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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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41 Responses

  1. The Truffle
    The Truffle January 7, 2010 at 11:31 pm |

    SUCK ON IT, COURTNEY!

  2. Sara
    Sara January 8, 2010 at 2:05 am |

    I got news for you, she is!

    (couldn’t help myself: Rebel Girl is one of my favorite songs)

  3. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane January 8, 2010 at 4:54 am |

    The more I spend time in feminist spaces the less I feel I should bother. Kathleen Hanna continued to play a music festival whose policy insisted trans women were not actually women, and as such supported exclusion of trans women from the women’s movement. When confronted with this she and her band waved concerns away. This has helped make legitimate the further ostracizing and marginalizing of a group of already-oppressed women. The fact we live in a world where she still gets riot grrrl props despite being part of this system of bigotry makes me really sad, actually.

  4. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl January 8, 2010 at 9:48 am |

    Hey, I know. Let’s just ignore all the hard and necessary work that women have done for themselves in the face of incredible misogyny, let’s just ignore the mile markers that they’ve gained (even when mile markers should no longer be needed) all because of a music festival in northern Michigan that attracts a crowd of what? 4000 women?

    Seriously goodbuytjane — are you holding the same kind of fire to the haters that continue to pass legislature (you know, that legal shit) that harms other queers (like, say, lesbians) or are you here just to blame feminism (and the women that support it) for all your ills?

  5. groggette
    groggette January 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm |

    Q Grrl, you basically just said that trans people’s concerns don’t matter. That is beyond fucked up.

    And seriously, bringing up that “more important things to worry about” shit? because we all know women can only focus on one thing at a time.

  6. Marlene
    Marlene January 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm |

    There are so many major figures in feminist and queer feminist culture, whose work I adore, who are also responsible for allowing trans folk to continue to get the short end of the stick. Kathleen Hanna and Diane DiMassa are just the tip of the iceberg.

    I still don’t know what to do about this.

    The work is still important to me and empowering in a way that gives me energy to continue to fight against oppression, even the oppression perpetrated by the creators of that very work.

    I imagine Hothead kicking DiMassa’s ass for being a transphobic asshole. It makes me feel better.

    I still listen to Bikini Kill, dancing in my socks across my bedroom with my bottle of estradiol in the morning. I bought the CD before she ever got close to Michigan. It’s mine!

    Anybody else have similar complex relationships to such work?

  7. Julie
    Julie January 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm |

    Anybody else have similar complex relationships to such work?

    As Daisy Bond pointed out while she was guest blogging here, Virginia Woolf was an anti-Semite. A Room of One’s Own remains, to me, one of the most important feminist works I’ve ever read, but how do I deal with the fact that to Woolf, Jewish women don’t really count as women?

    Honestly, I’ve known so, so, so many many writers and thinkers who condemn one system of bigotry while supporting another that sometimes I feel like if I were to purge them from my library, there wouldn’t be anyone left.

  8. Marlene
    Marlene January 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |

    Honestly, I’ve known so, so, so many many writers and thinkers who condemn one system of bigotry while supporting another that sometimes I feel like if I were to purge them from my library, there wouldn’t be anyone left.

    TRUE THAT!

  9. Calamity Jenn
    Calamity Jenn January 8, 2010 at 1:39 pm |

    Q Grrl – Michigan is just one example of how the cis feminist community ignores the concerns of transwomen. There were many “RIP Mary Daly” blog posts that either ignored or glossed over her virulent hatred of transpeople, to name a recent example when much of the cis feminist community (Sady’s post here being a notable exception) lauded someone who contributed to the exclusion of fellow women from the feminist movement.

    We don’t tolerate it when DailyKos pushes aside feminist issues in favor of the “more important” (i.e. men’s) liberal causes – but you can justify pushing aside transpeople’s perspectives in order to defend progress made for ciswomen?

  10. preying mantis
    preying mantis January 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm |

    Papers may be in quotes because it’s a collection of disparate materials, not all of which sound like they fall under the actual heading of ‘papers.’ Depending on the breadth of what’s involved, ‘archives’ might have been a better pick, and going with ‘papers’ might have been a PR move or a questionable judgment call on someone’s part.

  11. Anonymouse
    Anonymouse January 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm |

    How cool! I love Kathleen Hannah!

  12. Bruce from Missouri
    Bruce from Missouri January 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm |

    Yeah, I agree, I think they put “Papers” in quotes because theywere following it by defining what they meant by papers. I’ve seen it done before when talking about collections of disparate materials(basically any collection that is a huge mish-mash of various stuff).

  13. Jadey
    Jadey January 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm |

    Okay, I am damn sure that no one is policing anyone else’s library shelves.

    And, ugh, Q Grrl, did you just accuse Gudbuytjane of not trying hard enough? ugh ugh ugh

    I’m going to keep looking for role models whose beliefs don’t run directly contrary to my own.

  14. Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist
    Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist January 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm |

    this news totally made my day.

  15. On the Archives Side of Things
    On the Archives Side of Things January 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm |

    I may disagree with some views contained in a specific person’s papers, but that is an *excellent* reason to archive them, rather than a reason to never read/ purge them. Hopefully, in ten, fifteen, however many years it takes, a historian will be researching feminist thinkers of this period and be shocked that a woman who supports the rights of women defines them by biological sex rather than gender identity. However, her papers (and it might be in square quotes because it includes digital media?) will provide a glimpse into her views of feminism now.

    Any one have a favorite trans activist whose papers they want to bid on for this collection?

  16. Marlene
    Marlene January 8, 2010 at 6:08 pm |

    I agree on the question of archiving. I think the issue being raised here is whether or not this makes NYU “cool.”

  17. eastsidekate
    eastsidekate January 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm |

    Perhaps I’m making a mistake by wading into the discussion, but this morning I was writing about Mary Daly’s passing, and specifically mentioned the complicated relationship I had with Kathleen Hanna. Okay, I swear there was a connection to be made.

    Short version: I love love love Kathleen Hanna, but yeah, I have to overlook certain things to be an enthusiastic fan, and that makes me feel not so great.

    I dunno. I specifically came here because this story was exactly the dose of awesome I needed to cope after a super crappy week. It says something about society and feminism that I can’t simply relax without running across people arguing about teh trans.

    Now if you don’t mind, I’ll be in the corner listening to My Metrocard.

  18. bellareve
    bellareve January 9, 2010 at 12:08 am |

    Agree with Julie and Marlene. Nobody is pure and nobody is perfect.

    I’m queer, but I still like Betty Friedan. I’m Jewish, but I still like Virginia Woolf. I’m a woman, but I still like Jack Kerouac. This doesn’t mean I support or have internalized homophobia, anti-Semitism, and misogyny. It means I recognize that human beings are complex and flawed, and that art/thought/writing that moves me and speaks to me can ALSO exclude me and run counter to some of my beliefs. These things are not incompatible. I can’t imagine (nor do I especially want to) a world in which every single person I respected/was a fan of agreed with me on every single issue. It helps when I remember that people and society continue to evolve.

    I think that it also matters, on a personal level, which sins or mistakes we find unforgivable, and which ones we can move beyond. Each individual makes her own choice on this.

  19. femmeriotgrrrl
    femmeriotgrrrl January 9, 2010 at 2:27 am |

    “I’m queer, but I still like Betty Friedan. I’m Jewish, but I still like Virginia Woolf. I’m a woman, but I still like Jack Kerouac. This doesn’t mean I support or have internalized homophobia, anti-Semitism, and misogyny. It means I recognize that human beings are complex and flawed, and that art/thought/writing that moves me and speaks to me can ALSO exclude me and run counter to some of my beliefs. These things are not incompatible. I can’t imagine (nor do I especially want to) a world in which every single person I respected/was a fan of agreed with me on every single issue. It helps when I remember that people and society continue to evolve.

    I think that it also matters, on a personal level, which sins or mistakes we find unforgivable, and which ones we can move beyond. Each individual makes her own choice on this.”

    ^This! This! This!

  20. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane January 9, 2010 at 7:26 am |

    I didn’t say her papers shouldn’t be archived. I said seeing her get props made me sad, which considering I’m a trans woman, and considering that she’s done actual, tangible things to contribute to the lives of trans women being marginalized, it isn’t a shocking response, really?

    @Q Grrl Really? Thanks for the input.

    I am perhaps touchy from watching a few days of cis feminists justify Mary Daly’s hatred with the sort of logical gymnastics they wouldn’t stand for a minute from misogynist commentators.

    These sorts of stories and people rightly elicit anger, hurt, and sadness from trans women. Instead of acknowledging this historical and continuing injustice perpetrated against trans women by cis women, cis feminists write about their complex relationships with the writer, etc. etc. People like Q Grrl brush aside concerns completely with tired derailing techniques.

    Until we begin acknowledging that pain and the systemic bigotry cis feminism has engaged in regarding trans women talk about complexity of these relationships just feels like another way to derail from trans women’s concerns. Until then all this talk feels like justification and apologism.

  21. piny
    piny January 9, 2010 at 7:54 am |

    Seriously goodbuytjane — are you holding the same kind of fire to the haters that continue to pass legislature (you know, that legal shit) that harms other queers (like, say, lesbians) or are you here just to blame feminism (and the women that support it) for all your ills?

    The first one, I’m pretty sure. You should know better than to make that kind of argument; you should know how demeaning it is. Trans people are smart enough to see who’s really fucking them over.

    The priorities, people! argument cuts both ways, doesn’t it? If trans people et al. are already getting fucked over left and right, shouldn’t they be given that little extra bit of help?

  22. eastsidekate
    eastsidekate January 9, 2010 at 10:32 am |

    I think that it also matters, on a personal level, which sins or mistakes we find unforgivable, and which ones we can move beyond. Each individual makes her own choice on this.

    Yes, this. I find it depressing that I live in a world where I have to choose which sins to ignore simply to get by. I absolutely, completely, agree that participating in MichFest and refusing to address the festival’s exclusionary policy is hurtful to trans people, especially trans women. And yes, the whole business makes me sad.

    At the same time, I’m making the personal choice to believe that Kathleen Hanna is a human being who is unfortunately mistaken in some of her views. This is not incompatible, for me, with celebrating Hanna’s many skills and accomplishments.

    On some level, I applaud those of you who have the emotional energy and/or demeanor to stick to your guns about this. I simply can’t. I don’t have the strength to live in a world where I’m unwilling to forgive some of the sins the world makes with respect to trans people. As piny points out, we really are getting fucked over left and right.

  23. eastsidekate
    eastsidekate January 9, 2010 at 11:32 am |

    Until we begin acknowledging that pain and the systemic bigotry cis feminism has engaged in regarding trans women talk about complexity of these relationships just feels like another way to derail from trans women’s concerns.

    Absolutely. The double bind that I sense is that to me, the failure to acknowledge the complexity of these relationships involves failing to acknowledge humans’ abilities to grow and change. If I didn’t hold out the possibility that some feminists (or people in general), might (re)examine their cis privilege, I wouldn’t sense much use in engaging very many people on anything. IMO, the trick is to really honestly acknowledge complexity, without using the term simply as a way of blowing off the concerns of a marginalized group.

  24. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl January 9, 2010 at 12:10 pm |

    “And, ugh, Q Grrl, did you just accuse Gudbuytjane of not trying hard enough? ugh ugh ugh”

    No, I did not accuse Gudbuytjane of anything; can’t really do that until she clarifies her transfeminism, can I? What’s interesting though, is that she can come on here and accuse Kathleen Hanna of “not trying hard enough” and that’s all good and fair, right? Seems like a double standard to me. And for me not to read it as a double standard, I would like to know what Gudbuytjane’s political relationship and commitment to lesbians looks like. I put Kathleen Hanna through those same standards, as I do anyone who is in a position to color political waters.

  25. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane January 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm |

    Ummn, my political relationship to lesbians? I am one. Clarify my transfeminism? What the hell does that even mean.

    Your cis privilege is really quite apparent, and I don’t think I feel like providing 101 for you, although I am sure as a cis person you feel it is your right to demand it. I am not accusing Kathleen Hanna of not trying hard enough, I am stating plainly she has consciously chosen positions which have marginalized trans women in ways that have caused real damage to the lives of these women.

    Q, really, isn’t Feministing a bit more your speed? Your transmisogyny and cis privilege will go a lot further there.

  26. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane January 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm |

    @Eastsidekate I agree, and I definitely don’t think there aren’t possibilities for discussions of this complexity. But like you said, what I see a lot of cis feminists hiding behind “oh, it’s complex” and never giving analysis to the systems that lead to fucked-up attitudes and behaviour towards trans women. Even here, just to accept that hey, to some trans women Kathleen Hanna represents something other than the empowerment she might represent to some cis women (or, perhaps, that some of us have a more complex relationship with some artists too) is apparently too challenging to cis dominance for some, and must be shouted down, dismissed, or derailed.

  27. Lauren
    Lauren January 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm | *

    Um, Qgrrl, nobody needs to clarify anything. It’s not necessary.

    I do come down on the side of archival. I tend to appreciate adding low art contributions to the canon altogether.

    I may disagree with some views contained in a specific person’s papers, but that is an *excellent* reason to archive them, rather than a reason to never read/ purge them.

    And this, I think, is really important. The addition of certain papers to the canon doesn’t mean that everything contained within is endorsed by an institution or movement, it means the papers (or the medium) was culturally, politically, or socially relevent (it was) and should be preserved for some reason or another, primarily for further study.

  28. piny
    piny January 10, 2010 at 4:31 am |

    What’s interesting though, is that she can come on here and accuse Kathleen Hanna of “not trying hard enough” and that’s all good and fair, right?

    She knows who Kathleen Hanna is, and her complaints are accurate even if you find them unfair. You don’t know who she is, and haven’t used google to find out. (Or have you? She’s at gudbuytjane.wordpress.com; lately she also blogs at Questioning Transphobia.) It certainly didn’t sound like a request for clarification. It sounded like a request to shut the fuck up.

    Trans women, generally speaking, actually have a pretty good record when it comes to understanding who’s really out to ruin their lives. Cis feminists, on the other hand? Vis-a-vis trans women? Not so much.

  29. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl January 10, 2010 at 11:17 am |

    How the hell can you tell who is “cis” and who isn’t? The mind boggles. No, gudbuytjane made a very broad statement about feminism because what? Le Tigre played Mich Fest back in 2005? So all of feminism is tarred by this choice (which was/is questionable)? That’s a pretty bold attack – or it’s a childish one. If that is the litmus test of what makes for a legitimate movement, then, yeah, I have every right to ask the same annoying questions back at the poster. Would any of you like me to break out some of the more precious quotes from Strap-on.org? The one’s that lay into biological females for their menstrual cycles? The one’s that continue the legacy of misogyny that kills, rapes, and otherwise harms those cis-women who now seem so below you?

  30. Natalia
    Natalia January 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm |

    I think that it also matters, on a personal level, which sins or mistakes we find unforgivable, and which ones we can move beyond. Each individual makes her own choice on this.

    Very true. I would also add that some people’s choices end up being more influential and, for lack of a better word, “important” than others’. That’s human beings for you, I guess. Enamoured of hierarchy. We like to think of hierarchy as exclusively “patriarchal,” but that’s wishful thinking, innit?

    Being “problematic” in relation to one movement or another, though, is really just a human trait. We hold musicians, artists, other visible people to a certain standard, but we are all in this together.

    Q Grrl,

    o.0

    The way I saw it, gudbuytjane was merely expressing her frustration. All things considered, it’s pretty damn understandable and no less important than anything else that’s been said here. And hey, I think the archiving’s important as well. I just know that not all people are going to be thrilled about it, or otherwise have a simple, easy response to it. There are very good reasons as to why MichFest evokes a helluva lot of negative emotions – from myself included, and shit, I’m cis.

  31. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl January 10, 2010 at 12:34 pm |

    If Kathleen Hanna is transphobic because she played Mich Fest in 2005, and if all of feminism is tarred because she made this choice, what does it mean when a transwoman calls herself a lesbian (with no modifier), but refers to most other lesbians as “cis-lesbians”? If I were to use the same logic, I would say that would make that particular transwoman a homophobe. That’s a lot of erasing of history, experience, and identity, no? That’s appropriating some other marginalized group’s experience to fit one’s personal political beliefs. And if that’s the game being played, then one should expect one’s credibility to come under fire.

    If Kathleen Hanna is to be judged by one choice she made, and if feminism is tarred by this one individual’s choice, then the person lodging the complaints better wish like hell that they’ve never contributed to the further marginalization/erasure of another human beings existence.

  32. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane January 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm |

    What “broad statement about feminism” did I make, exactly? My comment was in response to someone saying they were happy about something, and I said that I was sad. Is your identity as a feminist so fragile you can’t deal with your idols being criticized, or for someone to not like them? You might be able to wave away the impact of Hanna and Le Tigre making a choice to further legitimize Michfest’s (and by extension exclusionary feminism’s) bigotry about trans women, but that did and still does affect actual lives.

    Also, can we please leave straw men out of this, i.e. why are you discussing strap-on.org? This feels like (typically) a transmisogynist feminist looking for an excuse to tell a trans woman to shut up, and I just made the mistake of speaking up. Your comments have made incredibly transmisogynist assumptions (that I couldn’t be a lesbian myself, hell, that I am not a feminist – could I not be criticizing issues I see with the movement from within?), so I can only assume you probably don’t think I qualify as a ‘real’ woman anyway.

    I find it tremendously ironic that in response to my sadness at a feminist icon othering and silencing my experience (because, yeah, I have a complex relationship with some artists and their work because of their transphobia, too, I just never got to express that part while dealing with the derailing) that a feminist has deciding the correct response is to other and silence. Can you see why I might post things like my first comment?

  33. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl January 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm |

    “(that I couldn’t be a lesbian myself, hell, that I am not a feminist – could I not be criticizing issues I see with the movement from within?)”

    I’ve neither said this, nor implied it. I wasn’t referring to your particular lesbianism, I was referring to your choice to linguistically frame your lesbianism as one which doesn’t require a modifier. You do the math from there, hon.

    Your initial post clearly doesn’t want to accept that, flawed as she is, Kathleen Hanna has had a tremendous positive impact on feminism. You even go so far as to, quite dramatically, sigh about why you even bother with feminism. I’d say that you’ve opened yourself up to a bit of scrutiny then yourself, no? Not because your claims aren’t valid, but because you are willing to tear down the whole barn because there’s a rat inside. So, once you dismantle that barn, then what? What do you have to offer women as replacement? From what I’ve seen of your writing you want to further marginalize lesbians for one, and you support an erasure of dykehood into a normative category it has never occupied. Color me lukewarm if I don’t find that a very reassuring replacement for the flawed feminism we currently see around us.

  34. piny
    piny January 10, 2010 at 7:06 pm |

    You can kinda tell someone is not cis when they post a comment about how cis transphobia makes them feel excluded and slighted.

    what does it mean when a transwoman calls herself a lesbian (with no modifier), but refers to most other lesbians as “cis-lesbians”? If I were to use the same logic, I would say that would make that particular transwoman a homophobe. That’s a lot of erasing of history, experience, and identity, no? That’s appropriating some other marginalized group’s experience to fit one’s personal political beliefs.

    She didn’t say, “I am a lesbian.” She identified through the conversation as a trans woman and then also pointed out that she was a lesbian, too. She referred to cis-as-opposed-to-trans lesbians because this is a category distinct from lesbian, cis and trans inclusive, and that distinction is important when you’re talking about transphobia.

    As to the appropriation…sorry, not seeing any sense at all in that argument.

    The one’s that continue the legacy of misogyny that kills, rapes, and otherwise harms those cis-women who now seem so below you?

    Is this “you” meant to refer to me, or someone else? Because I can’t see how it refers to gudbuytjane.

    No, gudbuytjane made a very broad statement about feminism because what? Le Tigre played Mich Fest back in 2005? So all of feminism is tarred by this choice (which was/is questionable)?

    Here’s one example of a cis feminist honoring Mary Daly’s memory:

    http://www.historiann.com/2010/01/06/why-blogs-suck#comment-526465

    “SRS tourism.” Like all the abortion tourism pre-Roe, I suppose.

    One instance of complacency–with several thousand other instances of bigotry–is not itself an indictment, but this is one instance of a larger problem. A memory problem, an honesty problem. And it is. If it is possible for a Big Feminist (Trans and Queer-Friendly) Blog to write a eulogy for Mary Daly that doesn’t contain a single reference to her transphobia because its Big Feminist Head Blogger had no freaking idea at all that she was transphobic, then feminism as a movement needs to do more reconciliation work around past and present transphobia.

    Kathleen Hanna is not Mary Daly or Liss, but it’s not inappropriate either to talk about her bigotry as one perceives it or to consider that bigotry part of a cultural problem. Bigotry usually isn’t anything else.

  35. Sophist
    Sophist January 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm |

    …so I can only assume you probably don’t think I qualify as a ‘real’ woman anyway.

    Um, there are actually a bunch of things you could do other than assume that.

  36. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane January 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm |

    @Sophist Okay, I’ll bite… such as?

    Sure, there are other assumptions I could make, but in the context of the Q Grrl’s other comments, and given that historically transmisogynists lack creativity in their bigotry, it’s a pretty safe bet.

    Seriously, though, did you have anything useful to add, or did you just feel like taking a drive-by?

  37. Sophist
    Sophist January 10, 2010 at 9:40 pm |

    @Sophist Okay, I’ll bite… such as?

    Such as not making unwarrented assumptions about someone so you can feel self-righteous? It seems like there’s enough to fight about in Q’s posts (e.g. — apparently, if a function doesn’t have more than 4000 in attendence, nothing that happens there counts) without putting in things that aren’t actually there. How is that something “useful to add”?

  38. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane January 10, 2010 at 9:45 pm |

    36 comments in on a thread in which I’ve had to defend against things I haven’t even said, and you want to school me on tone?

    I’m done.

  39. piny
    piny January 10, 2010 at 9:59 pm |

    Let’s just ignore all the hard and necessary work that women have done for themselves in the face of incredible misogyny…

    Sorry, Sophist. If we’re gonna nitpick here, gudbuytjane has a point.

  40. Sophist
    Sophist January 10, 2010 at 10:07 pm |

    Oops, I guess I missed that.

    Comment retracted.

  41. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane January 11, 2010 at 5:42 am |

    “Comment retracted.”

    Because it’s that easy. Because trans women have to work from a position of defending everything we say to criticism from others, and the rare time people acknowledge that they’ve made an error they get to decide to respond to that or not.

    Seriously, Feministe, this is the kind of cisfail I’m used to elsewhere. Letting cissupremacist, transmisogynisyt comments be published as part of ‘discourse,’ expecting trans women to answer points that had nothing to do with what they said because someone has launched into a tired old screed of complaint about the mean old trans ruining their feminism?

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