*Breaking News* Lesbians stage protest of heterosexual male keynote speaker at London Dyke March 2014 , threatened with arrest

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Guls:

In our country we’re often bombarded by tabloid headlines by stories of how bad things are ‘over there’; how little respect they have for ‘their’ women; how little regard ‘they’ have for life, particularly ‘ours’.

Read this and weep – or not – conservatives (and liberals): this is where the dichotomy really begins; and we’re as guilty as ‘them’.

Can’t be seen to silence women – wouldn’t be politic these days. would it? – send in a drag act to mouth platitudes on their behalf. Presto! Who could object…

And I’m supposed to be proud to be British…

Originally posted on GenderTrender:

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Lesbians KICKING ASS! for Lesbians! at London Dyke March 2014

After weeks of online protest surrounding the controversial appointment of former LibDem Councilor Sarah Brown, a male transgender, as keynote speaker at the London Dyke March, a group of courageous lesbians staged an effective demonstration today at the march, raising awareness of how Dyke Marches worldwide have been aggressively colonized by “male lesbians”.

Flyer handed out by Lesbian protesters at Dyke March today

Flyer handed out by Lesbian protesters at Dyke March today

Many readers will recall former Councilor Brown as the male self-identified “polyamourous dyke with one male partner” who launched a public campaign to name the foul smelling drainage created by his surgically inverted penis (what he describes as “the smegma-like mixture of dead skin cells, gynaecological lube, stale urine (gives it its distinctive smell) and sweat that is sometimes present as a white residue on the end of a dilation stent when a post-operative trans woman…

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Cusp of release… almost.

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In case you missed the memo, Opeth are due a new album in a couple months and are now trailing it with Cusp of Eternity, track two from Pale Communion:

The full tracklist is as follows (see Prog magazine for more)

  1. Eternal Rains Will Come
  2. Cusp of Eternity
  3. Moon Above, Sun Below
  4. Elysian Woes
  5. Goblin
  6. River
  7. Voice of Treason
  8. Faith in Others

On this song alone, it’s hard to ascertain if Mikæl Åkerfeldt and co have made good on their promise of a record both, ‘more melodic’ and ‘darker and heavier’ than Heritage. In the vein of The Devil’s Orchard which trailed the latter, it purveys a slightly streamlined, sanded-down version of the classic Opeth sound – rich in characteristically-sombre melody, albeit shorn of the ‘Marmite’ growls – which walks a fine line between satisfying long-time fans and signposting a sound with broader rock appeal. On the strength of …Orchard, critics might have been forgiven for concluding Opeth had recorded their ‘Black Album‘, The reality turned out somewhat differently, as we now know: Heritage may be markedly less brutal, yet every bit as challenging for that: tracks like I Feel The Dark and Famine were never likely to trouble daytime radio listeners’ ears, never mind set fists-a-pumping in stadiums.

To my ears Cusp… would have sat quite comfortably on Heritage, had it been recorded at the time. Sure, the guitars are a little crunchier-sounding but the song is still recognisably a member of the same extended family of songs sired by Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson during that fruitful period from 2010-12 which also includes Storm Corrosion and Grace For Drowning. One might even look back as far as 2008 and Mellotron Heart for signs that times were a-changing in camp Opeth. If that moody, idiosyncratic prog rock niche is your thing, Pale Communion is likely to be more music to your ears: Opeth fans of yore, yearning for a return to throat – and ear – shredding growls are liable to be further disappointed.

60-something

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Did you know it’s 50 years since: 

- the “British Invasion” of UK bands blazing a trail across the United States of America? 

- pirate station “Radio Caroline” sent pop music bouncing across the air waves? 

- the South Coast witnessed the infamous Bank Holiday clashes between the Mods and Rockers?

Whatever your answer, the place to be on Thursday 12 June is in the audience for The Sixties – a musical tribute to the entire decade that was the 1960s – a show set to rock Worthing

The Sixties 

With songs from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Dusty Springfield, The Who, The Ronnettes, The Everly Brothers, Lulu, Bobby Vee, The Four Seasons, The Animals, The Hollies, The Monkees, Cream, The Shirelles, Procul Harem, The Mamas & The Papas, The Doors and many more… eye-catching outfits; an amazing live band; rocking dance routines; and news stories from these exciting and sometime turbulent times, The Sixties will transport people back 50 years. 

Phil Short, The Sixties‘ creator and lead singer, said: “I’m expecting people to be up dancing and singing along with us. Our cast of professional musicians, dancers, actors and singers will take everyone back in time, 50 years, to the blazing 1960s. 

“If you’re a fan of 60s music or love West End musicals like Jersey Boys, Dancing In The Streets and Let It Be, you’re going to love The Sixties!” 

The Sixties starts at 7.30pm at the Pavilion Theatre. Tickets are £19.50 (£18 concessions) and can be bought in advance via www.worthingtheatres.co.uk or on the night at the box office. You can find out more via the theatre’s website, on The Sixties facebook page (www.facebook.com/thesixtiesshow) or by following them on twitter @TheSixtiesShow 

Phil added: “Worthing has some of the best theatre spaces in the area. The Pavilion Theatre, sited on the pier, is a wonderful space to perform in and conjures up all the seaside romanticism of the era. Is it any wonder we picked it for The Sixties?” 

Phil Short is available for interview: for further information, an interview with Phil and pictures, please call Kelly.Barnes (promotor) 07853 852860.

 


 

“Empire Building”: Career Feminism and Me

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Guls:

Stop press – if only, one might sigh – the online abuse campaign against Caroline Criado-Perez goes on unabated, much less reported…

Seems plenty of women out there would rather she shut up too, sadly – wasn’t feminism supposed to bring females together – what went wrong?

And in a culture this toxic – suggesting one banknote of four might perhaps feature a female! the sheer audacity! gotta be raped and killed! – one can’t help by discern disingenuity in the shock! horror! reporting of the Elliot Roger massacre (the Salon piece strays too far in the direction of liberal for my taste, whilst getting the bones in the right place).

Incidents like the above ought to surprise no one.

It’s not ‘news’, and it’s not right; not any of it

Originally posted on Week Woman:

I tend not to do much about the daily stream of attacks, insults, wilful misrepresentations and misinterpretations that constitute my daily online life. Not anymore. I just put up and shut up for the most part.

I used to try to defend myself, believing for a long time that explaining what I actually said, meant, intended, would help. But I’ve long since given up expecting the facts to matter when it comes to the determined group of people who have been keeping up a campaign of harassment against me for the past year or so. Indeed, on the few occasions I’ve tried to highlight their bullying, to try to defend myself, to say that I don’t think I deserve to be treated like an inhuman piece of shit, just because I happened to have hit headlines for…being treated an inhuman piece of shit, this group has never been unsuccessful in turning…

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The possibility of Change

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Following on, coincidentally, from my last (re)post

Recognize this guy?

Field Marshall Lord Kitchener’s face and pointing finger proclaiming ...

‘Your country needs YOU’

And this woman?

You’ll almost certainly be familiar with the former image and accompanying slogan – or variations on it, depending on your geographical location. Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener – for it is he – was the face of military recruitment during the WW1 campaign of a century ago. You might be forgiven for unfamiliarity with the second image: Edith Cavell was a Norfolk-born nurse who served in Belgium during that conflict; and her most oft-repeated quote ‘I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone’. Kitchener died June 5, 1916, on a boat sunk by a German mine off The Orkney Islands;  Cavell on October12, 1915 by Nazi firing squad. That which connects the pair – their respective rôles in that historic conflict aside and their deaths, both at the hands of the same ‘enemy’- to the aforementioned – in the Week Woman post – Criado-Perez campaign is their competition in a more modern conflict; in recognition for posterity via the medium of legal tender in the UK. started by Sioned-Mair Richards. In short, The UK Treasury wants to put Kitchener on a commemorative £2 coin; Richards nominates Cavell. Criado-Perez‘s successful campaign for women – or at least, a woman – to be represented on British currency was actioned via Change.org.

Petitions launched via that platform have helped to achieve positive action in social justice, education and public awareness, including:

Achieving legal aid for the inquest into the death of Cherry Groce, fatally injured during the ’85 Brixton riots

Keeping Mary Seacole on the National (educational) Curriculum in the UK

Pressing for a public enquiry into the late MP, Cyril Smith’s historical sexual abuse of vulnerable young boys

Richards‘ campaign deserves to succeed too: in a real sense it’s only a coin (or note) but implicit in the public support for the figure that we choose to commemorate the war that, 100 years ago failed to end all war is our hope – or lack of – that one day it might end. That one day, beginning today, we might have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone. If Criado-Perez‘ experience is anything to go by, I fear for Richards‘ treatment via social media. The only consolation is that any vindictiveness is in exponential relation to the importance of the values of their actions. For every 100 detractors, the lives of 1000,000s stand to be improved by the elimination of the brutal, patriarchal conventions that blight so many lives.

Is patriotism enough, or can we do better?

.@Twitter: Optimised For Abuse

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Guls:

The critics Criado-Perez refer to are as opposed to formal, legal relationship commitment as they are in favour of casual, domineering sexuality. Infer from that what you will, dear gender-sceptics…

Originally posted on Week Woman:

Last summer I was the target of months of violent, misogynistic abuse. The abuse was widely reported, although the worst tweets (most of the tweets), were never broadcast or printed, because the media deemed them too offensive. This left me in the rather unfortunate position of not only being driven to the edge of a nervous breakdown from the fear and strain of hundreds of tweets  coming in every minute telling me I would be maimed, raped and killed, but also being targeted by people who thought I was being a delicate flower and couldn’t take a bit of off-colour banter, or “dissenting opinion”. Nevertheless, the media pressure was such, that twitter was reluctantly, eventually forced to act. They streamlined their reporting process by including a link on each tweet to report it for abuse, and automatically included the link for that tweet in the report form. For someone who was…

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Red letter day

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Copied and pasted from RadFemsRespond

‘Hi,

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve decided to renege on your contract to allow this meeting to take place at Multnomah Quaker Meeting House. As a person who has been questioning my own need to transition I found the idea of Gender Critical thinking quite empowering. It’s frustrating to me that it had to come from a group that is so hated in the trans community. I feel like a lot of people who are in a similar position to me would benefit greatly from it. Despite what most of the Trans* community would say about it, there is almost certainly some truth to the idea. People can and do detransition, it is not some unbeatable ailment that can only be solved by either changing your body or committing suicide. This is a false choice that almost led to my own ruin. There are others like me, and I am confident in time we will see this more and more given the incredibly complex and nebulous nature of this… I don’t even know what to call it that would not offend someone.

And that’s really the problem, there is just too much going on here for any one person or group to really get a handle on it. Right now the screening process is almost 100% self-determined. I live in an informed consent state so that is the literal truth. I know the names of 4 psychologists In my area that I could go to and get a prescription for hormones. While I believe people should be able determine what they want to do with their own bodies this just reveals how little we know about the Trans* experience.

I’m not saying there is some magical cure for the opaque condition of ‘gender dysphoria’; I am still tempted to go get on those hormones. I have been battling with myself about this for a long time. I wish someone could tell me whether I really have a Trans identity or not, but I am the only one who can really decide that. This is the struggle of every trans person. There is no ‘brain-sex’ that has been discovered. Differences in male and female brains have been shown to be small with huge variances in actual behavior for individuals. While there have been a few brain scan studies they show that even cis-identified people often don’t match with their hypothetical ‘brain-sex’. With no possible biological test all we are left with is cues from behavior that are influenced by social condition more than anything else. I have found from my own personal experience that my own sense of dysphoria comes primarily from these social pressures.

This is not to say that every trans person feels this way but I know there must be more like me. Just the fact that there are more MtF transitioners to FtM transitioners seems to bare this out. It is more socially acceptable for a female to act male than for a male to act female. To do so is an attack on the gender hierarchy, this is simply not how things are supposed to work. Many MtF people like to claim that ‘butch’ women are really closeted FtM trans people. While I can’t speak for anyone but myself I can’t imagine those butch females like being ‘misgendered’ any more than a trans person would.

My experience is of someone who is searching for the cause of my feelings. For people like me gender critical thinking can open up a whole new world. There are many people now who claim to have ‘nonbinary’ gender which is a way to say they are between genders. Gender critical thinking dispells the illusion of gender and shows that we are all nonbinary in the basic sense. This is an empowering statement for anyone who is sick of our current gender hierarchy no matter what birth sex they are. Furthermore it is the only logical conclusion when all the current conflicting and confused research about gender is taken into account.

Why do the studies fail to produce a coherent picture of what determines one’s ‘gender identity’? It could simply be that gender is a false construct we have all bought into due to generations of social conditioning. In my personal experience this seems to be the case. I simply don’t like being limited by my gender role although as a born male I understand I have it on the good side of the gender hierarchy.

Before I continue I want to point out that I don’t feel like every single trans person needs to be blocked from transitioning. There are some who do have various biological conditions that are well known about and studied. The best example of this would be intersexed children, who are the most obvious exceptions. It does also seem possible that there may be some epigenetic causes that may produce a more physically feminine boy or more masculine girl. In fact, it is my pet theory that these small epigenetic differences snowball when gender socialization takes place. Usually upon entering public school, these people with perfectly fine, slightly more masculine or feminine biology are picked on and made to conform. This is not because they are ‘really’ a man in a woman’s body or vice versa. They simply don’t entirely conform to a man-made social construction. When these people decide to transition they are giving into the myth of gender being an innate quality and not a learned one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digit_ratio

Notice the link between Trans people and digit ratios. This has nothing to due with ones’ brain being in the wrong body. It has to do with a body being in the wrong society.

From the article:
“There’s more difference between a Pole and a Finn, than a man and a woman.”

I know this is all controversal. It has to be because no one knows for sure about any of this. There are also many mental disorders that can cause one to develop a trans identity that have little to do with any of the social/biological issues I’ve brought up above. This is all off the top of my head honestly. These are the thoughts that keep me up at night. I take this criticism seriously, as should any trans person who really wants to honor what their movement is fighting for. I would like to be able to know more about this but people who question their transitions or decide to detransition are often marginalized in the Trans community. Many are considered fake or ‘TERF sock puppets’ (that’s me apparently). It is sad that only the most ardent and extreme critics of the trans movement have enough clout to actually be heard through the chaos and self-aggrandizing of the current forms of internet-based ‘discussion’.

I have no hate for trans people. In fact I love them and sympathize with them. I have shared many of their struggles and done the same type of soul searching. I know how comforting the thought of simply being a woman trapped in a man’s body can be. A part of me still hopes this is the case. It would make my life so much simpler. All I would have to do is change myself, like I have been my whole life in order to fit other people’s expectations of me; namely as a male who dominates women and does other manly things to commoditize all of existence.

So, like most other trans people I began that process of trying to pass, ironically I went by the mantra “I’m being the real me!” At first this was true, by simply rejecting my hetero-normity I did feel like I was becoming ‘more me’. So I kept it up, going slowly. I felt better about myself, lost a lot of weight, shaved my beard. I set a date to go ‘full-time’ and starting training my voice. This is where the wheels started to fall off. I found a lot of speech pathology is learning to mimic the cadence and inflection of a female voice. Many training programs suggested finding a specific female who’s voice you wanted to sound like and copy their voice. In many voice pathology classes one is also taught to learn female gestures and facial expressions. Suddenly “I’m being more me” didn’t quite hold up. I was just changing one form of socialization for another. I began to really question everything.

During a night of listless google searching I found myself reading stuff I was agreeing. Turns out it was written by these people called ‘Radical Feminists’ who I knew were known as TERFs and obviously hated me and wanted me to kill myself. I didn’t look away and soon found Rachel Ivy’s presentation: “The End of Gender”. It set my world on fire. I saw everything differently, I realized how blind I had been. I wasn’t the one who needed to change my body, it was society that needed to change it’s judgment of me and everyone else. This was the root cause of my suffering and is the beating heart of the radical feminist movement.

I would love to be able to say I’m just an oppressed transwoman and all these radfems are just hating on me because I was born a man. But I know that isn’t true, even if that were the case there is enough substance here that it cannot be ignored. Many radfems are angry and have said hateful things about trans people, but the same can be said of trans people against radical feminists. TERF is very much a slur, it has all the effects of a slur. It is entirely a put-down meant to silence a thought that cannot be debated away rationally. I know I had read more about TERFs being nazi-like borderline gay-conversion Christians than I had ever read about their true thoughts, reasoning, or even their stated views.

Not all radfems are made the same and neither are all trans people. In the past this discussion has been very polarizing and personal but it is a needed one. For this reason having an open discussion can only help us. This goes beyond ‘bickering’ this is a fundamental question of our time. I think there is much room on both sides for more understanding. This issue will shape the future of both the feminist and the trans movement. It is up to us to make that future one we can all share and want to be a part of.

Sincerely,
/u/lovingLilith

PS Here’s my own story as I posted it on reddit:

http://www.reddit.com/r/GenderCritical/comments/21vhyl/mtf_detransitioning_after_5_mo_hrt_you_radfems/’

The no-platforming of gender-critical writing in the mainstream media (and debate in the world at large) points up an issue we have yet to come to terms with. That a radical feminist organ published this – admittedly-waffly and rife-with-contradiction – letter proves a point: the point of RFR. They are open to dialogue. The antithesis of ‘hate-speech’, which seeks only to use words as a weapon….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUM_7h_haXc

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