May 3rd, 2011


(no subject)

I am not going to go on and on about this, I hope.

Essentially, the facts are these. Julie Bindel is in the habit of making free with the claim that trans people's choice of surgical option is a pursuit of 'uneccessary mutilation' on the grounds that her version of feminism presents her with the revealed truth that sex is totally binary and gender purely socially constructed. She will not listen to anyone who points out that biological sex is a spectrum and that there are a lot of variations on chromosomal sex and genital sex and possibly even brain sex; or that the construction of gender and its relationship to biological sex is a deal more complicated than she thinks. She also maintains that trans people reinforce strict and oppressive gender binary in the face of all lived evidence to the contrary - and not just from gender-queer and neutrois people either. (Even totally binary identified trans people who live in deep stealth complicate the binary SIMPLY BECAUSE PEOPLE KNOW THEY ARE OUT THERE). She really does not get that every time she makes statements claiming that trans guys are lesbians carried off by the raggle-taggle shrinks, oh!, or that trans women transitioned in order to avoid the stigma of being gay men - which is why so many of us end up identifying as dykes, of course, she causes huge offense and does not seem to get that people are entitled to be vexed.

Latterly, she has been arguing, along with other 'radical feminists' of her persuasion like Sheila Jeffreys that making puberty blockers available to trans teenagers, so that they have time to make up their mind about their ultimate identity without going through irreversible changes either way, is child abuse. She tries to weasel out of accusing parents of this; many of her allies are less moderate. Similarly she has thus far avoided saying that trans teens cannot make up their own minds - some of her allies like GallusMag of GenderTrender have said that no-one under 25 should be allowed to make any decisions about gender identity.

People have been even more vexed about this. One young trans woman went so far as to entitle a post Julie Bindel's Genitals in order to make the point that she cannot endlessly make free with other people's private parts as the object of theoretical statement without their taking it pretty personally. My view was that the post, which included no illustrations bar a surgical diagram and no personal speculation about its subject, was a bit inappropriate simply because it has enabled Julie Bindel to run playing victim to the likes of Johann Hari.

There have been a lot of exchanges on Twitter about this.

Some of the transphobe blogs, notably DirtyWhiteBoy and GenderTrender, are in the habit of pirating private photos from closed sites in which trans guys discuss surgical outcomes, as well as endlessly speculating pruriently about the ways in which lesbians can distinguish, by taste, the genitals of trans women from those of cis women - no, really, I am not making this up...I suggested in a tweet to Julie Bindel that she condemn those practices in order to be consistent with her argument that the post entitled Julie Bindel's Genitals was sexual bullying. After all, how much more offensive to have posts which include actual photos and - I assume - the results of extended programmes of sexual research.

She replied as follows:

@bindelj Julie Bindel
@RozKaveney Yes, if that is what they have done, then I utterly condemn it. Are you critical of any of the sexual bullying of me by trans?

I tried to take a screen cap of this, but screwed up and only got a text file off twitter.

I called on her actually to communicate her disapproval of their tactics to the relevant people,including Sheila Jeffreys who has posted on GallusMag's blog GenderTrender, and suggested that she actually look at those blogs and see why trans people regard them, and her, as guilty of hate speech. She responded by deleting her original tweet and announcing that I was the militia wing of the trans movement and she is not talking to me any more.

bindelj Julie Bindel
@RozKaveney Thats a no then. I am taking advice I have ignored for years and cutting ofg all contact with you and other militia-wing trans.
17 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Oh dear. Was it something I said?

Sometimes that bloody woman is one of my Muses...

We stand in ranks, so varied as to height
from short to tall. And some of us wear boots,
some sneakers, or high heels- whatever suits,
is not too great a nuisance in a fight.

One has long hair, the next a shaven head.
Hotpants and ballgowns. Mostly we wear jeans.
One stands stiff-backed, the next one yawns and leans
Against a handy well. We can't be led

or even told.Best not get in our way.
Think that we chose a path that leads through pain
to bliss, and of the grim smiles that remain
on lips that joke and kiss. You sometimes say

we've hurt you. Bindel,you must know you lie.
Imagine what we could do, if we try.

(no subject)

The tales dead men can't tell are told instead
by bloodstains and by broken bits of skull,
by details that are small, obscure and dull.
They smashed a truncheon down across his head

or broke her spleen or liver with a kick
shot at the crowd, did not aim high at all,
or trampled where they lay against a wall
or let him suffocate in his own sick.

They did these things because they are the Law
And do not need concern themselves with facts
that paint them with the blood of deadly acts,
really don't need to worry any more

Yet sometimes courts will turn and bite them still.
Hold them responsible for those they kill.

For a different Muse


You are so tired but cannot need to rest.
You need to write and speak and write again.
So many duties raging in your brain,
sometimes it seems that you have lost all zest

for friends and love. And then you turn and smile
Apology and charm and witty eyes,
And talk an hour, and make it clear you prize
that hour, then need be quiet for a while.

We leave you, for the solitude you ask
is all the rest you'll get til late at night
you close your eyes a moment as you write
in someone else's chair. You have your task

each day. And our task is to be your friend -
when you are strong, applaud, when broken, mend.

Sitting in Phoenix Gardens

Im Wunderschonen Monat Mai

There is a cold breeze even in the sun.
Under the trees, in shade, we shiver, zip
our leather jackets. Fresh green branches whip
And scatter their last blossom. Winter's done

Late spring is almost over. And the air
is May with flower scent. Birds call lust high
and strident. No clouds in a clear blue sky
that was all grey - it tempts us from despair.

Reminds us that the seasons twist and turn.
And governments will fall and fall as far
as they are high and mighty now. They are
never as strong as us. Joy will return

and justice. Small birds teach us how to sing
all of the hope and green and love of Spring.