“If Cis Women Stop Wearing Makeup, I Will Never Pass”

A powerful tool in our fight to preserve women’s rights may be staring us right in the face.

Vanity

The answer was inside me all along!

It’s easy to take the obvious for granted, and confronting this social norm is a flashpoint for many of us. 

But why is makeup mandatory? It’s obviously a holdover from older, stricter ideas of what women should be. What a corset does for the waist, contouring does for the face. And we all know it’s at least as bad for us.

I’m not going to lecture anyone about harmful chemicals or animal testing. There are plenty of other people more qualified to take on these very important issues. 

I want to talk about Womanface, and how we begin taking back our identity.

In one of her many excellent videos, Vanessa Vokey spotlights an episide of a Jubilee video series called Middle Ground. Her featured episode showcases a diverse panel discussing makeup, the pressures, practices and their personal feelings.

Vanessa points out the clear double standard: “Both of the males, even though one is presenting as a man and one has altered his body to appear more like a woman, they still have basically the same attitude toward wearing makeup.

“And it’s almost a childlike attitude, this idea that putting on makeup is sort of like dress-up, putting on a costume, putting on a cape like a superhero would.” 

Vanessa cuts to a woman who says she felt sorry for people having to see her bare face. Her cognitive dissonance is clear: “Makeup makes me feel very empowered and beautiful, but then I resent myself more when I take it off.”

Radical feminists in South Korea have it right: “I realized that the makeup and outfits [were] not my decision and I do not actually like it, so I choose to take off the corset.”

Their Take Off The Corset movement rebels against a culture of unattainable goals so intense, it’s driven some to take their own lives. Western culture is trending in similar directions, but circumstances have given us a moment to step back and ask ourselves if this is what we really want.

Pinned

Hey, this wasn’t part of our agreement!

2020 brought many lessons, like how lipstick is completely pointless behind a mask. Foundation is invisible over Zoom and contouring looks heavy in bad light.

Masks aside, no one should be ashamed to show her natural face. We are pushed to conform and given short-term rewards if we do, but it’s time to coordinate for the long game.

Everyone everywhere has been forced to reevaluate our priorities at the same time, and we should take advantage of the chaos.

Through the new tears in the social fabric, we can glimpse strange new possibilities that were unthinkable even a few years ago. Maybe we can bring back cloaks. Maybe we can be more self-sufficient. Maybe the consumerism we were raised with is toxic bullshit.

Makeup is a multi-billion dollar industry that supports child labor, which Vanessa also covers. If we all abandon it together, we can hit capitalism and the trans movement at the same time!

It would be so simple to demonstrate that women are whole individuals. Female impersonators of all shades rely on us perpetuating the impersonal stereotypes that they steal. 

If enough of us stop adhering to the standard, it’s no longer standard. Normalize your real face. Peoples’ perceptions will adjust. Challenge them to see you as you are.

The Bareface Challenge is especially harrowing for those of us who like our War Paint, but you only feel naked until life distracts you. You don’t need the Painted Veil to be presentable.

Let your presence as a woman in the world speak for itself. It’s something no man can imitate or own.

Tempest In The Wi Spa: A Case Study In Mass-Gaslighting

“If you are concerned with other people’s genitals, that is a *you* problem.”

Girl And Wheat

As if we could have one conversation that doesn’t somehow come back to your dick!

So concludes a response to women’s discomfort with men in our spaces. This was the first justification I saw trotted out in the aftermath of the Wi Spa viral video. Since then, the narrative has hopped from victim-blaming to saying the incident was staged, and finally to insisting OP made the whole thing up!

The latest coverage in the Los Angeles Blade wants to be conclusive: “Anonymous sources within the LAPD tell the Blade they have been unable to find any corroborating evidence that there was a transgender person present on that day.”

“Treatment at the Spa is by appointment only, and a source at the Spa told the Blade there’s no record of any of its usual transgender clients on its appointments guest list on the day in question.” 

But I hear so many of them pass so well! Maybe no one noticed, right? 

“Cubaangel’s Instagram account is almost exclusively Christian memes, which begs the question why she chose to go to a spa well known for being LGBTQ friendly.” This doesn’t neccessarily follow. Some people cite their Christian faith as their motivation for being more tolerant – imagine, following Jesus’ example! And this woman lives in LA, not exactly a conservative town.

But her religion and her failure to film inside a nude sauna means we can disregard the whole thing. “No transgender person can be seen, and no other witnesses have come forward to confirm the allegations made.”

To obscure the very similar and more detailed story another woman wrote in 2018, the Blade throws the link to her complaint in here: “It’s also not the first time Wi Spa has been targeted for catering to transgender people.” 

Let’s see what ‘catering to trans people’ meant in 2018.

“I would give this place five stars a week ago but…. Last night I had the most disturbing experience in the women’s locker room.

“Upon checking in, the clerk advised us that “there was a transgender male in the women’s locker room” … Ok… No problem, I’m not the type to discriminate people, but once in the women’s area, I saw the mentioned “transgender” individual naked in all his glory, and he still had a male organ hanging there…ok…no fuzz… That surgery is very expensive

“Anyways, so I go on my routine and I get to the shower room, he was almost next to me showering too when I start to overhear hearing the conversation that he is having with a lady that was also in the shower area.

“I clearly heard him say that he has had sex with probably one hundred women and that he was looking for a female girlfriend to share his time with…. He also mentioned that he uses cocaine and LSD to “relax” … Ok…not my business what he uses to relax…”

This woman wrote this in a Tripadvisor review, and doesn’t mention informing the police. The man in her story acts totally inappropriately, but his behavior just triggers the No True Trans subroutine in her programming.

Haunted Bed

I feel a presence watching me!

“But hey, a transgender person does not act like a guy around women nor they state how much they like women nor how much they like having sex with them! This guy is Not transgender, he seems to be just a “pervie” and given his accent he is from another country, Europe I believe.”

Oh yeah, those dirty Europeans, amirite? American snobbery aside, this man’s bad manners are what qualifies him as male in her eyes.

“I heard from other ladies there that he goes there quite often.” They must feel like the luckiest ladies in LA!

“I have nothing against gay people or transgender etc. but every gay guy I know uses the men’s locker rooms when in the spa.” Most female impersonators are straight, just twisted.

“Management said that according to the Law there was nothing they could do.” And this is where we find ourselves in 2021. “Yes, they can reserve their right to provide services to anyone, that’s not against the law. They can deny entrance to this person based on his behavior, not on his gender.”

How exactly this Picasso portrait of the Marquis du Sade doesn’t get him the boot I can’t quite wrap my head around. Our intrepid author has a hard time with it, too.

“I enjoy going to the Wi Spa and it is not fair to me or other women to be put in this position where you basically have to leave the Spa because you feel uncomfortable in such situation. I wouldn’t have minded the situation at all if that guy was really transgender, but obviously he is not.” Because transgender people are all delicate flowers!

But isn’t gatekeeping transphobic?

“I’m concerned about my safety and the safety of other women in the spa.” TERF! “Like I said, I wouldn’t have minded if he was really truly transgender, and preferably without that wig he took off to wash…

Oh for fuck’s sake. That man had no right to make those women watch that.

“This is a call to the owners of the Spa to protect their valued customers, thank you.” They have apparently less than zero interest in doing this.

And the Blade has no interest in objectivity: “After the alleged, unconfirmed incident, Wi Spa was deluged with 1-star Yelp! and Trip Advisor reviews.” Oh, the humanity! This writer takes great pains to downplay any possibility of such a thing having ever happened, anywhere, ever.

But if this is what qualifies as ‘catering to transgender people,’ it’s obvious why women are upset!

Unfortunately for us, since white nationalists are also angry about the trans movement for their own reasons, no woman has any reasonable objection, ever. “The video quickly made the rounds in far-right, and Trans-Exclusionary Feminist (TERF) sites. Anti-trans ‘feminist’ websites like Mumsnet, Ovarit, and Spinster were sharing content by far-right provocateurs known for disinformation, like Ian Miles Cheong, by June 27th.”

The shoutout is nice (complete with links!) but I spend probably too much time on Ovarit and ‘TERF’ Twitter and have no idea who this person is.

However, a few prominent feminists have been getting chummy with the right, home to fundamentalists of every flavor. In a game with only two teams, falling out with liberals doesn’t make flirting with conservatives suddenly a good idea.

Eve

He says he’ll keep me warm!

Because those people are still nuts! When a suspect in the latest incident was floated, the worst elements took aim: “She received multiple death threats and harassment, including a picture of a masked man brandishing an assault weapon threatening to shoot her.”

And this is where hanging with conservatives comes back haunt us. The picture and accompanying caption are terrifying, a lot like things I have received from self-appointed TERF-hunters. The line between Mainline Republican and Conservative Nutjob has been washed away in wave after wave of corruption and pandering. Is this who we want to be seen with??

“All of this fits into an emerging pattern of the alt-right, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists,” Woa, where did this come from? I have dug into how they connect the dots from radical feminists to white supremacists, but the logic is strained and this reference comes out of nowhere.

And our Blade writer runs with it. “Violent far-right groups like the Proud Boys, the religious right, and anti-trans ‘feminists’ are collaborating and coordinating as they share the same media streams.”

As evidence for this, the Blade links to a Dame Magazine articleThe Far-Right And Anti-Trans Movements: An Unholy Alliance. This in-no-way-clickbait title heads a pile of interesting data points, such as, “violent white nationalists are separate from, but adjacent to, the Christian right.” I think we’ve all seen enough evidence in the past year’s news cycles that they are two sides of the same coin. They’ve been pretty blatant about it for a while now.

Then there’s this chestnut: “At the 2017 Values Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council, Meg Kilgannon outlined the religious right’s plan to co-opt anti-trans feminist groups, and use their feminist-sounding language to seem more secular while hiding the true motivation behind their animus.”

This is an unflattering paraphrase of a mutual agreement. But has it ever occurred to us that the religious right are not coming into this blind? Those who tend the flame of Colonialism are not the simple folk they present themselves as.

Considering how anti-religion radical feminism is, and its absence from pretty much all radfem spaces, it doesn’t seem like this has had much internal, practical effect. But when the opposition stubbornly refuses to look into things, optics become vital to communication.

Back to the LA Blade: “Rhetoric against transgender people in popular right-wing media like Fox News has grown both more frequent, and more extreme. In April, Tucker Carlson (who serves as a gateway to the far right) declared that transgender people are a threat to the “perpetuation of the species.”

Tucker Carlson’s populist gibberish is only a gateway to anything if you pretend he’s not heir to the Schwann’s Frozen Foods fortune. And it’s recently come out that he’s a well-known source for dirt on his colleagues, apparently an open secret among reporters.

Wink

Snitches get stitches, right Tucker?

Most of the radfems I know are leftists, and not the kind of person who watches Fox News.

But the LA Blade quotes Dr. Joe Mulhall, head of research at the UK’s anti-extremist watchdog group Hope Not Hate, “If you talk about trans issues it opens the doors to the mainstream.”

Who knew you could run a watchdog group from under a rock? Fox may have the best ratings in cable news, but that’s the penthouse of a burning building.

Feminists appearing on right-wing platforms to defend women’s existence only to be undermined and reinterpreted shows how the left has abandoned us. These days, speaking up against anything Trans is the fastest way to lose your job, your friends and even family members.

Still, Dr. Joe insists, “The far-right are saying things they know will be echoed in the comment pages of the right-wing press.”

Plenty of things in this situation are still confusing, not least of which is this comment. Since when is there a right-wing press? What happened to the liberal media??

Rich governments, Amazon, The New York Times, The LA Blade, the World Health Organization, The Olympics, GLAAD, libraries and school boards and the stuffy old BBC are all behind this. Still, they see enemies everywhere.

Regardless of right or left, things are moving forward quickly: “Flyers are circulating online advertising a second protest against Wi Spa on July 17th. “

Hey, that’s today! Police are mobilizing to prevent a repeat of last time, and I’m still not convinced that the first protest wasn’t a TERF trap.

But we can all look forward to continuing unbiased coverage in the LA Blade: Robert Lansing is a pseudonym for a long-time investigative trans researcher and writer-journalist.” 

I have my own biases, of course, but sharing a sex phenotype with half the planet is not a mental illness. Biases born of material reality are stubborn things. They don’t stop being true just because you don’t like them.

Such as women’s objection to males in our private spaces.

“It does not matter AT ALL if the person peeing next to you is doing so with a penis. If you are concerned with other people’s genitals, that is a *you* problem.” How we wish this were true! Right ladies?

Dreamy Seamstress

If only the world were perfect!

It would be wonderful not to worry whether any men were around. To just go about our business and pay them no mind. What bliss!

But of course, we’d have to be ignorant of all of human history. How men decided their penis was a weapon and wielded it to terrible effect. How they systematically raped us, locked us up as broodmares, and killed many who disobeyed.

Ignorant of how, to this day, night jogging is not a good idea. How the leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder. How ‘rough sex’ is a common defense for it.

To suddenly insist that an uninvited penis is not a flashing neon warning sign is to deny the entire history of civilization. And the most ambitious gaslighting play of all time.

Women Out In The Cold: Hey Ohio, You Decent?

As much as I hate to admit it, I grew up in Ohio.

Classy Dame

A classy dame like me? Weird, I know!

For a long time people called it America’s Weathervane. A hub of midwestern culture, Ohio picked the President every election from 1960 until this last one.

Despite my six years in Tennessee, I watched with great interest as  State Representative Jena Powell spoke before the Ohio Legislature in defense of women’s rights. She’s a Republican, of course. Representative Powell may not be the best feminist spokesperson, but the aggressive, frightening reaction she triggered made my blood run cold.

She was given the floor to introduce an amendment called the Save Women’s Sports Act, “a fairness issue for women to be able to achieve their dreams in athletics in our state, and is crucial to preserving women’s rights and the integrity of women and girl’s sports.”

As she talks about the girls losing out on opportunities across the country, the first objection is heard from the room: “Point of order!”

Before she finishes her sentence, someone begins banging loudly, could be a book on a table.

“This amendment will require schools that are part of the OHSAA – “

More shouting, each word punctuated with another thunderous bang, “Point! Of! Order!”

” – to designate separate teams – “

The shouting and banging become continuous, making Jena fight for every word.

” – for the biological sex. No school inters…” She only pauses briefly, long enough to shoot a withering look at whoever is interrupting her. “No school interscholastic conference or organization – “

The banging continues, but I guess he needed to catch his breath.

” – that regulates interscholastics shall permit biological males – “

The banging quickens, the same voice braying over it now in short, wordless bursts.

” – participate on an athletic team or in athletic competitions designated only for biological female participants.”

The howling carries on, there’s some shuffling and maybe one or two others begin banging on tables. Eventually, the Chairman is forced to stop her and address the issue.

Grownups Were Talking

The grownups were talking, darling! What is it??

The video isn’t very long and cuts off before we learn more. What was the Point of Order?? I need to know!

Extra info is scarce but, according to the local ABC affiliate, Representative Powell tacked her amendment onto a bill that had already passed the State Senate. Their bill was aimed at giving college athletes the right to profit from schools’ use of their likeness.

Jena’s amendment looks a bit out of place, but her own bill has been stalled in committee. And time is running short.

ABC says the Ohio Senate went around her the very next night, attaching the college profit scheme as an amendment to an unrelated bill. I guess they can’t be mad at her for that! But shouldn’t legislators be expected to show relevance like lawyers do? This kind of agenda-juggling erodes a lot of confidence in government.

And the sound of the baboon-level freakout coming from the State Representative off-camera is harrowing for a couple of reasons. The mental image is conjured up of a red face, gnashing teeth, books and papers flung here and there as you listen to them thrash around.

Aside from the unhinged nature of this performance, it’s even scarier if this is coming from the so-called ‘liberal’ party. All because a woman spoke up to defend our rights!

We know we can’t depend on conservatives to stand firm for women outside of our right to do Girly Things. Their moral panic working in our favor for once doesn’t mean they will suddenly support our bodily autonomy.

Chasing A Fantasy

Hey Judy, how you been? Still chasing that fantasy, I see!

The fight over abortion and birth control is still raging, and Ohio is one of the worst offenders. Abortion is illegal in Ohio before many women even know they’re pregnant, thanks to the infamous Heartbeat Bill.

Representative Powell might want to ask them about that, too.

Because with Dems completely beholden to gender activism and few progressives in sight, being a woman is a pretty embattled position at the moment.

We’re going to visit family in Ohio over the July 4th holiday. It’s been a while, the kids are in for a treat. I’m nervous for lots of reasons, but that’s nothing new. It’s strange to be going home and leaving it at the same time.

Beyond politics, life goes on. A lot has changed in the last six years, but some things never do. As the culture war imitates the Summer weather, checking in with a few of them is sounding better all the time.

Warning: Violence Against Gender Criticals Erupts In Canada

Just a quick note of warning to readers and the wider feminist community.

Billboard Dad

“We are making progress with a persistent campaign to spread awareness about the harm coming to children from puberty blockers.”

This afternoon in Montreal, a man who calls himself Billboard Dad was out doing his thing. Interestingly, that thing is protesting the Canadian government’s stance on gender politics.

I was having peaceful conversations on Saint-Catherine Street, joined by a local man. A bunch of these thugs suddenly swarmed me, I’m told there were about 7.

He got footage of several people surrounding him, one of them shouting, Transphobes, fuck off! while hitting Billboard Dad with a traffic cone!

I took one punch to the face and one right hook to the back of my head from that big guy, but I’m hard-headed so no worries.

I’ve got a messed up forearm, a fat lip, and a popped vein in my hand, but this is nothing compared to what’s happening to children across this country. If criminals think an assault is going to slow me down, they’re dead wrong. Children Cannot Consent to Puberty Blockers!

A catchy slogan didn’t protect him from crazy. 

I don’t know if this kind of thing has happened before, there have been rumblings here and there. But the pure rage coming from Traffic Cone Man made my blood run cold.

If words are violence, hitting back becomes reasonable.

My left forearm is broken, but I feel worse for my new friend who came out to support.

I have a very annoying cast that goes up over my elbow to keep my arm at 90 degrees but whatever. I don’t need two functioning arms to have conversations.

They have been threatening us for a while now. We need to be on alert.

But we can’t hide from this. For one thing, they have shown that they will find us. But mostly, together we are strong.

We all know who women are and what we need. Brace yourselves, sisters – The collision is coming!

Two Vital GC Arguments From An Unlikely Source

It’s not every day I find something I think everyone needs to hear.

Today was one of those days. These are the moments that still fill me with hope.

Dreamy Seamstress

Maybe someday, we’ll get to be people after all!

Two Truth Bombs And A New Subscription

Michael Browne has been feministing about as long as I have, with even less exposure. 

I assumed YouTube’s algorithm made the introduction but, retracing my steps, I found his video on Ovarit. He appears to have uploaded it himself.

Michael has been taking on the big boys for a while, releasing long, detailed responses to the likes of Riley J Dennis and Contrapoints. More recently, he commented on Philosphy Tube’s transformation and even Lindsay Ellis. 

Which is great, but I guess podcasts are what the cool kids are listening to while they clean house. This guy’s saying things I haven’t heard from anyone else.

Which is a damn shame. In his quest to leave no stone unturned, he’s sharpened a point or two I think could really leave a mark.

Countering Contrapoints

Contrapoints’ persona is generally outside my tolerance for counterintelligence research. That is to say, I have never sat through one of his videos. I prefer my YouTube dry and educational, or frivolous and weird.

Michael’s style makes watching pointless anyway, stopping every sentence to slice and dissect.

In this way, he manages to sift out the kernel of conflict at the center of modern feminist politics.

Contrapoints: “We’re using a cultural language of feminine signifiers to prompt others to see us for what we are. 

But also, if one person calls me ‘sir,’ that’s gonna ruin my day. So I’m desperately throwing glitter spaghetti at the wall in hopes the light catches some glimmer of womanhood.”

Michael: “You are dressing more feminine than you want to in order for society to accept you as a woman, while at the same time complaining that gender critical feminists are the ones constricting your gender expression. 

It seems to me like you’re much more constrained having to present an overly-feminine image to appease a society that does not largely accept gender-nonconforming people.

Getting The Answer

I think we’ve really got something here!

You don’t want to be misgendered. You’re basically forced to present yourself as hyper-feminine.

[This] totally contradicts the end goals of gender critical feminists. [They] want a world of total gender-nonconformity. 

However, in that situation, you’d be fucked – You cling to gender signifiers as a means to ensure that people refer to you by the gender you consider yourself to be.

Brushing aside the blatant admission of narcissism from Contra here, Michael has got him dead-to-rights and I can’t believe everyone isn’t repeating this everywhere!

This is that contradiction everyone keeps telling us doesn’t exist, spelled out in all its shimmering glory!

The only way they can be women is by wearing a mask of femininity. If we succeed in breaking that mask, they can’t be women. If women are recognized as full human beings and not a set of behaviors and body parts, their charade becomes a lot more difficult.

But we have nothing to lose but our chains.

We are directly opposed to each other in our goals. The amount of energy and rhetoric that goes into obscuring this is truly a wonder to behold, ain’t it?

Trans Kids of History…?

In his most recent upload, Michael credits Alex Aaron of Gender Mapper fame with another keystone insight. 

She said, ‘Thank goodness we don’t have this legacy going back of children killing themselves because of gender dysphoria!

“This phenomenon of children coming out as transgender and killing themselves is a recent phenomenon. We know that because we don’t have stories of people going, ‘Oh, all of these children are killing themselves and we’ve got no explanation for it.

All of this said over the frozen smirk of Philosophy Tube’s resident transwoman, as Michael picked apart every sentence of his coming out video. 

The preoccupation with trans kids strikes many as related to pedophilia, and this may be true. But there’s a strong, simple motivator for every trans person and every ally – Legitimacy. 

Trans adults generously share their formative experiences. The somatic obsesses them as much as it confuses them, and they have plenty to say about it.

Bored Reader

The plot’s getting a bit predictable, don’t you think??

The narrative is the key. Humans have always made sense of ourselves and our world through stories. Without that backstory, all you have is an adult who decided to switch teams.

Someone old enough to know better. Someone who might be interrogated about the crap they’re saying.

By projecting these ideas backward and linking them with trauma, it makes them unquestionable in the individual. And if there were trans kids 30 years ago, there must be trans kids now, out there suffering the same fate!

That’s the difference between memories and dreams – Memories can be double-checked outside our heads. If there are no trans kids, there are no trans adults. This is why the children had to be sacrificed to the Gender Gods. 

I’m glad someone gave this man an Ovarit invite. We need this kind of sharp analysis if we’re going to cut through the Woo, and I love seeing younger people who make so much sense.

Michael’s channel is small, but I encourage everyone to go and listen to him articulate gender critical arguments with true British precision.

Democrats Love ‘Inclusiveness,’ Ignore Women

Democrats in the House of Representatives are going stir-crazy, held captive by Republicans who plainly state they have no intention of working with them on anything, ever. 

Apparently, their self-awarded consolation prize for failing to do much for the American people all through one of the worst years on record, was to make their paperwork More Inclusive.

Princess

I’ll just wait up here till you’re done preening, shall I?

The changes themselves aren’t all that crazy actually, quite a few ‘men’ are being removed – ‘Chairman’ becomes ‘Chair,’ ‘Seamen’ becomes ‘Seafarers.’ ‘Submit his or her resignation’ becomes ‘resign.’ Pretty straightforward stuff, it seems.

It’s not the specific rule changes that catch my attention. It’s the complete lack of focus on any of the huge women’s issues going on right now, in favor of this phony ‘Inclusiveness.’ Who is excluded by the phrase ‘He or She’?

It’s pretty tone-deaf, even for House Democrats. With Kiera Bell‘s verdict still ringing in our ears as they march rapists off to the California Women’s Prison, while a pandemic still rages across the world

 – This is what you’re spending our time and money thinking about??

House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern said it’s “ridiculous that in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, this is what some on the extreme right want to fight about.

No, Jim, it’s ridiculous of y’all to bring it up. Mentioning both sexes is inclusive. Now, please, go do your job!

Motherhood, Redefined (To Include Men, Naturally)

Motherhood was abandoned by feminism a long time ago.

Chubby Baby

Looks like it’s you and me, kid… for about nine months, anyway.

Enticed by the promise of economic power, repulsed by the body horror of childbirth and the mental torment of parenting, we have worked hard to become more like men.

Who can blame us? They have taken advantage of a drone’s greater mobility to arrange the world to suit themselves for thousands of years. They reinterpreted us and brutalized dissent. Archeology tells us that women once had a vibrant culture of our own. We once commanded respect for our uniquely female qualities. Whatever we once had has been crushed or commandeered.

Mom, Who Are You?

A young child sees his mother as the highest authority and, if you squint hard enough, it almost looks like childish rebellion writ large to reframe motherhood as the most base of pursuits. She’s just a Housewife. The Career Gal may be told she doesn’t Have It All without a family, but she has her money to keep her company. She has her freedom.

The Housewife doesn’t have it all, either, but she has plenty to do. The nostalgic among us find immense fulfillment in the long haul of training up little people. But it’s a slog. Whims are starved in favor of schedules. Kids are full-fledged people, and terrible roommates.

Outside of the occasional joke about biological clocks, we tend to ignore any urge to have kids. Sex is a game we can play with just about anyone, kids are an awkward side-effect. The professional world is inverted to women’s reproductive lives. If we want kids at all, we inevitably miss out on career growth we can never make up.

This is so blatantly rigged against us, but the refrain is praising our presence. Young women outnumber men graduating college, we’ve joined the Boy’s Club at last.

Education is vital, but a capitalist education prepares us to be workers. Because only women possess that magical capacity to Have It All – Build a career to rival any man’s while cooking dinner, reading bedtime stories and kissing boo-boos. Afterward, she and her man change hats and become sexual provocateurs. Perplexingly, patriarchy has painted us as both sex props and mother hens. For about 30 years of our lives, we are expected to effortlessly hop between these two poles.

I’m assuming Having It All means having about two hours’ sleep a night.

Women are more heavily affected by lack of sleep, too. Being taught the candle is meant to be burned from both ends places an even harsher burden on us than it would our male companions. It’s a small thing, but I think it explains a lot. We are not as alert as we should be.

Patriarchy’s Final Frontier

Our focus on proving we can beat them at their own game has allowed everything else to slide.

Cig And Tea

Gosh, I sure with *I* could disregard everyone else’s wellbeing in favor of my own selfish interests, too!

The Code of Hammurabi, the oldest written law, goes into loving detail about what women can and can’t do. Nations needed sons, you see, to defend themselves and secure resources. Our labor was necessary to build the world, and we were conscripted. But a woman’s power is a terrifying combination of mysterious and undeniable. You can’t see how a baby is made, and you can’t fight it, either.

For the most part, men have contented themselves with running things rather than contemplate the mystery. And they discovered recasting making life as a weakness saved them the trouble of denying it happens.

Forever until the 1970s, religious messages of martyrdom held mothers on a pedestal. Denied most other options, women were talked into rearing the next generation as a sacred duty. These days, motherhood is strategizing between work meetings and Netflix binges. And we’re mostly fine with that, because we are done being martyrs.

But the political project of papering over women continues to find new frontiers, and even motherhood isn’t exempt. The linguistic and cultural recognition of the exclusive relationship you have with someone who forms within you is under question. 

Countries around the world have seen fellas publicly claiming the heretofore physical and sexed title of Mother. 

2020, The Year of Male Moms

On March 30, 2020, a bespectacled Spanish man named Alex took advantage of International Transgender Visibility Day to announce that he, too, is a mother. “[Some] trans people don’t desire to realize a transition of the body and accept themselves how they are. It’s important that trans people are recognized for who we are, for our felt identity. It’s legitimate to be a woman, including without doing a transition.”  

How is that, exactly? 

Masks Off

Ok, it’s time to get real – What did he just say??

Courts in France have been arguing over it, too. In June, a 51-year-old man who has been legally recognized as a woman since 2011 won a ruling declaring him the mother of his children. Who were created with the help of his wife, the only way such things happen. Presumably she is on board with this, maybe he promised he’d do half the housework, too.

Days later in Brazil, a prominent academic was busy arguing on Twitter that, “The ‘mother’ category is the worst possible choice if we want to approach pregnancy, childbirth, the puerperium and breastfeeding from a feminist perspective. Like really bad. Conservative. Excluding. It just gets in the way.” Yes, motherhood tends to exclude anyone who hasn’t given birth to a child. There are common exceptions, both joyful and tragic, but we all have one thing in common.

At the end of July, a famous Indian activist kicked up dust over not being considered the mother of his adopted daughter. “You don’t need a uterus to be a mother. Anyone can be a mother, a mother could be a man, a woman, a transgender.” He said in an interview. “The only requirement is to love someone unconditionally.” By this sappy and shallow definition, I am my grandmother’s mother. This is trans politics.

Mothers Clap Back

Each of these examples was met with furious backlash from women. Mothers all over the world chimed in to point out the obvious with characteristic dark humor, “I would love for Alex to tell us about his experience having his children, the reduced workday he had to ask for in order to breastfeed them and the side effects after having those children. I’m sure he has a lot of experience to share!

Mothers aren’t deleted enough from the feminist movement, let’s push them a little bit further into the corner!” 

When I became a mother one of the things that hurt me was that this movement did not embrace us. Women are fired after they have children, have no daycare, have obstetric violence, domestic violence, workplace bullying, sexual abuse.”

I can’t believe that being a mother, choosing, and living it turned transphobic.”

These women have been abandoned not just by the Women’s Movement (Who calls it that anymore, anyway?) but by liberal politics in general. The quest for equality is lost in a desert of verbiage, stuck in a fever dream that words are the problem.

You're Right

You’re right, I shouldn’t have called you my boyfriend. I won’t do it again!…

Words, sisters, are the solution. We must keep using ours, even as so-called ‘liberal’ politics is going around getting people fired for saying the wrong things. 

Not-So-Liberals

Merriam-Webster defines ‘liberal’ as, among other things, “Not literal or strict; Loose.” We also have, “Broad-minded, especially: not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms.

Modern ‘liberals’ have elevated rejection of traditional forms to modern art. As well as a moral Rorschach test. And if you don’t see what they see, you are wrong and probably bad. Because everybody knows rejection of traditional forms is how we demonstrate our modernness. How we demonstrate we are good.

The cognitive dissonance of an authoritarian orthodoxy devoted to rejection of tradition seems to be getting to them. We who speak up for the female sex as half of humanity are told we are just too ignorant to understand. That being born female, molested or raped, getting pregnant, having a baby, a miscarriage or even a period gives no insight into womanhood.

Sure, whatever you say, honey. The little women with ovaries are always quiet when someone with two balls says so.” Women on Twitter inspire me every day. 

The Big Picture Emerges

The fight in Brazil spurred Andreia Nobre to ask, Who benefits from all this?

The definition of what it means to be a woman cannot be changed to “anyone who identifies as a woman.” Women suffer discrimination in patriarchal systems because they are born female. It is the female body that can give birth. And our reproductive capacity is exploited by patriarchy. Gender identity does not prevent … pregnancy.

Answer Is No

I don’t have much left, and you can’t have it!

Andreia quotes Gallus Mag’s collection of different ways the Trans Movement contradicts the Women’s Movement. It’s hard to understand how so many don’t see the conflict. Many of us say we welcome transwomen in the bathroom and locker room. A few aren’t so sure about sports. 

But the chorus of mothers was deafening. In Brazil and India, France and Spain, they cried out from where feeling and embodiment intersect. To be a mother is to be the Earth and the Sun to a tiny life that only gets further and further away. To be a mother is to come face to face with the gory holiness of life and see if you flinch. It’s soaring joy and cavernous sorrow, sometimes simultaneously. 

Like all transcendental experiences, it’s indescribable. The few words we have represent the core experience of humanity – We were all born. But only women can get pregnant, and no change in vocabulary will change that.

And while liberalism is busy eating its own head, conservatives are taking control. Abortion access has been slowly rolled back for years, and these two trends collide in a devastating place for half the planet. You know, the female half.

Do It For The Good of MANkind

If birth control is limited and abortion access gone, pregnancy is inevitable. For half of us.

And if we can’t even identify ourselves, or each other, we are powerless. Broodmares again. The trend continues of tens of thousands of young women lining up to rid themselves of their femaleness, convinced their body is the source of their unhappiness.

Motherhood is foundational to the female identity. It’s a heaving reality, a distant memory, an iconic archetype. She is Mother Earth. She is the snarky comments you imagine in the head of the other mom in the waiting room as your kid runs around in a circle, again.

She is the eternal persistence of day following night. She is why we are here. 

Having babies is not our purpose. It’s our evolutionary starting point. We have much more to offer the world, but we have undermined ourselves by working so hard to join the Boy’s Club. It’s time to make them come to us.

Who Are Women?

But who are women when we’re at home? Docility was bred into us, wild women have fewer children. What we wouldn’t shed willingly was taken from us by force. Every available paradigm made a framework for the male gaze, we’ve lost the demarcations between needlework and domestic submission.

Flight Of Witches

Anyone remember how the next part goes?

When keeping offspring alive and running a homestead, the man will often be the one going out and getting stuff, whether it’s money or meat. Mainly because you are going to be on your ass having a baby for about a year. Then you have to take care of your little darling and, of course, Hubs can’t breastfeed. Er, excuse me, chestfeed.

This is just the reality of parenthood. Nature delegated certain tasks without asking us, how terribly inconsiderate of her! 

Feminism Needs Moms

Pushing this aside and joining the rat race has gotten us here. To a place where 51-year-old men can be declared mothers by the court in a country whose very existence is threatened by violent unrest. It’s a strange use of tax money, but it was overturned anyway. One of his lawyers called this “a scandalous example of a rigid, immobile justice system.” 

Nature is pretty unmoveable, and if pregnancy is inevitable and mandatory, we all know who will be sitting at home with Baby.

We have to face the spooky, bloody, vital force that is motherhood. Women must embrace our roots in rearing humanity and leverage that as the power it is. We have to push back while we still can.

Take My Breasts, Please! Young Women’s Crisis of Identity

It’s time to talk about breasts.

Specifically, mastectomies – The surgical removal of breast tissue. According to the Mayo Clinic, this procedure is intended for those suffering from breast cancer, or those at high risk of same.

But, like so many other things, this procedure is being used in what can only be called an “off-label” way, to treat transgender people. Transmen (that’s self-loathing women, for those keeping score) are starting to tell their stories of undergoing this procedure without understanding its ramifications. They describe a streamlined pipeline, wherein chopping off titties is treated as just the next step to fulfilling your dreams.

Nightmare

Don’t worry, honey – We can cure the nightmare of Womanhood with crowdfunding!

I bring this up now for two reasons:

  1. The media tends to focus on transwomen, the Laverne Coxes and Caitlyn Jenners of the world. But in the younger set, transmen (girls) far outnumber them. Some measures put this number at 4:1.
  2. We are reaching critical mass.

Listen to the Doctors

The UK appears to be Ground Zero for this modern social contagion. The Tavistock Centre is the only “gender development” (a phrase which should give us pause) clinic in Britain.

The past three years have seen upwards of 30 resignations from Tavistock. It appears not everyone is on board with the Brave New World.

Now, one of them has taken the institution to court.

Susan Evans was a psychiatric nurse at Tavistock. The 62-year-old conscience-bearer has brought suit with the High Court against the Trust that runs the Centre, and the National Health Service itself. She is joined by a woman called “Mrs. A.”, a mother concerned for her 15-year-old daughter who wants to be a boy, and Keira Bell, a desisted transman.

We Don’t Want to Be Girls (read: Sub-Human)

Keira is the one making headlines. She has taken over the role of lead plaintiff, telling interviewers, “The treatment urgently needs to change so that it does not put young people, like me, on a torturous and unnecessary path that is permanent and life-changing.”

Young Widow

Can’t you see I have my own shit I’m dealing with??

Keira is 23 now. She has a better understanding of herself than when she started treatment at 16. She had her breasts removed at 20, after years of hiding them. Hiding from them.

“Hormone-changing drugs and surgery doesn’t work for everyone and it certainly should not be offered to someone under the age of 18 when they are emotionally and mentally vulnerable.”

My heart breaks for Keira and girls like her. If I were 15 years younger, I would be lining up for my testosterone. I went through what is apparently an all-too-common phase back when none of this literature or infrastructure existed.

The Personal Can Make You Political

I intuitively understood that any kind of transition would really just be trading one set of problems for another. Practically speaking, I’m 5’4″ with 40″ hips; No one is ever going to mistake me for a man.

I hacked my way through a jungle of internalized misogyny, born of being an underachieving “gifted” kid who perverts assume is a nympho (Thanks, pop culture stereotypes!) And I did it mostly alone. I spent some time in queer spaces throughout my 20s but never really felt at home there.

I was 27 before I understood radical acceptance. Before I really saw that I identified with male characters because they were the ones doing interesting things. That tampons are $5 a box but condoms are free and plentiful.

Kids

Let kids be kids!

Etc., etc., ad nauseum.  In a world where violent porn is standard, I do not blame these droves of young women for opting out of being a sex object. I get it.

We Must Support Young Women in Defining Themselves

Fast-tracking them onto puberty blockers that reduce bone density is not a good idea. Most will never come off the Trans track once set on it.

Most gender non-conforming children – You remember us, the Tomboys and Sissies of yesteryear – eventually find a way to accept ourselves as we are. This was considered the best possible outcome until recently. How exactly are drugs and surgery better?

Many of us grow up to be homosexual. Gay erasure, converting little potential homos into the opposite sex, is a frightening implication of all this. I’m not a lesbian myself, maybe bi-leaning at this point. I am married with children, for all intents and purposes a straight, white lady.

But I’m far from normal in other ways.

Growing up is learning to accept and even love our difficult pieces. Doctors intervening in the fights we have with ourselves to sell us ammunition is wrong. It denies young people the opportunity to grow up, mentally and emotionally, as well as physically blocking puberty.

Bless Your Heart

You might as well try them out before you throw them away!

It also sterilizes them for life. Which I’m strongly against.

It’s not complicated – If you don’t go through puberty properly, your reproductive system doesn’t develop fully.

And the scores of young women being sold “top surgery” (On Instagram, for fuck’s sake!) as the answer to their pesky problem of wanting to be seen as people are amputating sexual organs before they even have a chance to use them for anything. Which is also wrong. As well as downright unscientific.

This will not be the last lawsuit. It may be cathartic to see these clinics brought to task, but the culture that allowed this to happen has to b

e our focus.

How have we failed young women to the extent they are completely disconnected from their bodies?