Tag Archive | women

Women in Fantasy

Either Magda de’Stain from Soulstring by Midori Snyder or Phedre no Delaunay from the Kushiel’s Dart series by Jacqueline Carey.

Magda de’Stain was the first really fleshed out female protagonist I ever saw in fantasy. And she doesn’t ape male characters. It’s a book where problem solving and conflict resolution, and even accountability are paramount for the character, and violence is a last resort. It truly is  a wonderful book, and still one of my favorites. I must have read it at least 50 times. If not more.

Phedre no Delaunay shows that “that which yields is not always weak.” She is strong but vulnerable. She is sexual, but that isn’t all she is. She is unashamed of who she is. And it is nice seeing a bisexual leading character where that aspect isn’t exploitive.

Well, that answer probably tells you more than you want to know about me.

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Why intersectionality is necessary.

Because this isn’t an academic exercise.

Because this isn’t a game.

Because these issues affect real people, and if you don’t know how different oppressions interact, you can’t help.

Take feminism for example, if you’re a feminist, you want to make life better for women and others who are marginalized for gender, how can you do that if you don’t understand the way that race, class, sexuality, cis/trans status, ability/disability, and other axes of oppression modify the experience of gender based oppression?

Fuck it….. I guess I’ll write about this tonight….. Emotions, Anger, and Dealing with Harassment

I woke up angry today. Even when I’m enjoying myself, even when I’m laughing, lately there has been a low grade anger burning underneath the surface that never really goes away. Less suicidal thoughts and more violent ones. Luckily, I learned to deal with my violent tendencies when I was much younger. I’ve been trying to figure out the source of this anger. There are plenty of things that it could be. Things that I deal with on a day to day basis. But those things usually just make me angry while I’m experiencing them. Like Tim.

What could it be? Could it be a reaction to the trans-misogyny rampant in society? Is it related to my depression, some weird new form? Is it a side effect of dysphoria? Resentment from having to pretend to be something I’m not all day long? That last one is definitely a part of it.

Whatever it is, my workplace environment is amplifying it. Today I had a conversation with a co-worker who was convinced that gender inequality exists, but that it favors women. Luckily for me, it was the only rational person I work with. (Hint: It’s not the other atheist.) I was able to completely turn his views around. Yay feminism. But this usually isn’t the case. My job is a hotbed of sexism and misogyny, perpetuated by the women and the men. I do what I can, but it doesn’t accomplish much. The people are also extremely homophobic, which even though no one, except for the aforementioned rational person, knows that I’m bisexual (he doesn’t know that I’m trans*), I can’t help but take personally. Not to mention that there is a rumor going around that I’m gay.

And being an atheist doesn’t help my situation there. I don’t face rampant discrimination for it most of the time, but, with a few exceptions  people treat me differently after they find out. They are still cordial, but there is a wall between us that wasn’t present before. Then there is the fact that one of my managers is a deacon at a local church, and another one is recruiting people I work with to go to church with him.

Not to mention that I have to go behind lazy people and do their jobs after them.

But along with all the other stuff I’m dealing with, I’m being sexually harassed. I’ve actually experienced work based sexual harassment in several forms from different people at different jobs. And this is while everybody assumes that I’m a cis straight guy. Well maybe they don’t always assume that I’m straight. Gives me a mere taste of the metric fuckton of harassment I’ll get to experience once I’m further along in transition. One time, at a different job, One of the owners, a gay guy was the culprit. And his husband, one of the other owners, was the chef. They both did occasionally. Many feminists talk about the male gaze. Well, I know exactly what they’re talking about. But they would also  “joke” in a sexual manner with me. One time they were talking about coming in when the restaurant was closed for a heavy cleaning day. One of them told me that the dress code for the day was tight jeans and no shirt. You should have seen the look on his face. A different time, after I finished closing up the kitchen, one of them told me that I should come back to the bar later, that they were having a wet underwear contest. No, it wasn’t a gay bar, but it was a gay and lesbian friendly hangout for an older crowd. These are only two of the many instances from that job.

Another of the instances of sexual harassment was done by a woman I worked with who was not in management. It got so bad at one point, that she was literally rubbing her body ( and I don’t mean the side of her body) up against me while I was trying to do my job. She’s the only person who has ever harassed me that I was able to get to stop. All it took for her to stop was a conversation. By then, I was at the breaking point, and I think it showed in my face. I think the thing that got her to back down were the words “Please stop.” I didn’t say them very assertively though, almost begging in tone.

Now to the harassment I’m currently facing. It’s coming from the other atheist, who I’ll call Bob, and it is a different type of sexual harassment. There have been many instances, but the most egregious happened recently.

To give a much needed setup, I need to introduce one of my co-workers that I haven’t previously mentioned. Let’s call her Angela. Angela is one of the few people, along with her daughter who also works there, who hasn’t changed her disposition towards me after finding out that I’m an atheist. That might change if she found out the rest of the facts about me, but for the moment, she is one of the best friends I have at my job. People joke about us as if we are a couple, and there was even a rumor that went around briefly. Heck, we even joke about being together romantically, though the relationship is nothing like that. Even though she’s active with the state republican party, and a committed catholic, she doesn’t treat me any differently for being an ex-catholic atheist, and that simple kindness goes a long way. If you’ve been reading this blog, you already know this, but I’ve been growing my hair out, and people comment on it. Angela hates my hair being long and keeps after me trying to get me to get it cut. I won’t do that. Fuck that. It makes me look more feminine. I love my hair, and I’m going to keep growing it out, but I can’t tell her the reason for that.

So one day, Bob hollers out loud so everyone in the kitchen can hear him, “We all know that Angela really likes your hair. She’s just covering up the fact that she likes to pull it while she fucks you up the ass with a strap-on.”

Yeah.

No one is willing to corroborate my story with HR even though they think it is harassment. If they did, they might just have to examine their own behavior towards the women I work with.

See, they don’t think what he did is wrong because of the nature of it, he jokes about me all the time. They just think he crossed a line because he got that specific about describing a sexual behavior. Most of the time his jokes are more of the nature of, “We need to get [birthname removed] a hooker and some Viagra.”

So yeah, I’m angry, I’m dealing with a bunch of shit that is aggravating it, and I can’t even tell my parents what I’m dealing with, and I really want to be able to lean on them, cause fuck trusting Tim with anything personal.

I can’t believe I have to say this.

Unfortunately, this is needs to be said, because some people still think this is OK.

Never smack a woman on the ass without prior consent.

It shows a complete disregard for all women, not just the woman you are violating. It shows that you feel that you are entitled to women’s bodies. It shows that you know you have the societal power to get away with it. It shows women exactly what you think of them, and what their place should be, far under yours.  This is the same brand of thinking that enables rape.

So stop that shit unless  you really are a misogynist. Don’t even joke about doing it.

Winning the battles but losing the war.

Time for a feminism post. I feel like we’re winning individual battles, but the culture is shifting against us. People really are starting to buy into the notion that feminism is no longer necessary. The anti-feminists have successfully gotten out the message that men are being oppressed by women, when the reality is that men are being hurt by a patriarchal system.

I had a conversation with a guy today who completely buys into rape culture. He assumes that most rape cases fail because the women are lying. When we were talking about drinking and consent, he brought up the fact that most people hook up when they are drunk, so people are completely capable of giving consent when drunk. “They may regret it later, and falsely accuse the guy of rape, but they gave consent. It is different if someone spiked their drink or they were under the influence of drugs.” I couldn’t get him to budge from this position. The anti-abortion movement keeps growing. I see sexist ideas  about gender roles coming from people of all backgrounds, and women are enforcing them even more than men are in my area. I have no idea how to push the Overton window in the direction it needs to be pushed here.

I weep for humanity.

The two flavors of dysphoria.

There are two types of gender dysphoria.

1.Social dysphoria.
2.Body dysphoria, also known as Gender Dissonance#.

#Credit for this term goes to Julia Serano from Whipping Girl.#

 

**I am about to be speaking from my own perspective, and this does not apply to all Trans* people. I will be using myself as an example.**

 

They are very different experiences.

When I am experiencing social dysphoria, It hurts to be treated as male. “Sir,” is like a slap in the face. Having to be, “one of the guys,” is pure fucking hell. Just being seen as male is painful in its own right. Dressing in specifically male coded clothing hurts, not because women and men wear drastically different things, but because you are intentionally putting on something that will tell people that you are male, and that you should be treated as such. It is double plus bad because you are telling other people to treat you as something you are not. Not that gender roles are anything but bullshit, but I do not want to be referred to as a man because I am not one.

When I am experiencing gender dissonance, it is my very body that betrays me. My voice, not being in a female register is incongruent with how my voice is in my head. It is alien to me. My facial hair is repulsive to me. And I am very unlucky, because even after I shave, you can see a shadow. I can’t stand having any body hair, except for pubes, because, lets face it, bush is sexy (on any gender){I know, that is just my own personal preference, and someone can be sexy, pubes or no pubes}. I should have boobs. Sometimes, when I am just waking up, I experience phantom breasts. Why the fuck don’t I have boobs? I won’t even talk about genital dysphoria. Looking in the mirror is pure fucking hell because I see a man staring back at me where a woman should be. It is an attractive man, but it isn’t me.

Body dysphoria is why I hate certain forms of sex positive feminism that stress body acceptance. I’ve tried to accept this male body. I can’t. It isn’t because I’m fat,(I’m not.) It isn’t because I can’t see someone attractive in the mirror. It’s because I’m not male and I am forced to live in  a male body. So you can take your body acceptance and shove it. You just make me feel worse about myself, when it is something that is not my fault. Instead of shaming someone for their body, they are unintentionally shaming me because I got the wrong one. For feminists who are usually pretty good to the trans* community, they really fucked this one up.

How am I sexist for being a binary identified trans woman?

Today I learned that I am a sexist because I am a binary trans* person. renetascian commented on a blog post by mx. punk. And I quote, “I did have another thought about your blog about being sexist. I am non-binary, but I realized if you were a binary transperson you would be sexist.” Oh really, I had no idea that because I happen to be a woman and not genderqueer that I am a sexist. Go on. “One example would be a transperson insulting another person for not getting surgery, or displaying hatred for cross-dressers.” Um, I probably will never be able to afford the surgery, and am afraid of losing all sensation, so I am non-op. That doesn’t make me non-binary. Even if I did get SRS, I would never judge someone for not getting it. I don’t hate cross-dressers, I’m just not one, and I don’t want to be told that I am one any more than you want to be told that you are a binary identified trans* person. How am I a sexist again? I don’t buy that gender is binary. I think that gender roles are bullshit. I believe that all genders should be equal. Why do you think that I am sexist again? And yet, you think less of me because I am a woman and binary identified. How are you not sexist? And by implication, you are saying that anybody who is cisgender is sexist, so why do you single out binary trans* folk? Why do you hate me?