Camp Trans Waging War on Michfest September 12, 2006Posted by angryscientist in About Me, Feminism, Uncategorized.
And now for something completely different.
I think Camp Trans, an organization set up to harass and infiltrate the woman-only music festival held every August in Michigan, is way out of line. It seems not to understand the concept of a boundary, since it insists people once male but now identifying as female should be allowed to crash this festival. This has been going on to some extent all along, but now they dare laugh at the request to honor festival intent, openly demanding a ticket as transwoman. This looks to me like blatant malicious violation of the boundary of a free assembly, motivated by misogyny and perhaps envy. People can identify however they please, but I think it is deception, of oneself and others, for men to claim womanhood through a sex change operation. Sex change is not what is happening. I am no expert on trans matters, identifying as straight androgynous male, but I see loads of hot air, incivility, disrespect, tricky liberties taken with language and truth by trans and sympathizers in this long battle caused by trans determination to invade woman only space.
Consider this thought experiment. If I shaved, maybe with my long hair, I could pass. If I crashed this festival, as these ex-males think is their right, I would be around all these women in various states of dress. Would I be tempted to feast my eyes, or pretend to be a lesbian? I think in this context, trans are spies, intruders, guilty of gratifying male ego and lust at the expense of women paying to attend an exclusive festival away from males, violating the privacy boundary just like any Average Joe harassing a woman. The purpose of this festival is to provide a woman only space for a week of concerts. Maybe transwomen should think about, why is this unreasonable, or too much to ask? How is it you think you have a right to be there? Through surgical and hormonal intervention you may look and sound more like a woman than a man, but technology cannot alter biological sex, previous lived experience, attitude, behavior, depth of understanding and respect for women. You may experience life treated more like a woman than a man, after awhile read women with some recognition of experience, but always from a male perspective you cannot toss aside entirely. That can be balanced or repressed, but not escaped. What about drag queens? Why not, if any guy who feels like saying he is a woman has a right to crash woman only space? I sure would enjoy this festival blindfolded, just for the music, but I find the motives of these minted females questionable at best. I think male understanding and respect for women can only be learned, no high tech shortcuts.
Something on this misuse of science and language called transsexuality will probably get on my blog soon. Camp Trans Waging War on Michfest. Maybe you transwomen who think woman only space is unfair to you can tangle with me there, if you have the nerve to answer pointed questions. I think you have caused enough trouble for women. Their definition of woman is not for males, or once-males, to cast aside, negotiate, or usurp. If you have respect for women, show it, leave woman only space alone!
I posted the above over at the trackback, (if I can figure out how to trackback) which has much more information about what is really going on with all this. I have a correction, and also something to say about male androgyny. I used the phrase exclusive festival away from males. This is imprecise, easily misconstrued. The festival is music by women for women. It is not for male or once male entertainment. Exclusive can have connotations such as rich hideout, snobbish,or by invitation only. Michfest is far from any of that. I meant it to say, exclusively for women. Exclusive is logic jargon, vague, misplaced, superfluous, and liable to be deliberately misunderstood in this context. I should know better than to use loaded scientific terms. I actually wish I could excise it from the post, but that I could only do on this blog. It is too late now, just another lesson in the limits of my understanding. I have learned much from my mistakes, but I know I still have limits, blind spots, things hard for me to learn.
Androgyny is often considered the province of other than straight guys, but some are intrigued, and a few reject outright the idea of some cultural straitjacket of what men can and cannot be. If the assignation of traits to male and female is arbitrary, as is plain to me as a scientist by observing my generation of females, what is the point of going through all the trouble of operations and hormones? Sure it would make a man feel different; the hormones alone would suffice for that. I cannot believe there is no long-term risk of taking sex hormones. Menopausal women learned that the hard way, trusting doctors peddling the miracle treatment.
The point being, men do not have to mutilate themselves to experiment with traits our culture has gendered female, or to learn something about how women think. A man can read a book, or ask a woman he thinks he knows. He can experiment with his concept of himself. Men can be caring, affectionate, open about their feelings. It is such BS that real men must suppress their feelings. Easy way out, lots easier than facing feelings and dealing with them honestly. A man can learn ways to appreciate a woman for who she is, without having to be in control. That has nothing to do with manhood, in my view; being a decent man is a matter of personal honor, integrity, character, civility, dealing fairly and honestly with others. By those standards, I know there are not many good men around. For me, being androgynous means I do not believe in gendered roles except as determined by biology. Motherhood is the primary example, since biological males are incapable by definition. Some biological females do not develop this capacity, but this is not the norm. But women can choose not to be mothers, and mothers can be tomboys too. I have known too many tomboys in my life to believe stereotypes about women, so why should I subscribe to stereotypes about men? The benefits those confer on men are shallow temptations, undeserved power, not worth sacrificing my sense of integrity. I am weird, not like other men, by choice and love for rebellious women.
Another role determined by biology is belonging or not in woman only space. It really does not matter what gender one thinks one is, since gender is intrinsically mostly arbitrary, but not in this culture. Transwomen have pulled other outrageous stunts. One sued a Vancouver shelter for protecting its safe space for women. Nice going, Kimberly Nixon, if I recall. Sure got them back for rejecting you. That was the feminist thing to do? Sounds more like typical spite to me.
I know transsexuals will say, it has nothing to do with anything I wrote. Educate me, why you had to go through all that trouble to reject the constraints our culture puts on men. I will not pretend to understand anything about women trying to become men. My tomboy friends seemed reasonably stable and functional to me. It felt natural, their rebellion against the constraints our culture puts on females, expected to be properly subordinated to male superior wisdom. Such poppycock. Our culture has neither wise leaders nor philosophy, so the world careens wildly toward utter ruin, perhaps the loss of ability to sustain intelligent life. We ought to listen to all the dying canaries, these species going extinct, then take a long hard look at what passes for wise leadership in this culture. It is still mostly male, but those guys sure as hell do not represent me. I am a rebel, an angry scientific heretic, a man fascinated by feminists, but I digress. I cannot say I could reasonably expect anyone to represent me anyway. Maybe I cannot understand, what is the big deal about passing as a woman, unless it is to conquer lesbians. It is easy for me to relate to rejecting the popular concept of manhood. I have my own ideas about that, requiring no surgery or hormones, only hard lessons to unlearn preconceptions about gender omnipresent in our culture. A male trying to take a shortcut to that unlearning has unlearned nothing, in my estimation.
I would never say androgyny is easy for a male, but it would be easier if our culture did not link it with being gay. It may be true that most guys claiming androgyny are gay, but not all. Other linkages do not make it any easier, such as weird, wimpy, pussy, you get the picture. I am weird, but not in those ways. My longish hair is far enough for me on the outside; otherwise I look male. I really could not imagine trying to pass as a woman, except as a thought experiment. I could never recommend being like me, because my life has been no piece of cake, and my weirdness cannot be followed. I will be developing my theory of androgyny considerably over time in the My Theories section.