after too).
    It was connecting with my Amazon nature where I saw that Amazon=Butch, and Butch Dyke=Modern Day Amazon....lover of women, defier of men and men's roles they would put upon us.
    This feminism is dead. It was not all against Butch/Femme roles, it was against some of the extreme sexism of those roles as practiced in bar life. There have ALWAYS been Dykes who were Butch on Butch and terribly shamed for it by the Butch/Femme types, and Lesbians who were Femme on Femme, the typical and only heterosexual version of Lesbianism(as repeated in films for men about lesbians, whether porn or mainstream, the true Butch is often invisible). Whichever Lesbian proclivity we claim, none of us should be shamed for it!
    Femmes are visible EVERYDAY out in the world. They whine because they're not visible in the Dyke community, but the ones that are TRULY Lesbian know HOW to make themselves visible as Lesbians, and NOT PASS. Whether it's the way they wear their hair, or color it wild with some wild colors, or wear some punk/leather gear, or a few extra piercings in the ear, not the even number, or a small rainbow something or labryis, or some other coded lesbian or gay symbol, there ARE ways Femmes can make themselves visible, if they aren't attached to 'passing' as straight.
    The problem is many of these femmes are just as comfortable dating an FTM as they are a Butch, a Genderqueer or someone whose 'transmasculine', an up and coming word for a Butch on the edge of transition.....or male identification. I think for some of these femmes, they'd rather identify in a straight way and NOT with the Lesbian community. I think some of that really has to do with Lesbophobia. The Anne Heche types.
    They really can't deal with another woman NOT being an imitation man, but as much woman as they are, just in a different kind of way, NOT a pseudo man who won't get them pregnant. Some of them want to be on the 'downlow' between boyfriends, but they have no investment in Lesbian/Dyke culture or values, and that we are different from the hetero mainstream.
    It's BUTCHES who continue to be invisible. How many of our Olympians are Butch Dykes, but gotta 'femme it up' somehow and 'pass' and not look too dykey to represent our country at the highest sporting levels? I see the German women and they are far more dykey looking than the Americans that are so made up. We continue to be invisible and shamed OUTSIDE the Lesbian/Queer communities, and sometimes within them, because we aren't "L Word". And how invisible can these Femmes be, when they had a WHOLE SERIES around them, and that the only truly Butch character was made to transition to male????I stopped watching them then.

    -In DykeAmazon Sisterhood,
    -M.A.

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  9. Part two:
    NO MTF will EVER be a woman..no matter how hard they try, but it insults me even more with their hetero mores and values and control over their wives and the women in their lives, that they DARE to come into our communities and Dicktate to us their place within it, and silence us when we object to their male assumption of privilege and their male ways and silencing of us!

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  10. UndercoverP,

    http://dirtywhiteboi.wordpress.com/

    Regarding Butch femininity, feel free to email me anytime if you'd like to discuss it further.

    take care sister

    dirt

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  11. Undercover, I have no problem with 'female ways of being'. Butches are females that don't conform to the hetero box, but we've ALWAYS existed as our own form of females. In that soft space, I refer to myself womonly. We can have womonly ways, and harder more macha ones too. There are many sides to our personalities.

    I've had a problem with some Butches who tell me "I'm female but not a woman." And to me, that makes no sense. The problem with much of the trans and other sectors of the queer community and queer women's community(using that term deliberately), is amongst young Butch/boyish/Tomboyish women who have so much of this tranniespeak, woman to them automatically equates to feminine(as the MTF's so proudly claim themselves to be, the majority of them), so therefore in reaction they aren't women, but can't deny they're bio-female. Even if they transition, they still refer to themselves as 'female bodied'.

    There's gotta be other words than the loaded 'femininity' to refer to Butches and yes, BUTCH WOMONHOOD! Butches need to FULLY CLAIM their Femaleness AND their Womonhood, which so many now are running away from, and referring to themselves instead as 'genderqueer' or 'transmasculine'. And still many of these don't have an intention(at present at least) to transition....but to live in an identity that denies their Womonhood and womanliness, because to them woman=feminine, which most assuredly it does not!

    It's all very confusing and very sad. I miss the days of the Take Back The Night Marches, the collectives, the women's bookstores, exclusive women's and lesbian events, singers, ect.and many Lesbian businesses we had, where we were ALL so proud to be Women and Dykes/Lesbians, Butches, Femmes and Androgynous womyn alike!
    Before all this insanity!
    -MasterAmazon

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  12. Master Amazon, thank you for the great response! I think you really hit the nail on the head here: There's gotta be other words than the loaded 'femininity' to refer to Butches and yes, BUTCH WOMONHOOD! Butches need to FULLY CLAIM their Femaleness AND their Womonhood, which so many now are running away from, and referring to themselves instead as 'genderqueer' or 'transmasculine'. And still many of these don't have an intention(at present at least) to transition....but to live in an identity that denies their Womonhood and womanliness, because to them woman=feminine, which most assuredly it does not!

    THIS is exactly the problem! I'd like to reclaim "femininity," but I'm not sure that will work for everyone...

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  13. Master Amazon,

    As I am a Goddess Woman too, I love your comparison of Butches to Amazons.

    I am a huge fan a Shekhinah Mountainwater (Goddess Bless Her Woman-Loving Soul). I agree with a lot of her philosophy. In line with that, I see Femmes as the other half - the mystic and the healer. Priestesses/healers were revered along side the warrior in the Tribes. And took their place beside them.

    I'd love to hear your feedback and how you view Femmes in relation?

    ReplyDelete

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