21 September 2011
I’ve just spent a couple of hours going through my main storage unit, the one where the bulk of my library has been stored for the past two years since selling my house in the wake of my divorce, in a deperate attempt to find my high school yearbooks, from the Stuyvesant High School Classes of 1985 and 1986, which I have been unable to locate. The good news is that I have found them. Given that information, I will give you exactly three chances to answer the following three questions:
1. Out of the 50 or so boxes of books, how many did I have to open before I found my yearbooks?
2. Out of all the boxes contsining my library, which box was the only box that was damaged by moisture?
3. Out of all the books in that box, which are the only two books damaged by moisture and mold?
If you’ve been following anything I’ve written about my life lately, you will be aware of the fact that the Universe seems to regard my existence as some sort of grand cosmic joke, the punchline to which must inevitably make perfect sense only to a capricious Goddess.
The answers, which I feel certain you have already surmised, as foreshadowing is such a blunt literary instrument:
1. All of them. The one that left the house first, so it was on the absolute bottom in the back row, was, of course, the very box I needed.
2. The box containing the books I have been saving for my daughter and my yearbooks. The most important box of them all, which is why it left first.
3. My yearbooks.
I bet you got every answer correct on the first try, didn’t you?
I carry a mini can of Lysol in my handbag at all times, which has been a very useful thing indeed, especially when the usage of a public restroom is necessary. I killed the can dousing the yearbooks, and wiped them down thoroughly. Fortunately, the interiors seem in good shape.
I need a bloody drink.
^ My life.
I just made it up, after the Bangles’ song (written by Prince, as I recall). Go ahead, ask me the most outrageous, off-the-wall things you want to know…
It’s Manic Monday. Anon is always on. Go ahead, you know you want to know.
Much as I love the fact that Tumblr seems well-stocked with younger trans people, it would be nice to have more people to follow who were closer to my own age, so if you happen to know of any other trans women who are 35 and up, please drop me a line so I can find their Tumblrs…
I am really sick of hearing cis femmes saying “Invisibility is always the big femme issue.”
Little do they stop to think how staggeringly cissexist that is.
As I have said a few times in the past few days, I am a fem boy. Walking down the street looking as I do, being mistaken for a straight girl is not exactly my biggest worry. I’m worrying about other men mocking, harassing, or possibly attacking me. And if I do get mistaken for a straight girl, which happens occasionally, I have to worry about the reaction of whomever when he realizes his mistake.
I am visible as hell, like a moving target.
I’m gonna take this a step further, though, because even with all this in mind, I still have male privilege. Unlike, for example, trans women who are femme.
A person assigned male at birth who presents femininely has to worry about almost all of what I just mentioned above, and more. Trans femmes are not invisible. They are recipients of scrutiny, scorn, and violence on a constant basis. When they do “pass” as cis, that passing has potentially lethal consequences should it stop suddenly for any reason. Invisibility is not their femme issue.
Their femme issue, on top of all that, is being accused of parodying femininity, of being stereotypical caricatures of women, of being fetishests, perverts, pathetic, ridiculous, deceptive. No cis femme is ever likely to receive a face full of broken glass after hearing the words “Did you think you were gonna rape someone in those girl clothes?” and then end up in jail, and not only that, be held in solitary confinement for a whole month, without your wounds receiving proper medical attention. But that is exactly what happened to CeCe MacDonald. Invisibility was not her problem.
So when I hear a bunch of cis femmes griping about invisibility, a.k.a. passing privilege, I get a little ragey, especially when erasing statements like “invisibility is always an issue for femmes” get made. Especially when they get made by trans man chasing femmes who avoid trans women and generally manage to not even think about them.
So fuck your invisibility issues. Yes, I said it. Being seen can be dangerous. Sometimes it makes me sad when I feel invisible as a trans man (a.k.a. I pass 99 percent of the time), but it’s still a goddamn privilege and I recognize it. It keeps me safer in my day to day existence. There’s a psychological cost, of course, which must not be minimized, but as I have said before, better to have mitigated privilege than unmitigated oppression. My invisibility in certain senses has benefits. Not so my visibility as fem. And certainly not so the visibility of CAMAB trans femmes.
Well said, but I think it’s worth pointing out that the so-called invisibility is also metaphoric, in that the value of femme trans women in discourse, both in public and in the LGBT community, tends to be overlooked. This tends to especially be a problem for lesbian femme trans women, like myself, in queer spaces.
It has been pointed out many times before by people other than myself that there is a certain privilege accorded to CAFAB trans, genderqueer, and queer people, as compared to CAMAB people, and on top of this, there can sometimes be a certain amount of conflict between heterosexual- and homosexual-identified trans women. For instance, there has been much hand-wringing lately over recent articles relating to the radfem v. trans women wars, especially as it relates to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Many heterosexually-identified trans women find it easy to dismiss the concerns of those of us who are lesbian as it concerns our ability to function comfortably in lesbian spaces when confronted by radical lesbian separatist feminism.
Femme trans women are often looked at in the LGBT community as somehow reinforcing or reifying binary-normative rules of gendered behavior, as complicit in patriarchy, as not “radical”, “queer” or “deconstructive” enough, and this is true regardless of how well we “pass”.
i ordered mine with 2 juices on the side so i can dip it myself and it won’t get soggy while it gets delivered.
I guess I can understand getting the juice on the side. My dad used to bring it home and it wouldn’t really be a sandwich anymore by the time it got there, just italian beef with some moist goo around the sides. Which is not my style. Which is why I order mine dry.
Bellissima post is bellissima.
Although, I’m more of a fan of roast pork than roast beef. With sharp provolone and hot peppers, please. Preferably from a place like in South Philly where they really know how to make that shit right.
“moncler-online” and “mbt—shoes” have both popped up on my Dash.
THIS. Especially since self-actualization costs money.
I sent this to HRC a few minutes ago. If you agree with my stance or have something to add, send your own feedback at http://www.hrc.org/6260.htm. The form is at the bottom of the page.
To Whom It May Concern:
Today I signed HRC’s petition asking Oklahoma politicians to denounce Sen. Kern’s comments. I was disappointed - angered, really - to find that leaving the “title” field blank was not an option, a discrepancy that would have caused me to leave the page altogether at a time in my life when I didn’t know how to choose my battles.
Fortunately, for HRC’s campaign and for my own sanity, I’ve passed the point where I will retract my support from one worthy cause because it ignores/sets back another in semantics. I have found that such reactionary behavior only creates further divisions where we should be finding common ground. I now utilize available channels of communication that are intended to address such issues. I’ll do my best to be concise in this one.
The glaring error on HRC’s online form should be fairly apparent to any trans/genderqueer person or ally: To force visitors to choose a gendered title in order to participate in an activist campaign that supposedly includes those of non-binary gender identities is both exclusive and insulting - not to mention counterproductive to unity among groups with deep and long-standing wounds. Especially in light of the fact that HRC is still mending its relationship with trans communities (following its alienating actions regarding the ENDA legislation in 2008-09), this seems a rather careless oversight.
This may seem a minuscule issue, but for those of us who have experienced life on the fringes of society due to our uncommon gender identities/presentations, it feels like a slap in the face to be overlooked by the very organizations that purport to protect us, even in such minor details. If HRC is to be truly inclusive and practice what it supposedly preaches - equality and acceptance for all people, regardless of sexual orientation of gender identity - then it would do well to ensure that it dots all its I’s and crosses all its T’s in regards to the more marginalized of its constituents. As the saying goes, the Devil is in the details.
Thank you for your time, attention, and action on this matter. I hope that HRC will continue to grow in its efforts to truly include and represent all who experience gender-based oppression and hatred.
“As ungracious as these attitudes may seem, they are grounded in a sad reality: while American feminism has long, and productively, concentrated on getting men to give women some of the power they used to give only to their sons, it hasn’t figured out how to pass power down from woman to woman, to bequeath authority to its progeny. Its inability to conceive of a succession has crippled women’s progress not just within the women’s movement but in every venue of American public life.”
-Susan Faludi, “American Electra”, Harper’s, October 2010
Full article available in PDF format at http://susanfaludi.com/americanelectra.pdf
You can’t talk about hip, without speaking hip, dig?
How to Speak Hip