Greetings from 2017, when we’re having Peak Trans. In 5-8 years this will be over. A generation of children currently being treated with hormones and surgery for being “born in the wrong body” will be suing their doctors and parents. People will no longer say that a penis is female if the penis-haver “identifies as a woman”. The current trend of allowing male athletes to compete “as women” as long as they’re taking estrogen will be history (to refresh: male-to-trans runners, weightlifters, volleyball players, etc. are currently thrashing female opponents because women’s sports organizations are unwilling to appear “bigoted.”)
My (former?) friends are sharing memes (will they still call them “memes” 5-8 years in the future?) that compare males’ demands to access female bathrooms to the Civil Rights Movement, and women who say no to them as white racists. Liberals are insisting that sex – biology – is a social construct, that humans aren’t sexually dimorphic because of the existence of intersex people and clownfish. They pass along sciency-sounding science-denial articles that use the same rhetoric as “creation science.” They denounce “creation science” because it is a tool of the Right, and they fear the Right. Their science denial is of the Left, and they deny it’s science denial. Science denial denial.
My (former?) friends support changing the legal definition of sex from biology to “identity.” If a man says they “feel like a woman,” and someone like me asks, “what does that mean? How do you ‘feel like a woman’? Is ‘woman’ a feeling?” they rush to support the male and condemn me.
I have recently come out as one of those witches who refuses to say males are female; who believes females need sex-segregated spaces like women’s shelters and prisons; who believes women are entitled to say “no” to males for any reason. I have been banned from Facebook* twice and my reddit* account has been suspended permanently. Friends have sent me messages saying they can’t associate with me any longer because I’m so “hurtful” and “ignorant.” I just lost a $2,000 speaking gig with no explanation; since women like me are regularly “no-platformed” as “TERF”s, I assume it’s because of my recently exposed politics.
So right now we’re in the midst of a kind of Liberal mass hysteria. There have been crazes like this in the past: actual witch hunts, McCarthyism, the lobotomy fad of the mid-20th century, the “false memories” of the 1980’s. It could be worse; maybe it will still get worse. But like other trendy hysterias, this will pass.
And when it does, what will you, my (former?) friends, be saying about it?
“Oh that, that time was so weird!” you’ll say, perhaps with an eyeroll or giggle.
Or, “I always knew it was wrong.” You’ll think you were the one who stood up for sanity back then. You’ll forget that you were in fact declaring you were on “the right side of history,” virtue-signaling with your civil-rights-appropriating memes, while shunning and condemning women like me. You will forget.
You will forget that you said “sex is a spectrum, we don’t understand biology.” You’ll forget you vehemently argued that “female brains” can be trapped in male bodies, “it’s SCIENCE!!!” You’ll forget you said “assigned male at birth” as if sex is assigned by transphobic doctors and not observed by anyone with eyes and a brain. You’ll forget that every time someone pointed this out you said “intersex and clownfish!!!” as though they disproved reality, because of some creationist-style sciency-science-denial that supported your politics.
You won’t be that dumb in the future. But right now, you are.
You didn’t know, you weren’t paying attention, it wasn’t your thing, you have to pick your battles. While women like me were screaming about the transing of children and the male pattern violence of males, you “didn’t know.” It was convenient not to know. Meanwhile you got head-pats and excitement in the “movement” (what movement? Against Trump? Why does opposing Trump mean you can’t think critically?) for repeating thought-terminating, loaded language like “trans women are women” and “assigned male at birth” and “cis”.
What will you blame, future? You will probably minimize the problem. It was just women, after all, they’re a minority, right? And so many women are white and middle-to-upper class, they did fine, it didn’t hurt them. OK, some kids got transed and regretted it, we went too far there, we meant well, why are you making such a big deal? It wasn’t that many, they were almost all homosexual anyway. It’s history, it’s over, we know better now.
Oh, Future, we’ll be lucky if you can read this. We’ll be lucky if you’re even there to ignore me.
*Facebook and reddit are social media sites. Will there be social media in the future? Will there even be electricity in the future? Since we’re on the brink of ecological and social collapse, I realize you might not even be able to read this. But if society and the planet are still holding together enough that you can: PAY ATTENTION.
A few years ago, when I shared this article about Caitlyn Jenner and another one about Rachel Dolezal, many angry liberal friends called me “transphobic,” and told me to “educate myself.” They apparently didn’t know I had spent many years deeply involved in various queer scenes in San Francisco, and had trans friends, and was gender dysphoric myself (it resolved in my mid-20’s, which is not unusual.) Since I couldn’t “educate myself” much more on trans people and queer theory, I considered what I really hadn’t educated myself about: radical feminism. Like everyone else, I had been denouncing “TERF“s without reading anything they’d written. So I started reading, and quickly realized I was a gender-critical radical feminist. (If you’re wondering why, I suggest you “educate yourself” about radical feminism. This video is a good place to start.)
Saying you’re a gender-critical radical feminist in public is like saying, “I’m a witch! Burn me!” So I spent about a year and a half in seething, cowed silence. But finally, on February 25, 2017, I “came out.”
In late February I noticed my liberal friends were sharing this “meme”:
So I posted this on Facebook (which I now call fecebook):
You can try to read all 1000+ comments here, although fecebook organizes them so poorly they’re hard to navigate.
Now it gets rather convoluted. Some of the comments have been documented anonymously here, along with annotation. I am “user J.”
Continue reading The TERFening: attempting to document a convoluted online silencing campaign
The Bee Goddess from The Golden Calf (Return of the Goddess) is available on Teespring shirts until September 17. All proceeds support me and the Seder-Masochism project! (You can also make a tax-deductible donation and get your name in the credits.)
Still working on it, but I like how it’s coming out. Based on Exodus 32. These are all things Hebrews should NOT be doing! But of course it’s the most beautiful chapter in the film.
I took some liberties in this design. “Why all the boobies?” you may ask. Once upon a time, boobies were an object of respect, not shame and ridicule. My goddesses have big, bare breasts to represent that mindset. Not that I think boobies should be worshipped; I’m not into biological fertility, and I’m not a “breast (wo)man”. Having breasts myself, I can say they’re kind of a pain in the ass (nor am I an “ass (wo)man”). But there’s so much shame around female breasts these days, I make ’em big and plentiful on deities to remind myself, and hopefully you, that the shame, discomfort, and anger they provoke is about patriarchy, not women’s bodies.
Here’s Hathor as a golden idol:
My favorite interpretation of Exodus 32 posits the Golden Calf was Hathor, a very popular Egyptian cow goddess. I’m running with that in my film. Fun!
My Asherah is loosely based on these:
Because mine rotates, the design is super simple with hardly any detail. Here’s another version that looks slightly less like the real Ashera figures, but is a cleaner design (due to longer hair):
How many frames of animation do you need to make something look like it’s moving? Two.
Last weekend Theo and I visited Central Missouri to look at a quilt plotter. We brought our own design to test. Here’s a video:
And here’s our finished test quilt:
Theo did all the stitchcoding, and made the graduated spirals in Mathematica.
This certainly gives us a lot to think about.
When Yahweh said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” he probably meant goddesses. The popular cow-goddess Hathor may have been the golden calf of Exodus. That’s the angle I’m taking in Seder-Masochism, since so much of the Books of Moses seem devoted to crushing both competing (read: goddess-worshipping) religions as well as actual women (read: Leviticus and the even-worse Numbers). Here is a femmed-up Hathor experiment, a composite of both her cow/profile painting and humanoid/scultpural idioms. Plus some wings, because most Egyptian goddesses were portrayed in winged form sometimes, and wings are cool. Yes, her udders are boobies. Maybe I’ll scale it back for the actual movie, but I like my deities well-sexed. That’s why I portray Mount Sinai like this:
So there I was reading an old New Yorker, and came across this article about a lawyer who exposes overpaid corporate CEOs. The name and the picture looked familiar. Could it be the same Nell Minow who interviewed me about Sita Sings the Blues? Why yes, it is! Turns out the “Movie Mom” is kicking ass and taking names in CEO land.
“I believe that what we’ve seen recently is a corporate takeover of the capitalist system, to the benefit of certain actors in that system and to the detriment of everybody else.” —Nell Minow, aka “the Movie Mom”
Filed under awesome.
I titled this “The Maiden and the Crone” on facebook.
Speaking of which, I seem to be posting a lot more updates on facebook than on this here blog. Is this part of a trend? Are blogs going to die of atrophy? What does it all mean?
OK, so I’m not in Athens right now. I left Israel early. I got sick, is what happened. A little food poisoning, a little irritable bowel syndrome, a little appetite loss and not eating for days, a little nervous breakdown, and next thing you know I’m back in New York trying to recover in a friend’s apartment, because I lost mine to bed bugs in July – not that that could be contributing to my stress or anything.
Unfortunately airports and airplanes and trying to sleep in different time zones are kind of killing me, so I’m canceling personal appearances for the next few weeks. It is a serious bummer, because I love meeting audiences and doing Q and A’s; and also because some of my upcoming lecture gigs actually pay, and I need the money. But my body and brain apparently can’t take this much travel, and I’m really sick.
On a bright note, the Rehovot International Women’s Film Festival was amazing – really excellent films, and excellent women. I also met some wonderful animators from ASIFA-Israel.
Please check the ever-growing show list. Sorry it’s not better organized; you have to scroll down in chronological order from past to future. It’s just me and my Momz trying to keep track here.
I’m leaving on Sunday for these two:
Sita and I will be bopping around other parts of Israel too, according to the US State Department (!), who is sponsoring my trip (how that was arranged I do not know). I’ll be in Athens Sept. 25-29. Whee!
How many broke, independent filmmakers get an MBA with decades of experience as a University administrator to handle their print logistics, festival scheduling, screener-sending, tour planning, database-programming, and endless back-and-forth emailing? Like everyone else involved with Sita Sings the Blues, she’s extraordinarily talented, extremely smart, and doing this for love. Not only does she want the film to succeed, she also wants me personally to not starve or go insane.
In case you haven’t guessed, she’s my Mom.