Monday, August 18, 2008

Still can't bear PETA though

In January this year, nearly a year after writing this-post (clearly, my 'ding' moments need that long to become my 'doing' moments), I eliminated animal products from my diet. I loved the taste of meat and cheese and fish and eggs and thought I'd miss them - I haven't. I also loved being able to dine out anywhere I wanted and thought I'd miss that - I don't. In fact, my love of eating out has been replaced by a love of cooking. I never thought I'd love cooking. I am even drooling over large kitchens on the telly. I LOVE COOKING AND I WANT A BIG KITCHEN!

I can't believe this is me saying it.

And I can't believe I ever thought anyone was impressed with my macho posturings when ordering steak: 'Blue please. Oh just bring the cow.'

Ah, the journey of life. From being an arse to becoming ever so slightly less of an arse.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trans activism online

I've just deleted a post I wrote yesterday because it was snarky. I hope no one read it because, well, because it was just snarky.

It was born out of concerns for what seems to be a huge chasm amongst feminists. I have no idea whether or not this is also happening offline, as I rarely encounter feminism offline unless I make the effort to go to a feminist meeting. I rant in pubs, but that's just ranting.

I am hugely concerned that women are being divided into two camps - pro trans and anti trans. This is ridiculous and totally missing the mark. Many feminists believe that the pressure of gender assignment has negative effects on every individual. I do not believe that one is born 'feeling' like a gender that jars with their body. Perhaps, as someone at the F Word posted, this makes me arrogant. But if I 'felt like a man', then there would be nothing to stop me living as one, except for societal prejudice against effeminate men or extremely 'butch' lesbians with realistic strap-ons. That is not something unchangeable. In fact, societal attitudes are the very things that need to change.

The thing is, I don't know what feeling like a man would be because I'm not one, and just because I'm an entitled, selfish, lazy, egocentric person, who isn't good at expressing their feelings, can parallel park, hates shopping and only has eyes for everyone with a pulse doesn't mean I have to rethink my body. Even in some sexual fantasies of mine I have a penis. It still doesn't mean I need to change my outer shell. It just means I have fantasies that involve me with a dick.

I am worried that the feminist movement is becoming preoccupied with trans politics, and the trans activists themselves do not seem to be reciprocating the support for women born women that they want us to provide for them. This is probably only on the internet, but I haven't seen many trans women who are concerned with women as a group - only trans gender issues.

Feminism should of course take all gender issues very seriously, and they do, but there are other things we are fighting for and against, too. If 'ciswomen' and trans women are to be allies, then it can not all be about trans issues. There needs to be some give and take and understanding of the needs of all women.

At the moment, all I am seeing is women being divided. There are those who think that the suffering of men who believe/ed themselves to be in the wrong body, should be discussed over and above other feminist issues that some trans women do not seem as bothered by. Abortion rights for example. Yes, trans women are subject to oppression and they have exactly the same resources to combat this as women have always had. (Ie not much! Make do!)

I am totally not of the opinion that trans people have it worse than women born women. Different issues - not worse.

I also find it interesting that the all the trans women I have read online support the sex industry. (Please, if a trans woman thinks the sex industry is harmful to women, let me know. I would appreciate your input.) I worry that some men transition to a female body in order to partake in the sex object role, which they may see as more powerful than their previous incarnation as a male - particularly if sex was a very big part of their lives and as a male they felt disempowered by it.

I just thought I'm going to get some angry comments about that last bit but I'll leave it there anyway. For now.

I hope women can make peace. Sometimes it seems as if women enjoy sparring. Well, we are all human beings, and we seem to make a mess of most things.

Focus people. It's not all about the male born.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Genesis: Does the bible depict the origin of patriarchy?

I've had this theory in my head for a while now, so I thought I'd try writing it down to see how it looks. This will probably be too brief to make sense but I'm too lazy to make an essay out of it.

In Genesis, the garden of Eden is depicted as a perfect world (apart from Adam getting to name everything) where Woman and Man ate fruit and were nice to each other and didn't eat their furry friends.

My theory is that this is an allegory for the world before patriarchy. There are various other representations in Greek mythology where women were revered because of their capacity to create life and men and women didn't know about how sexual intercourse actually worked. Intercourse was probably just one of the many fun things they found they could do with their bodies when they got stange urges.

In the garden of Eden was 'The Tree of Knowledge' and Eve goes against God's wishes and eats from it. The snake tells her to.* Eve then shares the apple with Adam. This could allude to the discovery of how babies are made. Women probably did know before men and shared that knowledge with them.

Men, I believe, were a bit put out by it all, what with their previous reverence for women's amazing gift. They were producing life too and wanted some sort of credit for it. This could be what is meant by the 'Fall of Man', and the Original Sin was rape. Wars and all sorts would follow, with men trying to prove their fertility to other men and stealing their women.

God tells Adam and Eve that they will suffer for their knowledge. He tells Eve that Adam now rules over her and she will have pain in childbirth. All children will be born 'in sin'. In my interpretation, this means all children will be born into patriarchy, into a system characterized by domination and ownership instead of peace and respect. All children are now a product of the original sin and are all affected by it, as they are to be a part of this system from birth.

Adam and Eve are thrown out of Eden and that was that. They no longer lived the life God had intented. And it was all Eve's fault for opening her big mouth. No wait, it was the snake's fault. Well, whoever's fault it was, Adam was the victim. OK?

If you are a Christian, you will believe that Jesus came and tried to sort this shit out, to teach everyone about freedom from sin. He certainly preached against hierarchy of any sort, and appeared to be some kind of pro-feminist. So it should be obvious to you that the Second Coming will be in the form of a Radical Feminist Lesbian.

You heard it here first.

*I'm not sure how the snake fits into my theory; maybe it's some phallic symbol regarding the new understanding of penile function. This whole story was most likely concocted my men and they clearly thought a snake was the creature that most resembled their man bits. As opposed to, say, an earthworm.
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