Change Your World-NOT your Body

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Failure of Everyday Feminism: Masculine Woman-Ignorance or Incongruence?

Sara Alcid, a straight young woman who after having taken a few gender/queer theory/studies courses authored this article in Everyday Feminism which I'll be addressing, called An Actual Answer to ‘Why Is She Dating a Masculine Woman Instead of Just Dating a Guy?’
 
I'm assuming by the picture Sara used for her article (a woman with short hair and a women's suit jacket) she views masculinity as having something to do with hair length and suits....Hmmm....STRAIGHT away Sara's Judith Butler training is obvious-masculinity is something one performs rather than a product of biology. While I, like most lesbians know, queer has been ripped from our hands and repackaged as any/all straight behaviour that cannot be quantified as vanilla, it is still bloody insulting for STRAIGHT women to use queer (non lesbian) along side lesbian. None-the-less, the ONLY women dating someone masculine between queer women and lesbians is STRAIGHT (queer) women.

Before continuing with Sara's answers, a brief interlude into cis which Sara uses several times in her article. Wiki and other sources tells us this about the term: "Cisgender and cissexual (often abbreviated to simply cis) describe related types of gender identity where individuals' experiences of their own gender match the sex they were assigned at birth". Myself and plenty of other gays, lesbians and straights would easily be exempt from that definition based on societal rules and regulations, while clearly also not being transgendered. Are we a whole other undiscovered breed of humans? No, we in fact are not. Strictly speaking on cis in the way that it is currently being used by trans/queer and the liberal politically correct (not its true meaning and the misogyny behind its current incarnation), cis is poorly thought out and even more poorly applied. Under some misunderstood, delusional or pathological notion that any human who doesnt transition is in complete love, happiness and joy with their body and the narrow norms expected of that body.

Back to Sara's answers:
I suspect Sara is being careful here, by using gender instead of sex. Gender being any whim one may have, using a combination of constructed artificial male/female signifier's in order to bring said whim to some sort of fruition. Masculinity isnt a universe, although those possessing it seem to think they  run it. Masculinity is nothing more than an amalgam of primary and secondary male characteristics, none of which are female. Unless that is, one is so narrow (simple?) minded that they believe male and female to be defined by cultural external markers they're convinced are intrinsic. 

Covered thoroughly above. Moving on...
Apparently Sara has also read skimmed her ACR as Plath referred to Adrienne Cecile Rich as. Sara attempts to make a point of heterosexuality being constructed/dominant, yet cannot seem to see the signifiers surrounding male and female are equally constructed. Nor does Sara ask herself why she needs to maintain those signifiers in relation to women or rather because of HER relationships with women. Thats something lesbians who are romantically attracted to lesbians who prefer comfortable pants/shirts and shoes (those constructed signifiers Sara attaches to masculinity in order to alleviate her lezbo dysphoria ) never contemplate.
Again-covered.
Sara's entire number four was written to excuse her from her married with children hetero near future.
Performing masculinity good, performing toxic masculinity according to Sara bad, but nothing about the unhealthy issues surrounding illegitimate behaviour or the impossibility to perform an actual biological sex.
Asking questions isnt policing, even seemingly insulting questions open otherwise closed doors beginning a conversation that could lead to a greater enlightenment or even tolerance.

Sara asked in the title of her article 'Why Is She Dating a Masculine Woman Instead of Just Dating a Guy?’ and through a tangled maze of queer theory and academic speak failed in the whole course of her article to explain or answer. 

So why does a lesbian/dyke date another lesbian/dyke instead of dating a male? Because she's a fucking lesbian!

dirt 

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16 comments:

  1. I already know I am way out of my league responding to this, however, I feel compelled to say that I appreciate Sara's perspective in her article as well as your very salient points disputing some of her assumptions. She is looking to provide an education to some of those that are looking for a more cerebral answer, don't you think? I almost think she was making the same brilliant conclusion as yourself (because she is a lesbian...) but she didn't quite get the point across as direct as yourself. Or am I completely missing something? I didn't view her article as bad or misguided. Just not succinct.

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  2. Yes, you are seriously missing A LOT of somethings.

    dirt

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  3. True, Anon at 10:01 seems to be missing the most salient points, including the most important fact that it doesn't take several paragraphs to answer the presented question. Lesbians don't date men. Period. And a true lesbian would know that.

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    1. "Lesbians don't date men. Period. And a true lesbian would know that."

      Actually, one does not have to BE a lesbian to understand this! It's pretty straight forward: lesbians are romantically/sexually interested in women. Not men.

      So simple. But, Sara Alcid is a twit. A postmodern/queer twit, that is, who prefers the use of convoluted language and writing to make the simple complex and unnecessarily complicated. Nobody should read shit like hers. It's bad for your intellectual health. Rots the brain, if you're not careful.

      Thanks, though, Dirt, for wading into the muck and doing it!

      Queer/trans theory exists to undermine feminist thinking and women's liberation. Queer theorists don't want "woman" to mean anything. Naturally, because lesbians are women, it's important to obscure the very meaning of "lesbian." This goes to the heart of feminism, which is why lesbians are targeted for deconstruction.

      As soon as they pose the question: "why don't lesbians just date men??" it's clear what the agenda is: the enforce heterosexuality and to support male supremacy. Otherwise, why ask such a blatantly anti-lesbian question? It's obvious!

      Right-wingers say EXACTLY the same things about lesbians and gay men. But, at least with the religious-conservatives, they are not fakers and pretenders -- they are CLEAR and open about their positions on homosexuality, marriage, children, etc.

      -- Morag

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  4. "Sara attempts to make a point of heterosexuality being constructed/dominant, yet cannot seem to see the signifiers surrounding male and female are equally constructed."

    Don't you mean "masculinity" and "femininity" are socially constructed.

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    1. No, I mean what I said.

      dirt

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    2. Anon @10:49:

      Just to clarify: Dirt wrote, "the signifiers surrounding male and female are equally constructed."

      It's the superficial/acquired signifiers of male and female that are socially constructed. Not the biological/reproductive categories "male" and "female."

      One of the things queer theorists are trying to do is to replace fixed biological categories with the "moveable" concepts of masculinity and femininity. They are trying to sell the idea that sex-role personality traits are innate to men and women, while actual reproductive sex categories are a social construction.

      -- Morag

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  5. I'm sorry if this is obvious- new reader here. I'm a young lesbian and I was wondering why you have crossed out and didn't discus the "bisexual, pansexual. sexual fluidity" aspect. I have many friends who identify with these labels, many of whom are women who are attracted to masculinity in general.

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  6. I don't know if I'm alone in this and I would love to hear from other butch lesbians (or even from the rare non-lesbian butch woman) on the topic. I find the term masculine really offensive when applied to me, downright infuriating. I see my way of being, of presenting, to use the current lingo, to be actually somewhat neutral, a perfectly legitimate way to be female. It is plain, unaffected, comfortable and kowtows for favor to no one. It says unequivocally "I am comfortable in my body, I am not available to males".

    I also see the term masculine as one that applies to biological males, as an adjective. I don't think it's possible for me to be "masculine" anymore than it's possible for a woman to become a man or vice-versa. What's wrong with butch or butch-of-center as a descriptor? Why does the queer community insist that I am "masculine"? Is it for the same reason that it won't accept more delicate mannered boys and men as having a legitimate version of masculinity?

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    1. You're absolutely right about that. In order for a man (typically already in boyhood) to be labeled as "feminine" or "effeminate", it is not necessary for him to imitate (consciously or unconsciously) the behaviour of women or girls, it is enough for him simply to fail (or not try) to reproduce the stereotypical behaviour of other men/boys.

      It may be open to doubt whether there is a "legitimate version of masculinity", if you take the same view that London GLF did way back in 1972, that "the oppression of others is an essential part of the masculine gender role". Lesbian and gay activists of my generation saw "masculinity" as "signifying" domination and entitlement, and "femininity" as signifying subordination and compliance. For that reason, we sought to reject both. The (also problematic) term "androgynous" was often used of us, though I don't think it's one we ever chose for ourselves.

      The value-free adjective that applies to biological males is simply "male". Mutatis mutandum for "female". "Masculine" and "feminine" are laden with sociological and political connotations. One of the problems with Sara Alcid's "analysis", if I can dignify it with the term, is that it posits "femininity" and "masculinity" as value-free "aesthetic" choices, like what colour we choose to paint our living room (though no doubt that too is, for her, fraught with gender-significance). I'm not in a position to say whether her ignorance of 200 or more years of feminist and (rather less) gay male writing on the subject is genuine, or an assumed rhetorical posture.

      Your comments about your own "way of being" strike a very resonant chord in me. Though I'm happy to be known as a "nancy-boy" and a "queen", I do find "effeminate" offensive. I'm a bit more ambiguous about "feminine"; it has occasionally been said of me, by female friends, and intended as a compliment, and it seems churlish to object that they could have chosen to express themselves differently. "Un-masculine" would have been a big, unambiguous compliment! Day-to-day, I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about how others perceive me, I'm just a human being doing ordinary human things in the way that comes naturally to me.

      Although a couple of weeks have passed since your original comment, I do hope others will reply. It opens a vein of potentially interesting conversation. Thank you.

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  7. I love how these people always contradict themselves. They will always try to tell you how gender and sex are not the same thing. That a male/female can be a "woman"/"man" because he/she "identifies" with that. Yet then trans males/females will dare to call themselves "lesbians"/"gays" if attracted to females/males. When homosexuality is purely sex based and nothing else.

    Or since when is homosexuality defined as being attracted to a so called "gender identity"? So, if that goes and I feel attracted to someone who "identifies" with an animal like stalking cat or a child, will that turn me into a zoophilist or a pedophile?

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    1. Well, I doubt you (I assume a lesbian) would be attracted to a trans masculine person, especially if they had some masculine characteristics. You're probably not attracted to any trans feminine people either but some people do. For some people attraction is firmly connected to sex, for some not too much (I, as a bisexual, couldn't care less). And I'd dare say almost everytime sexuality is connected with other characteristics as well, so you probably could be attracted to a trans feminine person until the moment you'd find out they are biologically male.

      And I don't know what you but I wouldn't be interested in someone who identifies as a child or as an animal in the sense they really feel like one. The difference between man and woman (which is even blurred because of intersexuality) and human and dog is kind of different, don't you think? And I'd say that if someone identifies as a child and you have sex with them then you are somehow a pedophile because no matter the actual age, this person is definitely not mature enough to consent. You could say the same thing about a that "dog". Definitely not someone who can consent.

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    2. O the NONSENSE!

      "so you probably could be attracted to a trans feminine person until the moment you'd find out they are biologically male. "

      Um, NO because your very first statement makes the mistake of assuming that if a M2T can fake aspects of femininity, a lesbian would be fooled into possibly being attracted to them. Well, only if you confuse femininity with femaleness, or suppose that women can't spot the massive doses of male entitlement and male socialisation that the M2T is carrying about.

      "The difference between man and woman (which is even blurred because of intersexuality) and human and dog is kind of different, don't you think?" Nope, go ask a biologist. Male and female are perfectly well-defined concepts across a RANGE of bisexual species (even female hyaenas with peniform clitorises), and NOT blurred by intersexuality (as if trans has anything at all to do with intersex, which is frankly hijacking the rights and concerns of intersex folk and trying to yoke them to the trans bandwagon against their will).

      And finally the whole wishful-thinking trumps physical reality thing becomes blazingly obvious when you state:
      "And I'd say that if someone identifies as a child and you have sex with them then you are somehow a pedophile because no matter the actual age, this person is definitely not mature enough to consent."

      Identifying as a child means NOTHING AT ALL when it comes to the actual mental age of the person concerned, and their ability to consent. Pretending to be an infant DOESN'T mean you have the lack of reasoning ability of an infant (and frankly is insulting to those people who may have the physical age of an adult but the mental age of a child).

      " in the sense they really feel like one." The validity of the feeling or the strength of the feeling or the sincerity of the feeeling, be it about your age/species or sex DOESN'T alter the physical reality. You may genuinely say you feel like a child, or a horse, or a man, but that doesn't change the facts that you're a 31 year old female human. This magical thinking doesn't WORK.

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  8. Dirt can you please explain to use what butch means to you? I haven't never read a clear answer from you, only what you deem butch not to be.

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    1. First K, it isnt what Butch means to ME it is what it means period. Second, stop being lazy and use the search functions. Third, try googling Skyler Cooper if you need a visual or watching any of my YTs.

      dirt

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    2. Thanks for reading this idiot's article all the way through (so we don't have to). Even getting through the bits you quote had me reaching for the paracetamol and a big schluck of white wine (a girly drink, but taken from a butch-looking tumbler, though I suppose straight from the bottle would have been more "masculine-presenting"[?]). Just a couple of extra comments:

      (1) Is the photo of the woman on the phone really supposed to illustrate "masculine-presenting"? Why? Because she's making a phone call standing up, rather than lying on a frilly bedspread while simultaneously applying polish to her nails?

      (2) People are not "assigned" a sex at birth. Rather, their sex is determined on perfectly reliable and objective criteria. Contrary to some claims, misidentification of a new-born's sex was NEVER common, and is now EXTREMELY rare.

      (3) The little grains of accuracy in her article are nothing more than half-digested and regurgitated distortions of truisms about gender-roles well known to feminists and gay activists for a century and a half, at least, presented as if they were novel discoveries by the post-modern/queer/trans generation.

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