Archive for the 'Are you serious?' Category

Feeding the troll, part 2

July 17, 2010

this is what a feminist troll looks likeMy old friend Butterflywings – whose attempts at internet trolling I wrote about here – has submitted a couple of comments to my previous post. They have absolutely no relevance to that piece, of course, although in their own little way they’re really quite priceless, so I thought I’d share them here instead: transphobic hate speech of this calibre needs to put into the public domain so everyone can see it.

I’m not going to bother applying the pink sparklehammer of deconstruction to them; they speak for themselves. It is worth noting, though, that these are the words of a cis woman feminist. This, as they say, is what a feminist looks like.

Author : Butterflywings
E-mail :
Fuck you, little child. Your attempts to smear me all over the Internet are hilariously pathetic. You’re the one that hangs out in little cliques of people who agree with you.
Accuse me of trolling? Now I am. No point having a debate with morons, after all.

Author : Butterflywings
E-mail :
You think you’re so great, don’t you? You realise everyone is laughing at you? I could demolish your pathetic attempt to argue against my arguments if I could be bothered, but frankly, posting links that agree with you…isn’t argument. Trannies are a bit thick, aren’t they.

It’s like waking up to find small piles of very smelly cat poo dotted around the place.

Time for some music, I think.


Related post:


From the IAAF to the IOC: another (not so) fine mess

February 17, 2010

After last year’s furore about the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) appalling treatment of Caster Semenya and the ensuing “agreement” (as reported in the New York Times), the casual observer might have thought that the matter of so-called “gender testing” in athletics had been settled.

However, last month it was reported in The Guardian that:

[…] the 19-year-old athlete would be allowed to race only once the IAAF had cleared her. “We can only allow her to participate in events once we get clarity from the IAAF, not at this stage,” [Ray Mali of Athletics South Africa (ASA)] told Reuters.

So apparently the IAAF has still not reached a decision.

And, while the IAAF prevaricates, it seems to have handed the baton of crass insensitivity over to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). According to BBC News:

In January a symposium of experts in Miami concluded that some athletes discovered to have gender ambiguities be advised to have treatment, possibly even surgery, to continue competing at international level.


The IOC’s Medical Commission will not say what criteria they use to define female gender, so what exactly do they consider an ambiguity?

Just… what? Is this “symposium of experts” really going to “advise” intersex athletes to have surgery before they’ll be allowed to compete? What if there’s no proven medical need for it? What if those athletes refuse? My reading of it is that the IOC is saying that simply being born different – in one of the myriad ways that humans are born different – is enough to justify surgery. The Organisation Intersex International (OII), one of the largest international intersex organisations, in its Declaration of Fundamental Principles has denounced enforced surgery carried out on intersex people as “totalitarian, sexist oppression” and I, for one, am frankly dismayed that the IOC seems oblivious to these concerns. I find it hard to understand how this proposal is about anything other than an attempt to enforce normalisation on female athletes whom the IOC perceives as having undefined “gender ambiguities”.

More from the BBC News report:

Last week the International Olympic Committee’s General Assembly was briefed by the head of its Medical Commission Professor Arne Ljungqvist who recommended that “strategically located centres of excellence should be established to which athletes with a DSD (disorders of sex development) could be referred and, if necessary, further investigated and treated.”

The OII has been campaigning against the use of the term “disorders of sex development” since at least 2006. There is a comprehensive list of reasons why the OII objects to the term here: yet again, the IOC seems to be ignoring the wishes of intersex people.

But I wonder if there’s even more to this than so-called concerns about the health of a comparatively few female athletes with a “disorder of sex development”. Is the IOC simply using the Caster Semenya case as a pretext for launching its own attack on any and all women athletes who don’t conform to stereotypical female gender norms?

As Patricia Nell Warren writes in her perceptive analysis IOC and gender inquisition:

So the whole male arena of sport – and the egos and careers of male athletes – have, so far, been rigorously protected from gender scrutiny. In my opinion, this scrutiny should now happen. It’s only fair that the torture instruments of cultural discomfort about gender appearance be applied to men as well. And I’ll bet that, if enough male competitors – and the nations sending them out there – were to find themselves being figuratively “burned at the stake,” and the gold-medal prospects of a few outstanding male athletes destroyed, the way Semenya’s might have been, the outcry would be such that the IOC will hastily backtrack.

There’s an old saying that, when you find yourself in a hole, first thing you should do is stop digging. It’s advice the IOC should perhaps consider following. Then, maybe, it can think about how it’s going to get itself out of this not so fine mess. If it wasn’t for the fact that the implications of what it’s saying are so jaw-droppingly outrageous and fundamentally sexist, watching it struggle might otherwise have made quite an entertaining spectator sport.


Cross-posted at The F-Word


Previous related posts

Head, meet desk. Repeat until you fall off your chair.

May 27, 2009

Via the Psychology Today blog, here’s all the trans-misogyny, cissexism, transphobia and downright stupidity you can eat; free of charge courtesy the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and an alleged clinical psychologist who works for said Department. Take it away, Marisa Mauro, Psy.D:

Transgendered in Prison

During my first week of work at the prison I spotted a beautiful inmate with dark flowing hair, impeccably arched eyebrows, and a trim figure sitting on the bench amongst muscled and tattooed men with her legs primly crossed.

Confused I’d turned to a nearby colleague for answers, “I didn’t know we accepted female inmates,” I half stated and half asked.

“We don’t,” she replied matter-of-factly and then paused to look up at me questioningly. Her furrowed brow showed bewilderment but her eyes gave away her amusement.

Because us trans women, we’re a laugh, aren’t we, with our pretending to be Real Women™ and everything?

“What about her?” I countered, motioning to the inmate.

Her eyes followed my gaze. She spotted the inmate and chuckled to herself. “That’s not a woman,” she managed, shaking her head with disapproval, “that’s a he-she. To be here, he must be a man from the waist down.”

“He-she”. Could you not think of a more offensive term, then? “A man from the waist down”? Because obviously if you have male genitalia, well, how can you possibly call yourself a woman?

She scanned my face for understanding. Finding only confusion she continued, “They go to the men’s prison if they have male genitalia and the women’s prison if they have women’s. It doesn’t matter what’s going on from the waist up or what gender they think they are.”

Correction: “it doesn’t matter” – to employees of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – “what’s going on from the waist up or what gender they think they are”.

I finally understood what she was telling me. I began to berate myself in my mind: He is transgendered!

Who’s transgendered? She. She’s transgendered.

I can’t believe you didn’t immediately identify that – how ignorant.

Funny that – I was just thinking the same thing.

And embarrassed by my own lack of understanding, I silently vowed not to be so unperceptive in the future.

Why waste any more time? Why not start being more perceptive right now?

As a psychologist, I had considered myself to be relatively well informed about individual differences […]

And as a trans woman, I’d have hoped that a psychologist would be relatively well-informed, too. So what happened to you, then?

but I must admit that until this particular moment, I had always harbored a certain image of an inmate – male, muscular, tattooed, weathered and tough.

Because everyone knows that all men universally conform to that particular set of stereotypes, don’t they?

The shattering of this stereotype made me realize two things: One, how much more I still had to learn about working with this population and two, that the clinical application of theory is more difficult than reading about it.

1. You got that right.

2. Is it? So how about you take your theories off trans women’s bodies until you’ve got a grip on your subject?

Perhaps most challenging for me is that most transgendered inmates prefer to be addressed by their ‘female’ names and referred to using the feminine pronouns, ‘she’ and ‘her’. Fellow inmates tend to respect these requests, but the issue is rather complicated for staff – it is most respectful to address all inmates in a male institution by their last name, i.e. Mr. Jones, Mr. Smith and may be disrespectful to refer to them as women.

“Challenging”? “May be disrespectful to refer to them as women”? Can you really not see the problem here?

All in all, I continue to be impressed with the showing of tolerance towards these individuals in prison. Some institutions even provide support groups for transgendered inmates. If I were to have guessed, without the benefit of my experience, I would have been confident that the system would somehow not allow for transgendered inmates. I would have been wrong.

“Tolerance”? How can you just sit there, with your cis privilege hanging out all over the place, claiming that the system you work for is “tolerant”? Did you not even bother to read your own article (much less think about it)? Words fail.

Oh, and that noise? That would be me, banging my head against the desk.