6 September 2011
So, Zoe Ellen Brain brought to my attention earlier today the fact that I have been mentioned, and specifically, by a certain radical feminist blogger, who I will neither link nor name. The first because that entity can be responsible for that entity’s own promotion, and second because that entity is of the variety which cravenly hides behind a pseudonym, unlike those of us who expect to be taken seriously by others in a public debate.
I guess this means I’ve hit the big time! Woo hoo!
In any case, here is the text of my reply, as I have come to expect from entities of that sort a refusal to allow comments from those with which they disagree to pass moderation in an unmolested state. I will refer to that entity only as an entity, without naming and without gendering that entity, because that entity is so disrespectful of me as a human being and as a woman that the entity refuses to acknowledge my womanhood, the fact that I am lesbian, or even to use proper pronouns when referring to me. In retaliation, I remove from that entity any identity whatsoever.
Just so you know, and for the sake of accuracy in reporting, the closest I have ever come to setting a single foot on The Land is when I was leaving Camp Trans this year, I stopped for a moment to inquire of a Fest worker about the possibility of obtaining a Fest program. This took place in the middle of the road, which I will note is within the bounds of a National Forest and not within anyone’s private property.
I have also never even walked the line to talk with Fest attendees about anything at all, let alone any subject which they, or you, might find discomforting. So, as you can see, I have never entered the MWMF, sneaking, or otherwise, and I always make a point of waving to Fest workers and attendees as I pass by the gates on my runs into town.
Not that I expect you are interested, but for my own edification, I will note that your depiction of what actually goes on down at Camp Trans, and between Camp Trans and Fest, doesn’t quite match up with the reality of my experience. It makes me wonder if you are relying solely on third-party accounts. If you ever want to hear what actually happened at Camp Trans last year, feel free to contact me. The truth is both less, and more, interesting than many accounts have depicted, but no one who was actually there can deny that I was the strongest voice in opposition to actions that might have led to a violent confrontation.
Journalism tip: If you want to be taken seriously as an opponent in a debate, it is usually customary to use actual quotes from your target. The words you attribute to me have neither left my mouth, nor my pen. (Correction: I did actually say the thing attributed to me, or write it, rather. I had forgotten it was over a year ago, and it was actually somewhat out of character for me.)
You don’t have to agree with anything I have to say to get to know me. I invite you to do so.
The conversation went on for awhile, with all of my comments civil and on point, but as is usually the case with the TERFs (that being, for the unitiated, the Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, see below), they cannot help but resort to the solace of the weak minded and cowardly, and soon begin deleting any response one might make. I am, in fact, amazed at how many of my comments the entity allowed to be seen. Here are some selections from the deletions, starting with my last post just a few minutes ago, a response to what appears to be an inaccurate quote of me:
Once again, I do not believe that I have used the words “not a valid experience on which to meet”, and I did Google my name in this instance with the phrase “valid experience” this time. I did say in the comment you linked before:
“Womyn-born-womyn is NOT a valid identity to base an exclusionary policy upon, because it is an identity that is specifically designed to exclude a class of women who are at even greater disadvantage, namely, trans women (and for those who may not understand the distinction, yes, it is two fucking words, not one thank you very much).”
However, what I did say, just this evening, in fact, the which I am wondering if it was relayed to you by a third party, was, and I should probably edit this for clarity, as I dashed it off in a hurry in the middle of installing a new sump pump for my mother, but I’m kind of out of energy, so I will quote it verbatim for you, even though it was said in *my* private space:
“I do not view the trans exclusion policy, or the idea that any woman necessarily needs space away from other women as a valid boundary. I see it as oppression. I protest this oppression with peaceful means, and if you came there, you would see that there is a huge contingent of support for trans women within Fest, by attendees and by workers.”
Now, you may excoriate me all you like for disagreeing with your point of view, but please at least do it based on what I actually said, rather than putting words in my mouth.
Hmm…it seems that all my other comments were made from the other machine, so I’ll have to try and recover them in the morning. In the meantime, here’s some comments I made on Facebook tonight, edited to remove references to more personal topics I was discussing with the person to whom some of this was written:
The vast majority of the propaganda strewn about so carelessly by these TERFs is nearly 100% inaccurate, and exaggerated by several orders of magnitude. Most of the TERFs suffer from a deep-seated, self-imposed, and paranoid victimization complex that makes them see enemies under every skirt.
The TERF dogma rests on one principle–that trans women are not women, but men. It is my view that trans women are women, and that excluding trans women or forcing trans women into a second class status harms all women. Make no mistake they don’t view us as a different kind of woman; to them, we, you and I both, are The Enemy.
I am a woman, and I do not accept that another woman has the right to judge whether or not my support for women’s rights qualifies as good enough in her book.
I am not outside anything, insofar as womanhood is concerned. The only people that think I am are those who have victimized themselves in their paranoia. I stand by my statement. I am a woman. I was born a girl, of a woman, and like every other girl who has ever lived to become a woman, I became a woman exactly the same way–I learned to become a woman. My childhood was the childhood of a girl, even if no on was aware of that fact, even me.
I do not accept that I ought to slink quietly away from the communion of my sisters merely because my path to womanhood took a different turn or two. No two women are alike, and no two reached womanhood the same way.
What is more, there is a large percentage of the community of our sisters who agree with my stance, and I am thankful every day that they work to end this ignorance and bigotry as and when they can.
Aggression? You seem to have a strange notion of what constitutes aggression. [The Entity] specifically and personally targeted and slandered me, and has adamantly, purposely, and consistently disrespected my womanhood. [The Entity] has absolutely declared, falsely, that I have entered MWMF in an inappropriate manner, when I have come no closer to The Land than drive past it on my way to Camp Trans. All I did was tell the truth. Is Truth now equated with Aggression?
* and an explanation on the subject of TERFs, from a humorus post, “#1 Question to enrage a TERF: ‘I’m sorry, I don’t want to be rude; what pronouns do you prefer?'”:
Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. These are typically cissexual/cisgender females who consider trans women to be abhorrent, some going so far as to describe us as rapists for merely being women. They subscribe to the anathema of feminism, the idea that biological attributes determine one’s destiny, the very same thing that feminism has fought against for so long. Because of this, the suggestion to them that their sex, gender, or preferred pronouns are not self-evident is as abhorrent to them as the fact of our existence.
Many of them believe that there is a mystical, supernatural quality that cissexual/cisgender women alone possess, that those of us who came to our womanhood from a different path can never possess the understanding of this ineffable fairytale magical essence. Many of them even believe that the source of this sacred power is a goddess, the one great mother goddess. As an atheist and a rationalist, I find all of this laughable, even if it is true that I profane and invoke the names of gods and goddesses in all the pantheons at will.
Update, 8 September 2011: After going through what can be recovered from my posts, there doesn’t seem to be much more that sheds any light on the discussion, so never mind.
You know you love me…XOXO, Gemma