Friday, August 29, 2014

As Seen on Lesbolution's Tumblr Blog

small (and some large) changes you can make to live a more female-centric life:
  • value female friendships
  • prioritise art made by women, including music, movies, books, visual art, etc.
  • get involved in all-female group activities, whether it just be chillin with ur gal pals or having full blown feminist meetings
  • be extra friendly and helpful to female strangers
  • compliment the women in your life on things other than their appearance
  • be vocal and unapologetic about your feminism
  • listen to the wisdom of your female elders
  • consider getting involved in women’s spirituality
  • consider political celibacy if you’re heterosexual. this is an extreme measure and not for everyone, but it is powerful
  • love and support all the women in your life. this includes yourself.

    Original post: http://lesbolution.com/post/96059657861/small-and-some-large-changes-you-can-make-to

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Personal Note on Butch/Femme and my Thoughts

Despite this article last year where I described myself as a "Butch Lesbian" while having no real idea what a "Butch Lesbian" is, and frankly, neither do other self-proclaimed "Butch Lesbians" I'm going to let people know that I don't think I'm really a TRUE "Butch Lesbian."  I'm just a regular run-of-the-mill dyke, or a really ugly and uppity lesbo feminist, depending on who you ask.

For the sake of not naming names, there are two rather prominent "Butch Lesbian" activists who have taken to publicly trashing me (one of them numerous times).  It seems they enjoy brow-beating other women who do not narrowly conform to their ideas of gender, and yes, this is all gender, but for more on that, read the link below.  To those women, sure, I don't fit into your little club, and I don't want to anyways.  I will, however, find your antics juvenile, despite both of your ages, and will not hesitate to call bullshit when I see it.

I'm tired of brow-beating from fellow women on the topic. I'm just a fat dyke, and I express myself however the hell I want.  So for the sake of expressing myself, here is an expression: gender norms are fucking asinine, and those who support gender norms and "othering" of breaking gender norms through endless meaningless labels are hilarious.  That includes the labels of "Butch" and "Femme." When really, both of you are dykes, and both of you are women. Get over yourselves, your egos, and your vanity/gen(d)eral issues!

A friend of mine wrote a great piece on this topic, and my thoughts can also be summed up with it too. Definitely read it, it's worth thinking about. "Hate to Break it to You, but Butch and Femme is Also Gender"

Friday, August 22, 2014

24 Hour Truce

Andrea Dworkin once said that she'd like a "24 hour truce during which there is no rape." I want a 24 hour truce during which all men stop hurting all women. This means that no matter what a man's background, whether the color of his skin, the income residing in his wallet, his abilities or disabilities, his sexual orientation, his age, "gender identity," or any other factors which marginalize him when compared to rich white men, will stop hurting women for 24 hours.
This includes men with disabilities who buy victims of the sex trade in order to get laid because they feel they are entitled to women's bodies.
This includes gay men who think it's funny to make fish jokes, to call women "bitches," or to feel up women without consent.
This includes old men who think it's fun to rape young girls.
This includes young men who harass young women in the hallways of their high schools.
This includes men who "identify" as women who commit violent crimes against women, and it includes the men who "identify" as women who support these vile offenders.
This includes poor men who engage in domestic violence against their female partners on the bogus "reason" that they are disenfranchised based on class status, man, and it's really draggin' them down and bummin' them out, maaaan.
This includes men who think they are "allies" who talk over women, or who get pissed off and make threats to leave organizations when women discuss important issues like being PIV-critical.
This includes men who intimidate women by means of financial control.
This includes men who think they have the right to control women's reproductive autonomy for any reason.
This includes men who consume pornography and eroticize the physical and financial control leveled at women in the industry.
All of you. Cut the crap. Knock it off, grow up, and allow us to BREATHE.
A 24 hour truce. Your move.

Petition to Remove Laverne Cox from "Orange is the New Black"

Please sign the petition and share widely!

https://www.change.org/p/lionsgate-television-and-titled-productions-and-netflix-remove-laverne-cox-from-the-cast-of-orange-is-the-new-black#

Monday, August 11, 2014

#TERFweek? More like #LIMPweek!

Men who are Lesbian-Infiltrating Male-Pleasers (or LIMP) are men who are against female-only spaces and against the right of lesbians to say "no" to male-born people as sexual or romantic partners.  Like Dana Beyer wrote recently of the Cotton Ceiling, decrying lesbian females who choose not to sleep with born-males as being "transphobic," I am here to tell you that LIMPs are lesbophobic proponents of rape culture, and just general misogynists to boot.

I'm not saying you should use slurs or insult people, buuuuut since they're not respecting our wishes, insist on continuing to call us TERFs and "cisgender" despite our wishes, and in light of "TERFweek" on twitter, use the hashtag #LIMPweek if you so desire.  For added comedic effect, use "LIMPweak" too.

I am not cisgender, nor transgender, nor genderqueer, nor agender, nor bigender, nor any type of the multitudes of endless "gender identities" there are.  I was born a female, everything else is societal bullshit, and nobody on this planet needs to identify with their birth sex, the opposite sex, or something in between.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My First Michfest Experience

Dear Lisa Vogel,

My name is Heath Russell and this year I was approved to present a workshop entitled “Denying Gender.” I was thrilled to hear this; however, I was much less thrilled when this news came Sunday August 3rd when my friend [name redacted] posted a photograph of your printed program to Facebook. Despite the last minute notice of my presentation, I’m sure I would have been able to put something together had I gone to Michfest this year. I submitted my project proposal late last winter and never received word about whether my proposal had been received, much less approved or denied. So, again, imagine my surprise when I found out it had been approved and that I would be presenting two days later on Tuesday August 5th.

My workshop was called “Denying Gender” because I am detransitioned female. That means I had taken steps to try changing my gender to a man, but hormonally and socially stopped transitioning. Since then, I have taken a Radical Feminist stance on the topic of gender and gender abolition. However, I know that society does not live in that reality, and we are at the mercy of patriarchy, which is why Michfest was started as a way for women to embrace what a culture would look like without males and patriarchal influence. For someone like me, this would have been one of the first times I would have been in a female-focused/female-dominated environment. As part of my journey back to embracing myself as the female I was born as, Fest sounded like it would be a very healing place for me, due to its unique female-only intention.

Given the controversial nature of my topic, there is no way that I would have attended Michfest nor presented without some form of contact from crew. Recently, I spoke at Radfems Respond in Portland Oregon on this very topic. Radfems Respond, as you are probably aware, was met with much protest by the local trans community and I would expect nothing less had I presented this at Michfest. In order to present at Radfems Respond, we required not only our personal security team, but the security personnel of the Multnomah County Library. If I were to present at Michfest on this topic, I feel it is Michfest’s responsibility to inform me that I am speaking, as well as take steps to ensure my personal safety while presenting.

I’m deeply hurt and offended that I did not even receive a courtesy response to my request and instead the only place I saw my name and workshop mentioned was in the printed brochure that my friend happened to post on Facebook. I saw no mention of my workshop listed on the website. I am interested in speaking at Michfest next year if I can get a response from the crew.

If someone could please respond to me as soon as possible regarding this matter, I would be very appreciative!

Thank you very much,
Heath Russell

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The New Yorker Magazine Talks Transgender Politics and Radical Feminism

Story here!  http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/04/woman-2

Contents include Radfems Respond in Portland OR 2014, Sheila Jeffreys' book Gender Hurts, an overview on Janice Raymond, Michfest, quotes from Lierre Keith, Rachel Ivy, myself, and others!

For ways you can join the fight for women's liberation, please check out the Women's Liberation Front, the group responsible for hosting Radfems Respond.  Become a member, donate, start your own WoLF pack, volunteer, and more!  Website: http://womensliberationfront.org/

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Charity Post

A friend of mine requested that I give a signal boost to this donation page, wherein a lesbian couple is facing eviction.  They asking for help in covering two months worth of rent for June and July.  Consider donating or spreading the word!

https://begslist.org/begging-for-money/financial-hardship

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Minor Head's Up

I regretfully inform you all that due to some really ignorant anonymous comments on my blog the past couple days that I have disabled anonymous comments until further notice.  I understand that this may be an inconvenience to some of you who need assistance/advice or to those of you who like to show your support anonymously.

I'll be back to my regular posts sometime soon, there are a couple of other projects I'm currently working on right now, but I wanted to make this announcement.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Another Perspective on NAMALT (Not All Men Are Like That)

Howdy men, I am here to tell you today that you're all full of shit.  Yes, even you.  Even the "good" ones, especially the "bad" ones.

If that statement has pissed you off enough to stop reading this post, that's totally alright. There are plenty of spaces on the internet for you to troll and mansplain about how the evil hairy lesbian feminists are ruining your desire to use your penis life.

If you're still reading and you're a man, congratulations! You actually wish to educate yourself on why male power dynamics across all types of various subcultures is imbalanced and a huge problem, and you're going to know that I can see the patterns, as can many other women, and those patterns aren't fooling us.

Subculture #1 - Male Pedophiles:  Recently, my partner watched an awful documentary about pedophilia, in which the director attempts to differentiate between "good" pedophiles and "bad" pedophiles.  She also wrote up an amazing critique of the documentary, which you can read HERE.

A kiddy-fucker is still a kiddy-fucker, no matter how much pomo-jargon men try to use to bamboozle everyone.  But they try to make the distinction between men who ACTUALLY rape children as opposed to men who ONLY THINK about raping children, and those in the latter category are the "good" pedophiles.

Men's hierarchical "good man," "bad man" bullshit land.

But it's not just within pedo circles that men have territorial pissing matches over which of them sucks and which of them only sucks sometimes.  I've also seen this behavior in the following other men's subcultures as well:

#2. Bronies:  "Bronies," for those who aren't in-the-know, are a subculture of grown-ass men who like the television show My Little Pony.  My Little Pony is a story about multiple female ponies who explore such concepts as friendship, bravery, their magical skills, honesty, loyalty, and laughter.  My Little Pony is such an important show for young girls for numerous reasons, one of which is because it is one of few shows that feature a primarily female-led cast.  In fact, boy animals are just background minor characters.  It shows little female ponies going on all kinds of really big adventures.

That all being said, it's hard to understand why men are even interested in this show, let alone making a name as incomprehensibly stupid for themselves as "bronies."  What, is the title of MLP Fan too effeminate for you?

But that's not the best worst part.  Within the brony subculture, there apparently exist "cloppers" who "clop." Clopping is the act of masturbating to fanfiction and/or pornographic fan art of My Little Pony characters.  Bronies insist that Cloppers aren't really Bronies.  Cloppers aren't TRUE fans and they are in fact, giving bronies a bad name.  You can see an example of this here (WARNING: semi-graphic content of stupid and offensive MLP sex toys): http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/do-bronies-fap-to-my-little-pony.452788225/

This user, TheNewCharlie985, offered this explanation:  Well, the way I see it, all cloppers are bronies, but not all bronies are cloppers.

Cloppers are the sexually frustrated hardcore bronies that find the ponies and/or their anthropomorphic counterparts sexually attractive.

You don't group those people in with the "Bronies" because a "brony can be any male over 14 that likes watching the show from time to time.


#3. MRAs:  MRAs, or Men's Rights Activists, claim to care about the concerns of men; concerns which have everything to do with institutionalized patriarchy, but they're too obstinate to admit it.  There isn't much for me to say on this topic honestly, because MRAs are about as redundant as you can safely get before hitting peak insanity (oh, look, a group of men who openly admit they hate women. Shocking!).  But I will say this, MRAs openly denounced shooter Elliot Rodger as one of their own, even though he wrote a manifesto detailing his motives (misogyny and racism), and he frequented MRA and PUA (pick up artist) websites.  So, in the case of MRA logic, there are "bad" MRAs like Elliot Rodger who MRAs consider "not a real MRA" and then there are "good" MRAs, who simply hate women, but don't go on shooting sprees.

Got it.

#4. Male-born trans activists:  Goddess, where do I begin?  I'm going to try to keep this short, because I could be here all day.  But, basically depending on whichever group of male-born trans activists you speak with, the "good" ones are men who simply cross-dress, and the "bad" ones are ones who pretend to be women.  In other groups, the "good" ones might be the "true transsexuals" who are males who think they have a legitimate medical condition which requires them to undergo drugs and surgeries to become surgically constructed models of patriarchal-femininity and the "bad" ones are the ones who don't actually have gender dysphoria, or the "bad" ones are the ones who cross dress.

The whole thing is a big mess.  Either way, there's a lot of finger-pointing going on.

#5. Sports and/or Bodybuilding:  This one is easy.  In sports or bodybuilding, the "bad" guys are the ones who cheat or use steroids.  The "good" guys are the guys who don't do this.  Nobody pays attention that both groups of guys are often misogynistic and homophobic (and no, having gay athletes doesn't really matter).

#6. Leather subculture:  The "bad" Doms are the ones who don't respect boundaries or hurt or rape their victims.  The "good" Doms are the ones who hurt with "consent" from their victims.

#7. Prisons:  Beside the obvious "bottom bitch" and "alpha" dynamics, different types of male criminals get placed on different spots within the male prisoner hierarchy.  Child molesters are typically on the bottom rung and get attacked with such brutality, they often get solitary confinement, for example.  It's not likely you'll hear the "good" male criminal or "bad" male criminal argument, but crimes are treated differently by various inmates.  Certain inmates are more revered, where others are reviled.

#8. Pimps and Johns:  Pimps assert that they aren't like the other pimps because the other pimps beat their prostitutes or get them hooked on drugs.  The "good" pimps are the ones who give their "workers" a better working environment than the other pimps.  The "good" johns are the ones who don't beat up the prostitutes or attempt not to pay.

This is all incredibly stupid, but men actually believe the things they are spouting.

Why did I go through the painstaking task of compiling this list in the first place?  I did it for a few different reasons.  First, I wanted to make sure that people could see the larger picture between these various connections, and that larger picture is that no matter what men are doing, especially if it is questionable, immoral, or downright harmful, they will attempt to plead the case that what they're doing isn't that bad, because there are other men who are worse than they are.  The second reason I am drawing all of these parallels is because men's culture thrives on the creation and maintenance of hierarchies, and fringe groups (or even mainstream institutions like sports) are no exceptions to men's hierarchies.  Finally, I created this list as an educational experience for women to see and understand that the "bad" men, "good" men, and "silent" men (the men who are silent and complacent in harms or wrongdoings) are all participating in this culture of dominance.

Sometimes, the "good" and "bad" groups go head-to-head in fighting online or in person, just to establish who is Top Dog.  In the end, it's pointless, because it's all the same.

I also urge my readers to look over THIS LIST from Wikipedia. Are there other subcultures on this list that have large groups of men claiming the "No True Scotsman" argument?  If so, what have you noticed?  (For example, if you were involved in the anarcho-punk scene, goth culture, straightedge, etc). Talk about your experiences in the comments below!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Advice for Parents of Teen Girls and Girl-children who Think they are Trans

If you are reading this, you're a parent who is dangling by a thread and not sure how to reach your child/teen who is considering transition.  I'm going to open this up with  a bit of bad news, but you might also have some success if you follow my steps/advice.

So, pretty much, children and teens aren't going to listen to anything their parents say due to age, circumstance, etc.  This is especially true if the parents are abusive, and if you are worried you might hurt your children or you have hurt them in the past, be a role model for your child/teen and get help.  They will be more likely to get help and grow too if they see you doing it.

If you're a supportive and loving parent who has already worked through your own issues, read on.

The difficulty here is getting your child/teen to listen to you.  The first thing I recommend in dealing with a child/teen considering transition is to act like a parent.  I know that sounds more than a little bit condescending, seeing as I'm not a parent myself, but I can assure you that my childhood abuse was also peppered with moments where my mom and dad would let me get away with a lot of perks like staying up late or using the computer whenever I wanted just so I would keep quiet about the abuse.  So, when I say it's time for you to be a parent it means to stop acting like a friend.  I know that you want your kids to like you, and they should, absolutely.  But they also need guidance and structured, but fair, discipline.

For me, I first really discovered F2T transition on the internet.  I made lots of trans friends through the internet.  I learned about F2T "passing guides" on the internet. I bought my first chest binder on the internet. I got lots of positive feedback loops from other transitioning adolescents on the internet (including them saying things like "your parents just don't understand/don't support you, you can sue them if they don't give in" etc).  I saw my first dose of F2T pornography on the internet.  I found a doctor that I could go see to give me hormone treatment on the internet.

Are you seeing a pattern here?  I spent a lot of time on the internet, and the internet was paramount for delving me further into transition knowledge, in fact, that's the first thing that transitioners will tell you (on the internet) is to do as much research about transitioning and transgenderism on the internet.

So, do your kid a favor. Unplug them.

I realize they "need" the internet for school, as schools have pretty much made not using the internet freaking impossible.  But you are a parent.  Remember that.  You have a responsibility for the health and wellness of your child.  Prolonged social media usage has a negative impact on myself and many countless others.  It can lead to feelings of isolation/alienation, while at the same time encouraging self destructive habits.

So, what do you do?

1.  Go to a website which specializes in blocking certain websites from your computers.  Use one that requires you to type in a password if you want to access certain sites. And then block the following sites: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, reddit, susans.org, ftmi.org, ftmguide.org, gendercentre.org, ftmmagazine.com (EDIT: 7/11/14, also include YOUTUBE in your list of blocked sites because that website is filled with a bunch of pro-trans videos). I would list mtf sites, however, doing a simple google search of "ftm" brings up a BUNCH of results for actual F2T people, whereas searching for "mtf" yields a bunch of results that have nothing to do with actual M2Ts.  But do some digging around the internet and add those sites to your parental block filter too.  Anything related to "ftm hormones," "ftm binders," "ftm packers," "ftm passing" etc, and you get the general idea.  A google search for "parental controls internet" yielded some helpful sites you can check out for technical help with this crucial step.  Parental Control Sites

2.  Also, you need to be able to support your daughter, but if your child confronts you about your hesitations, simply tell her this: "if anything medically bad happened to you as a result of my consenting to hormone treatment for you, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself."  Don't offer any further explanations. Hold firm on this.  Repeat as necessary.

3.  So, what do I mean by be supportive?  Go ahead and get the "male clothes".  If they want to use a new "male" name, be sure to say "that's a cool name for you, I think it encapsulates my brilliant and strong daughter!"

4.  Break down gender roles and stereotypes as much as you possibly can.  Ask your daughter what she thinks it means to be a man and what she thinks it means to be a woman.  Remind her that in cultures around the world, these definitions change.

5.  Make sure your daughter is safe at school.  If there are any concerns of bullying, get that taken care of immediately. Report to authorities as necessary.  Cyber-bullying is also a huge issue with today's youth. This is even yet another reason to get her unplugged.

6.  Oh, and her cell phone? Get her a go-phone instead and hide her cell phone somewhere else (like at a friend's house, at your office, or anywhere else she can't go looking for it).  If she doesn't have a smart phone, she won't be able to fiddle around on Facebook and all the other websites you blocked.

7.  Delay the hormones as much as possible.

8.  Meanwhile, encourage them to look at both sides of this issues, especially encourage girls considering transitioning to look at people who have been there who have legitimate complaints about health issues from hormones.

9.  If possible and feasible, get them some counseling from an actual psychologist as opposed to a school counselor or a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist is only interested in pushing more drugs onto your child, so get them some real therapy.  If they do need psychiatric pills, MAKE SURE THEY ARE ALSO IN THERAPY WITH A PSYCHOLOGIST SIMULTANEOUSLY.  The pills are not the ultimate fix-it solution.  You're not getting to the root of the problem if you're relying on drugs, even if they are prescription drugs for mental wellness issues!

10. Get her involved in something outside of school like painting/drawing, photography, sculpting, martial arts, kickboxing, archery, basically any sport or any external creative outlet that is separate from school and separate from her pro-trans peers.

11.  Help her to develop her own real identity, not the "identity" of the boy she thinks she might be inside.  Often the boy inside is just a coping mechanism, but that's all that it is.

In closing, this trend is going to have a devastating impact on today's youth about 10 years down the road.  These things are not very well studied, and we are/were their guinea pigs.  Be a role model, be a mentor, but most of all, don't be afraid to be a parent.  Don't allow yourself to be bullied into this.  This is your child's health that is being played with, and your child's health is not a game - it is life or death.

EDIT (7/26/14): Portuguese translation: http://sexoimporta.tumblr.com/post/91519992159/conselho-para-pais-de-meninas-adolescentes-e-meninas

Friday, June 20, 2014

Women's Liberation Front website goes live

The Women's Liberation Front website is now LIVE. You can view our principles, our organizational structure, become a member, donate to us, and keep afloat with news. We welcome your involvement with us!

http://womensliberationfront.org/


Also, I want to wish all of my readers a wonderful Summer Solstice tomorrow! Blessed be. )O(

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Gender Identity Watch

Gender Identity Watch will live on.  We're not going anywhere, and I say we because I am one of the admins for that page.  I love my friends, they are all brilliant women indeed, and my love for women-born-women trumps whatever you think your right is to harass, abuse, threaten, stalk, or silence us.

Here is our new home.  Enjoy.  https://www.facebook.com/GenderIdentityWatchReloaded

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dallas Denny's "First Glance" of Gender Hurts by Sheila Jeffreys

Dallas Denny recently wrote an opinion piece based on a "first look" of Sheila Jeffreys' newest book Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism.  Since Denny is a man, he feels the need to insert his penis opinion into a topic that he hasn't even fully read.  Well, Sir, I read your article in its entirety, which is more respect than you gave Prof. Jeffreys.  So, I will be critiquing your article piece-by-excruciatingly-painful-piece.  Let's do this, yeah?  For those of you reading, Denny's "critique" is HERE at an unbiased website called "tgforum."  Just so we're all clear, TG is shorthand for transgender.

So, here we go.

Author's note: since I cannot edit the paragraph spacing as I would like, the highlighted sections are Denny's critique, while the un-highlighted are my own thoughts.

>>Raymond’s stated intent was to “morally mandate transsexualism out of existence,” and in Empire she attempted to build a rational case for doing just that. The result was a 185-page rant in which she posited the Thorazine-worthy notion that male-to-female transsexualism is a plot engineered by the male-dominated medical establishment to infiltrate the womens’ movement and ultimately “wrest from women the power inherent in female biology” and “make the biological woman obsolete by the creation of man-made ‘she-males’” (p. xvii).
Well, you see, if people ultimately learned to accept and truly LOVE the bodies that their parents gave them, then big-pharmaceutical corporations, greedy plastic surgeons, and the porn industry would go out of business overnight because transsexualism would no longer be a practice.  This is hardly a problem.    Also, your use of "rant" quickly followed by "Thorazine-worthy" is incredibly ableist.  When in doubt, just infer that women are batshit insane when we dare to claim that penis is male. Denny, if you cannot see how the medical establishment benefits from the insecurities of gender non-conforming people, then you really need to wake up and smell the coffee.

>>It doesn’t take long for Raymond’s lack of objectivity to show. In the first page of the Preface she writes of RenĂ©e Richards, “It takes castrated balls to play women’s tennis” (p. xiii). In later pages she directs personal attacks at male-to-female transsexuals Sandy Stone and Christy Barsky (pp. 101-103), and Jan Morris (pp. 86-90) (deliberately misgendering all three), coins the term male-to-constructed-female, and accuses all MTF and FTM transsexuals of raping women’s bodies. Seriously. She writes, “All transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves…” (p. 104). This while she is (yes, I’ll say it!) raping the minds of her readers.
Yes, because trans-jacktivists are known for being objective, kind, and truthful.  Got it.  Also, you and I both know damn well that when Janice Raymond was talking about "all transsexuals" she was referring to male-to-trans individuals, at least that is my opinion. I agree that Janice should have been more clear with that statement, because now there are people like YOU conflating the two.  Let's be clear here, it has always been MEN who have dictated what it means to be a woman, M2T transgenderism is just another extension of that control over women's bodies.  F2Ts on the other hand internalize society's messages about women and when they discover that they don't "measure up" to womanhood and figure that it would be better to just transition.

>>At its best, Empire is an unhinged screed; at its worst, it reads like the scribblings of a paranoid schizophrenic — and yet despite its obvious bias, despite its mischaracterizations of transsexualism and transsexuals, and despite hundreds and perhaps thousands of denunciations and negative reviews, despite its having been called hate speech, it has been and remains an influential book in certain feminist circles.
More ableism bullshit.  "Unhinged" and "paranoid schizophrenic?" Really?  Also, bias is everywhere.  Everyone has biases.  Biases and judgments protect human beings.  When you decide not to hire a particular babysitter who later turns out to be a child-rapist, you are making a JUDGEMENT based on a BIAS that will protect your kids.  Catch my drift?  So, stop with the "biased" crap.  I'm biased, you're DEFINITELY biased, Janice is biased, Julia Serano is biased, Sheila Jeffreys is biased and "biased" is not a logically sound counter-argument.  Get over it.  Also, yes, despite The Transsexual Empire being decried as "hate speech" by droves of you BIASED individuals, you still end up not getting your way in terms of censorship.  Go cry to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, why don't you?

Also, why are we still talking about Janice Raymond?  I thought the book you were offering a half-baked opinion about was Gender Hurts by Sheila Jeffreys.  Can we get to your actual "argument" yet?

>>Now, thirty-five years after the first publication of Empire, another separatist feminist has written a book about transsexualism. This time around the author is Australian Sheila Jeffreys and the book is Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism
Finally. I thought we were going to have to wait thirty-five years for you to get to the point.

>>I didn’t buy Gender Hurts. I will never buy a copy, for I am not interested in financing hatred. I was, however, willing to look it over to see if it had met my expectations, and so I was happy when Ken Dollarhide said he did not wish to keep his copy and asked if he might send it to me.
So, you didn't buy Gender Hurts and let's face it, it's not because you didn't want to "finance hatred."  You didn't buy her book for the same reason that you most likely wouldn't buy anything from women, and in particular lesbians, who disagree with your incredibly narrow views of the world.  You're free to buy or not buy whatever you want, don't get me wrong, but I know your lesbophobia plays into your non-purchasing decision, and I will get to that later.

>>This is not a review of Jeffreys’ book. I have not yet read it, and perhaps I never well. This is, as the title implies, a first look. It’s my reaction to a quick scan of the work.
Are you even trying at this point?  Look, even I read Whipping Girl by Julia Serano just so that I could be educated and knowledgeable about my ideological opposition's point of view.  So, you're essentially just offering your opinion without giving the author the time of day.  I am going to take this moment to remark that hearing your opposition out is a sign of maturity and integrity.  How am I supposed to take you seriously if you have not even extended basic respect to your opposition?

>>Nor is this the first time I’ve written about Gender Hurts. When I learned Jeffreys, whose dislike of transsexuals is manifest in her existing writing, was working on a book about trans issues which would be published by Routledge, I drafted a letter to the heads of both the publisher and its parent company, Taylor & Francis. Jamison Green agreed to co-sign.
Of course you did.  Censorship is nothing new to the trans community.  If you don't like what a woman has written or if you don't like the idea of her speaking publicly, you attempt to ban her book or ban her from speaking.  This whole thing reminds me of when I was a little kid reading my Harry Potter books and Christian conservatives all around were working very hard to try to get the title banned from libraries all over the country.  Note: censoring literature does not make you seem progressive or educated, it makes you an oppressor.  Also, your wording in this paragraph is COMPLETELY misleading.  From reading this paragraph, you make it sound like you simply wrote a letter to express your concerns over Jeffreys' use of pronouns in the book. Your actual letter requested that her publisher pull the book from its publishing schedule.  "Well, Jeffreys could have just changed all the pronouns and then it would have been published."  No, because you STILL would have had a problem with the content of her arguments and would have kept fighting for it not to get published.

We're not stupid.  Do yourself a favor and stop pretending that we are.

>>Interestingly, the page count of Jeffreys’ book is almost the same as Raymond’s; at 189 pages it weighs in just four pages longer than Raymond’s 185.
How on earth could this be?
 A book that is almost roughly the same length as another book that is similar in content?  Conspiracy!  Sound the alarms!

>>The first thing I saw when I opened Gender Hurts  was a heading titled “The Efficacy of Sex Reassignment – Medical Disagreement.” The section led off with a discussion of the 1979 Archives of General PsychiatryGender Hurts — with an intent to stop transsexual surgery. It was a paper with findings that differed from other follow-up studies, and it was immediately and roundly criticized on methodological grounds (cf Fleming et al., 1980). Jeffrey chooses not to tell her readers about the controversy and instead implies Meyer & Reter was an early and groundbreaking study. That’s not true.
If curious readers want to hear the pro-gender and pro-medical establishment side of the argument, there are plenty of sources out there to see.  Jeffreys' work is clearly a counter-argument; it's a feminist analysis of the politics of transgenderism.  She, like many other academic scholars before her, put forth a hypothesis and found sources to back up her arguments.  You act like this is something both new and shocking.

>>Two years earlier Stanley Biber had given a presentation about outcomes in 100 cases at the Fifth Interdisciplinary Symposium on Gender Dysphoria Syndrome. Two years before that Donald Laub had published a paper describing postsurgical outcome of 93 transsexual patients. Four years before that, John Money published a paper describing outcome of 24 cases. They, and dozens of other researchers, have found sex reassignment surgery to be remarkably effective – but again, Jeffreys’ readers would never know that.

Behold, these three men, who all work for the medical establishment and do not find ANY financial incentive to further their agendas towards insecure people, have declared that transsexualism is 100% correct and nobody ever has problems...wait.  Did you seriously just list John Money?  The doctor who oversaw the case of David Reimer?  John Money was a fraud, a quack, and for lack of a better word, a pedophile to be honest.  Here, check out this quote from the Wikipedia page for David Reimer.

Reimer said that Dr. Money forced the twins to rehearse sexual acts involving "thrusting movements", with David playing the bottom role.[4] Reimer said that, as a child, he had to get "down on all fours" with his brother, Brian Reimer, "up behind his butt" with "his crotch against" his "buttocks".[4] Reimer said that Dr. Money forced David, in another sexual position, to have his "legs spread" with Brian on top.[4] Reimer said that Dr. Money also forced the children to take their "clothes off" and engage in "genital inspections".[4] On at "least one occasion", Reimer said that Dr. Money took a photograph of the two children doing these activities.[4] Dr. Money's rationale for these various treatments was his belief that "childhood 'sexual rehearsal play'" was important for a "healthy adult gender identity".[4]

Don't ever use John Money's name around me if you're trying to make an argument.  Denny, I am taking you less and less seriously as I continue reading your article.  I am running into the negatives here as my tolerance meter inches ever-so-closely to zero.

Oh goddess help me, do I have to keep going with this?  I suppose I do, just to be fair.  Just to prove to you that I read your entire article which is more than what you've done for Prof. Jeffreys.

>>Such selective quotation plagues Jeffreys’ book. Whenever possible she cites references which appear to support her point and avoids material which doesn’t. She even dredges up relatively rare voices of people who regret having had surgical sex reassignment, making it seem as if great hordes of us would choose not to do it had we the chance to revisit our decisions to transition and/or have surgery.

I would hope that Jeffreys wouldn't give airtime to someone like John Money.  Just saying.  Oh, wait, you're bringing up the voices of detransitioners! Of which, I was one of the people interviewed for her book!  Well, it's nice to meet you Denny.  My name is Heath.  I'm here to let you know that detransitioners are not as rare as you think, despite trans activists pushing us under the rug and silencing us constantly.  As someone who would have GREATLY benefited from seeing pieces like Gender Hurts much sooner in my life, I would have discovered radical feminism sooner and I never would have transitioned.  I regularly speak with women who tell me they were on the path to transition and then discovered radical feminism and became empowered women.

>>I didn’t continue reading because my eye was captured by the title of the next section: “Identifying ‘Real’ Transgenders.” Really, Sheila? Transgenders? Have you never heard of people-first language?

No, you didn't continue reading that section because you don't give a damn about transition regretters/detransitioners.  Your respect for your opposing points of view is staggeringly low.  Well, luckily for me, radical feminists support me where trans activists did not (and continue not to do so).  



>>In the same section, Jeffreys misgenders Riki Anne Wilchins — which isn’t a big deal because Riki is known for misgendering herself. A quick flip through of the pages, however, revealed deliberate misgendering of both male-to-female and female-to-male transsexuals — a nasty and unnecessary trick. and one Jamison and I anticipated and asked Routledge to police. Clearly, they didn’t.
Similarly, Jeffreys uses quotation marks as bludgeons; for instance, a section on page 48 is titled “Transgender ‘Feminism”. This of course indicates to her readers that any feminism shown by transpeople is illegitimate and not comparable to the “real” feminism shown by “real” women.

Critiquing semantics is both boring and predictable.  The reason you're doing so is because you don't have enough analysis to formulate a concise rebuttal to the book.  Moving on.
>>Weyers and his colleagues studied 50 postsurgical transsexual women and found microbial microflora that were simiilar to those of premenstrual girls: “Our study indicates that the microflora of the neovagina is characterized by bacterial species from the skin and the intestinal microflora, somewhat similar to what is observed with premenarchal girls…”
They also found microbial populations similar to those of women with vaginitis, and they noted an absense of lactobacilii (which is present in the vaginas of ovulating women, but not in girls) in all but one of their subjects.
What Jeffreys in arguing here is transsexual vaginas are not vaginas at all. And why is that? Because multivariate statistics found a significant difference between the microbes in vaginas of women born with them and those who acquired them later in life. In what world, I wonder, would one even begin to think there would not be differences in these two populations — and in what world would one consider the difference invalidating? In Sheila Jeffreys’ world, apparently.

I will not offer commentary here, as I admit that I am unfamiliar with this study or the limitations and/or methodology associated with it.  I encourage my blog readers who ARE familiar with this particular topic to offer their two-cents in the comments section below.  
>>Jeffreys takes great issue with treatment which accommodates the gender identities of trans children; in fact, in an attempt to link pubertal delay and transition to forced sterilization, she calls it eugenics — but she neglects to note the social engineers are not medical professionals, not parents, but trans children themselves. This is a point I made more than 15 years ago in a book chapter about Christine Jorgensen, and it holds for many trans children and teens: “It was the sheer force of her will which set the process in motion, persuading reluctant physicians to undertake such a novel set of treatments. Although she did not wield the lancet, Christine Jorgensen did her own sex change, moving into the female role with confidence and aplomb.”
I, like Christine Jorgensen and like many trans children, am my own eugenicist.

I wanted to be a dinosaur when I was five.  Luckily my parents didn't encourage that idea.  Even more luckily, there weren't plastic surgeons encouraging my juvenile "otherkin" fantasies.  (Or, you know, just regular little-kid fantasies).  The social engineers ARE the medical professionals and parents.  Children do not have legal rights nor can they offer consent to treatments, nor are their brains developed enough to make such life-altering decisions about their bodies.  If they're too young to drive a car, vote, drink alcohol, have sex, or any number of things that come along with having a FULLY developed abled brain, they they are too young for this, and you know it.  Also, being your own eugenicist isn't something to brag about, it's something that should make you feel saddened.  Why let the system force you do have sex reassignment surgery as they do in countries like Iran when you can just elect to do it to yourself!  It's the equivalent of "you can't fire me, I quit!"  Either way, you are still out of a job.  The consequence is still the same, and you're not the only one who feels the effects of those consequences.

>>Jeffreys uses the word transgender in her title and throughout her book, but her primary target is transsexuals. Like Janice Raymond, she considers sex reassignment harmful to trans people, and, like Raymond, she blames transpeople for perpetuating the very same binary gender system our community is trying hard to destroy. Like Raymond, Jeffreys doesn’t seem to realize she plays her own part in continuing such norms by adopting a lesbian uniform that makes her look more than a bit like a man. She’s about four shots of testosterone away from passing as one. Somehow, though, it’s all our fault — and if we say it isn’t, we’re mistaken or lying. Moreover, we’re somehow suppressing her right to speak.
Remember earlier when I said I would discuss your lesbophobia?  Well, now is the time for me to do that.  First off, you think there is really such a thing as a "lesbian uniform?"  What the hell is that?  Lesbians look as differently as any other women out there.  I want to know what the hell you're talking about.  And according to you, this mythical "lesbian uniform" makes her "look more than a bit like a man."  You go on to further state that "she's about four shots of testosterone away from passing as one."  Do you have any idea how disgusting that is?  Women, and men, can look on the outside however they want without NEEDING to be the opposite sex, or something in between like "genderqueer."  Your language sounds like it's bordering on this:  http://bigboobutch.com/2014/04/21/the-real-goal-of-male-transgenders-or-trans-women/

Your hate for gender non-conforming dykes is reprehensible.  You would much rather butches and butch-appearing women transition.  You're part of society's lesbophobia and misogyny problem, and yet you INSIST you are "one of us."  You're not. You're an oppressor.

>>Jeffreys’ work, while essentially mirroring that of Raymond, doesn’t sound quite so bizarre. She is a far better writer than Raymond and as such might have written a far more insidious and dangerous book. I don’t know that. I have only skimmed the work. I can say, however, that having quickly looked over Jeffreys’ book, it is a nasty, one-sided political hack job.
Yes, Jeffreys AND Raymond both are very good writers, and I hope their works continue getting the attention they deserve. I'm also glad you think that this literature is "insidious and dangerous."  That means people reading these books will be able to think for themselves.  If your ideology is so sound, a couple books couldn't be enough to make your ideological foundation crumble to pieces, would it? Hmm.

>>My conclusion is that, like the Meyer & Reter study of 1979, Jeffreys’ positions in Gender Hurts were determined before the book was written. It’s what I expected, and it’s why Jamison and I wrote that letter to Routledge. We were prescient, and Routledge should be ashamed for allowing a hate-filled book to come to press.
Your positions were solidified before skimming over Gender Hurts too.  What's your point?  Again with the proposed censorship too.  You fought, you didn't get your way this time.  C'est la vie, moussier. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Radfems Respond, WoLF, and MRAs

Radfems Respond, for those who haven't heard about it, was a conference that was hosted in Portland Oregon on May 24th.  It was organized by a group of radical feminists and was an inclusive event open to the general public.  We had five speakers including Rachel Ivey, Dawn Schiller, Lierre Keith, Kathleen Barry, and myself.  After the speeches of Dawn Schiller and Kathleen Barry, there was an open Q&A session where audience members could ask questions regarding prostitution, and at the end of Rachel and my presentations, we hosted a Q&A surrounding gender.

The last post I made detailed a campaign which threatened to get our event shut down by local trans activists.  I am happy to report that no such disruptions occurred.  There were no filibusters, no objects thrown at the speakers, and no violence of any sort.  However, the mere threat of violence was enough to prevent no fewer than a dozen women from showing up in the audience.  Dawn Schiller almost opted out of her presentation due to the threats and planned harassment of the presenters.

I am proud of those who showed up, except for maybe the MRA dude (I'll get to you in a minute, Sir), and I am saddened about those who did not show up due to the bullying of others.

Some of us in attendance showed up as representatives of a developing national radical feminist organization called the Women's Liberation Front, or WoLF for short.  Our website is currently still in development as we work through some of finer details of our organization's content.  Nonetheless, it was a thrilling experience to be able to unveil WoLF at Radfems Respond.  When our website launches, I will be sure to post about it here.

In terms of my speech, I debated about sharing the contents of my speech until the video gets released.  When that video goes live, I will insert it into this piece.  For now, here is the transcript of presentation.  For which I received some backlash due to an MRA in the crowd (wait your turn, Sir. I will get to you shortly).

I began my presentation by approaching the table wearing a jacket bearing a transgender symbol and the phrase "trans boy, some assembly required."  I pointed to the jacket, explained what it said, and that I had bought that jacket when I was in the midst of my transition, and had only worn it once or twice.  "But...it's hot in here, don't you think?" I smile, and to cheers and applause, I removed my jacket to reveal the shirt underneath, which read "I survived testosterone poisoning."  I then take my seat and open with requesting a moment of silence for the victims of the UCSB shooting rampage, of which the news broke just hours prior.  I thanked the audience for their silence and began.
      Hello, my name is Heath Russell and I will be discussing the effects of gender on our lives, how the current attitude about gender stifles feminist inquiry and action, and describing the type of society we want as radical feminists, as opposed to the patriarchy we currently have.

      From the moment it is announced that a child is female, society has already trusted her into a rigid gender hierarchy. Assuming she survives birth and is not victim to female infanticide, she has a code of conduct, expectations of appearance, and a second-class status. Any deviations from the norm face swift and harsh punishment.

      I was no exception to such societal beliefs.

      While I was lucky enough to play with so-called “boy toys” like Legos, Matchbox cars, and science kits, the depth of my gender non-conformity ended there. From a young age my mother dictated my appearance and at the onset of puberty things got worse. From stupid haircuts and painful waxing, I was told that this was the expectation for me. During one particularly nasty waxing incident, mom applied depilatory cream to my face immediately after a waxing, which made my lip swell and led her and I in tow to the grocery store, where she frantically asked the male sales clerks how to “fix” my face.

      I grew to listening to all of mom's problems about how she gave up economic opportunities so that her husband could go on to get the training and job she wanted in order to support his family. His perspective on life involved mocking Barbie for being a “bimbo” and always pointing out how women can't drive properly.

      From the age of 7 until 12 I was indoctrinated into the Baptist church. During my time there, I learned that God was a male who hated women, that the Earth was created in 6 days, and that all homosexuals would burn in hell. I went home from my church lessons to hear mom ramble endlessly about those “fuckin' queers.” For years, our garage had a “yes on prop 22: protect marriage” sign in case our lesbian neighbors would walk past, they would be able to see quite plainly that our family was “normal” and that my mom didn't support “abnormalities” like our neighbor and her partner marrying.

      However it was around this time I started to notice that I got crushes on girls, this broke my mothers heart to hear it and then she quickly pushed that pain aside, and pushed me onto every boy she could.

      At 17, I had found and started speaking with people online who identified as “trans-men.” These “men” had relationships with women, without fear of retribution, wore “men's” clothes, and were tough. One day, at a bookstore with mom, I saw a female-to-trans clerk who had a transgender symbol drawn on her hand. I pointed it out to mom, who then turned to me and asked, politely but loudly, if transgender was what I wanted to be. I replied with a firm “yes.” For my senior year of high school, I cut my hair short again, adjusted my wardrobe with more “masculine” clothes, and decided on a new name for myself. Mom still forced me to wear makeup to give my valedictorian speech. I held back tears all day, and then proceeded to curse myself for crying and not “being a man” about it. In college, I toyed around with my identity. I lived in an all-female dormitory, but I identified as “genderqueer.” My then-girlfriend referred to me as her “boifriend” (which is spelled “b-o-i friend” but still sounds like boyfriend when spoken) in public when discussing me, and she encouraged my delving interest in the path of transition. A couple of years, and a couple of failed suicide attempts later, I told my family and friends that if I didn't transition, I would end up dead.

    So, I began transitioning both medically and legally, as in changing my legal documents to reflect my “new” gender. The psychiatrist I was seeing agreed with my self-diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder, despite not knowing much about the condition herself, and I was cleared for hormone replacement therapy (HRT). My doctor had me sign a packet offering my informed consent for treatment and my first injection was administered on January 4th, 2011. The physical changes delighted me. I was growing a beard! My voice deepened! My period stopped! It made me happy on the inside because of how others saw me on the outside. These feelings of elation didn't last for very long because I was binding my breasts and I didn't want to keep wearing a binder, so I knew that top surgery was likely in my future. However much I detested the unwanted attention my breasts always gave me, I still had reservations about getting them “reconstructed.” Which, in queer theory language, is just a fancy way of saying “lopped off.” 
    Before I knew what radical feminism was, the mere idea of removing healthy breast tissue scared me senseless. Let alone the horrifying photos I had seen of “successful” bottom-surgery. My thoughts about continuing down this path came to an abrupt halt as I realized that the hormones were raising my heart rate, I was experiencing heart palpitations, and my properly-fitting, and properly-worn chest binder were making my ribs hurt, undoubtedly warping them. I ceased hormones at the end of 2012, without my doctor's knowledge. I also started to walk about freely without the binder of my adulthood or the bra of my adolescence. My heart rate lowered, I had no further heart palpitations, and my ribs began to heal very slowly. 
    For my senior project in college, I studied the feminist perspective of transgender people in the feminist movement. I had a difficult time finding sources for my research, but I found “Unpacking Queer Politics” by Sheila Jeffreys, which was my first taste of radical feminism. At first, I was livid. How dare this woman question my identity? However, it didn't take long for my anger to subside.

    As I interacted more with radical feminists and immersed myself in the books written by some of the pioneers of the second-wave of feminism in the 1960s, I discovered that my own self-hatred was misdirected anger that should have been aimed at the injustices of society, in my case misogyny and lesbophobia. 
    Radical feminism illuminated the concept of gender in such a way that I hadn't before considered; gender as an imposed reality, as a hierarchical system of domination, as opposed to a malleable identity. It taught me that all of my shortcomings in terms of “womanhood” were not the fault of my own, but rather the fault of an external, structural, institutionalized system that needs to be dismantled.

    This was a tumultuous time, due to the backlash that immediately followed my decision to detransition and embrace radical feminism as a logically sound course of social justice activism. My detractors spared no time in making their objections known. 
    When I came out publicly with my decision to detransition, a friend of mine hosted me as an interviewee for his talk show, “Out Here in the Redwoods.” No sooner had the video gone live that I began being stalked by a local male-to-trans individual, who told me he would follow me wherever I decided to “spread my hate and lies.” My fiancee Carolynn and I received hate mail on a daily basis, from people who remained anonymous, but still gave enough personal information for us to know their identities. About a month or two after my appearance on local television, Carolynn had her car vandalized twice. The first time, someone had slashed her tires. After Carolynn removed her rainbow bumper stickers off the back of her car, she took to facebook lamenting about the incident. Carolynn remarked in a comment “at least if they had keyed dyke into my bumper, I could still drive to work.” She replaced her tires and within a week, she found the word DYKE keyed into her car.

    Before my detransition, I was recruited to serve as a board member of our local Pride organization. They sought “diversity” on their board, and having a trans person there meant they could get ally-cookies. However, I was blogging about my experiences with detransition, my gender-critical perspectives, and calling out people in my local community for sexual assault. I kept the Pride organization separate from my views. Except for one passing remark I had made about serving on the local Pride board.Trans activists in my area were frankly pissed off at my fiancee and I, and they demanded action from the rest of the board. Carolynn and I both knew we no longer had our hearts in helping them organize, nor did either of us have the time or ability to continue, so we both offered our letters of resignation from the board, effective the day of the festival. After weeks of hearing nothing from the rest of Pride, we both received emails out of the blue explaining that due to our politics they requested we relinquish our positions, effective immediately. 
    We had already resigned in good will, and they had to rub salt on the wound. 
    Luckily I had already finished my education, so I didn't need to see any of these people at my college anymore. In fact, the only time I would need to see them would be at local “LGBT” events, which I no longer desired to attend anyway. Carolynn wasn't quite as lucky, and on one particularly frightening day, someone she knew sent her school schedule to her, explaining that they knew where she would be and when, and that “she better watch out.” 
    Eventually we decided to jump ship and leave the area, since avoiding our former friends was unavoidable in such a small town.
    It didn't take me long to realize that our harassment was not an isolated incident, but rather it's the norm for radical feminists. 
    Gender-critical feminists face various barriers to speaking openly about gender and the harms the gender hierarchy contains. We are the targets of smear-campaigns, both on and offline, subject to stalking, threats, harassment, de-platforming, cyber-attacks, and sometimes even outright acts of physical assault. There have been a few recent documented examples of this, notably involving activist sisters of mine in attendance today, including but not limited to Rachel Ivy, Lierre Keith, Sam Berg, and myself. In addition to personal sabotage, we have also observed situations where people discourage participation in any activities or actions organized by, or even involving, radical feminists.

    Blacklisting, silencing, protesting, censorship, violent revenge. These are our daily reminders that our place is to neither be seen, nor heard. 
    Yet still, these courageous, intelligent women brush the dust off our backs and press on. When our blogs get hacked, we slowly recover the content and information. When we are threatened, we seek legal action. We plant our foot firmly on the ground when men demand access to our spaces, both physical and mental. We name and shame our assailants. We assure our sisters they are not alone in being bullied and shoved around. We stand as one unit, despite never being taught how to do that, in fact, patriarchy ensures that women are kept fighting, in order to obfuscate the culprits of our oppression. 
    In terms of the patriarchy we already have, lesbian feminist author Mary Daly offers us a sobering, yet realistic account of what our current situation is under patriarchal-rule. 
    The fact is that we live in a profoundly anti-female society, a misogynistic "civilization" in which men collectively victimize women, attacking us as personifications of their own paranoid fears, as The Enemy. Within this society it is men who rape, who sap women's energy, who deny women economic and political power.” - Mary Daly 
    Mary Daly envisioned a world beyond “God the Father” and I consider her perspective to be one in which I follow.

    So, allow me in this moment to paint a landscape for you of what this alternative society would look like. Close your eyes and visualize with me a world full of living creatures. Patriarchal civilization, industrialization, and resource extraction become a horror of the past. The species, both plant and animal, killed off by male-supremacy we can no longer bring back, but the plants and animals once on the brink of extinction are now thriving in complete, living biospheres. Can you see the frogs, the squirrels, the otters, the hawks?

    Breathe in this new life. No longer a world based in plastics nor petroleum. In a pro-female society, we now turn our focus towards the women. What were once wounded cries of sorrow, anguish, and terror are now filled with laughter and courage. She is whole again.

    In this world, women are free to wear the clothes we need to keep us protected from the elements, to walk freely about no matter the time of day or night, to discuss issues pertinent to women without fear of violent retribution. When a woman is scared or in danger, be that danger physical, psychological, or spiritual, we flock in as sisters to defend her from harm and to help her heal. In this world, women have complete control over our reproductive capacities; we familiarize ourselves with herbal approaches to our bodies. Gynecology, a practice created out of a fear of “hysteria” is replaced with women knowing our bodies and taking complete control for knowing what is best for our bodies. Men no longer pen laws dictating how, when, or how often women are to reproduce. Women no longer fear rapists, batterers, pimps or johns because the mere thoughts of such atrocities are just as unfathomable as practicing cannibalism. In the instance of a man harming a woman in this society, he would be shunned and exiled and the woman would be given immediate refuge away from him.
     
    In the world I picture, lesbians are not only valued and prioritized, but are seen as role models. Lesbians are neither masturbation-fodder for men obsessed with threesomes, nor targeted for beatings or corrective rape to become heterosexual women. We are no longer punished for not conforming to prescribed feminine norms, and we are seen as expressing a different side of womanhood. Lesbians are respected for prioritizing women not only as a group of human beings, but for extending that energy to our personal lives as well. We are living proof that women can exist, and have fulfilling lives, without men. Women would be encouraged to explore sexuality, whether with other women, or by ourselves.

    Just as well, this world would have societies full of women-only gatherings, festivals, and even entire neighborhoods. The women watch out for themselves and each other and they create and maintain their own arts, culture, and stories. Women would be able to congregate without fear and without institutionalized male ideologies or religions.
    In this world, women have intrinsic value, as opposed to value measured by what she can provide for men.

    We are wise leaders in times of prosperity and in times of crisis.

    We are no longer held captive sexually, emotionally, or reproductively.
     
    The world that we know and cherish as it currently stands as a livable space is running out of time. Perhaps now that male scientists are echoing what women have been saying for decades, people will listen. Instead of discussing alternative, or “green” energy, which is just another form of resource extraction, we must rather focus our efforts on living within nature, rather than outside of it. A friend told me that all humans require energy in some form, and to me that is both reasonable and acceptable, if we were to be thankful for what we already have, but that is not the case. Instead, I see deeper holes being drilled into the one home we have, more pipelines being built, more dams staying in place.

    To me, it is apparent that our current trajectory is leading us down a dead-end path. We must treat all life with as much respect as our hearts can fill.

    Now, open your eyes and come back to the brutal reality we live in, and hear the advice I leave you with today: be untamed shrews, trust women, and let us build this future together, for it is possible. 

Within 24 hours of giving my speech, a man who had been "secretly" filming me from the crowd, (a man who I had locked eyes with when he heartily applauded my speech, a man who I had a bad feeling about from the moment he had asked Lierre and Kathleen a question about firearms an hour prior to my speech), had uploaded that video of me to youtube.  He took the last third of my speech where I discuss what a world without patriarchy would look like.  My friends advised me not to go looking for the videos or the comments, so I haven't.  Regardless, I have been receiving some traffic on my blog from a couple of their websites, so, thanks for the traffic, bruh!  Now go back to whatever subreddit you crawled out of, /r/creepshots, perhaps? Seems fitting for a coward who covertly films others.

So what? You got a video of my speech in which I talk about peace and a safer world for all species because patriarchy has been dismantled.  We have a video of Elliot Rodger (an MRA) before he went on a shooting spree.  Checkmate, Sirs.  Seems like it is MRAs who are causing violence, not feminists, and things are looking bad for your "movement" anyways.

Regardless of the harassment that I've been gleefully avoiding (much like how I avoid men, haha!), I have been receiving dozens of messages of support for my speech.  I have been told that the work I am doing is important and meaningful to women, which is what I wanted all along.

Onto more important topics than MRAs!

Some words of gratitude are in order:
  1. I want to sincerely thank the main organizers, including Sam Berg for securing a venue for our conference and for enduring the attacks against us even having the event with grace and dignity.  Hats off to you for being in charge.
  2. Thank you to the staff of the Portland Central Library for reminding attendees to keep the dialogue respectful, open, and non-aggressive.  I want to especially thank them for being present during the conference and for keeping a watchful eye on all of us.
  3. Thank you to our security team for also being observant and on alert for and trouble, which luckily didn't happen this time.  I felt safer with all of you around.
  4. Thank you to our videographer, Carson, for filming the presentations and for his knowledge/efforts of the technology for the day.
  5. Thank you to my wonderful partner, the Evil Feminist, for being in charge of food for the weekend.  It's an important job, and someone has to do it.  Keeping activists fed keeps activists happy.
  6. Thank you to those who had donated to our fundraising page in order to offset the costs of food, lodging, and renting fees.  You are every bit as important as the people who attended.  Your generosity won't be forgotten with me.
  7. Thank you to those who attended who helped with set-up, directions, and other activities.  Countless hours went into organizing, and countless more went into setting up.
  8. Finally, thank you to all of those people who have supported me behind-the-scenes in telling my story.  I don't know how I would have pulled through if I didn't have the encouragement, the inspiration, and the wisdom I have gotten from my feminist friends and mentors.  It's an honor having met you all and to call you my colleagues and friends.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A protest of Radfems Respond

A local Portland group is organizing a protest/demonstration/filibuster of Radfems Respond this weekend.  I took a gander at their event description, which is HERE and I have decided to do a sentence-by-sentence rebuttal to the lies they present in their argument.  Bolded is mine.

>>This Saturday an international group of radical "feminists" (hate group) will descend on Portland to hold what it purports to be a "public forum" on sex workers and on trans folks. Let's show them the door.
Firstly, radical feminists are not a hate group.  Radical feminism is an ideological perspective which led to many of the groundbreaking gains of the second wave of feminism in the 60s.  For those not in the know, if you are thankful for battered women's shelters, sexual assault rallies, reproductive rights, and body acceptance, thank a radical feminist.  Also "will descend on Portland?" What are we? Goddesses from above?  What's with the language, here?

>>The hate group called WOLF (Womyn's Liberation Front) and Deep Green Resistance's leaders Lierre Keith and Rachel Ivey (plus an "ex-trans" speaker) are main speakers of the "forum" to be held at the Central Library (801 SW 10th Ave) U.S. Bank Room downtown from 11AM to 3PM. 

WoLF is not a hate group. Also, it's Women's Liberation Front, although I've always been personally fond of the stylized "womyn's" myself.  As for "plus an 'ex-trans' speaker" well, I have a name. My name is Heath Atom Russell.  The fact that you cannot even name me nor link to my blog shows that you are deeply terrified of my pro-lesbian, pro-body acceptance message.  I know that your omitting my name was intentional.  You have access to the radfemsrespond.wordpress.com website.  It's not that hard to figure out my name.  For a group that touts respect for IDENTITIES, omitting a person's name IS their identity.  Your name is an IDENTIFIER.  When someone asks you "did you know that person's identity?" you usually give them a NAME.  So, remember MINE.

Also, I've never once referred to myself as "ex-trans."  Though I realize this might be an unsuccessful comparison to "ex-gay."  Strangely enough, during my transition, I became "ex-gay," or more technically, "ex-lesbian" by proxy.  Because I had changed my outward appearance and tried to "pass" as a man, I appeared as a hetero man in public.  I have since BOLDLY reclaimed my lesbian and female self.  The proper term for me is a "detransitioned female" or even "detransitioned lesbian." 

>>We questioned the library administration about allowing a hate group who promotes discrimination and their response is that they cannot kick them out because of freedom of speech. So we also exercise our right to free speech in public space this Saturday to drive the TERFS and RadFems out of OUR library and OUR Portland! 

I am glad you understand the concept of freedom of speech.  Radical feminists are not a hate group for prioritizing the needs of females (or as trans activists like to call us, "natal-women" or "uterus-bearers").
>>Gather at Director Park (2 blocks away, on Taylor and Park) at 10:30AM, bring signs. 

>>March together to Central Library at 10:45AM and rally on the sidewalk in front of the library entrance to create visibility. 

>>People are also encouraged to infiltrate the "forum" and speak out, call out on the TERF and SWERF bullshit, and filibuster the meeting in general. 

Filibuster the meeting. Right. Because nothing quite says "anti-fascism" than shouting down and wanting to literally RUN OUT OF TOWN a group of people assembling at a conference.
>>On Sunday, a group of TRUSCUMS (self-loathing trans folks who have been brain washed into radical feminism, who are online puppets of Supreme Leader Cathy "Buck" Brennen) are having a secret meeting to establish an ex-trans organization. This location is secret but we are investigating and will inflitrate it. 

Incorrect. "Truscum" are people who believe transsexuality to be a strictly medical condition.  The person who wrote this is very strangely confused.  Also, how can you be supportive of ALL trans people and yet call certain groups of them "truscum" (or scum of any kind) or call them "self-loathing trans folks" who have been "brainwashed?"  So much for your inclusivity nicey-nicey stuff, eh?
>>For people who don't know, DGR and RadFem are people who want trans folks to be outlawed and be executed in prison unless they go back to their birth sex because to them genital is destiny.

What? No, seriously, what?  I have never once seen a representative and/or member of DGR (or any radical feminist for that matter) state that trans folks need to be outlawed and executed in prisons unless they go back to their birth sex.  If I am mistaken, my inbox is eagerly awaiting such sources.  I have a feeling I will be waiting a long time, though, because such an accusation is a blatant fabrication.

But since we are on the subject of trans and executions, did you know that in Iran, a person can "choose" between being an out gay or lesbian AND BEING EXECUTED FOR IT BY THE GOVERNMENT, or Iran will pay for sex-change operations for them?  Sounds like you're hitting on the WRONG targets, trans activists!
>>They claim trans women are rapists simply by existing, AND even petitioned the United Nations to strip all trans and genderqueer people of human rights.

No, we actually judge male-to-trans individuals by their ACTIONS against females who organize autonomously with other females.  Sneaking into Michfest and exposing their genitals, cutting off supply lines to women with disabilities at Michfest and vandalizing cars, raping women in women's shelters, exposing themselves and leering in women's locker rooms, demanding access to ALL women's spaces, these are just a few examples that ARE well-documented, unlike your claims that radfems supposedly want to exterminate trans people in prisons.
>>This same group of people are also into slut-shaming and against sex workers and also those women who do not become butch lesbians.

Hahaha!  I've never seen a radical feminist "slut-shame."  In fact, the very phrase "slut shaming" itself is just about as misogynistic as you can get.  Radical feminists are proponents of the Nordic Model, which punishes the pimps and johns for the DEMAND for purchased sexual activities rape, while the women get offered rehabilitation programs, job training, and job placement.

If you do not think that women deserve better than being purchased by men, then YOU'RE the misogynists.  Not us.

"Become butch lesbians."  I'm not even sure if I'm understanding the language this post is speaking anymore.
>>Funny how they are all white middle class women with masters and doctors degrees, who go after poor trans women of color who experience constant threat of hate crime, denied healthcare, unemployment, homelessness, police violence and just all sorts of oppression. Let's make them check their WHITE, MIDDLE-CLASS, CIS PRIVILEGE! 
Really now? All of us? Every single one of us?  I can assure you that not all of the speakers at the event have Doctorate or Masters degrees.  I myself have a BA degree in Sociology because I was the first in my family to attain higher education.  The other presenters can speak for themselves of their backgrounds.  As a female and a lesbian I am under constant threat of hate crimes, I have medical bills I have to pay related to my FEMALE reproductive organs because my insurance still sees me as MALE when I am not, I do not have a "mainstream" cozy career in information technology (like many white M2Ts who run the movement do), etc.  While I did come from a middle class background, I am not middle class anymore.

So why don't you put on your thinking cap next time before you open your mouth.

But then again, I cannot expect you to listen much to me, since you couldn't even be bothered to name me.

In case you missed it above, the link to their information for the protest against the ALL-INCLUSIVE Radfems Respond event is HERE