Conference Presentation, June, U of PEI

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be presenting a paper at The L. M. Montgomery Institute’s 12th Biennial Conference, “Montgomery and Gender”, hosted by the University of Prince Edward Island.

My paper is entitled “Breaking Slates like a Girl: Prescriptive Femininity and Anne’s Embodied Gender.” Applying Iris Marion Young’s theorizing of female comportment as a physical tension to Anne of Green Gables, I asses how Anne’s encounter with gender is, before emotion or cognition, a material locution of authority and resistance. In my analysis, Anne is neither fully complicit with nor dismissive of the feminine as corporeal event of subject formation. I will be considering depictions of Anne from both English and Japanese language contexts.

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This is a very much a lovely opportunity, given my own longstanding admiration for Montgomery, as both fan and scholar, to visit PEI and speak on Anne and regulatory femininity, two of my favorite topics for commentary.

L.M.Montgomery_and_Gender

 

New Year’s Personal Note

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“I suppose I’ve always known that one day you were going to ask ‘how dare I?'”

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

 

As is the custom here at aoifeschatology.com, I’d like to wish all of you a most Happy New Year, as well as a forthcoming 2016 that will be full of courage, love, and true friendship. This was, alas my first year without access to TVJapan, so I’m writing this personal note, rather than imbibing strong drink and singing along to Kōhaku.

But that’s a minor quibble: Happy New Year!

明けましておめでとうございます

今年もよろしくお願いします

Unquestionably, 2015 was my year of independence, constituted upon two principles: individuality and motion. January was a long, sutured repose of healing after SRS. Shortly thereafter, typing stiltedly from my recovery bed, I resigned from my job at the university, ferociously disappointed at the botching of my own career and the aftermath of having relinquished a position that, although unsatisfying, had nonetheless been an invested source of too much of my identity. Fortuitously, however, I learned in Spring that my first book would be published, bringing to hardbacked completion what was a wearied abstraction. Then summer: a blur of nearsighted copyediting trying to clean a beast of prose into a polished maestro … or at least something presentable and pride-worthy. Came Autumn: I made the second most important move of my life, to San Francisco. All considered, the bucket-list boxes were checked with a bloodied thumb, battered but beatified. I’m happy.

Yet I end the year with a sickening note of disgust and regret:

My one-year long experiment in having a public twitter account has failed utterly, and I want nothing more to do with the broken groupings driven by motivic and rhythmic disregard for the lives of others. I am, in short, aghast at the disgraces I witnessed, was complicit in, and instigated, or remained reticent from. Through my fault, my most grievous fault. I hate twitter.

This will be a lengthy post, and quite rambling. But that’s typical for me, is it not? Nonetheless, if you are inclined, I urge you to read this entire post, as it represents a major break in my ever evolving ideas. I probably won’t edit this much: you’re getting pure stream of consciousness here, from a distraught heart.

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Interview with Giacomo Tessaro and Daniel Hitchens (In Italian)

A popular and respected Italian LGBT magazine — Progetto Gionata, which writes frequently on matters of gender, sexuality, and Catholicism — has published a translation of my interview with Daniel Hitchens  that had appeared in The Catholic Herald.

“La società e la Chiesa cattolica in cerca di risposte sulle persone transgender”

Thank you to Giacomo Tessaro for his efforts in bringing these issues to new audiences

Forthcoming Book Available for Pre-Order

My first monograph — Ancestral Recall: The Celtic Revival and Japanese Modernism is now available for pre-order at Amazon in paperback, hardback, and ebook formats. My publisher is the fabulous McGill-Queen’s UP, Canada’s top academic press, who feature my work in their Spring Catalogue (39).

In this book, I critique the confluences of Japanese and Irish nationalisms in translation that imagined the cultural psychology of gender through sexist ideations. In particular, I examined the intermingling of anthropological texts, nativist folklore, and heritage as gendered embodiment across a transnational dynamic, in the early twentieth century, between these  two island geographies.

You can read a very nice thing my editor, Mark Abley, said about Ancestral Recall.

Gratefully, I was awarded full funding for publication costs from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program. Most of the writing and revising was sponsored during a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship. I thank both of these agencies for their support.

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Interview with Daniel Hitchens in The Catholic Herald

Along with my dear, learned friend and coreligionist Anna Magdalena, I discussed with Daniel Hitchens my perspectives on the Cathechism and the theological position of transsexual embodiment in the liturgical praxis of the Catholic Church.

The interview — “What’s the Truth about Transsexuality?” — appears in The Catholic Herald.

I sincerely thank Mr Hitchens for his respectful and compassionate engagement with me on this controversial topic: too often, in media evaluations of Catholic transsexuals, the extremist theses tend to be nothing goes or everything goes. Instead, Daniel has brought much needed nuance, sensitivity, and forthright complexity in approaching our lives as transwomen who practice our religion with integrity and devotion . . . however problematic or paradoxical, however passionate and profound.

Most importantly, he allowed us to speak freely as ourselves, as to what our faith and participation means to us as members of the Catholic Church.

Interview with Michelle Goldberg in Slate

Slate has just published an article entitled “Trans Women who Say That Trans Women Aren’t Women: Meet the Apostates of the Trans Rights Movement“: written by Michelle Goldberg and featuring interview commentary from myself, and several of my friends and colleagues who who write at Gender Apostates.

I sincerely thank Michelle, whose respectful and empathetic approach to our discussions was evidenced in every word we exchanged, and who has written — in my estimation — a fair and honest piece. She has brought forward our opinions and analysis, ones too often anathematized by transgenderist ideology, in an earnest manner. Indeed, Michelle has given us a chance at contribution that few in the media are willing to provide. I am grateful for her willingness to dialogue with me.

I’ll be filing an addendum to this interview here, based on my own followup reflections, over the forthcoming week.

Transwomen are transwomen. It’s OK.

Pax,

Aoife

Who’s Afraid of Germaine Greer?

–Mary Daly
fak
“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:

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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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