Sunday, November 14, 2010

PART ONE OF TWO: The Anti-Radical, Anti-Feminist Alliance Between Some Pro-Transgender, Pro-Sex Work Activists and Pro-Procurement, Pro-Pimp Patriarchs

The image just below is graphically violent and is not intended as an anti-Medusa statement as I hope you'll understand very shortly. It depicts the beheading by Perseus of the ancient Greek figure in mythology: Medusa. He then used her head as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In Western classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion. I want to explain why I chose it for this post. Please see my explanation just below the image.
image is from here
There is a kind of man, identified by the woman blogger of  Medusa's Arrow, as someone who, in the name of feminism, becomes a misogynist. I agree with her assessment of the man. I'll call him "Perseus" for now. I find him to be not only obnoxious, mean, and cruel, but also racist and misogynistic. I don't take him to be any kind of role model for a male feminist or profeminist. One thing I learned a long time ago was that attacking women--including, for example, Anita Bryant, Nancy Reagan, or Sarah Palin--regardless of their politics, if the attack is directed against THEM, and not their ideas or statements, is a blatant act of misogyny.

So the image above is a reminder to all men and males, perhaps especially liberal, progressive, and radical men and males: calling any woman negative names, insulting names, vile, contemptuous names, is an act of misogyny, even if you consider yourself to be doing it for "feminist" reasons.

Two men are discussed below. The first is a blatant anti-feminist who makes no attempts to present as feminist. The second, discussed and responded to by the blogger of Medusa's Arrow only via a link I provide, but not in text that appears in this post, is someone who probably thinks of himself as an advocate for feminism. I agree with the writer at Medusa's Arrow writer that he reveals his own misogyny in an attempt to support some feminist efforts to end sexual trafficking. I just think he ought to figure out how to speak to and about women in non-misogynistic ways before coming forward with any point of view on trafficking.

The main topic here is how I understand what feminism, liberally and radically, exists to do. And how do I engage with a woman I structurally oppress in several ways, when the topic is contentious and where people on both sides of the discussion are carrying wounds. It becomes easy to use words both as swords and shields. I hope to use my words here neither as a sword nor a shield, but as a bridge of understanding to reach across differences with care, to hopefully achieve some healing and understanding so that radical feminisms of any color, by any spokesperson, are no longer targeted as "evil" or "dangerous" and so that racist heteropatriarchy is confronted more, until it is ancient history.

And now, on with the post...

So many people of any orientation or life position willfully refuse to examine the conditions of their lives--sometimes because they are too busy surviving, too busy taking care of others under their care, too busy working at shitty jobs, too busy attending to self-negating addictions, and too busy getting through each day exhausted to take time to comprehend how we might collectively change the society we live in to be fundamentally humane rather than fundamentally inhumane.

I believe it ought to be self-evident that ending rape, stopping it, having it exist no more, is a requirement for "a humane society" to consider itself humane. Yet that very agenda stays off the to-do list of most liberal, progressive, and radical activists in large measure because to remove rape from a society, you're going to have to rip up a lot more that's attached to it: like all misogyny, racism, and heterosexism. Like the gender binary-as-hierarchy, and like globalisation of an economic system that requires rape and slavery to "work" for the few at the expense of the many.

This post is about one of many man-infestations of CRAPpy politics-at-work. I've mostly focused here on what white het men do that is atrocious and oppressive, and how there are virtually no systems of effective accountability--and I don't mean the prison industrial complex, either! I mean systems which hold men as human beings accountable to whatever they do that is inhumane to children and to women. The focus of this blog is patriarchal atrocities linked to white supremacist ones as well as to capitalistic crimes against humanity.

We live in very inhumane times. And within these times we have some social justice work going on and some human rights work going on. But a lot of the atrocities continue--they go on and on and on--because we accept the premises or assumptions underlying them as natural or inevitable. Premises like "men like sex[ism]". Men cannot help themselves when it comes to regulating their own sexual feelings responsibly. Male supremacist society both rewards men as adults with privileges and entitlements, while simultaneously treating men as if they were children, unable to control themselves. Men often believe men are at the mercy of women, who have "the real power" meaning "sexual power". But what is it that rapists have, then? Asexual power? Non-gendered power? What is it that men who beat up and sexually harass and pimp women have? A lack of sexual or gendered power?

To argue those who commit abuse are "really the victims here" is to turn felony into fantasy, and inhumanity into illusion. And without examining the premises underlying what we argue, we are often left with the most important questions unanswered because they remain unasked. And because the answers point to who really has the power in society, not who we imagine has it. I am calling on us, collectively, to be willing to ask the deeper questions about what we're doing and at whose expense it is getting done. And I'm saying that the girl who asks an adult male a question about sex isn't the one in charge of sexually assaulting her, if he does so to "show her" what he thinks she was asking about. Nor is the drunk, passed out woman or man in charge of the rape or gang-rape by men around the heavily inebriated person.

We live in a society that wants to blame the blameless for the harms done. We focus our energies on targeting those who are oppressed, structurally, rather than on those who structurally oppress. Why? Why would we do this? Because it is safer to accuse someone of hurting you who really cannot hurt you in the ways your structural oppress can, and does. Women may blame other women for the abuses of men, because holding men accountable can get them killed. Children can blame their mothers for their fathers sexually assaulting them, when, after all, it was the fathers who did the assault, because it may be too terrifying to feel one's rage at the man who committed the atrocity. This is a very important dynamic to be aware of when we witness any flow of anger aimed solely at marginalised women. If there appear to be no men doing harm in the picture being painted, we've left white male supremacist reality and are living in some other realm, not in reality.

In reality there are men in charge of every social, religious, economic, educational, and cultural institution. In reality there are men who hate women and the women who befriend them. Why befriend them? Because you don't want them as your enemy. Trust me. You don't. There's a collective Stockholm Syndrome effect in place in any society where rape is rampant, where child sexual abuse is endemic, and where men's violence against women is presented by men as "not our fault" or "unavoidable and inevitable".

In reality there are men like "Iamcuriousblue", who is virulently anti-radical and anti-feminist, anti-woman and anti-sex. I believe I've written about this pro-pornography, pro-prostitution, pro-sexxxism blogger before. I'll refer to him here by his online name, Iamcuriousblue. Below is some information that he welcomes people to know about him--he wrote it up himself for others to read. I didn't dig any of this out of any dumpsters and I raided no computers to find this information. I simply clicked on what he wants anyone with an online account with blogger to know about him.

Here that information is, minus some his list of favorite music. I've also removed his home city; the purpose of this blog isn't to make other people feel "tracked" or to "out" their location. I'm simply wanting to note their stated views and perspectives--the ones they present all by themselves to a public audience, and how they work with others to promote anti-radical anti-feminist misogynistic misinformation campaigns. I believe this man is one among many who does so, and I believe in calling men out on their misogyny. Please note the last line written by the blogger of Medusa's Arrow. It is because of that line that I put information here about Iamcuriousblue.


This is his blog's URL: http://iacb.blogspot.com/. Again, this is his public information. I'm not wasting my time "digging in the CRAP" to find out much about this guy. I assess him to be pro-oppression, anti-feminist, anti-woman based on the fact that he is pro-sexxxism industries and is supportive of the existence of systems of misogynistic harm.

He is what is called "pro-sex" or "sex-pozzy" by his own determination and definitions. In the story that is forthcoming, he has helped someone else do research to blast a few white radical lesbian feminists. The blog where the feminist-blaming, woman-blaming is done is called Medusa's Arrow. The blogger's name is sometimes Divinity33372.

Below is one of her posts. I believe her perspective is solidly positioned within a neoLiberal framework--a worldview that holds that how individual women, transgender people, or men are treated and mistreated is what we have to respond to socially, not how women as a class are mistreated by men as a class and other people who wish to violate women's personal and social space.

NeoLiberalism is a branch of WHM supremacist doctrine-in-practice. Structurally, institutionally, as well as individually and interpersonally, it has no means or methods for accomplishing any significant humane systemic changes in anything at all. It is effectively pro-status quo, pro-oppression, pro-racism, pro-heterosexism, and pro-misogyny. This is not presciptive of how everyone who identifies as "liberal" thinks or feels, of course. Lots of people in the U.S., for example, think "liberal" means "Leftist". Lots of people in the U.S. think that being a liberal is as far away from the politics of the Right-wing as you can get. I'd argue there's very little difference in practice between the Right-wing and Liberals. NeoConservatism and NeoLiberalism are two sides of the same dime. They both don't have any intention of uprooting patriarchy, white supremacy, or capitalism. They view harmful acts with those systems in place as a given, not as acts which either strengthen or uproot the systems through challenging the behaviors and values which protect them.

I know people who are liberal who are against misogyny, heterosexism, racism, and oppression. But what they usually don't have is a practice of calling out to the roots, the forms of harm going down. What they tend to do is focus on branches or leaves as "the problem" while ignoring the trunk of the oppression tree as a whole. (By comparison, many neoConservatives think the oppression tree needs to get bigger.)

The questions this blog concerns itself with are these, among others:

Is a system humane or not. Not just the behaviors and exchanges of power, however uneven, within the system, but the whole of the system itself? If it is inhumane, we need to say so.

What other systems are bound up or woven into the one that is determined to be harmful and inhumane? The other day I was digging in some soil and found one root wrapped around another. To tug on one meant tugging on both. How do we untangle systems to know which are unhealthy and which are not? How do we define unhealthy? I define "unhealthy" and "inhumane" this way:

It is behavior bound to systems that exist to create massive unjust human suffering for many, while benefiting or privleging a few unjustly.  Once upon a time there were kingdoms in which the royals believed themselves to be better than the peasants. So if the peasants suffered from hunger while the royals ate gluttonously, there was nothing wrong with this occurring, from the vantagepoint and values of the royalty. Because they didn't think life should be any different. Over the last couple of hundred years, especially, we have seen many revolutions against this kind of tyrannical, hierarchical, dominater mentality exercised inside social systems of oppression. Peasants and slaves have revolted. Kings and Czars have been overthrown by the masses of those once oppressed. In the U.S. in the last fifty years, there have been movements for civil and human rights waged against white supremacist white people by people of color, such as by African Americans and American Indians. It is still the case, however, that whites rule in North America. Similarly, women have fought against patriarchal abuses and male supremacist systems of subordination, violation, and exploitation.

Those who I view as liberal human rights activists are the people who seek remedies for suffering within the systems--while the systems are still operating. And this is necessary work. The radical human rights activists seek to uproot and eradicate the system generating all the harm, not just to find ways to make the harmed less injured. It's not either/or. Historically liberal and reform movements have worked alongside radical and revolutionary ones. But on occasion, the liberals betray the radicals, for many reasons.

In the 1980s this happened within feminist struggles against men's sexual violence against women. A group of liberal reformers wanted to stop a group of radical reformers from succeeding in a campaign to pass a civil rights law that would allow women to sue men who harmed them through the production or consumption of pornography. Some women did the work of the pimps and pornographers by legally trying to stop the radical feminists from achieving their goals to make male supremacist subordination of women more socially visible and identifiable in law, in courtrooms, and in society. This ripped apart what there was of a sisterhood among some activist feminists.

When women step in to do something that the wealthier men can do all by themselves, one has to wonder why this would occur. Usually the dynamic is that radical feminists are being mispresented as "more of a threat to women's safety and well-being" than men who rape and otherwise terrorise and dominate them. This dynamic is active in some of what follows. I am asking the reader and viewer to pay attention to who is portrayed as "the most dangerous members of society" and who is portrayed as "the most victimised."

Conservatives and sometimes liberals view marginalised radicals as more of a threat than status quo oppressors. This is usually exploited in the U.S., such as when McCarthyism took hold of this nation, painting "Communists in our midst" as the most dangerous element while capitalists impoverished millions of people. Similarly, white supremacists painted The Black Panther Party as "the most dangerous element" in society when white supremacists were imprisoning, raping, and murdering Black people with impunity.

So please notice this tendency for either the oppressors or the oppressed to target only-oppressed groups as THE PROBLEM. Below we will see how a few white radical lesbian feminists are seen to be THE PROBLEM population when it comes to sex workers and transgender people gaining civil and human rights and non-oppressive living conditions.

Notice also who, if anyone, calls out the socially most powerful controllers, protectors, and defenders of Western capitalist racist patriarchy. Notice how the most powerful classes of people in society are not usually  understood to be THE PROBLEM when the oppressed group IS. In the narrative that follows, as long as there are radical lesbian feminists speaking out against all forms of witnessed male supremacy, male supremacists will not be seen as dangerous in the same way--the harm of rapists pales in comparison to what those white radical lesbian feminists are doing. Procuring becomes value-free, exploitation and harm-free. And writing books and speaking out from one's own perspective--a very marginalised one with no media support--becomes the most dangerous thing to have happened in the last thirty years or more.

Oppressors adore this dynamic as it usually pits groups of people who are all harmed by powerful men against one another leaving him to keep strengthening his death grip on everyone else. He gets to remain invisible to those who prefer to target the marginalised and relatively powerless.

Liberalism as a politically lived ideology, informing social behaviors that do real harm, shaping how experience is understood, is necessarily pro-rape and pro-genocide. I believe a strong case can be made, and already has been made, that NeoLiberalism is necessarily racist, heterosexist, misogynistic, and ecocidal.

But I wouldn't say those of us who don't wish to face that fact are operating out of what has sometimes been termed "false consciousness". We are, each of us, subjectively experiencing the world. The question isn't "whose subjectivity is RIGHT and whose is WRONG", exactly. The issue is "whose subjectivity matters"? Do the voices of the most silenced members of an oppressed group--say, women--matter as much as the less harmed members of that group?

While I see things in terms of competing subjective views and values, I also believe I can make some truth claims, as long as I can back them up. Here are some: rape is not humane. Incest is not humane. Sexual exploitation is not humane. Genocide is not humane. Patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism are fundamentally inhumane systems of organised and exercised power. I stand by those truth claims. And of course there are many who disagree.

I'm repeatedly told by white het class-privileged men that I'm in denial about how woman-dominated and man-oppressing or "misandrist" U.S. and other Western societies are. These very privileged men claim "I just can't see the truth because I'm too "pu**y-whipped". My response is that they can't see much beyond their own privilege, and that privilege positions them pretty high above the palpable pain of most people on Earth. And, when feeling pissed off or just feisty, I might also call them "dick-whipped" men.

These men and men like them are structurally positioned to do harm to others by being placed atop most social hierarchies--hierarchies that they get to claim don't exist even while they materially and emotionally benefit from them. Class-privileged WHM constitute a very powerful and dangerous class of oppressors. They not only often hate lesbians and gay men and all LGBT people, gender non-conforming people, queer people, but they harm our efforts to achieve social justice and civil rights. They also often despise feminists, especially the more radical ones who organise, in relatively small groups, to challenge entrenched, institutionalised male white het supremacist power. These are the people whose bigotry "matters" more than those of people who are structurally marginalised. Why? Because they can act out their bigotry using large-scale systems of atrocity. Marginalised people have little access to those systems of harm, and so their "bigotry" remains largely "an idea" rather than a material/social reality of unstoppable oppressive force.

As you take in the narrative that follows, pay attention to whether what is being named as harmful is an idea or a system of power. Liberals typically make one seem just as dangerous as the other. So, for example, whites often truly believe that "Blacks hating whites" is "just as bad" as whites hating Blacks or that "women hating men" is "just as bad" as men hating women. When asked to produce material evidence, social evidence, institutionalised, structured, acted out evidence of this "hate" for oppressor classes, there is nothing really to bring to the table. Because any hatred oppressed people feel tends to be directed inward, against oneself and one's own people. If "people" hate a government, and say so, sometimes those people are killed, or silenced in some fashion. If a government hates its people, it is very difficult to stop that hatred from expressing itself systematically. So please take note of what is seen as "harmful"--someone's ideas about another group, or how those ideas get woven into the fabric of the status quo, coded by its laws, enforced by its police and military.

Many WHM who hold misogynistic, heterosexist, and racist views are men who are also well-paid professionals, who occupy important political positions such as elected officials, judges, church leaders, and CEOs. Radical lesbians feminists of any color do none of the above in North America. Nor do transgender people. So let's be clear, if possible, about who really holds power in this society and who doesn't. It's het men, whites, and the wealthy: those three groups. And if you're a member of all three, you hold a helluva lot of power and carry a lot of social status and very little stigma relative to those you structurally oppress.

With all of that as an introduction, here's the post at Medusa's Arrow. It begins with a video, and follows with all the text you see which is the transcription of the words you'll hear. Note the misappropriation of Audre Lorde's words to apply to circumstances Audre wasn't addressing. Note how the only Black radical feminist is only positioned against white radical lesbian feminist, even while both women were against sadomasochism, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, prostitution, and pornography. In the next post I'll copy the text of the video and add some commentary, utilising the analysis written above.

What follows is current. I'm not digging into the backlogs of the  blogosphere's vaults, pulling out some cached version of some particularly note-worthy post that proves all the points I'd like to make. This was just posted. The disagreements are contemporary and often raw and painful as well as deeply contentious.

I'll locate Divinity33372's views by copying and pasting what she says about herself. You may wish to refer back to my post on what "pro-sex" means.

I don't welcome anyone to mistreat this woman. Please, if you post comments here, do not call her misogynistic names, do not treat her as sub-human. Please regard her with complete respect even if you strongly disagree with some of her viewpoints. If comments come in disrespecting her as a person, I won't post them.

There is a YouTube page under the name of Divinity33372. This is a description of her page and her political views.

Divinity33372
Profile
Channel Views:
39,853
Total Upload Views:
148,410
Age:
38
Joined:
November 23, 2009
Subscribers:
1,402
This channel is dedicated to activism and advocacy on behalf of those in the sex industry regardless of why they are in it.

My aim is to fight for the rights of others to do with their sexuality as they choose as long as all persons involved are consenting adults.

CHOICE in sexuality is everything.

-One should be able to choose to be in the sex industry.
-One should be able to choose NOT to be in the sex industry.
-It is also everyone's right to define the nature of their own experiences.
-EVERYONE deserves rights! Even if some find the industry someone is in morally repugnant THEY STILL DESERVE RIGHTS!

*          *          *

That person is the blogger of Medusa's Arrow. I watched a video of her expressing her views about legalising sex work, made in response to some light-skinned obnoxious guy who goes on and on against ("anti") sex workers about the harms of sex work and trafficking. He's not only a dick in his general discourse and approach, but also uses profoundly misogynistic tags below his video.

Divinity33372, responded to this jerk, noting what is misogynistic and vile about his presentation/spewing of anti-woman vitriol. Someone needs to take away his webcam, in my opinion. His actions were clearly insulting and hurtful, and also harmful, to Divinity33372.

If you get to see his video, it's hard to imagine how someone wouldn't be upset and hurt by it.

I'd ask you to listen carefully to what she has to say in response to him, and about him. There are several places of agreement between her and me. And there may also be some fundamentally different understandings between us of what constitutes humane society and social justice. Granted, she's living in a life, in a world, that I've only been part of for a relatively brief time--a world of men who get off to gross sexual exploitation--as I see it.

I support Divinity naming her own experiences and don't accuse her of having anything like "false consciousness" or of being "only a victim". I accept her experiences as just as valid as anyone else's and would welcome having respectful discussion with her in more detail about these matters. As someone who spent too many years on and off in motel rooms with a man who was exploiting me, who I consensually welcomed to exploit me, I'd like to compare notes about our experiences of sexually selfish men.

My critique is of some of her views and values as she presents them, and what their relationship is to the status quo, aka CRAP.
 

Here's the blogger's own public information, minus things like favorite music and movies and books and then the video, finally! I'm sorry I took up so much time introducing this. But I wanted to carefully lay out the grounds for my critique which will arrive in the next blog post.

Medusa's Arrow

About Me

belongs to a sex positive feminist, sex workers right's advocate, dog lovin, Latin woman.

The uninterrupted post follows. The URL is this: http://medusasarrow.blogspot.com/2010/11/transgendered-women-sex-work.html?zx=4ae079cb1c631eaf



Below is a transcript of the above video:

If you've been paying attention to the sex industry debates going on within the feminist and sex workers’ rights communities, you've probably heard the argument,
“women go into the sex industry due to lack of choices”
made in defense of each side’s position.

Those who oppose prostitution use this talking point to prove that prostitution is rarely a choice and should be abolished. Even those who claim not to seek abolition speak in support of the Swedish model, conveniently ignoring the fact that the Swedish government itself has admitted the model is about a ban on prostitution.
A: We don’t work with harm reduction in Sweden.

Q: Why not?

A: Because that’s not the way Sweden looks upon this. We look upon it, that this
is a ban on prostitution: that there should be no prostitution. And what we work
with is to try and make people who do this not do it any more. [emphasis mine]
Anna Skarhed, Swedish Chancellor of Justice, Press Conference, July 2, 2010
(@23:07)
Then there are those who seek decriminalization, because only under
a system where sex work is treated as a legitimate form of work can
harm reduction measures -proven effective- be implemented to their
fullest possible effectiveness.

So what does it mean to me to say,
“women go into the sex industry due to lack of
choices?”
This means many things, really. It means that we live in a highly unbalanced global economy where countries that have, have enough to waste and countries that don't are home to thousands – tens of thousands, and more – who do what they can, because the ideologies and ambitions of those who claim to know what is best for them will not feed them. Many of these people turn to sex work rather than starvation, while abolitionists who believe that sex work contributes to the oppression of women as a collective look down their noses at them and offer them little practical support.

This video is about ONE subgroup of those people. A subgroup that is one of the most stigmatized, feared, hated, and misunderstood in just about every society in the world. The people who walk on both sides of the gender binary that is the accepted standard in most societies.

If I had to choose which group of people I thought was the most consistently discriminated against globally, I would have to say it would be transgendered people. There are some countries where they are making progress like New Zealand, where the first transgendered member of any Parliament ever was elected in 2005. But this is unquestionably an exception to the rule and trans people still  have a long way to go to find equality in the world.

Trans people are called deranged and dangerous. If they appear in movies or in media at all it's usually to mock them or create an extra-disturbing villain in a movie about serial killers. They are portrayed as over the top, extra dramatic, and of lesser intelligence then any “normal” human being who has the good sense to at least know what gender they are.

Is it any wonder that so many transgendered citizens turn to sex work to make a living while still being true to who they really are? How feasible is it that you might walk into a bank one day and find a transgendered teller taking your money or that the nurse checking your blood pressure might tell you that “his” name is Lisa? Often any “normal” job a transgendered sister would find would be low paying, or hire them only under the condition that they come to work dressed in a way that in and of itself feels highly oppressive to them, as if they are going through life half way. Sometimes they turn to sex work just to earn extra money to save up for a gender reassignment surgery that almost no insurance company will pay for, just so they can be who they are, just like you and me.

LGBT rights organizations sometimes acknowledge the “T” at the end only as a footnote, and many of the prominent radical abolitionist feminist leaders do their best to keep them out, sometimes not even attempting to hide their disdain.

In “Transgender Activism: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective”, Sheila Jeffreys argues that, “transgenderism might more reasonably be seen as a violation of human rights and should certainly not be uncritically accepted as a socially transformative force equivalent to gay liberation.” She said that, “Transsexualism opposes feminism by maintaining and reinforcing false and constructed notions of correct femininity and masculinity.” And like many other radical abolitionist feminists she calls sexual reassignment surgery “self-mutilation”, not unlike piercings, tattoos, branding, and many of the other practices of sadomasochism.

In “The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male”, Janice Raymond put it plainly when she said:
“All transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, and appropriating this body for themselves. [...] Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive. The transsexually constructed lesbian-feminist feeds off woman’s true energy source, i.e., her woman-identified self. It is he who recognizes that if female spirit, mind, creativity and sexuality exist anywhere in a powerful way it is here, among lesbian-feminists. I contend that the problem with transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence.”
And Radical feminist philosopher, academic, and theologian Mary Daly made
this comparison:
“Today the Frankenstein phenomenon is omnipresent not only in religious myth, but in its offspring, phallocratic technology. The insane desire for power, the madness of boundary violation, is the mark of necrophiliacs who sense the lack of soul/spirit/life-loving principle with themselves and therefore try to invade and kill off all spirit, substituting conglomerates of corpses. This necrophiliac invasion/elimination takes a variety of forms. Transsexualism is an example of male surgical siring which invades the female world with substitutes.”
– from: Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism
This transphobic streak still persists today in the radical faction of feminism and shows itself in some women’s festivals, in heated comments, and the absolute REFUSAL to recognize and embrace our transgendered sisters and their issues as part of the women's movement.

So, with few employment choices and even fewer organizations that will speak strongly on behalf of their issues, many transgendered women turn to sex work. There they find company in their fellow outcasts – the whores of the world. And in return they give back just as much as they receive. They not only play leading roles in the advocacy for the rights of sex workers, but help keep them safe while on the job as well. A cisgendered, female, former street sex worker told me once that she would always work the areas where the transgendered women worked. She said that pimps were less likely to try and harass her there because the trans women were less likely to take their ill treatment and had a tendency to protect their cisgendered associates.

This is just one example of how the radical faction of the women's movement has left some women behind. They can easily pass judgment on some for not recognizing the significance of the collective, but when that collective does not recognize you, what are you to do? Herein lies the nature of the conflict between feminists with the power to influence policy and those who fight to be heard. Sex work is a hub of intersectionality that radical feminists would sooner silence then risk the unique issues facing the women within it distracting the focus of that collective. A collective guided by a small group of the most privileged among us.

In Audre Lorde's “An Open Letter to Mary Daly”, she summed it up nicely when she said this:
“This dismissal stands as a real block to communication between us. This block makes it far easier to turn away from you completely then to attempt to understand the thinking behind your choices. Should the next step be war between us, or separation?”
Extra info on Trans-misogyny

For anyone curious about how female to male transgendered citizens are viewed by abolitionists, see Sheila Jeffreys, “FTM Transsexualism and Grief”

Also, I want to thank Iamcuriousblue for helping me find some cool links and proof reading my writing.

2 comments:

Owl Eyes said...

Oh my god, i'm so glad you posted this. ICB has trolled me a lot in the past and attacked me on my stance as anti-exploitation.

You have again hit the nose on the head. Fantastic work and critique as usual :)

Owl Eyes said...

"A subgroup that is one of the most stigmatized, feared, hated, and misunderstood in just about every society in the world.
[Isn't this a classic example of doing what some feminist and anti-feminist bloggers call "oppression olympics"? Are we really supposed to understand and believe that six to twelve year-old non-trans girls in poor countries as LESS HATED and MORE UNDERSTOOD and LESS STIGMATISED than trans adults doing sex work in wealthier countries? To me, that'd be an astoundingly Western racist, elitist, and callous thing to be implying. Not as callous as how Western wealthy white men treat six to twelve year old girls in poor countries, however. Because they are committed degrading acts against actual people, while Divinity is making a statement in a video on YouTube, and those things are not equal--to be clear. Not by a long-shot. More on this point later."


You read my mind after I saw "Transgendered people are the most oppressed" I was thinking, wait? Does she mean in the West? Because there's a thing called 'feminization of poverty' that begs to disagree with her argument. The majority, a disgustingly high majority of the world's poor, living with HIV, face the highest rate of rape, abuse and murder are female-assigned-at-birth women. This illustrates, like you stated, the narrow minded, white-supremacist view that is so disgustingly anti-feminist I could tear my hair out!