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um... who me? uh i guess i'm the lounge's resident tranny. old school bustie formerly known as butta.

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 | Category: politics
entry Dec 27 2008, 05:53 PM
fuck obama redux.

i know, i'm telling everybody to fuck off, but as a queer woman, this rick warren thing is burning lots of bridges for me. i don't have a simplistic view of it, as you know reading my last fuck the.... post, but it just galls me, people who think the warren thing is no big deal. so i'll spell it out for you, incase you haven't a clue.

these things, these events, prop 8, the warren thing, they don't happen in a vacuum. they are societies permissions for assholes to mistreat other americans. when a whole state says it's ok to deny a whole people their HUMAN rights, does that not say they are less than human? when a president elect, fast on the heels of such a public event elevates a biggot from that same state to a national stage, does he not say, to some degree, that he agrees with it, in that he is willing to devalue their cries and pain? do they not both say, that the violence-- verbal, physical, sexual and psychological is ok? that they will look the other way? is that not what obama is saying? when he turns a deaf ear to the protests? how can he not understand the situation when it is called a "sista soldja momment" by pundits? does he not understand the insult that was caused by clintons when that occurred? granted, obama isn't terribly into rap, but how could he not understand the insult of that "moment?" sista soldja-- who had written a book just before the clinton snub, that pushed forward many of the same ideas obama and clinton espoused-- not being slutty, having self-pride, working for community, and taking responsibility-- was made into a scapegoat . not for the betterment of our country, but for crass, immediate partisan gain. to appease white rural/conservatives. for people who were not even ever going to vote for him.

i try to think of obama as a smart guy, but this-- he-- is stupid. there is a price to be paid for this stupidity too. not by him, not by warren, but by us. the everyday people who bear the brunt of such craven stupidity. here we have a case in point. in that supposed bastion of tolerance, san francisco. thanks to poly for the link.

Lesbian's brutal gang rape investigated in Calif.

By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer – Tue Dec 23, 2:41 am ET

AP – Lesbian allegedly gang raped by 4 men
SAN FRANCISCO – A woman in the San Francisco Bay area was jumped by four men, taunted for being a lesbian, repeatedly raped and left naked outside an abandoned apartment building, authorities said Monday.
Detectives say the 28-year-old victim was attacked Dec. 13 after she got out of her car, which bore a rainbow gay pride sticker. The men, who ranged from their late teens to their 30s, made comments indicating they knew her sexual orientation, said Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan.
"It just pushes it beyond fathomable," he said. "The level of trauma — physical and emotional — this victim has suffered is extreme."
Authorities are characterizing the attack as a hate crime but declined to reveal why they think the woman was singled out because of her sexual orientation. Gagan would say only that the victim lived openly with a female partner and had a rainbow flag sticker on her car.
The 45-minute attack began when one of the men approached the woman as she crossed the street, struck her with a blunt object, ordered her to disrobe and sexually assaulted her with the help of the other men.
When the group saw another person approaching, they forced the victim back into her car and took her to a burned-out apartment building, where she was raped again inside and outside the vehicle. The assailants took her wallet and drove off in her car. Officers found the car abandoned two days later.
The woman sought help from a nearby resident, and she was examined at a hospital. Although the victim said she did not know her attackers, detectives hope someone in the community knows them. One of the men went by the nickname "Blue" and another was called "Pato," according to authorities.
Richmond police are offering a $10,000 award for information leading to the arrest of the attackers.
Gay rights advocates note that hate crimes based on sexual orientation have increased nationwide as of late. There were 1,415 such crimes in 2006 and 1,460 in 2007, both times making up about 16 percent of the total, according to the FBI.
Avy Skolnik, a coordinator with the New York-based National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, noted that gay, lesbian and transgender crime victims may be more reluctant than heterosexual victims to contact police.
"Assailants target LGBT people of all gender identities with sexual assault," he said. "Such targeting is one of the most cruel, dehumanizing and violent forms of hate violence that our communities experience."
Skolnik said the group plans to analyze hate crime data to see whether fluctuations may be related to the gay marriage bans that appeared on ballots this year in California, Arizona and Florida.
"Anytime there is an anti-LGBT initiative, we tend to see spikes both in the numbers and the severity of attacks," he said. "People feel this extra entitlement to act out their prejudice."

 | Category: politics
entry Dec 27 2008, 05:51 PM
fuck obama....and the gay community too.

i'm sure you're thinking, wha?! fuck obama and the gay community too? but follow me here, k?

i know what obama was trying to do with having that prick-that-shall-not-be-named doing the invocation at his swearing in. it wasn't some sort of turn the other cheek, "bringing sides together" move. to the contrary-- this was done to quell the right. some stat came out that most people on the right still think that he is a muslim -- what is the best way to get a second look for those people and quash some of the resistance on the right?

pick a very visible right wing preacher to do something with high visiblility.

this is a totally selfish act. he is doing it, not with an eye towards bringing people together-- the inauguration isn't for all the citizens-- to the contrary, it's a celebration for all of the people who worked to put you into office. it's for your supporters, obama. not to further your political aims. not for some statement. the inauguration is to thank those who busted your ass for you. not to elevate a bigot to a higher platform.
don't tell me that it makes people think. prop 8 did that. don't tell me that this is that different kind of politics that obama was talking about. the religious right has been pandered to for more that 8 years. how is this any different? i call bullshit.

instead of giving us a reason to celebrate, to hope, you've taken a group of people who are already smarting from a recent political defeat, and not just slapped them, but spit in our face to boot. you've just disillusioned a lot of young queer people. good hustle on that, (commander in) chief.

i know there are those who say there are bigger fish to fry, and to that i agree-- but i think this was so insulting that a stink should be made about it, and there is certainly some bad blood flowing my way towards our incoming president.

i've caught heat from my liberal friends because i've never liked the clintons-- they did some things that pissed me off before they got into office, that i still dislike them for, and it looks like obama is going down the same road. i don't give a fuck about if they've got a D or an R after their name it's what they do.

and this is not a good sign.

this ain't change i wanna believe in.

that said, even though i know it's cutting off my nose to spite my face, i can't say i feel sorry for the gay community. they cry about getting 'thrown under the bus' but it was less than a year ago that most gay people were more than happy to throw trans people under the bus with a gay rights bill that was put forward by none other than barney frank, the senate's openly gay senator. he bowed and scraped, and kissed republican ass in stripping trans people out the bill which ultimately failed anyways. so fuck y'all too. y'all were talking about "we will get you in later..." and "it's too soon for trans people." yeah, whatever. the issue is that transpeople are the most visible, most vulnerable part of the queer community, and you are ashamed of us. all the same we are more likely to be kicked out of the house as a teen, more likely to be shunned by friends, most likely to be assaulted, most likely to be suicidal, more likely to be killed, but you were more than willing to sell us down the river. now that you are being told you have to wait, that crow you're eating don't taste too good right now, does it?

i'd like to think you'd learn your lesson, but somehow i doubt it.

 | Category: politics
entry Jul 10 2008, 04:11 AM
because of some bbcode issues this had to be a separate entry
*beats her head against a wall*


back to the basics:
there are three componants of human sexuality: sex, sexuality and gender or SSG.
contrary to what most people think, these three componants are SEPARATE. they are non-interchangeable, as each deals with a different area.
sex is strictly biological, having to do with one's body. but even this is not as simple as most take for granted. even on an genetic level, there isn't just xx or xy but xxy as well. essentually, while sex may seem like it is either male or female, this is an illusion. human sex is more a matter of addition rather than either/or. professor of sociology ken plummer says "biologists can classify the hormonal, chromosomal and reproductive differences."

sexuality: this one is just as complex, but pop-culturally is much less simplistic. but it is more accurately called 'sexual orientation.' since this is the least germane to what we are talking about, i will leave it at that.

gender: contrary to what we have been told about this, gender is NOT THE SAME THING AS SEX. gender is very much a social construct and changes with time, culture and location. what may be very "masculine" may be considered very "feminine" in another culture, or even in the same culture. to prove my point, if you go back before the 1900s, the color blue, as an eg, was actually considered a color than indicated femininity. so. gender is a shifting social construct that while it insinuates sex, is much more slippery. a man may be quite "feminine" but his sex, all the same is male. think about it this way: gender is more like a frame. it is a border to tell you how to value what it holds. or think about gender in different languages. a ship is a she. it has no sex organs, but it is she because of a cultural perception. in the same way, i am to all appearances female gendered, but because i have not had "the big operation" my sex is male. that is the sex and the gender, sexual orentation is who i am attracted to, which in my case is females. so am i gay? am i straight? it depends on if you want to classify my orientation by my gender or sex. so can you see why there is the need for a difference, yet?

now, that said, your opening para is not quite correct. to be accurate, sex isn't gendered, gender is sexed. the difference is one of imposition. and while sex may be way more categories than we normally perceve, it is quite concrete and can be tested. gender changes. sex is objective. gender is all appearances and socital consensus.

That this sorting is culturally subjective. To substitute male and female or feminine and masculine with butch and femme dose not in my mind simplify the questions we are raising but actually complicate them even more.

the point, as i said before is to remove it from a context of patriarical system of man vs. woman which is more sex based rather than gender. if it complicates it or makes it more difficult, i suggest that you re-read my posts until it makes sense to you. but there is a method to the madness. it is crucial for the point i am trying to make.
Society dose not for instance ask is this new born femme or butch. But if they did, they would still assign sex according to those categories.

exactly. this is NOT ABOUT SEX, IT IS ABOUT GENDER. your illustration above is you confusing the terms sex with gender. the societal perception of an action, or power is gender. for my point, there needs to be a disticntion between the two. we are talking not about what is between your legs, to be blunt, but rather cultural and sociatal perceptions of action, and their perceived gender that results in what we are labeling power.
Butch is a tem which caries with it an intrinsic femme element. To call a man in other words a butch is to challenge his masculinity.

butch carries no such intrinsic femme element. if any woman said a man is butch, i doubt the man would bat an eye, but would rather take it to mean he is very masculine. indeed, even in the gay community, a butch is not in any way femme, but rather an extreme of masculinity.

When we use words like Butch and femme to categorize human potential we limit the ability of men and women to fully express themselves. Because these categories reinforce hetero-normative power structures.

yes, i'd agree with you, IF, we were talking about sex, but as i said, GENDER IS NOT THE SAME THING AS SEX. a man can quite easily be a femme. and just as easily a female can be quite butch. it is only a limitation be cause your "hetero normative" culture puts those restrictions on it, and tells you that sex and gender are for some reason bound/the same thing. THEY ARE NOT. but the subject at hand is femme power as an alternate/means of resistance to the patriarchy. we can wish for a system that is non patriarical, but that isn't gonna happen tomorrow. but again, i think you are conflating sex with gender after all, the category of butch dyke is not a reinforcement of the hetero-normative, since that system says that only men can exercize a masculine power. a butch woman is a troubling of those waters. it is only seen as a limitation, if you bind butch with maleness, and femme with femaleness. neither is mutually exclusive.

as for the point that you make for mornington's post, you miss my point. i am talking about power in a subcultural context first (queer communities), before we talk about it in we wider (patriarical, american) culture.
To say that feminism is in the habit of erasing/discounting/erasing femme avenues of power. Doesnt address why. The why is your own fault? You are erasing femme power but moving one type of power out of the femme ledger and into the butch ledger. That is a choice you are making.
how? how am i erasing femme power? again you conflate sex with gender.

Once we accept power as gender neutral we can simply talk about what works when how best.
power is not gender neutral. it is sex neutral. there is a difference.
Men do not have power in patriarchy because we value butch power more than femme power. Men are in power because they use effective strategies to subjugate women.
wrong. one of the strategies that men use is to minimize/erase/discount and dismiss the contributions of women. much as you are doing here. it is obvious that women are not paid the same, but their contribution is erased, as is a counter means of power or means of resistance. in many ways feminism played into this with many of the tactics of the 70's-- ie saying that the only way to be free of the patriarchy is to be without sex or to be blind to sex (sound familiar?) it's exactly what your are proposing now. it's nothing new. it's the thing that said that both butches and femmes in the dyke communities were traitors to the patriarchy, and women could not date men, or wear makeup, or skirts, and on and on and on. tried, failed, crash and burn.
Women need to be able to use those same strategies with out having to have their gender challenged by being categorized as butch. Similarly men need to be able to relinquish domination strategies with out being label femme.
lol. you're telling me what? is that supposed to be something i don't know? i want to agree, but i don't think the solution is to be without labels, but rather, without stigma. i think what you are proposing is similar to repulicans saying they "don't see race" when talking about affirmative action. it should be nice, but it ends up being something that benefits white people. in the same way what you propose benefits men/patriarchy, because it says that if you examine femininity, or see it then you are submitting to the patriarchy or hetero normative systems. as i said above. i reject that. i think any human being can use either butch or femme or other forms of power at any time, they are not bound by one or the other by their sex. gender power, again, is not bound by sex.

[your] line of reasoning ...will never value womens contributions beyond some narrow archetypal norm. Femme is just another prison for every woman who want to free to not have her every action categorized and held against her by thought who believe a women can only be one thing.
*eye roll* no. to the contrary. i am not suggesting that because your sex is female you must/can only operate withing a femme power mode. it is simply an option. i think you are projecting here. trust me, i am more than comfortable with very butch women. i admire them just as much as femmes. my community is composed mainly of seattle's dykes and f2ms. i am familiar with more gender identities on the gender spectrum than you can shake a stick at. i could never, would never talk about this in some sort of restrictive manner. i want to talk about this, because this is something that is rarely discussed. there are umpteen books about female masculinity, and seeing as we live in a patriarchy we are all too familiar with male power. but looking at femme power, femme identities is something that is not often discussed/delved into. in many feminist circles there is still a bit of a taboo about it. older feminists have a hard time with "girl culture," to say that femme identities and femme power are erased/omitted/discounted/rejected is not an over statement. and i for one don't know why it's such a scary thing.
one more time everyone, SEX DOES NOT EQUAL GENDER.

i am interested in femme power. i feel it's been shunned/neglected/erased from feminist theory, and while we know all kinds of things about male power, feminists are just now starting to explore femme power, after having neglected and shuned it for decades and having been introduced to it, i want to poke and prod it. but please don't tell me that we need to go beyond gender. for all your rah-de-rah talk, i've got walk. i live this. this isn't some cute intellectual, hypothetical, academic exercize for me. i've lived years between genders. i've been a boy, and i live as a woman. if you choose to go that route you talk so much about, eshewing "the patriarchy, gender, and "hetro-normality," please do. i'd love to see people put their money where there mouth is when they talk about living outside the bounds of gender/sex. but, as one who doesn't exactly fit into sex or gender roles, and is hardly "hetero-normative", i think you will find it more difficult than you think.

more tomorrow...

 | Category: politics
entry Jul 10 2008, 03:38 AM
so, i'm going to cut and paste some things not written by me. i'd like to get the writer's permission, but well they don't post here anymore, and even if they did i doubt that i would be on speaking terms with some people. but this is a public forum, and they were using a pseudonym. i figger, fair game.
(maddy29 @ Feb 2 2007, 09:36 PM)
i think that it can be useful to examine WHY we choose the things we do. If I'm doing something that the patriarchy approves of, I'm sure as hell going to check that out.

GGG-my ? to you would be-why do you wear mini skirts? tight shirts? etc. Not saying it's bad, but asking why? I think sometimes this stuff is sooo firmly entrenched in us that we can think we are "just doing it for ourselves" but in reality that's not totally true.

rudderless makes some great points-really nice. i don't think it's just the effort involved, although that's part of it. To me, when a feminist gets a boob job, she is capitulating to the pressures of society. Does that make her not a feminist? Of course not, as long as she believes in equality and all that good stuff. However, she should be aware that she is capitulating. She should NOT try to pass this off as a "feminist" act.

My main problem is when people try to defend their actions by calling them feminist. hey, we all choose our battles-just don't call it feminist...i mean, if you like watching mainstream porn, fine, but don't say it's a feminist act. Doesn't mean YOU aren't a feminist, but don't try to say oh it's feminist because it's ME doing what I want. That's what bugs me a lot.

Again, I really don't care what individuals do, for the most part, as long as they aren't hurting anyone else. ANd I do think we have to take responsibility for the part that we, as women, as feminists, play, when we strengthen gender roles, etc. It's not about feeling shamed of our bodies, or the feminist rules, or anything like that. It's being aware of how your personal choices can effect others.

Now, that being said, I DON'T think this is anywhere near the most important issue in feminism, far from it. There is clearly tons and tons of big stuff that is WAY more important. But I get frustrated when I see people saying "Oh this is feminist, because I'm a feminist, and I'm doing it." That doesn't make it feminist! A feminist posing for playboy is not a feminist act-it's just a woman posing for playboy. I get tired of the excuses....
exactly. exactly! Not blaming us as individual women, trying to make choices in a world where we are constantly being pressured to be this or that....but blaming patriarchy for forcing us into these stupid choices.

(nohope Mar 18 2007, 04:00 PM)
As I mentioned to Girltrouble in a private discourse we had, I dont think there is such a thing as "famine power" and "masculine power," there is just Power

Further more what I believe Girltrouble was describing is not power at all but rather coercion. She called it persuasion. But the truth is that those people who would be persuaded are not persuaded because of their inner strength, but rather because of their inner weakness. i.e. what we are talking about is suckers. Now the ability to sucker people is not power. And to sucker someone is ultimately a form of coercion. And that coercion is made possible because of Patriarchy and the limitations it puts on men as well as women. A rational and stable person would not fall victim.

So is there a place where "feminine power" is considered libratory for women? Sure there is a place. But is being seductive that "feminine power?" I think not. But lets say it is. If so it only exists with in ht confines of patriarchy. With out patriarchy femininity would have no "power." Does that mean it never is libratory for women with in patriarchy? Probably not. But it does mean that it usually isnt, no matter how much thought we have put into it.

And the reason is that when we use patriarchal tools to gain feminist ends, we ultimately strengthen and reinforce the patriarchy.

And important distinction here is women and woman. Just because something empowers a female does not mean it empowers all females. The metric for women liberation is does a particular action empower the group. I mean to me that is what makes an action libratory verses repressive.

The means are the ends.

p.s. I find the question is something feminist, to be kind of pointless, be cause feminism has become to fluid an idea to have any meaning. Womens liberation is at lest a little more precise.
(...Mar 18 2007, 05:58 PM...)
I guess that depends on ones definition of power. But for me power is the ability to determine ones own destiny. Not the destiny of others, but ones own.

There for from my perspective power is non-gendered. But who has power with in any particular context is a function of the social contract.

If there is such a thing as gender recognized by the social contract, and if that gendered social contract conceives of a male gender among others and if all other genders are subservient to that male gender then what we have is called patriarchy. And under a social contract, in which patriarchy operates, yes non-men exercise less power and there fore have limited ability to determine their own destinies outside of prescribed social norms.

and i retort:
[color=#ff0066]oh, come on, nh. your contention that power is the ability to determine one's own destiny, not the destiny of others, is, honestly, absurd.

when your boss fires you, does he not exert power?

if power is a matter of social contract, then what does a gun do? rewrite the contract?

the social contract doesn't change, but the context does. the social contract doesn't change, but the context does if you know the gun isn't loaded.

i think what you describe in your last para below, is the way we assume that power works, it is the male=gun sort of view, but if someone doesn't abide by the social contract, refuses to play along, or knows that the "gun" isn't loaded/doesnt exist/apply to them, the context changes.

you switch between power and 'coersion' when it suits you. your labeling it as such is a means of changing it's context and meaning. in the story i gave about getting a tire changed, i doubt anyone who is in the slightest bit sane would call flirting with a man to get him to change a tire is coersion. holding a gun to his head, perhaps. using his "dick" to your own advantage? not even close.

as i said in the private email with you nh, i think like many, you confuse sex (what is actually between your legs, or more precisely the organs in your body cavity) and gender (which is more society's perception of your actions) they are not one and the same thing.

this is an important distinction. to make this more clear i think we should talk about this not as male-masculine/female-feminine power dialectic, but rather in terms of a butch/femme one.

because your sex is male does not mean that you are relegated to strictly butch power. you have an option of using any type of power you choose. but because of your socialization as a man, you would more than likely be prone to use butch power. in the same way that in certain situations, women would probably use a more femme power. there is certainly a difference between because when you say that there is not male or female power there is simply power, i think you are putting on those same blinders that you spoke about in one of your posts. my story is asking, is there a means of using femme power as a form of resistance to patriarchy? i say yes. now you may not be aware of the kinds/forms of femme power, other than the most blatant, because of the "sea" you swim in. it's similar to the way that white people aren't always aware of white culture because they don't know anything else. but the reason i talked about femme power in the context of dyke communities is because in that context male and female power-- as you put it-- is removed from a body attached view. that is not to say there is not sexism, misogeny, or any other hatred in that community, but rather simply it is a different M.O. for women to exert or exercize power absent of it being attached to maleness specifically.

despite your need to relabel it coersion, i think there is very much a case to be made for femme power as resistance.

Mar 19 2007, 10:29 AM
I'd also say it falls into being "femme" behaviour. Putting it into butch/femme classes actually makes a lot of sense; while they are echoes of what could be considered stereotypically male/female behaviours, they effectively remove sex from the equation.

i think the problem-- and it was some feminist high-femme dykes that pointed this out--- is that the wider culture AND feminist circles think of that femme power as weakness, or lack of power, but it is far from it. and i think that feminists need to take a look at that, examine it. the other way of thinking, that there is only male power and that it neutralizes all other power, is sexist. i think feminism will/has/should move in that direction.

i understand what you're saying, mornington, but that is not what i'm getting at, but it illustrates what i am trying to say, if you follow me. but i am coming from this place of specifically gendered power. as i said, gender is different, distinct from sex. remember i am talking about different ways of operating even with people of the same gender: i.e. dykes. among dykes male/female isn't a real dynamic. a woman who is a butch is not male, but very much female, but the kind of power she uses is butch. the flip side of which is femme. so we are NOT talking about male/female but rather BUTCH/FEMME. it may seem a quibble, but the reason this is so important, is that even when we are talking about an all female population, the tendancy is to discount femme power in favor of butch power. and this is what i am getting at: feminism, much like the patriarchy is in the habit of erasing/discounting/erasing femme avenues of power.

does that make sense?

if you say sex neutral, i'd agree with you, but to posit that all forms of power are gender neutral is to erase the femme in the equation by virtue of how we usually frame/view power. femme power isn't considered "powerful" when practiced by men. it's simply not thought of as power. its that same over arching thing that gives women no alternative avenue of resistance/power under patriarchy. there is only one way of exerting power, and to use my terminology it is butch. there is no space for the femme. that is why this line of thought is emerging from the femme dyke community. it is one of specifically femme power where a new, younger population of femme dykes are asserting their power and strength.

 | Category: politics
entry Jul 10 2008, 02:59 AM
this is a post i wrote in the constructing/deconstructing thread. i've been going thru bust kind of picking the scabs over some old wounds. it's painful, but i am kind of amazed that i have some sort of talent for writing these really interesting, complex nuggets and simplifying. pulling things from around me.

the argument sprung out of another discussion and, i think, me saying i was thinking about getting a boob job in another thread. granted, a rather provocative statement on a feminist board, but, i said it out of wanting to investigate/interrogate my own thoughts on the subject. to mull them over with some friends (so i thought with some of the busties), honestly, forthrightly.
Jan 30 2007, 09:46 PM
i come at this from an odd angle. in many ways being trans, means, no matter how attractive, i am almost always the "the unattractive friend", as pug put it, because i was born a boy. but with tg girls, i am the 'lucky one', because i am pretty for a tg. sometimes i am both in the space of 2 minutes. but the same circomstances apply for tgirls--if a woman's worth is in her attractiveness, it's even more so for tgirls. the passable ones are given preference. from the start, my idea was to assume i wasn't passable, and never would be. i assume everyone i meet knows i am tg. but if people think i am attractive before they know, that changes quickly when they find out.

i think a lot of the same things apply if you are a brown kid, there have been studies about how we have less of a chance at loans from banks, and simply having pictures of black people in a house for sale can devalue it by thousands.

along the way, dolly pardon popped up. ok, i brought it
Jan 31 2007, 01:34 PM
i was thinking about something along the same lines as your question in the second paragraph, but i was thinking of someone who i think is a feminist, and the quintessentual symbol of a man's idea of a woman:dolly parton. can she be a feminist? how about mae west? many of the women who trade on that visual power of the attractive woman/pretty girl are also trailblazers to be both are also heroines to me. they were more than happy to take power when need be. they made choices that were right for them dispite what the men around them said. mae west was a playwriter and was responsible for the career of cary grant. she called the shots on her films. dolly parton is an extremely prolific songwriter who refused to sell the publishing for her songs-- unheard of when she started. i was watching a bio on her and they were talking about how elvis wanted to record the song "i will always love you." he was the biggest star on the planet, and if he recorded a song, a condition of him recording it was that he would own half of the music rights and publishing. dolly refused. she said she did the work, she wanted to keep the rights. that is a very feminist stand....

as for feeling less feminist when i am 'the lucky one" no. i'm me. i know who i am, and my point of view, and actually, it's kind of depressing. i am very tied to memories of when i started to transition, so being ridiculed on busses, ostricized by other t-girls, very obviously a boy... plus, being the 'lucky one' in t-girl land is like having a target on your back. my feminist stand when it comes to that community was being a visable 'rule breaker' and encouraging other tg bois+girls to do the same at the queer drop-in center i helped at. i caught a lot of shit from tgirls and drag queens for being me-- they would talk shit about how i was a skateboarder, and "was confused." but that skateboard was-- and is my symbol of what a woman is to me. i make my own choices, define who and what i am, and if it means having little community, then so be it. my feminism is a personal one. i do what makes me happy. i want to be my own heroine.

Feb 2 2007, 11:13 AM
what is interesting here (to me) is the purpose of that dolly's image isn't about the male gaze, although that may be a side result. anyone who has heard dolly talk about how she came about her look knows it's more a matter of self-determination and self-conception*, to me that makes it feminist, because her actions were about pleasing herself rather than a man. and isn't that the bedrock of feminism?

*dolly has said countless times that when she was a girl she was in town with her mom and she saw a woman who her mom described as "trash" and thinking she was the prettiest woman in the world, replied to her mom's comment by saying "that's what i want to be when i grow up!"

this was in response to someone who said they didn't think we should use the word "patriarchy." this is a bit rough-- it was in the middle of some pretty heated arguments, and well, it's a forum so it's not been edited. but the point isn't that i am gung-ho about patricarchy, but rather, that to erase the word from our lexicon handicaps us in concisely making our argument. from there i go on to talk about a theory i had forgotten: femme theory, which, i am really interested studying in detail.

Mar 12 2007, 12:58 AM

well, i'd like to agree with you, and i guess in someways that i do, but discarding patriarchy because it's outdated?

the trendiness of a word is kind of irrelevant, if it accurately describes words in a concise way. i think of patriarchy as a shortcut. without it you end up using a feew sentances to get to the same meaning as one word. patriarchy hasn't outlived it's usefulness by a longshot.

that said, i think i know what you are getting at. it's been discussed a lot here lately. you want to move away from a constrictive definition of feminism. (although you phrased it in terms of the patriarchy). the problem with that is that it falls in to the right wing trap of absolving the patriarchy. it's a neat trick, and an easy one to fall into. but the problem isn't the word patriarchy, it's an old, antiquated, fixed idea of feminism.

i think that is one of the reasons that some younger women are afraid of calling themselves feminists-- they equate it not with what feminism has become-- an evolving idea of gender equality as a benefit to society-- both men and women. republicans tend to promote that old concept in language, using terms like "feminazi" to recall a man-hating feminism that hasn't existed for decades. it's to their advantage-- it's just another way that they use fear. they ignore the fact that feminism has been evolving from the start. it's incorperated different classes, cultures, racial and gender identities. but that 'focus on the male gaze' (a hilarously smart turn of phrase, btw) is still needed as long as it is men still in power.

femme identity, is, to my mind, the next thing that needs to be seriously incorperated into that gender equality ethos. i posted something in another thread talking about a cableshow here in seattle that was talking about femme identity, and femme resistance. it's a concept that comes from the dyke community, where there is often a butch/femme dichotomy in dating. as long as there has been a butch identity in the dyke community there has been one for femmes. for long stretches femmes were either, bimbos or traitors. but for some time there has been a new undertanding of femme strength, and the ways a femme identity uses and flexes it's power. sadly most times power is viewed only thru a prism of masculinity. but femme power is just as potent. it's just that most people are unaccustomed to viewing and calling that power.

one of the people on that cable show made this illustration:
"now, if i got a flat tire, which takes more intellegence? to change the tire myself, or to charm someone into doing it for me? the end result is the same. it's just a different kind of energy used to get the job done each way."

there was an illustration about femme resistance talking about when a butch would get in an alteration with a straight male. the femme would interceed using her femininity to defuse the anger in the situation. in that case the femme power is stronger than the masculine.

i agree that it is useful to have a view that is complex rather than one that is simple. bianaries are such a typically western way of thinking. and i think there is more than enough room in that evolving idea of feminism. it'd be another way that feminism is-- and has-- moved away from it being a movement of middle class white women to one that is inclusive of all types of women and men who believe in the equality of the sexes.

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