Yesterday I fucked up big-time.
I identified Helen G of bird of paradox as a cis woman with a long history of appropriating trans experiences, both in this space and at my main blog. This is an act of erasure and verbal violence against a trans woman who does not need to be shit over any more. It places me on the level of many others that I have hypocritically taken to task for their crimes against trans women - even worse.
It could have been easily avoided, but I was not careful enough in my writing and reporting. It continues the cis feminist tradition of centering cis women in discussion of trans issues, and appropriating and erasing the work and words of trans women without credit or thought.
I furthered this hateful act by not taking my hurtful actions seriously enough and immediately apologizing and taking responsibility. I did not realize how grave my mistake was until I read her post this morning. Clearly, I am not qualified to be writing about trans women if I am capable of such violence and callousness.
I apologize without reservations to Helen G and any and all others who were hurt by this unforgivable and appropriative act. I have a lot of learning and listening to do, so per her request, I will be silent on trans issues for a while.
Thanks and apologies also to Kinsey, who helped me to understand and work through this in a way that stole her spoons. She’s a good friend, and deserves better.
You know, if you enjoy being mean on the Internet sometimes — and I sure do! — it’s important to have a rigorous ethical code, concerning your targets. If you pick on folks who are too low-profile, too inexperienced, too ill-equipped to defend themselves, or simply too clueless, you run the risk of becoming a bully. And nobody wants to be a bully. But how do we decide that it’s okay to pick on someone? How do we avoid aiming rocket launchers at squirrels? Or some other metaphor for inappropriate-force-applied-to-unworthy-or-undeserving-target-ish-stuff? How do we, in other words, define “fair game?”
2. Be well read - Twilight and Harry Potter are not the kind of literature guys will want to discuss over dinner. Check out books by C.S. Lewis, Stephen Covey, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Gray, Seth Godin, Ayn Rand, or Chuck Palahniuk. Yes, guys that read books by these authors will probably be the ones that in five years won’t be swilling beer on the couch watching football with their buddies all day sunday while you ‘tend to the kids’ or are cleaning all day.
OH MY GOD THIS WHOLE THING IS PATRIARCHAL GOLD. This dude, whoever he is, is SO INVESTED in the idea that women live to meet the confounding standards of the male gaze.
Some of my favorite other lines:
Yes, guys will look at your (tight) pants with “love, cute, diva, pink, and sweet”, but few will think it is “cute” or view you as a “diva”. Seriously.
Every day when I get dressed, I wonder, “how can I best make [fella] think I am a ‘diva’? These pajama pants with clouds on them that I have had for a decade will surely do the trick!”
Also, eliminate saying ‘like’ in front of words. People aren’t ‘like’ going somewhere, and they aren’t ‘like’ mad. They are simply ‘going’ somewhere or ‘mad’.
When guys see pictures of girls with that drunk baby oil sheen on their faces, they don’t see ‘future wife’, they see easy.
Because what I really want is for some guy I barely know is to look at me and IMMEDIATELY “imprint” on me (as the kids might say).
Good guys (read that again) don’t expect a size 2 (NO, they don’t) but in a battle between two women that use my previous nine suggestions, the skinnier one will probably win. Guys have the same battle but its with the size of our wallets, so don’t think it is one sided.
Most fat women (read that again) are not idealized in pop culture (NO, they’re not), but in doing battle with a skinnier woman who equally adheres to arbitrary standards, the one with the better left hook/bazooka/biting wit will probably win.
And I’ll just note, before Dad-isms decides that I’m just bitter and too lazy to get a good guy, that my fat ass has had a lovely fella for years. While biting my nails, yelling about Harry Potter, living in sweatpants, and putting tons of drunk pictures of myself up on Facebook all the way.
…does anyone know of some good Fatshion blogs to follow? Because I very much enjoy seeing clothes that, you know, I could possibly wear.
(And, yes, I will hunt around on my own, just if one of you knows something off the top of your head, that would be cool. Thanks.)
My favorite favorite favorite is Definatalie.com. LOVE HER, gorgeous art and a gorgeous woman.
I also love fatshionable.com, which has terrific photography and a STUNNING lady at the helm.