Who’s Afraid of Germaine Greer?

–Mary Daly
“Reminder that sex is fake”
— Jenna Costigan (male transwoman)
^can you spot the difference?^

Early on in my transition, when I was living in Vancouver, I was physically assaulted whilst boarding a bus. My back had been turned, my hands occupied with digging in my purse for a ticket . . . when a solid fist struck me from the side, a peripheral sucker punch in the form of a hockey player’s slug.

He yelled “TRANNY!” and trotted away at a mild gait, unhindered by any witnesses.

This thug’s annoyance resulted from me having just declined his offer of a nugget of crack cocaine (or meth, as if I can tell …) in exchange for an alleyway blowjob. Since I was a transwoman waiting for public transit, I was clearly available to be propositioned for sex.

One thing I know for certain as I look back on that incident: this viscious bloke had never read Simone de Beauvoir. He had never read Germaine Greer.

He was a homophobic arsehole whose insecurities and male privilege entitled him to random acts of violence.

But, in the butterfly-effect politics of transgenderism, an academic lecturing in Wales who can define woman (adult human female), without mealymouthing around the issue, is somehow responsible for me getting smacked on the skull in YVR … and more so for the murder of transwomen (too often poor and of a racial minority) by savage men (always by men).

Let’s be honest about liberals and their armchair activism:  slagging off older women on twitter or from the ivory tower is a hell of a lot easier than confronting actual male violence.

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When Liberal Men Attack

I receive many emails like this, every week, almost invariably from middle-age white men.

Intriguingly, they fancy themselves as supporters of the trans community.

Mr Porter Pickard, a “producer and facilitator” with the Barrow Group out of NYC, had sent me unpleasant messages on FaceBook because I am a transsexual with the incorrect political viewpoint. After I blocked him there, requesting that he “go away”, Pickard began sending me legitimately transphobic missives like the following:


These are your “male allies” who are defending transgenderism.

Porter Pickard, acting demo reel

The Elite Educators who Won’t Define Female

“The body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our grasp on the world and our sketch of our project”.
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex

Following from the peripheries as I have on recent efforts to eliminate sex-specific protections for female pupils in the Edmonton school system — I’ve seen the liberal cadres line up to dole out the platitudes.

The usual suspects, as they say: prominent journalists pushing monocular views on transgenderism; well-paid professors (usually male), flush with public funds and organizing hostile media scrums; and, princesses of the lot: the transwoman “mum of the year” and the late transitioning male of aggressive activism and award hoarding, both looking to cash-in their cultural capital whilst the good ship TS Caitlyn still has some steam left.

Gender functions as a social currency, and its trade-value right now is high.

Yet … what I have not heard from any of these individuals — who collectively have decades worth of education and hundreds of thousands of dollars in income — is a semblance of sensitivity as to why teenage girls would not wish to undress before PE Lesson in front of teenage boys.

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What Does Being a Catholic Transwoman Look Like? An Interview with Melinda Selmys

Recently, my dear friend and fellow Catholic blogger Melinda Selmys — author of Sexual Intimacy — kindly requested to interview me. We both concur that, particularly in the emerging discussions about transsexuals and participation in the faith life of the Catholic Church, trans voices are routinely dismissed, elided, ignored, or pathologized into abstraction. This interview, we hope, enacts a willingness to listen to the actual experiences of trans Catholics. The Church does not “hate” us; and I am optimistic for the future of our roles as coparticipants in the sanctity of Catholic worship and practice. I thank Melinda sincerely for sharing her platform with me to explore these possibilities.

Melinda, with my permission, has published an abbreviated version of the interview on her blog.

For those who would like to see the entirety of my response, I post my answers below.

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Cover of My Forthcoming Book

I’m absolutely delighted to share with you, fresh from the production team at McGill-Queen’s University Press, the cover to my forthcoming book. And it’s legitimately squee-worthy!

(On a personal note, I will never grow tired of thanking the lovely folks at MQUP. All of them showed me tremendous care, courtesy, and sensitivity in accommodating my gender transition, as did all three of my anonymous referees. What might have been awkward was, instead, waveless, steady, and totally considerate. I received more support than I had imagined. Special thanks to Mark Abley for his expert guidance, and colossal patience, in working with me as an editor.)


(My book will be available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book editions, in early Spring, 2016).

Some aoiferrata:

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Oliver’s Twist: On Men Lecturing Women on How to be the Woman 

Despite flirting with fluorescent hair-dye, and other temporary signs of the queer anti-establishment prowess, transgenderists actually adore institutional validation.

In fact, they seek it. They demand it, adorn themselves with it like medals purchased from a pawn shop, and then demand some more.

Thus, success in trans terms invariably coincides with the stuff society insists are the indicators/symptoms of neoliberal accomplishment:  trans people in the military; or appearing cropped and photoshopped on magazine covers; and — coup de foudre — primetime telly, including collaborating with the same network that brought us 19 Kids and Counting.

Every weekly listicle on “How to be an awesome trans ally”  has, as a midpoint, the rejection of the  “you’re so brave narrative” as exoticizing “inspiration porn“.  But the status quo dispenses Courage Awards to trans “heroes” as if they were from a gold-star Pez dispenser.

In transgender parlance, they like to call all of this visibility. Really, however, it’s just limelight … virtually indistinguishable from any other sensationalistic seizure when the marginal is staged for public spectacle. Trans activists insist always, this is about self-definition — but really it’s more about collusion, with whatever vector of validation offers prestige, money, and publicity. Which of course is “self-definition” — through wealth and fame.

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Second in a series: feminist writings that have influenced us

From Aoife:

“If women be educated for dependence; that is, to act according to the will of another fallible being, and submit, right or wrong, to power, where are we to stop?” –Mary Wollstonecraft

We at Gender Apostates are a diverse lot; despite this, we find encouragement and support in that — while acknowledging the differences in our varied backgrounds and experiences — we collaborate through the honest sharing of our experiences. As individuals, who are both trans and not trans, we do not pretend to share a singular point of view but enact, by acknowledging the ways in which gender has hurt and limit us, to push past the rhetoric of identity and category as a cooperative endeavour.

Every Thursday at Gender Apostates is Feminist Reading day. Last week, my very dear friend Sass shared some of her favorite authors and the impact they had on the raising of her consciousness. Week 2, and it’s Aoife’s turn! This exercise in creating lists, while quite appealing to the book nerd within, is not intended to canonize essential texts, or to promote certain writings as superior to others. Rather, these are personal reflections on the women whose words have instructed my awareness. I am a work in progress.

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On Living and Surviving as a Controversial Construction (Full Text)

(Editorial note: I reproduce here on aoifeschatology an essay that I originally published on the Gender Apostates collective. You can also follow us on twitter.) This was my first post for this emergent coalition that is discussing and debating gender through collaborative engagement. I’m proud to be a contributing member of GA: some very interesting words and ideas of risk-taking honesty are being exchanged. This could offer, I trust, the potential for more inquiry. Currently, too many forums have restricted and factional presentations of these issues concerning gender and sex.



I am a transsexual who is critical of transgenderist politics. This puts me at odds with both much of Radical Feminism (which sees me as a womanfaced appropriator of the female form for gendered leverage and sexual gratification) and queer activism (which views me as truscum heretic, a hypocritical denier of trans identities, or strangely a ‘radical feminist’).

I am not a radical feminist, nor a liberal feminist. Or any feminist. However, at least for a time, I was most infamous as a critic of that misogynistic cultural hallucination known quaintly as gender(*) identities, and the deceitful liberal politicking that excuses it called “transgenderism”. I find it utterly disagreeable that trans activism arrogantly rejects outright ‘female bodied’ as a classificatory category of fact. My views on the ethics of sex differentiation have changed dramatically in the last year. I am still learning.

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