Tag Archives: Suzanne Moore

Butthurt and blinded

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Bit late to the table with this one – intervention of life and relationships, yada yada – but here goes…

Suzanne Moore is castigatated for being funny and clever with it…

I didn’t manage to trawl thru all 21 pages of the pompous, middle-class male, faux-outrage dominating the comments, but I got the gist that around 50% of the replies warranted ‘This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs.’ – I wonder why?

Misogyny and misandry are not equivalent; operative action and reaction. To present sexism as a two-way street is to willfully ignore the fact that the traffic on one side is denser, faster-moving and driven by psychopaths. This is a fundamental flaw in the liberal agenda, exemplified by a plethora of comments along the lines of

‘If someone had written an article about things not to do with your vagina would this also be acceptable? Grauniad (sic) I expect better’ (from poster Steve Bagley).

A ‘sexist joke’ directed at a man/men is just that: we (as men) can safely assume that it’s not the thin end of a wedge with real-life discrimination, violence and death on the thick end (Rape banter anyone? yep, that’s a real thing) Which is not to say that men don’t routinely face the threat and actuality of violence; rather to admit that such threats and violences are most often offered and perpetrated by other males, just as violence against women most often is.

‘If only more men would remember not to rape. It’s a great shame how many seem to forget.’ (TristanJakobHoff)

The likelihood of Suzanne Moore or her journalism hurting anyone is surely as remote as, well, the likelihood of Julie Burchill or her journalism hurting anyone.

(Clearly, their Twitter spat with Trans*activists/supporters is fresh in the minds of certain  Guardian posters:

’11) Do not assume everyone with a penis is a man, or vice versa. (Hyosho).)

Perhaps a better-grounded assumption might be that anyone with a penis – and particularly in situations where penis-exposure is unexpected and unwarranted – might present as a threat? A girlfriend recently related to me a couple incidents of indecent exposure, prior to which she’d assured herself she could have responded to such an encounter with an eye-roll and a witty riposte. In the event, she was plain scared and, as such, rendered voiceless; impotent, if you will… As it happens, said exposed organs were attached to self-identified males. though – and I digress momentarily to inform readers that my girlfriend isn’t psychic – had the perpetrators identified as trans*women it’s debatable whether the concomitant and immediate sense of threat would have been significantly reduced, if at all.

If Moore‘s satire on this occasion, isn’t terribly sophisticated it surely has the undeniable ring of truth? As such, how much mileage in dancing around the truth with measured nicety?

‘Yep. It’s hilarious how many (presumably male) posters take issue with a woman telling men what to do, when articles from men telling women – albeit generally more subtly – what to do are a daily occurrence. It’s generally not remarked upon when a man writes a non-factual article on, say, abortion – you certainly don’t get five pages of enraged comments from women about how dare a man tell them what to do with their bodies…

…they’re all true and reasonable requests. So the angry commentators are basically just saying how dare a woman have an opinion on the matter. (Pavanne)

Like Jamie Kilstein, Moore plays switcheroo with familiar tropes of male sexism in order to point up how ludicrous (and harmful) they actually are. As was the case with Kilstein, men dominate the backlash. And they are no more responsible for fomenting misandry thru their satirical musings than Janice Raymond and her ilk are responsible for generating Trans*misogyny by way of their intellectual analysis. And intellectual is a key word here. Writers of all stripes are right to presume a level of intelligence in their readership and argue accordingly, comedically or otherwise. In their over-egged responses, said readership only expose theirs – and their parent-societies’ – prejudices (and weaknesses),

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Haters, whores and hypocrites: now trending…

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‘[Darwin] emphasized that, though in almost all species the female was the choice-maker, in human societies the privilege of choice making had passed to the male, with deleterious effects.’ Gillian Beer, Introduction to the Origin of Species, 1859, Oxford University Press, 1988, (regarding Darwin’s, The Descent of Man, 1872)

As a man – and an educated man from a middle-class background; thrice-privileged – I can take freedom of choice, in speech as elsewhere, largely for granted, which is a very different proposition from saying I ought to be able to, or believing that the content of said speech is intrinsically valuable. One problematic aspect of privilege is that the privileged position renders it scarcely-visible; the distorting effect on one’s worldview tricky to apprehend. Admitting this perspective, it’s at least understandable that a challenge to one’s privilege might be mis-construed as an infringement of rights. I’m being magnanimous, here: plenty men intuit only too well the social head start that the accidental inheritance of a ‘y’ chromosome provides them with and miss no opportunity to revel in it, generally at the expense of those less-privileged than they.

Put another way; men are prone to a) talking bollocks, and b) lashing out like wounded animals when their ‘bollocks’ is subject to scrutiny. So it’s no wonder feminists come in for a lot of flak; scrutiny of men’s ‘bollocks’ being somewhat of a specialty of theirs. I came across a fine example of this a couple days ago via Madeline Rachael‘s fine wp blog The Feminist Agenda (below)

Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner: ‘There are “two forms of feminism…”

Swanson and Buehners‘ dismissal of feminists as ‘whores’ – and in a discussion diatribe defending ‘the family’ and ‘society’ – is as typical as it is telling. Christian conservatives of their stripe would have one believe that they love ‘good’ women and that their beef is with only certain types of ‘bad’ woman. I’m minded of a press statement issued by West Yorkshire detective Jim Hobson during the investigation into ‘Yorkshire RipperPeter Sutcliffe here in the UK during the early ’80s which (British feminist) Joan Smith quoted in her essay ‘There’s only one Yorkshire Ripper‘ (Misogynies, Faber and Faber, 1989):

‘He (The Ripper – at that point yet to be apprehended) has made it clear that he hates prostitutes. Many people do. We, as a police force, will continue to arrest prostitutes. But the Ripper is now killing innocent girls. That indicates your (sic) mental state and that you (sic) are in urgent need of medical attention…’

(My emphasis)

The implications of this statement are clear and frightening – only violence against ‘good’ women is remarkable, never mind legitimately criminal; prostitutes fall outside outside of the ‘good’ category; are thus legitimate targets for men’s and society’s disapprobation, and that the distinction between the legitimacy of arresting and murdering women is a mere matter of degrees. To emphasize differing degrees of misogyny, however, or to give credence to the notion that some women are deserving of it, would be to miss the point that criminalizing ‘bad’ women and murdering ‘good’ ones both attack women as a class.

Three decades on, Swanson and Buehner, whilst they’re clearly not advocating violence against women per-se, are nonetheless arguing their ‘case’ (further magnanimity) against feminism from the same mindset; namely that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ women and that feminists fall squarely into the latter camp, along with ‘whores’. The glaring contradiction is that both the women who confront their assigned status in the gender hierarchy (feminists) and those who submit perfectly to it (‘whores’)** are subject to the same negative judgement: ergo, in their eyes all women are ‘bad’, whatever they might say to the contrary.

This is significant when one considers the conflict between Radical Feminism and the Liberal Left/Trans* lobby which, though decades-old, exploded so dramatically into public consciousness via the publication of ‘Transphobic’ articles by Suzanne Moore and Julie Burchill and the subsequent Twitter storm. Notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ women loom large in the vocabulary of Trans* activists. As in Dt Hobson‘s assessment of Sutcliffe‘s murder victims (above) the wrong kind of woman is, in their opinion deserving of ‘extreme predjudice’ and the wrong kind of woman – the ‘bad’ woman – is any woman who questions the bipolar gender model on which their ‘identity’ depends. Scrutiny of their ‘bollocks’ is not encouraged, to say the least; presumably because it bears more than a passing resemblance to that spouted by Swanson and Buehner: sexist, anti-feminist and rigid in its adherence to gender bi-polarity. Accusations of ‘Trans-misogyny’ (an unhelpful term to my mind) are rendered risible by prolific resort to the common-or-garden variety by Trans* activists and their supporters.

So whilst bollocks of their kind continues to proliferate both on and under the radar of the MSM: on blogs run by Men’s Rights Activists; on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and in the comments sections of all manner of online publications; feminists, who discern profound ideological issues and serious health and safety concerns for ALL women, are being subjected to inquisition , hounded , jailed, ridiculed, and silenced by those who fear the prospect of a life shorn of privileged position. Some women themselves argue against the need for feminisn, including this Huffington post writer, who is somewhat hoist by her own petard by her declaration that ‘feminism is misunderstood … by many of those calling themselves feminists’, and her sexist dismissal of the anticipated feminist backlash to her article.

For the Trans* activist who has spent the majority of their life occupying a position of privilege, discerning the difference between loss of said privilege and a genuine infringement on human rights might conceivably be difficult; but let’s not make the mistake of being magnanimous again and again in the face of evidence to the contrary.  That anti-woman propaganda such as the Generations Radio feature and the Huffington Post piece are allowed to stand whilst the likes of Burchill and Gallusmag are censured tells us something. That these and other women – feminist or not, wives or the prostituted, straight or queer, butch or femme, workers or home-makers, black or white, young or old, trans* or ‘cis’ – so frequently take the brunt of societal problems that are manifestly not of their making tells us much the same thing: somebody needs to check their privilege, and they’ll be carrying a ‘y’ chromosome, I betcha!

**Couple points to note: a) I didn’t want to get sidelined into any kind of ‘blame game’ at that point, sufficed to say that the choice to be a feminist or a ‘whore’ are clearly not equal and opposite – specifically that the latter can be considered as ‘free’ a choice as the former – nor mutually exclusive. Andrea Dworkin is a case in point whose radical politics were deeply-informed by her personal experience of prostitution. b) The original use of the word whore was Buehner’s, and having quoted him thus I ran with it for the duration of the piece, mainly a creative decision since it made for a more memorable title. It implies no disrespect towards prostituted women on my part, hence the quotes ‘—‘.

A.M.

All kinds of wrong

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According to a New Mexico lawmaker, impregnated rapees who abort should be arrested for ‘tampering with evidence’.

Of all the cruel and Byzantine ways that the law has contrived to interfere in women’s born right to own and manage their reproduction, this surely takes the cake. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t doesn’t even begin to cover it. On paper, objectifying the foetus as evidence runs somewhat contrary to the Pro-life definition of it as a fully-human being; but the implications in real life are exactly the same: don’t abort! The mother is still effectively owned and subject to the rule of patriachy. The likely psychological trauma of having to carry a baby to term and the fact of her/his existence will serve as a lifetime reminder of the initial violation, whether the mother decides to bring up the kid or not. And the science underpinning the law is flawed in any case. As a commentator on the thread (The Reality Dog) rightly observes:

‘This is shockingly stupid. Just using her own logic, why would you need to force the woman to carry the baby to term in order to get evidence? Once the abortion was performed, you would easily be able to get DNA from the fetus to prove paternity to the rapist and likely get that person charged and behind bars even faster. Once again, anti-abortion legislators are grasping at straws…’

Coincidentally – or perhaps not – this law would erect an additional psychological barrier against victims reporting the offense against them.

And this has implications for the kid, too. Growing up knowing that your life came about as the product of rape must, I imagine, have profound implications, and bear none-too-positively on one’s self-esteem and future relationship prospects. There’s an alternative, of course: not knowing the intimate details of one’s conception and parenthood; or the fate of one’s surrendered offspring – but as an adoptee I can vouch that that has its implications, too; both for the child and the parents, biological and adoptive. The likely internal conflict propogated by this proposal parallels that experienced by the incested child. As Suzanne Moore wrote in a perceptive Guardian piece in response to the Savile scandal:

‘I know people right now are having to make a decision to remove a child from a family after a series of disclosures about the white stuff that came out of “Daddy’s willy” when they were having their special time. The last thing this child wants is for her Daddy to be taken away.’

Which is to say, knowing that your parent(s) is/are bad people doesn’t necessarily diminish your need for a sense of ‘where you come from’. Even if that need is a product of patriarchal indoctrination, for the sake of our kids’ (and adults’) peace of mind it must be addressed.

I doubt the lawmakers consider these, or have even given them pause for thought, and whilst I’d be more confortable believing naïveté was a factor in their proposal, my inclination is that it’s politicking pure and simple: a legal statement of intent that promotes that reinforces the patriarchal agenda; specifically:

  • Reproduction is a legitimate end in itself, howsoever brought about, and rape is a legitimate means of reproduction,
  • A woman’s body is an extension of the state and subject to state control,
  • It is the duty and responsibility of the state to encourage, regulate and manage reproduction, by any means.

This bill bodes badly in a world that many care to appellate ‘post-feminist’: its basis is spurious science and its implicit cruelty to the forcibly-impregnated and their offspring are, individually, reason enough to contest its legitimacy on humane grounds. Taken together they embody a legal and moral abomination; another in a history of many.

Trans-forming freedom of speech post ‘Burchill’

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The internet and social media have created hereforeto unimaginable opportunities for soothsayers and bullshitters alike. If the public at large took their sweet time catching on, then the establishment have been slower still and in their – predictably censorious – response. But they are catching on!

I love that every cult, wacko and minority of one has been given their opportunity to speak, to be exposed as charlatans, ridiculed or just plain ignored. I love even more that the deserving but disinfranchised have the opportunity to meet with likeminded souls across the globe; swap stories; laugh, cry and bitch together; draw strength from the recognition of their shared experience and even organize.

Social media sites are, of course, right to monitor and regulate content that they might be legally held to account for. But it speaks volumes to me about theirs and society’s real agenda when webpages, blogs and Tweets advocating for paedophiles, racists and malicious gossipmongers are left, ahem, unmolested whilst Feminist discourse is moderated without mercy. As Julie Burchill‘s recent Observer piece demonstrated, the voices and opinions of real women can sometimes be ugly – though fractionally as ugly as the voices and acts of the men and the patriarchy they speak out to condemn – but ugliness is neither here nor there where the truth is concerned.

I’ve been critical of the Trans lobby in my last couple posts – that the Moore/Burchill controversy came along when it did was pure coincidence for me. GenderTrender has been cataloguing both the ideological conflicts between the Transgender model and the practical – read: detrimental – impact it’s had on born-women for years. Like Burchill‘s article, the truth documented therein has sometimes been ugly; but also beautiful, because truth has a beauty all its own and demands to be heard. In a world so shaped by men and saturated with their violence, acknowledging and listening to the voice of women is crucial and GenderTrender provided a much needed platform for their voices.

And in their wisdom WordPress silenced those voices. Here is the last entry from GT administrator GallusMag prior to her admin privileges being suspended.

‘As some of you may know, my posting access to my GenderTrender wordpress.com blog was suspended at the end of the business day on Friday January 18. My last post, on Friday morning, was a collection of screen caps: a random sampling of the abusive and threatening tweets directed at Suzanne Moore following her “SEEING RED: THE POWER OF FEMALE ANGER” article re-publication.

Prior to Friday morning’s post I did five controversial posts in succession:

1.) I outed an MD and Phd who threatened to murder a bunch of radical feminists, also specifically targeting myself and Cathy Brennan. 1/10/2013 FRI

2.) I posted the text of Professor Sheila Jeffeys’ submission to the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 1/12/2013 SUN

3.) I posted the entire text (and published imagery) of Julie Burchill’s “Transsexuals Should Cut it Out”, which was subsequently censored in toto by the Guardian/Observer and for which she is now facing a government criminal inquiry. 1/13/2013 MON

4.) I posted commentary and photos and a partial re-blog of Dirt’s article calling out the racism and homophobia at the core of the initial trans response to Suzanne Moore’s use of the term “Brazillian transsexual” in her “SEEING RED: THE POWER OF FEMALE RAGE” article. 1/16/2013 THURS

5.) I posted a video of Precious “Jewel” Davis, a (self-professed) gay drag queen who recently “turned trans” from the “We Happy Trans” project . 1/16/2013 THURS

What a week!

My blog is “newsy”. When things are going on, I post them. And there is a lot going on right now. Specifically, there is a peak of public discourse around the feminist critique of gender. We have about a week before the general public becomes bored with this topic (as they do with all topics). Right now, this discourse is peaking- into the mainstream- in a way I’m not sure it has ever done before. This is a critical time.

Some of you have taken issue with the language Julie Burchill used in her now criminalized article and claim her bombastic tone has undermined the message. As if there was EVER a platform for that “message”. Suzanne Moore wasn’t “bombastic” and look what the fuck happened to her! Some of you have actively taken steps to discredit Burchill or distance yourself from her. Must step lightly, you say. Throw her off the boat! Backstabbing is a pointless discussion to have at this point. Clearly the trans politic is seizing the moment to re-frame their violent suppression of feminist – of WOMENS and LESBIAN voices- as an anguished “what about the menzzzz” cry to promote further censorship and no-platforming of feminist gender critiques, but remember, that is the same tact they use whether you are rude or polite. The polite Conway Hall feminist conference was no-platformed by the MRA/Trans alliance with terrorist bombing and murder threats. Mainstream feminist discourse has been taken over by males in an “oh so polite” way- backed up by threats of rape and death. Feminists who have tried to discourse with the trans politic have been- at best- mocked and distained. Whether you give an inch or a mile. Burchill simply chose to take on the abuse in stead of her friend Suzanne Moore. Julie is not a stupid woman. She has lanced a boil. That boil is the silencing of feminist voices by the transgender lobby. Whether that wound heals or encapsulates will be determined by our response. She has directed attention to this issue by throwing herself on a pyre into the angry mob. Immolation. That Burchill broad kicks some balls and goes down swinging. And where the fuck are you?

Let’s not waste this opportunity, shall we? We have the world’s attention. LET US SPEAK.

Unfortunately for me at GenderTrender, my voice has been silenced now by my website host at wordpress.com.

Yesterday Janet Mock of People Magazine, (he of “Girls Like Us” fame), decided to start a campaign against my blog. Early Friday morning (before my Suzanne Moore Tweet post) I became aware of a censorship campaign against GenderTrender, and all wordpress radical feminist blogs. There have been a million of these campaigns, but Mock is a very powerful man.
Mock initially became enraged when he read my post (Number 4 above) and saw a photo of himself, and “misgendering” (because it mentioned that he was male) and decided that women have no right to discuss or post photos of public figures on feminist blogs. Instead of filing a complaint with wordpress or messaging me with his demands (or just shutting the fuck up) he started a twitter campaign to ban my blog which was quickly seized by trans activists smelling blood in the water following their successful censorship of Burchill and success in driving Suzanne Moore off of twitter. All the usual suspects came on board within minutes: Hetero female “fag” Stephen Ira, Lefty “TGirl” inventor of the ladystick Savanna Garmon, Transfeminist Natalie “Die cis scum” Reed and all the rest. NO DISCUSSION of TRANS ACTIVISM by WOMEN they railed. GAG THESE BITCHES.

When I did not notice Mock’s campaign (because I never check my tweets and I was sleeping) he engaged his pals to post news articles complaining about wordpress.com’s hosting of gender critical and trans-critical blogs. The proposed banning of all female voices re: politics relating to gender, especially mine. I took action when I became aware of Mock’s campaign, specifically his charge that the public news-site photo I had used was off limits. To placate his male rage I replaced that pic with an alternate screen cap from another (NBC) appearance, and I kindly tweeted him that I had resolved his photo issue. Seriously, these guys literally think they can lobby on the national news and women have no right to discuss it. HOW DARE IT SPEAK???

I posted a few of the Suzanne Moore tweets, went to work, and when I came home my blog had TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND hits. And I was LOCKED OUT by wordpress.com.

I now have NO WAY to POST on MY OWN BLOG due to wordpress.com. It’s all well and good for feminists to have blogs and such that are gender critical, as long as no one is paying attention to them. You can post the most intelligent, elegant legal critique of the ways “Gender Identity” status negatively impacts woman AS LONG AS NO ONE READS IT. AS LONG AS NO ONE IS LISTENING. Women can have their tiny corners, their sekret cabals AS LONG AS NO ONE IS READING. Let the gals blow off steam in dark corners on Facebook. As long as it doesn’t hit the mainstream. Let the edumacated upper class folks have their little talks that no one finds interesting or engaging. But god forbid feminist voices start being heard en masse. God Forbid Julie Burchill says what EVERY FUCKING WOMAN ON EARTH IS THINKING. GOD FORBID Trans Media Watch cites GenderTrender as a SOURCE in the women vs. gender discourse.

Someone said this as a comment on my blog recently, much better than I’m about to mis-quote, but it was basically that the transgender politic around the social hierarchy of the sexes is so utterly flimsy that it can tolerate no critique whatsoever from women, and as a male-centric philosophy the realities of female experience CANNOT be tolerated.

WordPress.com, hosted by Automattic, has prevented me from posting this on the blog I have built up from the ground against all odds. And Gosh who cares about that? Who cares about Bindel and Greer and Jeffreys and Brennan and Moore and Benvenuto and Burchill? We still have our little corners where they can’t silence us. Keep voices hushed. Avert your eyes, sisters. Let’s spectate.

IF YOU GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ANY OF THIS – and I know many of you DO, I encourage you to RAISE A HOLY FUCKING SHITSTORM about the silencing of feminists who critique GENDER and PLASTIC SURGERY and MUTILATION and RAPE and FREEDOM FROM THE PEEN and ETC ETC ETC.

I mean this literally: SPEAK NOW or FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE.
Have a blog? UPDATE IT TODAY with a focus on FREEDOM OF SPEECH for women. COMPLAIN about death threats on women- and NOT to your “friends” on Facebook. COMPLAIN about CENSORSHIP of women. Call the fucking news agency. Call ten fucking friends to meet on Tuesday night to set out a goal-oriented political action plan to support freedom of speech for women. ASSERT the right for women to DISCUSS POLITICS even if those public figures are “TRANS GENDER”. Make that lame fucking account so you can leave that comment on that awful news story. Take action every single fucking day. But ESPECIALLY TODAY. It’s time to say NO to the censoring of women- even if they are more (or less!) plain-spoken than you would like.

You liked GenderTrender, you counted on me- well I have been ELIMINATED. Fucking GAGGED because people were listening.’

Anyone who recognizes the distinction between providing timely and reasoned criticism, and hate speech take note – if the distinction doesn’t suit the arbiters of the prevailing political climate, they’ll conflate the two and run you out of town for it. Feminists deserve to be heard because a) human fucking rights, and b) women – not trans – are, as ever, the most oppressed class throughout history and if you don’t care to hear what they have to say then what does that say about you, big man?

If you subscribe to me, or even if you don’t, please understand that this means a lot to me and I’d be obliged if you would reblog this, share it on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook etc. One click, it’s done…

Thankyou

p.s. here is the last piece GM posted – so much for the peace-loving, equal-ops Trans lobby and its friends:

 

Three Tools

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I’ve been concentrating on the political strand of my blog lately, to the detriment of my rock’n’roll persusions. I don’t apologise for that: media stories have been cropping up that have rightly grabbed my attention: I’ve been saddened and angered by by knee-jerk, bigoted responses to timely and perceptive social commentary by Suzanne Moore; and conversely felt psychically-restored by displays of public anger over the Jyoti Singh Pandey rape incident in Delhi: in a world where violence is normalized it’s good to be reminded that people (as Faith No More once sung) care a lot.

So today let there be rock… with a little bit of politics.

Tool were part of the ’90s alternative rock movement in the US – which included the likes of Nirvana, Hole, L7 and Rage Against The Machine – in Amerika. They attempted to kick back against the then-prevalent tide of cock-rock by embracing Feminism, and rejecting racism, homophobia and corporate politics along with the recognizable ‘rock star’ look.

Artistically, they embraced a range of diverse influences including Metal; Prog Rock (notably King Crimson); Punk; anti-capitalism; expressionist theatre and mysticism to create a brand which remains unique in the annals of US hard rock. Singer and lyricist, Maynard James Keenan is, in my mind, one of the all-time great rock vocalists; able to communicate pathos and anger; tenderness and disgust and often in the same song.

Despite Keenan having contributed to some worthy musical endeavors under the Puscifer and A Perfect Circle appelations, I’m personally itching for some new Tool (fnarr, fnarr) and persistent rumors suggest new material is on the way, albeit slowly…

The Pot and Hooker With a Penis are songs about hypocrisy; Wings for Marie/10,000 Days is both tribute and lament, inspired by Keenan‘s mother who died in 2003 after a prolonged illness. It’s one of my all time favourite songs by anyone: Keenan‘s puts in his best ever vocal performances and I choke up every time I hear it.

So enjoy…

Aside

So remind me, who are the haters? Who are the ‘phobes’?

This kind of cyber-bullying – particularly of women – is becoming increasingly common: it illuminates a dark side of the internet and social media which, terrifying as it is, should not be allowed to discourage us from utilizing these tools to our advantage and betterment.

The words of intelligent, perceptive and loving chroniclers of the human condition such as Moore are worth a million of these nasty little messages – but isn’t amazing how much of a person’s true character they betray so succinctly.

 

GenderTrender

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A partial Observer: not so liberal with the truth…

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Julie Burchill’s ‘Transphobic’ rant has been a long time coming. Actually, the liberal left and feminists have been dancing around each other – and frequently butting heads – in the moshpit of identity politics and intersectionality for some time now (check in here for a whistle-stop summary of some of the fundamentals of that dispute) and the only truly shocking thing is that it’s taken so long to become big news in the MSM. Once again, the spectre of Fleet Street and its international bretheren being eclipsed by web-based social media as the first point of contact for authentic public opinion rears it’s head…

It’s not insignificant that the most vociferous backlash – against Burchill in particular – has arisen from liberal quarters. The comments section of her article was flooded with ‘disgusted from Tunbridge Wells’ types crying transphobia! and misogyny! and both it, and the piece in question were swiftly removed from the paper’s website. and replaced with an apology and a promise to ‘investgate’ (you can still read it here). Their liberalism – prevalent today – is of the ‘I’m ok, you’re ok’ type which, in its rush to affirm the validity of all and sundry often fails to discern – as Moore does so eloquently in this piece in today’s Guardian – the difference between true liberation and a nominal equality. More damagingly still, such liberals miss, or perhaps ignore, how granting the latter to one group can impinge upon the former for another group. Thru my day job, I’ve met financially and emotionally vulnerable women who live under the omnipresent threat of deportation. They understandably feel less than liberated by the knowledge that the Abu Hamzas of this world are accorded full legal rights under equality law. Conflating the two has in the past lead – and continues to lead – to a kind of laissez-faire liberalism which perversely serves to uphold the worst tenets of patriarchal societies’ reactionary conservatism. It took ten years for Greater Manchester Police to investigate and bring charges against a mostly-Pakistani child prostitution ring in Rochdale; a delay caused in no small part by fears of being perceived racist. Similar fears continue to result in a paucity of prosecutions brought against African-Britons who continue to practice Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in contravention of British law. It’s surely not insignificant that in both the above instances, the integrity (and safety) of females is valued as subordinate to the integrity of ‘culture’. In fact, this is very much the norm and bears somewhat on the Trans subculture that feminists have long scrutinized, deconstructed and found wanting.

There’s a paradigm of woman-as-defective-man that goes right back to Genesis, has been perpetuated by modern intellectuals, notably Freud and continues to be reflected in today’s consumerist societies which offer a plethora of ‘fixes’ from clothes and make-up. thru feminine hygeine products and medicines to cosmetic surgery. None of these are inherently bad, and superficial relaxation of gender boundaries – driven more by capitalist market forces than humanitarian concerns, it must be noted – have meant that more men than ever are availing themselves of such. Nonetheless, gender is tied to the physicality of females – in addition to conventions of behaviour, the mode by which male gender is most regulated – and in practice this is embodied in notions of beauty; specifically and most insidiously in the notion that one can never be beautiful enough. To be a woman, then, is to submit to a lifelong regime of correction…

Moore’s ‘Brazilian Transsexuals’ analogy encapsulated this brilliantly, if controversially. What women are fed up with, she suggested (and this is my inference, mind) is an expectation that they conform to standards of womanhood created by men; with a beauty that connotes second-class citizenship, sexual availability and vulnerability.

It’s a pertinent point, and something that Trans-activists would do well to take note of. If, after many years of dissatisfaction with their prescribed gender roles they find their newly-appropriated female ones more unsatisfactory still then maybe it’s the confines of those roles they ought to be questioning – which is exactly what commentators such as Moore and Burchill are doing. If acceptable stereotypes of behaviour and dress oppress born women, then surely they must oppress Transwomen too? If an ideal standard of physical beauty excludes and frustrates a significant majority of born-women, then what chance do Transwomen stand? More sinisterly, the trappings of femininity that Transwomen co-opt mark them out as targets for male violence. The image of womanhood appealing to many men’s eyes is simply passive, accepting, penetrable: a ‘slut’ paradigm that popular media attatches to particular modes of physicality and dress but is in fact psychically pervasive beyond any such parameters. The cry of many detractors that Brazilian transsexuals are in fact, a marginalized group and subject to disproportionate levels of violence is well-made, but in directing their – intellectualized – ire at Moore and Burchill they somewhat miss the point: it’s not feminists – or indeed, women at all – who are doing the raping and the killing. One Twitter user apparently threatened to behead Suzanne Moore – many users of Brazilian transgendered prostitutes, and woman-haters at large, aren’t content with mere threats.