Monthly Archives: June 2014

Today’s Obligatory Blog Post: Brought to you by Misandry, Misogyny, and Toxic Party People.

I am trying to post at least one blog post a day, partially to keep up with it, because I am notorious for starting things, and then getting distracted, and then I’ll go months not posting anything, and then find a blog I started 4 years ago, that I didn’t keep up with, as I am starting a new one (yes, that happened, evidently I had a BDSM community blog back when I was partnered.)   I am finding writing quite cathartic actually.

I caught a bit of flack from a friend about the article I wrote in response to Kevin Williamson, not based on its content, but based on the fact I let The Good Men Project reprint it.

Now to be honest, it was my best friend from childhood that recommended I write it, he is the Executive Director of MaleSurvivor and someone I admire very much. A survivor of rape/sexual abuse himself (as am I), he has turned his heartache and pain into a positive and is helping others. He is an ally and a hero in every sense of the word, and I try to be an ally to him.

I was personally upset to see generally, when we discuss the Misogyny in the world, we don’t discuss the Toxic Masculinity that causes more damage to Male Survivors especially, but men in general. Toxic Masculinity and Misogyny in my mind go hand in hand. So when I looked at TGMP’s site, saw them not only addressing some trans* issues, but also Toxic Masculinity and Misogyny, I was on board.

I mentioned this to said friend, who pointed out this piece at Feministe, which essentially said that TGMP were MRA allies… because they posted something written by a self-confessed rapist.

I read the article again, and having been part of party culture in the past, I got a completely different message. They weren’t lending an excuse for this person’s screw up (though he definitely was, while simultaneously taking responsibility? I am so confused by that in and of itself), but pointing out that when drugs and alcohol get involved, things can get fucked up. Period. If you don’t know how to be responsible with your drugs, you probably shouldn’t be doing them.

For people who want the drug and are willing to sacrifice their moral compass for them, there is no absolution “because you were drunk, or high”. I wouldn’t go all out to say all drug users are fucked up. I know better than that, and know many people who can indeed be responsible.

I think personally, they pointed out something very fucked up. The fact that there are actually people who think of themselves and try to be good people, where because of another issue, severely fuck up. This doesn’t absolve them, but it does point out that this man, who obviously has some strong feelings about rape, seems to throw that out the window when it comes to drugs (and men aren’t the only offenders here). I just see the idea of “drugs are more important than my morals, and if I have to become a rapist for drugs, then so be it” to be REALLY fucked up, and I am glad they called attention to it.

By the same token, I can see where people would be upset at anyone giving an outlet to these words. It’s easy for feelings to run high, especially among people like me, self-confessed misandrists (but I am trying to change that, I really am, and my best friend would probably think I have made some extreme strides in this over the past few years) who are willing to be angry at every perceived slight in regards to misogyny, even misunderstood, just because I disagree with an aspect of what they might be saying.

But I do think, in a world where I have stopped socializing at parties friends are at because of behavior like mentioned in the article, after I spent more time policing the venues than having fun, so things like this didn’t happen, maybe it *is* something we need to talk about. Toxic attitudes take all shapes and forms, and not talking about another attitude that leads to more victims is at the least wishful thinking, at best, just as bad as people who refuse to see the misogyny inherent in the system.

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Is “Policy” an excuse for Negligence?

The last few days, we’ve been hearing about a raid in GA, US that happened where a baby got hurt by a flashbang grenade.
I have a few friends in the military who have been appalled by the fact this even happened to begin with, that police here in the United States have justified the War on Drugs so much that they aren’t even responsible to the same rules of engagement soldiers are.

In a world where governments regularly place surveillance on people that they don’t even suspect of actual wrongdoing, can you tell me that this SWAT/SRT team could not get intelligence letting them know there was a child present? That they went through the trouble to get a “no-knock” warrant, but couldn’t get a surveillance warrant to make sure that the person and items they were looking for were even on the premises?

Special Skills If a person engages in an activity requiring special skills, education, training, or experience, such as piloting an airplane, the standard by which his conduct is measured is the conduct of a reasonably skilled, competent, and experienced person who is a qualified member of the group authorized to engage in that activity. In other words, the hypothetical reasonable person is a skilled, competent, and experienced person who engages in the same activity. Often persons practicing these special skills must be licensed, such as physicians, lawyers, architects, barbers, pilots, and drivers. Anyone who performs these special skills, whether qualified or not, is held to the standards of conduct of those properly qualified to do so, because the public relies on the special expertise of those who engage in such activities. Thus, an unlicensed driver who takes his friends for a joyride is held to the standard of conduct of an experienced, licensed driver.”

I posit, since the activity is the same as the military, and requires training as such, that police forces should be held to the reasonable responsibility of getting an up to date situation report (sit-rep)

Just because policy allows something doesn’t mean its legal, or even rules out criminal negligence.

And that this Police Chief should not recognize that at all, and blame his negligence on the person who the warrant was for, is preposterous.  The buck should stop at the Police Chief or Mayor who enacted these policies, because clearly, military style force with no restraint against our citizens is precisely one of those issues that the US was founded over.

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Societal Construct or “Biological Fact”?

Mr. Williamson, I just read your article claiming that Laverne Cox cannot be a woman based on “biological fact”, yet your understanding of biological fact is somewhat outdated, or even completely wrong.

The Myth of Binary Biological Sex

 

Human beings do not have only two possible biological sexes, in fact, like most traits, these things lie across a continuum or spectrum. Much has been done in the fields of genetics and epigenetics to prove that it’s not “all in our heads”  – I personally spent years thinking I was some run-of-the-mill trans woman, with all that went along, until I was almost 40, and some health problems cropped up, and I was tested and found to be XXY (Klinefelter’s syndrome). Some ex-sex partners also agree my phenotype isn’t quite male, but it’s not quite female either. It’s just closer to male than female, so it was labeled as such.
I am not claiming Laverne Cox is intersex, but I am deconstructing and refuting your idea that only two sexes are available to humanity. That your so-called “biological fact” is quite outdated regarding genetics and phenotype.

You would be surprised at how many people are born with a different sex or sex chromosome difference. Leaving aside the question of “trans”  for a second (which we’ll come back to, I promise) … let’s just examine your complete misunderstanding of the facts here.

The Intersex Society of North America has a great section on how common IS conditions are:

Not XX and not XY one in 1,666 births
Klinefelter (XXY) one in 1,000 births
Androgen insensitivity syndrome one in 13,000 births
Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome one in 130,000 births
Classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia one in 13,000 births
Late onset adrenal hyperplasia one in 66 individuals
Vaginal agenesis one in 6,000 births
Ovotestes one in 83,000 births
Idiopathic (no discernable medical cause) one in 110,000 births
Iatrogenic (caused by medical treatment, for instance progestin administered to pregnant mother) no estimate
5 alpha reductase deficiency no estimate
Mixed gonadal dysgenesis no estimate
Complete gonadal dysgenesis one in 150,000 births
Hypospadias (urethral opening in perineum or along penile shaft) one in 2,000 births
Hypospadias (urethral opening between corona and tip of glans penis) one in 770 births
Total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female one in 100 births
Total number of people receiving surgery to “normalize” genital appearance one or two in 1,000 births

This clearly shows that intersex conditions are not as rare as one thinks. Therefore, your “human beings fall into man/woman categories based on physical sex”  argument is quite outdated. In fact, it’s a societal construct much like the one you are arguing that gives trans people the ability to identify as a different gender than assigned at birth is.

What makes your construct any more “right”  than ours is?

The History of Alternate Gender and Cross-Sex identities

In Egypt, there were three genders, though modern society claims they were castrati or eunuchs, there was very little evidence to actually suggest they were castrated.

In Vedic (South Asia) cultures, there were also three genders, and they even suggested that the third gender was made up of both male and female bodied individuals

In the US itself, there are many stories within Native American cultures that talk of “two-spirited”  individuals.

Worldwide, Western Judeo-Christian Culture has erased the cultural norms of other cultures, my own ancestors, both Irish and Italian/Roman had different views of gender and sexuality. The Celts had a very amorphous view of such, and the Romans had the Gallí – priests of the Goddess Cybele, who were male bodied but female identified. Interestingly enough, its theorized that the word Gallí came from the Celtic tribes in Galatia, now part of modern France.

Essentially, the idea of people who are transgender, and take on traditional female or male roles is ancient.

Even in modern times, Albanian female bodied people (sworn virgins) who take on traditional male roles as head of household exist, and become socially “male”. These cultures are traditionally so patriarchal, yet they allow such.

So how is my, and Laverne Cox’s experience of this gender identity expression any different from those throughout time who expressed themselves and identified as a gender opposite to the sex assigned at birth? Other than we have more understanding of the body and brain than we did in ancient times, and it lends a little more medical fact to those identifying as another gender, there is not much change in the reality of how we may see or interact with our own bodies as being different. Its not about you, Mr. Williamson. Its about me. My experience, my reality, my body. How does it hurt for you to humor me, even if you don’t agree and your worldview is based upon a Judeo-Christian one that has erased the allowances for non-binary genders and sexes. Even when there was no medical proof, these societies made allowances for such.

Our Rights within our society, or “Why does this bother you so much”?

 

So now that I’ve beaten your societal construct into submission, as you tried to beat ours into submission with no actual facts whatsoever. I want to bring you back to 1851 – Slavery was still quite common in the US. Black women, especially slaves were not afforded the same rights as white women (who were definitely not given the same rights as men… sound familiar?)

A woman named Sojourner Truth, a black woman from New York State, born into slavery, spoke at a woman’s convention in Ohio.

She said, “You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, – for we can’t take more than our pint’ll hold. The poor men seems to be all in confusion, and don’t know what to do. Why children, if you have woman’s rights, give it to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights, and they won’t be so much trouble.”

Does the idea of trans people being treated as equals really offend you that much? That you have to claim your world view as truth to keep people from being protected as human beings? All we want is the freedom that our little pint holds. As a white cis-gender male, you have your quart of privilege. You can have it, I don’t see why you see this so-called “societal construct” that you call attention to as such a threat to yourself. However combatting a societal construct with another, calling it “biological fact” is quite a stretch, especially since your “biological fact” is anything but fact.

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