A man in a dress

You know, we are ridiculous.

I have been commenting on a blog for three years, and it was a shock when she came out as TERF. I don’t like that phrase: I don’t agree with all radical feminists say, but some of it is worthwhile. Some people are feminists, some find that just too hard, and instead become obsessive trans-excluders. It could be trans-excluding rubbish “feminists”, I suppose. Or trans-erasing ridiculous fantasists.

The title of her post included the word “pretendbian”, because if a trans woman is gynephile she can’t be a lesbian. Oh, no, the straights oppose that, supporting the lesbians. It went downhill from there:

I don’t support a transwoman (sic) standing as women’s officer
We’ve moved on from WATM to WATTW. It’s still male privilege assigned at birth pushing the agenda.
All result of the Me-me-me-I’m-a winner-and-always-right-and-I’ve-decided-this-is-right-so-you’re-wrong-and-terrible-person group?
Caitlyn Jenner broke my shriveled feminist heart. Not because she was on the cover, but because that image, a woman in lingerie, was what she put out there as what being a woman meant to her.
Claiming to be a lesbian is a joke when males try it on, whatever they happen to be wearing.
Were I a woman student I would not want a man in a dress representing me.

And then a real denizen of the rabbit-hole comes on:
You do realize that transactivists support males raping lesbians because they are right up there with the right wingers on science denying and conformity to gender roles?

Oh, God. You know a real TERF by the rape allegations. Anyone else is just playing at it.

A straight person who met a lot of people might meet a couple of dozen trans folk in a lifetime. They don’t meet any more than that unless they work in a gender clinic. What can we do about this abuse? Turn the other cheek, really. We can’t fight back, there are too few of us. If we argue, they get more and more aggressive and deluded. So ignore the “man in a dress” or “pretendbian” jibes, and if you hear a rape allegation get out of the way. This is what I have learned when someone I thought a friend starts spewing this bile.

I have had a relationship with a lesbian. Because of this, others wanted to exclude her from the Northern Older Lesbians’ Group. The word “lesbian” matters to me far less than the relationship. It was warm and beautiful. The term “cotton ceiling”, coined by a foolish cis ally, had little currency among trans folk but has become a symbol for the TERFs of how vile we are. It is a little wearing when someone is terribly keen to repeat that they would never ever in a million years have sex with a person like me, but, you know, there are other fish in the sea. I doubt I would argue them into it.

We trans women are ridiculous. Often, we don’t look particularly good in our floral dresses. Our body-shape is wrong for many of the clothes we wear. Unless you want your scalp peeled back then a motorised grinder sanding your skull away your face probably won’t be that pretty. Someone who has met a few trans folk gets able to read us. All we can do is embrace that. Ceasing to fear being ridiculous is freedom.

Hieronymus Bosch

23 thoughts on “A man in a dress

  1. Any and every human being under scrutiny could be deemed ridiculous. So let’s brush that aside all together.
    As for RS… who knows? Sometimes people turn out to be something other than we expected. Sometimes they just go down a destructive path and that’s that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was a bad sign when she started telling me what to wear, because how I looked was oppressing her.

      The anger and disgust gets to me. OK, she thinks “women’s officer” has a particular purpose, and you need particular experiences to carry it out properly. But she’s all, how dare she? and “tell me how wearing floral dresses subverts gender stereotypes”. Of course I do live my life to please other people, but that is not all of it.

      Added: If the lesbian man in a dress had any awareness at all of women’s issues, he wouldn’t even be presenting himself for office. Women do not need to be represented by yet another person brought up with white male entitlement and privilege. Eyeroll.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve just spent an afternoon reading all the comments on that blog (I usually takes me several reads of any particular comment to be sure that I comprehend most of the nuances). I must say that RSitM’s stance was a surprise to me. But perhaps she had had some specific experiences that colour her views.

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        • Well, it was late after noon when I typed the reply, but as I have come across a few other blogs recently along similar lines or attempt to define me on the basis that I possess a Y chromosome, I tried for a further few hours to try to make sense of it all. It was late evening before I decided my head hurt too much from over exertion and I finally hit SEND. We make a fine pair 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • My favourite is “M-T”. Rather than “M-F”, male to female, it is “male to trans”. So much bitter venom in two letters and a dash! It is elegant. Though most of what they say is verbose and repetitive.

      Oh, and- this one comes from the far right. “Genetically correct pronouns”- or, calling me “he” and feeling self-righteous about it.

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    • Welcome, and thank you for commenting. It is lovely to meet you.

      Founded in October of 2015, Silver Lining is an open community for everyone to gather and support one another. We wish to alleviate the burgeoning problem of teen depression and anxiety in the world by creating a loving and nurturing community. To accomplish this, we post encouraging quotes and messages on our various social media pages, and encourage everyone to love and be the change they wish to see in the world.

      What I mean is, you can’t please all the people all of the time. Some people find me ridiculous. Very well, I am ridiculous; I can still “live happily every day and show life who’s boss”.

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  2. Even if one may think he/she is ridiculous depending on how one carries oneself with the ridiculousness the others will follow or not, ah what does it matter how others view us, as long as we view our self with comfort, whether small or large…

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    • @ inavukic; As one who has been the victim of abuse including two violent assaults simply because others viewed me as being unworthy of humane treatment, I think it does matter a great deal how others view us. When others view you as defective and treat you accordingly, it matters little how you view your self. I have written about the first assault on my post Last meal. The second assault occurred some 6 or 7 years later, but that’s one I’m not yet ready to talk about.

      Being on the autism spectrum, means that one is often treated as an idiot, and you’d be surprised how little patience and tolerance most people have for someone they think is stupid. I’m fortunate in that I have learnt how to pass as being “normal”. It’s a charade I can manage for a few minutes before the effort becomes too exhausting, but for those who are unable to fake it, it must be very difficult.

      I have a double whammy in that I have migraines that can leave me with reduced cognitive skills and the inability comprehend or use language. I can assure you, you don’t want to be on the receiving of some of the treatment I have experienced under those circumstances.

      Liked by 2 people

      • As long as you are no longer a victim – or better said: as long as you do not permit yourself to live as victim then it does not matter what others view you as. Sure, it’s difficult to live among people who take pleasure in bullying and abuse but once “my” opinion of myself is higher than that of another it stops to matter what other people think of me. The alternative would seem to be that one desires to be like “them” and I do not want that, I’d rather cross the road as I see “them” coming, Barry – so to speak. Certainly I can relate to what you have gone through reading your article, at least a little bit, and certainly you cannot assume others have not gone trough similar abuse, in different context, but much is in the power telling oneself to fight against and reject from ones life such scum of humanity. Not always possible but gradually I believe it is possible to reject living as victims and simply place the nasty past into the nasty memories bag. I am very aware of the “world’s” inability or unwillingness to understand the difficulties people on the spectrum might be going through cognitively – it often outrages me – perhaps that’s a part of the reason why I have spent decades in working in the field, hoping to make a positive difference

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t live as a victim, but the attitudes of others does place restrictions on my life that wouldn’t happen if ablism wasn’t so universal. The bullying would also be less common without the prejudice.

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  3. I find it interesting that she won’t get into a proper discussion about it in public. The discussion she had here with you about a month ago, was it?, that’s the only time I’ve read her come out and say what she genuinely seems to be thinking. But even then, I suspect she has more, deep inside, and that’s why she encourages the hater comments. The opinions are there, but she didn’t have to say them herself. It’s a reblog!! I think she’s not comfortable with her own opinion on this, but like many people pushed into a corner is only becoming more rabid about it.

    Another way to cope with it is to feel sorry for them maybe. They’ve all had bad experiences, clearly. I feel sorry for them that they’re so injured that can’t see the clear parallels with discrimination that affects them. It’s bizarre.

    And, it reminds me of my 4 year old making sense of the world with her observational approach to the Rules of Living. Boys can’t wear dresses. That’s about the level of their thinking.

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    • “The Prosecutors” is a documentary on BBC4. A woman was on the school run south of Manchester when a man in a Porsche crossed the centre marking line and slammed into her car head on, killing her son. He was convicted of causing death by careless driving. After the trial she wanted to see him: she wanted to tell him not to let this ruin his life. It was, at least in part, an unfortunate accident.

      The documentary shows quite a lot of her, and at one point I was thinking, “What a lovely top”- a sweater with hearts on it. It seemed to me that this is a woman fairly comfortable with cultural understandings of femininity.

      And some women aren’t, and feel judged and found wanting for who they are; and feel they have fewer opportunities because of it. Probably they are right. I have a lot of sympathy, because I don’t fit the cultural understanding of masculinity.

      It’s not, “boys can’t wear dresses”, it’s that wearing dresses does not make us women. Some of it is really really angry, some of it is arguing we should be accepted but seen as men- put in the men’s changing rooms, for example, and the solution is to protect us there rather than to put us somewhere else. If we were OK in the gents’, that might be a solution; but given that we would not be, now, I find it unattractive.

      For the trans excluders I am the symbol of all they resent about culturally enforced femininity and womanhood, because I am a man being stereotypically feminine. I wish they would have some sense of proportion.

      Liked by 1 person

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