I am sick to death of hearing about "transphobia" and no more thrilled with hearing about "homophobia". The fact is the foundation, the walls, windows and doors housing both phobia's is fucking MISOGYNY! Why is it that all these liberal types, "queer" gender-fluid types, do gooder types and why-cant-we-all-suck-each-others-cock academic types NEVER mention femalephobia? They all run off at the mouth or pen about transphobia/homophobia, but zilch about femalephobia.

Lets look for a moment at homophobia? First the "homo" in homophobia is taken from the prefix "homo" from HOMOsexual, which we all know means: gay male. Are you seeing the femalephobia here folks? Where the fuck do lesbians fit in to that with any degree of legitimacy? Lesbians are SILENTLY and facelessly slotted into homophobia. Not taking into account that there are very distinct differences between the prejudices lesbians face because lesbians are after all, WOMEN! We do NOT possess penis's and therefore do NOT profit from the cock privileges gay males do and the benefits they reap as a result!

Now when gay men encounter hate and prejudices, what is it exactly that they are encountering? What is it about gay men that straight men find so threatening, that in some cases some feel the need to bash gay men to death over? When a gay man is being pummeled in a gay-bashing, who or what is the basher trying to kill (expel?)? The short answer to all three questions is: woman.

In hetero society gay men are not viewed as active in the sexual sense. What comes to the minds of hetero-society if they must think about gay male sex at all is gay males in a passive sexual role, (1) whether that is constant or passive as in taking it in turns, meaning some guy is getting fucked at some point. Under the rules of patriarchy's compulsory heterosexualism ONLY women get fucked so that getting fucked under patriarchy implies being passive, which implies only women are passive. So if a man is getting fucked he is being passive i.e. being a woman, add the pathological hatred of women through all patriarchal regimes and a man getting fucked is the worse possible offense he can commit as a man against patriarchy! Women serve a purpose when getting fucked and women have no choice in being women, but men DO have a choice and when they choose to be women through the practice of being fucked they deserve to have there "MANgina's" kicked or worse, be beaten to death. So the threat of homosexuality isnt the threat of men loving men, it is the threat of men sullying themselves by enjoying acts that lower them to the depths of woman. FEMALEPHOBIA, NOT HOMOPHOBIA!

Lets look now at transphobia, through viewing both Mtf's and ftM's, beginning with Mtf's first since the hate and prejudice they experience is for similar reasons to that of gay men. Most "trans" bashings/deaths that occur are of Mtf's whose sexuality is homosexuality, so that after transition they continue to seek out male partners. But in their current pseudo "f" state the men they seek out as lovers or partners are straight men. The bashing or deaths usually happen when the straight male partner is told or discovers their "woman" is really an Mtf (male). The straight male's homophobia (which is really femalephobia) kicks in and they react by bashing and sometimes killing the Mtf and most ignorantly feel justified in doing so. It is acceptable for a man in our society to hit another man and because the man being hit has relinquished and debased his manhood by plummeting it to the depths of "woman"hood, he doesn't (under patriarchy) deserve to live. Femalephobia through homophobia through transphobia still equals FEMALEPHOBIA!

The majority of males who transition however are straight, white, middle class (middle aged) men, many whom are married with children. These men are usually established in the workforce and many continue on excelling in their chosen fields because unlike the homosexual Mtf's, the straight Mtf's "M" completely overrides his "f". Meaning no amount of hormones, surgeries, dress, voice lessons, how to walk like a woman lessons (afforded by his good position) etc can begin to cover his masculinity, therefore his "M" while in his mind may have taken a backseat to his current "f", in the reality of all those around him, HE (M) is still very much in the drivers seat. So because the "M" for these Mtf's remains a constant in appearance, actions and given that their sexuality is (2) grounded in compulsory heterosexuality (female partners/married) these Mtf's arent a threat to hetero-patriarchy and because of this, they hold onto much of their male given male privilege.

So much so that they utilize both their male privilege and their chosen "f" identity to gain access to private womens area's in a way only other men fucking dream about. The same misogynistic impulses guiding most men, guide straight Mtf's three dimensionally. Their desire to "become" a woman isnt about an over identification of love for women, it is a pathological hatred to show women up because in their femalephobic minds they are creating the masturbatory idea of "woman" that all straight men dream and of which few women provide or can provide. How many times have feminists who question straight Mtf's legitimacy as female been told by Mtf's that they are more "woman" than the feminist woman that they are arguing with! To the the hetero Mtf's mind, like their typical male counterparts, if a woman isnt masturbation material (including themselves) she either isnt womanly enough or a woman at all. So for the straight Mtf (male) the "f" is merely another device used as a means to exploit women, the (f) doesn't stand for female, it stands for FEMALEPHOBIA!

Now with regards to ftMs and any hate, prejudices and rejections they face (ignoring the femalephobia behind their transition of course). Once the male hormones take a medium affect on the female body and ftM's enter the "passing" phase, in general society they have little trouble and gain a certain amount of male power and male privilege not afforded to other women. Their issues usually arise more in the dating field than workforce or higher education. They are rejected by both straight women/gay men for not being "real" men and they are rejected by lesbians for no longer being "real" women. In any case they are rejected for their degree of femaleness, not because they are trans/men. The problem again like that of Mtf's is the (f) in ftM, signaling like a railroad crossing: FEMALEPHOBIA!

The short of it is, were femalephobia eradicated there would no longer exist homophobia or transphobia. But instead of working toward a female love, respect and equality in and out the LGBTLMNOP, gay men still remain invested only in gay male issues just as the trans community is only invested in trans issues. Where Femalephobia is king, females cannot even finish last, because we're still patriarchally prevented from entering the fucking (human) race!


(1) Straight men specifically try to mentally hold gay men in what they deem the passive role of being the fuckie. Straight men fear even the "faggoty faggot" because regardless of how "queenie" the gay male may be, he has a penis which has the power to become erect. Hetero patriarchy believes both consciously and unconsciously that their power as men comes from their (biological) ability to achieve an erection (and how many times a day must we see an ED commercial), but erections being biological are achieved by gay men as well. Given that we live in a rape culture and the weapon of choice used for rape IS usually a penis and the victims usually women, straight men when confronted with gay men or the idea of sex between men feel consciously or unconsciously vulnerable to rape or the idea of themselves being raped, which again boils down to femalephobia. In the minds (and still many court systems) rape is something that men perpetrate on women, therefore if a man is raped he has been lowered to the degrading, horrific status of woman.

(2) Straight Mtfs at a certain point on female hormones will experience a change in their strict hetero desires and experience a desire to have sex with men. Remember hormones also change brain structure and this is a likely reason for the change in sexual interests. But because many Mtf's habour the same homophobic feelings as the general straight man, if they have sex with men it will be kept "on the down low", hidden from all including the wives/girlfriends who may still be in the picture.

'Fest-A Survivor's Story

I wake from a nightmare, heart pounding, scared, nervous, and sweaty, then run my hand desperately up my body to my breasts and realize my waking nightmare. I sink back into the bed from my startled position, hear my therapist's words of nightmare advice, "Remember to breathe, take a few deep breaths till you feel oriented again."  What she doesn't know is I won’t feel oriented again, ever! I feel like a burglarized house whose occupant issued the thieves their very own name-engraved key, where I handed over my two most prized possessions personally! Deep breaths, deep breaths, deep breaths. Okay I should get up; get showered for there are places to go, and a life to be lived. The life I've been fighting for no matter how high the cost, cuz what it boils down to is simply this, life is all I have. A hard lesson to learn, one most if they are fortunate won’t discover till they approach death's door as an old woman or man. Why did I have to learn it at 30? Stop feeling sorry for yourself Pattie, you're alive, therefore rich, and rich with life.
The shower is its own nightmare these days, equipped with its own horrifying realities and daily realizations. The mirror too, and clothes - at least tops. But I'm brave today and face the nightmare deciding instead to focus on and enjoy the wonderful honey and goat's milk smell of my new shower gel. Ah. Good. Life is full of small goodnesses and I am learning to find them and appreciate them all. I towel off and dress, trying to forget or make routine that one article of clothing  I no longer need to remember because...because I don't. I open wider all the windows in my apartment, circulating the mild morning air before the August sun burns it off with its heat. I survey my packed bags making sure I have everything I'm supposed to for the next five days. I printed off the checklist from the website, tick off each item with a new check mark just to make sure. Seems I'm ready, at least in terms of items. Am I ready to spend five days around several thousands of women who are just so happy and proud to be women? That I can’t say with any certainty right now. But my best friend Susan who has been to Michfest six times in the last decade assures me this is just what I need since my...Yeah...Anyways my bags are ready. And the experience was a treat from Susan and a few other close friends, so I'm ready to appreciate where their love and care is taking me, even if I cannot appreciate myself quite yet.
Better eat something before Susan picks me up. A coffee and a toasted bagel with some light cream cheese should do nicely. Something to stick to my ribs as my long since dead grandmother would say. Fitting since ribs are all I have, but unlike my grandmother, I have my life. God why does even the most mundane take me there? Deep breath, I smell my bagels then a moment later hear the toaster eject. The smell makes me hungrier than I thought I was. I eat half the bagel when the phone rings; it's Susan. She's on her way to pick me up. I quickly eat the other half of my bagel, swill down my remaining coffee, and wash the dish and coffee cup. I get my bags from my room, putting them by the door. Other than work I've hardly left my apartment in two months. I admit I'm feeling a tad agoraphobic while I wait for Susan. But she's right and my father and brothers are right. I need to get out, get back into life. I may not be ready to sink my teeth into it, but I know damn well I'm capable enough to spread a little on my bread and nibble.
I wait five minutes, then go around the apartment closing and locking all my windows. Susan lives about ten minutes from me. *Honk Honk Honk* I hear her beep, grab my bags and I'm off! Susan is standing by the passenger side back seat holding the door open when I walk up to her car. "I have my stuff in the trunk, there is plenty backseat room for your bags," she says. I put my bags into her backseat, and then she gives me her best friend hug she is famous for. I wince. "Sorry...I...I forget...are you still sore?"

"You're fine, no need to apologize. Only slightly sore." She opens my car door, I get in and put my seat belt on while she walks around to the driver's side and gets in. "You ready for the time of your life?" she asks.
"As ready as I'll ever be," I laugh. Then we drive off down the narrow brick street of my small apartment complex heading for the freeway for the hour and a half drive we have ahead of us.
Susan is trying to make small talk. She still doesn't quite know how to act around me, but unlike other "friends" she doesn't avoid me. Instead, she seeks me out. Her way of telling me that everything is okay, nothing has changed, and at least nothing between us has changed. She has a pretty profile, a pretty everything to be honest. If I had to describe her in one word, perky would cover it. She's perky, in personality and looks. She has short blonde hair, just above her shoulders which she keeps in a 50's style sort of pageboy cut. I tease her she could not only pass as a Dinah Shore dyke, but Dinah Shore herself! She's trim, keeps fit not from golf, but from a combo of racquetball and a weekly gym routine. She dresses conservatively, wearing nearly knee length tan shorts with a stylish off pink top and white tennis shoes. She has one of those unique personalities that could have her talking shop with high powered CEO types one minute and sharing a laugh at a crude joke made by one of the cleaning men in her building the next. 
"No bandanna then?" she asks me.
"Nah. I figured what the hey, I'm past the peach fuzz point and besides isn’t this trip about owning ourselves?"
I say.
“Precisely!" she exclaims smiling at me. We loosen up with each other, both forgetting momentarily, at least, what changed us...me, and have an enjoyable ride to our five day destination. We arrive and pull behind a long multi-coloured caravan of vehicles whose roof tops are covered in camping gear and whose insides are full of noisy women hollering to each other from vehicle to vehicle, unable to contain their Michfest excitement. We don't contain ours either and join in the back and forth with the other cars that surrounds us as we slowly edge towards the front moving nearer to where we park. An hour of edging and whooping it up and we finally pull through the gate and are directed to where to park. Since we have plans to camp with some friends of Susan's from her college days, we're traveling light compared to many of the other women we see unloading their cars and trucks. We gather our two bags each and move towards the shuttle area as directed.
We're herded into a tent for some orientation video, then afterward sign up for kitchen duty to fulfill our work requirements.  Then we're herded again back out to the shuttle area, where we had abandoned our bags. We gather ourselves and our gear, and hop on a flatbed trailer that deposits us near where we meet up with the two women we're to camp with. Julie and Naomi already have the rather large tent put up and are just making finishing touches when we approach them. Susan introduces us and right away I get a warm feeling from both. Julie looks to be about mid-forties, tallish, long auburn hair intertwined with gray and white strands. She's dressed in some sort of long baggy black yoga-type pants with a close fitting woman's tee. Pretty without trying to be pretty, fit without trying to be fit. Naomi is a bit shy, mid-thirties I think with a tan complexion dark hair and dark eyes that hold a seriousness to them. Her lavender shorts reveal toned calves and muscular thighs and her wife-beater betrays a strong womanly upper body. Susan and I put our bags into the tent next to the queen size blow up mattress we're to share, then come out to mingle with Julie and Naomi.
We spend some time just talking, with Susan getting reacquainted with her friends, and her friends and I getting to know each other a little better. Soon our conversation turns towards our "fest" program guides and we map out all the things we want to do and see while we're here, figuring out which things we have common plans on attending so we know which we'll attend together. We've figured out some workshops all four of us will attend, some of the other different components of our foursome will attend in various twos and threes, and some we alone have interest in attending. Between talking about the workshops and the music performers and looking about as tents grow up around us like instant grass; I feel my excitement grow as I continue perusing the program guide. I'm ticking off yeses and maybes to myself as I go through the program guide again till one of the workshops that I've missed seems to have jumped right off the page out at me. I feel myself shrink and withdraw. It feels as if this workshop took its fists, pummeling me in the belly so that I feel nauseous. Susan realizes I've gone quiet, looks over at me and notices I've gone quite white as well. "Everything okay?" she asks.
I numbly reply, "Oh everything is fine," as I stare blankly at my program guide.
We have a relatively quiet rest of the evening filled with good conversation, good food and the beautiful din of female voices in the air. The next few days, however, are anything but quiet! Those days are occupied from the moment our eyes capture the morning light, to the moment night fills our eyes with blackness and sleep. It’s a hustle-bustle hodge-podge of one workshop after the other, kitchen duties, concerts and plain old good fun -- and a freedom I have never known. I'm not exactly sure if freedom is even the right word.  Maybe there isn’t a right word because in the real world, the world of men and women, there are men. Here you soon realize there are no men! It's not even that threat of harm all females learn and live with from infant to grave; it is ALL things male that females learn to live with from birth to grave. I quickly revel in not having to make small talk, the small talk of men, those men who are always about you where ever you go. That small talk they do, used only as a means to objectify you to a greater degree, not simply in seeing you at work, or at the gym, or the grocery store but in having some part of you wrapped around their gross dicks! Here I have become arms and legs and feet and hands. Here I am the entirety of my skin and what lies beneath! I am no longer tits and ass. I am whole. I think to myself if twenty-five percent of women in the world ever felt this wholeness even once in their lives, there truly would be a battle of the sexes, only this time it wouldn’t end in women gaining the luxury of working outside the home while still having to work full-time within it. This time there would be blood!
I remember when I told my father and brothers I needed to have one breast removed, and before I had a chance to continue, my father interjected in panicked voice, "But your mother's...."
I stopped him from continuing. "DAD! I know mom's came back in her other breast! That's why I've opted to have BOTH removed," I said and burst into tears into my father’s arms. I will never forget the look of seriousness and fear in my father's tearing eyes when he pulled me away from himself just far enough to look into my eyes and said, "YOU are NOT going to die!" Die? I hadn't even thought about dying. Dying didn't even figure in as an option! He's worried I'll die? Then my middle brother chimed in a consoling tone (obviously having not considered me dying either) and says, "It will be okay Pattie, at least you're a lesbian right?" Being a lesbian I had, of course, felt at times angry towards straight society's misunderstandings of my lesbian nature but THIS, and from my brother, really took the cake!
All he knew was what it meant to take breasts in his hands and mouth to elicit a biological reflex so simple it has been manufactured in tablet form! He knew nothing of what it meant to share, to give them over, placing your breasts in the hands of another woman, wrapped in the soul of your love, affection and ultimate desire! No longer having this sensual sexual intimacy available to share with a woman, my future love and lover, that is my ultimate fear. A fear that figures so large, it is a fear that has not simply drowned out the fear of death but the very thought of it! A fear so great for a woman, for a lesbian especially, it IS a fear worse than death because without that sensual, sexual, soulful, shared intimacy the death I had forgot would firmly plant itself in my life like a giant redwood. And so while not dying exactly, the life that remains would be a dead life, a life lived by a dead woman and that isn’t life.
I wake early the next day, vague slivers of morning sneaking through every available crack, my tent mates still very much asleep unaware of the light. I stare at the thin shadow cast offs standing next to the light slivers, trying to convince myself I should attend the Surviving Breast Cancer workshop at nine. I create a mental list in my head of all the reasons I should go. The two that most stand out are meeting other lesbians who have been in my shoes and learning from those lesbians how they survived after they survived is what pushes me to unzip my sleeping bag, get up, grab some clean clothes and head for the showers.  That and the only reason I could locate for why I shouldn't go was fear. Fear of what exactly I wasn't sure.  Maybe fearing that I would find out from other women like me that there wasn't any life after surviving. That the same dullness I felt in my chest since my surgery would continue thudding through my life like a defective heart. I shower quickly and dress quicker; it’s nearly 8am now and I want to have coffee and a little something to eat with the girls.
When I get back to the tent Susan has already got the kettle on the fire and some eggs cooking in a pan. Inside the tent, I hear Julie mumble something to Naomi, so it seems we're all up now. "Can I help?" I ask Susan.
"Under control," she smiles towards me and she looks me up and down. "Plans?"
"Yes," I say and look at the ground. I break the fog of silence that rises up, blurting out, "Going to the workshop on Surviving Breast Cancer."
"I think that is a great idea!" she exclaims as she approaches me with open arms for a hug.
"I'm hoping." I leave it as Julie and Naomi exit the tent. We have a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs and Russian bread and butter washing it down with our instant coffees, bitter tasting as I first remembered it when I tried it at a school friend’s home once when I was 12. The food helps to fill the nervous pit I feel in my stomach as time approaches for the workshop. At five till nine I grab my book bag containing a couple of mindless lesbian novels, a full water and a blank paper pad and pen and start to head towards the area where the workshop is being held. Susan gives me a look before I go, asking with her eyes if I'm going to be okay. "I'll be fine, it will be good," I say out loud, trying to smile as I leave.
As I approach the area where the workshop is being held, I scrutinize the fronts of the women I think are attending. A short, short haired woman of about fifty wearing a lavender t-shirt with the slogan "Cancer Free" in white written on it is handing out some sort of reading materials.  It seems she must be heading the workshop. I walk up to her, she smiles and says, "Thanks for being here."  She says it so literally that I feel my skin instantly gooseflesh. She hands me one of the pamphlets with the title of the workshop printed on the top of page, then gestures for me to sit down in one of the empty chairs in front of her. I plant myself in one of the chairs with an empty chair on either side of me. It’s just after nine and in between glances at the pamphlet; I notice that the empty chairs are quickly filling up, including the two on either side of me. The woman with the pamphlets places the remaining pamphlets in a little pile on the table she's standing behind then introduces herself. "Hello," she says in a big voice. "My name is Mirella and thank you all so much for courageously coming to the Surviving Breast Cancer workshop!"
Mirella begins the workshop by telling us about her experience with breast cancer from when she first found out right up to her being cancer free for the last six years. Like me, and a few other women I see nodding in agreement, Mirella shares with us that she too only needed one breast removed but opted for having both her breasts removed for fear of cancer returning. After her breast cancer story, a story that at moments brought tears to Mirella's eyes and many others in empathy and understanding, Mirella outlines briefly what the three hour, two day workshop would entail. She ends her introduction by telling us that by the end of the workshop it's her "hope" that every single women in attendance will feel "revitalized" as women; that the nurturing, healing female energy given off by the thousands of women here would spread throughout "the land," embracing us with the wisdom and strength to mourn but let go of the "breasted" women we were and "live and be proud" because we lived, of the "breastless" women we are today. And on that note, and with her face raining down tears, Mirella miraculously removed her "cancer free" lavender t-shirt tossing it to the ground, bearing her scars. I think at that point we were all of us in both tears and awe of Mirella, some women needing only Mirella's inspiration to remove their shirts right then and there, not needing the requisite full two days workshop for the hope of feeling that comfortable in their scars. I was among the latter.
Mirella uses the rest of our time to, one by one, allow us to stand up and briefly tell our own breast cancer stories, and then to relate what we fear most when we were given the news. I'm shocked at how many other women there share my worst fear. That while yes, the fear of death was present and still hovers in the background, the greatest fear for those of us who are single is no woman would ever find us attractive again, while those of us partnered would be rejected by our lovers because we're no longer womanly enough! Listening to each woman's story, I don't think I cried so much, save for the first night after I found out I had cancer and the day after I had had my breasts removed.  But these tears aren't a selfish burden; if anything, they're freeing. Freeing in the sense that, for the first time in half a year, crying for someone else besides myself I thought I'd lost that altruistic part of my woman-ness, thought it too had gone in the waste bin along with my breasts.  But no, it's back. It only needed to be reawakened by beautiful woman after beautiful woman.
And that's what I realize partway through next day's workshop. That one breast or no breasts, one scar or two, women were still beautiful and still women! The day after Mirella had removed her t-shirt, she teaches the entire workshop topless. Little by little throughout the day, more and more women relinquish their shirts too. Each woman gaining strength, courage and a pride in being the woman that they were right now.  As more women feel this pride, the more we all feed off each others' pride, the more shirts come off. As I slyly eyeball the shirtless among us, I saw in their bodies what I hadn't been able to see in mine: sexiness, something to be desired. Their bodies are, without breasts, still a woman's body and I'm still a lesbian attracted to a woman's body. I realize my desire for other women hasn't changed; it was the desire for me that had.  If I feel desire for other women's breastless bodies, then surely I can find it in me to embrace mine.  And if I can't, no else ever will either.
Mirella closes the workshop with an inspiring speech about hope and life, and life after breast that lifts me up in way that no book or poem or patch blue sky ever has. And along with the other women in the room still in shirts, I rise to my feet and follow suit. I not only remove my shirt, I fling it up into the air where, at that moment, a gust of wind catches it and carries it into the branches of the tree overhead. There's no going back, but there's going forward! It feels so freeing to have removed my shirt in front of so many, and cleansing not to have the chance to put it back on when I leave the workshop and head back to our tent.
When I arrive back at the tent, Susan's putting out the fire we used for coffee. She looks up at me. First with an air of shock, then she smiles and walks, over to me giving me the biggest, gentlest hug. We look into each other's eyes and begin laughing. During this laughing fit that comes from where I know not, Susan tears off both her shirt and bra and, still laughing, says, "Let's go get us some lunch!"  We hook arms and off we go to the lunch area, about a ten minute walk from our tent. I'm so giddy that I don't notice or care if anyone looks at my scars while we walk. I'm on top of the world and nothing's going to change that. My breasts are gone, yes, but my life remains and it's up to me how I want to live that life and feel in it. As we near the food area, Susan realizes she forgot her wallet, and she wants to buy more ice for the cooler we keep our water in. There's a huge line of women already, so I take our place in line while Susan goes back to fetch her wallet.
From the time we arrived at "fest" I've seen quite a few shirtless women, so when one sees a woman without a shirt it's not especially noticeable. So when I get in the lunch line, I don't assume the naked back in front of me is one from our breast cancer group. I hear her say something to the woman in front of her who's standing sideways, also shirtless. I'm immediately taken aback by the low, almost male-sounding voice that booms from the woman in front of me, as well as the fuzzy chin of the woman she speaks to. I look closer at the woman with the fuzzy chin and see the familiar scars. The hair on her face, arms and legs seems excessive and it frightens me. GOD! I wonder if the loss of my breast going to cause my hormones to do that to me. I haven’t read anything like that in the literature, and Mirella didn't talk about this being a result of the surgery.  As I ponder these thoughts and fears, the woman in front of me turns around after Fuzzy Chin nods her head towards me. I pretend not to have seen the nod and quickly look in another direction.
"Hi.  Again, the distinctly male voice from the woman in front of me. I look back and up, my eyes taking in very hairy legs that I hadn’t noticed before, up to the scars where her breast had been. Surrounding the scars are several tattoos, along with a chair full of hair matted to her moist chest. I'm not sure but think I gasp at the sight of her chest hair. My eyes reach hers and I stutter, "H-hello, how are you?" She smiles, and I notice a light mustache. 
"Great!" she answers.  "I'm Aiden and this is my best bud Cliff." She looks at my scars, saying, "Your chest looks GREAT buddy.  Who did your surgery?" My brain can’t quite take everything quick enough to process an answer. Before I can formulate one, she continues, "Cliff and I had our nasty growths cut off about two years ago. We both used our student loan money to pay for it." She snickers and Cliff chimes in with a "Fuck yeah we did bro!"
"Nasty growths?" I think to myself. Have I fallen into a modern day Twilight Zone episode or something? I stand there blank, unable to speak. They both shrug and turn back around in the line, leaving me to my blankness.
In this moment, I want to scream, scream at them at their ignorance and callousness and indecency and utter lack of awareness.  Instead I leave the lunch line, tears of anger and rage streaming down my face. I don't even see myself pass Susan as I run back towards the tent. I hear her yell something at me but I keep running till I get back to the safety of our little space. I quickly put a shirt on before falling to the ground, hugging my knees and sobbing.  After a few moments, Susan catches up with me. "What happened?" she pleads. "What's wrong?"
I can’t answer. I'm just so angry I want to pound my fists into the ground till they're hamburger. "How could they, how dare they!" I mutter.
"Who sweetie, who are you talking about," asks Susan in a desperate voice.
"Oh GOD, those he/shes in line.  I thought this was supposed to be a safe place for women, you said, the website said, the pamphlet said, so WHY are there men here? And worse, men who were women, women who had a choice to keep their breasts, when I had no fucking choice! Mine were wrenched from me! But it was them or my life, that was my choice and that isn’t a fucking choice now is it!" I scream at her, in a fit of tears.
She holds me tight and says "Honey I am so sorry, I forgot that some transmen attend fest. It didn't even cross my mind. I can’t believe they would have a breast cancer workshop AND allow transmen onto fest grounds for survivors of breast cancer to possibly run into.  This is fucking preposterous!"
We sit there on the ground in silence with Susan holding me while my whole body shook for what seems like several hours. I break the silence by saying "I LOVED my breasts, they were beautiful, I WAS beautiful." Susan sits in silence as I continue, "I felt SOOOOOO good after the workshop, why why why did I have to see that and hear that? I just want to go home, crawl back into my bed under my covers and never come out again."
Susan pulls me away from her enough to look me in the eye, saying forcefully, "Pattie, do NOT let those transmen or anything they said rob you of what you gleaned through that workshop.  You were beautiful with breasts and you are beautiful without them!" I hug myself back into her and cry a little more. Later, Susan helps me up and into the tent, tucking me into my sleeping bag, before starting a new fire to make us some tea.
I lay there starring at the top of the tent trying to reconcile Mirella's last speech to us and the images and voices of the transmen and find myself unable to do so. I think about Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, the passage where Clarissa spoke of throwing away a shilling while Septimus threw away his life by leaping from a window. That's the gulf I'm trying to reconcile between myself and the transmen, an impossible gulf, one that Evil Knievel at his greatest wouldn’t have attempted to jump.  So why am I?
Susan comes into the tent with our tea and some cut fruit for our lunch. As she settles down next to me, I tell her, "I can’t pretend to understand what would drive a woman to mutilate her healthy body, and then inject it with male hormones, BUT why, after they've done so, would a bastion for women allow them in this space?"
Susan says the "outdated policy" is what allows them entrance and their lack of respect for women allows them to "ignore their personal change in venue."
"I'll never come here again till that policy is changed to match the times we live in," I say firmly. We sit quietly sipping our tea and eating our fruit. By the time Naomi and Julie return to the tent, Susan and I are sitting near the campfire playing cards. They join us for a few games of Hearts before we all head back out for dinner.
We all get up early the next morning. It's our last day there, and Julie and Naomi have a long drive ahead of them. We all pitch in, taking the tent down, packing and cleaning up our area. By 10 am we're finished and headed back towards the shuttle area. We say our goodbyes to Julie and Naomi, and then hop on the shuttle to go back to our car. As I step onto the shuttle I hear a pretty voice behind me.  One that isn't Susan's. "Weren't you at the Breast Cancer workshop?" the voice asks. I turn around and notice the deepest blue eyes I have ever laid my eyes on, smile and say "Why yes, yes I was."

Binding and Butch Posers

A Femme sister looking out for us Butches sent me this link recently in one of her many searches to help ferret out and bring to light some of the many Butch posers across the net colonizing Butch identity and farming out harmful, ignorant and untruthful "advice".

If you watch this video, this dyke (clearly NOT Butch) is advocating Butch women "bind" their tits because large or small they may "freak out" your Femme. WHA? Last I heard Femme lesbians are lesbians and as lesbians love and enjoy Butch breast! They do not "freak out", they adore, they cherish, they desire, they want, they need Butch breast!

This is more of the same "queer" garbage being piled into Femme/Butch communities by "queer butches and queer femme", which translates to fucked up insecure dykes and equally fucked up insecure straight women! THIS IS NOT BUTCH OR FEMME! DO NOT BE FOOLED BY IDIOTS! AND DO NOT LET IDIOTS SHAME YOU INTO HATING THE BEAUTY OF YOUR BODY, BREAST INCLUDED!

Breast are NOT unbutch, breast are COMPLETELY Butch! The fact is no breast equals no Butch! (of course I am not speaking of Butches who have had to have their breast removed because of cancer-my heart is with them)

This binding business not only reinforces the ignorant notions than Butch women arent women it is also physically DANGEROUS! 

Here is a list of just a few of those dangers:

* Bruised and/or Fractured Ribs
* Lung Problems
* Back Problems
* Vessel and tissue damage
* Decreased blood flow to the heart, increasing the risk of a heart attack
* Decreased lung capacity (30-40% capacity)
* Blood Clots
* Costochondritis - Inflammation of the ribs
* Permanent loss of sensation/numbness of the chest area

* Death

Binding is unnecessary and BAD. No Proud Butch woman would dare do it. If you are Butch and feeling insecure and body dysphoric because of your breast, try instead of hiding them, living with them. You will find once you live with them without daily focusing on/hating them and trying to cover them that you will accept them. Once you accept them, after a spell you will begin to love them. (yes Butches loving your breast IS possible) And after you learn to love them you just might find yourself allowing your partner to love them too which opens up the door not only to some pleasures they may hold but a closer more intimate relationship with your partner. Its a win win!

You cannot fight Butch shame by compounding it! THIS IS A FUCKING MYTH!





ps dont forget Femme's love breast as much as you do Butches! 

pps if someone calling themselves "Femme" doesnt desire your Butch breast, chances are they arent Femme!
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Where's the Butch?

No really, where's the Butch? There is no Butch in this picture, what there is instead is an idea of Butch made palatable through a dyke performing that Butch idea, an idea based in ignorance and Butch stereotyping all in efforts to commodify and sell "butch" to a mass lesbian consumer. Much in the same way "lesbian" has been marketed and sold to men through pornography. But two hyper-feminine women with long nails fingering each other or taking turns muff diving doesn't float as lesbian anymore than a random lesbian strapped floats as Butch!

Lets examine this "butch & femme" pic a little closer shall we?

Just because Butch women have been open about their desire to strap and Femme lesbians have been honest about their desire to be fucked in no way signifies Femme/Butch as the only lesbians utilizing the "look ma no hands" approach to lesbian sex! We just happen to be the primary group of lesbians evolved past the neanderthalic object in vag equals hetero mimicry. The fact is dykes of all stripes strap and/or enjoy being fucked by a strapping partner. So that hint of leather strap seen in this pic is in no way a clear Butch signifier! Strike one for the Butch consumer fetishists!

The "Femme" in this pic on her knees in front of the strapped "butch" implies "blow job" which is a sexual act that has been strapped to the Femme/Butch community by mainstream lesbians. Just as strapping itself is labeled something only Butch women do and something Femmes have done to them, so to has "blow job" been solely attributed to Femme/Butch, with Femme's sucking and Butches receiving. Like strapping itself all stripes of lesbians partake in the lesbian "blow job", and like I mentioned above it is primarily only the Femme/Butch community that admits to enjoying this visual because mainstream lesbians fear rejection for enjoying what is ignorantly believed to be a heterosexual act. If it is between two women there aint a fucking thing hetero about it! Just as some lesbians like watching their partner suck their fingers down to their knuckles so to do many lesbians enjoy watching their partner wet their rubber cock with their lips and mouths. Getting your rubber cock sucked doesn't equal Butch! Butch has zero to do with what sexual acts you enjoy performing or having done to you. Strike two for the consumer fetishists!

Short hair, is the only other feature about this woman that could be construed as Butch. While I bet more Butch women have short hair than Butches with long, long hair is not an automatic signifier for non Butch anymore than short hair is an indicator for Butch (case in point above). Short hair doesn't make the Butch, it may have an appearance (based in societal gender construction) of making a Butch seem a tad more butch, but it in no way does it make her a Butch! Butch stands on its own, hair or clothes irrelevant. Strike three you're out Butch consumer fetishist!

There is an energy that is exuded from Butch women, one that reaches up and out of our hair, our clothes and into how we move, talk, gesture. One that the reaches out even in still photos, an energy that is absent here as any Femme can attest. This isnt "Butch & Femme" because the Butch is clearly absent and in her place is an idea based in generalities and toned down for public lesbian consumption.


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"Feminist" Bookstore lends resources in the destruction of Women

I realize women partake in their own destruction under patriarchal systems through the means of internal and external misogyny in ways both subtle and blatant, but NEVER until now have I seen that (in this case blatant) misogynistic destruction labeled "feminist" AND supported under the label "feminism"!!!


There are two major issues at work here: 1) a woman's space lending itself to ftMISOGYNY and that space using/abusing feminism to do so. Which creates a whole other issue, women not versed in feminism being led to believe that what this bookstore is doing IS feminist! Feminism is dismantling patriarchal systems which harm women through sexism, inequality, job opportunity, rape culture and YES over all MISOGYNY! You cannot call aiding women in their own destruction FEMINIST just because it is other women behind that destruction!

While I cannot quite pin point it I do know it was somewhere around "queer theory" that feminism took a sharp turn on Turn-for the-Worst drive and has hardly been heard from since. Feminism was founded in the idea of choice, in the idea to open up opportunities for women so that they may have choices, but when a woman makes a choice to harm herself the feminist choice shouldn't be to hand her the tools with which to do so! THAT AINT FEMINIST! Feminism would have examined her feelings, her situation, her personal history through feminism and helped her to understand that even her "choice" in her own destruction wasn't in fact a choice at all! But merely another patriarchal brick in wall used to control, house and ultimately destroy women (feminist minded especially)!

There has NEVER been anything feminist about women choosing under patriarchal systems to have themselves whittled into mannish monstrosities and it certainly isnt fucking feminist to aid women in doing so! That bookstore should not only be fucking ASHAMED it should rightfully cease calling itself a "feminist" bookstore!


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Dirt responds...again

This post in in response to iconoclass's comment on this post found here.

The use for the capital B small b is two-fold, it is reclaiming and re-establishing and putting a face on Butch in its original: a butch lesbian whose primary attractions are with Femme and to differentiate from Butch as woman and butch as what kind of woman similarly to male/masculinity-female/femininity-Butch/butch, I DO butch, but I AM Butch. 
 I choose not to write about "butch on butch" because it isn’t my experience therefore it has little to nothing to do with my Femme/Butch writings here which clearly the "too Butch to fuck" post was written. While there surely are butch lesbians who date other butch lesbians, being butch in nature, it isn’t for me to say/write about, nor do I. Their core experiences clearly aren’t the experiences of the Butch experiences I write about (which other Butches identify with and have responded to both here and through email) as MA indicated herself with "I've never been too butch to fuck". I received many an email from upset angry Femmes regarding that comment who were outraged as they  patiently with love and compassion deal with that Butch shame quite intimately every day of their lives whether partnered with Butches, in Butch friendships or seeking a Butch partner. For one to claim “Butch” identity to then be so flippant about that deep core shame that informs all sorts of aspects of Butch life, THAT more than capital B, small b or strapping the largest cock in America gives me pause as to the authenticity of that (Butch/butch)’s claim. Because regardless of how far a Butch has come and no matter how wonderful and understanding their partner, there always remains residual shame just underneath the surface that in certain moments steps from their shadows once again.   
 Personally I do not care who fucks whom, and only hope lesbians (whatever the stripe) are healthy and safe in their sexual endeavors, but I DO care about putting a real life face on Butch/Femme because our community is a sordid hetero/male-centric mess that is currently being destroyed from the inside out through the utilization of thattoo Butch to fuck” Butch shame, because the current face of Butch in our community is a bearded one. MA’s only interest in that mutilated bearded Butch is she doesn’t want “her/him/it” in her “womon only” spaces, NOT the larger picture of saving future Butch girls/women from that bearded fate! I will fight along side MA to keep transitioned men and women out of women’s only space yes, but I am also fighting for the future of Butch (Femme), a future that IS being threatened by queerists and now pathologized in the future version of the DSM which has the potential to eradicate ALL Butch girls/women of all persuasions! 
The Femme/Butch community is (used to be/should be) just that, a community for Femmes and Butches, Butches who love/date Femmes and visa versa. It isn’t hierarchical for the Butch women in that community with their Butch and Butch/Femme experiences to write about, discuss, joke, fight for, and relate to members of that community to the exclusion of other communities. It is participating in the shared experiences of the members of that group/community. Certainly there are all sorts of other things Femmes and Butches share in common with other member of other lesbian groups/communities but none of those are going to have the feeling of “home” that Femme/Butch does, just as I wouldn’t expect Femme/Butch to feel at “home” to butch on butch dykes. Because my square peg doesn’t fit into the butch on butch round hole in no way causes me stress or feelings of “less than” butch, I simply do not fit nor belong and that is okay. 
The only “hierarchical” shit that took place here was with me a Butch lesbian presenting and keeping with the historical accuracy of Butch through its relationship with Femme. MA and perhaps you as well took offense because she defines her butchness a certain way and I another. And through my keeping with the traditional Butch definition (butch lesbians who partner with Femmes) MA felt slighted because she doesn’t partner with Femmes, and in her mind she felt according to traditional Butch definition then that she wasn’t Butch, even though again my posts do not address “butch on butch” lesbians/issues. The fact is my post had nothing to do with her as a “butch on butch” lesbian therefore there was no reason for her comments, especially the anti Femme sexist garbage that sprang from her both here and her blog.

Words do have meaning, just as many gays and lesbians have abandoned using the term "queer" due to it having been high jacked, used and abused by anyone feeling compelled these days to call themselves “queer” from “trans to S&Mers, so to has Butch identity been colonized to the point of meaninglessness! Butch DOES mean something; it has meaning because my body and spirit infuse Butch with that meaning fortifying us both! And Butch historical tradition infuses me with strength and empathy but mostly pride! A tradition while filled with shame; parental shame, shame endured from straight society, shame endured from men trying to rape us straight, shame endured from gay men, shame endured from lesbians, shame endured from feminist both radical and mainstream alike, shame endured from separatist, shame felt through the ownership of our own womanly bodies created by ALL of the aforementioned shame, but a shame I have weathered and over come! Patti Smith wrote “the storm that rends harm/also make fertile” and nothing will stop me from planting the seeds for a fertile Butch future rich with Butch women and a future better because we are in it! 

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More Butch Erasure/Destruction in the name of "queer community building"

Received this in a message on my facebook a few days ago, from some group I joined last year some time CLAIMING to be "butch-femme". I say claiming because clearly were this a true blue Femme/Butch group this woman's message wouldnt have been spammed to all its members with no fucking regard. It would have been stop dead in its fucking negative illegitimate Butch destructive tracks and the sender would have been told in no uncertain terms where to put her "queer" idiot notions of "butch"!

One could say "but dirt she does say "butch identified", yes, EXACTLY and therein lies the fucking problem! Its the fucking equivalent of someone starting a "black identified" group and looking for "black identified" experience and validating the experiences of the copious amounts of disaffected white male youths who would join with their baggie jeans wrapped 'round their lower hips, their doo-rags on their heads and sporting some FUBU's on their feet with their MP3 players chock full of gangsta-rap! The fact IS like a "black experience" or any minority experience there IS a Butch experience because there ARE Butch women! Anyone can "identify" as Butch, and have and do and are all damn the time. Butch isnt something one "identifies" as it is something some of us actually ARE! And when the "fluid queer" PC infested foster ideas that Butch is something anyone can do by merely calling themselves "butch", Butch gets diluted into a "queer" pool of nothingness, unrecognizable nearly to all save the Femmes who SEE and desire us!

This woman is wanting to create some resource book for "butches" utilizing experiences by anyone from your jeans and tshirt wearing female gay or straight to ftMISOGYNIST! Think of the alien and in some cases harmful messages that would be collected there, then think of the baby Butch first coming out trying to find herself through finding other women like her and reading stories of women shamefully binding their tits, women beg borrowing or stealing to lay their hands on some "t" not even because they want to be "men" because they cannot stand the shame that reminds them once a month that they are women, think of women using male pronouns to describe themselves, think of "queer femmes" discussing how they desire "masculinity" and applying the male "masculinity" term to those THEY deem "butch" etc etc.

Then to top it off the woman closes her request by mentioning "s. bear bergman" and her HORRIBLE excuse for a book about "butches"! Firstly this s bear woman is an ftMISOGYNYST but before that she was your run of the mill tweener dyke (feel free to google past pics if you doubt me) usurping the Butch label and when she couldn't manage to squeeze herself into Butch, like so many tweener dykes before and after her, she trannified in search of Butch only to find masculinity instead, still NOT Butch!

If you are a Butch or Femme and believe and live the authenticity of Femme/Butch, if you are a member of the facebook group that spammed this message let the spammer know there are REAL Butch women with REAL Butch lives with REAL Femmes who love and adore us, be silent no more! You have a voice, use that voice and have a fucking say!

I am, with this post, as well as subtracting myself from a group that clearly doesnt have my best Butch woman interest and the interest of Butch women period in mind!

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Femmes as punching bags for STRAIGHTBIANS

Some back and forth comments from a recent post found here in full context, that I wanted to address.

I will address shortly the frightful Femme hatred made clear in several comments above, but first let me tackle the ignorance or denial of the "passing" privileges of the Butch woman experience that conveniently seems to have been left out of MA's comments.

The thing about "passing" is no matter who is doing it or to be more accurate who it is being done to, "passing" is ALWAYS tenuous and uncomfortable and I have yet to know or to have seen in Femme/Butch spaces any Femme or Butch to revel in it when it happens. The ONLY time I have seen "passing" not  bragged about but worn like a sick badge of honour is by those in the "trans" community, usually your tweener dykes aka lower case b butch dykes who make up the majority of women who trannify.

Now I don't know if MA intentionally targeted Femme's with her "passing" privilege tirade or if she choose to simply ignore the "passing" privileges of the typical capital B Butch lesbian(clearly not her experience). As your run of the mill Butch woman my sex began being questioned around the time I could walk and slightly talk. (NO not yesterday!) By the time I was in grade school I "passed" easily and like today still, embarrassingly so. This "passing" privilege is compounded if you are a white Butch, because white privilege carries A LOT of clout. So being white and "passing" as a straight male can be quite troublesome albeit privileged as my Femme lover/sisters know.

A few general examples of white Butch "passing" privilege: this example has happened more times than I could ever count. The other day I'm at the grocery store and walk up to the deli counter, they have a number system whereby you take a number and when they call the number it is your turn to be waited on. I walk up to the deli where a black man is standing alone with a ticket number in his hand. The black man behind the counter watches me approach sans ticket and asks me "can I help you sir"? Not being a fucking straight white selfishly minded male who believes his privilege is natural and his needs should always come first, I reply "this gentleman was before me". Or the gas station I use most in my area, where like clockwork when I go in to pay for my gas the man behind the counter recognizes me and insists in a complimentary manner "you the man, you be the man".

And when out with a Femme either lover or friend, how does Butch "passing" privilege function? The Femme gets invisiblized and diminished further by having her lesbianism ignored and her power as a woman stripped from her. Such as when going out to eat with a Femme friend/lover I am the one who gets asked all the questions from "smoking or non smoking" to being asked "can I take your order" first. If out shopping even in specifically women's stores with a Femme, I'm asked in the presence of the Femme "can I help you sir", like she doesn't even exist. Whatever minuscule perk or privilege I obtain through "passing" like my Femme lover and sisters it isnt something I revel in and in truth being erased isnt much of a perk or a fucking privilege. It is an assault on my fucking identity every single time I am "sir'd" just as it is every single time a Femme cruises under the hetero-radar!

I cannot control how others read me any more than can Femmes, people have been conditioned to read male using certain signifers and female using certain signifiers and heterosexuality is an assumed sexuality because it is the majority. I am fighting for a visible Femme and a visible Butch, neither of which has ever been yet (but will be). But I'll be damned to think our visibility is so fucking simple it can be remedied with us clad in some godawful rainbow shirt or wearing a pair of double women symbol earrings! YUCK! And the truth is the subtleties of lesbian symbols amid the not so subtle ideas of hetero male and female would simply be lost on most people. Besides, Butch or Femme isnt what we wear, it is who we ARE!

I say this to you directly MA: I don't know who has been embodying your idea of "femme" but it isnt capital F Femmes! But regardless MA, you clearly despise Femme lesbians as every comment you have made about them is both sexist, dismissive and misogynistic! Seems you are more interested in some bullshit oppression olympics based on some 30 year old separatist dyke myths and jealousies fed to you, rather than real experiences of Femmes! Someone needs to shake you a bit and wake you from the drum circle dream you're having of a dyke solidarity with Femmes and Butches. The fact is most Femmes and Butch women get treated like shit within dyke spaces. Dykes have made it clear starting with the rise of lesbian feminism in the 70's that Femmes and Butches weren't wanted in their little club and those feelings still ring true today.

I am a lesbian Butch woman and my Femme lover is a lesbian woman, and we will NOT kiss dyke ass to gain "respect" from a community that clearly hates us! A community that has embraced every "queer" man, woman or fruitcake who has knocked on its doors leaving the Femme/Butch community wide fucking open to the harm and threat of "queer" politics! A politic that has both young and old Butches convinced that they are men herding them onto the nearest tranny-train headed to transville! And the ONLY fucking dykes trying to stop that train are FEMMES! Because Femmes stand by us despite Butch shame issues, protect us, get angry when we cannot, shout kick and scream when we have nothing left to say, work when we cannot get a job, carry us when we're too weak to walk, put us on a pedestal when we feel insignificant as a grain of sand and love us when we think we're freaks not deserving of love.

Femmes deal with all of our Butch pain and anger then have to go out into the world and deal with the crap from being invisible. I don't know any Femme who thinks its a fucking privilege to be seen as available to the male gaze and male attention, even those who are open about their lesbianism. Simply because a Femme declares herself lesbian does not get her a free pass to being left alone by men! Does not give her a free pass to being subjected even worse to male advances because "lesbians" titillate the male pornographic mind because all she needs is a good fucking from a man, does not exempt her from straight women using her as a punching bag, does not stop her from receiving sexist behaviour (you as a lesbian exhibited that behaviour right here knowing Femmes are lesbians too). So given that MA, it is clear even if every single Femme lesbian outed herself to every person she meets on the street, behaviours such as yours and the dyke community's are still going to exist.

I just want to make mention one other issue MA, your advice about the "dykes loving dykes" book. I assume you gave one of the authors my email. The first email I received by her I was put off a little and didn't mention certain bits of it to my Femme as she would have been offended. After another email from her I did discuss these emails with my Femme, she curiously scouted about the net and found a thing or two written by this woman that clearly outlined her negative feelings toward Femme lesbians. So after a few back and forth emails I no longer responded to her. She clearly holds the same sexist views you yourself hold towards Femmes. 


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Missing Person Kristin Snyder: Lost in a Sea of Myths Pt 2

The next part in our forensic postmortem of the mockumentary The Lost Women of NXIVM will consist of dissecting the major proponents surrou...