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Full Version: What the F@%&?! And more feminist outrage...
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sorry. quick trans language translation:
    tgirl, t-girl, gurl mtf or m2f = female transexual. specifically male to female.
    genny= genetic girl.
    tranny, or tg= umbrella terms for transgendered people of whatever gender.
    ts=specifically transexual either m2f or f2m but not meaning cross dressers, drag queens etc.
Thanks, Girl. I thought that's what you meant, but I wanted to be sure.
sorry i feel likei unintentionally highjacked a thread that i was enjoying. sorry.
I don't think you hijacked, because you made clear that you were black and transgendered early on, and I wondered if the reason that you had so much experience with the agencies, and loved and defended them, was because they would be one of the few places that would hire you. Sadly.

Being able to survive and stay safe and stay out of the sex worker/homeless etc. life and come out to people is largely a matter of class privilege. There is a woman here named Nancy Nangerone who used to be a male engineer, so had plenty of money stashed away, and probably people still willing to hire her as an engineer since that is a more skilled profession and s/he had several years of experience before transitioning and several years in transition and living as a woman at all times before creating a public profile. What she does now is a radio show called Gender Talk, and she is generous with helpful information, resources and encouragemnt, there are both FTM and MTF trans people on the show and there is a lot of humor and advocacy.

You can download cookies of the archived show if you go to, click on schedule, find "Gender Talk" click on the square. Nancy also has her own website that is probably linked to that, and is a really nice person, you could listen on MITs very capable streaming audio to the live show and call in if you want to!!


My own past is, parents who encouraged books and nature and all but ended up living blue-collar lives -- my dad went to MIT but had breakdowns through his life so was not able to have/keep high pressure white collar joba and had stigma after a while. I was very motivated to go to college and graduate school because I didn't want to just work low level jobs or become a housewife, and my test scores were way above my grade level in grade school. I saw school as a way out, almost as a way of rebelling against my parents rather than as living up to expectations, because they felt worn down and discouraged by life and weren't terribly enthused about paying for my schooling.

I got into a cheap pre-law/law program, got good grades but didn't really like it, and dropped out when they made it clear that they were getting divorced as well as getting sicker and really needed the money. Giving me guilt-trips about it.

Worked a few crappy jobs but always looking for the ones that would lead to a path upward.

Did "Women in Blue Collar Trades' CETA program, I liked the feminism and rebellion and what is actually damn good money, yo! And a way to stay healthy and have a family. First time I worked out in my life.

Went to art school later when dad got an inheritance.

Worked in photo labs, then for a very short time cleaned houses while going through training paid for by unemployment to enter graphic arts field.

Worked my way up very successfully -- the problem with blue collar trades, for me, was that you would get sick of physical work by the time you're fifty or so, you have to get up early every day and fall asleep exhausted at night, so no time for my art and books on the side.

Did all kinds of production and design, moving ever upward, and even publishing some articles and having my art and design distributed to the world. then, it became clear that I wouldn't get any higher without a Bachelor's, so I cashed in my transfer credits and work skllls and parlayed my way into getting one. had to suffer living very close to the bone and under constant high stress for years, and got fat and all, but finally got the degree. It is very hard to pay your way in an expensive east coast american city. "You can just get financial aid!" does not begin to cover it. Say that and I will have a strong urge to slap you.

Now I'm competing with wealthier and younger people in a competitive field, more or less successfully, but there is stlll a certain amount of "slavery" involved.


I just get annoyed with the lines of bullshit:
Every woman is a prostitute anyway!
Every sex transaction involves some kind of money anyway!
Every job is just the same as prostitution anyway!

Or, a woman who has a mysterious source of income, talks a lot about her class and how much "power" she has, has a lot of sex with men but finds sex with women comforting, and insists she's NOT a sex-worker! I've known enough women with that profile who were -- one of my friends in high school who was a runaway and a sex worker, etc. to find that profile and claim suspect. Denial. Pretension.

I think sometimes denial and pretension are necessary not to succumb to a deep well of breakdown, but still.


When I was talking about soul, I meant that grossing myself out with part of my own sexual and emotional functions would add a level of difficulty to having positive relationships with others, and with myself in terms of creativity. That doesn't have to be true for everyone, I guess.
Also I should specify the women I'm talking about are not busties and, IRL, initials AN and EP and GP and I knew them years ago -- Like, 5 or 10. They were so ferociously defensive about their money and their sex life and very oversenstive in general that I knew something was up. They were trying to start their own feminist porn enterprise, which is how I met them. I was going to write or do art or design or production or something, but they were not fun. Not at all. Or particularly trustworthy.
Sorry, go HERE:

No, I think you have brought yourself and your experience to the discussion, Girl. Thank you for that and for being brave.
Ok, maybe I just don't get it. How does Miss Nevada get 'relieved of her duties' due to some 'racy' photos of her taken while out partying, yet Miss USA gets a second chance for MULTIPLE occurances of underage drinking?

Granted, there are issues on top of issues surrounding the whole world of beauty pagents, but that aside for the moment, how is it worse to kiss a girl and show your boobs than it is to go out and get shitfaced proir to being of legal age to do so? I'm at a loss.
girltrouble: I just remembered I worked with a working-class, middle-aged transgender person when I did customer service work for cell phone companies! It's not with the general public (visually) so, you know.So, that's a possibility if you want something "legit" that's kind of what you did before. The pay's like 20k to 30k a year but you get benefits and consistency and something to put on your resume.


hoosierman78 -yeah, I'm not sure what the deal on these contests is. In a way, it's all about their sexuality, in a way, they are in denial of that -- FEROCIOUS denial, i.e. the people running the contests insist they are not some model agency/pimp org.

I guess it's supposed to be, wouldn't you want to have a lovely traditional family with this ideal woman.

It's supposed to be sweet wife and future momma kind of sexiness.
thanks for the info, but i really didn't want the conversation to turn to my being transgendered. i transitioned a loooooooooong time ago, did lots of non-profit work, networking and public speaking on panels. it's something i'm very comfortable with, and i think only had a little to do with the topic at hand. which i'm really interested in. my gender stuff, i pretty much figured out.

i went to a very nice, university, but for the field i was pursuing, school didn't equate to good pay. part of the job problem is that in my city the unemployment rate is pretty high. one of my friends went to graduate school twice, and still spent a year unemployed. add to that that i am very artistic in temprament, and as i said, escorting has been very good to me. i've been doing it off and on for years, never had any violence (unless it was me and i was domming), and i've been able to support other things i wanted to do. i was a film reviewer for years, worked for an international film festival, dj'ed and now i am starting a painting career. all things that if i had a regular job i would'nt have been able to do.

i know the urge is to say it's bad, and terrible, but i've known girls who have been able to support themselves while going back to school, make sure their children were housed and fed because they worked.

i know you get sick of what you call "lines of bullshit" i am sick of people who discount what is empirical for 2nd hand stories, and think they know better. sorry. escorting is pretty much the same as any other job to me. and i've actually done it, so i think i know. i've done labor, i've had office jobs, i've worked as a writer, i've worked retail. i've worked on films. my feeling is work is work. some jobs suck more than others for various reasons, but that is all about what suits you. i've tried resturant work, and i can't do it, don't like it, and would never do it again. does that mean that it automatically is evil? obviously not. it's just not for me. same here.

i've had jobs where bosses screamed at the top of their lungs at employees, banking on the fact they couldn't quit. for me i walked into my last job, my supervisor was in tears cos my boss was talking shit, blaming me for stuff that everybody knew was his fault. i didn't have to debate or plan on how to make rent after my last check, i just walked in to his office and gave him my two weeks without missing a beat. like i said. doesn't mean it's evil, it means that my boss was a dicklick. contrary to what you think and your 2nd hand judgements, to me it's meant freedom.

i know, you will throw sex slavery up here, and of course i think that is wrong. i am a big beliver in the bdsm rule of SSC: safe sane and consentual. and that is what i am talking about. a woman can go into this 'field' and be thoughtful, intellegent, and very aware of what she is doing, and how she is doing it. i don't think, and i am not talking about people who are coerced, which, people seem to think is all that is out there.

i know you think somehow i'm being a pollyanna, but i don't think that most women who do this have a horrible experience. i don't think everyone's had my fortune either. i think like maddy pointed out, that it's probably something in the middle.

as sick as you are of hearing your list, i am sick of people who discount what is empirical for 2nd hand stories, and think they know better.
Nothing against you, girltrouble, well, as I woulda posted last night, if I hadn't already posted something so dam' long :-) -- You know what is best for you, and I am glad you found something that works for you.

I know I shouldn't make assumptions about your life, and so I appreciate knowing about it. It's hard to know about a lot of details unless they're posted.

My suggesting the phone banks was not to imply you "needed" a way out -- I do wonder about medical bills, dental bills and retirement, though. The fact that it is illegal income poses certain problems, so, you would need a side "legit" job at least, so you can bank your money without the feds coming to call.

Maybe you work that out through the paintings or something, I don't know.

I think I'm posting not against you as an individual -- definitely not against you as an individual, as you seem likeable and hip and intelligent etc. -- as I am against a certain trend of dogmatic "sex positive" academic feminist theory.

Where once we were all presumed to be lesbians, we are now all presumed to be polyamourous and BDSM hipsters. I wish we could stop having "trends" witth women's sexuality.

I also wish women were not as relationship-dependent, relationship manipulating, group think-y, if you want to be my friend we have to be THE SAME as they/we? seem to me. Why *are* we even constantly debating what people "should" do?
oh, please don't get me wrong, wombat, you're probably my favorite bustie right now. i love to be challenged, and debated, and told i am wrong, wrong, wrong. don't stop doing it. just know i will occasionally whine about it. wink.gif i have the utmost respect for you. your questioning makes me think, and that is great. i dig on it. and i know your heart was in the right place. i love talking about gender, and can talk about it endlessly (right now, i am deep into a debate on big queer blog about the use/uselessness of gender neutral pronouns), i just wanna stay on topic. it (and you) have made question my experiences. which has been a long time coming.

as for your othr points. trendyness in something like this is...ick. but that is the way ideas spread. i absolutely agree there needs to be room for everybody, but disliking a new understanding of something, or a new idea is like killing the messenger. i understand the way backlash works, but in many cases, the initial reasons for a particular "movement" or idea is valid.

here's an eg: the phrase "politically correct", or the thinking behind it, was really something that started in berkley. there was the whole racist thing of "ebonics" and discussion about that, but some of the students and profs were interested in having a new classical cannon of literature that wasn't all dead white men. they wanted to be more inclusive, and respectful of different cultures, peoples and povs. republicans, spurred on by a threat to their privilage turned a phrase that meant adding to the richness of our cultural sign posts, and deepening our understanding of the human condition, turned the phase's meaning on it's head, changing it to mean something that is oppressive. the antithesis of what it originally meant.

that said, sex positivity has been around since the 80's and from what i remember reading of authors like suzie bright, was that it was intended to do many of those things; to give women tools to be less relationship-dependent, to explore their sexuality in earnest. remember, the 80's was suffering from a sexual backlash from the excess of 60's free love, the 70's disco sexual inferno, and it was the start of aids. there was a lot to be fearful about. sex pos was a sorely needed reaction to all of that "just say no" rubbish.

and i don't mind being a poly bdsm hipster. it works for me. lol

i'll shut up now.
well girltrouble -- you are one of my favorite busties too!

I gotta take a break on the "norm trends in talking about sex and whether they are good or bad" discussion for right now, though I'd love to return to it.

I'm also setting up web sites, and CHRISTMAS.

Leaving no energy for academic/political/sex pickings right now or else my head will asplode!!
Most charges against Girls Gone Wild producer dropped

Here's hoping the federal charges stick.
"a lack of evidence to support the charges "


drop $9.99 plus shipping and handling! there's your evidence! why'd ya even need to search his private jet? why does the a-hole have a private jet?!?!?!?!?!?!?! so he can jet-set between slumber parties more easily????
That sucks!!! We'll see what happens....
i was just thinking about the whole "women's sexuality trends" today and was so glad to find a discussion of it here. a friend of mine and i were discussing how what's considered the "norm" sexually has changed so much since we started having sex.

i remember a time when anal sex was something only "freaks" did...if you'll please excuse the term; admittedly at the time (15) that's how we felt about it. now, if i don't want to have anal i'm some kind of frigid prude. the same is true if i don't want to get drunk and make out with my best gal pal simply to entertain drunken men. the other day my 20 year old niece was telling me she's a LUG. I didn't even know what she meant...turns out it means "lesbian until graduation". i'm struggling with whether i'm proud of her for being open about sexuality or disappointed in her for using lesbianism as a tool for seducing men. am i even making sense here?

don't get me 32 i'm more than comfortable with the boundaries i've set for myself, and don't let myself get bullied or coerced to go beyond them. i just think we've come a long way from when a girl who gave head was something special. anyone else have thoughts on this?
I'm mildly annoyed by "trends" for what a woman is "supposed to" do with her sexuality, but I wouldn't describe it as an outrage, necessarily.

I think what we're trying for is to accept the whole spectrum of women's sexuality as defined by each individual.

That can be difficult: as other pople get involved, it becomes an issue of social negotiation and people take extreme positions one way or another.

For me, anything that isn't the old: sex only for reproduction, reproduction always the result from sex

has got to be progress.

If I'm making any sense. smile.gif
This is why I hate pople!! ha ha ha
wombat, i think that's what's bugging me...the idea of "supposed to". i've got no qualms about anyone doing what feels all. and yes, by all means, explore! learn new things! I certainly hope i didn't come off as being distrespectful or judgemental of anyone.

But, yeah...the idea of "supposed to" just doesn't sit right with me.
It might be that people are more open to discussing such stuff as anal sex as they were in the past too, I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's become more commonplace.

A part of me thinks that women have always had expectations foisted on them in regards to what is socially acceptable for them sexually in regards to what sort of experience they should or should not have. In the past, they were expected to remain virgins until marriage (and in some circles they still are) with no knowledge or desire of sex; now they're expected to act like porn stars, yet still have no real desire of their own. Instead, they are expected to want to do what the mainstream culture says they want to do, whether it be making out with other girls or looking like Barbie. If that is what turns you on, it's okay, but I think there's a majority out there who don't get turned on by that. What we really need is for people to realize that neither extreme is good and everyone is different. Unfortunately, I don't see anything like this occurring in mainstream culture anytime soon.
QUOTE(lilacwine13 @ Jan 18 2007, 11:30 PM) *

If that is what turns you on, it's okay, but I think there's a majority out there who don't get turned on by that.

the majority, as usual, is hetero men. the britney-madonna girls-making-out trend is clearly not for the participating girls' own enjoyment. if we see more "unusual" sex practices in the mainstream, it's mostly because it's for the commerce and entertainment of the majority.

Okay, I know a lot of Busties are sick of the shit storm that has been going on, please don't think I'm trying to start riling anyone up,...but since there has been some misunderstanding about those of us Busties who identify as feminists AND subs in our relationships, please accept my heartfelt attempt to explain our point of view.

Maddy, the Fun with Floggers thread is a safe place because most of us can't talk about our desires IRL, for fear of the reaction that you had. You may be thinking, like many Christians do about gays, "if you are so insecure about it than its because deep inside you know its wrong." Well maybe, maybe not, but personally its hard to stay confident about your sexual desires when people that you respect are sickened by it.

I like the Bust Lounge because it is a large umbrella of feminism that lets many under it. There are more radical feminist sites that aren't as accepting. "I blame the Patriarchy" is one of them, and last year they went apeshit after discovering the "Taken in Hand" site. Maddy, you probably relate with a lot of what they say here, and I don't mean that in a bitchy way, I mean that there are plently that feel like you do about this. The link:

As a discretion, they are discussing a poorly titled article that was written on TiH, "When Rape is a Gift". Many women were shocked at this title, even regular members on TiH, but it wasn't really about rape, but about blanket consent in a relationship. Again, I'M not defending that particular article, it is the more extreme end of a TiH relationship, BUT the way the "Blamers" attacked women who identify as subs really got my blood boiling.

ETA: The discussion on the "I Blame the Patriarchy" is looooooog, but if anyone wants to read it I believe it is a thourough debate on feminist politics regarding sexual choices. I understand the concern many of the radical feminists have, but most of their comments I feel are hurtful. This was the most upseting exchange to me:

antiprincess says:
"I’ve spent the past twenty-some years trying to make peace with my weird little secret (being a sub), wrestling with my despicable, pitiful, sicksicksickness. talk about self-criticism - believe me, I’ve faced down an entire North Korean re-education camp’s worth of self-criticism, and its attendant self-loathing, self-disgust, self-destruction. I’ve thought long and hard about it, and come to the conclusion that I’m just fucked up that way, and the less I obsess about how pathetic and dirty and sick I am, the more functional and normal I’m able to be.
So what should I do? I want to be progressive and politically aware and fight oppression, all of that - and yet you’re telling me that the way I process the sexual experience is so screwed up that I can’t blame the patriarchy like the cool kids.
Maybe I should just not even try to be sexual at all, lest I call the wrath of the patriarchy (or the patriarchy-blamers) down upon us all. Do I sacrifice my orgasm for the revolution?"

To that Veet says:
"How about try the little exercise of substituting “pedophile” for your ‘weird little secret”. What do you think a pedophile should do, get into ’self-criticism, and its attendant self-loathing, self-disgust, self-destruction’ so long as (he) is not asked to “sacrifice my orgasm for the revolution’?
And yes, you could, maybe should, get some help. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is proving to be incredibly successful, and you can use a book or online. Instead of whipping your own self with ‘how pathetic and dirty and sick I am.'"

and Puffin says:
"As far as the revolution goes, I’ve always found that to be a revolutionary, you have to be willing to think about more than just your own personal liberty. Revolution is about the common good. It’s about fighting for something bigger than your orgasm, for instance."

WOW!? Really? The greater feminist good wants women to SACRIFICE their orgasms? And a female sub is as dangeous to society as a PEDOPHILE? Thats rich.

Anyway, the dialogue gets really good when the woman who actually wrote the TiH article chimes in and has this to say:
"It seems to me that one of the mistakes some parts of the feminist movement make is in trying to replace one set of prescriptions and proscriptions with another, instead of advocating free choice. It is no good making compulsory that which was once forbidden, any more than it would be a good thing to make that which was once compulsory, forbidden. Until we all uphold the freedom of others to make their own choices for their own lives, whether their choices are ours or not, I think there will still be a problem to solve. We are all individuals, with our own individual preferences, and the mere fact that you find my preferences repugnant does not make them wrong or harmful in any way. Similarly, if the day came when Taken In Hand were about to be made compulsory, I would be fighting to the death to prevent that appalling outcome. As many posters on my site have said, it would be an abomination if it were compulsory."

"I understand that some posters writing here think that my site may adversely influence impressionable and vulnerable women (and perhaps turn perfectly decent men into rapists), but I personally don’t take such a pessimistic view of people. I don’t see other people as the weak and easily-influenced sheep some of you seem to see them as. I think that people can make up their own minds, and that they are perfectly capable of reading my site criticially."

Amen. I too think more highly of women and men, that we can think for ourselves and are not so easily manipulated by "the Patriarchy".

Thank you for letting me share this in here. I think its good for everyone to have their own point of view. I certainly don't think all women should be subs, or doms, or alphas or betas...we need variety! The final speech in "Team America" comes to mind. As crass and corny and sexist as it was, the "dicks, pussies and assholes" was a brilliant speech. I think it applies here.
muito thank you, greenbean, for bringing the issues that were upsetting me in the BDSM thread out of there and into this thread where i feel that i can talk about them.

i realize that you were quoting from the TiH site, but i still need to take umbrage at the comparison of pedophile to BDSM. i can't equate the two at all, even in a theoretical debate. people who get off on non-consensual sex with a young person who is unable to understand what is happening and what is basically rape just is NOT the same as a sub/dom relationship where there are two or more consenting adults who have gone out of their way to establish ground rules and limits (how far the domination can go, having safe words, having safe gestures-- such as a hand slap on the bed when something needs to stop).

i don't think that you were equating them, but i needed to state that disconnect unequivocably. what we feel that embarrasses us or makes us feel guilty may or may not have any connection with something that OUGHT to make us feel badly about ourselves.

i've been both a dom and a sub. mostly a dom, because -- surprise! -- i am a confident, successful woman who feels that she is indeed a feminist and isn't afraid to say so. i like to be in control. that is one of the reasons that it is so LIBERATING for me to be a sub. for once, i don't have to make the decisions. i just have to do what i am told. the onus is taken off of me. i am free to feel the pleasure and the pain of what is happening to me, and it is exhilarating.

i'm not here to try to "convert" anyone. i don't need to convert people to have my own beliefs as to what is good and what is bad, especially where SEX is concerned. i'm just here to say that if you don't want to read about how good people feel because they finally have a place where they can talk about how BDSM makes them feel so good without being judged, then you shouldn't be reading the BDSM thread.

the entire thing that went down recently in that thread reminded me of the inexhaustible debate about whether or not boy children should be circumcised --- in a thread here in the lounge about 2 1/2 years or so ago. eventually, the entire debate crumbled and it became all about bashing the other side's beliefs, no matter which side you were on. it was sad then and it is sad now, to think that we can't hold these beliefs and still respect each other.

okay. i think i've gotten that bit out of my system now. again, green bean, my thanks for bringing the issue up here so we can take it out of the thread where it doesn't belong. wub.gif
thanks Tesao!

(just a note, the pedophile comparison was made by a member of the "Blame the Patriarchy" blog, regarding the TiH site. I know its confusing!)
ooops. color my face red!

thanks for pointing that out, green bean. it IS confusing!!

(btw: i lurvlurvlurv your quote on your signature!!! not only is it hysterically funny, it is all too true, AND on top of all of that, it is John Waters!!!) rolleyes.gif
when i was in college, i took several women's studies classes, with the intent of making it my minor.

the third class i took ... midway through, half of the class stopped shaving, wearing makeup, etc, several women broke off hetero engagements, more than a few of the women started dating each other, and it became an all-out war of "you can't be a feminist unless you completely forsake the patriarchy". i can't remember a more confusing and heartbreaking catfight. not to sound melodramatic, but it pretty much traumatized me.

i dropped the class, quit reading feminist literature, and never looked back. i switched my minor to greek and roman classics instead. (talk about embracing the patiarchy, heh!)

to this day, i'm not sure i classify myself as a feminist, and i shy away from most of the heated, political discussions in here. i never quite feel like i completely belong on any "side".

except in my own mind, and within my own rationale, i know in my heart i'm a feminist. for me, it's all about choice. plain and simple.

and to end this completely nonsensical and probably way OT babble, i can't help but applaud those of you who make the "road less travelled", non-mainstream choices. oh, that i weren't so fucking repressed!
QUOTE(mandolyn @ Jan 19 2007, 07:38 PM) *

to this day, i'm not sure i classify myself as a feminist, and i shy away from most of the heated, political discussions in here. i never quite feel like i completely belong on any "side".

I don't feel like I'm on any side neither. It seems like most of my friends who claim to be feminists are the stereotypical "men-hating" types who blame men for everything. I don't think thats what feminism is about nor will it ever help resolve any issues. I don't think there will ever be equality between men and women just like there will never be equality between races. While most will embrace other races and or a multicultural society, there are many that will disagree with that. I personally feel if things will ever be equal, there has to be a level of respect and a deeper understanding and connection with men.
that was the point i was trying to make, mandy. i've seen it so many times, so many different groups. it's not the actions that make you a feminist. your experience in that class is the end result of that thinking. it is a set of unrealistic rules and expectations. but taken to it's logical conclusion it is a formula that results not in uplift of all, but a pervading feeling of inadequacy and insecurity. of not trying to make yourself better, but picking at other's to make yourself feel better. and when i heard maddy29 talking about getting her hair lasered, hey, i could relate. i've been waxed, nair'd, shaved, lasered and electrol'd. i was trying to tell her, that doesn't matter. that's NOT what makes you a femnist. it's that you understand and are aware of the mechanism of patriarchy. you pick your battles, you find the balance that is right for YOU. and your choice is not always gonna be right for me. or her, or that woman over there. women pick on and pick apart each other for so much bullshit. clothes and hair and whatever else. and now you want to use feminism for more ammunition? people talk about what makes them sick? that makes me sick.

one of the tactics of the patriarchy is divide and conquer. pit, latinos vs blacks vs africans vs arabs vs... women, the poor, the middle class, etc. but within each of those groups keep the members picking at each other so they can't make any real. collective. progress. let's not fall for that trap, k? i'm just sayin' there was a time when this place felt like home, but it doesn't anymore. not to me. but i do want the best for busties, but i can't be a part of it. like i said above, when i made that inital comment to maddy, my intentions were to commiserate, and i feel like in so many ways that attempt to say, i've been there too have come back to bite me in the ass, hard. and i would have been fine, but bdsm is as close to a religion as i get, it's very sacred to me. very profound, and to have someone give these flip, sarcastic comments about that and my transexuality-- that hurt and angered me very much. i have friends ask me about being trans and i am the most open person there is about it-- provided it is asked in a respectful manner. one that is open to hear. but when i talked about that, i opened myself up. are there really many busties who would be as honest about things like wanting a boob job, being an escort, and all the other things i've talked about? i think it's so much better to be honest, about transexuality, sexuality, desire, because without that honesty we rot away in our little closets, dying of loneliness. thinking we are the only ones, that we are bad for how we honestly feel. so i said it. i put it out there, i did it in a spirit of trust of this board, and the people on it, because i thought this place could be my home and again, it came back to bite me in the ass. your reply maddy, felt like you had made your mind up, your comments about my desires, my transexuality, about who i am, hurt me to the core. to the core. i have been hurt by so many people that i have confided in. the night i told my best friend i was on hormones and was transitioning, he got drunk, hit on my girlfriend and told her she should "lose me cos i was a fucking freak." this is a person i would have litterally given my life for, not 24 hours earlier. and when you made your comments, i bit my tongue as long as i could, but with those words, all those wounds ripped open. they broke my heart. those things i said about how much i respected and admired you, and your posts, were honest, and it felt like as i had respect for you, you had little more than contempt for me. de ja vu. and the rest of the acusitory posts from other people only drove the knife deeper. i felt--feel--betrayed, and very very hurt. i know other people have seen it differenly and they have posted to say so, but this is how i feel. not looking for sympathy, i'm just telling you where i'm coming from

maddy, you have every right to practice whatever kind of feminism you choose. that is your call. but, honestly, what has that feminism got you? you yourself were talking about how you felt bad for something so small as getting your legs done. when i ask you this, this isn't a retorical question, and i know you think that i "didn't get" what you were saying but i got it, because i have seen that thinking in application. i wasn't trying to attack you, that wasn't where i was coming from. my intentions were good, as i said, i understood that guilt, because i had been there. but we have to get past the idea of our personal actions being anything more than personal. read what mandy wrote. that is what the positive or negative binary results in: casualties, who find themselves unable to make choices because of opression. feminist opression, but that doesnt make it any less opressive.

i know you have been thru your own hells, as have i. mine are no more or no less horrible than yours, but they guide you in how you choose to live your life, as mine guide how i live mine. but please don't let your enthusiasm to be a feminist and all that means to you blind you to the dangers strict, hard rules can yield. tell me, what is more feminist: not wearing makeup or putting pressure on congress to ensure getting equal pay? not wearing skirts, or getting real anti-spousal abuse laws passed? plucking your eyebrows or...? sometimes a little perspective is needed. the point isn't to point fingers at anyone, but to point fingers at the power structure and effect change. all the rest, all the rest, the personal choices, the absolutes, the judgements, all of that, is bullshit that keeps us from getting together with other women and DOING SOMETHING.

who cares about how anyone else chooses to live your life if it makes em happy? how much value can feminism have if it makes us miserable, unhappy, guilty, and snarky? i've read so many posts talking about how porn actresses are bad for women, but how good is it for women to judge other women for their feminism or judging if they measure up to some feminist standard. i think that does far more damage. guys never judge each other like women. not even close. what do you think scares the patriarchy most? women united in a cause, or women not wearing skirts? the occasional porn actress, or pressure to ensure women are paid equally? don't we have bigger fish to fry?

as i said, i throw out these questions, and the questions i asked in the porn thread not to be retorical, but because i would honestly like to hear busties answer the questions, and say why they feel how they do. because as long as we gloss over the answers, this "anti/non-feminist" dogma stays theoretical, and we don't see the damage it can do. mandy's, seen first hand that damage. and just one small slice of that is that you hesitate to call yourself a feminist because you know the end result of that sort of rigid thinking. in that class you saw that nice pretty theoretical castle. but saw how in the real world, people get hurt by that thinking. i'm the proof. mandy you're the proof, and i'm sure we're not alone. its not some sort of 'persecution complex', but truth borne out of personal, painful experience.

i know the "personal is political" is the phase said over and over again, but why are the choices i make anybody's business but my own? if we were talking about bdsm, or abortion, maddy, you wouldn't want anyone making choices for any woman other than the woman involved, but when we make these value judgements saying x is not feminist, like in my case to say that getting fake boobs isn't feminist, is also to say that i, or any other woman making that same choice, is not ADULT ENOUGH to make an informed choice for her life. and i know you don't mean that. what i do with my body, my choice, is mine to make. if you really believe in feminism, then you have to believe in women to make their own choices. and value judgements have no place in feminism, because feminists believe that women are capable of making the choices that suit their lives best. that, to me is feminism, and feminism isn't about making new rules for women, but about making change. and if we are talking about making change-- reall change-- then the personal is personal and political is POLITICAL. tell me what is changed other than self-esteem by someone feeling, guilty because they don't feel aren't feminist enough, and being alienated from feminism? i would rather have positive motivating ideas that don't require a single rule of thumb for all the beautiful varieties of women in this world. and, yeah it's true, i am not gonna change jack shit with my fake boobs, but should it disqualify me when i call my congress person, protest and network with those i know to make political change? it is not the myopic that is going to get us somewhere. its not pointing fingers at ourselves or others for the tiny things that make us happy, maddy, and that is what i was trying to tell you. it is pointing the fingers at the power structure and changing them and that is PERSONAL, POLITICAL. and REAL.

ok. i've said my piece.
take care busties.
Mando, I can relate a lot to what you said about your college experience. I really think if I were taking the women's studies courses at my college at my age now, I would have a COMPLETELY different experience, not one that's better or worse, but different. I don't know how to explain it. In my heart I know I'm a feminist (and yes, that is probably the only thing that counts) even if on the outside I do like to shave my armpits, cook, and wear lipstick. Oh yeah, and I STILL believe in chivalry. Sometimes IRL I think I'm the only one who embraces both feminism and femininity. That's what keeps me coming back to the pink leopard spots.
mandy: when i was in college, i was living in a lesbian collective. my housemates wouldn't let any men friends come to visit. men were The Enemy. i was suspect because although i was living with a woman who was my lover, i self-identified as bisexual (not what i would call it now). it was an all or nothing sort of thing, then. anyone besides me remember the Equal Rights Amendment?

so i have a small idea of what you and raisin d'etre are talking about. i like lipstick and cooking too. and although i haven't shaved my legs since those same days in college, you can NOT tell because the hair on my legs is very fine and very blonde. which is great now, but which was a grave disappointment back then.

girltrouble, thank you for such an eloquent post. reading it gave me chicken skin.

QUOTE(mandolyn @ Jan 19 2007, 06:38 PM) *

when i was in college, i took several women's studies classes, with the intent of making it my minor.

the third class i took ... midway through, half of the class stopped shaving, wearing makeup, etc, several women broke off hetero engagements, more than a few of the women started dating each other, and it became an all-out war of "you can't be a feminist unless you completely forsake the patriarchy". i can't remember a more confusing and heartbreaking catfight. not to sound melodramatic, but it pretty much traumatized me.

i dropped the class, quit reading feminist literature, and never looked back. i switched my minor to greek and roman classics instead. (talk about embracing the patiarchy, heh!)

I think this is so unfortunate and happens way too often. Part of the problem is what bell hooks says, that academia makes feminism less accessable for everyone else. (In my city however, I do see a really strong feminist movement in the general public.) By the way, I think everyone should read "Feminism is for Everybody".

How long ago were you in college? I was wondering because my experience as a women's studies major has been great. One of the things I love about my classes is that everyone is so diverse, profs included, and generally accepting of how others want to express themselves. But I think I've heard a few horror stories about the women's studies program at the larger university in winnipeg.
I want to add something along the lines of what erinjane said. My experience in women's studies classes has also been fantastic, but I'm sure it depends on all sorts of variables: the prof, the dynamics of the class, the setting, and the political atmosphere during which it is taken.

I myself have a wonderful prof who is also in the poli-sci department, so the personal is political phrase is big with her. However, she emphasizes that it is our personal everyday issues that should band us together to make political differences, not to fragment us along the million lines of difference that separate us. She really engenders a feeling of pride in the things that make us all unique, and we can take these things and use them not only to our own advantage but also to reach out to others who share in similar experiences.

Anyhow, a little bit of a ramble, but I feel really bad that some of you have had such bad experiences in women's studies. It's not my major, or even minor for that matter, but these courses (and moreover the women who teach them and comprise the class) have been so important in shaping the way I see things and expanding my idea of what diversity really means. I grew up in a white-picket fence middle class neighbourhood on the Canadian prairies, and so my experience of these things was rather limited. Feminism has opened my mind to all sorts of things that I may never have even begun to understand otherwise.
*delurk* Just to say I think you are all strong, amazing women. And thanks for sharing your experiences.
*delurks to echo what yufie said*

I sometimes wish I had the option of taking something like women's studies. Mind you, at my college, I think it could do with being fucking compulsory. Somehow, what should be a shining light for feminism and pro-women and everything like that is, in fact, a combination of girls-gone-wild and ladette culture as 500 girls compete for the attention of 50 blokes (at the last count, half of which were gay), and everyone is mean to the lesbian couple. *sigh*

girltrouble, that was beautifully put.
All of this is reminding me that in my first women's studies class during freshman year, there was precisely ONE GUY in the particular course I was taking, and when we went around introducing ourselves to the other students, the guy said something along the lines of, "I'm here to get laid." Yeah. That made him real popular. blink.gif ::heavy sarcasm:: I don't even remember now if he lasted the entire semester; I doubt it.

This was in the early '90s before Clinton was elected, and at a school that was originally established as a women's college but had been coed for more than a generation.

I never wanted to be a WS major, though; it was English Lit all the way. wub.gif
raisin, me too! I heart English Literature and wouldn't be happy doing anything else wub.gif.

I second erinjane's recommendation of Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks, it should be a pre-requistite read as it is so accessible compared to other erudite academic texts that are simply high falutin.
i was fortunate enough to have a pretty amazing experience in my women's studies classes (it was my minor). i went into college a pretty hard core feminist, and i would still identify as such, but those classes gave me a whole new set of perspectives on feminism.

the first time we read bell hooks our prof led us into a discussion about one of the criticisms of feminism being that it tends to be a middle-class, white woman's movement. that had never occurred to me (probably because i am middle-class and white). it really made me examine my role within the movement, as well as my motivations for wanting to be a part of it. ahhh...good times.

i remember feeling so incredibly empowered by it all...and so excited to be doing that kind of soul-searching, and trying to find my place in the world. feminism was a kind of safe harbor for me (sort of like BUST is becoming), and it has rarely let me down. it's been a long time since i've felt that way about anything else.

for me, feminism has become a much more personal, rather than the feeling that i'm part of a collective...there are so many factions of feminists nowadays. probably always?
My experience in a women's studies class was just awful. I went in identifying as a feminist and went out thinking, "thank goodness this was not my introduction to feminism," and keeping my identity as a feminist at arm's length for several years. Our professor once lectured us on how if we were dating a man, we shouldn't agree to sleep at his apartment because that was encouraging the patriarchy. That was the mildest of rebukes she delivered, but her take one everything was all about applying broad statements to individual situations. She also thought no one should have children in a hospital and didn't want to discuss women who didn't want to have children.

My experience was not all that different from what mandolyn described. This was in 2000, if I remember correctly. It was one of my last two years, and I was extremely disappointed. It might have been one of the worst classes I've ever taken.
Personally I think women's studies shoots itself in the foot by remaining a separate academic discipline, thus ghettoising itself. I never took a 'women's studies' class, but I did read feminist theory in several different contexts, from film theory to english lit to reading The Beauty Myth for fun. I enjoyed much of it, although I believed some of it was too abstract to apply to real life, and was happy to be given access to various schools of thought within feminist theory.

'there are so many factions of feminists nowadays. probably always?' That's how I feel, spazmatazz.
Spazmatazz, I just want to say I too went through a confusing awakening about the issue of feminism being for white middle class women. My dad is white and my mom is Mexican American, but I look more white so I sort of grew up 'white', whatever that means. When I was a self-rightous teenager I got into feminism, and started getting really angry about old-fashioned traditions in high school like the whole Homecoming Queen thing. My mom, being American-born went to a mostly white high school, and was actually voted Homecoming Queen in 1968. I joked that I would have hated her if I were in her class. It started an interesting conversation about that time for her. On one hand she felt that it was a racial truimph, being a brown girl who was arguably the most popular girl in her mostly white school. But then she went to college (the first in her family to go) and second wave feminism as well as the civil rights movement was in full swing. She felt very torn. She felt like she was a feminist in the sense that women should have equal pay and education rights, but also felt very connected to her Chicano brothers in their plight, so could not join the man-hating that was becoming popular. When issues like women wanting to get out of the house and join the workforce came up, she couldnt help but laugh because all the women in her life HAD to work, be it steamstressing or fruit packing, because as poor immigrants the men could not make enough to support their families. So she felt like is was a white middle class option, to be able to work or stay home.

The leg-shaving is a big confusing issue to her too. Many women in Mexico and South America don't shave their legs, and if they come to America it really makes them stand out as immigrants or indigenous people. So, in order to fit in an seem more American, my mom and her sisters did shave their when the hairy-leg hippy-feminist trend started happening, it was very hard for them to get on board. A white, thin-haired woman can come off as a rebelious flower-child, but a brown coarse-haired woman just comes off as an illegal.

Anyway, just some thoughts on that!
Ooh! Sorry for not reading the whole thread - have only read greenbean's last post....but wanted to post that it TOTALLY resonated with me!

A couple of years ago, a feminist group I am involved in was going to produce t-shirts to get the women's vote out. The idea was to use Rosie the Riveter with the "We Can Do It!" logo ("We Can Do Voting!"), until we had this big discussion, spearheaded by a woman of colour whom I respect utterly, about how Rosie was actually a real huge problem in terms of getting women of colour to buy it and/or get out to vote (and it was that vote we were TRYING to get), because when Rosie originally came out, women of colour had ALREADY been "doing it!" The work, I mean. But it was somehow portrayed differently and as superior when white women suddenly had to jump into the fray, and Rosie was seen by many women of colour as a symbol of disrespect (at best) regarding the work already being done by them. That discussion actually turned into a big heated arguement. We talked about getting a different design, but it never happened, I think because the women of colour were expected to find the new design/designer, since they were the ones who "had the problem." It was sad, but the discussion was really informative, and really changed my thinking quite a lot.

It's an amazing example of how privilege can be a huge barrier even within our own movement.

Anyway, sorry again for not reading properly, and my apologies if I've gone off-topic, but I had to post that.
QUOTE(sybarite @ Jan 21 2007, 10:35 AM) *

Personally I think women's studies shoots itself in the foot by remaining a separate academic discipline, thus ghettoising itself. I never took a 'women's studies' class, but I did read feminist theory in several different contexts, from film theory to english lit to reading The Beauty Myth for fun. I enjoyed much of it, although I believed some of it was too abstract to apply to real life, and was happy to be given access to various schools of thought within feminist theory.

unfortunately, as long as women's historic and current contributions to all academic disciplines and the culture and philosophies of feminism are omitted from curriculums, there will be a need for women's studies classes. sybarite, i see you read The Beauty Myth for fun, not for a college class. so did i. my point exactly.

i had both types of women's studies profs - those who opened my eyes and those who tried to lay down more rules. luckily the first ones helped me see that feminism is about allowing women have more options, not less.
Nickclick, I knew posting that might be contentious, as saying something like 'women's studies ghettoises itself' is in itself a fairly absolute assertion. I ended up posting in a hurry so don't feel I expressed myself well.

I do agree that feminist theory has been excluded, or otherwise sidelined, in many mainstream humanities cirricula, which is possibly what led to the creation of women's studies in the first place. However, I have seen repeated examples of women's studies programmes which provide limited, selective feminist readings, instead of providing a wider, potentially contradictory array of feminist theories. I think women's studies should provide as comprehensive an overview of feminist theories as possible, given that it is women's studies and thus focuses on feminism.

I have also seen women's studies departments seprating themselves from other text-based disciplines, to their own detriment. I've attended a few interdiscplinary conferences and women's studies is consistently under-represented in my experience. These are the reasons I say it shoots itself in the foot as a discpline more often than not.

I am glad to hear of your and others' positive experiences with it though--as you say, there is good work being done ion some of these departments.
i really laughed when i read mando's post, about how halfway through the course people were changing so much! i definitely get that. i think in some ways, it's great, because just a few months of education can give us so many more choices! but at the same time, if it's not so much a choice as just another way to conform, not so good.

i was a women's studies major in college but i never "fit in" with the other women. i felt like they were either really hard-core or else kinda just giving it lip service. i felt like some people definitely looked down on me as "not feminist enough" because i had long hair, was straight, white, privileged etc. and then others looked at me like i was this radical freak smile.gif

women's studies, to me, was a total life changer. i already identified as a feminist but for me, learning this stuff was revolutionary-and having these amazing female professors, so amazing! i finally understood why i was so angry smile.gif it felt really powerful for me to identify as a feminist, and it was interesting to me to see sooo many women still afraid to call themselves that. i do think it's tough, because it's like calling yourself a democrat-what does that even mean anymore? it means different things to different people-and that's the biggest lesson i'm taking from this whole thing.

in college, and even after, i was called a man-hater a LOT. i kinda did hate men, as a group and as individuals. i spent my college years in a tight little friendship group-where we were a big support system to each other. one was recovering from rape, one was dealing with a psychotic and abusive father, and i was dealing with my incest shit. so i did see men as the enemy, esp at the big 10 school i went to with all the frat boys, etc. i knew so many people who'd been raped, assaulted, etc. i really did hate men for a long time. i didn't really want anything to do with them. i certainly didn't know any feminist men-the ones who said they were supportive or whatever, seemed to really just want to get laid....

ok, on to gt's post. i have to say, i really didn't get that you were trying to empathize with me about the shaving thing. it's not that i feel tremendous guilt, ya know? i felt ok about my decision, and then i thought about my niece who is 8. when i was home over xmas, i was showing my sister my legs, and my niece came in and wanted to see what we were doing...then she looks at her legs, and i'm like la la, change the subject. cause i don't wnat her to grow up thinking there is something wrong with her legs. by my participating in "beauty culture" i AM going to impact her. so that's where i was coming from-not this huge feeling of guilt, but an acknowledgment that the choices i make, no matter how personal or silly they seem-they DO affect others.

anyways, that's where i was coming from, and i read your posts as telling me that there was no reason for me to even think about these things, because it doesn't matter, and i disagree with that. in terms of choosing your battles, etc, i totally agree with that. for me, giving in to my kinda silly desire for hair-free legs was a battle that i just decided to let go, cause i decided it was just dumb for me to waste my time and energy on my leg hair! such a teeny small thing that i'm wasting my time on. so in that way, i do get what you are saying. i mean, a woman who is spending all her time worrying about that stuff, is probably not going to have the energy or time to do big stuff that relaly counts a lot more.

i'm not sure what i said that offended you in terms of being transexual. i don't understand it, so maybe i said something ignorant that was upsetting? i didn't mean to like, challenge your right to do that.

i still disagree with you on some stuff, like the boob job, etc. but that's ok, we can disagree smile.gif i think i understand where you were coming from more.

you wrote "its not pointing fingers at ourselves or others for the tiny things that make us happy, maddy, and that is what i was trying to tell you. it is pointing the fingers at the power structure and changing them and that is PERSONAL, POLITICAL. and REAL."

i agree, pointing fingers at ourselves and blaming us for the problems isn't my point. but i think it's important to critique some of the things that "make us happy." cause why do they make us happy? because we'll fit in better? because society will see us as "good women?" why?

i think you get that-the importance of understanding the things that are going on around us. and i definitely agree that working on the big stuff is way more important-like equal pay, etc etc etc.

part of all this, is that i've been reading "female chauvinist pigs" and it is totally life-changing. i feel the same way as when i read the beauty myth for the first time-this sense of relief, of freedom, of finally feeling understood. so i came on this board and wanted to share some of what i was learning/thinking about. and obviously, quite a few people here have really different viewpoints. for me, reading this book is just like, insanely validating to me. it's also making me incredibly angry-not just at "evil men" or society, but also at women who participate in sexism. now, i know that women don't have good options, i get that. and that's why i'm so angry! cause it feels like we're damned if we do, damned if we don't.....ok i'm rambling now smile.gif shocking! i never do that!

QUOTE(maddy29 @ Jan 22 2007, 11:09 AM) *

in college, and even after, i was called a man-hater a LOT. i kinda did hate men, as a group and as individuals. i spent my college years in a tight little friendship group-where we were a big support system to each other. one was recovering from rape, one was dealing with a psychotic and abusive father, and i was dealing with my incest shit. so i did see men as the enemy, esp at the big 10 school i went to with all the frat boys, etc. i knew so many people who'd been raped, assaulted, etc. i really did hate men for a long time. i didn't really want anything to do with them. i certainly didn't know any feminist men-the ones who said they were supportive or whatever, seemed to really just want to get laid....

just chiming in to express my f&#@ing outrage at the term 'man-hater,' as if my hatred of our patriarchal society and feminism action in general is only directed toward men. it's another term that only works for people who think the world revolves around men, personally.

yes, i hate abusive fathers, rapists, wife-beaters, frat boys that don't have consequences for their shitty actions, etc etc etc. i hate them personally. but that's not as productive as hating and doing something about (ie feminism) the culture that allows those people to easily do those things.

thanks sixelcat, for resurrecting the i'm still a feminist thread!
QUOTE(nickclick @ Jan 22 2007, 01:07 PM) *

yes, i hate abusive fathers, rapists, wife-beaters, frat boys that don't have consequences for their shitty actions, etc etc etc. i hate them personally. but that's not as productive as hating and doing something about (ie feminism) the culture that allows those people to easily do those things.

I agree with you 110%. You can hate as much as you want but it still won't resolve any issues. Fighting for feminism seeks to eliminate the line that seperates men from women in order to show that we are equals and deserve to be treated as such.
okay, on to new outrage, or in "what the..." news:

What's in a name? 300 bucks and a lot of hassle
must rant about the celtics new "dancers" who nicely ruined the game for me the other night. not like i really care about basketball, but it can be fun to go to a game. not so much now, with this creepy new atmosphere. they came out about 4-5 times to do their dances, and the guys are either just staring with their mouths open (literally) or yelling in that scary drunk guy way "hooooo, yeahhhhh!!!!!!!!! wooooohhh!!"

so, they are literally in two piece swimsuits. and they all have long, poofy, "sexee" hair which their choreography requires them to whip around like strippers. basically their dances consisted of "grind grind, thrust, thrust, turn around, whip hair sexily, drop on the floor with legs spread, thrust thrust," it was insane. i felt so insane.

they used to have cheerleaders, and they were at least male and female, and dressed more normally in uniforms. and they just did some cheering and stunts, so it wasn't so bad. but now it's just so nasty! and then there are these glamour photos of each dancer in the program, it was so sad.

so of course i was all rarrrrr! which made my boyfriend feel bad and annoyed at the same time. i was trying not to be too insane but it was bad. i realized that i really have no place at such a sporting event. i knew they had new dancers, but the tickets were free so i went. bad move.

it really made me mad though, that my boyfriend doesn't have to get it, or feel it. and i know that part of him thinks i'm overreacting, but it just made me so sick, and angry. i just felt like punching people! it's just sad to see that such sexism and bs can happen in front of sooo many people and it's just like la la, it's so normal. it just sends this message of "boys get to play basketball and if they are lucky and hot enough, girls get to dance around and shake their asses for a stadium full of people."

besides the fact that these dancers really were like strippers, and hi-there are TONS of kids there-families and stuff. then the camera for the big TV will focus on some "hot girls" and all the guys start doing that yell that scares the crap outta me. gah.

I was tempted to say, 'Yeah!! It's offensive because they ASSUME the audience is MALE!! And STRAIGHT!! Why not have some cute GUY cheerleaders shakin' their thang!!"

But then I thought, yeah, but women can just look at the guys on the team!

I wonder if:

the whole reason they have cheerleaders of the bikini and pompom girlie variety is because otherwise, the straight male audience might feel a little **gay** staring at those muscular men in their revealing outfits, and really admiring them and staring at them for hours on end!

Just a thought- ski laugh.gif
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