Autogynephilia theory, on vested interests, and precedents set.

Ok time to dive in at the deep end yet again, it is time to discuss Autogynephilia theory.

Now to start opening this can of worms maybe we should begin by actually breaking down the theory itself, from there we can point out the fundemental flaws in this theory much more easily.

Autogynephilia theory is a theory coined by doctor Blanchard to divide transsexuality into 2 categories, the first of these categories is suprise suprise the homosexual transsexual,the second category being autogynephiliac transsexual. The first category is supposedly made up of transsexuals who transition for the male gaze, any non surgical transsexual person blanchard discusses he seems to shove into this category. The second the autogynephile is apparently any transsexual who is aroused by the thought of sex with themselves in a female body.

This theory has so many problems it is beyond belief, and its impact on us as a community is huge.

So now we know the theory maybe it’s time to discuss these flaws.

1. The homosexual transsexual, this is one huge issue from start to finish, it is based entirely on harmful stereotypes, assumes that trans folks are just gay men in denial, and to top it all off insultingly mislabels its victims. A trans woman who is attracted to men is precisely that, not a homosexual transsexual but a transsexual woman with an attraction to men. this myth is a direct contributory factor in Irans policy of surgical assault upon any individual with a history of crossdressing or who is unfortunate enough to be found to be homosexual . This is why this fundementally flawed point must be stopped, its perpetuation provides an excuse for surgical assault upon any individual who does not fit perfectly into the non trans, binary identified, heteronormative paradigm.

2. Transsexual people are still people, the autogynephilia theory seems to forget this . I may be aesexual myself but looking in I can see quite clearly human beings are a very sexual race for the large majority of cases. Most peoples bodily perceptions help define their sexuality, but what happens when that perception does not match with the body. Is the individual supposed to deny the existence of their sexual desires? or are they supposed to try to play along using a body that never ever fit who they were? a body that odds are repulses them.

Autogynephilia theory is nothing short of a deliberate act of sexuality shaming and control.The entire theory seems to be using a transsexual persons own bodily awareness , and often their own internalised transphobia as a weapon against them. It assumes that a trans persons sexuality defines every other factor of their life . It is insulting to everybody, assuming gay individuals transition due to lack of  strength to be themselves, that they must find above all else conceal their sexuality . It spreads about a meme that leads to direct surgical assault, that leads to reparative therapy despite the fact reparative therapy for transsexuality has been proven not to work and to also act as a contributory factor in increased suicide risk, worsening depression, and in some cases post traumatic stress if attempted. This theory also erases the existence of aesexual transsexuals such as myself, And is based on a theory of transsexuality that uses horribly out of date information and is fundementally flawed,

and finally 3. this theory was proposed and backed by individuals known to support reparative therapy including in one case a well known ex gay therapist. There were inadequate controls in the research and a clear bias was displayed throughout with weighted questions and cherrypicking of candidates.

As such Blanchards theory of autogynephilia and the linked theory autoandrophilia  are fundementally flawed, perpetuate harmful myths that damage individuals right across the LGBT spectrum, and all in all are merely sexuality shaming in a new guise. Our community already has enough of that to begin with in healthcare but that is an article for another day.

Radfem 2013, on ideologies and repeating history.

Here we go again folks, it’s that time of year again. Early indications are arising of Radfem 2013 gathering. That means time for yet another repitition of history, yet more insults slung back and forth, and in the end what will it achieve? absolutely sod all.

Oh I tell a lie, the result will be migraines all round, sound appealing? Funny it doesn’t appeal to me either, as a result I have a proposal. Simply leave it be, all the trans community will do by attempting to block this event is to look like bullies, and make this philosophy seem edgy and radical once more, rather than challenging it via legitimate debate and facts.

The real way to stop discrimination against the trans community by a small portion of the radical feminist community is by reasonable debate and discussion, on neutral ground. By being allies in common issues rather than constantly at one anothers throats over one issue. When attacked challenge it but otherwise just leave things be and if asked to back off do it, the person may have a legitimate reason for asking.  Trans exclusionary events while offensive, and misgendering to trans people cannot be stopped from taking place. I do not see why we should try. Grant them distance when requested and place your bets on how long this event continues, I’m betting not so long. Please folks don’t block Radfem2013 . There are plenty of good people willing to speak for us, some even within radical feminism itself and when in safe neutral territory we can debate freely to our hearts content. Maybe one day people will reconsider this anachronistic policy, but we have no need to demand entry. It’s like slamming our collective heads repeatedly against a wall and makes us look like assholes. I can’t tell y’all what to do, but please, think about it okay?

akb48, of slut shaming and head shaving.

Recently a video has been releasd, of a performer in japanese pop band akb48 tearfully apologising, bowing her now shaven head tearfully. Her crime? wanting to date.

This disgusts me, head shaving is a tool of shaming, when a young girl who only wishes a normal life is driven to such lengths in order to live yet still retain her happiness something has gone horribly horribly wrong.

This is contract based stripping away of a persons autono0my in order to satisfy an arbritrary and unfair rule. To hold her to such a regulation is unfair, and detrimental to the victims wellbeing. I am confused as to why this is considered acceptable, and why this would benefit the band.

Trapped meme, of prisons and language barriers.

Ok let’s get to opening this particular can o worms, the I am trapped in the wrong body meme has become a problem. This explanation was intended originally for one reason, to explain the unimaginable to people who could never ever in a billion years understand it, because they have no context from which to empathise, without the vital personal context trans realities are incredibly difficult, if not impossible to comprehend fully.

Explaining becomes somewhat like trying to describe a duck billed platypus to somebody who had never heard of a duck, or a beaver, or an otter.

The reality is my body is not a prison, not a cell, it is mine from head to toe, but here’s where it gets hard to explain. The issue lies in how a person percieves themselves, nobody had to tell most people they were male or female, they look at their bodies and compare to others and just know. From the day our bodies are born we have an awareness of who we are, an internal blueprint if you will. Observe a child some time in early infancy and you will see they may be a tad clumsy but even if the child cannot see or hear they are aware of their body.

They know where their feet are, their nose is, where every part of their body is that awareness is constant, even prior to social conditioning. If they suddenly grew extra parts they would no doubt be upset, why? because even as a child a brain knows what shape the body is, to suddenly alter that leads to extreme and distressing cognitive dissonance.

Now it gets tricky, the plainest evidence I can produce is the unusual phenomenon known as phantom limb. If a human being loses a limb it is a recorded phenomenon that 60 to 80 percent of cases the individual may retain sensations of movement and awareness of the presence of said limb or organ despite its loss.

This phenomenon is due to the fact the body is neurologically mapped by the brain, as evidenced by experiments showing that holding a mirror between missing and attached limb make it physically possible to stop the phantom limb itching by scratching the existing arm. Remove the mirror and the same results cannot be achieved.

In cases of transsexualism the same issue arises, the blueprints our brains are following do not seem to match to the current form of our bodies, talking therapies have of course been tested, however in all cases the experiments failed. In my life I have heard of every kind of reparative therapy you could care to imagine used in an attempt to “cure” us, from talking therapy, ammonia therapy, and exorcism, right through to electro convulsion therapy altered for use as an aversion therapy.

For proof of how ineffective said treatments are look to the barbaric case often heralded as the proof that all of a persons identity is socially defined the tragic case of  David Reimer (August 22, 1965 – May 5, 2004) was a Canadian man who was born as a healthy male, but was sexually reassigned and raised as female after his penis was accidentally destroyed during circumcision Psychologist john money oversaw the case and reported the reassignment as successful, and as evidence that gender identity is primarily learned. Academic sexologist Milton Diamond later reported that Reimer failed to identify as female since the age of 9 to 11, and that he began living as male at age 15. Reimer later went public with his story to discourage similar medical practices. He later committed suicide, owing to suffering years of severe depression, financial instability and a troubled marriage.

This is the crux of the issue, when a person states that gender is entirely social construction. I agree with that entirely gender as we currently experience it is entirely social, HOWEVER I firmly believe that transsexuality is something outside the issue of gender, something currently lacking a word as gender was never our word to use. We merely borrowed it due to absence of appropriate language to explain fully our condition. Gender is a word for the social roles a person experiences daily, we need a word that better fits the lived realities of people rather than just more words of convenience. If we ever wish to gain full agency of our full bodies, if we are ever to break the stereotypes and attain the medical care we need to transition without judgement it’s time we took our bodies back. Found our own words, and showed the world we are human beings worthy of respect not an abstract theory of some quack, and sure as hell not something to be controlled.

A gender vs Agenda, on words and dilution of meaning

Ever notice how over time some words get a little fuzzy round the edges? How slowly over time they get overused and diluted to the point where they’re no longer truly applicable in any meaningful way to any concrete meaning? Isn’t it interesting how over time they erode not only their own meaning but adversely influence others as they go? Lets take a controversial example word that all my readers will probably be completely familiar with by now , and if not they can’t have been reading much at all, let’s look at gender.

At this point if they saw me in person a lot of people would probably tell me gender has a clear or obvious meaning, but does it really?

To radical feminists Gender is a system of roles and oppressions forced upon a person against their will, a framework of conditioning socially constructed around a person who does not consent to them, but is forced and coerced into compliance with for the duration of their lifetime.

To a Transsexual person on the other hand gender is how we as individuals perceive our bodies, a gender not matched to the persons body is like phantom limb except not only one part feels wrong but all of it , the body screams out for correction. The social model has nothing to do with this until society steps in and coerces them into the role it assumes we should have, based on the body that feels fundamentally alien. Then the roles model of gender becomes a prison to be railed against while the body remains unfitted on a very basic level. To a trans feminist the social model of gender is a paradigm we work very hard to oppose and a group of stereotypes we work hard to dismantle often to the detriment of the speed of our transition itself. We agree with the radical feminist perspective of gender roles as tools of opression and sterotypical behaviour as immensely problematic and struggle to oppose both.

To gender therapists gender is something like a sausage casing, if a client is Transsexual they must be made to fit this one size doesn’t fit anybody mould before they can be given help to correct their bodies. If a person does not fit the roles they will be reconditioned and reprogrammed by the therapists to fit the stereotypical roles that do not truly fit anybody. This is done in an effort to make a person “pass” , this meaning to fit into the polite socially acceptable illusions of men and women which have been used to oppress women for millenia and still are.

To a government official gender is a convenient little politically correct version of the sex checkbox, A neat little pigeonhole into which everybody must fall, A or B? come on are you a boy or girl? it isn’t that complicated a question is it?

Try asking a neutrois, a person who seems to fit neither box, because regardless of which configuration their body takes it will feel as wrong as the transsexuals body feels to them. To a neutrois Gender is their own personal hell, a permanent limbo of a or b , one or the other with no option for none of the above.

Then we enter the realm of other categories of transgender, to a drag queen gender is a performance, a mask to be worn to entertain, a set of roles and cliches to be pointed out so their hypocrisy becomes clear to all and the entertainers point can be made. To a crossdresser gender can be very complex indeed, or it can be simply a second skin to be worn to feel comfortable. The categories go on forever, and I hope nobody will feel I erase their lived reality by any of this , or if I do not continue through every category, as I get the feeling that by the time I did this wouldn’t be an article, it’d be an encyclopedia.

The result of overuse of this word should be clear by now, gender is too complicated to be simplified down into a single word. Yet it is used for so many different circumstances. As a result gender means a lot to a lot of people, but what does it actually stand for? Absolutely nothing, it tries to be everything and as such is diluted into meaninglessness, isn’t english an evolving language? Maybe it’s time for the thinkers of our world to dream up new words, so we aren’t all constantly at odds with each other over a single word that truly stands for about as much  as a politician who just learned he won’t be getting reelected. Words that evolve beyond meaning everything and at the same time nothing.

On Sexism , Rape Apologism, and facebook.

I am a firm believer in hate crime legislation, it protects innocent people from harm caused by people who target them in hatred. Apparently not so facebook, in the bizarre world of facebook encouraging rape is considered hillarious. Just don’t forget your “controversial humour” tag folks, so long as you add that the most abbhorrent things are considered acceptable.

Facebooks logic, for lack of a better word is that women are not a protected category, therefore are not protected by terms of service. By that logic any loophole in regulation is ripe for exloitation. Technically nor are people named mark. However if I were to make a post immediately after a person named mark was attacked calling for the extermination of all individuals named mark it would still be an asshole move.

Facebook don’t seem to realise how relevant this is, every day thousands of people around the world are raped. There is no way in hell you can convince me raping somebody ever can or ever will be anything but an act of hatred. Please don’t even try to. So why should rape jokes not be considered as a violation of terms of service, c’mon facebook we all know you’re sexist as hell but please can you at least try to act in a decent manner?

Mallory owens finally out of hospital, on violence against women and a fucked up system.

By now you have all no doubt heard about mallory owens, an innocent woman beaten within an inch of her life , and the joke of a charge laid against her attacker.

Her girlfriends brother beat the shit out of her at thanksgiving, and yet because hate crime statutes aren’t on the books he practically gets away with it.on a second degree assault charge, yes you heard me right not attempted murder, second degree assault.

This fucker clearly intended to end mallorys life, he has in the past struck her with a pipe wrench. This man needs to go away and the screwed up thing is that even hate crime charges cannot be filed as alabama has no protection on grounds of sexual orientation . Something needs to change, before more lives are lost because of lack of defense.

A message to people who identify as allies to the trans community.

This message isn’t to all allies of the trans community, only to those who use misogyny as a weapon against people who are anti trans, please if you want to be an ally cut that shit out, it is doing harm and no good will come of it however good your intentions may or may not be.

By reinforcing patriarchy with misogynistic comments you are showing yourself as no true ally to our community. Trans women identify as female, we identify as the class woman, ergo when you allow your brain to be overridden by your anger and say sexist shit you aren’t just belittling the person you are arguing with, your actions also impact directly on those you seek to defend.

Furthermore reinforcing patriarchy makes it harder for trans men to be accepted as not the gender they were mistakenly assigned at birth by reinforcing the very power structures that make transition difficult, and identifying their gender label they were incorrectly assigned at birth as if it is somehow inferior. This also do a hell of a lotta good for those who identify non binary either.    So please please please think before you post , we do not need more enemies, and if we are going to convince people we speak the truth about who we are and want anybody to believe us the last thing we need is to allow sexism to speak for us.

Seriously , Fuck the bathroom debate.

This is doing my head in, week after sodding week the stupid bathroom debate comes round, and every time it ends the same way. Threats, misgendering, then it devolves yet further to the old fallbacks of misogynistic comments from self appointed allies of the trans community on one side, and the ever classic reversion to biological essentialism on the other.

Predictable as godwins law by this time, and it never achieves anything.For the record a lot of transwomen use the radar rooms (ungendered facilities designed for people with a valid reason they cannot change in communal facilities) when we go swimming to avoid precisely this bullshit, yet apparently even that isn’t good enough, I’ve been cornered on exiting the disabled toilets by 6 men who followed to “sort the fucking freak out” once before, thankfully I was saved after using the emergency chord to summon help, however for doing so as it was technically misuse I was fined.

What gave me away as trans? may have had something to do with using an ungendered facility mayhaps? Oh well past is past.

However given the distinct lack of ungendered facilities in most places it does produce problems, you ever try holding your bladder for hours at a time?  how about days? my current record is 2 days straight, and all this can be solved so simply , warning in advance this will sound crazy encourage construction of additional gender neutral facilities when building with private cubicles so nobody should ever see anything they don’t need to. Or even crazier, fit all bathrooms and changing areas with cubicles of a decent size, have changing outside said facilities be viewed legally as exposure in the same way as changing in the streets would be. That way nobody sees what they do not need to, people get to change in privacy, and nobody gets assaulted, while we’re at it how about fitting proper doors and walls to cubicles that don’t have a bloody half foot gap at floor level .

The great AR hallmarks debate, on wishing to scream your lungs out and still feeling voiceless.

WHEN THE HELL DID THE ANIMAL LIBERATION HALLMARKS BECOME JUST ANTI RACIST? For weeks now I’ve been hearing the same fucking debate again and again, asking whether we should stand by the hallmarks , or allow everybody into the movement so long as they support animal rights regardless of all other beliefs they may hold. How soon people forget, the hallmarks are a stance against all forms of discrimination, race , sexuality, age, gender identity, gender presentation. It is a stance for equality, want to start pulling bricks from a foundation for true equality? go ahead, but which one do you pull first? how many others will it take with it?

If you start treating some as more equal than others you lose something vital, one of the main points against animal abuse is it is speciesism. How do you explain speciesism if you refuse to call out any other forms of discrimination? Well for a start it makes it a damned sight harder. You can’t really argue that a human being mistreating an animal shouldn’t do it if you’re supporting the thug around the corner giving the gay couple who had the guts to show up a black eye. Nor can you truly claim to oppose speciesism while targeting people based on the colour of their skin, it’s completely screwed up.

Meanwhile while this is made all about racism , homophobia and transphobia are festering beneath the surface. Wait a sec weren’t the hallmarks against those too? Does that mean we are supposed to let gay bashers in too? God I hope not.

A common arguement seems to be, I joined for the animals, well so did the rest of us, but speciesism swings both ways , that means human animals and non human animals deserve equal treatment. That means bettering the situation for non human animals, it should NEVER mean bettering things for one at the expense of the other.

I am fucking sick of justifying my existence every gathering I attend. Sick of hearing little racist jokes, little homophobic gags, or the ever classic “is IT a boy or girl” repeated mispronouning, and frequent unsolicited advice. I have been publicly outted at demos, and threatened more than once. Now you are asking me to work alongside those people like numbers are more important than my survival, than the welfare of those I work to protect every night of my life. I was raised to treat racism as one of the worst things a human being can be, that such attitudes kill millions every year . Yet somehow I’m supposed to work alongside these people like I find their attitudes any less contemptible than the people who lend their support to HLS. Life is all worthy of equal respect and all activists who fight fight for one thing above all else I personally believe, a better, happier , fairer world. Isn’t that what we should all be fighting for?

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