I never really had a teleological purpose for this blog, as such. Except maybe blasphemy and iconoclasm … also known as my religion that isn’t a religion, AKA satanic feminism. We all knew this wasn’t going to be voted most congenial, so I’ve lingered in philosophical indiscretions because the rant — the “pain of speech” as a colleague of mine called the anti-genre — was the only discourse I trusted.
From what I can tell, mainstream trans feminism has turned into a comitatus, a clan structure of conflict and scions.
I truly think the Goldberg v Trans-Central-Station incident initiated some kind of nervous breakdown in my writerly sense of queer culture’s impossibility. I saw something very unholy happen in the peace treaty that concluded the “dispute”. This is, no doubt, for profit. Identity politics are for sale; and I’ve never seen a civil rights movement for intent on selling their invented subjectivties as memoirs than with trans activism. The cling wrap rhetoric will be the new glahanded discourse of politesse, and trans feminism swings in such directions I don’t belong in that category anymore. I quit, or I can only revolt.
The whole reason I became an academic was to give myself freedom in the venturing of my thought. To have my thoughts beholden to no one. I am, Cassandra-like, aghast as at the congenial collaborating that’s restructuring feminism into but a new order of control: the genre and discourse change, but the hierarchy remains. I’ll probably write more on Marxist feminism — it’s eerie how trans popularity is now dividing into ‘entertainer’ and ‘intellectual’ classes, with obvious race and class distinctions . . . I know these women are doing the absolute best they can, but the very structures their platforms are built upon will raise them up to different levels.
I will now most likely be saying some analysis that will no doubt be getting me meme’d as a TERF . . . [oh, and I will no longer use 'TERF" on this blog, and instead will use 'RF' for Raymondian feminism]; or the usual anti-intellectual jibes such as ‘academic’ or ‘pretentious’, or an HBSer [an acronym intended to belittle, n'est-ce pas? Hence why I will no longer say TERF] . . . anyway, I’ve also been told I’m geeky and unemployed . . . or Pro-Ana, because I support Deleuzian readings of anorexia that do not stigmatize the woman anorexic’s body as a female blood sacrifice for patriarchy … trans community me arse … by a crowd under the anthem of “always was! always was!’ spoken with a Born-Again’s zealotry.
Look : I’ve been called of the above things by other trans women — we know the tables are always turning, and we turn on each other, I’ve my regrets and apologies — so I soon renounced my place, but really the bolts to my seat were screwed undone. “We didn’t really mix together”. It’s impossible to trust movements — are not new orders just systems redone?
To be honest I’m really most happy writing in psychoanalysis and philosophy and connecting our activism to the traditions of critical enquiry. I’m exhausted of having to play “Serano Says” and trying to defend untenable ideas about sacrosanct ‘gender identity’ and ‘unconscious sex’ kernels, or definitions of ‘cis’ that have been crumbling under the slightest of critical analysis. Trans feminism needs to lose its Jungian romanticism. I would like to write more introductory essays to famous texts of second and third wave feminism to help introduce readers. Write more esoteric readings on popular subcultures in Japan, perhaps translating cool, geeky feminist blogs from the Japanese. That’s certainly a direction I’ll more earnestly be going; and if I accrue a circle of an erudite audience who wants to think through these critical, radical issues of women with me — then I am blessed by a readership. No longer interested in movements, but in thinkers — and the truth is I find such individuals all over the terrain of radical feminist throughout. I want there to be a counterpoint to gentrification of trans activism, the queer capital of vonnections and background checks. (“A Trans Women Struggles With Irigaray And Radical Feminism” will be my next forthcoming essay.) The purpose was never numbers or handshakes. What we need is revolution not reform. My flag is with radicalism.
I would trust, despite the most intense periods of self destructive depression from gender dysphoria that I survived for so very long, that I have something to offer and live and work for. I hope. I type.
My next post will be “One Trans Woman’s Irigaray: Me, Luce, and Radical Feminism”. Reflecting on my preparations to lecture on The Handmaid’s Tale, I revisited some of the radical feminist works of the early 90s, especially Grosz and her relationship to psychoanalysis and reproduction rights. This material feminism has strong critiques of transsexual ontology that are not easy to shrug off. I’ll consider my experiences rediscovering radical feminism, especially by French authors, in how I approach teaching patriarchy and anti-womanism in Atwood. As my readership will no doubt be further shrinking, I’ll be posting essays less frequently. I’ll be taking the rest of the month on the next one, I reckon. I hope you’ll be about when it’s published.