Dearest Sister, Brothers, Siblings, and Friends;

What the hell just happened?

I saw the thread a Twisty’s fairly early on, and for some reason I thought it might go the way that 99% of twisty threads go, with limited uproar at certain venues. A full scale blogwar, complete with delinking? I must be dreaming.

That said, y’all picked a good one. Transphobia is a steaming pile of shit right in the middle of the living room of the 2nd wave, and it’s a right moment when somebody calls that out. But it’s unfortunate in so far that such fights are rarely rewarding. Nobody is in a particularly good mood at the end of it. BFP and BA, my confidential to you is to send my love and/or beer. Take care and we’ll see you around soon.

About the only thing I can pull out of this is a reminder of how important it is to think about where the State is when you do your work. My friends, intellectual and activist co-conspirators, consistently tend to de-center the state when speaking about the future. Born of a deep distrust of the claims to justice and law given by the same, this aesthetic of dissent has about jack shit for time when it comes to promoting what desperately reeks of the old order. Whether it be welfare “reform,” the State backed “knowledge” of gender essentialism, or the criticism of whatever kink or expression came under fire today, I just can’t be arsed to see such profound differences in your project and that of conservatism. Yes, your motivations may be pure as something really pure, and so, so, soooo different than that of the state’s. But surely granting that y’all have a very legitimate grievance, must it be said that in responding, not all targets are fair game? When you find yourself lining up with the most powerful forces in society in getting squicked by genderfuck…what conclusions do you draw?

That genderfuck is pro-patriarchal?

This projection is why i stick out my tongue at Heart for claiming that Rad Fems have but only advocates against the all powerful might of Pornsitution. Yes, they as Rad Fems control few of the major resources at play in the Feminist World. Sure. But when Johnny Law is in your rolodex, and you have a history of snitching? Oh, see that’s a different game. So your “idle” talk of getting rid of blowjobs and S&M (which Heart explicitly endorses*) isn’t so idle.

Did you know that: until recently, sodomy was criminal in several states and that these laws enacted the marginalization of queer community? The more you know, because knowledge is power.

If you want to understand why a lot of us are getting together in this, why oh why it seems like there is a posse, cult, sliced bread appreciation committee, or other organized groupthinking going on, all you have to do is read Janet Halley’s “Sexuality Harassment” and then Bfp’s blogging on Oaxaca. Then, if you enjoy puking in your mouth, re-read the BJ and Trans wars, courtesy of Texas’ most abstractly queer woman.** For deeply held reasons, there are POC and sexual minorities, persons in poverty, and assorted other radicals, and combinations thereof who find themselves looking for alliances with people who get it. Who are just plain suspicious of state power and the reproduction of it’s values. Who understand that the Oppression Dick Measuring contests are all pointless, when the fact is you have to be alive in order to participate. Judging by that, there are two things I can tell you:

1. There is someone, now dead, who was until very recently way more oppressed than thou, causing said death.
2. You have something better to be doing with your time.

With this firmly in hand, alliance looks a little different. Like Halley points out, not all things converge onto a single point. The language of one struggle may choke when taken to new territory. And most of all, it forwards a new vision of conflict. If one struggle for liberation conflicts with another, I’m not looking for which one has to go under the bus. Understanding someone else’s movement from the perspective of how useful their idenity is to your cause is a problem. If your language and frames of thought require this conflict? Hold fast to what is good. And incinerate the rest.

Lesbian SM play parties are not going to bring down the revolution. Consensually kissing the ass of a human being is remarkably less damaging than consenting to kiss the ass of the state. And whether or not you explicitly reference the state in your post-radfem apocalypse or not, the fact of the matter is that it’s right there. There is a history of not only state interference in certain sexualities, but of radfem cooperation with the same. Halley speaks to this in the article linked above, where emerging theories of feminist law and practice increasingly engaged the state. But as Halley notes, the act of legislating sexuality in the work place both provides protection as well as creating a mechanism capable of legally excising queer idenity.

Moreover, you are speaking in state vocabulary. The mere act of thinking to remove an act of sexual expression from the face of the earth, is not just impractical or impossible, but a fantasy deeply rooted in the kind of sexy sexy power that only a legitimate monopoly of violence can afford. Community organizing your way to the end of porn? You’re kidding me. The claim to powerlessness requires that we actually believe that this is their sole avenue of recourse. Yet you have a state, just standing there, waiting to do the same. Coincidence? Sure.

The state continues to enact extra-legal harassment, as witnessed in the devastating violence levied against transpersons by police, both directly and by the consent of inaction. Cries that “real women’s” issues will get sidetracked in the great trans conspiracy evaporate into nothing when two of the headlining causes that the radfems (SaltyC cites Slade’s article) claim will go away as “men invade feminism” are sexual assault. Uh, what? WHAT?

Most of the rest revolve around health care access that respects the needs of individual women. Which is also not an issue for transwomen. *headdesk* Do you understand the words coming out of your own mouths? Just by the taste alone, you might realize that your speech is unsavory, but I’ll keep calling it out if I have to.

Now go do something better than reading.*** I believe hugs and/or consoling alcohol is in order, so go show love for everybody who got targeted, everybody who got derailed from their work, and remind each other that we’re here for a reason.

It would warm my queer heart.


* I am aware that the charge that rad fems want to ban X, is a controversial one. A fair reading of Heart gives no other option. In the comments at “Are Feminists Allowed…” she states an open goal of eliminating certain sexual practices. There is a special level of irony of decrying the ability of Rad Fem to impose internal standards, all while engaging in sexual bullying of those engaged in alternative sexualities. Why for instance, a straight woman takes it upon herself to police the content of lesbian space in the name of feminism is beyond me.

** Twisty’s actual sex life is, duh, none of my fraking beeswax. Her public writings on sex, however, are fair game. As Belledame has written about (sorry, can’t find it right now. Belle?), twisty’s focus is consistently on heterosexual sex, mores, practices, etc… The fact that queer perspectives are getting conflated with “pornstitution” in her thought seems to hark from a heterocentrist feminism.

*** I hereby announce the Nth semi-regular Radical Fun Day, if BFP would be so kind as to let me borrow the idea. Formal announcement pending approval and the cessation of my impending hangover.