Change Your World-NOT your Body

Monday, May 3, 2010

Transmen and Women's Colleges


There are consequences to being a man, there are legalities in place that even under patriarchal regimes restrict men (rightly so) from certain private areas and activities. Men can and have been for instance forcefully removed from the public ladies room, men legally are not allowed in say the locker/shower area of your local gyms. Men cannot legally enter women's fitting rooms in any clothing store, male store clerks included. Men cannot join girls/women's sports teams, amateur or professional. Nor can men apply/get accepted into women's colleges, that is until recently!

Along with the creation and eradication of Lesbian Studies, the creation and now near extinction of Women's Studies, academia in its professored infinite PC wisdom have seen fit to usher in, sanction and promote Queer Studies; a radioactive dirty bomb that has blown wide open a loophole allowing men the right to enter in, take up space and residence in women's colleges/dorm-rooms and other private women's college spaces.

So how the hell has academia's illicit marriage to Queer Studies blown open the once female only doors to women's schools to men? By the simple addition of the prefix "trans" to that of man, as in "transman".  Transmen are female transgenders/transsexuals. These are women who have chosen to opt out of their womanhood through the use of powerful male hormones, various surgeries and legally, so that for all intents and purposes, function as men.

Some transmen will purposely and with detailed calculation, undergo their transition AFTER they have applied and are ACCEPTED into women's colleges (see article below for example) utilizing/exploiting their (hated) female biology, while others apply openly as transmen. If/when problems arise regarding transmen at women's schools, such as being asked to leave or being rejected because they are now men, transmen will threaten the authorities of the womens school with being "transphobic"(HUGE academic fear), then solicit help from the "queer rights" groups on campus, which now due to the legitimacy of Queer Studies, most major and many minor colleges have. Thus far academic authorities have coward to these types of threats and have/are now accommodating transmen in womens schools.

I've established how men are gaining entree into womens colleges, lets discuss then shall we some of the complications/consequences (or lack thereof) of this recent phenomena? The first and most glaringly obvious consequence is the lack of respect and basic awareness these men have in their explicit penetration of women's colleges spaces both public and private! In all of the extensive "trans" literature I have read from early 20th century to present, the overwhelming consensus coming from both transmen AND transmale professionals IS that once on testosterone for a period of time there is virtually little difference between transmen and biological men. As a biological woman, I must beg to differ with that claim. The equal distribution of the potent male hormone testosterone into a female body (a body designed to naturally produce only trace amounts of "T") to that of a similar weight/age biological male (a body created and designed for regular production of "T") will not only be different but react differently to that powerful hormone, especially around issues of anger, violence and sexual urges.

There are far too many historical proofs dating back to cave drawings that solidify the corrosive explosive combination of male biology with male privilege that has and continues to hold women in a vice of sexism, sexual objectification, violence and rape. A consequence of this is in the US alone one in four girls will REPORT a college rape, note I said report. It is suspected that the number is quite higher, doubled, perhaps tripled!

So what happens to an adult female mind and body that begins experiencing large doses of male hormones it isnt biologically designed for and a new found male privilege/expectation once those hormones take effect within the comfort of an all womens school? These are some of the changes listed on most medical sites dealing with transmale patients:

Lower, or change your voice, cause body hair to grow on your thighs, abdomen, chest, back, and arms, cause facial hair to grow, cause hair loss and, possibly, complete baldness, cause your Adam’s apple and bones in your face to thicken and look more "masculine", cause your clitoris to become larger, cause your skin to become coarser, decrease of fat in breasts, buttocks and thighs and increase of fat in abdomen, make it easier to build muscle, increase your sex drive, weight gain, stop your period, scent of body odors and urine change, initial effects of testosterone may take several months.

So if biological (testosterone producing) males who were born with their biological male bodies designed to function with testosterone, are historically known for a propensity for violence, wars, rape and other vileness's perpetuated against women, what kinds of behaviors can we expect from a body system NOT designed for mega doses of testosterone within an all female confine? Are all men violent, do all men rape? Of course not, BUT all males are sexist to degrees, sexually objectify the female body to degrees (some men to the degree that some women feel raped with male eyes), utilize their male privilege for personal gain to degrees. So just as I do not think all men are violent rapists, I do not believe all transmen are violent or rapists. But I do believe high doses of "T" into a female body can open the door (where a door previously never existed) to the possibility of sexism, violence and rape of women.

Out of the reported cases where we know a transman was involved in the physical assault/rape/murder of a female victim the crime usually had occurred within the first few years of transition. That is not to say that after those first few years of adjusting to regular doses of potent male hormones, transmen in general are unlikely to commit a violent act against a female (if the woman who transitions has anger/violent issues before transition, she will likely have them to a greater degree once she begins injecting "T").Given that the most difficult aspects of transition are the first years where the mind/body is struggling to adjust to high doses of testosterone, a mega mood altering drug, given more and more transmen are transitioning once away at college, taking into account along with the drastic night and day chemical changes taking place within the mind/body of the transman there is also the social adjustments of being away from home for the first time, some job responsibilities and school responsibilities. Anyone in or on even the periphery of the trans community has heard over and over and over again from transmen themselves that they are quicker to temper, irritable and high increase of sexual urges/obsessions once they begin injecting "T".

Should young women be subjected to an individual dealing with these types of drastic physical and mental personality changes in private women only areas such as a woman's college? Should young women just away from home themselves for the first time be forced to share a dorm room with for all intents and purposes (per the transmale community) looks, smells, behaves and is just like any other man? Especially given the rape culture women must endure every second outside of private womens spaces? See this is the thing that troubles me as a Butch woman most, perhaps trouble is the wrong word, hurts me as a Butch woman with regard to entering public ladies rooms. While there is a definite shame as well as annoyance to be mistaken for a "man" in the ladies, the thing that hurts is that look. That look in a woman's eyes when she first looks at me in the ladies, and as a woman I know that look of fear, it is the fear of rape. I love being a Butch woman, I truly do, but I HATE that as a Butch woman I can and do cause women the fear of rape. This is my greatest anger about Butch invisibility, because were we visible, REALLY seen, I/we would not produce rape fears when all we wish to do is go to the damn loo. There are clear female markers that if you look beyond the short hair, or male clothing (male clothing because no one yet has seen fit to start a Butch line of clothing-hint hint), that signify yes, we Butches are female. Sometimes that's all it takes, the second once over for women to realize  we are in fact women too, but what happens when every signifier screams male no matter how many once overs are taken?

What happens when a young woman is asleep in her dorm room and her new transmale roommate comes home in the middle of the night? When she smells a male, sees the clear outline of a male facial hair included, in her room, what is her first feeling, her body's first reaction (even though intellectually she knows she is rooming with a transman)? The clear fear of rape! Women's Colleges are not four year safety nests for transmen to explore their new identities, they are learning grounds for young women both social and academic. There is no shortage of co-ed higher ed schools, therefore no reason other than pure sick selfishness for transmen to be applying and gaining entrance (at the expense of women) into women’s college campuses. These obviously scared transmen should be kicked out of the women’s college campus nest so that they can work on adjusting and developing into the "men" they have chosen to be, rather than playing at being a man while remaining a scare little girl hiding under mommy's skirt.


Here is just such a case of a transman on a female campus....
There are many such articles floating around out there similar to this one if you are interested in reading more.
About this particular article, make note of the misogyny towards the "feminine" girls and the single minded selfishness of Rey period.

dirt

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38 comments:

  1. One of the sad facts about all of this is that the consent of the other women attending these colleges, and potential applicants, was NOT solicited regarding sharing their space with transmen. Look on the women's college websites under 'information to applicants' and 'college life’ ‘what to expect' and note the conspicuous absence of any reference to some of your fellow students being 'transmen/FTM'. There are NO transmen in the photographs/images of current students attending these colleges. Promotion material uses the image of a multi-cultural mix of you women appearing to enjoy with each other the all 'female' space and its available facilities. There are no pics of transmen in the dorms and from viewing these websites, it would appear these colleges are keeping the transmen/FTM as a dirty little secret.

    The colleges need to make it clear to applicants that they will encounter transmen on campus. These colleges are expensive and if it were ME and I was told “you will be sharing a dorm room with ‘Bob’ and ‘hy/he’ is trans” I would sue the college for misinformation. I guarantee that if the colleges DID in fact include information about the ‘trans/FTMs’ on campus, women and men that financially support the colleges (especially those from conservative wealthy families) would withdraw their support.

    It saddens me also, that Butch women are being used by transmen/FTMs as their social and political anchor in women’s space. They claim and have, through queer theory, hijacked Butch women’s identity claiming it as ‘genderfluid’, ‘genderqueer’, ‘gender non-conforming’, ‘gender variant’ (see Smith College website use of this term) and added it to their list of credentials in order to legitimate their occupation of women’s space.

    Butch is NOT a fucking trans issue or identity. Butch women are NOT ‘gender variant’ they are WOMEN but I guarantee they ARE or will be treated as trans at these colleges because of how trans and queer has dragged Butch into their agenda. Tranmens and FTMs and the like are NOT women and do not belong in women’s colleges.

    FA x

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  2. FA,

    I am on my knees at your feet!

    Nothing more beautiful and sexy than a Femme who KNOWS her shit! You are so right and so very insightful!

    I am amazed with your every comment!

    dirt

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  3. Great blog - there's alot of doublespeak in the oh-so-pc "genderqueer" community - meanwhile, they act like the self-righteous mean kids clique back in junior high.

    I can't comprehend why on earth, if "gender is between your ears, not between your legs" battle cry - then why the rush and obsession with all the physical mutilations and alterings?

    You know why, because passing as a man, in the real, regular world - outside the insular bubble of the college campus - is really all that matters to open all the doors to male privilege. We live in a visual world, not an abstract one.

    FTM's want it both ways, access to womens' spaces, while demanding to be recoginized as men - which one is it? Can't have both.

    It's all the same misogynistic bs we've been handed through the ages - same shit, different wrapper. More stupid dicks inserting themselves in places they clearly are not welcome.

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  4. Great post! I knew this factoid ever since my partner and I watched on Logo "TransAmerica" and most of it was all about trans on college campuses. There was one transguy who lived on a women's college campus/school and INSISTED on being on the women's sports team, so they had to change the name of it from a women's sports team to something more 'gender neutral'. Once she begins shooting up all the 'T' and growing muscle mass and buffing up, she'll be outstripping the performance of the other women on that team. Why the hell do we have to accomodate these individuals in the little bitty women's spaces we have? There are TONS of co-ed colleges they could transfer to should they decide to go FTM! I personally would be incensed at having to roomie with someone who smelt, acted like and looked like a dude, and I'm not talking another Butch...like we often get 'conveniently mistaken' and lumped in with FTM's these days. No, we're DYKES and we're FEMALES, something they no longer want to be, while just like their sexist counterparts, have access to us!

    I'd feel just as uncomfortable rooming with an MTF, and even more so if they still had the dallywhacker in place, while claiming they were 'a woman'. Either way...it all disgusts me, as our female spaces and places become more and more nonexistent, yet female and dyke and Butch oppression continue...WHAT COOPTATION! And Logo completely caters to the trans point of view, not that of Butches or powerful Dykes.

    I also saw a very sad story on Logo of a woman who was fully Lesbian(not femme, but rather andro type crunchy granola)who was quite vested in her Lesbian identity, as her partner slowly transitioned to male...at first, she just changed her name...and the partner was somewhat unhappy, then she decided she hated her breasts, like alot of the young butchy/boi types talk about, and do the breast binding at all..but she told her partner she just wanted them removed, that was it...so she did, and as she got so happy having them removed after the surgery, the partner correspondingly got even more unhappy and sad, then she decided she wanted to go on 'T' so she could buff up...and then she decided she wanted to go get a Driver's License and have it say "male" instead of 'female' by this time the partner was incredibly sad, don't quite understand why she didn't leave her at this point! But sympathy lay with the one doing the transitioning, not so much with the partner AS A LESBIAN who grieved the shared Dyke and FEMALE identity she had with her partner, after all, she's a LESBIAN, and attracted to a WOMAN, not someone who now is a 'dude'!

    And we won't even go into Logo's sympathetic portrayal of Thomas Beattie 'the pregnant man'/FTM!
    -MasterAmazon

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  5. Words fail me. If women can't even go to women's colleges and be free of men, this shows how little power women have.

    Get the word out about all this, and make sure all women are warned that NO they do not have to room with men, or MTFs or FTMs.

    Graduate groups should be alerted, and if you are transitioning to male, you need to transition to a male only university or a university of men and women. Once you decide you are man and start taking those drugs, you're out.
    We need to kick transmen out of Michigan as well. When are women going to stop being such push overs and learn to guard our spaces well?

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  6. women's college butchMay 7, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    As a self-identified butch lesbian (do we capitalize butch now? I guess I must be out of touch) who attends a women's college I think many of these concerns are somewhat unfounded. Up until this year my roommate happened to be a transman. He was physically female when he arrived and came from a conservative area where he lacked the resources to fully explore his gender identity. The acceptance and openness he found upon arriving here prompted him to look into it and ultimately decide to transition. During our first year he began the process, which I supported 100%. Subsequently, we decided to room together again sophomore year. He is my best friend, why would I not want to room with him? I must say I have absolutely no fear, intellectual, emotional or otherwise, that he is going to rape me. We're "bros" and I can't imagine why he would do that. I personally feel like he completely belongs at this school. Looking around my women's college I see a lot more gender diversity than I do at any coed college I have visited. We have a strong and very present Queer community that makes this place a very safe place to go through a transition in one's gender identity. As someone who has never fit stereotypical gender roles, I am sympathetic to the confusion and doubt that are involved in questioning one's body, one's attitude, etc. Women at this college already exhibit a great array of gender expressions and I think we can easily encompass our trans brothers. There are very few women on this campus that seem to have a problem with the presence of transmen among our community, and coincidentally, the few that do are the same ones that have a problem with there being so many "dykes" on campus. I believe the policy here is that you have to be a woman to apply/enroll but not to receive a diploma, which seems to me to be a pretty good way of dealing with such a gray area. To sum up, I love transguys and see no reason why my best friend should be taken away from me because his journey has been different from yours.

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  7. women's college butch,

    And how do you think your "bro" with fair in the world outside your "strong and very present Queer community that makes this place a very safe place to go through a transition in one's gender identity"?

    How will your friend explain when applying for jobs that HE attended a 'women's college'?

    Unless your friend intends to live in a happy little gender queer bubble for the rest of their lives, he is going to have to face the world outside. And having a degree from a women's college, yet possessing male features and name, will make your 'bro's life even more difficult.

    The voice we NEVER hear in all of this is the transmen that agree and try to advise FTMs NOT to transition in all women’s spaces. They know all too well that ‘men’ need to learn to socialize with other men and understand how to be a ‘man’ as you cannot learn this in lesbian and women-only spaces.

    You and those like you are too young, naïve and inexperienced to understand you are setting your friend up for a life-time of failure by encouraging his decision to stay and cocooning him in this queer haven inside your women’s college.

    FA x

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  8. women's college butchMay 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    First of all, there are a lot of different ways to be trans. Your question presupposes that when he graduates he will be applying for jobs as a passing straight male. This is not the case. He identifies as a transman and presents himself to society as such. He is in a committed relationship with another transman and both consider themselves part of the trans community. When he goes to apply for jobs it will most likely be known that he is trans and therefore there will be no confusion when it comes to his degree.

    Second, with regards to socialization, I am pretty sure that I couldn't go to a women's college if it meant I would have to be exclusively around women 100% of the time. Being completely isolated from men is a myth that often keeps women from even applying to women's colleges. We have male friends.

    Lastly, the bubble you seem to be making fun of is the entire purpose of a women's college is it not? Everyone who graduates will eventually have to go out into a world that is drastically different, a lot more men as one obvious example. We are all protected by the bubble. Eventually I am also going to have to leave it and go out into a world that is not nearly as accepting of my queer identity. Though I identify quite happily as female, I do not look the part. This college has also acted as a safe place for me to discover my gender identity and become comfortable with myself as a gender nonconforming individual and as a gay person. That transition, like a transperson's transition, was difficult and made easier by the community around me. Having gone through it, I will be stronger as I enter the "real world" as will he. Beyond that, we will both have a deep knowledge of what that "real world" could and should be like if we work to make it that way. Plus we have network of friends that will help us take a part of the bubble with us.

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  9. women's college butch,

    Good Luck. You and your friend are going to need it.

    First and foremost, if your friend goes out into the world with male features and a male name the world outside will perceive him as MALE. The world hasn't changed and while you may decide to stick close to your gender queer idealism (and hover in your gender queer bubble) be prepared for some very rude awakenings.

    Sadly, I have watched so many others like you leave university thinking you will change the world. But, you cannot change the world by conforming and changing your body to fit society's expectations and requirements of the gender binary. By shouting 'gender queer' and 'gender non-conforming' you are helping to narrow rather than expand the parameters of what a woman is allowed to be.

    Misguided. Young. Foolish.

    FA x

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  10. women's college butchMay 9, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    I think that to say "the world hasn't changed" is just plain inaccurate. The world has changed a lot and continues to change. That change is the reason I can wear a tie to an interview and get the job, why I can bring my girlfriend home for Christmas and hold hands with her throughout the church service. Based on what I know of the lives of past trans grads from my school, it's really not as tragic as you make it seem. They have jobs and apartments and partners and cats. They're doing just fine. Based on my assessment, no one is conforming to anything. It's not really his job to prove to anyone what a woman is allowed to be. He is a man. No one ever said anything about a binary. I think the fact that he and I look nearly identical yet one of us is a woman and the other is a transman proves that there's a lot more variability than that. I don't believe in a binary anything. Not gender, definitely not sexual orientation. I have friends who are all manner of things, including married at 18, two kids and a dog by 22. I've been with straight girls, butch girls, genderqueer girls, girly girls, and one transwoman. No two alike. If anything I think transpeople prove that there are more than two genders. If there weren't I wouldn't be able to say that my women's college has an incredible amount of gender diversity despite having only one "sex." This issue really seems to be coming down more to a hatred of transpeople in general rather than an issue about women's colleges.

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  11. The quotes are from a women's college butch post...

    Hmm..."He identifies as a transman and presents himself to society as such. He is in a committed relationship with another transman and both consider themselves part of the trans community." So they're a lesbian couple passing as men? Which will be perceived as a gay couple?

    "Second, with regards to socialization, I am pretty sure that I couldn't go to a women's college if it meant I would have to be exclusively around women 100% of the time." If I applied to women's college - I would expect it to be exclusively woman...why would I expect anything else?

    "Everyone who graduates will eventually have to go out into a world that is drastically different, a lot more men as one obvious example. We are all protected by the bubble." Interesting you consider it as a protection - it's a choice for women to go and be around women! A choice that you and your 'friends' are taking away from women!

    "Having gone through it, I will be stronger as I enter the "real world" as will he. Beyond that, we will both have a deep knowledge of what that "real world" could and should be like if we work to make it that way." - Good luck to you and your 'friend'. It's sad you can't see you ARE in the read world right now. Oh wait, I forgot, you are too busy 'hiding' in a women's college...

    Greystreak

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  12. This isn't logical. If it's a woman's college, and if the college accepts mtf as female, and if the college accepts ftm as male, AND IT'S A WOMAN'S COLLEGE, then they wouldn't permit the ftm to become a student. No men allowed, remember?

    The fact that they claim to believe a ftm is male should automatically disqualify that person from attending. The fact that they permit both mtf and ftm to attend is extremely inconsistent and just plain weird. Realistically, they need to choose to permit either mtf OR ftm to attend, but not both.

    As long as they allow both, they're implicitly claiming a co-ed status, not a woman-only college. Surely even a halfway decent lawyer could sue the crap out of them for false advertising or something.

    (Been enjoying your blog for months now and always tempted to say something but I never do.) Anyway, hi, you're awesome! :)

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  13. WCb,

    I've thoroughly gone over all the major womens college (in the US) websites recently and noticed various mentions of all things "trans", from trans students, trans groups, trans issues that can crop up etc, but I see no mention of anything Butch or Femme related in the same vein.

    As you claim to be a "butch" who has a great transmale friend, I'm wondering what specific Femme/Butch groups/causes/issues are you and your transmale friend in/fighting for? And what changes would you like to see with regard to Butch visibility and Femme invisibility?

    Also didnt notice any transmale feminist groups on any of these websites, what are the transmale feminist groups like where you are at, and if there arent any what are the transmen and their supporters doing to create some?

    Didnt notice either any transmen taking back the night groups and such, curious about transmale participation in that regards to. I would imagine this being a major issue for transmen in an area they perfectly understand and would naturally desire to give back and passionately work towards MAJOR changes in. Can you tell me the name of the group your transmale friend is a part of in this regards? I would like to discuss the group here if I may.

    Didn't notice any transmen working on equal pay for equal work groups either. I would assume this is an area both you and your transmale friend are working on changing, especially as your transmale friend must certainly feel ashamed of the privileges s/he enjoys and can take advantage of as a perceived male while you and other women suffer under the weight of patriarchy's "men deserve more than women" policy regardless of work done.

    I did notice "queer studies" after "queer studies" classes/groups/lectures ect but little on womens studies programs and zero on lesbian studies. From what I gather you and your friend are some form of "queer" therefore I'm sure are outraged at this travesty! Wondering given your "queer" status and the passion of youth, have you/transfriends at least petitioned your particular school on this matter? If MUST be painful to be at a womens college and have plenty O queer studies (ie male studies) and trans policies but little to nothing on lesbians, especially as you are "butch".

    With regards to the capital B Butch, historically it has always been so. Perhaps had your womens school not abandon "lesbian studies" and perhaps had you not got caught up all things queer/trans, you might have taken some time to educate yourself on the ID you are claiming.

    dirt

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  14. wcb,

    In your own words...

    "It's not really his job to prove to anyone what a woman is allowed to be. He is a man."

    This very self serving anti-feminist statement (you may have learned more about feminism pre-queer had your curriculum developers not been preoccupied with accommodating all things gender queer) and proves HE needs to get OUT of a women's college.

    As a butch woman, your lack of ownership of this issue is disgusting and says to me that the only changes that have come about for women signal a huge step backwards.

    The fact that your trans friends have ‘jobs and relationships and cats’ says more for their privileged class position and perceived male identity than it does about them being immune from the terrors of the outside world. Enjoy being cocooned in your little bubble.

    But perhaps you didn’t learn about ‘class’ either at your school, perhaps too busy changing the world with your queer rhetoric. Or maybe just too busy reading the riot act to the college administration to ensure that your own needs and wants are met. I’d like to see how well working class trans men (and women for that matter) fair in the world once they have transitioned. But sadly, it would seem all you can see is your and your friend’s own needs and wants and can’t see that your own privilege affords you both opportunities you are able to exploit with no regard for the negative impact it is having.

    As Dirt said, I’d like to know HOW you and your little self righteous gender queer friends are giving something back to your women’s college and fighting for the rights of those on your campus that are women.

    FA x

    P.S if you are fucking anything that moves you are NOT a capital B Butch.

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  15. Greystreak,

    "So they're a lesbian couple passing as men? Which will be perceived as a gay couple?"

    I doubt they're lesbian.

    I doubt any two people have the exact same sexuality, but the things which attract me to other womyn and don't attract me to men include:

    - Intellectual Attraction, including mutual respect and shared interests.

    - Emotional Attraction, including compassion, and kindness, and something that draws me toward certain womyn, but not to men.

    - Visual Attraction; butch is hot, femme is hot, everything about being female is hot, and male is ... not.

    - Possibly a Phermonal Attraction? There may be something off about testosterone (though maybe womyn who love womyn with PCOS or CAIS can refute this) or another hormone.

    - And, yes, there is something beautiful about the vulva.

    But trans men aren't emotionally attractive to most of us, and they actively try not to be visually attractive to lesbians, and they aren't phermonally attractive to most of us.

    Maybe someone can be bi in terms of emotional attraction but strictly lesbian in terms of visual attraction, or vice-versa, and still be lesbian. But someone who is attracted to people who see themselves as men, who want to destroy the most beautiful [female] aspects of their bodies, and who want to live on testosterone, is not lesbian. Either they are straight, or they are gay men, or they are somewhere in-between.

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  16. Femme Avenger,

    "I’d like to see how well working class trans men (and women for that matter) fair in the world once they have transitioned."

    http://en.scientificcommons.org/42428182

    Schilt & Wiswall, 2008, "Before and After: Gender Transitions, Human Capital, and Workplace Experiences"

    ... Which also tackles some of the attempts to explain away the pay gap between men and womyn.

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  17. Anon,

    64 responders?...lol A poor example for a trans/non trans wage gap study dont ya think?

    I didnt even see it make mention of the autogynephiles who go on, such as the lynn conways, to earn even more money after transition.

    Nor did I see it list how long the ftMigogynist were in transition, as obviously IDing/passing as male makes a ALL the diff regardless of class under patriarchal regimes/labor force.

    dirt

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  18. women's college butchMay 11, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    Wow, so I take a day off for finals and the responses come flying in. I’ll try to address everything though I really should be studying so I’ll try to be concise.

    First off, Femme Avenger, I would just like to clarify that I have never referred to myself as a “capital B Butch.” That has been intentional. Since looking into what that means I have determined that I do not fit into that category. For the record I do not fuck anything that moves, I sleep with people I’m attracted to. Though at present I only sleep with my girlfriend, who is the perfect woman for me, ie extremely feminine and extremely aggressive, a lacrosse player actually. I define myself based on who I am, not who I sleep with, which seems to be the difference between the lower and uppercase B’s.

    That out of the way, starting with Greystreak. They are not lesbians or gay men, they are in love. Also, when I say I don’t want to be around women exclusively, I mean this school is not an island. We are in very close proximity to several coed college that have lots of men that I am happy to spend time in. There are also men on campus much of the time, generally with their girlfriends.

    m Andrea, as I said before the college policy is to allow only women to become students, they simply do not kick people out should they decide to transition. You could try to sue for false advertising but the colleges website explains this policy clearly, so you’d probably lose.

    Dirt- As far as Femme/Butch groups are concerned, I will admit that I don’t know much about the capital letter version of that. I don’t believe we have much of a “Femme/Butch” community here. People pretty much date whomever they feel attracted to. As a staunchly lowercased butch I pretty much see it is as my own personal identity and therefore the only thing I really do for visibility is be who I am. With regards to feminism, I do consider myself a feminist, though not as radical as some. I can only assume he does as I am not him. I know that my father is so I’m not sure one’s gender precludes a person from being a feminist. We do not have an exclusively transmale feminist group, there are only two, it would be pointless. They are part of the larger feminist community on this campus. Honestly, my friend is more involved in these types of things than I am. As far as queer studies, we have no actual department for that. We have a gender studies department that was once the women’s studies department, which is a change that has been much debated. They offer classes on a variety of topics, including women, feminism, masculinity, “queer theory,” etc. I have not taken any of these classes. I took intro to gender studies; it gave me a headache and the professor hated straight people. It’s not for me. Lastly, I did take some time to get caught up on the capital B and as I said before, came to the conclusion that it’s not me and I will continue to use the lowercase.

    Femme Avenger- For the record, I said that, not him so it seems like I need to get out of a women’s college. When I said that I know people who “have jobs and relationships and cats” I meant simply that they are living, as we all must. I am a firm believer that everyone has a right to do the best they can with what they have. The fact that some people have difficulties in life does not mean they should change who they are to make it easier. Things may be difficult for him when he graduates, as they will assuredly be difficult for me, but we will do the best we can

    In general, I should say that I do not pretend to be an expert on any of these issues. I barely have time to sleep once all my work is done. I am actually a science major, so I can’t really comment on the quality of my schools academic classes regarding women or lesbians. I spend about twelve hours of each day trying to get into medical school and the rest hanging out with friends.

    So much for being concise.

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  19. WC(b),

    One has to wonder why co-opt "butch" at all as clearly it is something you arent, dont even need to see a pic to determine that one...lol And yet you persevere hmmmm.

    Butch isnt determined by who a Butch is attracted to, it is determined by our mother's wombs.

    And btw why, NO men cannot be feminists, they are men. Men can support feminism in minute respects, but under patriarchy it is impossible for any male whatever their state to actually BE a feminist.

    And as you are so busy and such and not into campus politics/groups perhaps your "trans-male" friend could answer the questions I poses to you.

    dirt

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  20. women's college butchMay 11, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    As a personal sidebar, I actually never called myself anything at all until I read Stone Butch Blues. That book made me think about the history behind women who dress like men. I identified with the main characters feeling of being different as a child to growing into someone who felt as though they were something other than simply male or female. That books was based in a culture that was very much the butches date femmes and nothing else. However, as time went on she came to acknowledge that her friend could be butch while also dating another butch and went so far as to admit that what did it for her was high femme, whether male or female. I call myself butch because I am exclusively comfortable in men's clothing, right down to the underwear. Of course none of this has anything to do with the subject at hand but I felt the need to defend myself here. We clearly disagree on a great many things, however, I think the biggest difference is that I do not pretend to be qualified to tell anyone what they can or cannot be, whether it be feminists, women, men, whatever. I believe that if the majority of the college community thinks that they can handle and even embrace the presence of a couple of transguys on campus, it shouldn't be up to outsiders to say what's right for a women's college.

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  21. Wc(b), need I say more...

    http://dirtywhiteboi67.blogspot.com/search/label/Stone%20Butch%20Blues

    dirt

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  22. WC(b),

    As a woman who loves, defends and embraces women including myself, this "oursider" is a thousand times more qualified to say who should be allowed on WOMENS campus's rather than the ftMISOGYNIST trying to dictate otherwise through the utilization of cosmetically acquired "male" privilege!

    dirt

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  23. women's college butchMay 11, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    I disagree with your analysis of the book. I don't think the main character feels shame with regards to her butch identity, I think she was made to feel that way by society and did what she felt was necessary to survive. Ultimately, she makes it clear that she is not a man and has no desire to be so.

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  24. women's college butchMay 11, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    "As a woman who loves, defends and embraces women including myself, this "oursider" is a thousand times more qualified to say who should be allowed on WOMENS campus's rather than the ftMISOGYNIST trying to dictate otherwise through the utilization of cosmetically acquired "male" privilege!"

    What am I exactly?

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  25. WC(b),

    You cant have it both ways, clearly the character feels Butch shame based in the misogyny she has internalize by society. One doesnt fight shame, self hatred, pathological sexual dysfunction by living a lie as the character CHOOSES to do.

    There are plenty of us Butches out there living, loving, representing and stretching the patriarchal boundaries/notions/ideas (for the masturbatory male gaze) of femininity by remaining true to our unique female natures!

    We only have to look at any popular Femme/Butch forum/site/group to see the damage stone butch blues has caused. Oh but wait, you're arent Butch so you arent likely affiliated with the larger Femme/Butch community to know that.

    dirt

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  26. Wc(b)

    What are you? Besides a support of ftMISOGYNY and a dyke who clearly prizes masculinity and the male over women including yourself, I have no clue.

    dirt

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  27. women's college butchMay 11, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    By the end she decided to be who she was. It must be nice to have gone your entire life without making a mistake or ever giving in to societal pressure.

    Yes, I do support transgender rights. I support everyone's right to be who they are try to make a life for themselves. Honestly, while I am sexually attracted only to women, I like men and women equally otherwise. Many of my closest friends and mentors have been men just as many of my closest friends and role models have been women. I think the world needs an equal amount of both male and female energy. I also think that there are a million ways to be both and people should stop looking at it as though it is all so black and white. I don't think men are better than women, that would be ridiculous. I am a woman. I think I'm just as good as any man. I do not think being born a woman makes me better than a man or the other way around.

    For the record there has been much debate regarding the integration of women's colleges based on financial grounds and I have been and am, very much opposed to such measures. As are most women's college attendees that I know. Even the majority who get out of here like a shot come Friday night to go where the boys are.

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  28. WC(b)

    By the end of SBB the alterations were permanent, thats what you call "too little, too late". Perpetuating misogyny, shame and self hatred because "misery loves company" hasnt/isnt doing any Butches any favours. Simply look at what its done for you. You claim this book opened up your mind so that now you support the drugging and mutilation of pathological conformist.

    How about working toward expanding the tight parameters of male and female so conformity isnt internalized on such a grand scale and alleviate/eradicate the dysphoria and misogyny that is causing men and women to seek out drugs/mutilations (of which there is no long term studies/of which dysphoria/misogyny is still experienced/of depression remains/of many still commit suicide) in order fulfill their conditioned ideas of male and female so that people are what they are rather than what they THINK they are.

    dirt

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  29. women's college butchMay 11, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    I said the book helped me come to terms with my own identity, it had nothing to do with my opinions regarding transgender issues. I fully agree that the boxes men and women are meant to fit into are to small. As someone who likes my body just fine yet dresses, moves, and some would say behaves in a way that is traditionally considered masculine, I get that women can be a lot of different things. I think people should open their eyes and understand that I am just as female and just as womanly as someone who wears dresses everyday. My opinions about that are completely separate from my opinions about people who truly feel that they are not the sex they were assigned at birth. I don't feel like a man trapped in a woman's body, which makes me different from a transman despite many of our similarities. As with anything there are going to people who feel pressured and do it for the wrong reasons. That means there should be more education on the subject. But not everyone who transitions ends up depressed and suicidal. Many of them feel relieved that their body finally reflects the way they've always felt. It is good for them. Add in the whole genderqueer movement and it gets more complex. They you have people that say they are neither male nor female and display that in a variety of different ways. What is right for one is not necessarily right for all.

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  30. Trans men and women transition not from feeling "born in the wrong body" (thats pure HB spin) what they feel (mentally mind you) is (and I am not addressing autogynes here) body dysphoria which sporadically returns over and over regardless of the drugs or which healthy body parts have been hacked off or mutilated into monstrosities, which ultimately do lead to periods of reoccurring depressions.

    Per the medical establishment that "treats" trans people, they do not make for good/clear/honest research/stats due to their everlasting dysphoria/dysphoric fears. In other words, dont go making bank on the word of a tranny.

    dirt

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  31. Wait a minute here ...

    I used to be stone, even though I'm not quite butch. I was stone because I had an endocrine condition which screwed everything up. It didn't do me any good to hate myself for being tired all the time and uncomfortable with my body. It did a lot of good to get things checked out and treated. I am not stone any more: I am happy as a woman, I have more energy, and I wish I could share my happiness with my long-distance girlfriend.

    I know one woman who was on testosterone for non-gender-related reasons, and she told me that it made her miserable and she refused to keep taking it. I suspect most women would respond the same way, conformism or not.

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  32. Anon,

    "Stoneness" is sexual dysfunction due to body dysphoria, it isnt physiological.

    dirt

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  33. wcb,

    "The fact that some people have difficulties in life does not mean they should change who they are to make it easier."

    Exactly!

    What concerns me wcb, when you are young, away from home for the first time (we’ve all been there), you are open to new opportunities, experiences and ways of identifying and expressing yourself. With this new found freedom there a level of vulnerability follows. Of the narratives I’ve read from the increasing numbers of women that transition (to FTM/trans/gender queer), they all mention a catalyst coming from hearing speeches presented by FTM at colleges/rallies or reading books like Stone Butch Blues. These stories/journeys give one very emotionally loaded viewpoint that could easily be absorbed as “truth”/ “salvation” by young women that have not been exposed to other readings of gender or womanhood outside the hetero-normative model. Just as Dirt said, there are butch and Butch women that have and continue to live true to themselves and walk in the world with no intention of changing or hiding anything about themselves as women and female. I’ve been privileged to be friends with and date women like this who refuse succumb to societal pressure to wear the “female” uniform (or any women’s clothing) at work, home or play, who wear their hair super short, who walk to their own tune and refuse to amend in order to make people (including “queers”) feel comfortable with their “type”.

    I sense that you are still searching, exploring and looking for information and tools/resources that will help you interpret the world around you and that of herstory/history, and this is a positive thing. If you want to see some positive butch/Butch women, forget the Rachael Maddow (sell out) and Judith Halberstam (self serving) “butches”, look at i.e., Skyler Cooper (http://www.skylercooper.com/), the everyday butch/Butch women and dykes in the suburbs, and of course the delicious Dirt. You may not agree with her politics or methods, but Dirt is a proud Butch that loves women and her stories of growing up Butch help to frame these feelings within a female/girl’s perspective that stretches the parameters of what a female is allowed to be. Skyler and Dirt keep their bodies fit and healthy, they are not prisoners to alcohol or other drugs (unlike so many other dykes), are openly Butch and proud of it and don’t change themselves to fit with what society expects them to be as women.

    In your own words; "The fact that some people have difficulties in life does not mean they should change who they are to make it easier."

    FA x

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  34. women's college butchMay 12, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    Femme Avenger- Thanks for the pep talk, really, but this was never about me. I'm not trans. I'm totally happy with who I am. I am a woman who wears men's clothes and according to you "fucks anything that moves." (Though I really don't think that's an accurate assessment, I'm actually quite classy.) I love all kinds of women, be they femme, butch, gender queer, andro, and yes, trans. I have a great community around me and friends I have no doubt will be with me for the rest of my life. I have a super supportive family that never even blinked as I stopped wearing dresses, brought home a girl for the first time, or started buying men's underwear. I just killed my last exam this afternoon and then got incredibly drunk at 4:30 with some really awesome people. My life is pretty fuckin awesome right now to tell you the truth. I'm not confused and I never have been. Not about my sex at least. I was once confused about my sexual orientation, then I figured it out. I was once confused about my gender presentation, then I figured it out. There's a huge difference between me and my trans brothers and sisters. You look at me and you see someone who, on the outside, looks very masculine, but if you know me, if you look deeper you see a woman. Not so of most transpeople I know. As I said before, I date a transwoman once. At first I was a little iffy on it. I wasn't sure if I could still be a lesbian and date a "man." Then I looked deeper and realized she was anything but a man. She was probably the most inherently feminine person I've ever been with. If she's not a woman than I sure as hell am not.

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  35. women's college butchMay 12, 2010 at 1:24 AM

    PS- It's interesting that you mentioned Skylar Cooper, I was just watching a short film she was in, she's quite talented, not to mention ripped. I would kill to have whatever genetics make her that buff. I've been lifting for years and I'm about half what she is.

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  36. Its interesting that nothing is about you WC(b), yet in each of your responses you talk of no one else.

    dirt

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  37. Apparently the conversion is now done at teenager/high school level see there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMCUtcPfYug

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  38. I am a Transman and probably the only thing you and I will ever agree on Dirt is that Transmen do not belong in a Women's College. I honestly don't know why a Transman would WANT to be in an all Women's environment. It baffles me.
    With that, I still don't get why all the hate. It seems that it would make way more sense for the Lesbian community - specifically the Butches, and FTMs to work together to stop all the blurring of the lines. It is hurting BOTH communities.

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