Another week passed by and I kinda think it’s been wasted, And I can’t find my way off this carousel. While looking out my window I felt a strange sensation That if I don’t change now, I fear I never will.
It’s been nineteen years, but I feel like I’m still fourteen So confused and so naive but not yet broken And everyone is telling me exactly what they think that I should be, And I just don’t know who I should believe
And they say “Time’s running out and now you gotta make decisions And no you cannot major in playing kickball.” And I wish that I could say “well you know, that’s not my problem” But then I wonder “is anything at all?”
I see some people change. And they call it progression. And while looking back at me, they have a strange expression. But a year ago I imagined that I couldn’t live without certain friends Well, it’s sad to see how much has changed since then.
Prescriptive feminism is feminism wherein women try to tell other women what to do. Not only prescribing how to be a feminist but even attempting to deny other women our self determination, agency and will. Sound familiar? You might think I’m overreacting. So let’s give some examples. Prescriptive feminism (let’s call it PF for short) often carries certain memes and conserved claims in it. For one, PF often treats any self expression of one that matches traditional views of women as self oppression or oppression enabling. Stay at home mom? You’re a patriarchy enabler and oppressing yourself. Open to sex all willy nilly? Patriarchy enabler and oppressing yourself (some will even assert you’re being raped, when you’re actively seeking this sex out and enjoying it). Wear dresses and makeup? Enabler and self oppresser. They actively seek to prevent people from engaging in these actions, even if these actions are the ones people chose for themselves because they make them happy. More examples? Porn and sex work. Yes, there are women who work in porn and sex work because they have no other options, are trapped and fucked over. But PF assumes all women who work in porn and sex work are exploited and used and have no options. If you dare to differ regarding your own porn acting, sex work or say something like stripping, if you dare to say, “hey, actually I like doing this. It’s fun, interesting and it pays good money” you’re suddenly a patriarchy enabler and a self oppresser and they insist that you stop. Some will, like the example above, even claim you’re being raped no matter how much you state, “no, I’m not being raped, I enjoy this. Wtf is wrong with you?”
Extreme examples of PF will often go anti kink as well, attacking heterosexual BDSM relationships in which the guy is the dom/sadist and the girl is the sub/masochist. Note that they have nothing to say about homosexual BDSM relationships or het relationships where the girl is the dom. Even more extreme examples (which thankfully are entirely rare) will go so far as to assert that having heterosexual sex at all is an act of self oppression and enabling of the patriarchy. These PF types will often appropriate gay culture and call themselves “political lesbians”, while still basking in their straight privilege. Obviously prescriptive feminism is even worse to trans women then it is to cis women. Our expression is taken even worse and we’re often called infiltrators. But that’s more the general cissexism of feminism as an overall movement, and less something specific to PF. They’re simply worse to us because they see nothing wrong with denying cis women self determination, so the cissexism is given far more leeway to thrive in their worldviews by their willingness to deny agency, will and choice to women. This also plays out in ableism in the PF submovement (which often is aggravated by a willingness to ignore agency normally) and likely affects PF racism too (although being that I’m white, I can only speculate based on what I’m told)
So, PF denies women our right to self determination and tries to dictate how we should live our lives. It tells us we’re not allowed to make certain choice with our bodies and lifestyles, claiming that its doing so for our own good. Sound familiar? Of course it does. That’s what the patriarchy axis does. Prescriptive feminism is patriarchy lite. It limits less things than the patriarchy, but still nevertheless engages in truly misogynistic shit stirring and attacks on the self determination of women (sometimes to the point of engaging in rape apologism against sex positive folk) all in the name of bringing down the patriarchy. Which, amusingly (and depressingly), its actions do anything but. PF enforces things on women, forcing women to follow paths that we don’t want to follow, much like patriarchy does. It uses the same tools. Slut shaming, intimidation, misogynist attacks, rape apologism, expressions of ownership, trolling, condescending explanations, fallacies and dismissing personal experience as lesser than ideology. This is not just done to trans women, PF does this to all women.
After a certain follower of mine wrote something about that last video I posted, I wanted to clear the air on a couple of things, as what he wrote is, very nearly, exactly what ran through my head during my hesitation to reblog said video.
Here we go:
I will rarely post police brutality videos, nor are you likely to see something along the lines of “FUCK PIGS” or any other such colorful commentary on this blog.
This is not because I believe in the savior power of the local police department of Anytown, USA. Rather, this is because I believe that people are people, regardless of the uniforms they choose to dawn every morning.
As a woman, as well as a person who is sexually attracted to individuals of the same, and opposite sex, I am a societal minority. I, and others like myself are demonized and generalized on a daily basis. Before I can feel right in standing up for myself, or expecting a legitimate first impression, I need to do the same for other people.
I can’t go around yelling “FUCK THE POLICE!” at every flashing cruiser I happen to see on my way to work. I don’t know anything about where they’re going, what they’re doing, or, most importantly, what they believe in/what their principles are as individuals.
Yes, they’re still those, too.
I am, most definitely, a person of privilege in many ways, the most obvious being my skin color, and so, I have not dealt with any sort of racist assumption being slung at me. I have not been, personally, faced with any of the terrible situations you see in the majority of these videos. In fact, the only serious interactions I’ve had with police (where I was the one being detained) were tolerable, to say the least. A few snide remarks about my lifestyle choices were made, but I was physically unaffected.
I’m rambling at this point, so I’ll see if I can bring this all back together and make a point, presuming I have one.
I do not believe in hating cops as a singular organism, because they are not one. They are not a mindless plague bent on destroying your every happiness.
They’re just not. I need no more logic to prove this, than I do to prove that the queer community is not made up of hellbent Satan worshipers looking to devour your child’s innocence.
Obviously, there are fucked up people out there who take the opportunity to dawn the uniform and the badge in order to have their violent urges accepted, and, unfortunately enough, validated. If I do reblog videos/articles along the lines of the one I posted earlier, it is merely a comment on society as a whole; the fact that we allow such persons such power when we see what harm they inflict on a daily basis.
It is in this unwarranted power that the real problems lie.
I think we could all agree on that? Maybe?
Pretty nervous about posting this, but, FUCK IT, HERE IT COMES.
“Killing oneself is, anyway, a misnomer. We don’t kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive. When somebody dies after a long illness, people are apt to say, with a note of approval, “He fought so hard.” And they are inclined to think, about a suicide, that no fight was involved, that somebody simply gave up. This is quite wrong.”—Sally Brampton (via splatterdick)
The term atheistic existentialism refers to the exclusion of any transcendental, metaphysical, or religious beliefs from philosophical existentialist thought. Atheistic existentialism can nevertheless share elements (e.g. anguish or rebellion in light of human finitude and limitations) with…
“The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 1,002 active hate groups in the United States in 2010. Only organizations and their chapters known to be active during 2010 are included.
All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.
This list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.
Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing. Websites appearing to be merely the work of a single individual, rather than the publication of a group, are not included in this list. Listing here does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.”
Harvard University’s LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Kennedy School of Government recently published an article by Harper Jean Tobin, Fair and Accurate Identification for Transgender People.
Ms. Tobin, a lawyer who works for the National Center for Transgender Equality as Policy Counsel, is one of the brightest young trans policy advocates. There’s no doubt she’ll do great things in the future. The article itself is well worth a read.
Ms. Tobin’s article takes a policy approach, noting a major shift toward reform of policies regarding gender documentation taking place across the country. She argues that the updated policies reflect a contemporary understanding of what it means to be transgender and of the role of medical treatment in gender transition. The article is filled with references to useful data. She recommends that such an approach be adopted by all state and federal agencies.
I applaud Ms. Tobin’s article. It’s very well written — concise, chock-full of data, and the conclusions flow naturally from the data. I published a law review article on this subject in 2001, The Gender Caste System: Identity, Privacy and Heteronormativity, back when data on trans people was as rare as hen’s teeth. (Now that I’ve passed the half-century marker, I find myself reminiscing more and more about the old days.) I argued that the right to privacy in U.S. constitutional law creates a right to determine one’s gender identity in government documents despite governmental regulations to the contrary, and published a follow-up article last year. Ms. Tobin’s article takes a different tack.
Ms. Tobin notes that identification documents are among the most serious barriers to employment, housing, essential services, and even personal safety. She suggests that the paradigm that requires proof of surgery to change gender on personal documents is outmoded and dangerous.
But imagine that these everyday documents contained information about you that was not only of a private and personal nature but also could easily lead to discrimination and harassment from which you might lack any legal protection or recourse.
She cites data indicating that genital reconstructive surgeries are especially rare, with fewer than one in five transgender women and fewer than one in twenty transgender men having undergone them. I find it interesting that she refers to “genital reconstructive surgery,” rather than sex reassignment surgery, gender reassignment surgery, gender confirmation surgery or other common formulations. I have to admit I don’t like the sound of “genital reconstructive surgery,” as it calls up a somewhat unwelcome imagery in my mind. But perhaps it is most accurate. We’ve had a lot of discussion here on Bilerico about what to call such procedures. I usually go with sex reassignment surgery, as I feel that terminology using the word “gender” is inaccurate. But I’m beginning to waver on that point.
She also cites data showing that the percentage of transgender people who are unable to update identification and official records to reflect their lived gender varies from 41 percent for driver’s licenses and 51 percent for Social Security records to 74 percent for birth certificates. Prior to a change in federal policy in June 2010, 75 percent of transgender people were unable to obtain a passport that reflected their lived gender, and 79 percent were unable to update all their identification and records.
The article also reviews the history of state laws authorizing corrected documentation for transsexual people. It suggests that “increasingly, however, policy makers have adopted the view that an individual’s health care provider—typically either a primary care physician or a therapist—is best positioned to determine the point at which it is appropriate to update gender on official documents.” In addition, the role of discretion is discussed, noting that “broadly phrased laws and policies have placed substantial and almost completely unguided discretion in the hands of administrators and, in some cases, local judges…”
This leads to a discussion of the inconsistent results from the patchwork quilt of policies, and best practices with regard to specific types of documentation.
I think this well-documented article will be useful to policymakers and litigators in future situations where identification documents are at issue.
DC’s Walk for Choice is a reproductive health rally that was first held in February 2011. The nationwide rallies were held as a direct result of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” that was introduced in January. Pro-choice activists and allies gathered together in front…
“The clitoris is pure in purpose. It is the only organ in the body designed purely for pleasure. The clitoris is simply a bundle of nerves: 8000 nerve fibres, to be precise. That’s a higher concentration of nerve fibres than is found anywhere else in the body, including the fingertips, lips, and tongue, and it is twice the number in the penis. Who needs a handgun when you’ve got a semiautomatic.”—Natalie Angier, Woman: An Intimate Geography (via dr-clear-heels)