The Day My Hope For Feminism Died

06Jan10

Updated at the bottom (twice), considering the updates only further drive home the point that Shakesville is an enemy to trans women and Melissa can’t handle a privilege call out without crying cis privileged tears.

One of the worst transphobic haters in feminist history died in 2010. Mary Daly. I’m not one that gets pleasure out of people dying and I don’t find her death to be a good thing. I would much prefer if people like her stopped hating, recanted their statements and worked on our behalf to try to make amends for those they killed through their words enforcing the exclusion of us from jobs, rape shelters and attempting to deny us what we need to survive. But the fact is, now that she’s gone, she can no longer strike out with her transphobic genocidal ravings against trans women (and really all trans folk, although it seems she especially hated us). Sure she did some things for cis feminism but largely she encouraged our destruction and the destruction of cis men (which she equated). Sort of like how Polanski’s amazing movies don’t really change the fact that he raped a 13 year old girl and that he is scum. So while I don’t gain pleasure from death, even that of a dangerous transphobic icon, I’m relieved that one can no longer hurt us.

Of course, it seems that hating on trans women, encouraging our extermination and calling us “Frankensteinian” isn’t enough to keep cis feminists from showing her some post mortem love.

Yes. That’s Melissa McEwan, commemorating the passing of a woman who felt that trans women should not only not exist but literally be eliminated. Wiped out. Melissa, who had once been someone I personally trusted to decenter cis privileged views and give trans people the respect we deserve. Someone who I had once had in my bookmarks, someone who’s blog had once been one of my “checked every week” blogs. Who I have linked to, whom I would have considered doing guest posts for, before this had happened. She was called out, lightly and fairly ineffectively by IraeNicole and just_another_trans_guy (although he later brought in the heavy guns after Voz came in), more heavily and far more honestly by Voz, Criss and xpanasonicyouthx.

I’ll quote them in case the thread gets deleted:

Voz:

Wow, melissa. Eulogizing one of the most hateful cis women on the planet. She endorsed genocide, yet you hypocritically say “we just don’t [celebrate people's death here.]

I beg to differ. You put up full page articles glorifying genocidal cis women and then plead ignorance.

You ultimately do not care about trans women, and it shows by this post. Actions, not your own belief in your..intentions.

I doubt this will get published, but, hey, I already know where trans women stand here now.

Just Some Trans Guy:

Re: what alexmac said … how horrible DOES a feminist (or other activist supposedly on “our” side) have to be before we (the general we, humanity, not necessarily Shakesville) condemn hir rather than laud hir? Surely even the most terrible people have done some good in their lives, and we rightly do not laud them. What makes the difference between a post saying “This person was bad for X, Y, and Z reasons, although they were right about issue A” and a post saying “This person was awesome! Oh, but they WERE wrong about issues A, B, and C”?

Re: voz’s note on “genocidial cis women,” I’d like to bring attention to a post Lisa Harney left on Feministing’s Daly obit (http://www.feministing.com/archives/019528.html…), which quoted from a Daly interview:

“If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males. People are afraid to say that kind of stuff anymore.” (http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j16/daly….)

This is, quite plainly, genocide language.

Criss:

Isn’t the “yeah, we know she effed up here, but this other thing over here that she did was pretty good” mentality the same one the Catholic Church uses to defend and protect pedophiles? Sure, they abused their power to rape young boys, but they are such strong religious leaders!

Daly may have done great things for cis women, but her hate towards women who did not look like her, her transphobia and her racism, trump that. As just_some_trans_guy said, we don’t forgive Hitler the Holocaust just because he was a gifted artist in his youth; I don’t forgive Roman Polanski raping 13-year-olds because of his “great” movies.

I knew nothing of Daly until yesterday, when I clicked on a link on Twitter about her death. Since I didn’t know her, I Googled her, and read her Wikipedia entry. Clearly highlighted in that Wikipedia entry (and I hate Wikipedia, but it’s good for quick, start0ng-point info) were many problematic aspects of Daly’s life and ideals, including her transphobia.

This is my first time on this blog and I know nothing of Melissa, but as a writer and blogger I feel it was irresponsible of her to post this eulogy without researching her subject more — or at all, it looks like. The transphobia was not hard to find; it’s not like it was obscure, she seemed to be damn proud of it! I’m new to feminism (“formal” feminism) and women’s studies, but I’m quickly learning that many feminist leaders did, unfortunately, have issues with racism and transphobia/transmysoginy. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves on those women, and if you’re going to post something like this, it is imperative that you present the actual truth, not the PR candy-coated one. Maybe she did some great things for cis women, but she did great harm at the same time. This needs to be noted and documented — and much more prominently than a short aside tacked on to the end of a post.

I agree that Melissa was quick to add the new information to the post to “correct” it and that she was not defensive, but all she did was copy what was already in the comments. She did not do any further research (at least, I saw no evidence of it). I feel the responsible thing would have been to add something to the post noting the new info, then research the matter fully to present this other, harmful, un-feminist side of Daly.

We (cis feminists) need to own our history, and it is our responsibility to work overtime to overcome what women like Daly have done to trans women.

There’s not much more I can say on the matter. Voz, Criss and JATG said everything that could be said. No what I have to say goes beyond just Shakesville.

You’ll notice a familiar update on it. A famously missing the point update, a footnote regarding transphobia in a post that still commemorates the passing of a genocidal transphobe. This all being on a site that refuses to allow others to do the same with people like Polanski and his art. You’ll also notice the huge amount of accountability dodging, “omg I/she had good intent!” and tone argument derails interspersed through the comments. It was mostly the other Shakers pulling the apologist bullshit but had Melissa had any interest in owning her actual mistakes (not just a strawperson of the call outs raised by Voz, Criss and others), she would have instructed them to stop, put the edit at the top of the post basically stating that, “hey, we don’t honor those who advocate genocide here. I apologize.” Instead Paul Spudd closed the comments on the thread, stating that he wouldn’t “tolerate further bad faith attacks on Melissa” (paraphrasing lightly, as that was in a previous comment).

Have you noticed any familiarity here yet? For one, there’s CaitieCat, who’s playing the brilliant role of Trans Person Sell Out, a must have for any major meltdown of a major blog on respect for trans people. There’s the ridiculous tone arguments, like from my favorite fake ally in the whole world, Renee of Womanist Musings, where she claims Voz is just looking for a fight (good to see she didn’t learn shit from the last time). There’s the, “but she did so much good for the world! Can’t we brush this little detail under the rug a little?” comments and especially, “hey look, this can make discussion, so discuss it in the comments thread! After all, putting up trans haters or trans hate is fine as long as people discuss it!” comments. Does any of that seem like deja vu to you? It should, because it’s happened again and again and again and again and again. And that’s just since May 2009, when I started blogging. I can safely bet you shit like that, following this exact same pattern has happened over and over before I appeared on the scene.

There is this ongoing trend, from Failerico to PHB to Womanist Musings, of groups (womanism, feminism, cisGLB, liberals, progressives, etc) who claim they’ve got trans folks’ backs and then they fuck up intensely, get called out and show just how much of a lie that was. Most of those tropes are present. The Sell Out, the apologism, the intent excuses, the tone arguments, the claim that it fosters “discussion” and is ergo good or that “we’ve done so much for you, can’t you let this slide!?” So at this point, I’m done. Eight months of this bullshit from multiple zones and I’m done having hope any of these groups are any good. And for the ones I actually have a claim to? Feminism and cisGLB being the only two? My hope that I can salvage them from the inside, reform them, make them fail less and succeed more? It’s gone.

Shakesville was still trusted. I still had hope because of sites like that. I still thought maybe, just maybe, we could make feminism into something worth it. I was wrong. I was so very very wrong, not just because of this betrayal, but like with the other cases, I didn’t see the ongoing set of betrayals before. The racefail, the hate for sex workers, Islamophobia, ableism, etc each one of these groups who betrayed us now, showed one or more of those zones before I became aware of and even often transphobia before I came onto the scene. Well I’m done now. I’m finished with feminism.

I am officially no longer a feminist. That was the last one left. The last thing I was holding onto desperately, hoping that it wouldn’t turn out to be as hateful as the others. No more. So many cis feminists have tried to tell me I’m too harsh on feminism in the past. Too many of them have tried to spoon me the bullshit that feminism is salvageable and even improving significantly. And I bought it. No more. Try and spoon me your bullshit now, cis feminists. Try it now that one of the sites I thought could never follow this path of fail has done so. Try it now that Shakesville, of all goddamn places, has shown its true face of trans erasure, cis privileged apathy and apologism. Try it now that Shakesville, of all fucking places, has gone the way of Failerico, almost exactly. Make sure to use a teaspoon for the bullshit when you try, it’ll be more fitting that way.

Goodbye my hope for feminism. Goodbye my membership in the movement of feminism. It has gone the way that my trust in womanists (with their lofty but unkept promises of supporting trans women) and GLBT as a group community (with their actual name being GL…..b………..[t?]). It is dead and gone. It’s time to mourn and move on. I no longer trust feminism. I have no reason to.

RIP my hope for feminism. You lived long but you were likely doomed from the start.

UPDATE:

Oh look, an oh so boring and done before fauxpology wherein Melissa whines about how everyone was so mean to her and she cares oh so much. Boring, old, run of the mill fauxpologies do not fly with me.

My comment response (that may or may not make it through the censors):

See, before, I didn’t think you were acting in bad faith. I saw you make a mistake and then fail to fix it. Definitely killed my faith in feminism in general, the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak, that even Shakesville could mishandle an error of trans oppression so horribly. But I didn’t regard you as acting in bad faith, just wrong, ignorant and privileged, with wrong, ignorant and privileged or sell out defenders. But this post? Centering your hurt feelings as a cis person above the lives and well being of trans people? Continuing to ignore the wrongdoing that you have not fixed, while whining about how mean we are? This post added to how you handled the previous is what makes me feel you are acting in bad faith now.

I also simply can not grasp how you find a privilege call out to be “mean”. If a guy used a tone argument derail on you about feminism, you’d be wicked upset.

And yes, before anyone disputes that, she did fail to fix her mistake. Didn’t even really admit to what her mistake actually was. Hint: It wasn’t the fact that her eulogy for a genocidal bigot didn’t have a footnote at the bottom mentioning, “oh gee, she kinda racefailed and cisfailed a bit here and there. Oops golly!”. Bigger Hint: The Eulogy being posted at all for a genocide advocate is a problem.

Mary Daly is to Feminism what Polanski is to Film. I’ve seen this community shred the hell out of people talking about how great Polanski’s work is and then leaving a footnote at the bottom about him raping a 13 year old girl (and good gods have people done that a lot with Polanski). Yet you all hypocritically defend the exact same actions towards Daly? That is abhorrent. The post itself should have been affixed with an edit at the top disavowing the eulogy, apologizing that it was ever posted at all, stating why the mistake was made and then stating what was learned from it. And the battle lines should not have been drawn between Liss’ feelings and the fighting of oppression against trans folk. Especially not with so many centering her feelings over our lives.

Melissa, you made a mistake. You had a chance to fix it. You failed to do so (in that affixing a footnote at the end of your eulogy doesn’t change the fact that you’re eulogizing a genocidal bigot). And this post shows that you have no intention of owning your mistake or being an actual ally at all. But it isn’t just that lack of accountability and lack of respect for our lives from you making this site no longer an ally of the community, yet another betrayal among many from the likes of Bilerico’s Ron Gold fiasco, Pam’s House Blend’s Cis as a term fiasco and others. It’s the fact that people came to the defense of your actions and the defense of your hurt feelings instead of to the defense of trans people who still suffer because of what Mary Daly said and did. Had you used this post to apologize and announce an intention to edit the post in a way that would have addressed your mistake? I would have considered this water under the bridge.

I trusted you and your community here. Well no more. You lost your chance to make amends with this post. I’m done with you, Melissa and I’m done with Shakesville. You do not deserve my trust. You’ve merely proven it to a greater degree with this post.

As a note, I will be crossposting this comment to my blog in case any of you decide to silence what I’ve said here by dropping it to the spam queue or whatever.

Subsequent to that comment, Melissa’s pet trans woman sellout CaitieCat made some failtastic snark about flouncing and then I was banned and my comments removed. Not that I’m surprised or anything. Cissupremacists and their sellout helpers don’t like uppity trans women.

UPDATE 2: Comments on her second thread are closed, as once again, Melissa can’t handle her privilege being called out. Pattern, I see you.



150 Responses to “The Day My Hope For Feminism Died”

  1. I’m sorry you’re leaving feminism but all the same, I respect your decision. I wish you the all the best (may 2010 be a great year for you) and I hope you still keep tweeting and blogging.

  2. linked

  3. 3 notthemarimba

    This is pretty much a perfect explanation of everything that was wrong with the Shakesville post. Thank you for writing it.

  4. 4 Allie

    Thank you for this post. It is causing me to rethink a lot of things.

  5. Great post. Thank you for posting this. I’m just starting to get into feminism, but I plan to do it RIGHT.

  6. Absolutely amazing post. I had tried to come up with the words to explain why all the posts on feminist blogs that celebrated Daly pissed me off and you said it perfectly. Just as Allie said, it is causing me to rethink a lot of things. All the fighting and the hatred I have found inside the feminist movement is causing me to rethink calling myself a feminist. I used to think it was just a small group in the feminist movement who were so hateful, but I’m beginning to think it’s not such a small group after all.

    Again, amazing post.

  7. Sorry to not be encouraging but I have absolutely no hope you’ll change anything in feminism.

  8. I’ve been having ambivalence about calling myself a feminist for a long time. I think a lack of energy is the primary reason I haven’t just come out and said “I no longer consider myself a feminist” before.

    I know Melissa said she didn’t know about it, but I think the fact that the ignorance about Daly’s frankly genocidal views and her unwillingness to respond to criticism such as Audre Lord’s open letter is something that shows an endemic problem in cis feminism. And when something like this happens, the problem is located in trans people’s reactions to hatred, and less so the hatred itself.

  9. 9 GallingGalla

    +1 big time

    I left feminism about a year and a half ago for much the same reasons. Nothing has changed since, I see.

    I started reading Shakesville about four years ago. I really enjoyed the blog, thought Melissa was great, and even did a guest post for her. About two or three years ago, the penny dropped for me: Melissa was called out for making a racist statement, and she went on a *huge* tear about “can’t I just write about women? do I always have to write about black women, queer women, trans women, … etc?” along with a listing of every little thing that she has ever done for this marginalized population and that one, with the implication that we had better be grateful and remember who our betters are. Although she had at that time made no explicitly transmisogynist statements, it was clear that she was very happy to erase the existence of women who are marginalized on the basis of other than just sex, to defend her own privilege.

    I stopped reading her blog on that day. Sadly, this latest blowup does not surprise me. I visited the entry you linked; it was deja vu all over again – the exact, –exact– same shit that happened at PHB, Failerico, Feministe (multiple times), Feministing (multiple times, including very blatant racism), Womanist Musings, …

    I agree with you. Fuck feminism out the fucking wazoo.

  10. 10 basketcasey

    Woah, do you have a link to this?

  11. I wish I could take away the heartbreak you are feeling right now, but only if you could reach the same conclusions without it, because I think that what you’ve written here is exactly right. There is nothing redeemable about feminism or any of its alternate forms (e.g. womanism, eco-feminism, radical feminism). It is a sad fact that feminism will never lead to the liberation of women. All it does is reinforce the hierarchies that already exist. It’s just bullshit wrapped up in really shiny wrapping paper.

  12. 12 FW

    Awww, and I just thought of the perfect acronym to call these bitches out with :

    FAULT
    — Feminists Against Universal Liberation Theology ====

    but if’n y’all ain’t feminists it won’t be nearly as clever! :(

    And I saw this a couple weeks ago on shakesville, and I may have mentioned before, but IRRATIONAL evolutionary psychology hate has become my litmus test to tell the good guys from the bad guys. (she partially quotes what she replies to)

    Melissa McEwan:

    “trans-hating”

    Most evo psych is inherently trans-hating, and homophobic, as it boils everything down to biological impulses based on birth gender and the drive to procreate with the opposite sex. Which naturally is hostile to asexual, bisexual, and intersex people, too.

    Melissa McEwan:

    “That’s because there’s a distinct difference between the academic (and useful) field of evo-psych and “pop evo-psych” which douchebags use to justify misogyny.”

    That’s not pedantic, which implies correcting a fact. It’s an opinion. And a lot of people would argue, with good reason, that the academic field of evo-psych is routinely used to justify misogyny, too.

    It has also been frequently used to justify racism and homophobia.

    — I mean, I’ve known since I was a toddler that the stuff they tell you not to mess is exactly the stuff you should mess with.

  13. 13 Just Some Trans Guy

    I’m sorry my calling out failed pretty badly. I was, naively, surprised at how the conversation developed. I still don’t understand why it’s “mean” to point out that it’s problematic to write a glowing obit about a woman who advocated genocide (among other things).

    Lisa,

    “I know Melissa said she didn’t know about it, but I think the fact that the ignorance about Daly’s frankly genocidal views and her unwillingness to respond to criticism such as Audre Lord’s open letter is something that shows an endemic problem in cis feminism.”

    This is where I wanted the conversation to go, and this is what I was trying to (ineffectually) point out. It’s like … just because Mary Daly meant happy, fuzzy things for white cis feminists (I generalize), that became the default perspective, with the perspective of trans people or people of color limited to a post-script, if that. Good for white cis feminists = overall good, if problematic. Whereas if we were talking about someone who’d written hateful stuff about white cis women, instead of trans women, or had marginalized and misrepresented white cis women, instead of women of color, you’d never have seen all these soft-focus obits.

  14. There’s a link in the post.

  15. There is absolutely no reason to apologize. I was discussing your results, not your methods. You expected better from Melissa and her crew. I can’t fault you for that. Yes, you didn’t succeed at first, but then again none of us succeeded since they locked the thread so “Melissa wasn’t sad”. Of all the fucking pathetic, godawful, privileged bullshit… GRAH. It still pisses me off.

    But yes, you aren’t to blame for them being hostile and privileged douches against your expectations.

  16. Sometimes pain is the only way to achieve epiphany. Especially when the epiphany requires abandoning something one has been invested in so long.

    The heartbreak will heal. And then feminism better watch the fuck out. Because I’m not terribly inclined to have mercy.

  17. Erm, nevermind, I was confused who you were responding to.

  18. What disappoints me most about the response to legitimate criticism of the post is the idea that “Melissa didn’t know!” is supposed to make us crowd around her with hugs and forgiveness.

    Some profoundly hateful and problematic language is waved away in the original post with dismissive phrases like “a streak of transphobia” and a tacked-on note that she “was challenged on her racism as well” — it reads like apologia all on its own. “Isn’t it just too bad she said mean things about people sometimes?” Apparently it’s mostly just too bad that someone bothered to point it out and ruin everyone’s day.

    I always felt (and liked) that Shakesville seemed to have a better grasp on the structural and institutional problems of mainstream feminism when it came to the privilege of willful ignorance … but it’s really disappointing to see Melissa and the commenters on that thread take that tack without the slightest hint of self-awareness.

    Thank you for the post. I only found you on twitter recently (I’m mediagadfly) but I’ve really enjoyed following you and you’ve already given me a lot to think about, especially with this. I cling stubbornly to the feminist moniker in spite of myself but the reaction at Shakesville to the Daly post makes me really sad and disappointed, to say the least. What’s left?

  19. 19 alexmac

    As I have thought more about it, I have grown more upset about it. While I had initially defended melissa, her actions and those of many of the commenters were quite wrong. As has been said she is a feminist version of roman polanski and all the blogs eulogizing her are behaving the same way as the free polanski people. I think the worst part was people saying after her exterminationist rhetoric was called out that they wanted to read her “interersting” thoughts. In the end, all cisgender people will fail you and not recognize their own privilege when called on it. This most probably applies to all the axes of privilege.

  20. There’s nothing left. Feminism is dead to me. Frankly, I’m amazed that anyone can stick with it now that I know. But denial is a powerful force, I suppose.

  21. It certainly does. The number of people on a given axis of privilege who don’t fail is literally nil. The number of people on a given axis of privilege who fail but own it properly and work to grow from it isn’t much higher, unfortunately.

    I would hope I fit into the tiny group of the latter, but as a person with privilege, I can’t really know that. So I just try really damn hard to avoid the pitfalls of privileged thought.

  22. 22 Just Some Trans Guy

    Thanks.

    I remember being a kid still, when feminism just meant “girls can TOO play sports and be tough and do math” and whatever, and I think I’m still mourning how that simple, powerful version of feminism has been tainted since with all the cis fail and race fail and PWD fail, et, etc, ad nausem. But there’s not really a way to get that back, y’know?

    Sigh.

  23. 23 alexmac

    This is kind of tangentially related to this post, but seriously what is up with that picture of Daly with an axe on every post eulogizing her? knowing her history it is a triggering image of her legacy of violence against women of color and trans women. I am to the point where I click off the site as soon as I see that image

  24. 24 Eric

    Fuck. The longer I’m in the blogosphere the more fail i see everywhere. I don’t even know where to turn or go. I’m privileged so I can still read those places and try to separate the good from the bad but fuck if it isn’t unpleasant.

    I just used unpleasant too describe my privileged world, sigh now I’m failing. Fuck

  25. 25 makomk

    But don’t you see, it’s all about Melissa McEwan and how this affected her? (Isn’t this a classic derailing tactic?)

  26. Yeah that picture is triggering as hell for me too.

  27. My fucking hell. Thank you for this link. Fucking rage.

  28. 28 Allie

    I…

    Wow. Wow.

    Now I feel kind of… duped? I guess? for defending her in the original thread. I also feel more than a little betrayed, of course. I knew there was going to be a post about this today, but I was hoping that it would be, yeah, a further discussion/apology, not a big fat fuck-you to all trans women who have been burned by feminism and, understandably, see this as yet another iteration of the pattern. And yes, I understand that it’s her blog and she doesn’t have to put up with anything she doesn’t want to, etc. etc. but as RP pointed out, there’s no way in hell Liss would be so merciful to others who did something so problematic.

    RP, I really appreciate your update. Takes the words right out of my mouth. Just like Shakesville used to do, heh. And I am infuriated at their treatment of you over there–it’s like they’re trying to prove your point, or something.

    Dammit. I liked Shakesville. :(

  29. Now you know better.

  30. 30 Sas

    God, what an enormous emotional circle jerk that last post was. I guess those pats on the head from the cis people must feel really good for the way CaitieCat is humping their legs. :P

  31. XD

    She must have been purring up a storm. “Good kitten! You taught that uppity tranny good! Now back in the kennel.”

  32. 32 Allie

    Indeed–hence my comment, and also my thanks to you.

  33. 33 MercurialWater

    Aaaannndd just as you predicted, you’ve been silenced and your comments deleted at the original ShakesFail v.3.0 “Community Note” thread. And you got called stupid. Stay classy, Shakers!

  34. I know, right? This kind of thing is like clockwork. Ho hum. So easy to predict.

  35. oh, look, cis women’s tears.

  36. 36 Sas

    Yeah, I never really understand that. In almost all these big blow-ups, there’s always one Sell-Out Trans Person who’s willing to defend to the end, her cis friend’s right to … shit all over people just like her. I just don’t get it.

    I love my cis friends, but, when they fuck up about trans issues I stop them and explain what’s what, I don’t shit on other trans people to assure my friend we’re BFFs. I mean, there have been times in my life I’ve wanted approval pretty desperately, but not THAT desperately. And my friends are smart enough to listen to me to make sure they aren’t abusing their privilege.

    Anyway, I’m sorry you and the other smart commenters had to be the canaries in the coalmine of Shakesville’s collapse.

  37. 37 makomk

    And now all the comments on every Shakesville post have mysteriously vanished. What an interesting co-incidence. Anyone got a saved copy?

  38. What? For serious? On every Shakesville post? o_O

  39. Sometimes folks get caught up in a relationship and lose sight of what’s needed to fight oppression. Fuck, I’ve done it in the past. Still doesn’t change how damn dangerous it is and how damn awful.

    *shrug* She’ll learn when Melissa invariably betrays her or steps over a line even she can’t accept.

  40. 40 Allie

    Might just be Disqus playing up again. It does that occasionally.

    *checks* Yep, they’re back now.

  41. 41 makomk

    Looks like it, yes. Needless to say they’re not accepting new comments either. It could just be a coincidence – some issue with their comment provider – but given the timing exactly coincides with them saying they’re closing comments on http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2010/01/community-note.html I doubt it’s coincidental. At a guess, they turned off the entire commenting system temporarily, which I thin you can do.

  42. 42 Allie

    And now they’re gone again. Weird.

  43. 43 Sas

    Yeah, you’re right about that. I don’t mean to sound like I’m too above it all to possibly fall for that trap, it’s just … ugh, so frustrating to see it happen.

    CaitieCat will learn, you can’t just cover up the shit forever, eventually someone has to clean out the litter box. ~X33

  44. 44 Allie

    Ahh, that makes sense.

    Yeah, I’m pretty much in “quit the world” mode right now. Ugh.

    Thanks for this space, RP.

  45. Exactly. I may not exactly be friendly to her when she learns, I’m certainly not chummy with Autumn yet, as trust is something that needs to be earned back. But I’ve been there, I’ve been that sell out before (just not so publicly). So I’m not inclined to crucify her without remembering that we’ve all got the potential to do it.

  46. 46 Allie

    For her sake, I hope it happens sooner rather than later–because the longer it takes, the more it hurts. Been there, done that, fucked that up (and not just with Shakesville, either).

  47. 47 Erica

    Feministe seems to at least be handling the Mary Dale thing fairly well but it would not surprise me if they had failed badly in the past, it disappointingly seems very nearly a given that our allies will fail us at some point.

  48. Feministe has a long history of allyfail, so getting it almost right isn’t really enough for me.

  49. *sigh* Just… *sigh*

    I can’t believe they banned you and deleted your comment. (I read the “don’t be mean to me” post, but couldn’t stomach the comments. Not after someone linked to Questioning Transphobia explaining that she was making it all about herself and she needed to put the focus back where it belonged — a very calm, polite, matter-of-fact, completely-devoid-of-ANY-accusation-or-emotion comment — and that person was told they were being “not helpful.”

    The comment you wrote is extremely respectful. There is no way that could ever be construed as an “attack.” That someone would martyrize herself that way makes me want to spit. (On her, preferably, but I won’t be picky.) If it had been me, I doubt I would have been able to be as calm and rational as you are in that comment.

    You are a strong and powerful woman and advocate. “Feminism” really screwed up driving you away.

  50. 50 Jemima Aslana

    I just deleted a much longer comment that would probably have been off-topic and better suited for its own post. I’ll link here if it ever grows to adulthood.

    Here I’ll just say that I am so so sorry you had to go through that shit. Again.

    In my little native nation of Denmark I still have hopes for the uses of feminism and feminists – or at least the words. Seen on a global scale, though… damn. I understand why you’ve lost all hope for that distorted movement. I’m not too hopeful myself. Shan’t keep me from defining myself as a feminist, who believes that all women, whatever their background, count as women and as humans. I’m still naively hoping to change the people around me one tea-spoon at a time.

    I will have to seriously consider whether or not to keep my self-definition of feminist on my English blog, though, as that is not directed at fish from my own little pond.

    Might I inquire if feminist is becoming a triggery word that will send you and others away from a blog? Or would you still hang around to read a bit and see if the content was acceptable? I wouldn’t want to make my blog an unsafe space with my stubborn hopes for the usefulness of a single word.

    Hugs if you want them.
    My cat sends a keyboard cuddle (though I deleted the many lines of random letters and numbers) :-P

  51. Well we’ve seen the true face of Shakesfail now. A cult of personality where opinions reign supreme, but only if they don’t clash with the queen bee. It’s like high school all over again.

  52. It’s less triggery as it is a warning flag.

    When I see the word “feminist” now, my first impression is, “full of shit, hates trans women”. Which means if I read the blog at all (and it depends on how much energy I have what with my disabilities and dealing with cis oppressive bullshit) I’ll be reading it very cautiously to make sure it’s actually trustworthy.

    So it might be wise to avoid the word feminist for the English blog.

  53. 53 Unidentified

    I try to avoid the major femblogs (they tend to be a mixed bag with a lot of fail), but there’s only so much of that you can do and still keep up with the activist community-at-large. Seeing this one going around left an especially bad taste in my mouth. I’ve learned not to trust any feminist site to disassociate from, or acknowledge the bigotry within, radfem culture. There are always exceptions. There’s always “oh, can’t we just ignore the transphobia/racism/mysogyny against women-not-like-myself, etc. just this once because PIONEERS” BS.

    By all means, feminists, discuss your pioneers… but can’t you do that without glossing over (or completely ignoring) the downright damaging nature of their works and actions or giving flippant rationalizations for it? And it’s funny to me that Melissa’s initial reaction to Daly’s transphobia being exposed is “oh I wasn’t familiar”; seems like a pretty big oversight, considering you can’t wade ten paces into radfem bullshit anywhere without tripping over transphobia. Not like this particular case, being right there on the lay person’s bible Wikipedia, was all that concealed, either.

    The first time I actually went to Shakesville I decided it was useless to me for unrelated reasons, and Melissa’s failtastic pity party of a non-recovery attempt slash nonpology on this issue–But I care! I do things! It’s so unfair!–reassures me that, yes, that place is not worth the time.

  54. Melissa was called out for making a racist statement, and she went on a *huge* tear about “can’t I just write about women? do I always have to write about black women, queer women, trans women, … etc?” along with a listing of every little thing that she has ever done for this marginalized population and that one, with the implication that we had better be grateful and remember who our betters are.

    Yeah. I didn’t see that particular fail, but… yeah. That’s the Shakesville m.o.

  55. Feminism has NEVER been what you described here. It has always been a hateful and privileged philosophy used to justify the marginalization and oppression of billions of people around the world. What we are seeing at Shakesville is just feminism being true to form.

  56. Edit: Erm, I need to read better. I thought you were talking about my comment on the other thread… and totally apologized all over myself. Didn’t realize you were responding to JATG x_X

  57. 57 August

    I’d never read Shakesville before reading this post. And now, especially after that last privileged circle-jerk “apology,” I never will again.

  58. 58 voz

    While I had initially defended melissa,

    Yes, i remember this quite distinctly, in fact.

  59. 59 alexmac

    There is a really good post explaining just how bad Daly’s writings really were here. The more I hear of this woman, the worse I think of her.

    This episode of fail is really disappointing to me personally, because melissa helped me write my very first blog posts. I feel conflicted, because of the personal kindness and help she has given me, while I have been rubbed the wrong way by the privilege she has shown towards trans women’s concerns.

  60. Your link is broken and I can’t fix it because you literally didn’t have the url in the html.

    Also, I’m very dismayed by the fact that you’re in conflict at all. This woman has not only given tacit approval to a genocidal bigot with nothing more than a footnote to disclaim it, she silenced any attempts to call her out, used tone argument derails among others and then created a circle jerk of loyal hounds to crush anyone who dared question her. And yet you’re conflicted cuz she was nice to you?

    If Polanski cooked you dinner would you furrow your brow and say, “shoot, maybe he’s not that bad of a guy. Yeah sure he raped a girl, but hey, he made me dinner!”

    Decenter your precious goddamn feelings when you’re on my blog, for fuck’s sake.

  61. 61 alexmac

    First, I am a trans woman

    Next, I apparently suck at html, so here is the address. http://kittywampus.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/frankenstein-necrophilia-and-the-final-solution-how-transphobic-was-mary-daly-really/

    finally, she fucked up and I probably can’t feel safe at her site again.

    For me it is just hard to let go my illusions of first a big happy LGBT community, and then cis feminism with the cis feminist I thought would get it right, getting it so wrong. Hell, there are plenty trans people who are ready to tear each other apart. It still feel like a raw wound to find out just how few people have my back. That is what I was trying to get across, but I just put part of my stream of thought.

  62. 62 Nymeria

    I think there is a lot here to agree with, regarding the original thread. But the (multiple) comparisons to Polanski bother me. If you’re going to call her a shitty person, call her that because of the shitty things she said.

    I’m sorry if this comes across as me telling you what to do. I just find the comparison off putting.

  63. 63 alexmac

    I am sorry. I was kind of in shock and I am just coming to terms with this betrayal of someone I trusted. I was blinded by my loyalty and so I unjustifiable joined in on the attacks on you. you were saying something I was quite unwilling to hear. All I can really say is what I said to you was wrong and I am sorry if I hurt you.

  64. Yep, I remembered midway and edited as necessary.

    The message stands, even for trans folk. Personal liking of someone being nice to one is hands down not a reason to continue to hold them in high regard or even feel conflicted about what they did. Especially when those actions weren’t disavowed.

    And, regarding your clarification, that’s an even worse reason because then you’re setting yourself up, not just for disappointment, but for actual danger of harm. Cis feminists and cisGLB folk don’t much care who gets hurt and if you can’t let go of those illusions, they will use and abuse you.

    Thank you for the link. I can edit it into the original comment if you’d like.

  65. Most of the comparisons to Polanksi are for Mary Daly, not Melissa herself.

    And yes, accurate comparisons that show just how awful a person can be are off putting. Doesn’t make them less accurate. It’s based on the fact that he did good things (brilliant films) and horrible things (rape). Mary Daly also did good things (aiding cis feminists) and horrible things (seeking genocide of trans women and exploited and demeaned WOC). And that for both of them, people seem obsessed with only seeing the good things, despite how outweighed by the intensity of the bad they are.

  66. 66 alexmac

    It is quite a mental adjustment to go from being a highly privileged white cis male with a middle class family to a queer trans woman whose family won’t give any her money for “that trans crap.” I know intellectually the danger that I am in, despite retaining white privilege, but not being able to trust people, because you aren’t sure if they’ll have your back is difficult. I kind of fuckup at my own physical and even emotional safety.

  67. I hear you on that. Took me a fuck load of time to break free of my own inclination to trust. Part of it was that privilege I used to have, the other part of it was the fact that I was one of those eternal optimists, who deluded myself into believing that everyone had good in them and that everyone was decent deep down inside.

    Even when I was exiled from my family, dropped by my friends, shat on my feminists everywhere, abused emotionally and physically for a full year by a partner who topped off that abuse with rape and then proceeded to harass me even after I left them (all arising from my vulnerabilities as a trans woman with disabilities) I still held onto to that delusion that people are good and you can trust them.

    It’s hard to reach a point where you can protect yourself through wariness. I get that entirely. But it is so worth it and it is so very necessary for your survival.

  68. I got the “you’re being mean/hostile/whatever” response a while back when I pointed out that a post written by a non-sex worker was extremely whorephobic, and that some of the responses were really upsetting and alienating to sex workers. Honestly, they didn’t even bother pretending they were trying to fix that one. And they wonder why so few sex workers are regular readers there.

  69. genderbitch,

    I didn’t see what your comment was until just now, so I’m not sure what you wrote. I should probably include the name of the person I’m talking to in a post where I’m responding to someone other than the blogger. Sowwy about that. *hugs*

  70. The dismissal of objectors as “trolls” is so standard, but still so infuriating.

  71. S’okay. WordPress needs a more accessible comment dashboard anyways, as that’s really what confused me.

  72. 72 Ephemereal

    Want some advice? Don’t bother with Autumn. Her problem is that she’s so invested in having everyone use their nice-nice girl words that she’ll excuse bigoted shit in the name of “now now, we have to be civil! Tee hee!”

  73. 73 voz

    The comparison to Roman Polanski is a tepid understatement. Polanski raped one little girl.

    Daly devastated entire communities, and feminists influenced by her genocidal teachings continue to this very day to directly contribute to the deaths of trans women of color denied access to basic women’s services like DV shelters, restrooms, housing, identity documents, and women’s support groups.

    She made it feminist to injure and kill trans women. She made it feminist to be a racist. She made colonialism a goal of feminism She made “morally mandating” entire groups of women “out of existence” a stated goal of feminism, when she supported and encouraged Janice Raymond to pen her own genocidal screed.

    As horrible as raping one 13 year old girl is, it doesn’t even come close to the grievous harm that cis feminists who praise Daly continue to do today.

    When you invoke Polanski drugging that young woman, and ripping her anus over her protests to eulogizing Daly, you are comparing a drop of water to a tidal wave.

  74. 74 Jemima Aslana

    I’ll remove it then. I don’t want my blog to require more spoons than necessary of my readers. I know all too well how few spoons are sometimes available.

    Again, I’m sorry for you once again having your hopes dashed and your trust abused. I hope to be a better ally, and mostly I hope to be better at owning my shit, when I’m called on it.

  75. All in!

  76. Good point.

    I’m honestly having trouble thinking of a comparison that actually reaches to what she did and is easily recognizable.

    Edit: Without invoking Godwin’s Law. Although, if someone actually is comparable to Hitler, does that invoke Godwin’s Law?

  77. *shrug*

    She seemed like she was working to step away from that cuz of the folks who didn’t let her get away with that shit last time. But like I said, trust is tough to earn back and she hasn’t done it yet. I’ve still got my eye on her and she knows it.

  78. Um… what?

  79. 79 Jemima Aslana

    Of course it was easy to have higher hopes for a blog like Melissa’s, because she was the person behind the post titled We Expect More. It was about men and women primarily, and about how it is demeaning to men to not expect them to behave decently. She made some good points, and now that she has gracelessly managed to fail in terms of trans issues, she gets pissy when trans people have the audacity to do exactly what she has herself stated that she does: Expect more. Expect better.

    I know one word for that: Hypocrite.

    It’s just terrible that so many got hurt in the process.

  80. She lives in a glorious fantasy world where she can never be wrong and everyone loves her. Of course she’s a hypocrite.

  81. 81 Nymeria

    I know you were talking about Mary Daly. My wording was vague, sorry. (I should learn to stop posting right as I’m about to go to sleep) I just think invoking rape in the whole comparison is..off. That’s all.

  82. The only thing off about it is that Mary Daly pushed genocide and dehumanization, which often leads to rape and murder of trans women even today, which means that a comparing her to a rapist who attacked a single person is a vast understatement.

    If you are not comfortable with this fact about feminism, I would suggest you rethink your ties to it.

  83. 83 alexmac

    It is one of melissa’s trademark phrases, which refers to her being “all in” on feminism. I assume Agi is being sarcastic.

  84. Oh. I guess so. *shrug* I thought he was a spammer at first.

  85. 85 Sas

    It’s not supposed to, but the internet being what it is, you can pretty much expect even a completely accurate Hitler comparison to be shouted down as hyperbole. :P

  86. I could always draw parallels to another genocidal fuckjob. Maybe Pol Pot?

  87. 87 alexmac

    Um while she did advocate the violence against trans people, I don’t think a direct comparison to hitler, stalin or polpot is most accurate. They were all state sponsored and directed acts of violence, Daly acted more like white supremacists in the 1910s who put out cultural propaganda like birth of the nation which led to an uptick in KKK rolls and vigilante deaths against white ethnics and POC in the 1920s. In fact she said trans women were part of the “final solution” against real women which reflects white supremacist thought that POC were going to rise up and take over and punish all the white people.

  88. Hmm. Maybe. To be honest, whatever analogy I make is going to be ignored. Cis feminists have a hero worship problem where they’re willing to gloss over and ignore genocidal rhetoric and hate for their heroes.

    Engaging with them seems a waste of my time in the end, doesn’t it?

  89. I love Melissa… but good lord. How did anyone emerge from Feminism 101 and not know about the Daly vs. Trans folks thing? Or the Daly vs. Audre Lorde thing? (Note: A radfem named “Jenny” came to my blog to announce that “the Lorde story is false”–whatever THAT means.) These arguments tore feminist collectives TO PIECES in the 70s. The ideological brawls extended until late, late into the night. Why doesn’t she know? Why don’t LOTS OF PEOPLE on that Shakesville thread know? I mean, isn’t that a BIG FEMINIST BLOG?

    Interestingly, the trans women seem to know and the cis women don’t, even though this is part of 2nd wave feminist herstory!

    I’m stunned that people seem so surprised by her viciousness–even though as Criss says, Daly was proud as hell of her views. She was a PROFESSOR, okay? She LIKED to be quoted, and often. It’s not like Daly kept her ideas to herself or missed a chance to tell somebody…

    sigh.

    I haven’t read the whole mea culpa thing yet, but I suppose I oughtta. I linked the first one.

    And you’ll be back to feminism, GB. Hate to quote the Bible at crucial moments, but it is inscribed on my cerebellum (and all the Daly-talk has me feeling really Jesuitical!)… but you know, when Jesus asked em: You leaving too? And they replied: Lord, to whom shall we go?

    GB, leaving feminism? For what? To whom shall you go? If you are a feminist, you are one, and you carry feminism with you, whether you like it or not, hon. Therefore, saying “goodbye” isn’t truly possible. Really, take my word for it. ;)

    Love ya. Sorry about all this SHIT.

  90. Frankly, I’m amazed that anyone can stick with it now that I know.

    Sorry about that GB, I can see you are very upset and quite serious. But if you think a feminist thought, any where at any time, you are one. That’s my definition. (As you can see by my blog, I still get targeted by trolls–somebody must still find feminism threatening, after all.)

    Lost cause here. After all, I stick with Christianity too. I’m probably just too set in my ways to change my personal labels at this point.

  91. This is kind of tangentially related to this post, but seriously what is up with that picture of Daly with an axe on every post eulogizing her?

    Labrys, not an axe:

    A Labrys is a double-sided axe that the Amazons were said to use as their main weapon. Lesbians have adopted the labrys as symbol of power and independence. Many lesbians wear necklaces or earrings with a labrys symbol as a way to identify themselves to other lesbians.

    See, why don’t yall know that stuff? I assumed half the people in here had Labrys tattoos already… I mean, didn’t Jennifer Tilly admired Catherine Keener’s labrys tattoo in BOUND? (technical adviser Suzie Bright!) I am feeling really culturally dislocated lately.

    I lament that people are leaving feminism, and never even met her first….

  92. Ohhh shit, Gina Gershon not Catherine Keener. Getting my lesbian movie roles confused!

    Sorry for serial commenting, delete as necessary.

  93. 93 voz

    I think the real question is, what did you learn from it, and what’s you next move?

    Personally, I think the greater harm was done to you, since you revealed your internalized cissexism by jumping to defend a cis person over a trans woman despite compelling evidence.

    Maybe, you’ll think twice when a cis person gets called out. Maybe.

    That book is not yet written, and you’re holding the pen. Your move.

  94. 94 voz

    Hitler is already in play with feminist, so, you aren’t subject to Godwinning. they did it for you.

    You are too young to remember this, but Raymond and many other feminists, Daly Included, freely invoked Holocaust imagery, and painted trans women as Nazi collaborators for the elimination of cis women.

    Daly and Raymond’s theory was, since trans women were tortured in the camps, we were Nazi Collaborators, since its all the same. Bizarre, but true.

    I had friends who were in the camps, and many of my friends are proud WWII veterans. To see their battle misused to slur trans women just kills me, since my connection to that era is stronger than most.

    But the point remains: The Nazis are in fair play, since the Second Wave already Godwinned for us.

    Feel free to Google “final solution transsexual feminist” and see what pops up. Do not consume food for four hours before doing this, unless you want messy carpet.

  95. Then I will freely and mercilessly draw the comparison.

    I think I might want to pass on googling “final solution transsexual feminist” though, even with the four hours fasting beforehand. I’ve discovered that I’m quite capable of dry heaving stomach acid in the past.

  96. As great as your idealist view on what feminism means is, the movement, the grouping of women working towards a given goal, is hopelessly corrupted and rotted to the core with transmisogyny. 3rd wave had a chance. I gave them a chance. I saw the poison that had infected radical feminism and realized that only a small minority of them would ever be ally material. But I had hope for 3rd wave. I saw the hate of 1st and 2nd wave and old school feminism and saw that only a rare few of that ilk had ally potential. But I still had hope for 3rd wave.

    I had hope that the movement (which is not what you’re describing. Your definition is a unique definition) would detoxify itself with 3rd wave. I had hope that the poison would fade and we would be welcomed. I was wrong and I paid for it. Now, I’m stepping away from the movement, the identity, the ideology because the rot goes straight through to the core. There has not been even one single cis feminist who has not shown signs of the poison. Even you have shown it at times, as hard as you’ve tried to fight it. Even RMJ, who’s one of the few cis people I’ve trusted with my IRL name, has shown the rot that feminism has on occasion.

    Me meeting some obscure equivocation of feminism that simply means “one whom values the self determination and agency of all women and protects that” is utterly irrelevant to the blight in the core of the movement of feminism and how I have walked away from that.

  97. As a note: Your definition disowns and denies the hatred, the genocide, the systemic denial of our lives and experiences and the cis privilege which spills through feminism. This is not good. As a feminist you have a responsibility to own the horrors your own have done and work to fix them. Just like Germany can’t pretend that their part in World War II never happened, neither should feminists pretend that what went on in the past (and what still happens now, because yes it continues) isn’t feminism.

    Doing so gives you the capacity to deny and step away, which means it will continue to happen on your watch. That makes you a part of the problem, instead of the solution.

  98. I’ve honestly never seen the labrys thing among the lesbian community in my area, nor have I personally worn anything like that. But most of the lesbian community in my area is really really young, around my age or younger. So it’s possible that this is just a generation gap.

  99. It really seems like an ongoing trend with feminist blogs. Only some women matter and defending any others will get you kicked in the head.

    Shakesfail is just worse in that it’s a personality cult.

  100. Oh yes.

  101. Watch the documentary “Gay Republicans” And you’ll see the exact same thing. Lots of thoughtful people I don’t agree with, and a couple of whimpering kapos holding on to the last.

  102. 102 GallingGalla

    well, whether it’s an axe or a labrys, it’s aimed at our fucking necks, and the necks of sex workers a/o women of color a/o women who dare to have loving hetero relationships a/o women who dare to be kinky a/o … ad nauseaum. To see blog after blog post publish that photo makes me sick.

    and Daisy: I left feminism over a year and a half ago and have not looked back. Please don’t lecture those of us who have left that movement. We’re not talking about philosophical differences here. We’re talking about our lives and how much harder they have been made by feminists in ways that white cis women cannot conceive of.

    And: just because I happen to voice an opinion that resembles that voiced by some feminist or other does not make me a feminist.

  103. 103 voz

    The Amazons are now understood to be trans, not lesbian by most competent historians. Yet another example of cis women stealing what properly belongs to trans people to use against us.

    Stay classy with that cis mouthiness. Really.

    oh, Daisy, please do not reply. Your derailing a discussion with white lady tears and stating that you find my body “triggering” is misogynistic hate of the highest form, and I have no wish to let you spew more of same on me again.

  104. 104 Victoriana

    Thank you for writing this. I haven’t read Shakesville much, but now I know to stay away. Melissa definitely fucked up, there’s no excuse for her ignorance, it took me less than 60 seconds to look up who Mary Daly was (I hadn’t heard of her until she died) AND learn of her hate for trans people. As if her “sorry, I didn’t know [and I'd rather keep my fail post up unedited until someone else does the work for me].” excuse wasn’t bad enough she then posts a looong whine about HER feelings, epic FAIL. It’s beyond me how anyone can defend that.
    I had been proudly calling myself a feminist for about a year, but the more I become aware of the hate within the movement the further I get. Looks like I’m through with it as well.

  105. Don’t get me wrong. What she did isn’t abnormal, nor is it much worse than what other feminists have done. She’s not the evil queen of doom who destroyed feminism for me. She’s simply the final straw. The last fuck up in a supposedly trusted place. The last datapoint to establish a pattern in feminism that even I can’t ignore.

    And now that I can’t unsee that pattern, I can’t be a feminist anymore.

  106. Voz, fuck you, too, asshole. You cry more than 10 white ladies, no, make that 20. Whine, whine, whine.

    When did I say your body was triggering? Good God, are you referring to something I wrote months ago about how you brag over your skinny ass and like to post photos of it to show everyone how skinny you are? Yes, I *do* resent skinny women bragging over their bodies, sorry. Always will. I think it is rude and an undisguised attempt to paint yourself as superior to fat women. As of course, you admitted doing.

    AND you are still harping and whining about it? Derailing indeed. When MANNERS were passed out, Voz was at the rear of the queue.

    Fuck off. And do *not* address me again, Skinny Lady.

    Delete as necessary, I don’t mind. It felt good to write it.

    Delete as necessary, but it felt good to type it.

  107. Well, I don’t have a rich daddy, so you know, YMMV. I never considered you a feminist anyway… I think kissing daddy’s ass for his money is NOT feminist IN THE LEAST … so rest assured, I was *not* talking to you.

    I was not lecturing you, I was replying to GB. I don’t give a rats ass what rich spoiled little girls do.

    Delete as necessary, see above.

  108. You might want to read this post and check your prescriptivism at the door. Taking “daddy’s money” doesn’t make someone any less feminist any more than being a sub in BDSM, working in porn, or wanting to be a stay at home mom does. No matter how much you or any one else tries to redefine the movement.

  109. You’re making a pretty big goddamn assumption. I.e. that we show off our bodies for the same reason cis women do.

    Trans women are constructed as disgusting freaks by mainstream society and feminism alike. Our bodies are constructed as gross or awful, ugly and nasty, not beautiful, not sexual (except by those who specifically have an attraction to us, and they aren’t exactly common) and certainly not acceptable.

    So displaying ourselves as beautiful is a way to fight back against that shame for having a body that isn’t cissexual in nature. Unless she’s talking about how beautiful she is because she’s skinny, you need to check those ciscentric assumptions at the door.

  110. GB, if you are no longer a feminist, you can’t define it anymore. You have just abdicated the right. It is no longer your movement to define, you just said so.

    Sorry, taking daddy’s money makes you a fucking fraud as a feminist. MY feminism. You are free to disagree. But if I have to listen to ppl self-righteously preach to me about MY privilege, they can expect to hear all about theirs. I don’t need someone (Voz) who brags about teaching engineering and another (Galla) who has a high-class techie degree, to tell a lowly retail worker SHIT.

    ((sings first verse of the Internationale))

  111. When I asked her, she agreed. What about that?
    To be PROUD of being skinny, is to imply SHAME for being fat. You can’t have one without the other. Male, female, gay, straight, cis and trans. Period. We live in a fat-hating culture, and trans people are not exempt from that.

    And how much do you weigh, GB? Is this a fat-hating blog, too?

  112. I really shouldn’t expect ppl getting advanced degrees to understand what its like to be 52, uneducated w/a marginal job. What was I thinking.

    Forget I said anything. Two different languages, or as Michael Harrington once said, I came from The Other America.

    Never mind. Carry on.

    (((sings second verse of the Internationale)))

  113. Your feminism is prescriptive. Congratulations on being a part of the problem. Remember how I said that the rot went to the core and every feminist has it? You just proved it here, in the same damn post.

    Also, tone arguments, not appreciated at all. There is nothing self righteous about a privilege call out. And having access to parental money is economic privilege, something that doesn’t change your privilege as a cis woman just as your privilege as a cis woman doesn’t change another’s economic privilege of the past or now.

    If anyone on this blog spent time defending or bragging about economic privilege, I’d come down on them as hard as I’m coming down on you for it. No one is doing that here. Bringing up other people’s shit when you’re in a call out that has no relation to that shit? That’s a derail and you need to stop.

  114. If she agreed that she was proud to be skinny, then yes, that’s fatphobia.

    Me? I’m skinny, but I’m not proud of it. It’s just a part of me. I’m beautiful because I’m a vibrant woman. Just like you are. Just like Voz is.

  115. Voz derailed by bringing up a months-old feud, I did not.

    I will be as “prescriptive” as I wanna be.

    And having access to parental money is economic privilege, something that doesn’t change your privilege as a cis woman just as your privilege as a cis woman doesn’t change another’s economic privilege of the past or now.

    Really? You think I am “equal” to Amanda Simpson or another highly educated trans women? LOL. Where’s my Obama Administration gig, LOL.

    Okay, we clearly disagree. Economic privilege is first, foremost, above all others. Ask any poor person, they’ll tell you. (I mean, really poor, not a poor person getting a Ph.D.)

    And with that, I will exit this thread… I assume Voz will show up to whine about her station in life, all while bragging about how tough it is to teach engineering. Jesus H Christ.

  116. Of course I don’t understand what it’s like to be 52 and uneducated (although I do know what having a shit job and being unemployed is like). It’s called privilege. Just like you don’t have a single damn clue what it’s like to be trans. It’s called privilege.

    Are you done derailing now?

  117. You’re right in that the months old feud didn’t have a place here. I let it through because I thought she was referencing something that happened here and gave you a chance to defend yourself since the comment was confusing as hell to me.

    But the rest of that? Oppression Olympics award, you has it now. Kyriarchy is always shifting. One axis is not invariably first and foremost above the others. Especially when being trans, being POC and a host of other axes of marginalization directly affect one’s economic placement. But hey, it’s cool. All this does is prove me right about feminism, even your definition of feminism. It’s all about centering your problems, trying to downplay your privilege and then getting upset when people don’t brook that. Being trans doesn’t automatically trump classism. Being economically marginalized doesn’t automatically trump being trans.

    Also, be as prescriptive as you want to be, after all feminism will aid you in that, elevating some women’s agency and self determination over others. It’s great to see you value women like you over all others and are willing to deny the women who aren’t like you any kind of agency in their decisions.

    At least now I know where you stand. Same place as the rest of them.

  118. GB, oh cut the melodrama. I stand where I stand, no other place. It’s called being a socialist, okay?

  119. Check your messages @Twitter, got something rich.

  120. 120 Victoriana

    I see that, sorry, I’m not always clear in my writing. My last two sentences were meant to imply just that, it’s, like you said, a common pattern in feminism, one that I’m finally seeing for myself as well.

  121. Funny, I’ve met socialists who didn’t pretend that cissexism is automatically trumped by classism, always, without exceptions. Guess they comprehend that oppression axes shift and flux. You really wanna play this oppression olympics shit with me? I like you, but I ain’t merciful when people pull shit on me.

  122. Yeah I saw it. Heart’s a fucking piece of work, isn’t she?

  123. 123 voz

    If she agreed that she was proud to be skinny, then yes, that’s fatphobia.

    Really?
    Pride in self does not imply pride in nonself. Pride in who I am warped to serve a hateful cis woman’s needs is cis hate, so, your interpretation needs work.

    The whole thing was a baiting attack by her to deflect criticism by painting trans women’s bodies as triggering.

    The fact that you fell for it suggests you have a LOT more work on Whiteness to do.

  124. 124 voz

    Cancel the prior complaint I made a few moments ago. You seem to be a quicker study than I thought.

  125. Things got pretty clear, pretty fast.

  126. The Amazons are now understood to be trans, not lesbian by most competent historians.

    Where on earth did you hear that?

    Historians who believe that the Amazon legend is based on the factual existence of ANY tribe are still in the dramatic minority. There’s certainly diversity enough in surviving narratives about the Amazons to appeal to a wide range of women, and as a queer non-NT woman I absolutely believe that postmodern adoption of narratives not necessarily originally intended to include one’s own demographic can have great value, but claiming that cis women have “stolen” the Amazon narrative from trans women is disingenuous at best.

  127. 127 GallingGalla

    just to clear the air for other readers, because i really don’t give a motherfucking shit what Daisy thinks, but:

    There’s no money from daddy involved. i have not taken a dollar from daddy, because he –doesn’t have the money to shower on me–, and i don’t know where the fuck daisy is getting that from. Maybe she’s mixing me up with Twisty Faster, I don’t know, but that would be laughable if it were the case.

    I do not have a degree. I did not complete enough college to get even a two-year degree. I taught myself the tech knowledge i needed to become a web developer.

    oh yeah, i have all this supposed wealth – i have been unemployed for thirteen months. That’s the price of transitioning and having developmental disabilities that you, Daisy, will never have to face.

    And my palatial estate consists of one $450 a month room with a ceiling that leaks, that i rent in a house-share with another woman who is also struggling financially to stay afloat, in a working-class neighborhood fighting every day to keep blight and drug dealers out.

    Daisy, you are pulling lies and distortions from your fucking ass. I don’t know what your agenda is, but it sure looks like nothing more than (as voz says) white cis woman’s tears, in the form of a personal attack against someone who has been unafraid to call you out on your cissexism in the past.

    You know what, Daisy dear? Feel free to flame me all you want. You just come off looking ridiculous. But don’t you fucking dare attack my father again.

  128. Yes, I do have you mixed up w/someone else.

    My apologies for the confusion.

  129. Daisy apologized above. The comment is just in the wrong thread and I have no clue how to move it. x_x

  130. 130 amokk

    Binary thinking, ironic. Just because someone is proud of being something does not automatically mean they hate whatever the opposite is.

    Voz is proud to be [edited for misgendering ~RP], it doesn’t mean or even imply that she hates all other body types.

    Serious derailing here.

  131. 131 amokk

    Yeah, and it’s triggering as fuck to have a feminist who wants to exterminate trans women hefting around a weapon. It drives home the point that she wants us dead.

  132. Hey amokk? Might want to ask Voz what pronouns she prefers before you decide on your own. Especially since you already knew to use she in the second sentence.

  133. 133 amokk

    It was a typo due to multi-tasking snarking, not intentional. I’ll be more careful in the future.

  134. 134 GallingGalla

    Ok, it did take me a bit to find it. Unfortunately, from my perspective, the damage has been done.

  135. Definitely. An apology does shit all when not coupled with action. I just felt you should know that she did apologize since it’s my shitty comment threading that got it lost.

  136. 136 GallingGalla

    no problem. (and the shitty comment threading is wordpress’s issue, not yours…)

  137. Mary Daly and Germaine Greer are equitable to the pedophiles in the Roman Catholic Church, Michael Jackson and Gary Glitter. They may have contributed a lot to society but that does not excuse their wrong doings nor give them license to ignore their wrong doings and try to sweep them under the rug.

    I’m burned out of feminism anyway simply because, while I agree with the goals of feminism and the ideals – it seems as though not many feminists agree with me on this. They exert their cisprivilege and flex it at every opportunity while acting like the victim of the “evil transpeople” when they are called on their willful ignorance and their bigotry, as well as their “mistakes”.

    Furthermore, closing comments on a blog post, just because the comments are making statements that do not fit in with your world view and your view of yourself shows that you willingly and openly accept the intellectual dishonesty of transmisogynistic feminists, much like you see at openly transmisogynistic sites like AROOO. I would never do something like that on my blog, but I guess that’s why my blog isn’t that popular.

  138. 138 Julissa

    Nice to still know you are white-privileged. A lot of trans and cis women of color left feminism long ago.

  139. @Julissa:

    Cuz I totally tried to hide the fact that I’m white privileged…? Hurrrrr what?

    That and a lot of trans and cis women of color still stick around with feminism. Foolish and naive hopefulness for a fucked up movement to actually work knows no boundaries.

  140. 140 toenails, freshly polished

    ((((I hope this isn’t too messy to read, and know that you don’t have to respond, though I would -greatly- appreciate it. And it’s likely I missed the point entirely, these writers and writings I speak so highly of might be the sort faux-anticissexism you busted from the start. If I’m using problematic (or just incorrect) language, or being incredibly entitled, irrational, defenisve, or such, please point out.))))

    I hope it’s okay to comment on this post even though it was written more than a year ago. I want to point out that the following babble isn’t criticism of -you- having given up on feminism. I also would like to say that I haven’t taken offense or anything, this issue is just very interesting.

    After reading several of your posts, all of them thoroughly clever pieces, I’ve come to value your opinion. I read in another post of yours that you consider all feminism to be PF. Are you still of the sentiment that feminism is a rotten-to-the-core lost cause?. It confuses me, as I really thought feminism was one of the few places where one could be fairly sure to avoid anti-trans language and opinion, among other things. I am, however, privileged in about every way so there must be lots of stuff I fail to notice.

    When I started reading feminist blogs, I got the impression that intersectionality was indoctrinated. The blogs usually declare their anti racist, classist, ableist, cissexist stance from the “start” (as in, the “about” section, first post, etc). I have rarely encountered anti-trans, but often anti-transphobic, sentiment. Similarly, recently published feminist books I’ve read show trans awareness and support, even if they still deal in mainly middle-class able-bodied white straight ciswoman issues. (I think I should point out I’ve only read Swedish feminist litterature so far.) Basically, these writers assume pro-trans standpoints, even if it’s not the focal matter. And they are part of the feminist movement as much as the -definite- failures you’ve written about.

    Of course, your criticism (might be an inaccurate term) is just not on transphobia within the feminist community. I’m more unsure of their genuine stance and support when it comes to anti-racism, and especially ableism and classism (when either of those two latter ones are brought up it’s usually “I’m privileged so keep that in mind”).

    Now, I’m sure this sounds apologist, and that’s probably what it is. It’s just that so many people, seemingly good people, identify as feminists and declare their viewpoints as “feminist”, so it makes me wonder if feminism is really rotten to the core.

  141. @Toenails: Part of the problem is, they all declare their intentions to be intersectional. But many of them rarely manage to actually do it. They make blatant and horrible errors of bigotry and then dodge accountability for their toxic actions, trying to claim their ally status requires us to be more gentle with them when they do something awful.

    In the end, it’s the same old shit that men do to women, just on other axes and done by feminists. I consider feminism toxic. You don’t have to agree with me on that. It’s a personal assessment based on my own views about what’s worth my time and effort and dealing with the pain of abuse at the hands of privileged feminists. The situation may not be the same for you. But yeah your privilege is definitely robbing you of some perspective. And I wouldn’t call it apologism cuz you’re admitting you could be way off.

  142. 142 toenails, freshly polished

    Kinsey, thanks for your reply!

    Toxic is a harsh word, so you must really mean it. I know I don’t have to agree with you, and I am going to keep on hoping for feminism to improve, for it to get more inclusive and do more good for the world, however foolish that is (at least [foolish, i mean] in the so-called West World, I can’t say anything about feminisms I don’t know anything about). I’m definitely over-optimistic, because for me, feminism has been a refuge from “the rest of the world” ((a better term failed to magically appear on the screen)), for quite some time. And obviously it’s easy for me because I always feel included, and never oppressed, by what feminists write.

    However, your opinions -do- matter to me – that’s why I read this blog! I hope that your writing affects my thinking – and what I say and do, of course. I do believe I’m going to be more observant of critical of feminist culture by having read this article (and I’m definitely going to read through all your articles tagged “feminism”). I need to realize that feminism isn’t instant-utopia-just-add-water.

  143. 143 Rose

    Feminism, indeed, is a joke. This is the point at which someone from Shakesville labels me an MRA, I’m sure. Fine, everyone, go right ahead. My feminism is about equal opportunity and PERSONHOOD for everyone, and a world without violence, full stop. You can keep what you call feminism today, which is about silencing people from the communities you “speak for,” practicing transphobia as you call individuals with actual gender dysphoria out on their “transphobic language,” and generally manipulate everyone to be your puppet while claiming your blog is an “emotional safe-space.” As other commenters mentioned, I was far more “triggered” by my discussions with Melissa than by any casual or explicit mention of abuse or rape I actually endured. Because she reminded me so much of the people who try so hard to silence me.

    Today’s feminism has made no progress from the 1960s. It still says, “Hey everyone, shut up and let the nice rich cis straight white ladies speak for you.” It silences members of Othered groups when they speak for themselves while condescending to them. And it’s maximally designed to protect the feelings of “nice” (hahahahaha) rich cis straight white ladies while steamrolling, abusing, silencing, and erasing everyone else.

    I am not a feminist. I am an equalist. No one should speak for me, I will speak for MY SELF.

  144. 144 Rose

    Also, I loathe and hate the restroom policing. Trans women (as well as women whose gender presentation does not conform to the Western Standard, here in the US anyway) have a lot more to fear from cis, feminine-presenting women in the restroom than vice-versa. I’m especially thinking of the cruel and violent bullying in high schools and colleges – although the workplace can be a hotbed too, and I’ve been bullied at work myself, and had a bathroom conversation about a medical appointment used to fire me. It’s a laugh and a half that these scummy second-wavers (that includes Daly) think they’re the ones at risk in the restroom.


  1. 1 Urban Hellenistos » Blog Archive » Well, colour me late-to-the-party…
  2. 2 And I’ll find strength in pain And I will change my ways I’ll know my name as it’s called again « crazy dumbsaint of the mind
  3. 3 Out in the Rain: Gender Activism and its Discontents « The Nuclear Unicorn
  4. 4 LGB(?)Q | Just Me
  5. 5 Privilege & Activism « Inquisitive Spark
  6. 6 a blog post in which I lose friends, gain enemies, and get people mad in 20 mins or less « A Genderqueer Menace

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