Straight Lady Tells Lesbians That Our Desire to Avoid Peen is Transphobic

March 21, 2012

Blame Canada

Cathy Brennan bugbrennan@gmail.com
to Jill.Filipovic@gmail.com
date Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 4:11 PM
subject Feministe’s Lesbophobia
mailed-by gmail.com
hide details 4:11 PM (1 minute ago)
 
Jill - Why is it transphobic for Lesbians to have concerns over the so-called cotton ceiling theory? Lesbians are not barrier to be broken. I am appalled that you would characterize a petition calling out a BLATANTLY rapey concept as transphobic.

Best,
Cathy

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About Cathy Brennan

Gender Atheist.

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12 Comments on “Straight Lady Tells Lesbians That Our Desire to Avoid Peen is Transphobic”

  1. Andrea Rosenfield Says:

    Step one: Convince you the peen is female because it’s wrapped in a skirt.
    Step two: Take away the skirt.

    It’s “Reparative Therapy,” 3rd-wave style.

    Please tell me that “It’s OK baby, my weenie is female” doesn’t actually WORK on anyone. Next line after that has to be, “Just relax and try to enjoy it.”

  2. Rose Says:

    I am one straight woman who is with you, and I think the radfem position on this issue is absolutely correct. Obviously, as we see with this conference, trans women can have their own spaces; I think that WBW are entitled to them too. I also believe that a woman who has been physically assaulted has the right to deal with biological female counselors, just as she has the right to choose her own doctor.

    No one has to “interrogate” their own desires for anyone else, for any reason. None of us need an excuse to not be attracted to someone, and that includes lesbians. The fact that some male-bodied persons desire sex with people who categorically do not desire them is their own problem.

  3. Ashley Says:

    There is a difference between coercing people into sex and questioning why attraction occurs. It’s not “rapey” to question statements such as “I don’t have sex with fat chicks” from straight men because the point is to unpack the patriarchal standards of beauty that such a statement represents. I think this conference is doing the same thing.

    ED. NOTE – IF YOU ARE SO CONCERNED ABOUT THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF DESIRE, YOU SHOULD TURN YOUR SIGHTS TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AS SEXXY/EROTIC/EDGY. IT IS EVERYWHERE AND IT IS FUCKING DISGUSTING. IT DOESNT JUST MAKE WOMEN FEEL EXCLUDED FROM REAL LOVE AND FULL PARTICIPATION IN THE HUMAN COMMUNITY, IT ACTUALLY CAUSES US TO CONFUSE HATE WITH LOVE. ITS A MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM THAN TRANS ACCESS TO LESBIAN VAGINA. ALSO, LESBIANS DON’T WANT MALE SEXUAL PARTNERS. THAT’S NOT BIGOTRY. TRANS WOMEN MIGHT BE WOMEN, BUT THEY ARE NOT FEMALE.

    • Lysandra Says:

      Ashely, as a long-time fat activist I really do not appreciate you comparing the two.

      For one thing, questioning the trend of men who say “no sex with fat chicks” is not the same thing as holding a workshop for fat women to discuss ways to COERCE men into having sex with them. THAT as far as I’m aware has never happened, and if you can show me where it has, then I’ll be shocked.

      Second, the privilege dynamics are reversed. The MEN who say “no sex with fat chicks” are part of the privileged sex class, and the WOMEN they are rejecting are part of the oppressed sex class. In the case of the “cotton ceiling,” it is privileged MALES trying to coerce oppressed FEMALES into sex.

      I have no problem with theorizing about desirability at a social level. Talk about depictions of trans persons as undesirable in mainstream media or among sub-culture and I’ll support you 100%. But a bunch of male-bodied people sitting around talking about literally “breaking through” a woman’s panties has absolutely NOTHING to do with the desirability critique of the fat acceptance movement. Please, before you throw my movement under the bus, give some thought to what you are saying.

    • ned Says:

      Other than endorsing everything Lysandra is saying, I’d just like to add that it is entirely possible to host an event for transwomen in relationships with biowomen (or to bring together transwomen and biowomen who are interested in dating them) to discuss sex and intimacy issues without ever using a phrase as ridiculous as “cotton ceiling”. Nobody has an issue with transwomen and their willing biofemale partners — it’s the whole way this issue has been framed, as if lesbians who aren’t attracted to transwomen are somehow inherently transphobic. The real issue is that some (though by no means all) transwomen want their subjective gender identities validated no matter what the reality is, even at the expense of women’s and lesbians’ struggles.

      My message to transwomen is simple: just drop the “cotton ceiling” phrase. It’s extremely offensive and it completely erases the actual dynamics that exist between biological men and women on a systemic level.

  4. ned Says:

    Feministe, along with Jezebel, is a completely fail feminist website, so this doesn’t surprise me at all. Your original comment was not transphobic in the least.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. On The “Cotton Ceiling”, Rape Culture, and Feministe « smashesthep - March 21, 2012

    [...] Instead of engaging with the petition as it was written, against rape culture and for a woman’s right to choose her own sexual partner(s) for whatever reason(s) she chooses, I was lambasted with unkind names such as “bigot”, “transphobe”, “self-righteous idiot”, and told to “fuck off” for criticizing the conference. I was even called names by the moderator. [...]

  2. Intersectionality Has Its Limitations | You think I just don't understand, but I don't believe you. - December 28, 2012

    [...] and ban us; it’s your right. (Oh and btw, Greco isn’t the first woman to do this; Jill Filopovic did the same thing on her page earlier this [...]

  3. What About the WOMEN? | You think I just don't understand, but I don't believe you. - March 15, 2013

    [...] Jill Filipovic, who thinks Transgender Women Are Women, almost got this in a piece she wrote for the Guardian: [...]

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