Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oh Alice, come back; he's just a metaphor

Taniwha are scary, not in themselves but in the damage they do to the credibility of Maori consultation.

No doubt to leaders such as Auckland Mayor Len Brown, a taniwha is interpreted as a concept, a symbol of something, perhaps the Maori reverence for the life force they see in all things.

But he would not relish the task of explaining that to his citizens.

He knows that many would think he is trying too hard to rationalise something they are inclined to regard as simply primitive, something no modern society should have to deal with.
Cripes, watch out for the thin ice. You don't want to be using words like primitive round these parts. Talk like that brings out the trolls, and they be worse than the taniwha. Someone's going to get offended tonight, mark my words.

You don't believe me? Well then, take a look at what happened over at the Hand Mirror. You know the Hand Mirror - nice people; feminists; fond of cupcakes. But look what happened when Julie posted an advertisement for an event called Queer the Night, a text written by the organisers. Here's what happened: the advertisement included the fateful words:
there are still dangers to those who are, or are perceived as being, outside heterosexual norms
Well, you can guess what happened next; well, no you probably can't; because you, gentle reader, probably could not find any thing wrong with such a statement. But someone called Scar could:
That should be heterosexual and CISSEXIST norms.
I'll be contacting them about bringing their language up to date; especially since I'm a heterosexual trans woman.
And then went the neigbourhood. The estimable Psycho Milt made a droll observation, for which he was called a privileged cis-man (yes, people really talk like this) by Hugh and then Scar condemned Milt and George as privileged cis guys and then George pointed out that he is a she and then they were joined by Acid Queen who made everything worser still and then others joined and then it went on and on until George said to Acid Queen:
No doubt you are probably some upper middle class woofter with a BA (hons)

Hey some people can't afford to go to Uni and do gender studies....
I like George.

Of course, if that wasn't enough for you, there is still time to pop over to Ideologically Impure for the afterparty. You can't stop the music; it never ends. I feel George's pain when she says
I just get really frustrated in activist circles when people are suddenly ostracised for not saying things in exactly the "right" way, being told they are racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/fatphobic/whatever, when they blatantly are not;
Why, only last week I was accused of "inherent racism" by Queen of Thorns on the Twitter for suggesting that perhaps pre-contact Maori society was not similar to Arcadia, that violence was not brought to these islands by the missionaries. But those are the breaks. George deserves better than I because she was one of the organisers of this event which apparently was very successful, and so should be applauded rather than abused by people who seem to be offended morning, noon and night.

But then, taking offence is the motive force of leftish trolls. If one were to attempt a taxonomy of trollery, one might observe that rightish trolls are angered: events in the modern world makes those veins on their foreheads throb. Leftish trolls are offended: things people say cause them harm. The political is the personal. It is not just that your opinions are wrong; you must be stopped from voicing them because the troll is deeply hurt by them. You will find that you are privileged; the troll is victimised by your very privilege, let alone by what you say. In fact, what you say is triggering. You must be preceded by a warning, if you are allowed to speak at all.

You might think you have a valid argument but you would be wrong. Your opinion reflects your ideology, which is informed by your privilege. Voicing your opinion in a public forum merely exposes your inherent racism, your bourgeois colonialism, your cissitude or whatever. The trigger troll comes brandishing papers in gender studies, post colonial theory, structuralism and post-structuralism, even in epistemology. You will find that there is evidence against your view, research has been done to prove your very point wrong, studies have been undertaken which show you to be in error. The details of this academic work will not be revealed to you; you will not be offered so much as a reference. But you must take it on trust; otherwise you will cause further offence. You probably would not understand it anyway.

Anyway, as things turned out, everyone but the trolls had a good time at Queer the Night, while the iwi rushed in to assure everyone that the taniwha was a metaphor, thus saving the trolls the discomfort and contortions of attacking pakeha media for mocking indigenous beliefs which the trolls themselves could not possibly hold, whilst at the same time trying to remember where the macrons go. But tomorrow is another day, with new opportunities to be offended on Internet.

Such is the life of the trigger troll, going from one outrage to the next, putting the I into every argument, never ceasing in the search for personal injustice.

Of course, the Cocteau Twins had something to say. Here they are, on The White Room from 1995, introduced by the estimable Mark Radcliffe:








30 comments:

Sanctuary said...

Cissexism? What is that? In my ignorance I've never even HEARD that word before.

Transphobic? WTF (Winning The Future, of course) with that one... I weep for the language of Shakespeare.

Coming up next: A genuinely puzzled debate as to why young women are not flocking to feminism.

Psycho Milt said...

I have to admit to a certain sense of schadenfreude over that thread. We were asked to quit by the blog owner; I duly withdrew from the thread; the offendees declared their determination to take a heroic stand against oppression by continuing to comment about me; and by doing so ended up getting a far worse bollocking from the event organisers than anything I might have written. Ah, good times.

Rageaholic said...

Yes Sanctuary, cissexism and transphobic are legitimate terms, even if you or Shakespeare have never heard them. I realise they might not be very widespread or well-known now, but at one time neither were the terms "sexism" or "homophobic". This is an exciting time with people learning and arguing and discussing these issues which many people have never considered, and using respectful language is an important part of that. Don't dismiss these terms just because you've never heard them, they may not be important to you but there are to someone else!

And, young women and people of all ages do seem to be flocking to feminism these days. There's a stronger feminist community in NZ now than I have ever seen before. And even my mum has come back into the fold after years of apathy - the Slutwalk protests have sparked a passion within her to fight rape culture, and she will be marching with me on the day.

Phil said...

I too would genuinely like to know what cissexism is.

Rageaholic said...

Phil: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cissexism

Russell Brown said...

Poor Julie. She's now made a post apologising for, by her own estimate, not moderating the thread very well -- and promptly been abused all over again.

Some of these people are such shits to their hosts, and to each other. I confess, were I a moderator, I'd oblige them fuck off and find somewhere else to hate each others' damn privilege.

Thanks to QoT I can see that George's subsequent offence was to use the phrase "internet tough guy" in the course of pointing out that she felt bullied. Had she been obtusely referring to a trans-person as other than their identified gender, then that would have been rude and trollish, but she doesn't really seem to have been doing that. It's just another excuse to do some more bullying in the name of being offended, and woe betide anyone who disagrees.

Moderating a discussion on the edge of clusterfuck is actually emotionally difficult and draining, more so if you're being abused at the time. Julie's apology was big-hearted and sincere, but seems only to have spawned another round of abuse and demands for THM to do this or that -- and, according to Octavia, to not expect the slightest degree of respect even if they do.

(I also happened upon Octavia's post-mortem for The Stroppery, where she, with a straight face, worked the phrase "What gets me is that the haters are always loudest," into 500 words of snarling and chest-beating in the direction of her former blog friends. I mean, really?)

I confess, I was not familiar with the term "cisgendered", but if that's how people wish to be described, then fine. Basic tenet of respect and all that. But raining bile on someone for not being up with the proper vocab is really not okay. Ugh.

And yes, Paul, "trigger trolls" is pretty good.

Sanctuary said...

Here is my beef with this. On the one hand, we dare not make the the rather common sense observation that some people are quite different from normal. As in the norm being what some massive percentage of the general population is, as in that gigantic percentage of the population that adheres to "...heterosexual and CISSEXIST norms..." Normal is not, apparently, what the dictionary defines it is. Normal is whatever someone at the handmirror decides it might be.

On the other hand, we must unquestioningly accept the sort of aggressive assertions of difference seen in that handmirror. Entire, in your face celebrations thereof, in fact. To observe that this celebration of difference implies, well, difference from the social or cultural norms - something that would hardly perturb the local Dalmation club's annual children's Xmas party - is to invite opprobrium to be heaped upon one's head for implying you don't think they are normal.

This is the contradiction that lies at heart of so much of what passes for modern identity politics, and why so many identity politics afficiandoes end up on the right of the political spectrum as they get older. In fact, it is little more than a justification for the most extremist expressions of individualism - normal is whatever I say it might be, not what society might define it to be. It is impossible to imagine the power of the collective if you cannot acknowledge anything beyond to primacy of self.

Now, I consider myself reasonably normal. But I am also eccentric in number some ways (if you believe my girlfriend). I quite like people and things that are not boringly normal. And that is where I leave my analysis of these things. it is far more intellectually honest to simply accept and tolerate deviance from the norm than try and force, via perverting the meaning of the English language or general hyper-sensitive abuse, acceptance of the proposition that anything and everything is 'normal".

Russell Brown said...

I have no problem with the celebration of difference, or with "identity politics". One of the things I like about older LGBT people is their experience of difference; I relate strongly to their sense of otherness. They're good people to hang with in that respect.

But I don't think this kind of conduct is really even about that. If you're going to revel in your own ability to be a shit to other people, and then take exaggerated offence at the kind of discussion you've helped create, you're not going to get a lot of sympathy from me.

goodgravey said...

When I finally read what started the whole issue, I struggled to see how it could have blown up so much.

And by this, I mean that when Scar corrected the wording, I would have thought the response was "Oh shit. So very sorry about that, we'll correct it right away".

Now the problem is, of course, that people can react to things in interesting ways over the internet. It means that when we say things, we need to make our intent very clear as we do not have all the usual verbal and visual clues.

So yeah - maybe I can understand how it all escalated as it did. But fundamentally, a request that QtN make the distinction between sexuality and gender identification is reasonable.

I have to admit, it never would have occurred to me either before this. And for that, I am grateful that this issue arisen.

I don't know Julie as well as many others seem to. But my reading of her apology - it seems genuine and that there is a great deal of remorse. That she too has learned something from this.

But then I am coming from a position of ultimate privilege. I recognise that I will never know what it is like to be in the position that many have talked about here. I'm just trying to get my head around all of this.

Russell Brown said...

So yeah - maybe I can understand how it all escalated as it did. But fundamentally, a request that QtN make the distinction between sexuality and gender identification is reasonable.

I think "queer" does actually cover all that. The objection seems to have been that a line on a flier that referred to "heterosexism" but not "cissexism", a word the organisers had plainly never heard of.

If the grandstanding nastiness of the Ideologically Impure post-mortem is an indication of the way the issue was handled in the THM thread, I'm not really surprised George got a tiny bit defensive.

Psycho Milt said...

But my reading of her apology - it seems genuine and that there is a great deal of remorse. That she too has learned something from this.

I'm just sad she even felt the need to make an apology or that she reproaches herself in any way for the moderation on that thread. Sometimes, people who berate the blog owner and the other commenters aren't actually taking a courageous stand against oppression, they're just obnoxious trolls with delusions of moral superiority dishing abuse.

Boganette said...

Oh lordy. This is quality stuff.

I do think "Queer the Night" has a better ring to it than "Russell Brown's view on Queer people and what they should be happy with him and his mates calling them". Do you agree?

And The Stroppery? Really? Do we need to set up a big boy blogger support group for you Russell? Considering that the women actually involved in the Stroppery "The Shits" as you call them (delightful term that - shits - and not at all obnoxious) have moved on from The Stroppery but you haven't is kind of telling. Was it such a blow to your ego the whole thing? The fact that most of the people involved didn't actually think it was about you?

"They get offended by everything" is really pretty weak in terms of an argument. Almost as weak as "two women think I'm being an ass, they must be the same woman!".

Also, just an aside - if you actually read what QoT posted you would know the 'internet tough guy' comment was aimed at a trans women. But I'm sure Russell that being a voice for Queer people means you've decided that actually it's OK to call a trans woman a guy? Could you let the community know? They get so uppity! They should just listen to you! You know what Queers want! You know what Queers like! Sing it with me!

It's OK I get how you missed that - typing with one hand while you read feminist blogs desperately searching for a mention of your name is a challenge even for someone with such a superior intellect.

Oh is this trolling? I'll just get on my knees and make sure I never disagree with the big boys huh?

Paul said...

Wut? Russell made a valid point about the behaviour of the principals in this drama. I don't think that can reasonably be construed as mansplaining, straightsplaining, cissplaining or any word with an asterisk in it.

The vast absurdity of this argument is that no incidents of transphobia have occurred. What happened was that Scar got in a tizzy because of the wording of the media release for Queer the Night; then Octavia Spitfire and Queen of Thorns leapt in to take offence and dish out abuse in equal proportions. An awful lot of silliness ensued and an awful lot of nastiness with it, all coming from those three pantomime dames.

What is so galling is that the targets of this abuse are the good guys/persons. Four Hand Mirror contributors and countless commentators, people who don't have to justify their feminism or their basic human decency, have been abused by these ghastly trouts. And goes on and on. On Twitter, Thorns and Spitfire are whining about me as we speak. Meanwhile Matthew Dentith, in a desperate attempt to get on the Grievance Train as it leaves the station, tries to insinuate that I am anti-feminist, which I find particularly objectionable. I don't think we will be seeing any evidence from the Great White Epistemologist on this matter, because he does not feel any need to justify his slurs against those who offend him. In fact, none of this bunch of authoritarian pricks has yet to come up with evidence of a *phobic comment I have made about anyone.

Do these people really think they are dealing to the Kyriarchy by abusing liberals, feminists, Family? I think not. I think they are just desperate for attention.

Boganette said...

Did I call it that? If the term mansplaining so thoroughly outrages you then don't use it. How's that? Radical concept. Maybe I should starting charging you for these amazing insights.

"The vast absurdity of this argument is that no incidents of transphobia have occurred." - Oh, oh OK then. No worries then. Mr straight guy who was born in the right body says there is nothing to be upset about. Those trans folk aye? They get worked up over nothing! They just need a good old straight cis guy to tell them what's what. I mean GOSH those trannies really bang on don't they?

And obviously this is a case of 'nice people' vs bitches. Thanks for clarifying that. The whole time I was like "wait, you know what we need? I need someone like Paul to explain to me what's going on here. My tiny lady brain is so full right now I need this to be broken down into a pathetic good vs evil fairy-tale".

As for the rest of it bla bla bla bla bla them bitches don't get me! I love women! bla bla bla uppity cows should get back in the kitchen. Where is my sandwich? Why are they getting in a 'tizzy' and being 'silly'? Dames! Trouts! It's all the usual ravings of a confused lefty dude blogger who can't figure out why all the feminists aren't gently fellating him for acknowledging that sometimes they're OK, as long as they're not shouty.

I expect better.

And for God's sake! Does Russell Brown have beer flavoured nipples? What the fuck is up with all your seemingly rational people crawling up his ass every five seconds?

goodgravey said...

Perhaps unsurprising to some, I am right with Boganette on this.

Prior to all of this, I wouldn't have thought much about the wording of the poster. But once I found out the term "guy" was used to describe a trans woman, I cringed because I knew how damned hurtful that would have been (regardless of whether the hurt was intended, regardless of whether anyone knew this).

It may not have been intended as transphobic, but intent is a great thing inside the mind of the intender. As a cis-male I could clearly see just how hurtful it would have been. I struggle to understand why other people can't - at least in retrospect.

So yeah - there was definite transphobia.

And while I agree with Coley Tangerina that maybe the level of anger was not particularly constructive, anger tends not to care about anything else - that's its nature. It would be really nice if everybody could express how they feel in a calm and collected manner. But the world simply doesn't operate in a vacuum of emotion. And a calm and collected manner is the prerogative of the privileged.

You can argue all you like about how the "trouts" were so mean, but those they were mean to have all said "OK, yeah, you were right. Really really sorry". Strikes me that you don't need to leap to their defence.

Had your comment been more along the lines of "Isn't it interesting how we can have a safe space where on occasions the moderators/bloggers don't necessarily feel safe?" then you might have something. But even then, it is extraordinaarily complicated - by questions of different levels of marginalisation, by different social factors, and by the need to express anger. Even then one would be making presumptions about the feelings of others.

As for *phobic comments, how do you feel about using a term like "these people"? How do you think that might be taken?

goodgravey said...

Perhaps unsurprising to some, I am right with Boganette on this.

Prior to all of this, I wouldn't have thought much about the wording of the poster. But once I found out the term "guy" was used to describe a trans woman, I cringed because I knew how damned hurtful that would have been (regardless of whether the hurt was intended, regardless of whether anyone knew this).

It may not have been intended as transphobic, but intent is a great thing inside the mind of the intender. As a cis-male I could clearly see just how hurtful it would have been. I struggle to understand why other people can't - at least in retrospect.

So yeah - there was definite transphobia.

And while I agree with Coley Tangerina that maybe the level of anger was not particularly constructive, anger tends not to care about anything else - that's its nature. It would be really nice if everybody could express how they feel in a calm and collected manner. But the world simply doesn't operate in a vacuum of emotion. And a calm and collected manner is the prerogative of the privileged.

You can argue all you like about how the "trouts" were so mean, but those they were mean to have all said "OK, yeah, you were right. Really really sorry". Strikes me that you don't need to leap to their defence.

Had your comment been more along the lines of "Isn't it interesting how we can have a safe space where on occasions the moderators/bloggers don't necessarily feel safe?" then you might have something. But even then, it is extraordinaarily complicated - by questions of different levels of marginalisation, by different social factors, and by the need to express anger. Even then one would be making presumptions about the feelings of others.

As for *phobic comments, how do you feel about using a term like "these people"? How do you think that might be taken?

Paul said...

I am alright with the term 'mansplaining'; I did not accuse you of you using it. That said, your "tiny brain" argument amounts to you accusing me of such 'spraining. I am arguing with you because I respect your opinion, not because of any desire to instruct you.

One trans person complained, that a media release about an event did not specifically refer to transphobia. One might argue, if one had the stamina for the inevitable response, that there is no reason why an event called Queer the Night should make any specific reference to transvestites or transsexuals since such people are not necessarily queer. One might even argue that to make such an assumption of sexual orientation is itself cissexual or heterosexist, or something.

For the record, I have said nothing about transvestites or transsexuals in this argument, here or elsewhere. Nevertheless, I have been labelled a transphobic . Your suggestion that I do not have a right to discuss this matter because I am a straight male is invidious. Everybody has a right to argue in a public forum.

For the record again, the only person to insinuate that I am not feminist is male. I am a feminist. I am not demanding a sandwich of anyone. That said, I don't see this as an argument about feminism, or even about sexuality. I don't see it as an argument at all. It is three people (Scar, Spitfire, Thorns) trying to tell everyone else to shut up, including the Hand Mirror monitors, who hardly could be accused of being anything but feminist. And yet you say I am the one who is confused.

Paul said...

Goodgravey,

so that's it? Someone said "guy." Oh-em-gee. At least nobody told anybody to "man up."

No, I do not have to leap to the defence of the Hand Mirror women; nor is that my intent. I do not think they had anything for which to apologise and I think this fight could have been stopped by the Ref in this first round if she had told Scar to clear off.

And I do think intent matters. I object to witchfinders-general who ride the country looking for unintended slights such as saying "guy," by which they can condemn the speaker as transphobic without having to go to the trouble of putting together an argument. It is the old Marxist trick: deny your opponent the right to argue by saying that her opinions are no more than "false consciousness" - she said that because she is that kind of person; she is privileged, therefore she thinks like that. Worse still, is the deliberate misinterpretation of words, which I think you are doing with your objection to my "these people" remark. The people to which I was referring clearly are Scar, Spitfire, Thorns and Dentith. I think it clear that I am not referring to any wider group, to any generic class. But then, that is the level of much argument about identity politics, where people like these barge onto others' blogs and demand a safe space, while abusing everyone around them. So I have no problem with calling them ghastly trouts and pantomime dames. I could call them a lot worse.

Psycho Milt said...

Now Paul, you've been "called on your privilege." For this to be a "safe space," it's important that you now apologise wholeheartedly and unconditionally, and accept this "correction" in the generous, warm-hearted spirit it was intended. Your expectation that commenters should present some kind of coherent argument for their view is quite obviously merely a truculent refusal to face up to your own privilege.

Glad we could clear that up. Carry on...

Boganette said...

OK, now I'm confused. The great Russell Brown says trans people are Queer. You say they're not. Which guy who isn't trans but wants to speak for trans people should I be listening to?

You haven't actually read the post in question - and much like others have just gone "Waaaaa uppity trans people and mean feminists are being mean to the nice feminists!" because that's easier than actually listening instead of reacting. Some background: Queer the Night is a march against Homophobia AND Transphobia. I was there. We had chants that were specifically about TRANSPHOBIA as well as homophobia. Speakers on the night included Trans people who have been attacked in hate crimes around Wellington. The march was a DIRECT RESPONSE (please read that twice) to hate crimes against TRANS PEOPLE. Do you like, understand that? Is that offensive to you?

You're upset that a trans person who has been a victim of hate crimes in Wellington pointed out that some of the language used by someone who isn't trans and hasn't been a victim of a hate crime needed to be slightly altered? For an event that is essentially organised because of attacks on her and other trans people. Really?

Do you even know how fucked up that is?

And through all of that you feel the need to point out that ACTUALLY you haven't said "anything" about "transvestites or transsexuals". Good point Paul. It's kind of a shame that 'they' don't factor into conversations you and others have about 'them'. I'm sure if any trans person came here and talked to you about how they're feeling you'd totally listen to them. Right?

And am I really saying you don't have a right to discuss this? When I point out that maybe you shouldn't be telling trans people what is and isn't transphobia you feel like you're being silenced? And I'M the one who is apparently permanently offended?!?

But like, I know you're totally hurting hard by being called transphobic. That's like totally worse than being a victim of transphobia. Maybe I could hold a march for you?

And really, after all that - telling trans people this isn't a trans issue, telling feminists this isn't a feminist issue and that it isn't about 'sexuality' you need to make the qualifier that you're totally a feminist.

Yeah Paul, you're a total ally. Thanks for like all your super dedicating feministing.

It's not "three people" against women you feel the need to stand up for as if they can't stand up for themselves. I'm firmly in the camp that The Hand Mirror has fucked up. So are a lot of people - people who have commented but who you have decided aren't important at all. But by all means turn this into something for you to be hurt and indignant about you poor silenced minority.

And Milt - honestly, give it up. At this point I am embarrassed for you.

Boganette said...

And your comment to Gravey is hideous. At this point you're just being cruel. And for what? So that you can say you backed up The Hand Mirror women? I'm pretty sure they'd be horrified that there are people are joking about saying 'man up' to a trans woman while attempting to defend them.

I'm fucking astounded that you feel the need to say a trans woman shouldn't be offended by being called a 'tough guy'.

You've reached a point now where you're just being an asshole and I'm really fucking surprised this is coming from you.

Rant all you want about identity politics and 'safe places' and mansplaining. It just totally shows how much of an ally and feminist you are Paul. The best bit is when you attack the women with the absolute LEAST amount of power in order to show your feminist credentials and support other feminists who would frankly be pretty revolted by your argument here.

Paul said...

I am not trying to speak for trans people but it seems you are, while moonlighting as spokesperson for the Hand Mirror.

So far as I remember, the statements about transphobia were made at the march in response to the fight on Hand Mirror.

If I remember rightly, the comment about tough guys was made by a woman, George, who was misrepresented as a man by Scar. Yet Scar felt no need to apologise to George for making this assumption.

Meanwhile, the fact that I have made no comment about trans people is a bad thing, because "'they' don't factor into conversations you and others have about 'them'." Let me get this right: I said nothing bad about trans people so that makes me transphobic because I ignored them. What makes me think this entire issue is about attention-seeking?

And when did I attack the women with absolute least amount of power? Of which women do you speak - the women working three jobs to support their children, the women in forced marriages, the women who are physically abused by their partners, the women in poverty, the women who are enslaved, or none of the above? Or should I forget those women and concern myself with the feelings of the middle-class First World women who are offended because someone used the wrong word?

Boganette said...

"So far as I remember, the statements about transphobia were made at the march in response to the fight on Hand Mirror."

They weren't. If you read the original post it clearly stated that the march was against homophobia and transphobia.

If you feel that misgendering a trans woman on purpose is the same as misgendering a cis woman who has chosen a male log-in name then that's up to you.

It's telling that you didn't realise I was talking about trans women. The trans women involved in this debate have the least power out of all of those arguing.

But whatever, I obviously want attention and get offended by everything for no reason so there is no reason continuing with this.

Keir said...

If you feel that misgendering a trans woman on purpose is the same as misgendering a cis woman who has chosen a male log-in name then that's up to you.

Misgendering on purpose is quite a strong claim. You have to show that the offender (a) thought of `guy' as a gender specific term (b) thought they were talking to a women and (c) intended to use the above two facts on purpose. If any of those facts fail to be true, you are merely making trouble.

Further, George is hardly a male name. It is famously (this is a pun on the five) a name used by a women wishing to pass as male.

tony said...

Well all that's frightfully interesting. Actually it isn't. What concerns me is thyat trans people have been attacked. Has it been reported to the Police and what is being done about it? Never mind the seminar on what word is right and what wrong

Tony

Joel Cosgrove said...

Boganette, you going to tell Steve Chadwick off for the name she identifies as?
What if George's name is actually George? Why punish George for identifying as she chooses? George can be a name that both men and women use.
No one wins in the holier than thou arms race.

The starting point in Scar's response was totally on. Lack of engagement with issues facing trans identified peeps is something to take on and absorb.

Moving forward and taking on the critique of acknowledging and engaging with CIS issues and awareness is something that needs to happen, clearly.

But you guys were feral. I thought that George's posts were unintentionally trolling you guys and so amping up the agro. But your intolerance is just as astounding.

You're not going to build anything by tearing people down as brutally as I've seen here online.
Especially with people trying to do the right thing.

It's a horrible environment in what ever context it appears and is no different here.

Cheers for writing this Paul, I was thinking in a similar vein about all this, watching it post festum, when most of the posts had been deleted and I could only divine from the backwash and stuff people had emailed me.

On the ground though, Queer the Night seems to be making some positive developments, which I guess is the key here.

George said...

In retrospect, I can understand why Scar would have been upset at me calling her an "internet tough guy". Google the phrase in brackets; it's often used to describe people who become very sharp tongued online, when they wouldn't necessarily be so in person.

However, perhaps if I had realised I was talking to a trans-woman, I would have been a little more thoughtful about my choice of words, I have dated people who identified as genderqueer/transgendered in the past and I realise 100% why deliberate misgendering could be so hurtful.

As it stood, I skimmed the thread whilst delirious and with a fever, and overlooked the post where Scar identified herself as a trans-woman. Scar expressed great upset at what she perceived as my deliberately calling her a "guy". I then became extremely annoyed that I was supposed to have known that someone online who I had never spoken to before was transgendered. If I had read the comments & processed them, as well as saving it until I was feeling well to read them, it is unlikely this shit storm would have happened in the first place.

However, my explanation was interpreted by other commenters as me trying to justify calling a trans-woman a guy.

My initial interpretation of her comments was that she was accusing the QtN organisers of being transphobic for omitting the word "cissexist". I thought this was extremely unreasonable, especially given how few people had shown up to the QtN organising meetings. However, these comments were actually directed at another poster, "Psycho Milt", in relation to another comment/series of comments he had made previously.

People were angry at Julie and the other THM moderators, because they felt she had a duty to delete comments which appeared to continually misgender a transgendered person. When Julie thanked Kassie and I for our contributions, it was interpreted that this meant tacit acceptance of "transphobic" behaviour. However, the subsequent bullocking of Julie after what appeared to me to be a very genuine apology, was totally unwarranted.


Reading over the thread again with a clear head, it is pretty obvious to me that from the word go, I got completely the wrong end of the stick. Which is why in the cool light of day, it does seem as though people are looking to be offended.

As it stands, I am grateful in some ways that the conversation took place, as it reminds me of my responsibilty to educate myself of my cis-privilege and how I can become a more trans-friendly person, a responsibility which I do take seriously.

George said...

"As for the rest of it bla bla bla bla bla them bitches don't get me! I love women! bla bla bla uppity cows should get back in the kitchen. Where is my sandwich? Why are they getting in a 'tizzy' and being 'silly'? Dames! Trouts!"

Oh sod off, you're embarrassing yourself.

George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George said...

"If you feel that misgendering a trans woman on purpose is the same as misgendering a cis woman who has chosen a male log-in name then that's up to you."

Fuck you're dense. It was a MISTAKE. NOT DELIBERATE. Read the comments. It was said many, many times throughout the thread that I DID NOT KNOW scar was trans.

GEORGE IS MY REAL FIRST NAME, numb nuts! I didn't "choose" it - go have a natter at my Mum if you don't like it! Haha!

"Ewwwww, George is a boy's name." Pfffft. Sounds like you're stuck in the wrong shell too - a preschooler trapped inside the body of a hairy, man hating lesbo Trolololol...!