Anonymous said: I think you misunderstood my ask. I wasn't asking for "permission". I don't watch/look up porn. I was genuinely curious what you thought of fictional porn in terms of its acceptability since it's a subject a lot of anti-porn feminists feel differently about. I definitely do not condone of rape/pedophilia even if it's fictional.

Hi anon, sorry I misread your intent. I keep thinking of the guy from a few weeks ago who kept trying to get me into some discussion about amateur porn.

Within the next decade or two, cgi will be good enough that the distinction between animation and live-action film will be a false one, because we won’t be able to tell the difference. So animation and film are actually kind of in the same category in my mind. And maybe it doesn’t make sense, but “cartoony” animation is also.

As far as comics - like Gail Dines says in Pornland, cartoons were a really important part of Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler. In the 60’s-80’s, the women in the pictorials had to be artfully positioned so that you didn’t see “too much”; the publishers instead used the cartoons (and to a lesser extent, the stories) to add back in raunch, degradation, and outright violence against women. Today any dude who wants to see a woman getting literally choked by a penis just has to do a three-second google search, but twenty years ago he would have to settle for a cartoon. I’m not saying this to disparage the medium as a whole, but to point out a way in which it has been used.

And again, as far as writing goes, I really hold it in a different category. I think having a lot of ideas available is crucial, and I have a really hard time putting limits on that. So if people are going to read written porno, fine. At least they’ll also be engaging their imagination! I really think that’s the least of anyone’s problems, given the current climate.

Anonymous said: As a radical feminist in the UK I want to say thank you for your work on the New Narratives. I've shared it with the networks I'm involved in and hope that this means the start of a healing dialogue. It is much needed.

Thank you. I agree that we all need it! I want to stress that I’m not doing this work to distract radical feminism from its own goals, or to center trans issues - but I want to try to build bridges among all of us who have been hurt by gender. And ultimately, that includes a lot of radical feminists, and a lot of trans people.

Best wishes to you.

Anonymous said: Out of curiosity, what do you think of porn that doesn't involve real people? Whether it be written or animated. I'm against a lot of it for upholding the same standards that real porn does but some of it is ok. And at least no real women were hurt, which is what I'm really concerned about.

I keep re-reading this ask, and then I start thinking “Are you trying to get permission from me to watch tentacle rape porn?” or “Are you trying to get permission to watch animated children getting raped by animated adult men?” Fucking gross.

As far as smutty writing - it’s been a while since I read any, but in general I love books and I have a really hard time with the idea of censoring writing. Not to mention, it’s a lot easier to “unread” a book than it is to “unwatch” a movie.

Anonymous said: Have you seen Boys Don't Cry and do you have thoughts on the case?

I haven’t seen the movie. I found this article by Carolyn Gage very compelling and heartbreaking.

Anonymous said: Hello, sorry if you get asked this constantly, but would you care to link to the study that say trans women have the same level of crime as other males? Thank you!

Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden

If I ever get around to making an faq I should probably put this study in it!

New Narratives 2014 recap: Yes, we solved all the problems of trans activism at our one-day workshop!

Since New Narratives 2014 happened in Portland Oregon back in May, a number of people have been asking when we were going to post a wrapup. As organizers we kept discussing it among ourselves, and setting target dates for when we would finish writing it, and then not having anything we felt like we could post. Now it’s the end of July, and we still haven’t posted anything! The task has felt overwhelming to all three of us. But, something is certainly better than nothing, so here is a brief summary. I imagine some additional accounts will be forthcoming, and I will repost them on my blog. (Remind me if I missed one already please!)

Eight people attended New Narratives. Seven of us were white, and one of us was mixed-race Southeast Asian. One person had transitioned in college, and lived as a trans woman for over 15 years before deciding to detransition in his late thirties. One of us had started transition but was currently questioning their path, and taking a break from medical intervention while they figured things out. They were not alone in this path - several of us had stopped and then re-started transition at different points in our lives. The other six of us were currently taking hormones and living as women. One had begun transition three months before, one of us had been living as a girl/woman for twenty years, and the remaining four had timelines somewhere in-between. Four of us had had SRS, and two of us were planning to get SRS in the future, and two of us weren’t sure.

Everyone was a little nervous leading up to New Narratives - would the same trans activists who threatened to disrupt the Radfems Respond meeting show up and disrupt our event as well? Would we (the organizers and the attendees) get outed by a malicious trans activist? Likewise, would we get no-platformed and lose our venue, the way Radfems Respond had? We had booked the Q Center in Portland for the event, but we kept things pretty vague with them in advance of the meeting, in case their vision of trans politics conflicted with ours. We were careful with our screening of potential attendees, and kept the location secret until a few days before the event. Some radical feminist women we are friends with nervously texted us over the weekend, to make sure everything was going ok.

And in the end, everything did go fine. In fact, everyone who attended seemed to have a great time talking about these issues, and came away feeling excited and energized. The one thing which we didn’t do, of course, was to solve all of trans activism’s problems in eight hours. Sorry, I lied in the title! Though clearly, turning the battle ship of trans activism around in one day would be a fantastic task - after all, it took twenty years of queer theory pomo nonsense, anti-feminist backlash, porn culture, and men’s rights activism to get trans politics into the sorry state it’s in today, where every day on tumblr I read young queer activists write gibberish like “a trans woman with a full beard and a giant dick is just as much of a woman as my mom, if she says so” with a straight face. Like, really??? Let me repeat: lay off the weed, drop out of your fantasy-land queer theory class, and ask yourself, with a straight face, looking in the mirror: really? REALLY?

Anyway, I digress. Which to be honest, was also a lot of what happened at New Narratives. We talked incessantly! We talked all morning, through our coffee breaks, all through lunch, through the afternoon session, through the afternoon break, and then we all went to a bar down the street and talked for another 90 minutes! It was an amazing feeling, to be honest! I felt so happy and grounded, to be around other trans women who were able to name reality. We could discuss in peace the ways in which male privilege had helped us, and the specific hurts that our struggles in the male pecking order had caused us, without any delusional trans activist insisting that she was “biologically female” or had been “socialized female” despite her participation in all-male activities like Boy Scouts or the Army Special Forces. We got to talk openly about how passing had helped us and hurt us, as well as how not passing had helped us and hurt us. We got to talk about our relationships to our bodies, to each other, to our families and loved ones, to trauma, and to healing. I’ve been to a lot of support groups in my day, as well as a lot of political meetings around gender and sexuality - but this was something different and special: there was a terrific atmosphere of mutual respect, an enduring baseline of safety, and a rare spark of excitement and relief.

But as I alluded to, one thing that did not come out of New Narratives was any sense of closure. While we talked and talked, a lot of ideas were thrown around, and juxtaposed and put into different contexts. Clearly this was a conversation that had needed to happen for a long time! It felt exciting, and important, and like maybe the beginning of something a lot bigger than any of us. But there was no convergence: in fact, the conversation frankly diverged! I have been thinking a lot over the last year about feminism’s message problem, in the age of feminist individualism where “anything a woman does is feminist if she says it is”, and the way that feminism has completely lost focus of the basics of class analysis: after all, “gender-based violence” is actually a one-way street (name the problem: MALE violence), and women are still paid 75 cents (or significantly less) on the male dollar. It’s been a truism for the last twenty years that the radical right is winning the war on women because they have better messaging - so when are we going to take ownership and turn this around?

When judged against the messaging metric, New Narratives was an abject failure. We couldn’t even agree on a list of bullet points, let alone finding “sticky” ways of expressing our political goals! Well, all of us agreed that convictions for sex offenses (other than prostitution) and/or violent crimes should permanently disallow trans women from legal change of sex. We all agreed that fighting against childhood gender policing was a more pressing issue than transitioning children, which many of us were skeptical of. We all thought that further scientific research on transition was important, including evidence-based studies on who transition helps and how it helps them, in addition to who transition doesn’t help and how it hurts them. We all agreed that we wanted to hear more trans women’s voices, and we wanted there to be more narratives of the experience of gender nonconformity and transition, since none of us felt like the traditional narratives had fully explained our lives. We all supported female-only political space, and agreed that access to female-only spaces like locker rooms and bathrooms is a privilege, not a right, and that generally trans people should use the bathroom of “least distress”, in the sense of minimizing disruption to others.

But other than that, there was a lack of political consensus. We all agreed that access to trans healthcare is crucially important. But which treatments are medically necessary - are any of them? Does the disease model of transsexuality ultimately help us or hurt us in the long run? To the extent that motivations are knowable, does it matter whether a trans woman’s transition is mostly motivated by autogynephilia, as opposed to sex or gender dysphoria? How can we hold providers of trans healthcare accountable for the outcomes of the treatments they provide? Most of us supported a return to some form of gate-keeping, medicalized version of transition - meaning, trans health care should be based on professional diagnosis and prescription, not self-diagnosis and self-prescription - but there wasn’t really any agreement on who would set the gatekeeping requirements, and how to provide checks on these requirements to make sure they weren’t being abused.

In general, we all wanted to move trans theory away from the idea of a trans hierarchy where some trans women are more “legitimate” than others, and wanted to take a more holistic approach to gender non-conformity rather than the all-or-nothing mentality of many transitioners. For several of us, being able to articulate that we are still male even when we pass socially as female, or that one can be a “male woman”, is a key concept in understanding our lives. We all agreed that actions and behaviors are more important than intentions and self-identifications, and attempts by trans activists to be the world’s pronoun police are misguided and futile. It is absurd to imagine we can legislate other people’s reactions to us. We were all concerned about sexual predators in the trans woman community - but other than fostering a climate that allows the victims of physical and/or sexual abuse by trans women to name the agent (i.e.: male violence), we had no solution for how to police the boundaries of the trans woman community to reduce the amount of sexual abuse that trans women commit against other trans women, and women born female.

We ended the formal part of New Narratives with a debrief session. Several of us mentioned that our favorite aspect of New Narratives were the chance to talk freely about these issues in so much depth among other people who shared the same reality-respecting ground rules. A number of us also complained that there was not enough time overall, and specifically not enough time devoted to practical steps - both topics of pressing importance like “How do we support trans women who do not pass in a way that helps them feel validated as people and socially integrated, while also respecting the range of experience in our community?”, as well as the coveted bullet-point list for a new version of trans political activism that is safer for trans people and safer for women and girls born female. There was certainly a lot left on the to-do list.

To close, I’ll reiterate again: it took 20 years for this disaster of trans politics to happen, and it’s going to take some more time to turn trans politics around. We modeled New Narratives in part on the women’s conscious-raising groups that sprang up all across the US in the late 1960’s. Women in the US made huge gains in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, and it didn’t happen overnight - it required a number of paradigm shifts, which were facilitated in large part by the conscious-raising movement.

Clearly the types of conversations we had at New Narratives need to happen among many more trans women - current, former, and future - in many other venues and locales. If you are a trans woman - current, former, or future - and you want to organize your own New Narratives conference, please get in touch with us. We will be more than happy to share resources and results! Because realistically, if the major piece that comes out of New Narratives is a framework for conversations about gender and sexuality that respect reality and the rights of women born female, I’m more than happy to take that as a win at this point!

Anonymous said: I have noticed that many of the women who are defending porn rarely watch real life porn and are mainly into smutty fanfiction, smutty erotica, and sometimes fanart porn. (Some even say they don't like the extreme hentai.) Not that fictional porn is above critique and can't be gross but maybe the reason why they're pro-porn is that they don't realize there's a big difference between what they like and mainstream porn with real people that het men watch. I'll check out the stop porn culture site

As Gail Dines says in Pornland: the vast majority of women who are “pro-porn” have a concept of porn which is 20 years out of date. They are imagining healthy, well-fed women posing nude in the sunlight, with their pubes airbrushed out, aka Playboy 1983.

Whereas if they actually watched porn, they would realize that modern porn is ~literally~ just videos of violence against women.

I’ve been thinking the last few days that a useful political strategy might be to make a series of reaction videos, of “sex-positive” feminists watching porn for the first time. It’s literally not possible to look at any of the tube sites for more than a minute without seeing something obviously painful, abusive, or straight-up disgusting.

However, I also don’t like this idea because I don’t like the idea of making videos of women being traumatized. It actually sounds pornographic! But I’m racking my brain trying to think about how to impact the current porn culture in a meaningful way. It’s very upsetting to think about.

best wishes.

House of Lords Considering Jail & Sex Offender Registration for the MEN Who Post “Revenge” Porn

womensliberationfront:

The House of Lords is proposing not only jail time for those who post “revenge porn”, but being added to the registry of sexual offenders.

http://stoppornculture.org/2014/07/21/house-of-lords-proposes-prison-sentences-for-revenge-porn-by-aaron-akinyemi/

(Reblogged from nextyearsgirl)

noyau-rationnel:

I think a part of the reason it’s so upsetting for me to see neovaginas described as “fuckholes” is that I have a hard time not reading it as suggesting that men are at least partially right when they treat trans women like fuckholes, even if that’s not the intent. It’s an attitude I’ve encountered in “friends” before, though. I’ve spoken to people who expressed a combination of disgust at the idea of somebody wanting to touch my body and “well, this is what you signed up for” when I complained about men groping me. Men interpret pretty much all of the physical effects of transition as signs that I should be available to them, that I’m something to be fucked. The reasons men have constructed neovaginas the way that they have are disturbing and clearly misogynist. But I don’t want a fuckhole any more than I want men to think of my fat distribution as a reason to grab my ass. I just want some kind of peace with my body.

(Reblogged from noyau-rationnel)