Any bets on whether my local bike club will survive beyond this season? Emails lightly edited for brevity, all names anonymized except my own.
Sat, Mar 19, 2022
I was able to renew my membership with the link to the Website. I noticed that the application requires a “gender” designation that only includes male or female. This is now very out of date. I identify as Female, but there are many who find this restrictive. We need to replace the gender with more options for our gender-queer or LGBT or other gender options friends. I can recommend a consultant for language, or we can reach out to the UP Center.
Better yet, get rid of the “Gender” check box!
What is the purpose of the gender check box?
There is no reason to have a gender checkbox.
If there’s a reason to know someone’s sex, there can be a checkbox for Male, Female, and Prefer Not To Say.
No boxes for me, I’m out! And, please take me off the mailing/e-mail list.
I agree with A and B.
I will be happy to renew my membership after BIKECLUB has spoken with Uniting Pride of Champaign County about how to be non-binary in the membership form and how to be a LGBTQ+ Affirming organization.
If you do away with the gender box, that might solve a small part.
Thank you A!!
(she/her) but related to people who identify in many other non-cis, non-binary
It’s just an emblem, a pin, a really ugly web page, and a dream. But it’s ours, and we intend to run it into the ground like any other movement, with a series of schisms, betrayals, false accusations, personality conflicts, poor communication, co-optation by more powerful “allies”, selling out, and ultimate abandonment of our ideals. In the meantime, feel free to share this emblem wherever you like, and go here to get a shiny gold and enamel pin that costs so much to ship there’s no profit for us, even at the high price of $10.
Back when I was originally TERFened, I shared “If A Person Has A Penis He’s A Man” by Connie Bryson. I did not write those lyrics, and never claimed I did, but outrage compromises reading comprehension, so it’s been incorrectly attributed to me. Including by the man who wrote the letter below, whose identity I have concealed.
If you stand up for anything, ever, expect this type of “support” from friends, family and loved ones. (Of course this is why few people stand up for anything.)
Nov 7, 2018
I saw your post on Facebook this morning regarding whether you should post certain material that might feel risky, especially in light of the trans stuff. I’m not an artist and therefore I don’t–I can’t–have the same passion for needing to present art that you do. I can’t relate to that. But I think I understand something that I think got you to this place.
As an artist, you surely know that once you put your art out there, you can’t control how it is interpreted. When you wrote the poem with “If a person has a penis, it’s a man,” I don’t think you had any understanding of how it would be received. (Raedacted) and I had the same reaction to it: “What’s the point of this? Does she not understand that it looks like she is taunting a community of people? Why is she doing this?” Whether you were correct or not isn’t the point. What your intent was isn’t the point. The point is that the form which you chose in order to make your point made you look like a bully to a lot of people. It looked like taunting.
Since the poem was posted, you have been mistreated. I find the way you have been treated to be appalling. Deplatforming is beyond ugly. So, what to do?
I’ve asked myself what advice I could give you. I’ve felt like my advice wouldn’t matter to you. I thought about that when I was in (Redacted) this summer and I came to the conclusion that you wouldn’t listen to me or tell me I was wrong so I left it alone. The way you were choosing to express yourself made me feel like all I could do is upset you further. It may be that this email will indeed upset you further, but now I feel like I really should write given the level of despair you have been expressing publicly.
What I think would have helped after initial complaints about your poem would have been to write a post in every social media outlet you use, including your blog, including Facebok, saying something like:
“I realize that the poem I wrote came across in a very poor way. I did not mean to write something that offended so many. I meant to engage in a constructive discussion, but I now understand that it came across as mean-spirited and taunting. While that was not my intention, I apologize to those who were offended. It is never my intent to cause pain with my words.”
Leave it at that. Explaining yourself further may pour salt in wounds. An unconditional apology even if you are right is sometimes the best way to ameliorate pain.
A quick analogy… Consider the racist politician who panders by saying, “I have lots of black friends.” A black person may interpret that as, “We have been insulted and now I am told that we shouldn’t be insulted because that person knows a small number of us? What kind of person does that? That person has no idea what I live with. That person does not understand my world.”
Instead of apologizing for the poem, you doubled down, tripled down, and much more, by insisting that what you wrote wasn’t wrong, implying it shouldn’t offend people. It may have been made even worse by saying, “I have lots of trans friends.” I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that there are trans people who feel that you continue to pour salt into their wounds.
It was not your intent. But you now have a significant perception problem.
I don’t read every one of your blog entries or see every one of your Facebook posts. Maybe you have apologized for the poem in an unconditional manner. Maybe you no longer try to justify your poem. If so, that is probably the best you can do. It may be that, near-term, you are going to be stuck with the backlash. Even with an unconditional apology, there will be people who say, “She’s only saying that because we hurt her and she wants her film to do better.” I wouldn’t expect overnight improvement in perception. It’s going to take a while.
Again, there is no excuse for how you have been treated. It’s horrifying. That said, my advice, which you can discard if you disagree with me, is to stop doubling down on the poem, to issue that sincere apology, and do not tie that apology to any expected behavior by others. After that be very, very careful about how people may interpret your future words. It may be best simply not to engage the trans group even if you want to. Just ask the question, “What’s the upside?”
Hey TERFs and Trannies! That’s my signature greeting on Heterodorx, the new podcast I’m doing with Corinna Cohn. Our first episode was recorded Friday evening, after I’d biked 30 miles and hiked two, so I wasn’t at my most articulate. We had some technical issues, including my cat, Lola, rubbing her head against my mic, causing loud horrible noises we couldn’t remove due to recording everything on a single track. Our next episode should be better. Still, I like this first foray, and hope you listen.
I was super-honored by my first lifetime achievement award from the Animakom festival in Bilbao Spain! I haven’t yet received the fancy glass plaque thingy in real life, but I did “attend” via video chat (starting around 54:30).
Many battles, much polarization; we are splitting into sides. Online especially, there is right and wrong, good and bad, the “right side of history” and the wrong. Even saying “the right side of history” implies petty, idiotic opinions are of world-altering significance.
The Book of Revelation is the ultimate story of Good vs. Evil, black vs. white. It’s also the ultimate revenge story. John of Patmos was a persecuted early Christian, exiled to a penal colony, expelled from society; cancelled, as we’d say today. He was righteous and angry. He had time to imagine, in elaborate detail, the comeuppance of his oppressors. Isn’t this what we all do, if we have the time? Imagine our torturers being tortured tenfold in return, in delicious detail. It is notably un-Christian. You are supposed to forgive. You are supposed to understand. You are supposed to seek peace, to love thy enemy.
Not John! John fantasizes his enemies getting stung by locusts, rained on by fire, and cast into the pit of hell. In Revelation, neither he, nor Jesus, nor God Himself have compassion for sinners. Won’t his oppressors be sorry when they see John and his ilk rise up into heaven, while they get hurt and humiliated and tortured! Haha, turnabout is fair play! John may be motivated by that, but as far as his Jesus and God are concerned, this is simply the nature of things, the arc of justice, the “history” one is on the right or wrong side of.
Revelation’s End of the World is imagined as a war. It feels like war right now. My own little battle hill, Mount Ladyfeels, feels like a war between women and misogynists, reality and fantasy, mental health and mental illness, truth and lies. But which side is which? Each end of the pole believes it has Truth on its side. I try to stay out of fights, but I’ve gotten into this one: women don’t have penises, women are female, humans cannot change sex, gender is oppressive. To the other side, this is hate speech and I’m a nazi.
Armageddon is online. Armageddon is the Last Battle, saints against sinners. No nuance whatsoever. Have a look at twitter. Every ban of a TERF is a demon cast to hell. Look at Reddit. GenderCritical permanently eliminated: 65,000 subscribers consigned to the abyss. An angel holds the key. Righteousness is triumphing over evil! Except it’s backwards. Black is white and white is black. We’re polarized like a horseshoe magnet. Which pole is which?
So things morph in Revelation. Candlesticks are stars are churches. Seven candlesticks are also a menorah, the Jewish community from which Christianity emerges, as the Child emerges from the Woman Clothed With The Sun. Seven candlesticks, seven stars, seven churches, seven eyes of the Lamb, seven heads of the Beast. Good sevens vs Bad sevens.
Good woman, the Mother, vs Bad woman, the Whore of Babylon. The women don’t fight, they merely appear as symbols for one side or the other. There’s a third woman, the Bride of the Lamb, who is a city, the New Jerusalem. Mother, Whore, and Virgin (bride), sort of like the Triple Goddess Maiden-Mother-Crone, except no Crone. I am a crone, so I wonder what happened to Her. Is She the Whore now? In Online Armageddon, older feminists are denounced and despised. Yes, maybe that’s us.
My Animated Apocalypse will also morph, like the language of John the Divine. But in the end, even black will morph into white. Throne will morph into Beast, Lamb’s eyes into dragon’s heads, up into down, heaven into hell.
How will it end?
Why do we seek stories of “the end of the world”? The world does not end. It keeps going and going. We end though. And societies end. Someday, Civilization will end; perhaps that’s what we mean by the End of the World.
The end of the world is nothing new. The Book of Revelation has always fascinated, as people have always felt on the edge of abyss. Apocalyptic fiction continues to be written; Revelation is merely our most famous early example. This world has been ending since it was created, and it is created anew every day.
The End of the World may be an egoistic projection of us mortals, who can’t cope with the inevitability of our own deaths. If we go, our egos dictate, the World goes with us. Persecution heightens ego. When you’re a scapegoat, as John was (and as I have been), your ego is deeply wounded, along with the rest of you. It enlarges. Narcissism is a consequence of trauma. Dwelling on the End of the World is a defensive projection, to deflect the reality of death from the inflamed ego.
Civilization has never been stable, as Against the Grain by James C. Scott amply illustrates. While Civilization itself persists in various forms, individual civilizations, or societies, always fall, the individuals comprising them regrouping anew. But Civilization didn’t always exist. Humans once were bound to the rest of the natural world, without literacy or other advanced abstractions. “Everything that is created is destroyed,” say the Buddhists, so someday Civilization will go. Like Derrick Jensen, I’m rooting for this Fall, because Civilization is killing the planet.
John’s Apocalypse, though, is more the opposite: the triumph of Civilization, and the final Fall of Nature. The New Jerusalem is a city, not a forest. It is fully paved. John rapturously describes the purified metals and minerals comprising it. Nature is completely tamed; there is but one Tree, around one river that emanates from the Throne. It’s all right angles, planes and walls.
In my personal theology, a just End of the World would be a return to Nature: humans disappearing into a platonic abstract New Jerusalem, and the Earth, finally rid of us, recovering at last. But the world does not end. I will die, but the world will continue. The only end I will live to see is my own. Until then, my ego needs something to do, and dwelling on the Book of Revelation is it.