Change Your World-NOT your Body

Monday, July 18, 2011

Breast Ironing and the Male Gaze

Conflict rages over breast ironing... 

From the article: 

"Joyce Forghab used to pray the same line every night during the month she was suffering from breast ironing. “Please God, make my breasts disappear.”
The shocking practice, carried out by a quarter of mothers in Cameroon, is meant to reverse female sexual development

Joyce’s experience is no exception in Cameroon. An estimated one in four girls suffers from the practice in their childhood. Breast ironing is a traditional ritual in which, by using heated and flat objects, a girl’s growing breasts are pressed in order to suppress and reverse their development. A girl’s mother or aunt usually performs the act. To iron breasts they mostly use a wooden pestle or a stone; other tools employed include coconut shells, grinding stones, ladles, spatulas and hammers, all carefully heated over burning coals.

Apart from being painful and psychologically traumatic, breast ironing exposes girls to multiple health problems. According to many medical reports, it can lead to abscesses, itching, inability to breastfeed, infection, deformity or disappearance of the breasts, cysts, tissue damage and even breast cancer.

With all the medical evidence present, why do a quarter of Cameroonian girls still have to experience the torturous practice? Ze Jeanne, a 57-year-old Cameroonian woman and mother of eight, clarifies her reasons. “When the breasts of a young girl start growing, any man can come to her and try to have sex with her. So, in order to help the girls continue school, we have to do breast ironing,” she says.

Apart from being historically rooted in Cameroonian culture, breast ironing is used to avoid sexual contact between young girls and boys. By altering girls’ bodies to disguise a visable sign of emerging sexuality, mothers try to make sure that their girls remain virginal and pure, and avoid becoming visibly fertile women — and potential mothers.

Mothers are not completely unjustified in their fears. Early sexual encounters can lead these young teenagers to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, possible rapes or the transmission of sexual diseases. Burning girls’ emerging breasts to many mothers seems a far better option. It is a measure born out of love and care for their daughters, they argue.

Traditional harmful practices against women are manifold across human history. They include tortures such as Chinese foot binding, rib-breaking corsets, female genital mutilation and the chastity belt of the Middle Ages. All shared a common purpose: to benefit men, either by assuring women’s fidelity or by improving their beauty according to contemporary taste.

Breast ironing is different. Instead of trying to benefit men, this is one of the few practices that tortures women for their own “good” in a distorted effort by women on women to protect them from men by making them less desirable".



Breast binding and breast removal are on the rise in first world countries ultimately for similar reasons, to shield one's self from the male gaze. A good many trans trenders begin seeking out transition with the intention of escaping the male gaze, while for all other females who transition, escaping the male gaze is at least an underlying factor in their transition.

There have been a great many posts and videos made by female transitioners about the freedom of going bare chested after "top surgery". The freedom is not simply escaping any legal issues by going without a top and bra, it is being able to remove their shirt without being sexualized by the male gaze! Breast are being bound, gagged and murdered in an insane attempt to remove the male masturbatory gaze. Female transition is not simply about becoming a man, as much as it is about unbecoming a woman. But you wont hear that from any "gender specialist" or trans doktor, especially when there is money to be made and conformity to be conformed to!

Hyper femininity has fast become the norm as part and parcel of the backlash against feminism. Our female children being groomed with hyper feminine clothing, sexualizing and priming them for the male gaze at ages as young at two or three. Then in an effort to escape that masturbatory gaze some are seeking transition as young teens, with not a single person pointing to the misogynistic signs that are informing their "choices"!

At least the Cameroonian women have not had the benefit of feminism's insight to how their breast ironing practices are harming their female children, in countries like the US we've traded that insight for blind fucking ignorance and neglect.

dirt

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93 comments:

  1. Of course it's ridiculous to make men stop trying to have sex with the girls. They're men, why should they be inconvenienced by women's rights mumbo jumbo? Deformed breasts are apparently less of a tragedy than blue balls.

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  2. "A good many trans trenders begin seeking out transition with the intention of escaping the male gaze, while for all other females who transition, escaping the male gaze is at least an underlying factor in their transition."

    Where did you get that from? Escaping the "male gaze" is NOT a motivation of mine, even a little bit. I've never been subjected to the "male gaze." Most men have always assumed I was a boy/man. I've never once felt uncomfortable with how a man was looking at me. It's just not on my radar, at all, ever.

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  3. I'll have to agree with Anon 11:03 PM.

    Dirt...look in a mirror. I am not saying that to insult you, but through the logic in the above quote, you have gone out of your way yourself as a "butch woman" to "escape the male gaze".

    I'm sorry, Dirt. But that point (among others) is pure groundless presumptuous folly.

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  4. The fact that you're applying a Western idea to a non-Western culture shows how ignorant you are, regarding cross-cultural identities. Stick to the US, Sir Dirt; don't try to bastardize people's cultural practices to further your own agenda and justify your hatred. You're no better than Bible thumping Christians when they talk about same-sex behavior.

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  5. I don't think Dirt goes out of her way to avoid the "male gaze." I think Dirt's just butch, like a lot of women are butch, because they just are and they feel comfortable that way. I don't think butches are butch to avoid attention from men.

    But I DO think Dirt is severely delusional if she thinks the male gaze is ever directed at her. Sorry, honey, but straight boys are NOT checking out your "breast." (Why do you always use the singular, anyway?)

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  6. Looks like you struck a nerve with this one Dirt.
    Good Job.

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  7. "The fact that you're applying a Western idea to a non-Western culture shows how ignorant you are, regarding cross-cultural identities."

    Exactly.
    Please stay in your lane, Dirt.

    And Gallas...if you truly believe the key to having an intelligent opinion is utter ignorance and privileged manipulation of others' cultures and lifestyles, you need to grow up and understand.

    That is my only advise. Grow up and sit down.

    Applaud intelligence, not "striking nerves". Either make a decent statement or, how do you say, "gtfo".

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  8. Yeah... no. Just because another culture values a practice that is empirically, unqualifiedly barbaric, does not mean I have to respect that practice if I'm a member of a different culture. Some things are just WRONG. Torture, abuse, mutilation of childrens' bodies - WRONG. The mere fact that another culture condones a practice does not render it exempt from critique. Call me a cultural imperialist if you must, but I won't stand for torture under the guise of a PC respect for "cultural practices."

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  9. "Female transition is not simply about becoming a man, as much as it is about unbecoming a woman. But you wont hear that from any "gender specialist" or trans doktor, especially when there is money to be made and conformity to be conformed to!"


    ...Oh come on. You'll certainly have do do better than that. My medical degree beats your uneducated presumptions on any occasion, basis, and scale.

    Also, my empathy beats your intolerance in the same manor.

    Most importantly, education means acknowledging that since you have not experienced a certain mindset, culture, race, identity or any sort, you have no basis in evaluation or critique. To assume that you do is foolishness.

    When you give that concept an ounce of thought for once...people will consider giving you a half a pint of respect.

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  10. I have never bound my breast nor sought to have them removed. And I've been hit on by far more men than I ever have women.

    dirt

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  11. Just to add, I'm butch and OF COURSE straight boys/men check out my breasts. Since some seem to view my butch appearance as something threatening, then the 'attention' I've got in the past has ranged from verbal harassment and actual groping, to threats of physical violence.

    But men DON'T CARE who it is with breasts, they'll make comments, take photographs (yes, a man who was wandering about my uni campus taking photos of women with large breasts) etc. It ISN'T based on whether they find you overall sexually attractive, or the fact that they know that you're definitely not interested in them -- it's just, female body part, my right to gawp, pass comments, whatever.

    Rather than being 'severely delusional' for assuming that the male gaze isn't directed at me, in my experience its focused even more, because I'm seen to be something a little scary -- a woman who likes as if she won't take any shit from them, and who has the audacity to dress in a non male-approved fashion.

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  12. "The fact that you're applying a Western idea to a non-Western culture shows how ignorant you are, regarding cross-cultural identities".

    What utter nonsense! You see where the 'respect everyones point of view' pseudo-liberalism leads to, a point where every act becomes devoid of any moral or ethical weight, and we are left with the empty-headed let's not judge anyone, who are we to say this is right or wrong?

    Don't confuse cultural relativism with moral relativism BTW. It may make sense as an academic standpoint when studying other cultures. Whether you drive on the right or the left, that differs across cultures and is devoid of an ethical component, but the same doesn't hold in this case.

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  13. i think dirt got it right with this one
    SO many young ftm's (even ones who post on here) say that the distress of having their breasts looked at and sexualized was a major reason they 'knew' they were trans

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  14. BadDyke,

    As a NON-AMERICAN whose country has seen Americans come in and apply their ideologies and practices in my culture, I can't help but be a "pseudo-liberalist." You cannot possibly think that it's okay for you all to look at someone else's culture and say "Oh dear. How barbaric!" You sound just like European conquerors when they invaded Africa, German extremists who sought to rid the world of Jewish folk; because your culture has a certain set of values doesn't mean you can apply it foolishly to someone else's way of life.

    Typical neo-colonialism thinking. I guess this doesn't sit well with you because you're born and raised in a territory where you can say whatever nonsense comes spilling out of your mouth. But remember, not everyone is as privileged as you are to be born in such a divine developed nation so keep your ideologies on your side of the globe. Land of the free, indeed.

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  15. @anon 10:33

    Just like we looked at the holocaust and said "Oh dear. How barbaric!" we can look at this and say the same.
    But according to your logic maybe we should've left that alone because that's their culture,and it was neo-colonial of us to interfere with that and we had no basis to evaluate the nazi values. we are human beings first and foremost. If it's gassing people to death, torture, mutilation, genocide we all should speak out about it as HUMAN BEINGS because certain things are HUMAN RIGHTS.FUCK "cultural identity" when people are suffering.

    It seems people care more about being politically correct than the HUMAN BEINGS that are being damaged.

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  16. From KatieS

    Great post, dirt! All women are subjected to the male gaze. The male gaze is ubiquitous if you are perceived as female. It is especially directed toward women's breasts. So, you have to find ways to deal with it. There are various ways, but it does have to be dealt with.

    One way is to obscure your female sex. There have always been stories of women who have dressed as men. Until the present day all the stories of this relate to women seeking safety from men, to get work, etc. Decades ago, before anyone heard of SRS, I remember thinking that if I could dress as a boy, I could have more freedom. I never thought I was a boy inside. While it's possible that some girls do have this experience of feeling like a boy from a young age, it would certainly not match the numbers of young women binding or having "top surgery" today.

    You have hit the nail on the head when you see it as escaping the male gaze. The male gaze is a prison. All people want safety and freedom.

    On a side note: Some women get addicted to the supposed power they get from this and seek the male gaze. That's just another way to deal with the male gaze, seek that attention. I think that's what the males who cross-dress or get surgery to gain breasts are looking for-- attention.

    The real solution would be for males to change this behavior. Pretty simple compared to surgery.

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  17. I cannot believe anyone would be remotely okay with the idea of saying, "Oh hey, they iron their girls breasts or cut off their labia, it's their culture, and it would be so wrong for us to object to that." It's not CULTURE, it's misogyny and torture. But then again, they're just "third world" females, right? So they should just get with the program (like the gays and lesbians of Iran, I suppose, who are forced to SRS in order to survive without being arrested or killed -- because hey, that's part of the Iranian Shia culture!)

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  18. if you ever compare the today's transsexual craze (ftm in partic) to anything else that is happening or has ever happened in society you are quickly reprimanded and told you're not allowed to think these things

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  19. "Dirt...look in a mirror. I am not saying that to insult you, but through the logic in the above quote, you have gone out of your way yourself as a "butch woman" to "escape the male gaze"."

    BS. Men can find butch women and other "masculine" women attractive. I even know a man who finds "manly" women more attractive than traditionally feminine ones. I personally dress kinda butch and a man asked me out just the other day. So being butch doesn't mean men don't look at you and it doesn't make you unattractive to them.
    You also seem to ignore the fact that butch straight women exist. I'm straight and a hardcore tomboy, and i'm not dressing and acting the way i do to escape the male gaze, i'm just being myself. I know for a fact that men can fall in love with and feel attracted to butch women, so your argument if flawed.

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  20. You are very right DD. Cultural relativist arguments are pretty much bullshit, especially here.
    It is absolutely true that these practices are barbaric and oppressive on an objective and measurable level. (or the cultural climate that compels women to do such things; e.g. this situation where breast ironing is used to avoid the male gaze and destruction of promising womens' lives)

    I would argue, however, that Dirt is trivializing this very real humanitarian issue by invoking it for her vendetta against trans men.

    The connection she is making between this and the motivations of FTM transition is completely invalid, and this merely dilutes the seriousness of the situation in Cameroon.

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  21. It doesn't seem that far of a stretch to me
    It's all about others' perception of one's gender
    Specifically what it means to be female
    What is has meant culturally in many times, many places
    And methods of escaping that stereotypical meaning
    Since nobody is ever born in any kind of wrong body
    It's escaping from its perceived constraints
    Not dismantling the systems that shame and abuse tne female

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  22. there are probably more young ftm's in america having 'top surgery' than there are girls having their breasts ironed anywhere - what about the seriousness of that?

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  23. "if you ever compare the today's transsexual craze (ftm in partic) to anything else that is happening or has ever happened in society you are quickly reprimanded and told you're not allowed to think these things"

    It's more that Dirt manages to compare EVERYTHING to transition.

    She seems completely fixated on FtM transition, more so than most FtMs I know.

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  24. Lesbians look at women's breasts and lusts after them. It's not just men. My ex had wandering eyes everywhere we went.

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  25. "You cannot possibly think that it's okay for you all to look at someone else's culture and say "Oh dear. How barbaric!" "

    Not just OKAY, but in many cases a moral imperative!

    I wouldn't say barbaric, BTW -- many so-called primitive cultures are rather impressive. There is a difference between the colonialist viewpoint (Us = good, Them = bad) or racist viewpoint (white = good, black = bad), and what I'm doing. What I think Dirt is saying is that our (okay, some aspects of the US and UK culture and western cukture are shared) culture ain't so great either, because we have female (self)-mutilation in BOTH, for reasons that are common to both.

    I'm a bit of a newby to this debate, but I find it ODD how often the 'you can't talk meaningfully about this' card is played, whether it's I can't talk about it because I'm not trans, or I can't talk about it because I'm not a poor black female from Cameroon.

    IF these things were so SIMPLE, why can't you talk about it and convince me of the superior moral value of your position? Instead, people seem to keep telling me to just shut up...............

    P.S. why say german extremists when we all know that what you mean are nazis? Or are you just trying to sashay around Godwins law..............

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  26. The "'you can't talk meaningfully about this' card" is being played against people who not only wallow in ignorance on the issues of which they speak (in this case transsexuality), but fabricate outright lies in defense of their philosophical position, in order to attack and devalue the lives and decisions of people already in a vulnerable position in society.

    And Dirt is not saying "our culture ain't so great either." She is frivolously invoking a serious humanitarian situation going on in Cameroon to illustrate what she thinks (invalidly) is the motivation for FTM transitioners.

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  27. ...breast ironing exposes girls to multiple health problems. According to many medical reports, it can lead to abscesses, itching, inability to breastfeed, infection, deformity or disappearance of the breasts, cysts, tissue damage and even breast cancer......

    This explains everything!! Mom ironed my tits!! Who Knew?


    Thanks Dirt... I am so relieved..

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  28. sier

    I'd love to hear that valid motivation for FTM transitioners
    a motivation that follows logic and not just magical thinking
    a motivation that is not inherently conformist or misogynistic

    I've yet to encounter any reasoning that meets those requirements

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  29. @ Anon 11:02


    The Holocaust is not a cultural practice you unimaginable idiot.

    White privileged fool. I'm tired of that way of thinking. Im SO tired of it.

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  30. 5:19

    way to be racist, pal

    she was just saying that many people turn a blind eye to many atrocities since it's not 'their business'

    -a 'white?' Jew

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  31. @5:19
    I'm sorry. the holocaust was a practice of the nazi subculture, not a "cultural practice" persay. I know it's not truly analagous but where do we draw the line as far as the suffering human beings?

    I am not white.

    I know people are tired of the nazi/hitler hyperbole but i am tired of people quibbling over terms and what people can and cannot talk about rather than the trauma that people experience. As a black/Nigerian person i don't mind white people talking about us and our practices. If it doesn't make sense or is hateful i ignore it. (people seem to have a problem doing this for some reason). If it's an accurate observation then i listen to their point of view. Sometimes an outsider point of view can be helpful.
    If something like this were to happen to me i would want anybody, black, white, asian, anyone to help make it stop. I would be appalled if someone said "well that's their culture" and turned their back for fear of sounding "colonial". I understand the ironing is a response to males terrorizing young girls. The real question is how can we protect these girls? But how can we answer if we can't even do that over here? This is not like a tribal tattoo or piercing like practice this is a response to fear. The cause of the fear needs to eradicated so that the practice can end.

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  32. this whole "genderqueer" thing that's catching on is really bothering me.

    there are so many girls out there who actually believe that being butch means you're trans. unbelievable.

    butch lesbians are not men.. end of story.. I consider myself butch, I don't perform femininity, but I'm curvy and feminine and FEMALE. and I love female people.

    I've long wished to conceal my large breasts somehow, at times wearing 2 or 3 bras at once as a teenager. all because of creepy men.

    pervy hetero men won't stop treating women's bodies like public property until patriarchy is toppled, and they are no longer raised to be so disrespectful..

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  33. You can't blame all of life's problems on men.

    I've had more problems with women in my life than I ever had with men in general. The women I have dated wanted me to look and dress a certain way and whatnot. One of my ex butch girlfriends wanted me to have my breasts enlarged because she said it turns her on. Well, I never had that done and just decided to dump her on the account that she was telling me how she wanted me to look and wouldn't just let me be myself. Go figure!

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  34. I transitioned because I falsely thought that I appeared more male in the world than I really did. I looked in the mirror and saw a male. You can call that delusional if you want. I honestly never quite got that my body had developed into a women's body. When I saw that it was possible for my body to physically change and actually have male secondary sex characteristics, I immediately realized how delusional I had been about how I appeared in the world. I suspect that this is also the case for many "butches" who claim to pass and look "male". Thus the macho behavior and loud, aggressive overcompensation. We who have transitioned have peed on the parade of those who believe their imaginations alone are powerful enough to transcend physical gender. We have brought the situation into sharp relief by embodying physical and social maleness, thus destroying the structure that secretly made them feel safe and counted at the end of the day. And we are silently accused of imposing a structure that makes them *women* because we have embraced the fact that we are not women.
    Thus their continued furious assertions that we cannot "be" male. The outrage and furor is a clear signal. We might have been embraced years ago when there were only a few of us and our stories were tragic. We could incur pity and perhaps some curiosity but those are belittling handouts to the poor. Now we are taking up space-in the media, in the community, in public spaces, in art, in culture, and in every vocation. We won't be silenced and we won't go away. Many of us won't even feel sorry for ourselves to satisfy the notion that we are somehow *less* than you.

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  35. 9:20

    that is utter bullshit

    it's so annoying when transpeople take credit for the effects of drugs

    like you should be so proud of how testosterone affects you?

    i think it's very uncommon for lesbians to
    think they 'pass' if they still consider themselves lesbians
    (unless it's just for draggy kicks)

    and while i'm not stereotypically feminine i'm certainly not macho or aggressive, i'm cute and nice and my breasts are small and i'm often called 'boyish' and i don't care

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  36. " We who have transitioned have peed on the parade of those who believe their imaginations alone are powerful enough to transcend physical gender."

    Actually you have 'peed' (with your medically swollen genitals) on humanity as a whole.

    What you're saying is that you need drugs and surgery to fit in, to survive, as though that is somehow transcendent?

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  37. What is more of an 'aggressive compensation' than transition?

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  38. "who not only wallow in ignorance on the issues of which they speak (in this case transsexuality), but fabricate outright lies in defense of their philosophical position, in order to attack and devalue the lives and decisions of people already in a vulnerable position in society."

    Why assume I'm ignorant just because I disagree with you? Seems like just another attempt to derail any discussion, rather than actually argue your position.

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  39. "...we have embraced the fact that we are not women."
    Really, that's a 'fact?'

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  40. This was a great post.

    As you say, the mothers are misguided and although they believe they're helping they're daughters, really they're just reinforcing the patriarchal idea that women and girls can somehow control men's behaviour.

    Somebody needs to tell them that NOTHING women can do will PREVENT male behaviour. We've been TRYING for hundreds of years to stop them from raping us, or from impregnating our daughters, god knows, but they won't stop. THe only people who can stop rapes, unwanted impregnations, once and for all, is the men who rape.

    Some women need to believe that women are responsible for the bad things that happen to us as a class... so they can live in the fantasy that it will never happen to them as long as they live by "the rules"

    I can absolutely see the parallel between F2M breastbinding and the breast ironing in the Cameroon.

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  41. And yes, Dirt is critiquing U.S culture here and comparing the mutilations in the West to mutilations elsewhere. There is nothing neo-colonialist about that.

    What IS neocolonialist is to pretend that misogynistic western cultural practices such as breast mutilation surgery (in the form of implants or unecessary mastectomies) are okay because they happen in *our* country.

    In reality there is no difference between Female GEnital Mutilation in Africa, and Female Genital Mutilation in a trans-surgeons office in BRitain or America.
    If you believe they are different then you ARE expressing cultural superiority.

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  42. "Somebody needs to tell them that NOTHING women can do will PREVENT male behaviour. We've been TRYING for hundreds of years to stop them from raping us, or from impregnating our daughters, god knows, but they won't stop. THe only people who can stop rapes, unwanted impregnations, once and for all, is the men who rape."

    It takes two to tango and if you don't want your daughters pregnant then they should stop spreading their legs to every guy who pays them a little attention.

    Men aren't the only ones who rape. My 13 year old cousin was raped by a 30 year old butch dyke.

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  43. Just watched an episode of Maury and this tramp on there was on the show before and had 6 men tested to see if they were her baby's daddy and NONE of them were. She came back on the show and had 3 more tested and NONE of them were the daddy either!!! She balled her eyes out and ran backstage because she couldn't believe that none of them were the daddy to her bastard child. She should be ashamed of herself for laying on her back all those times and can't for her life figure out which one out of God knows how many could be the father....All I could do is sit here and laugh my ass off!!! She must walk around with a mattress strapped to her back...that or a two by four so all those men don't fall in!! ROTFLMFAO!!!

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  44. right, last 2 anonymice- women are whores and they get what they deserve. brilliant! and i'm assuming you're female. dirt's point well-proven

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  45. and somehow i do not think that female rapists are a big problem in this world

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  46. No but what I think the person was saying was that the lady on the show was a whore. I mean come one! I have watched the Maury show and have seen many many episodes where 5 or more men are DNA tested yet none of them were the father. Those women should be ashamed of themselves doing that crap and then going on national tv to broadcast it. It really disgusts me when I see that crap but what can you do?

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  47. ...and somehow i do not think that female rapists are a big problem in this world...

    Actually, this is not true. The issue is much greater than society believes. It is under reported..

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  48. 2:03:
    B U L L S H I T
    even if 'under reported'

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  49. It truly is unreported. And no one here would ever want to discuss it because you are all blinded by your own bigotry and over done pseudo-feminism.

    I was sexually assaulted by a woman when I was a child. No one took it seriously and she spent no more than 3 months in jail.

    Where's my justice? I suppose I'm not deserving of any because the monster that hurt me has a vagina.

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  50. yeah we get it
    you have a personal problem
    that does not make it a vast societal problem
    and what is your position on ftm i wonder?

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  51. sexual assault on a child is a different issue than an adult woman committing rape on a man(?) or woman

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  52. Women are whores and get what they deserve and women are rapists. The female-hating delusions of girls who hate their sex. No wonder you girls want sex changes if this is what you believe about women. The FTM delusions and female-hatred couldn't be more clearly displayed than as seen here in this thread. This is why every woman has an obligation to speak out against the FTM trend.

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  53. Gallusmag I couldnt agree more. These girls are more interested in pointing out a few bad women than understanding how misogyny affected those womens lives as well as their own.

    dirt

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  54. 2:57
    granted but so off-topic unless the point is 'women are bad too' and they deserve their treatment at the hands (etc) of males (in cameroon?)

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  55. (that was me at 3:20, the comment I was referencing was one going on about some slutty girl on the maury show, as though she represents all women or something)

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  56. @ BadDyke
    "Why assume I'm ignorant just because I disagree with you? Seems like just another attempt to derail any discussion, rather than actually argue your position."

    I am not assuming, I'm concluding given the facts that you, Dirt, and other anti-trans activists bloviate on and on about the lives and motivations of trans-people while completely ignoring everything they say, alongside the best of the patriarchy.

    Are you too blind to realize what is going on here; this incessant theorizing, speculating, invalidating, and shouting down of the lives and words of trans-people; is a perfect mimic of the reaction of the patriarchy to homosexuality? Do I have to give a history lesson to lay it out plain?

    An essential trait of a patriarchal or privileged idea is one that ignores and invalidates the voices of the very groups of people it opines on. Sure, they say they listen, but they only hear, and only through the filter of their twisted pet theories. They thus have no right to theorize on the lives of said people.

    And so, what I am saying here, as a trans person, amongst a chorus of trans people, is that you are not listening to us. You have no ground on which to stand, opining on our existences, for you wish to silence us, and impose your theories upon our lives. This is identical to the patriarchy, and with your wild speculations and pronouncements, you encourage and place weapons into the hands of the patriarchy that so hates us and wishes our destruction.

    This is not a matter of differing opinions, BadDyke. This is a matter of privileged behaviour and venomous attacks on a people already vulnerable, rejected, and ignored by the patriarchy which you declare to detest.

    Further, we cannot reasonably expect a foundation upon which to "argue [our] position" when the other party ignores our voices.
    Until we can be convinced that you'll genuinely listen to us, we will persist in playing the "you can't talk meaningfully about this" card.

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  57. "An essential trait of a patriarchal or privileged idea is one that ignores and invalidates the voices of the very groups of people it opines on. Sure, they say they listen, but they only hear, and only through the filter of their twisted pet theories. They thus have no right to theorize on the lives of said people."

    Sier, you were spot on.Truer words have never been spoken.

    Dirt and this slew of radical feminists assume that since they face a form of oppression that they are not both privileged and patriarchal as well as both oppressive and discriminatory.

    They are the epitome of "privilege denying people".

    For example, that is why many women of color feel that feminism is a "white woman's movement". The denial of the privilege bases its authority on the attempt to silence many voices that are not their own: people of color, trans people, and all non-lesbian people (all of which they tend to choose to discuss without any of these groups being represented or present- and they feel an obliged proud justification in being able to discuss/study/poke-and-jab at these groups without their presence).

    This is a sad truth, but it is the truth.

    (I'll await for a response to this from one of you jabbing at my character, go ahead. I said what I had to say.)

    -Lee

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  58. seems the 'partiarchy' (or most males anyway) wouldn't/don't mind females transitioning to 'men'- most people i know who care about the issue are women, and not only gay women

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  59. (i just posted at 7:27)

    wanted to say that i'm not a 'radical feminist'- just a believer in nature and good sense/clear logic

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  60. Gah! The idea that women of colour or women of low socio-economic status do not identify with feminism is just woefully ignorant. They may not identify with white middle class feminism, that is true, but where in the world did you get the idea that the only people who can be feminists are the white middle classes??

    A poor understanding of feminism if ever I saw one.

    But I've noticed that it's become fashionable for white people that hate feminism to say that women of colour don't identify with feminism, whenever they want to attack feminists.

    Stop *using* women of colour as a stick to beat feminists and women who reject the trans "theory" with.

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  61. ...

    I am not white. Not by a long shot.

    ...

    -Lee

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  62. I never thought I'd see a person of color throw Black feminists under the bus, but I just saw it with my own eyes. I guess when you're trans, female-hatred knows no bounds.

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  63. I said many WOMEN OF COLOR.
    I did not pin point AFRICAN AMERICAN feminists.

    Shows how much you read what I said. Good attempt at your usual derailment, GallusMag.

    Your child-like response reveals your lack of good sense.

    And another thing...who said ANYTHING about me -being trans?

    -Lee

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  64. @ Gallus Mag

    What are you even talking about? You didn't even address anything. No one was even thrown under the bus.

    Can't you read? Or is your denial really that bad?

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  65. And when I said many WOMEN OF COLOR feel that feminism is a "white woman's movement" I mean to say that the movement is domineered by white women who look after their own privileged interests, discarding, dismissing, attacking, and invalidating all other voices unlike themselves (including women of color-not just "black" women as GallasMag ignorantly for some reason equated with the entirety of what "women of color" means).

    I didn't say that "the only people who can be feminists are the white middle classes", cherryblossomlife.

    Please read more carefully.

    Again: privilege denying people in a nutshell.

    I'm really tired of having to go this off topic to clarify what I plainly stated for people who chose not to read correctly/are in a perpetual state of privilege denial. To the others, I apologize.


    -Lee

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  66. The only thing that is fashionable is to point out people who are unable to see any social justice issues but their immediate interests, and so poke a hole in their aura of self-righteousness.
    The classic example, which persists to this day (the blogs of black feminists speak for themselves here), is the privilege denying of white middle class feminists.

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  67. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/22/957012/-White-Privilege-Diary-Series-#1White-Feminist-Privilege-in-Organizations

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  68. Also, THIS:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_feminism


    Educate your damned selves.
    Good job, Lee. :) Speak on it.

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  69. Sier you are on point as well. You and Lee better preach!

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  70. looks like the only people 'allowed' to be criticized here are 'white' people, oh and anybody who thinks transitioning makes no sense. so, being a white-skinned gay jew with some romany blood makes me 'privileged?' who the hell cares? why is everything so damned compartmentalized? it's small-thinking disguised as broad.

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  71. Haha.

    What makes you (absurdly) privileged is the fact that you could even utter the words "who the hell cares".

    I guess you don't have to "care" now do you?

    Golly gee...

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  72. "This is a matter of privileged behaviour "

    What's all this privilege malarkey? Some PC nonsense that I have thankfully missed this side of the pond so far........

    The real problem is that I'm willing to listen (if anyone has anything coherent to say), I've just got the gall to dare to disagree!

    This privilege line is just a total red-herring, and just shows yet again that no one is actually prepared to have a proper discussion.

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  73. "Sure, they say they listen, but they only hear, and only through the filter of their twisted pet theories."

    1) A long-winded way of saying -- if you dare to disagree with me, you ain't listening........

    2) We all listen in the context of what we already believe and in the light of our previous expereince. If we are being open, then we are prepared to accept that our opinion MAY be changed. Else what's the point of discussing? But so far, I haven't heard anything to convince me -- au contraire, a whole load of nonsense and bile that just reinforces my original position.

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  74. No BadDyke, no.

    All it is is people of color not standing for your bullshit anymore. Plain and simple. I can at least understand that... I'm not here to invalidate anyone, like you just did.

    But you just proved it all. All you did was attempt to silence the voices above. You're no better than the worst type of racist.

    You don't deem any of the above as "coherent conversation" because you don't want to admit the truth.

    More denial.

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  75. Privilege-denying white people like to hear about their own privilege as much as misogynist men like to hear about their own misogyny.

    They both hate hearing about it. Haha.

    I find that just as sad as I do entertaining.

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  76. "Not white by a long shot" coming from "Not female by a long shot" females. Hmmm. Throwing women and Black feminists under the bus. Shame on you fake men and fake everything.
    Here's a good post with Black feminist perspectives:
    http://aroomofourown.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/transwomen-are-merely-castrated-men/

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  77. Are you "not white" the same way you are "not female"?
    Seems so.

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  78. "I'm a person of color, my grandma was 1/16th Chippewa. I don't "identify" as white. And I consider myself a spokesperson for Black people"
    Is that how it goes?

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  79. Man, this is getting real rich.

    A feminist dismissing the concept of "privilege" as malarkey, and another resorting to lowbrow bullying.

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  80. I wonder whether your sense of threat is based on your own feelings of masculinity that you are afraid to admit to.

    I find your blog interesting and sad. Not because it's seriously male-phobic and offensive but because it's clear that you are a very unhappy person obsessed with masculinity.

    I hope you find some peace in your life my dear friend. I look forward to the day when you write something joyful, positive and inclusive on your blog. Until then, I continue to pray for your soul.

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  81. Aono @ 1:02-
    What kind of sicko says women concerned with FGM and breast mutilation are expressing "problems with dominance behavior?"
    You. You're that kind of sicko.

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  82. Holy shite, you opened a whole can of worms, Dirt. The pseudo-intellectual progressives have been joined by the "womanists" All I can say is that both groups seek the smallest closet they can find to disempower themselves. Good luck with that.

    Black feminism and daily kos cited in comments on one post? Looks like you have a winner, Dirt.

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  83. "But you just proved it all. All you did was attempt to silence the voices above. You're no better than the worst type of racist."

    First, I asked WHAT IT WAS -- malarkey isn't necessarily perjorative. Goodness, and then I get accused of being a racist!

    Silence? No. Just that I was expecting a little better response than - this is my experience/opinion, if you dare to disagree/question/be anything other than 100% supportive, then you're attempting to silence me.

    "They thus have no right to theorize on the lives of said people." This is something that I object to -- no right! I don't care, to be totally frank, I'll theorize anyway. To me, it just seems to be -- you're listening but you're not HEARING, because you keep disagreeing with me. Thou shalt not hold any opinion about a person and the meaning of a person experience other than the one the person themselves chooses to hold.

    Is that IT, is that as profound as it gets, 'cos this dyke ain't impressed..................

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  84. Anon@102am,

    I'm a biological female, females by nature are not masculine. That I carry my feminine body differently than women who conform to the gender straight jacket (like you clearly believe men and women should based on your comment) in no way makes me "masculine".

    dirt

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  85. you're allowed to call 'privelege' on anybody other than ftm's for the 'privilege' they gain from appearing 'male.'

    it's a weak defense mechanism, distracting from the issue by hanging a VICTIM sign round one's neck.

    once race is brought up, all critical thinking goes right out the window, like it's some kind of trump card, while in fact it's even more meaningless than gender...

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  86. "Haha.

    What makes you (absurdly) privileged is the fact that you could even utter the words "who the hell cares".

    I guess you don't have to "care" now do you?

    Golly gee..."


    So, I'm supposed to oppress myself in order to match the oppression some others feel? How about trying to free your mind from the destructive cycle of victimhood? I said 'who the hell cares' about race because that is the way to move forward and not stagnate in division.

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  87. Dirt's argument stands rock solid against all accusations of "white privilege" or "neocolonialism" by people who are grasping at straws.


    YOu know she's right when she compares breast ironing to F2M binding and mastectomy.

    And you know someone is losing the argument when they resort to splitting women up into separate groups in order to disparage a woman's argument rather than focusing on what the person is actually saying.

    It's a classic patriarchal derail.
    Get white women and WOC at each other's throats, let them tear each other apart, and we can all go home and forget about a pesky thing called maled dominance which is actually responsible for all the breast mutilations. WhyTF do some women INSIST on bringing up sex-based oppression all the time. Geez.

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  88. This is a post on destructive things done to females or by females to escape the male gaze, please stick to the topic at hand.

    dirt

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  89. Not every male is a sex crazed freak.
    Think with logic for once. God gave women breats so they could give milk to their children. I dont really think God cares about if you hack them off or not. Breats are here for the soul purpouse of feeding the young.

    Good thing God forgives everyone.

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  90. " God gave women breats so they could give milk to their children"

    Do the research, breasts aren't only for giving milk. They are part of the lymphatic system.

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  91. A) I could pass as male before I had surgery, by binding, with a minimum of discomfort. Surgery was not really about how I appeared to other people.

    B) I present as female regularly. I receive "the male gaze" all the time. I do that by choice, because it feels right to me, like I do everything else. Plus, I am usually annoyed or amused by the attention of straight men, not greatly distressed.

    C) I had discomfort with maturing as female long before anyone even noticed I was.

    D) I was raised by a hippie-ass, REI mom who told me that I could dress how I wanted and do whatever I wanted. She is not into hyper-femininity, AT ALL. I have to lecture her about it, actually.

    E) That same mom read this over my shoulder and says your post sounds like a "whole lotta projection", lol

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  92. You werent raised in a vacuum chuck.

    dirt

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  93. THIS I agree with: "It doesn't seem that far of a stretch to me
    It's all about others' perception of one's gender
    Specifically what it means to be female
    What is has meant culturally in many times, many places
    And methods of escaping that stereotypical meaning
    Since nobody is ever born in any kind of wrong body
    It's escaping from its perceived constraints
    Not dismantling the systems that shame and abuse the female."

    I so agree with that. Mary Daly in Gyn/Ecology one of her greatest works critiqued Female Genital Mutilation, whether practiced by Western doctors on females who were Butch or had strong sexual desires OR by African women on their female children so they would be 'acceptable' to men. She critiqued Chinese footbinding hobbling women for life, so they would be more attractive to men, she criticized women overly made up as 'painted birds', all those things women do to themselves or to young girls to make them acceptable to men.

    In this case, it's the reverse: it's to 'protect' them from the male gaze, but it damages and tortures the young girl they are doing it to. So she doesn't get pregnant at a young age, through sexual assault(and it'll be her fault of course, being 'tempting'), or submitting to his attentions for her.

    When Dirt posted her video of Female to male genital surgery I could only watch half of it, because I got so disgusted by the process, and also the removal of major amounts of skin from the arm, and the destruction of her vagina that it hit me hard it was NOTHING DIFFERENT THAN FEMALE MUTILATION done to women from Islamic and African cultures. This is still a very serious problem.

    These practices, whether the breast binding, the breast flattening, the female genital mutilations from surgeries in the West or in Africa or Middle East ALL COME FROM DEEP DEEP MISOGYNY, TORTURE AND FEMALE HATRED. It's all control over the female body. Whether to distance one's self from the PAIN of being Female, in the case of FTM's, or to control a female to make her more acceptable to men, or less acceptable so she'll be left alone. Patriarchy and female hatred lives behind ALL these practices. Period.
    -Labryis Swinging,
    -FeistyAmazon

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