Archives for January 2020

Brazen Mission: Motherhood As Feminism

For many years, Feminism has encouraged women to turn our backs on the kitchen.

From De Beauvoir to Friedan, through to Sandberg and others, we are shown Traditional Womanhood as Debasing. As Zombifying. As Unfortunate Details.

Surely any self-respecting woman with half a brain would decline to pursue life as a “Housewife.”

Bikini Desk

So, I should feel more like a whole person behind this desk than I do in front of a stove?

But you’re not married to the house (although it does feel like that sometimes) and this lifestyle made little sense to me until I had my children.

When you are the mother of a newborn, your world is suddenly very small. It expands back out over time, but it’s never quite the same.

I’m tired of everything related to motherhood – Which, I was surprised to discover, permeates the entire domestic sphere – being relegated to the Unserious. The Silly. The Frivolous. The Girly.

Because why would anyone want a safe, comfortable home stocked with clean dishes, laundry and surfaces? Why would we want children to have a good foundational education and manners?

Why would we want to eat fresh, nutritious food? Or take time to care for our personal possessions? Or groom ourselves with anything besides a comb? Or wear fashionable footwear? Or any of the innumerable other things people have rolled their eyes at me for taking seriously.

How about a home free of mold? Or a relationship with your children that results in them talking to you voluntarily after they become adults?

Just Girly Things, right?

Baking Fail

Some of this stuff is downright gross!

Then there’s the double-standard at work, with moms being punished while dads get raises.

Most women work, but women still do most of the housework. We’ve all seen the headlines.

Well, housework is Women’s Work, which means it’s worth less.

Raising children is considered less valuable work than stock trading. By a million miles. That lazy bitch needs to get those brats under control, right guys?

The future of the human race doesn’t even compare to the future of your portfolio.

This is the world we live in. And I’m really over it.

In order to be Taken Seriously, Feminism has chosen to distance itself from Traditional Womanhood (TW). “You’re right, boys,” we said, “all that stuff really is Silly.”

In earlier days, this approach had strong strategic advantages. Downplaying any traces of femininity kept the boys who held the purse from being too distracted by it.

Before birth control, femaleness actually was a liability outside of motherly pursuits. Your choices were remain celibate, date other women, or risk pregnancy.

But The Pill has been around for 60 years. It has enabled us to take our place alongside men in the workforce (that they created) powering the economy (that they built.)

Clean Apron

My time to shine!

Academia, well known as the reserve of the effete and effeminate, is now majority female. In the near future, the doctor or lawyer you see will more likely be a woman than a man.

We have wielded the power won for us by our grandmothers to some good effect. Why does the core experience of humankind and the seat of female power remain outside the sphere of Women’s Liberation?

The irony of fighting for women’s rights while ignoring the thing that makes us female in the first place is exquisitely absurd.

Even if you will never be a mother, you have one. We all have a deep understanding of that foundational experience and how it shapes us as people. Our mothers set the tone for our lives.

This is true of everyone to ever walk the earth.

Not making it a cornerstone of the movement is missing a giant opportunity to shape the future.

My original mission in founding BrazenShe was to give voice to these ideas. Once somewhat nebulous, now chiseled against time and experience into sharp, fine lines.

Motherhood has to be brought into the fold of Feminism. In a big way and as soon as possible.

Read More on how Motherhood Can Be Radical

“Transition expresses not the truth of an identity but the force of a desire”

Andrea Long Chu is a transwoman who hopes to upend the whole gender paradigm.

I have covered the Trans issue in quite a bit of depth lately. Before I move on to some more women-centered stuff, I had to bring you this interview I read today.

Say What

Oh geez, what now?

Chu’s fascinatingly offensive hypothesis is that Femaleness equals Passivity. In a Yin & Yang sort of way. Stripped of any metaphorical disambiguation.

“‘Femaleness’ is the urge to be a vessel for another’s desire.”

To say nothing of menstruating or breastfeeding or any of the 1,000 other things women may experience but men never do. That’s a damned convenient definition of Female for those who aren’t.

“My desire originated outside of me.” Chu is full of charmers like this: The classic idea that inspires Modesty laws all over the world. Women are blamed for men’s lust.

So, lots of gross, misogynist stuff. But then the interviewer asks,

“I wonder how we decided that passivity was so taboo that we want to project it away from us? That it was [therefor] just for women?”

A surprisingly good, gender-critical question. Masculinity is defined socially in opposition to Femininity. Often, undesirable things are pushed onto women as society’s scapegoat.

Chu responds with predictably convoluted sexism: “Because it’s destructive. If you were to experience your femaleness in its pure state, then you would just be completely flattened out.”

Girl With Skull

Just girly things!

This is the same old complementarian crap that said anything but passivity is unladylike. Positively Victorian!

He rambles a bit about how gender is something internalized from outside. Socially constructed, like beauty or race. “What makes gender

gender, as opposed to something else? What if gender is not a matter of who one is, but of what one wants?”

Hmmm….

“Transition expresses not the truth of an identity but the force of a desire.”

Did he just admit the Emperor has no clothes??

“Gender is the expression of someone else’s sexuality.”

Stop right there.

He might have something here! Think about it – Gender is imposed by society. It is what we think others expect of us.

Glamour Shots

I need to see society’s ideal in the mirror so I can finally be happy!

If Chu succeeds in disseminating these ideas, they will directly undermine a lot of what Trans Theory claims. If transition isn’t about Living Your Truth, suddenly it isn’t so damn important.

So, while this fellow is clearly twisted up in some serious misunderstandings of psychology, it’s fascinating to me how he seems to have gone the long way round to get right back to Male Psychobabble 101 – Female = Passive.

So sit down and let my neovagina explain things.

Sorry, no.

His declaration that “we’re all female” is just the latest version of some ancient bullshit. But, as such, it exposes itself. It is the same old tune we’ve been trying to get out of our heads all along.

So, we know exactly how to counter this stuff. They’re coming back in our direction, ladies! Is it crazy to hope those who follow this stuff will think themselves all the way through to the other side?

If Girls Aren’t Real, Someone Should Tell Jazz Jennings

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal is currently hearing a case of a little girl whose teacher told her little girls don’t exist.

After a few rounds of this, the 6-year-old told her parents she needed to “go to the doctor” because she “had to do something” about being a girl.

“If everyone has a gender identity,” said Ontario public defender Lisa Bildy, “and [they] are protected under the Code, then her identity as a girl should be protected.”

But they are not stopping there. The complaint goes on to allege that the teacher’s conduct undermined the girl’s foundational concept of herself. And that it contradicted biological reality.

A Young Woman Reading A Book While Taking A Bath Image In Beauty And Fashion Category At Pixy.org

Settle in, this is getting good!

Gender vs. Sex

“Gender” is a strange word.

Mainstream liberal thought is confusing on this topic. Let’s see if we can find some clarity.

I grew up understanding it to be a synonym for “sex.” Because “sex” is a word so naughty, us kids just replaced it with “It.” – “Were they doing…. IT?”

In school I encountered the concept of gendered words – In French, a car is “feminine.” German has three categories, including “neuter.”

We all tried to wrap our kiddo heads around the idea of sexed objects. The teachers assured us it wasn’t important. Just memorize them, there’s no real meaning there.

I’ve been told by older people that they had never seen the word “gender” outside of language and grammar until the 80s or 90s.

So my young understanding of its meaning was a new usage. But I’m not alone.

Liberal Contradictions

Reading On The Settee

What the hell did I just read??

Fast forward 25 years to today, and the situation has only gotten more confusing. What was once titled “Sex Reassignment Surgery” has been renamed “Gender Confirmation.”

Looking around, I see assertions of the existence of “lady penis.” In the same debate, the argument is that “gender” and “sex” are completely independent. Even that sex is a “social construct” and gender determines what we are.

Modern liberal thought is riddled with contradictions like this. I mean, transwomen are definitely women. But, is it because of their internal feminine essence? Or because they are literally physically female?

Jazz Jennings

In the case of Jazz Jennings, the answer is both. Or as close as humanly possible. This child has lived the trans dream – early puberty blockers, homeschooling, plenty of money for whatever hormones and surgery was required to achieve the womanhood his little self required to flower.

So why isn’t Jazz happy?

If the premise behind transing children is sound, why did Jazz put off Harvard for mental health reasons? Why is he telling friends that’s he’s “lost”?

Are Trans People Sterilized??

(Yes!)

Yesterday I read what may be the most disingenuous thing I have ever seen.

Facepalm

You took the facts and turned them inside out!

“This week may be the first you heard about transgender sterilization,” The Daily Beast’s Samantha Allen suggests.

But I highly doubt it. Poor Jazz recently underwent this very procedure, to much fanfare.

It’s the “bottom surgery” we hear so much about. Jazz Jennings doesn’t have a functional female reproductive system. Nor does he have a male one. That’s what this surgery does.

Ms. Allen’s complaint is that, to be legally recognized as their chosen sex, trans people are required to undergo this procedure. This is still true in many places around the world.

“The answer to the question, ‘should transgender people be sterilized before they are recognized?’ is, of course, ‘No.’ The real outrage here is that the question continues to be asked.”

No one is asking that question.

Men and Women Have Existed for Eons

If you want to change sex, that requires you to change sex.

It’s probably a terrible idea. I don’t support operating on otherwise healthy bodies in ways that will likely severely limit their sexual function as well as neutering any reproductive capacity.

Neither of which children understand at all, of course.

4 Redheads

If I’m a girl, can I get out of this?

But that’s what that surgery is. This is not news.

I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to do that. But this is how we get people talking about lady penises and man periods.

Mostly silent the last month, Jazz did write on Instagram, “Words have such a huge impact and can forever change one’s life.” Prophetic irony from a child who was made into a test subject on national TV.

The show is scheduled to come back in January. Last season it rated #11.

I hope Jazz has a trust fund.

The power we have as adults to shape the mind of a child is awesome and terrifying.

And with such hard spin – Don’t sterilize the poor trans people! – it’s difficult to keep a steady gaze, if you had one to begin with. And little kids, of course, do not.

Jazz and the little girl in Ontario are two players in a much bigger scene. But these individuals humanize these ideas. The realization in the flesh of transgender ideology is often disturbing.

The concept of a gendered essence is offensively retrograde, anyway. Let children be children. Don’t sterilize the poor weird kids!

Political Lesbians and the Death of Postmodernism

Political lesbianism has always been controversial.

First coined in the 1960s, women are encouraged to “get men out of their heads and out of their beds.”

Which may very well be good advice. But the group promoting this plan, the Revolutionary Feminists, were very much literal and total in their meaning.

Lay Off, Gary

Gary, I told you! I like girls now!

Choose to Be A Lesbian?

Their most famous outing was a booklet published in 1981. It established, among other things, that lesbianism is a choice any woman can make.

Wait a minute. Sexual orientation is a choice? That’s exactly the opposite of the foundation of the Gay Rights Movement. Gay people can’t just choose to be straight. And vice-versa.

The biggest name in Revolutionary Feminism these days (not to be confused with Radical Feminism) is Julie Bindel. She has an active Twitter, which I have followed for some time. She publishes books and magazine articles. She is intelligent, caring and articulate.

She also makes the same mistake as anyone who says these things with a straight face –

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

“I also suspect,” says Bindel with her nose firmly in the air, “that it is very difficult to spend your daily life fighting against male violence, only to share a bed with a man come the evening.”

I guess. If you see all men like photocopies of the same man over and over, varying only in levels of clarity.

The individual is not the group. The intellectual laziness of this position almost outweighs its discussion.

Except that it persists. Author Maura Dudas’ amusingly relatable musing captures the conundrum: “I can’t seem to fathom how in the 60s, in the midst of flower power,… this hateful movement survived and how greater problems of the era seemed not to enjoy prominence for these people.”

Living unaffected amidst the Civil Rights Movement does seem a little odd. Could this be the root of the hated, exclusionary so-called “White Feminism” I’ve heard so much about? Because I’m very white but arguably more Feminist than anyone who puts race or class above sex.

Man-HatersPatriarchy Lies Tweet

The Revolutionary Feminist booklet was seized on by anti-feminists and used to smear the whole movement. “Man-hating dykes” suddenly didn’t seem like an exaggerated description.

Revolutionary Feminism assumes all women to be superior to all men.

I can’t say this thought has never occurred to me. But sexism is sexism, ladies! We are supposed to be fighting that, remember?

Julie Bindel is the one who put forth the completely unhelpful suggestion that we collect all the men on an island reserve. Straight women could borrow them “like library books.”

How anyone takes this seriously is beyond me.

But it has real consequences for actual lesbians.

Women who love other women are fetishized and misunderstood. They do not choose to be lesbians as a rejection of men. Newsflash: Lesbians’ sexuality doesn’t have anything to do with men!

But all of this is pretty definitive. I’m not leaving much room for individual interpretation.

Postmodern Lesbians?

Dump The Vase

My last experiment showed cold water over the head will wake him up, but I must collect for data. For science!

Postmodernism is the philosophical concept that objective reality doesn’t exist. It has risen to prominence as the Enlightenment faded into History and modern life fueled massive paradigm shifts.

By now, this train of thought has run out of track. Some things are objectively observable. Modern medicine and computer science both rely on this fact.

If reality is never settled, anything is possible. While I’m sure some women do choose to be lesbians, I suspect most of them are actually bisexual. Because sexuality does exist outside of the pure force of our will.

Postmodernism is the Pandora’s box of philosophy. Along with much-needed flexibility, it has birthed some toxically divisive ideas.

Feminism Without Women?

This kind of discourse pushes lesbians out of Feminism.

Feminism pushing out women who love women is tragically absurd.

Political Lesbianism demonstrates the limitations of Postmodernism.

And what’s worse, Postmodernism has a lot going for it. It has allowed for the rewriting of many rules that held us all back. It put another nail in the coffin of religion. It’s the Existentialist notion that the world can be whatever we make it.

Man Is A Blur

He can be whatever you don’t want him to be!

Within the limits of physical reality. Unless you’re a Revolutionary Feminist. Or a cultural relativist. Or a trans person.

Each of these masquerades as Feminism while pissing on women’s rights. The simple, objective fact that women are whole human beings must be our core guiding principle or we risk betraying our goals.

And losing a lot of valuable philosophical gains in the process.

Postmodernism allows the redefinition of big concepts, like Marriage, from ‘a man and a woman bound by God for procreation‘ to ‘a committed union between consenting adults.’

Or the redefinition of Woman from ‘subhuman breeding stock‘ to ‘adult human female.’

Many liberals today simply ask, Why stop there? It’s the Slippery Slope all those paranoid conservatives warned us about.

Objective reality is why we stop there. Reproducible results and avoiding harm. Because harming people is objectively bad. Yes, even if they are men.

Things are crazy these days but I truly think, if we can keep a collective grip and avoid slipping into rigid thinking, we will come around to a better understanding of ourselves and the lessons of recent history.

I just hope I live long enough to see it.

Social Justice as Abuse

The phrase ‘social justice’ is often invoked to describe lofty principles individuals and institutions are expected to follow. But what happens when people misuse the power of these ideas?

Sleeping On The Couch

I just don’t feel safe sharing a space with someone who disagrees with me!

This fascinating article details seven ways social justice language can become abusive in intimate relationships:

  1. Using identity to avoid responsibly (we could almost stop right there….)
  2. Using ‘desirability politics’ to coerce someone into sex (AKA rapesee: Cotton Ceiling)
  3. Disguising putting someone down as calling out oppression (“Punch TERFS!”)
  4. Forcing someone to stay for ‘anti-oppressive’ reasons
  5. Making a partner responsible for life and death (“When you don’t affirm my transition I feel like killing myself!”)
  6. Calling out some things while ignoring others (liberals and SJWs, your slip is showing!)
  7. Using oppression to deny one’s own agency (isn’t this the same as #1?)

It kind of feels like this author was stretching for length, but they do present an interesting angle.

We all know people are amazing at rationalizing our actions. Those who are most passionate about social justice causes are often those with their own trauma. It makes sense that sensitive souls might use their interpersonal defenses to shield themselves in a weak moment.

Bratty In Orange

But I just want what I want!

Author Kai Cheng Thom tells how this idea first came to their attention:

“A few years ago, I took a deep breath, looked one of my closest friends in the eye and told him…. he should stop beating his boyfriend.

“He shook his head…. ‘But it isn’t abuse if I hit him, I’m more oppressed than he is.'”

Facing this absurdity caused Kai to take stock of things. “I was forced to wonder, does this mean a ‘most oppressed’ person could never be responsible for abusing a ‘less oppressed’ person? Can a woman never abuse a man, or a racialized person a white person?”

Putting aside this new word – racialized – that once again lumps everyone who isn’t white into one giant category – this is obviously not true.

Of course women can abuse men. Power dynamics are not black and white like that. A mother has a special ability to abuse a son. It seems to be an executable offense when a black man looks like he might assault a white man.

Kai came to the conclusion that sometimes social justice concepts are misused between individuals. I have observed this in my own life, and I’m thankful to Kai for naming the issue so succinctly.

Emotional Labor

If only I could shake this feeling of responsibility for your emotional state!

But after reciting the list of every major social justice movement, “Feminism, anti-racism, queer and trans advocacy, and other kinds of social justice-based thinking,” Kai fails to take this observation to the systemic level.

Is it possible that this dynamic plays out at the group level? Could whole social systems be tilted towards abuse?

Of course!

The Catholic Church comes to mind. Any corrupt government or business. It seems like greed is the most common motivation, but personal gratification is not far behind.

The most interesting thing about this article is the identity of the author: “I believed those things…. with all my traumatized, terrified trans girl of color heart. A part of me still does.”

It’s thrilling to see someone exercise their capacity for independent thought. But the insight boils down to identifying yet another way that people twist circumstances to avoid responsibility for negative consequences.

Stop Or I'll Shoot

I won’t hurt you if you don’t trigger me!

And ironic, of course, because this so closely aligns with the tactics of the Trans Movement in general.“Using oppression to deny one’s own agency” is an opaque way to describe scapegoating your own failure.

‘I would write my novel if I weren’t so depressed.’

‘I would get a degree if I could find the time.’

‘I would get more dates if people weren’t transphobic.’

This stuff happens all the time. We have all done it.

The difference is, most people don’t found a social movement in this idea. Switching sex is impossible. Gender is in your mind. Dysphoria is a mental issue.

But this Russian nesting doll concept of oppression has led us to a place where scapegoating is enshrined in the trappings of Justice.

Women are oppressed around the world. Black people are oppressed in the United States. The lower classes are oppressed by definition.

Trans people are not oppressed. There is no institution dedicated to suppressing them as the Ku Klux Klan is to suppressing Black people, or as religion is built to control women.Transphobic Tweet

Trans people die at a much higher rate than the average because they are mentally ill. Mental illness has a very negative impact on one’s quality of life.

And instead of helping these people learn to accept themselves as they are, society is nurturing the notion something is wrong with them.

How is that not evil??

It reminds me of the famous story of the Dancing Plague. Hundreds of people in a town in Medieval England spontaneously began dancing and were apparently unable to stop. These days they call this phenomenon Mass Hysteria.

Mass Hysteria is what caused the Witch Burnings and the Red Scare. We modern people are not immune – Our mass communication world may be more susceptible to something that spreads through ideas.Love Dysphoria

Like the idea that you can switch sex. Or that biology is a social construct. Not much more sensible than executing wise women or dancing nonstop.

And, like each of these, our version has serious physical consequences for those who find themselves on the wrong side of it.

I’m glad to see this independent analysis from that side of the fence, but it’s dated 2016. I guess this line of thought didn’t catch on.

I wonder why 🤔

Did Meghan Murphy Make the Transwomen Disappear?

Yesterday evening in Toronto, the irrepressible Meghan Murphy spoke for about 30 minutes at the public library.

Her program, Gender Identity – Society, the Law and Women, follows in a string of appearances in Canada and Britain. These events are increasingly controversial, and the Toronto library was the scene of vehement protest.

Library Protest

Protesters shouted slogans outside the Toronto Library

Meghan is a Feminist freelance writer. She has become more and more high-profile since Gender ID became law in Canada.

(Seriously, they even record crime statistics according to the offender’s “expressed gender” rather than sex. Get ready for a spike in “female” crime in Canada….)

Meghan has riled the zeitgeist with her stance, “A woman is female. That’s it. And if you are born male there is no way to become female. It’s simply not biologically possible.”

As little as a few years ago, this would not have been a controversial statement.

However, if you have built your worldview on these ideas, this could feel like a personal attack.

Freedom Of Speech?

The protesters waved signs rejecting Hate. They reacted to the attendees like it was a KKK meeting. A large police presence kept them at bay. In recordings, they can be heard chanting, “Trans rights are human rights!” and “Hate speech is not free!”

Be Quiet I'm On The Phone

Yeah, it’s cool, I speak for her!

Librarian Vickery Bowles disagrees. You can’t choose what voices to protect under freedom of speech…. We seem to be in a place where there is less tolerance for a diversity of viewpoints and civil discourse is discouraged…. This isn’t just happening in Toronto. This is happening in libraries and other institutions throughout the world.

“We make our decisions based on the purpose of the meeting, not the groups who make the booking…. The stated purpose of the Murphy booking is to have an educational and open discussion of the concept of gender identity, and its legislative ramifications on women in Canada.

“We’re seeing challenges to free speech in government and political venues…. And the public library is a place to engage in civil debate on important, controversial issues.”

The Trans Lobby’s problem is not with the tone of the debate, but with its existence.

Watching this develop over the last few years, I have seen a pattern of women raising questions, only to be shouted down and abused. Over and over I have read the story of a good liberal whose better nature was put upon until she couldn’t take it anymore and had to admit the absurdity of the whole thing.

Their claim is trans people are their chosen gender. Not presenting as, not passing as, but literally and unquestionably. A penis can be female if its owner says it is.

What About My Nonbinary Friend?

Haunted

I just can’t seem to get comfortable with this situation!

There is serious slippage between the words ‘Sex’ and ‘Gender.’ Let’s define those real quick:

Sex – An individual’s potential reproductive capacity (this is important because it’s how we make more people)

Gender – Societal expectations and assumptions placed upon individuals based on their sex

When someone “doesn’t identify with” their gender, it’s because their personality falls outside the societal parameters for their sex. Nonbinary people reject the idea of being forced into one or the other, and seem to pick and choose what elements strike them on any given day.

I don’t know whether they consider their bodies to change sex when they are in “girl mode” or “boy mode,” but many transwomen seem to approach it from a more concrete perspective.

Because if a transwoman is attracted to women, any woman who declines to get involved is labeled a “transphobe” or a “genital fetishist.”

Gay Erasure

Stonewall, a previously influential gay rights group in the UK, has even gone so far as to redefine homosexuality. All progress on gay rights is effectively erased in their purview with the simple redefinition of same-sex attraction as same-gender attraction.

And if a penis is female, not only have you lost the right of refusal, you are a bigot if you try to invoke it.

Pushback

Yeah, you’re gonna get some pushback on this!

But none of this is allowed to be discussed. Because “Transwomen Are Women.” End of story.

Do Transwomen Exist?

Meghan Murphy’s argument that the redefining of ‘Woman’ will have an effect on women seems painfully obvious. She is accused of “hate speech” for saying men are male. She is accused of “erasure” of trans people by denying their existence.

The absurdity of this accusation – Of course they exist. We’re arguing with them! – belies the underlying logic.

If men can’t be women, then transwomen are men. Not any kind of woman at all.

Viola, transwomen don’t exist.

Pretty easy, really.

So, while Meghan does seem to be saying what she is accused of, it’s not hatred. Or violence. And she’s certainly not saying trans people don’t get any rights. They already have the same rights as everyone else.

….In regards to anti-discrimination law, I propose we disallow any discrimination that isn’t immediately relevant to the situation. You can decline to rent property to someone with bad credit; their race should not be a factor. Or politics. Or lifestyle. Or whatever.

During a live Tweet of Meghan’s talk, the Tweeter seemed to momentarily get cold feet. “She’s never said TW aren’t women, just that males are male.”

Plant My Flag

I’m just gonna plant my little flag right here!

This stuck in my craw. The very idea that women should be able to speak about our sex-based rights assumes the existence of males and females. I am tired of splitting hairs. If males can become females, the whole concept of sex-based anything comes into question.

So, I’m gonna say it.

Transwomen don’t exist

They are confused men. And I have even run into a few who agree with this.

Women have finally attained some level of equality in Western society. No way am I going to sit quietly while it is redefined out of existence.

Meghan Murphy and others like her (that’s right, there are a few of us) inspire me and make me proud to be a woman. And I will use what voice I have to speak up for us.

Take My Breasts, Please! Young Women’s Crisis of Identity

It’s time to talk about breasts.

Specifically, mastectomies – The surgical removal of breast tissue. According to the Mayo Clinic, this procedure is intended for those suffering from breast cancer, or those at high risk of same.

But, like so many other things, this procedure is being used in what can only be called an “off-label” way to treat transgender people. Transmen (that’s self-loathing women, for those keeping score) are starting to tell their stories of undergoing this procedure without understanding its ramifications. They describe a streamlined pipeline, wherein chopping off titties is treated as just the next step to fulfilling your dreams.

Nightmare

Don’t worry, honey – We can cure the nightmare of Womanhood with crowdfunding!

I bring this up now for two reasons:

  1. The media tends to focus on transwomen, the Laverne Coxes and Caitlyn Jenners of the world. But in the younger set, transmen (girls) far outnumber them. Some measures put this number at 4:1.
  2. We are reaching critical mass.

Listen to the Doctors

The UK appears to be Ground Zero for this modern social contagion. The Tavistock Centre is the only “gender development” (a phrase which should give us pause) clinic in Britain.

The past three years have seen upwards of 30 resignations from Tavistock. It appears not everyone is on board with the Brave New World.

Now, one of them has taken the institution to court.

Susan Evans was a psychiatric nurse at Tavistock. The 62 year old conscience-bearer has brought suit with the High Court against the Trust that runs the Centre, and the National Health Service itself. She is joined by a woman called “Mrs. A.”, a mother concerned for her 15 year old daughter who wants to be a boy, and Keira Bell, a desisted transman.

We Don’t Want to Be Girls (read: Sub-Human)

Keira is the one making headlines. She has taken over the role of lead plaintiff, telling interviewers, “The treatment urgently needs to change so that it does not put young people, like me, on a torturous and unnecessary path that is permanent and life-changing.”

Young Widow

Can’t you see I have my own shit I’m dealing with??

Keira is 23 now. She has a better understanding of herself than when she started treatment at 16. She had her breasts removed at 20, after years of hiding them. Hiding from them.

“Hormone-changing drugs and surgery doesn’t work for everyone and it certainly should not be offered to someone under the age of 18 when they are emotionally and mentally vulnerable.”

My heart breaks for Keira and girls like her. If I were 15 years younger, I would be lining up for my testosterone. I went through what is apparently an all-too-common phase back when none of this literature or infrastructure existed.

The Personal Can Make You Political

I intuitively understood that any kind of transition would really just be trading one set of problems for another. Just to be practical, I’m 5’4″ with 40″ hips. No one is ever going to mistake me for a man.

I hacked my way through the jungle of internalized misogyny born of being an underachieving “gifted” kid, who perverts assume is a nympho. (Thanks, pop culture stereotypes!) And I did it mostly alone. I spent some time in queer spaces through my 20s but never really felt at home there.

I was 27 before I understood radical acceptance. Before I really saw that I identified with male characters because they were the ones doing interesting things. That tampons are $5 a box but condoms are free and plentiful.

Kids

Let kids be kids!

Etc., etc., ad nauseum.  I do not blame these droves of young women for opting out of being a sex object in this culture where violent porn is mainstream. I get it.

We Must Support Young Women in Defining Themselves

Fast-tracking them onto puberty blockers that reduce bone density and most never come off of is not a good idea.

Most gender non-conforming children – You remember us, the Tomboys and Sissies of yesteryear – eventually find a way to accept ourselves as we are. This was considered the best possible outcome until recently. How exactly are drugs and surgery better?

Many of us grow up to be homosexual. Gay erasure, converting little potential homos into the opposite sex, is a frightening implication few are talking about. I’m not a lesbian myself, maybe bi-leaning at this point. I am married with children, for all intents and purposes a straight, white lady.

But I’m far from normal in other ways.

Growing up is learning to accept and even love our difficult pieces. Doctors intervening in the fights we have with ourselves to sell us ammunition is wrong. It denies young people the opportunity to grow up, mentally and emotionally, as well as physically blocking puberty.

Bless Your Heart

You might as well try them out before you throw them away!

It also sterilizes them for life. Which I’m strongly against.

If you don’t go through puberty properly, your reproductive system doesn’t develop fully. It’s not complicated.

And the scores of young women being sold “top surgery” (On Instagram, for fuck’s sake!) as the answer to their pesky problem of wanting to be seen as people are amputating sexual organs before they even have a chance to use them for anything. Which is also wrong. As well as downright unscientific.

This will not be the last lawsuit. But, while it may be cathartic to see these clinics brought to task, the culture that allowed this to happen has to be our focus.

How have we failed young women to the extent they are completely disconnected from their bodies? 

Donald Trump’s Spiritual Advisor is A Satanist

More specifically, a hedonist. And a total maniac. It’s spit-take-worthy irony that she would pray for the abortion of “satanic pregnancies.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

On A Broomstick

Allow me to compose myself!

Even the most casual of Christians will be familiar with Jesus’ messages of charity and peace. Heal the sick, the meek shall inherit the earth, all that. These things are central to the popular idea of his character.

It’s not one of my favorite stories, but I can see how some people find good things in it.

Then, there’s Prosperity Doctrine.

These people believe that God shows his favor through material wealth.

And they talk about Jesus

All

The

Time

It’s pretty obscene, even to me.

Now, one of these bizarro-Christians has snaked her way into the White House. The ultimate expression of the unholy alliance between the conservative party and the Christian Right.

Paula White is not there by accident, either. This woman has a nose for power. She has a history of discarding people who hold her back. “Leeches,” as she calls them. She won’t be cowed by such “demonic” forces.

Doctors have erased the lines of a face that has seen abuse and death. The suicide of her father colored her childhood, and she has become a woman who takes fate into her own hands.

Paula White

Maleficent irl

At first glance, what Paula says sounds a lot like the Manifestation stuff that’s going around. “Make your world with your words!

Okay, sure. “Where I walk,” Ms. White has famously said, “God walks.

Hey, she’s a televangelist. These people are literally just con artists who prey on the mentally and financially challenged. They say some crazy shit in pursuit of this morally repugnant goal.

But Paula takes it that final step. “I am Divinity.”

“When I walk on White House grounds, God walks on White House grounds.”

“Anyone who tells you to deny yourself is from Satan.

Hold up. This is literally exactly what Satanists believe.

Halloween Fun

We might as well have a good time, no one gets out alive!

In my meanderings through philosophy, I happened to read the Satanic Bible. Written by a carnie, its lack of pretense is endearing.

Not to be confused with the angry Christians who worship the evil Demi-god of that religion called Satan. Those people are Big-C Crazy.

No, The Church of Satan preaches that we are all the divine spark in our own lives. They reject the notion of being “saved” from life, choosing to embrace this earthly plane. Much of which Christianity deems “evil.”

Thus, the inversion of that – The Church of Satan. It’s a pun, or something.

But whereas Christianity preaches asceticism (the rejection of earthly delights) hedonistic ideas focus on making the most of the here and now.

The Church of Satan blatantly states, “Our position is to be self-centered, with ourselves being the most important person (the “God”) of our subjective universe, so we are sometimes said to worship ourselves.

Hmmm….

Paula says, “I have every right and authority to declare the White House holy ground, because I was standing there and where I stand is holy.”

American Christianity would seem to have thought its way clear through the wall it built between itself and the barbaric past it was reacting against. From the outside looking in, this is almost kind of funny.

Except that these people are not wrong. There is a creative force that each of us possesses, we use it to build our lives for better or worse. Paula White is, for lack of a better term, an evil witch.

And she is not alone. Prosperity Doctrine is booming in America. It’s some sick shit.

She Devil

Don’t mind the tentacles, darling!

These people focus on amplifying their creative energy to spread lies and enrich themselves. I don’t use religious (nor, certainly, magical!) terminology lightly, although I may not believe these things myself.

Satanists are not evil. Their website declares, “Satan to us is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. We do not believe in Satan as a being or person.

Paula White is evil. She asks for thousands of dollars in “seed money” from people who have to take out loans to send it to her. And tells them doing this will buy favor with God.

“There is a department of treasury in Heaven, which says God is watching over everything you do and you are storing up eternal treasure that will go so far beyond what we can even imagine … you need to send in $3,500; you need to send in $35,000; you need to send in that $100,000 check.”

Did you get that?

Buy favor with God.

For whom she speaks, naturally.

I guess I’ll be seeing Ms. White with all the other heretics someday. She is a hypocrite of the highest order – Preaching the exact opposite of the religion she based her career on – But she’s also just plain evil. In the gross, sad way that preys on the elderly.

And this is the spiritual advisor to the President of the United States.

Voodoo

Hey, America! The call is coming from inside the house, honey!

This quote I found in Newsweek illustrates her conflation of physical and metaphysical, of Church and State: “We are scaring the literal hell out of demonic spirits…. If we get two more [Supreme Court justices], we will be able to overturn demonic laws and decrees that have held this nation in captivity.”

If you are considering voting for this man, please look at what you would be endorsing. I know we all want to pretend it’s 2000 forever, but the stakes have gotten real.

We have a party which proposes healthcare for poor people

Versus a party that believes being poor means God hates you.

These are the broader values going here. Do you stand with Jesus? With the meek? With the huddled masses of all colors and creeds who built this damn country? With the spirit of prosperity through cooperation that supposedly animates the American Experiment?

We can’t let these crazy people control our country. Paula White is a narcissistic maniac and these people are telling Trump that he is God.

“To say no to President Trump would be to say no to God.”

This is not gonna go well.

Life is Weird, But I’m Not Giving Up!

It’s been a quiet few weeks here at BrazenShe. I have a bunch of stuff in the pipeline, but I have been focusing my free time on a business venture.

Applied Learning

Running BrazenShe is rudimentary and fun. I write whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s great practice at crafting engaging pieces around maybe less-than-engaging issues.

I adore writing in my own voice. It’s just about the most fun a girl could have. I have developed and tweaked my style for almost 30 years. But I don’t exactly fit your boilerplate professional mold.

Img 2849

I’m good at what I’m good at!

This has made it somewhat difficult to translate my ever-increasing experience administrating my little corner of the web and slowly, fitfully building a personal brand that’s functional and true, into paying work.

It’s frustrating to have a valuable skillset and struggle to make it work for you. I was a Content Creator, Cultural Critic and Social Media Manager, working a cash register or a factory line.

Something isn’t right there.

Serendipity

I recently took what little spending money I have and threw it toward some comprehensive internet marketing training. Less than a month into it, my estranged father messaged me asking for contact info for my sister.

As if.

He said a friend of his needed someone to build them a website.

The timing was just too perfect. I had to jump for it in spite of myself and everything that’s happened.

Turned out the friend is actually an age-appropriate lady Old Dad was seriously involved with for several years around the turn of the century. She has since settled into the role of Family Friend. Also, it turns out, she’s actually pretty cool.

I never got to know her back then, I was in high school in a different state. But she’s a RadFem and loved the blog! She specializes in a wonderful method for getting rid of her clients’ debt, which she does at no cost to them.

All I have to do is get the site up and spread it around a little. She’s already been doing it for years and the clientele is essentially assured.

Accidental Christmas Networking

Last night was the Christmas Parade downtown.

Many of you may not be familiar with this concept. You read that right: A Christmas Parade, which is just about everything you might imagine it to be. My kids rode a float with the theme, ‘The Night Before Christmas’ and had pajamas on under their coats.

BrazenShe Antarctic Explorer

Smile through the cold!

I’m kidding, of course – I’m sure the coats came off as soon as they were out of sight. I know the 6th grader was sharing a blanket and getting smooches from a chubby girl with a loud mouth. Hmmmm….

I was networking too, as it turns out.

Really, I just love this old man who owns the house next to the parking lot where they all gather and mill around for two hours in the cold, among the exhaust of idling Diesel engines.

Hiding Beside the Ice Box

On the back deck, the guy who was my son’s Scout Leader his first year was giving out hot chocolate. I wandered inside, probably looking for a bathroom, and ran into Bill in the kitchen.

He recognized me from my job at a local Big Box home services store. He told me about his real estate holdings, and how he hired women to do painting and light carpentry topless.

His sharp eyes glinted as he explained, “Normally, you might wait all day for a delivery. But if the delivery guys heard there’s topless women, they show up at eight a.m.!”

His logic was solid. And he was giving out alcohol, so I was smiling and nodding to avoid going back outside. It’s amusing when someone tries to shock me, new acquaintances usually underestimate me.

Desolation Road

And this house is next to, among other things, a homeless shelter. Right there on Main Street, with the churches, library and shops.

Many of the residents have a high school education, and some don’t even have that. A lot of people around here are addicts (recovering or otherwise) or children of addicts, with few skills.

And the “good” jobs in the area want to pay you $9-$12 an hour to do manual labor for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Yes, seven days a week. That’s every day. You’re pretty much guaranteed to burn out, if you don’t just bank all that pay (no time to spend it anyway!) and move the fuck away from here.

BrazenShe Get It Running

Gonna get this running somehow!

So, I can see the appeal, if I’m honest. Earn $25 an hour just for painting walls without a shirt? In context, it looks like a pretty good deal.

But that absurd demonstration of everything wrong with Capitalism was just Bill’s opening feint. Only the deep lines in his face give away his age, he is clever and nimble, as well as plain hilarious.

And, of course, he owns the building. I neglected to ask what the decorators of this nautical kitchen were wearing.

I walked the parade, had an asthma attack, and had to push the stroller (that’s right, I drink and interact with children. I’m an adult, not an asshole. And believe me, you are plenty sober after walking two miles!) over and sit it out on the curb.

Repeat Offender

The next year I left the baby at home. Bill was there in the kitchen with the liquor and we went back and forth over politics and history, sexual norms and possibilities for the future.

It does take more than rum to secure my company for two hours.

And, I admit, I hide from the crowd. The noise and the fumes, the endless shouting. It’s a guaranteed headache for me.

I promised Bill I’d see him again next year. Reveling a little in the feeling of finally having an accidental tradition to look forward to.

At some point this year, I was telling Hubs about it and he said he had met the old guy. That he was awesome

Knitting

It’s easy once you get the hang of it!

and one of the most interesting people he’d ever met.

Natural Fit

This made perfect sense. Bill could be my husband’s eccentric uncle. They are cut from similar cloth. This year his work hours made it possible for him to come meet my parade buddy.

It was so beautiful. I do enjoy having a partner I can present with a social opportunity, and he will capitalize on it.

Scout Leader and fam were there with hot chocolate. There was the business manager tending her little bonfire. In years past I have hidden from the experience. This year it was was a natural flow and I had a great time.

Scout Leader is a Web Manager by day. He told me he needs people to run social media campaigns. I’m supposed to call the office and set up lunch.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Life is Weird

So far, I’ve gotten voicemail three times. But he lives around the corner.

Bill invited us back any evening we want. Jack insisted we need to make it more than an annual tradition.

Meanwhile, I’m patching jeans and selling my possessions for spending money.

Life is weird.