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Sarah, The Bringer of Tea - Bindel Still Apparently Obsessed With Writing Barely Coherent Crap About Transsexualism
29th October, 2009
03:34 pm

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Bindel Still Apparently Obsessed With Writing Barely Coherent Crap About Transsexualism
This time it seems to be the Tory frings she's had to turn to for a platform to foam. I'd write a long and insightful article about it, but I can't really bothered. Bindel ranting on about trans people and how we're all just pretending to feel better now, just to spite her, is one of those things that just happens, like the Sun rising in the morning, bears shitting in the woods and the pope being Catholic. In case Julie is reading (and she has been an avid reader of this blog in the past) I would, however, like to point out a few inaccuracies:

You write, "Transsexualism, by its nature, promotes the idea that it is "natural" for boys to play with guns and girls to play with Barbie dolls."

Actually, nobody ever mentioned guns or Barbie dolls at any point that I remember in my treatment. None of the transsexual women of my acquaintance (and I have slept with a number, and am friends with many more) have expressed much of an interest in Barbie dolls.

I have fired an army assault rifle and enjoyed the experience though.

You write, "Think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease"

Now here's the thing - if you picked a random "stereotypically feminine" woman on the street, the odds are overwhelmingly the case that she'll be cissexual. Despite social gender stereotypes being perpetuated by billions of cis men and women, with the tiny number of trans people having about as much influence as a cork bobbing about in the wake of a supertanker, all the bad things associated with "gender" are apparently all our responsibility.

Anyway, in my experience the very opposite of what she asserts is true. Almost none of the trans women in my social circle wear makeup routinely, or ever. Lots of them never wear skirts, or heels, etc.. Most of them are employed in traditionally male fields of endeavour, with information technology featuring highly. Furthermore, there should be no need for any of us to justify ourselves like this, but Bindel, the great feminist crusader against prescriptive gender roles, in an act of extreme hypocrisy, seems to have appointed herself chief inspector of the gender police and requires us to prove that we're performing our social gender roles to her satisfaction.

Well, I'll play the game. This is me, right now. I dressed this way this morning before I had any idea her venomous bile was about to be published. Note the lack of "fuck-me" shoes (they're actually men's hiking shoes), makeup, skirt, etc.. Can I go now, Julie?

Oh, sorry, I have longish hair. Yes, you're totally right, it's all true. Pass the Barbie.

You write, "Treatment is brutal"

Not true, they used general anaesthetic.

You write, "Painful laser treatment to remove hair in the beard area".

I'd like to place on record that the last time I had a facial hair removal session, a few weeks ago, I found the experience so traumatic that I nearly fell asleep in the middle of it.

Genital electrolysis stung a bit though.

You write, "A number of transsexuals are beginning to admit that opting for surgery ruined their lives. "I was a messed-up young gay man," says Claudia McClean ..."

I note with interest how it's always Claudia you trot out, Julie. There she was backing you up in your Radio 4 thing, you remember, the one where you managed to single-handedly get most of the trans activists in London together in one room, where many of us met each other for the first time. Thanks for that, by the way. You also had her quoted in your rants against Russell Reid back in 2006/07. Well, fair enough. One is, after all, "a number".

Anyway, what's with the subtext about having female genitalia being some sort of inferior configuration representing a fate worse than death? I know I'm not a celebrated feminist writer like what you are, but that sounds a bit misogynist to me.

(Aside; I think this highlights a problem with the behaviour exhibited by a lot of radical feminists, that of projected internalised misogyny. There seems to be this assumption that anything typically associated with the female, or the feminine is weak inferior and less authentic than anything typically associated with the male, or the masculine. I suspect the specifics of what vaginoplasty involves have little to do with Bindel's apparent disgust - the problem is that it's a procedure which takes something typically associated with maleness and turns it into something typically associated with femaleness, and that's obviously really, really bad and something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.)

You write, "Six weeks later I, along with a police escort, walked past a huge demonstration of transsexuals and their supporters, shouting "Bindel the Bigot""

I was there. We were chanting, "Stonewall, hypocrites!" and, "LGB, where's the T?". We were emphatically not chanting anything with your name in it. Indeed, as one of the stewards of the demo, I can confirm that our policy was to ask anyone who did to stop, as the demo was about Stonewall, not you. Most of us didn't even notice you arrive, although I'm pretty sure there was no police escort (most of the police there were standing around chatting to us, one was kind enough to pose for photographs with a friend of mine who shall remain nameless, but who seems to have a thing for police uniforms).

We were emphatically not chanting "Bindel the Bigot". Sorry if you wanted more attention though - we didn't realise.

Anyway, the entire article is probably only worth reading if you are blessed with a sense of humour of the sort which appreciates bigots engaging in unintentional self-parody. If you find nasty discriminatory ranting just plain unpleasant, it's probably best avoided.

Originally posted at http://auntysarah.dreamwidth.org/213357.html - you can comment here or there.

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Comments
 
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From:buddleia
Date:29th October, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
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I don't understand why Claudia McClean doesn't go to a surgeon and see if she can transition back. I assume it would be possible.
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From:snakey
Date:29th October, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
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...because then she wouldn't get her name in the papers so much, and Julie might not let her lick her Docs any more?
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From:snakey
Date:29th October, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
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Colour me astonished at the lack of photographs of the huge counter-demo that came out in support of her... ;)
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From:quinnypin
Date:29th October, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
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I was just thinking the same thing! ;oP
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From:whisperkit
Date:29th October, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
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Guh, I'm not even opening this article, that kinda stuff always leaves me in a horrible mood. :( But it's.. ironic that she's been thrown out into one of the fringe right-wing papers. Hopefully her froth will be lost among all the rest.
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From:whisperkit
Date:29th October, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
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Also, your response is brilliantly well written. <3
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From:phonemonkey
Date:29th October, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
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Why would anyone chant "Bindel the Bigot" anyway? It doesn't rhyme, it doesn't scan.

"Treatment is brutal"
Someone should tell her that this is pretty much what the pro-life people always say - this procedure is icky, it should be illegal! Great Scott, I never would have imagined that all surgical procedures regardless of whether genitalia are involved are graphic and gory, would you?

Defenders of female genital mutilation or forced marriage often use the argument that such practices can be justified within certain communities (i.e. non-Western cultures), despite the fact that they serve to dehumanise women, because it is the "truth" of that particular community

And there are a lot more people who argue that although FGM is fucked-up and wrong, an influx of well-intentioned white Westerners barging in to stop the practice is going to be counter-productive, and the only way to do it is to work with local people, and it takes time. You don't have to be an extreme cultural relativist to know that intervention can do more harm than good.

As regards Claudia, I have to wonder why zie doesn't re-transition if zie is so unhappy living as a woman. There are plenty of men who are doing fine despite being born without a functional penis or losing it due to accident or illness.

Nice photo, by the way.
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From:snakey
Date:29th October, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
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There are plenty of men who are doing fine despite being born without a functional penis

Therefore, if Claudia retransitioned, it would be proving that transition works... ;)
[User Picture]
From:uisgebeatha
Date:29th October, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
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Your post is eloquently written as ever. Mind if I link to it, to propagate Common Sense and such?
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From:auntysarah
Date:29th October, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
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Thank you. Please link away!
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From:zoefruitcake
Date:29th October, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
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I found the experience so traumatic that I nearly fell asleep in the middle of it.

snigger

she's never going to change her tune, she's like a broken record
[User Picture]
From:auntysarah
Date:29th October, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
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The trannies, they want to steal her precious bodily fluids. It's true!
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From:paradox_puree
Date:29th October, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
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Funny... Before transition I was really effeminate. I liked playing with dolls. Refused to get dirty. Refused to rough house. You know, I acted a lot more stereotypically feminine.

And now that I'm living my life as female, I'm constantly out doing all sorts of active things that involve getting myself covered with chalk, blood, dirt, playa dust, mud, and more with all my outdoor sports and camping adventures. I don't think I've gone a week without being covered in cuts and scrapes from rock climbing.

Apparently, I missed a memo somewhere.

Also: I think someone has a bit of narcissism, don't you think?

Edited at 2009-10-29 18:08 (UTC)
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From:auntysarah
Date:29th October, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
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I think someone has a bit of narcissism, don't you think?

It does read like she feels she's at the centre of some sort of persecution conspiracy, doesn't it? She's so victimised, the eeeevil trans people are being totally mean to her for no reason (apart from the vicious attacks she continuously directs at us and our community, but that can't possibly be aything to do with it).
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From:chedranian_girl
Date:29th October, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
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All I can say is EPIC WIN on your part, and EPIC FAIL on her part.

(And that you look really awesome, as usual.)
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From:auntysarah
Date:29th October, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
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Aw, shucks! Thanks *blush*
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From:tartful_dodger
Date:29th October, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
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"Anyway, what's with the "having to have sex like a woman/pee sitting down ruins lives" subtext? I know I'm not a celebrated feminist writer like what you are, but that sounds a bit misogynist to me."

Much as i agree with the general gist of the Julie Bindel is a muppet sentiment this statement struck me as remarkably easy for you to make, what with being a woman and not getting what the fuss about having a functional penis would be.

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From:auntysarah
Date:29th October, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
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That's a fair point. Perhaps I phrased that part badly - I object to the underlying implication she seems to make that having female genitalia is some sort of fate worse than death.
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From:hilarityallen
Date:29th October, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
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I do dislike the way she has something which might resemble a reasonable point if you look hard enough (societal gender stereotypes *can* make life hard for gender-queer people),* and makes it into an idea that this means transsexuality shouldn't really exist and therefore there's no need for treatment.

* (and cis-sexual people too).
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From:languisity
Date:29th October, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
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You know, that bugged me too. It's really true when the only way many people have for explaining their trans-ness is by throwing out normally stereotypical behaviors for their target sex. If you're FtM you're expected to say that you hated dresses and loved rough housing and all of your friends were boys. And if you're MtF you're expected to say that you loved barbies and dresses and hated sports.

And it's so easy for someone to use that against you, simply because there's no real way to say "this doesn't feel right, but that does" in regards to how you want to be seen/live your life.

It's incredibly disheartening :/
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From:pinkdormouse
Date:29th October, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC)
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Excellent photo you've posted there.

Not going to read Bindel, I'll stick with your edited highlights.
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From:auntysarah
Date:30th October, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!

The Bindel piece is just a rehash of old crap, with a sprinkling of self pity and victimisation thrown in. You're not missing much.
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From:velvet_tipping
Date:29th October, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
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<3333333333333333
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From:natalie_456
Date:30th October, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
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this, well well said Sarah :D
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From:terry_terrible
Date:29th October, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
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Wow, I opened the story up and couldn't go beyond the first paragraph, it was that triggering, that is pure hate speech.

In better news, I don't know if it aired in England, but there was a very good story on the BBC America about how trans kids were lobbying the NHS to get access to AA's before the age of sixteen, it was a well done story compared to the rest of the crap out there.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8330138.stm
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From:auntysarah
Date:30th October, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
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Interesting stuff, ta!
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From:julieisfree
Date:30th October, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
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Almost none of the trans women in my social circle wear makeup routinely, or ever

Well.. I guess wear makeup. I find mascara and freshly painted red fingernail polish goes really well with Nomex(r) jumpsuits, steel toed shoes, hard hats, and safety glasses. :-)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:30th October, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)

Not again

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Is this the Bindels application to replace Jan Moir in the Daily Mail?
[User Picture]
From:celesteh
Date:3rd November, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)

Re: Not again

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That was my first thought on reading her latest.

My second thought was how she deliberately and repeatedly confused transgender with transsexual.
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From:paulathomas
Date:30th October, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
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I am less worried by this episode than I was by last year's crap at S'onewall and in the Guardian. The reason is that this article has been published in a magazine that I hadn't heard of before today and appears to have a very right-wing prospective. It includes climate-change uber creationist Peter Hitchins on its staff. It does not seem to be wildly influential.

Its readership is of the ultra right wing of the Conservative Party. OK I know the Tories will probably be in power in a few months, but this isn't even the Daily Express let alone the Daily Telegraph or the Spectator. In short don't give this more publicity than it deserves, which is none.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:30th October, 2009 10:16 am (UTC)
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Well said, Paula. I was just about to make a post to that effect. Let's ignore them; they're an irrelevance. I hadn't heard of them either. Burchill's on their books which is presumably how Bindel came to be there, but whatever. I'm more concerned about the article in The Star about the transman who wants to join the army.

BigLiz
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[User Picture]
From:reddragdiva
Date:30th October, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:30th October, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
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Sarah
Her popping up on facebook asking you to be her friend recently was obviously an attempt to get a self-publicising bonfire going. Best leave her to her fantasies. Starve her of oxygen.
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From:darkwaterfairy
Date:31st October, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
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Not got any words spoons now, and it's off topic, but you look very nice and attractive in that pic.
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From:auntysarah
Date:2nd November, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
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Thank you!
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From:meegosh
Date:1st November, 2009 10:53 am (UTC)
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Puberty blockers as a form of child abuse?

She's never really heard proper child abuse stories has she? Some of them make you physically sick with the way the child/ren have been hurt.

Baby P Vs delaying puberty. If I found nothing else in her writings vile this makes me feel sick. If she's trying to align herself to the Tories perhaps someone should tell Mr Cameron that she thinks like this. I don't think he'll look too kindly on someone who devalues serious harm to children.
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From:auntysarah
Date:2nd November, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
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Quite so.
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From:christinaalley
Date:1st November, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)

Christine Burns sets the record straight

(Link)
http://audioboo.fm/boos/73633-boo-to-julie-bindel
This audio boo is well worth listening to right through to the end :o)
[User Picture]
From:christinaalley
Date:1st November, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)

Re: Christine Burns sets the record straight

(Link)
Sorry, Sarah,
forgot to say how good your piece is :o)
xx
[User Picture]
From:ellyrouge
Date:2nd November, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
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"Six weeks later I, along with a police escort, walked past a huge demonstration of transsexuals and their supporters"

I don't know if there was or wasn't indeed a police escort but... I find this part a bit ironic given that the event was, if I got it right, Stonewall awards, whose name refer, I suppose, to Stonewall riots. I don't know, it seems to me that commemorating the rebellion of homosexual and transgender people against police by claiming to need police against evil "transsexuals" is a bit... weird.
[User Picture]
From:auntysarah
Date:2nd November, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
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Quite.

There was no police escort. I think she may be having delusions of grandeur about the purpose of the police who were there to police the demo (who were, in fact, there because we'd notified them about the demo and who were very helpful in asserting our rights to hand out leaflets to attendees when S'onewall's own people were trying to stop us).
From:(Anonymous)
Date:5th November, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
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Thank you Sarah for your well constructed reply to Julie Bindels article But frankly I think she does not merit any energy towards anything she says or writes. She is as vitriolic as usual and Im not surprised she has emerged again in a right wing magazine. Besides wanted attention she is paid by writing what she does So she isint going to stop.
Makeup ?Perhaps I should remind her of lipstick lesbians . Also many lesbian women now look feminine and wear makeup . When I come to think of it many lesbians wore makeup back then too But of course they were thought of as being unliberated and looked down upon by the political lesbian hierachy .

From:(Anonymous)
Date:12th November, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
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In all fairness, Bindel makes some good points. For a start, science cannot change a biological male into a biological female, it can only tamper with appearances. But more importantly, the so-called condition known as gender dysphoria is at the end of the day the only 'condition' which is self-diagnosed. What does that tell us about gender dysphoria, eh? I think it says a lot.
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[User Picture]
From:cyberspice
Date:12th November, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
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I do not have a uniform fetish honest. It wasn't me. I deny everything!
[User Picture]
From:cyberspice
Date:12th November, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)

PS.

(Link)
Actually i would say those are DON'T fuck with me shoes! :-)
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