If Everybody Looked The Same

As an aside, and coming from the ‘race’ context of my previous post, go download this and have a look.

White, European, Western, Caucasian, or what? Inappropriate labeling in research on race, ethnicity, and health.R Bhopal and L Donaldson

The request for scientifically appropriate terminology in research on race, ethnicity, and health has largely bypassed the term White. This and other words, such as Caucasian, are embedded in clinical and epidemiological discourse, yet they are rarely defined. This commentary analyzes the issue from the perspective of the epidemiology of the health of minority ethnic and racial groups in Europe and the United States. Minority groups are usually compared with populations described as White, Caucasian, European, Europid, Western, Occidental, indigenous, native, and majority. Such populations are heterogeneous, the labels nonspecific, and the comparisons misleading. Terminology that reflects the research purpose-for examples, reference, control, or comparison–is better (unlike White, these terms imply no norm, allowing neither writers nor readers to make stereotyped assumptions about the comparison populations. This paper widens the debate on nomenclature for racial and ethnic groups. Many issues need exploration, including whether there is a shared understanding among the international research community of the terms discussed.

I’m finding this intresting for two reasons. One is that it makes me aware of how ‘white’ is not subject to the same kind of scrutiny as other terms for race / ethnicity. It’s a kind of cultural blindness that ‘white’ people (inverted commas used, because apparantly people from the middle-east are classified as white by the US cencus……. bonkers……) themselves endorse. We don’t *have* to examine our roots, where we come from, what we look like, how other people refer to us, you know? We’re just white! Easy.

Lay ay ay zee.

I also find it intresting because it proves how the concept of a ‘white race’, which is problematic for several reasons including the obvious use by neo-nazi types, is bullshit. I wonder if exploding that would provide tools for ‘white’ people to actually engage in conversations about racial and ethnic priveldge without coming across as idiots. After all, if you’re applying a narrow homogenaic term to your own broad and hetrogenous race, if you’re fuzzy on where *you* stand, then how can you expect to begin to engage in discussion about other races or ethnicities without offending other people and then getting, rightly or wrongly, burned yourself?

There are problems of poverty and excess disease in subgroups of the White population, which cannot be unearthed and tackled by using the label White. For example, the Irish-born and Scottish-born residents of England and Wales have recently been shown to have the highest standardized mortality ratios in England and Wales, higher than those of racial and ethnic minorities born in countries of the Caribbean and South Asia. Clearly, there are subgroups within the White community with special needs. The argument that the focus of race and ethnicity statistics should be on those with adverse health outcomes is a sound one. Clearly, it is not only ethnic groups of color who are in this position.

It also shows that I fucked up with my use of the term ‘caucasian’ in my previous post. Oh well.

Love xx

Stop, Think, Remove Pole From Ass, Write, Publish

If you read the trans-blogosphere then I’m sure you know what I’m talking about here.

Seriously, the internet needs to get a fucking grip of itself.

What is it? Do some of you people like fighting? Do some of you people like being hurt? Because, to me, it seems like you’re all dragging out what is essentially an argument about nothing in particular, other than being hurt by the nasty meanies, to furious lengths. Yes, ALL OF YOU.

I understand that it’s problematic to say that this argument is about nothing in particular when there are real and harmful racial issues, which don’t take a rocket scientist to grasp (yes! caucasian people! you have a ton of racial privledge! fucking well stop being so prissy and deal with it. however, on the other hand, just because you’re a PoC doesn’t mean you can’t be an asshole). The horrendous gleaming cracks in the trans-community (which i’m amazed some of you are surprised about) have also been cast into stark relief YET AGAIN, along with the, almost satisfying, irony that not even trans people can talk about differences between men and women, especially the differences within the trans demographic, without shitting their brains. But, really, *what* is the argument specifically about? Because my poor little brain can’t quite work out what is worth all the words that have been poured into blog-posts and comments.

Y’all really gotta collect your shit, and those of you that are trying should tighten your grips, just in case, because this could go for *months* otherwise.

Unless your identity really does revolve around navel gazing your own sense of victimhood, in which case carry on with my blessing. Only you probably wouldn’t really want it, because it might not gel with your world-view.

My bad.

Love xx

To The Tune Of My My Metrocard

I would also like to say that I am honored to get a search engine hit from the phrase,

is bailey a jerk

THE ANSWER IS YES.

Your prize is my adoration.

xx

Once More Into The Breach

Oh, for goodness sake.

What exactly *are* a ‘born-woman’s experiences’? I mean, in a general inclusive of all ‘born-women’ kind of way? Is there ~anything~ that you can say is something that *all* ‘born-women’ experience that those who are not ‘born-women’ never do?

Is there actually a defining characteristic that all ‘born-women’ share, regardless of race, culture, biology, or geography?

To be honest, suggesting such a thing actually strikes me as anti-feminist. You might as well say that all ‘born-women’ share a passion for Sex and the City, or that all ‘born-women’ are bad drivers.

The only thing I can think that is shared by all ‘born-women’ is that moment, at birth, when they’re sexed. That’s it (and, even though my understanding of this is sqiffy, i’m wondering if even *that* is shared by all ‘born-women’). After that, however, when the mid-wife has tootled off and the parents are left wondering what to do with this little bundle of love that has just crapped itself (and that’s for the lucky kids who have mid-wives and/or parents who are in a fit state at that point to even think about doing something about it) then, really, all bets are off.

So what is it that makes that moment so important, so over-riding in theoretical consideration, which invariably winds up giving otherwise well-meaning people such a headache when they even attempt to consider the inherent and healthy diversity within gender and its expression?

It’s because essentialism is ~easy~, kids. Putting things into boxes *works* for people. It makes the world a nice safe place, and it reduces the need to actually consider what people mean by the terms ‘woman’, ‘man’, ‘sex’, and ‘gender’ (which really, really annoys those of use who have taken the time to really think these things over, often because our lives depend on it).

Still, boxes are really useful. It’s insane to try and have a discussion without them, otherwise you wind up like that Scottish dude in Little Britain constantly harping on about how it might be, but it might also not be. So, for the sake of argument, we use them, which is why we deliniate in terms of race, sexuality, gender, culture, religion, et fucking cetera, even though there are plenty of people who occupy the fuzzy areas around and inbetween the definitions. Even though, when it comes down to it, in reality most of the definitions are woefully inadequate.

But, still, I wonder how useful a box like ‘born-women’ actually is, in any other way than sealing yourself off from a particular class of people who you feel is icky (and, as a bonus, ghettoising yourself in a nice comfortable distinct group of people, because, in my honest opinion, such people cannot find it within themselves to be shiny and full of self-worth unless they have a crowd of flag-waving clones to hide behind). Even if we forget the problematic nature of transphobia and the HORROR of possibly finding a penis in womens space (and it is horrible, trust me. i had one ATTACHED to my space for thirty years. i still shudder to think), we’re still left with predjudice against the menz.

Yeah, yeah. I’m one of the first to call men utter arseholes, and I’ve been wishing for years now that ‘mens lib’ could move past its wounded ego and actually start exploring the real issues, accountability and all, because I firmly believe that this is vital to true equality between the sexes. And, yeah, totally, it is kinda acceptable to be predjudiced against the menz, what with their track record as a sex and everything, but, but, but….. when it comes down to it, SOME OF THEM ARE NICE PEOPLE. Just because they are the oppressor class doesn’t mean they are *all* gits *all* of the time. Hell, I bet there are even some middle-class white males who are kinda nice. I bet there are some who face harsher daily realities than some women (survivors of childhood abuse, people with mental health issues, people with physical disabilities, etc).

Anyway, whatever, hooray for the menz.

Ultimately, I still find it difficult to find some *useful* manner that defines the term ‘born-women’ that doesn’t leave out certain women, and I’m talking irrespective of trans women here.

And another thing, something else that aggravates me in particular about all this nonsense…….

Listen, you motherfuckers. I’m a woman. There is no argument about that, and I’m not going to take any crap from anybody about whether I am or not. However, it is true, I did grow up as a boy. Now, being trans meant that it wasn’t all sunshine and cricket bats, and almost being killed by a brain infection really put a dampner on things, but some of it wasn’t too bad, you know? I don’t see why I should feel ashamed about my childhood, or be made to feel that somehow it cheapens my womanhood, just because I’m trans. You see, it’s really difficult to talk about the positive aspects of my life pre-transition, because somehow it feels like it would sound as if I enjoyed being a man! Or I enjoyed being a boy. Which would be bad, you know? As if, celebrating the good stuff would count *against* my gender now.

You might not be meaning to make me feel like this, but these theorys do just that and I don’t see why I should cripple the memories of my life simply because you can’t wrap your head around me.

It really isn’t difficult to grasp. I’m a woman, I’m just not like you. And that’s just like every other woman you’ll ever meet.

xx

If You’re Offended By This….

‘All political movements are like this — we are in the right, everyone else is in the wrong. The people on our own side who disagree with us are heretics, and they start becoming enemies. With it comes an absolute conviction of your own moral superiority. There’s oversimplification in everything, and a terror of flexibility.’

-Doris Lessing

…..then I’m talking to you.

You’re So Hot

Dear Blanchard, Bailey & Lawrence,

Have a big fat fucking ‘I Told You So‘.

Autogynephilia, an erotic interest in the thought or image of oneself as a woman, has been described as a sexual interest of some male-to-female transsexuals (MTFs); the term has not been applied to natal women. To test the possibility that natal women also experience autogynephilia, an Autogynephilia Scale for Women (ASW) was created from items used to categorize MTFs as autogynephilic in other studies. A questionnaire which included the ASW was distributed to a sample of 51 professional women employed at an urban hospital, 29 completed questionnaires were returned for analysis. By the common definition of ever having erotic arousal to the thought or image of oneself as a woman, 93% of the respondents would be classified as autogynephilic. Using a more rigorous definition of “frequent” arousal to multiple items, 28% would be classified as autogynephilic. The implications of these findings are discussed concerning the sexuality of women and the meaning of autogynephilia for MTFs.

Love xx

Trans Inclusion Post-Stonewall

It’s not up at The Skinny’s official site yet, but if you want a read then you can find the article I wrote for this months issue here.

Love xx


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