A: “Queer or questioning”. Some confusion has arisen from this, because the use of multiple Q’s has an additional purpose: Each extra Q increases the strength of the queerness, just like in musical notation. For example:
Q - Queer QQ - Queerissimo (“very queer”) QQQ - Queerissimo possibile (“as queer as is humanly possible”) QQQQ - Queerondoando (“I bow down to your superior queerness”) QQQQQ - David Bowie
Voicing may coincide with coming out, or it may precede coming out on the order of several years. Voicing describes when a trans person first distinguishes themselves from cis people. To voice oneself might precede any self-awareness of concepts like “trans”, “transgender”, “transsexual”, or “gender non-conforming” — such as when a CAFAB child confidently maintains that they are a boy. Voicing signals one’s visceral, unassailable self-awareness that they are trans.
Voicing is unique to the life experiences of trans and gender non-conforming people, as it affirms how an omnipresent cissexism inherent to the cisnormative corridors systemically disrupts and interferes with a trans person’s own self-paced path toward their healthy transition.
I'd say the trans thing is a spoiler, but the generic trans lit book cover spoils it anyway.
I picked up John Irving’s new book with a little trepidation, since I knew that one of the characters is it is a trans woman, and cis people writing about trans women never ends well. I’m 36 pages in, and I haven’t gotten to the part where they mention which character is trans, but I think I can pretty much guess based on this only slightly paraphrased excerpt:
"I hope, if we do Hedda Gabler, that I won’t be cast as the dull, uncomprehending husband — I would hate to be George,” Richard Abbott said.
"Who wouldn’t hate to be George?” Miss Frost laughed, raising her unusually large hands. (When she laughed, there was something hoarse and low in her voice, which almost immediately jumped to a higher, clearer register.)
"I could play Judge Brack," Richard Abbott surmised.
"That might be fun," Miss Frost told him, shrugging her immense shoulders, which were much bigger than the shoulders of any other woman in town. "I fucking love Ibsen!" She bellowed.
"I see," Richard Abbott said, clearly as shocked as I was that a woman would swear or read Ibsen.
"Have you ever read any Ibsen, Bill?" Miss Frost asked, bench pressing six hundred pounds and growing a beard before my very eyes, which I was quite certain that women did not ordinarily do.
I AM JUST TRYING TO SEND ONE F&%$ING E-MAIL. It’s not even a long e-mail, and it’s important. Can you cut me just a tiny bit of slack? Just for one evening? I am begging you here, despite the fact that you’re just an anthropomorphized representation of a disability, and therefore rather unlikely to grant favors on request.
THIS STUFF IS SOOO IMPORTANT TO KNOW. Seriously. It’s saved my ass before.
What do you do when you look through the peephole and see a badge?
Remember: You do not have to let the police in the house unless they have a warrant — or probable cause. If you’re having a party, turn off the music, ask your guests to chill, and ask that anyone who’s too intoxicated carry on in another room.
Go outside to speak with the cops. Close the door behind you. Although some scary precedents are being set these days, police cannot enter your home without a warrant or probable cause. By closing the door, you’re cutting off a visual — or olfactory — line to potential probable cause.
Be polite. Ask why they are there. “Good evening, Officer. What can I help you with?”
Where possible, assure them you will take care of the problem. If the police ask to enter, inform them, “I do not consent to any searches.” If a police officer gives you an order and you are confused about your position, ask, “Do I have to comply?” If they continue with questioning, tell them you’ll need to call your lawyer and that you will not answer any questions.
Ask, “Am I free to leave?” This is especially handy if, say, a group of you’d been too bawdy on the patio and an officer stops by. If he/she is getting a bit hot under the collar, politely ask, “Am I being detained?” or “Am I free to leave?” If the cop has no reason to hold you, quickly, quietly, and politely retreat inside.
The POC’s Bill of Rights when it comes to the Police. Remember. These are your rights.
For all the chaps who are so upset, furious, offended, affronted that people mocked the Catwoman #0 cover, I have a few words of counsel.
First, please understand that the critics are not complaining that the cover is “too sexy”. Perhaps someone somewhere has said that the cover is “too sexy”, but I can’t find that person, so it’s not a common view let alone the consensus. Most comic readers probably agree that a character like Catwoman can’t be “too sexy”. She’s sexy and you know it.
In fact, I think most critics would agree that the cover isn’t sexy enough; indeed it’s not sexy at all. Catwoman should be considerably sexier than this chew toy-shaped carbuncle. But that’s subjective. Some people may find this fleshy bow-tie immensely sexy, and to each their own. I’m not attracted to women myself; if I were I’d like to think I’d prefer ones who don’t look like they’ve had a close encounter with a car crusher, but I respect your choices, sir. Good for you for having the confidence to stand up for your fetish.
The point is, “too sexy” is not the problem. I know that “this sex symbol is too sexy” is a nice easy position to pick a fight with, but it’s not what people are saying, and it’s simply not sporting to invent other people’s positions. The right to invent unlikely positions is strictly reserved for comic book artists.
Second, please recognise that no criticism of one piece of cheesecake is an attack on all cheesecake. Some people will and do attack all cheesecake, of course, but I will stand with you on the line against that assault, my friend, because I believe in cheesecake and I believe in your right to cheesecake. But most people are more nuanced than that; they may believe, for example, that women should sometimes be sexy femme fatales and sometimes be intelligent kick-ass lead heroes who never have to seduce anyone or endure sexual violence. We have names for these types of characters. We call them Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, et cetera.
You too can adopt a nuanced position. You too can acknowledge that a piece of work is bad without having to pack all your wank materials into black bags for the binmen. If you admit that this cover is bad - which it is, it really is - no-one is going to take your dog-eared Danger Girl collection to the local Sally Army for someone less enlightened to enjoy. Your freedom to enjoy visual representations of attractive women are not under threat. You will live to masturbate another day.
The point of criticising - or mocking - a cover like this is to flag bad art that embodies the comic industry’s tendency to reduce women to sexy sexy objects rather than elevate them as sexy sexy characters. That this cover was the work of Guillem March seems extraordinary, because he’s a skilled practitioner of the art of cheesecake. He’s built his reputation drawing glossily glamorous women. His ambition may have been his downfall here; he may have drawn Catwoman like this because he had a bold vision but couldn’t make it work on the page. The effort is laudable; the result is laughable.
I don’t think that’s what happened. I think March drew this cover as a joke. I think he was seeing how far he could push the pursuit of T&A at the expense of anatomy; his blog and work both show that he finds that tension fascinating. I think he played a game of chicken with his editor, and I think he was surprised when the editor didn’t blink, and I think he decided not to blink either, and we all lost that game. I suspect he probably regrets letting this cover out into the world, because there’s a serious danger of it being the piece he’s most famous for, and he’s much better than this. But that’s just a theory. Maybe Guillem March stands behind this cover. Maybe this is serious work.
And yes, the cover to Catwoman #0 reduces the character to her sexual assets. But in a diverse and perfect world you can do that in an artful way; you can be sexy, elegant, playful. This is none of those things. This Catwoman is a knuckle of tit. She could have been grown in a pleasure lab for lonely men. She could change her name to Fleshlight Armstrong. This cover is insulting to women, not because it’s sexual, but because it’s bad. It’s also insulting to heterosexual men, but heterosexual men have apparently never minded an insult they can wank to.
Third; it is an impossible pose. Yes, I’ve seen the pictures that supposedly show real people in the same pose. I know you like to believe that everything you see in glamour photographs is real even though you know it isn’t true, but let’s go ahead and take those photos at face value. They still don’t show women in the same pose. The Catwoman cover shows a woman leaping through the air. The photos show women stretching against solid surfaces. Try flexing your fingers backwards. See if your fingers go any further back when you push them against a table. Right? Right. The photos also show a different angle. There’s a reason you can’t find an overhead shot with a woman in the Catwoman pose, with her boobs and her butt both sticking out; because it’s imposible. And you’ve looked at a lot of photos of women bending their spines. If that picture exists, it’s on your harddrive. You didn’t produce it, so I have to assume it doesn’t exist.
And you know what else is different about the Catwoman cover? Her head. I know you’re only looking at her boobs and her ass, but if you force your eyes to meet in the middle, you’ll see that her head is impossibly placed. Spines aren’t drain snakes.
Fourth; you’re right, exaggerated anatomy is common in a lot of art. That does not place it beyond criticism. Art without response is just wallpaper, and even wallpaper sometimes merits criticism. Superhero art is especially ripe with anatomical implausibility. Sometimes it’s effective, but sometimes it isn’t, and when it isn’t we are allowed to call it out. You know how everyone mocked Rob Liefeld’s Heroes Reborn Captain America? You probably turned up to that party. Why didn’t you turn up to this one?
Fifth; I know you like to pretend that people only ever say that a thing is sexist because they want to be cool or popular or attractive to girls, but I think you know that’s not true. People talk about this stuff because it matters. It may stir up attention and it may increase circulation, but you have to understand that throwing bread to hungry people tends to cause a fuss.
You’ve never had to worry about getting scraps from someone else’s table. The culture serves you, sir. You are, and always have been, and always will be, the primary audience. Yet there are little corners of the world that serve other people - sometimes with you in the room, and sometimes when you’re out of it. And every time you notice it happening, you complain.
Every time the culture serves someone who isn’t you, and every time someone who isn’t you comments on culture, you moan, you jostle, you threaten, you splutter with indignation. “What is this? People are mocking the ample bosoms that I so enjoy? Fetch my blunderbuss.” And because the culture is almost always about you - so much so that you’ve never even consciously acknowledged it - you see anything that isn’t about you as a threat. But it’s not a threat. It’s not a mob, or a gang, or even a bandwagon. It’s just the rest of the world. And you’re not excluded from it; you’re just choosing not to participate because you know you’ll have to share the spotlight.
You are never going to stop being the primary audience. So put down the blunderbuss and throw the rest of the world some scraps from your table.
Sixth; saying you’re revolted, disgusted, angry that people are criticising such-and-such, that is a rhetorical trick that doesn’t work any more. “You’re offended by this art? Well I am literally vomiting with outrage that you would criticise my right to enjoy it! I’m sure if you had your way I would be flayed alive in the street, and that makes you no better than Jeffrey Dahmer”.
I know you learned this trick from actual minorities, the actually maligned with actual reasons to be outraged, and I know you’ve got some good mileage out of it, but you can’t be the majority and claim to be oppressed. Real life is not Fox News. Breathe in, breathe out.
(“You did not tell me to breathe in again; clearly you want me to suffocate, which is so typical of you liberal elites, always pretending to be tolerant and then trying to suffocate people who disagree with you!”)
And seventh; you’re right that we should all take some responsibility for how our culture shapes us. But if you grew up watching cartoons and never became a Thundercat, that doesn’t merit much applause. If you grew up watching cartoons with largely male ensembles and only limited roles for women, you may want to consider if that experience has contributed to your attitudes in any way.
I hope these notes have helped you to contextualise your feelings.
Yours sincerely, et cetera.
oh my god yes
This applies to so much more than Catwoman. This paragraph especially summed up my feelings: “You’ve never had to worry about getting scraps from someone else’s table. The culture serves you, sir. You are, and always have been, and always will be, the primary audience. Yet there are little corners of the world that serve other people - sometimes with you in the room, and sometimes when you’re out of it. And every time you notice it happening, you complain.” Such an incredibly apt metaphor!
Reblogged for the insightful and funny, and also because that Rob Liefeld Captain America picture always makes me giggle uncontrollably.
I wanna take a second out of my busy Supernatural marathon/cat cuddling/black berry eating self care day to talk about something that is becoming increasingly more frustrating to me.
Tumblr, I’m gonna need you to stop posting pictures/drawings of the same type of fat body that you find acceptable. You think you’re so rad and body positive because you’ve reblogged a couple of pictures of size 16 ladies with hourglass shapes? No. You’re not. You’re just annoying me.
See, those of us who are fat know something y’all don’t. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter how much you weigh or how big you are. Sometimes the difference between being celebrated and being ignored is a distribution of body fat. There are acceptable fat bodies and there are unacceptable fat bodies. Guess which one I live in?
Here are the qualities of an acceptable fat body for ladies/femmes/non-dudes:
1. white (pretty obvious)
2. non-droopy breasts for folks who have ‘em
3. comparatively smaller waist than hips and chest
4. proportionate butt and hips
5. thinner looking face/no double chin
see also: Beth Ditto, every model on Torrid, etc.
Unacceptable fat body characteristics (aka I look in a mirror and list all the things I feel dysphoric about errrday)
1. double chin/fat face
2. shaped like a rectangle with no discernible waist
3. no ass
4. back fat
5. droopy breasts (for those who have ‘em)
Me looking super unimpressed before queer prom.
Other examples: Lauren from Glee,Gabourey Sidibe, etc
I know thin folks don’t get it. I know you think fat is fat. I know this because I have this argument with you like once a week (literally like once a week cuz like all my partners are skinny right now and so are all my friends). You’ll tell me about a club/meeting/event/party/house/whatever and I’ll say, “Were there fat kids there?” and you’ll look at me all uncomfortable and say, “Yeah…maybe” and I’ll be like, “Sigh. Ok. Were there kids there whose bodies looked like mine?” and you’ll be like, “Uh…” and then I’ll go/see pictures and there’s like one size 12 kid with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in my face and I don’t get sprung I just get annoyed.
Fat kids with acceptable bodies, I love you too. I ain’t mad that you get the “nicer” bod. And I know y’all get hella sexualized and fetishized too so it’s not all of bed of cakes. But hey, how about some solidarity with the rest of us?
I don’t have any other analysis, really. I’m not gonna tell y’all that all bodies are beautiful and body shape diversity is important in fat liberation because whatever, you know? I just started thinking about how this kind of hourglassbodypedestal is actually pretty transphobic too because those bodies are read as “natural” and “feminine” and all that gaggy stuff. But I ain’t a rectangle trans lady, just a rectangle cis lady so I’ll leave that analysis for someone who’s lived it.
Anyway seriously Tumblr I’m calling you out for your weird bodyshape politics. Knock it off, dudes.
It’s finally here: my first chapbook! Get it below, after the hyperbolic ad copy!
Neither a titillating tell-all autobiography nor a cry for loving acceptance, Amy Dentata’s first chapbook defies the stereotypes of transgender women’s literature. Through poetry, short stories, and mini-essays, Bite tackles the intersection of child abuse and gender politics with a voice that is simultaneously shocking, hilarious, and provocative.
Fake (Yet Accurate) Praise for Bite:
“That was powerful! Life-changing! Now please go away so I can cry in a corner for a week.” – General Consensus Among Live Audiences
“I am a trans person or ally with a decent grasp of feminist and activist terminology, despise anti-trans bigotry, and think Bite is a must-read.” – The Author Just Described Her Target Audience
“What does ‘cisgender’ mean?” – Most Cisgender People
It doesn’t mean I hate LGBT community. Because I am a supporter.
It doesn’t mean I force women to give birth. Because I never will.
Take what you want from my blog, but never assume I’m just your stereotypical pro-lifer. It is VERY possible to ask questions, state your opinions in a civil manner on this blog. I am respectful and I enjoy answering all questions received!
Thanks for following! :) -speakfortheweak
Let me tell you some things.
I used to investigate child abuse and neglect. I can tell you how to stop the vast majority of abortion in the world.
First, make knowledge and access to contraception widely available. Start teaching kids before they hit puberty. Teach them about domestic violence and coercion, and teach them not to coerce and rape. Create a strong, loving community where women and girls feel safe and supported in times of need. Because guess what? They aren’t. You know what happens to babies born under such circumstances? They get hurt, unnecessarily. They get sick, unnecessarily. They get removed from parents who love them but who are unprepared for the burden of a child. Resources? Honey, we try. There aren’t enough resources anywhere. There are waiting lists, and promises, and maybes. If the government itself can’t hook people up, what makes you think an impoverished single mom can handle it?
Abolish poverty. Do you have any idea how much childcare costs? Daycare can cost as much or more than monthly rent. They may be inadequately staffed. Getting a private nanny is a nice idea, but they don’t come cheap either. Relatives? Do they own a car? Does the bus run at the right times? Do they have jobs of their own they need to work just to keep the lights on? Are they going to stick around until you get off you convenience store shift at 4 AM? Do they have criminal histories that will make them unsuitable as caregivers when CPS pokes around? You gonna pay for that? Who’s going to pay for that?
End rape. I know your type errs on the side of blaming the woman, but I’ve seen little girls who’ve barely gotten their periods pregnant because somebody thought raping preteens was an awesome idea. You want to put a child through that? Or someone with a mental or physical inability for whom pregnancy would be frightening, painful or even life-threatening? I’ve seen nonverbal kids who had their feet sliced up by caregivers for no fucking reason at all, you think sexual abuse doesn’t happen either?
You say there’s lots of couples who want to adopt. Kiddo, what they want to adopt are healthy white babies, preferably untainted by the wombs and genetics of women with alcohol or drug dependencies. I’ve seen the kids they don’t want, who almost no one wants. You people focus only on the happy pink babies, the gigglers, the ones who grow and grow with no trouble. Those are not the kids who linger in foster care. Those are certainly not the older kids and teenagers who age out of foster care and then are thrown out in the streets, usually with an array of medical and mental health issues. Are they too old to count?
And yeah, I’ve seen the babies, little hand-sized things barely clinging to life. There’s no glory, no wonder there. There is no wonder in a pregnant woman with five dollars to her name, so deep in depression you wonder if she’ll be alive in a week. Therapy costs money. Medicine costs money. Food, clothes, electricity cost money. Government assistance is a pittance; poverty drives women and girls into situations where they are forced to rely on people who abuse them to survive. (I’ve been up in more hospitals than I can count.)
In each and every dark pit of desperation, I have never seen a pro-lifer. I ain’t never seen them babysitting, scrubbing floors, bringing over goods, handing mom $50 bucks a month or driving her to the pediatrician. I ain’t never seen them sitting up for hours with an autistic child who screams and rages so his mother can get some sleep while she rests up from working 14-hour days. I don’t see them fixing leaks in rundown houses or playing with a kid while the police prepare to interview her about her sexual abuse. They’re not paying for the funerals of babies and children who died after birth, when they truly do become independent organisms. And the crazy thing is they think they’ve already done their job, because the child was born!
Aphids give birth, girl. It’s no miracle. You want to speak for the weak? Get off your high horse and get your hands dirty helping the poor, the isolated, the ill and mentally ill women and mothers and their children who already breathe the dirty air. You are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, for children. You don’t have a flea’s comprehension of injustice. You are not doing shit for life until you get in there and fight that darkness. Until you understand that abortion is salvation in a world like ours. Does that sound too hard? Do you really think suffering post-birth is more permissible, less worthy of outrage?
“Pro-life” is simply a philosophy in which the only life worth saving is the one that can be saved by punishing a woman.
people who I feel comfortable being naked around in a not-sexy way. One of those things that I think cis people don’t think about much is how for many trans* people being naked can be a disturbing, upsetting state. Not only because of any body dysphoria but also because we’re told our bodies are wrong, ugly, and freakish. So, for some of us, being able to be naked in front of someone else is an act of courage, an act of defiance, as well as a statement to that other person that we are comfortable enough with you to literally expose ourselves to you.
Being naked in front of other trans* people can also be a bonding experience, an act of acceptance of ourselves and the people we are with. The nearest example I can think of for cis people is when the women’s movement did the thing of having cis women look at their own genitals in a group, allowing cis women to get a sense of how normal body variance is and how their genitals were not wrong and ugly. That moment seems to have passed for cis women, but I think for trans* people we are still in that moment, just starting to realise our body variances are not wrong, not ugly, but instead just part of how we are.
So, yeah, I may be making a lot of a group of trans people getting naked and just relaxing after going swimming and stripping off their swimwear (which is what inspired this post), but I don’t think so. I think it’s a radical act of self-acceptance and of acceptance of others.