Change Your World-NOT your Body

Sunday, July 1, 2012

When the Absence of Feminism Female Pride is Turned on its Head

In the heyday of feminism a crucial part of its campaign was working to develop a unfound pride in the female body. By reclaiming our breast from the masturbatory male gaze, women were able to find a pride in their breast where previously there had only been a dulled shame. Dulled because for centuries breast had only two functions, feeding babies and pleasing men. In tearing down some of these ancient patriarchal structures women became a little more human and a little less object.

So how is it that in the last 30 years we have went from this:
to this:
...with the latter's deep seated breast shame fast becoming the new face of female pride?
dirt
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27 comments:

  1. So you have the right to express your gender but the guys pictured here don't?

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  2. not everybody believes in 'expressing gender' or that these women are 'guys.'

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  3. OR that people don't have the 'right' to do whatever stupid things they want (though we also have the right to analyze these things).

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  4. "not everybody believes in 'expressing gender' or that these women are 'guys.'"

    Actually, who cares *what* you believe? Do you see it making a difference in the way these people live?

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  5. 11:52, who cares what YOU believe?

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  6. "Believe" being the operative word. When belief and reality split, mental disease reigns.

    dirt

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  7. Maybe it's because 30 years ago surgery wasn't really available to a lot of people. Maybe lots of women did want to change but didn't have the choice. Now they have the opportunity.

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  8. 10:03, even if that were so is it wrong to wonder why?

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  9. 10:13 Wonder why the surgery is more available? No I don't think it's wrong to wonder that at all. Could be that it is was made to meet a demand.

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  10. No, I meant wonder why the women 'want to change,' as I'm sure you understood.

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  11. Where's the beef?July 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    The irony is that most 'transmen' have girly shoulders and are less athletic looking than many other women. I'm just not seeing how the surgery is even effective if these girls are not willing to do the work and beef up their bodies.

    I see buff women everywhere in life now, but not in these 'trans' videos! It looks kind of lazy to take all of this testosterone and still look flabby, frail, and paunchy. Good grief girls, do some pull-ups!

    Like Edna said, "Where's the beef?"

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  12. @11:40 July 3

    What a narrow view of "man" you have.

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  13. @ Wheres the beef,
    There are PLENTY of video's on youtube of FTM's that have "ripped" buffed out bodies; they look JUST LIKE buff bio males. You must be looking at vids of FTM's that JUST had top surgery. From what I understand they can't work out til AFTER they heal.

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  14. These are WOMEN, therefore they are going to have womens bodies despite the cosmetic effects of hormone injections. Doesnt matter if they workout morning, noon and night, their essential femaleness isnt going anywhere.

    And a buff body isnt gendered, therefore getting a buff body isnt going to bring them any closer to being male, nothing can beat mother nature.

    dirt

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  15. 11:21 No sorry I misunderstood. I read a lot on this blog about more people having surgery than ever before and thought maybe your comment was about that. I don't think it will ever be understood why some women want to change but it is interesting to consider.

    Dirt what is essential femaleness?

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  16. 12:04,
    It the patriarchy that decides what's manly, I don't call the shots.
    Have you not observed the might equals right, and that physical strength has been used forever to control and intimidate? That's the reality of a male dominated society. Check out the male prison cultures, the military cultures, and just life in general. Women are afraid of male violence, period.

    I hope you 'transmen' are prepared to fight men in your lives, because you will have to at some point. There will most certainly be a draft in America, and I don't know how the service is going to handle your cases. Will you be put on the front lines? Will you be drafted as women? Or, will you be rejected as disabled?

    The upcoming draft is something 'transmen' need to prepare for.

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  17. "So you have the right to express your gender but the guys pictured here don't?"

    Question:

    Where are the "guys" that this person is alluding to? I don't see any "guys" in these photographs. Where are they hiding? These are biological females who chose to have both their healthy breasts removed. If these biological females later decide to have children like Thomas Beatie, the FTM who gave birth three times, how are they supposed to nurse their babies? Breasts are a natural part of the female anatomy. At any rate, I don't see "guys" here. Instead, I see healthy breast tissue completely removed. Women have been surgically enhancing their breasts for decades, but the complete removal of healthy breast tissue is a new phenomenon.

    I think what this blog is trying to say can be summarized by looking carefully at these photos. Compare the top photos with the bottom photographs. Since there hasn't been a time in recorded history in which the mutilation of women's bodies hasn't occured in one form or another, these photos are very compelling and disturbing. To me, it does appear as the mutilation of female bodies.

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  18. A quick stroll through history clearly shows that the mutilation of female bodies certainly isn't anything new, unique, or revolutionary?

    Female Genital Mutilaton:

    According to the WHO, 100–140 million women and girls are living with FGM, including 92 million girls over the age of 10 in Africa. The practice persists in 28 African countries, as well as in the Arabian Peninsula,

    Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons."

    FGM is typically carried out on girls from a few days old to puberty. It may take place in a hospital, but is usually performed, without anaesthesia, by a traditional circumciser using a knife, razor, or scissors. According to the WHO, it is practiced in 28 countries in western, eastern, and north-eastern Africa, in parts of the Middle East, and within some immigrant communities in Europe, North America, and Australasia. The WHO estimates that 100–140 million women and girls around the world have experienced the procedure, including 92 million in Africa. The practise is carried out by some communities who believe it reduces a woman's libido.

    The WHO has offered four classifications of FGM. The main three are Type I, removal of the clitoral hood, almost invariably accompanied by removal of the clitoris itself (clitoridectomy); Type II, removal of the clitoris and inner labia; and Type III (infibulation), removal of all or part of the inner and outer labia, and usually the clitoris, and the fusion of the wound, leaving a small hole for the passage of urine and menstrual blood—the fused wound is opened for intercourse and childbirth.[4] Around 85 percent of women who undergo FGM experience Types I and II, and 15 percent Type III, though Type III is the most common procedure in several countries, including Sudan, Somalia, and Djibouti


    Breast Ironing:

    Breast ironing is the pounding and massaging of a pubescent girl's breasts, particularly using heated objects, justified by the belief that the practice will make them stop developing or disappear. It is typically carried out by the girl's mother who will say she is trying to protect the girl from sexual harassment and rape, to prevent early pregnancy that would tarnish the family name, or to allow the girl to pursue education rather than be forced into early marriage. It is mostly practiced in parts of Cameroon, where boys and men may think that girls whose breasts have begun to grow are ready for sex. Breast ironing is common in all ten regions of Cameroonand by all Cameroon's 200 ethnic groups.A survey by the German development agency GTZ from June, 2006, of more than 5,000 Cameroonian girls and women between the ages of 10 and 82, estimated that nearly one in four had undergone breast ironing, corresponding to four million girls.

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  19. @2:14

    I was responding mainly to this: "i'm just not seeing how the surgery is even effective if these girls are not willing to do the work and beef up their bodies"

    One does not need to be buff to be manly.

    Aren't attitudes like that the whole reason dirt is working so hard for females? The freedom to be who you are without being constrained by the gender straight jacket?

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  20. I agree, no men in my family or any of my male friends (and to me 'male'= biologically male) are 'beefy.' But many FTMs do like to look as stereotypically male as possible, especially since they don't have that most important belonging of real men.

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  21. "There will most certainly be a draft in America, and I don't know how the service is going to handle your cases. Will you be put on the front lines? Will you be drafted as women? Or, will you be rejected as disabled?"

    There is no draft in the U.S., however males are still supposed to register with Selective Service.

    "If you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S., then you must register with Selective Service. It’s the law. According to law, a man must register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday."
    http://www.sss.gov/default.htm

    Broadly speaking, transsexuals (both female-to-male and male-to-female) are exempt from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and would thus most likely also be exempted from a draft should one be initiated. However, that does not necessarily mean that FTM transsexuals should simply ignore the registration process.

    For a trans man, problems with registration status can arise if he is interested in receiving federally-funded student financial aid (like Pell Grants, Work Study, or National Direct Student Loans), working in a federal job, receiving Federal Job Training, or if he is a non-citizen who took up residence in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 25 and is eventually hoping to attain U.S. citizenship. All of these situations will require you to report on your Selective Service status.

    http://www.ftmguide.org/selectiveservice.html

    I've never served, but I have a lot of relatives in the military. Gay men and lesbians have served honorably. However, I can't see any branch of the military letting transmen shower with the male soldiers. Would they shower with the female soldiers? Moreover, the military would be responsible for routinely administering the testosterone that keeps the transmen "manly".

    Transmen are men, but they don't have to worry about Selective Service. This is a sweet deal.

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  22. When I carefully gaze at the photos and compare the top photographs to the bottom photographs, it's like night and day to me. The top photographs seem to be so tender and life affirming. I can almost feel the beauty and strenghth of the female body in the top photos. The bottom photographs make me want to wince and turn away. One woman is trying to smile in one of the bottom photographs, but it's as if it's a forced smile. I'm not aware of that many people who smile after surgery. It's almost too painful to look at. The scars on the bottom photos are a clear testament to the fact that this entails the removal of a lot of healthy tissue, and certainly must be painful. I want the reader to carefully look at these photographs once again. This is what the erasing of female identify looks like.

    The information below is from

    http://www.clevelandplasticsurgery.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/FtM_Top_Surgery_Information-the-latest-incarnation.pdf

    Obviously, procedures such as this are not without risks or complications and I want to review these with you.

    Bleeding:

    Bleeding is a risk of any operation, but the need for transfusion is very unlikely ( I have never given a blood transfusion to a patient). More likely is the unwanted collection of blood beneath the skin (hematoma). This may require simple monitoring or possibly another procedure to drain the excess blood. Blood that is left sitting under the skin can result in unwanted asymmetry or even infection.

    Infection: Infections are rare complications and usually treated with a course of oral antibiotics.

    Nipple complications:

    The nature of mastectomy is to remove tissue and by necessity small nerves. While there is some regeneration, sensation changes such as hypersensitivity or partial
    numbness can occur. When the nipples are used as grafts there will be a loss of sensation and
    erectile capacity. The blood supply of the nipple might be damaged with the more extensive
    surgery, and the nipple could die (particularly in smokers). If the nipples are used as grafts, then it
    is also possible that they might not survive (full loss is very unlikely, but partial loss can happen). These complications are rare in my experience.

    Scarring:

    The scars of the areola grafts usually heal very well, but the scars of the peri-areolar mastopexy can be bunched and pleated. Over time they will flatten out, but it is quite possible that they will need to be revised at a later date. The scars below the pectoral muscles (present in removal of large breasts) will take longer to fade out and will widen as mentioned above; however, a raised or excessively wide scar is possible and might need further treatment. It is possible that there may be residual tissue left, which appears as a contour deformity especially at the sides where they are called “dog ears”). This would need to be removed at a second stage.

    Other risks:

    Depression of the skin where the breast tissue was removed is a risk and possible complication. The possibility of this complication can be reduced or avoided by leaving some breast tissue on the skin. Since not all the breast tissue is removed, you are still at risk for developing breast cancer, and therefore, you should still be vigilant in routine self-exam and screening for breast cancer.

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  23. Do people need further proof that the new found glorification of all things transsexual and transgender isn't inheriently misogyonistic, then consider the following:

    In addition to an alarming number of young women who can't wait to get both their healthy breasts surgically removed, if one googles "breast binding" or FTM and binding, hundreds of websites pop up selling binders for women to flatten and tightly compress their breasts. When I gaze at all the websites for binders that severley constrict the top part of the female anatomy, the first thing that popped into my mind was Victorian women. I know it sounds strange, but this is how I see it. It's so Orwellian and surreal to me that FTMs who strut around trying to act masculine could misshape or missalign their ribs just like the dainty Victorian ladies with their corsetts. What do Victorian ladies in their long flowing skirts and petty coats and biological female transgender have in common? Both in their quest to maintain a certain body image have misaligned their ribs, tortured their own bodies, constricted their lungs, and their ability to fully breathe and move freely.

    http://www.t-kingdom.com/

    http://www.thesurgerystore.com/compression_garment/breast_binders.html


    Below is advice on how to bind properly.

    "The first step in learning how to bind safely is finding about what’s not safe to do. Don’t use Ace bandages or duct tape—they aren’t meant for binding, don’t move with your body, and can cause physical harm. They can seriously restrict breathing, cause fluid build-up in your lungs and other serious injuries, such as broken ribs. There have been numerous cases of trans men who’ve acquired permanent scars and other injuries from using Ace bandages or duct tape to bind. Don’t do it. Even with the right binder product it’s still possible to bind unsafely. Despite what you may have been told, don’t buy a binder that’s too small for you. Wearing an ill-fitting binder puts you at risk of the same problems as those who bind with Ace bandages or duct tape. Another piece of bad advice floating around out there is to wear tape and/or another binder on top of your binder. This too can cause restricted breathing and physical injury."

    http://suite101.com/article/breast-binding-how-to-bind-safely-a284072

    "Binding incorrectly can lead to serious health problems. Using athletic bandages or duct tape can cause broken or cracked ribs. This can lead to a punctured lung. Skin can become irritated and sore. Adhesives can actually take layers of skin off."

    http://transguys.com/features/chest-binding

    In searching the web, I ran across several sites that give tips on how to bind safely. To me, this is similar to telling Victorian women to keep on wearing corsetts, but try to do it in a safer manner. I have a radical idea. Why not tell women that they don't have to mutilate their exquisetely beautiful female bodies. Throw away the contraption that constricts and binds, cutting into ribs. Wouldn't it be better if all women could just learn to love their female bodies?

    In my opinion, it's so strange that many strong and proud feminists have no problem recognizing the utter internalized misogyny in the practice of Chinese foot binding or the Victorian use of corsets, but simply refuse to consider the possibility that the very same process might be happening in young women who mutilate or bind their breasts.

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  24. Anon, binding and the corset have been covered here in previous posts, as well as the threatening and life threatening possibilities of binding.

    http://dirtywhiteboi67.blogspot.com/2010/10/chest-breast-binding-new-corset.html

    http://dirtywhiteboi67.blogspot.com/2010/04/binding-and-butch-posers.html

    But thank you nevertheless for the added info.

    dirt

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  26. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRA1TIN0_CM

    Love your blog Feel sorry for these people

    The trans epidemic is rife here in the States. Looks universal too lots of clips on u tube

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