LGBT, Get in here

1 Sep

Dear Gay People, we need to talk

Right now, you need this book. You need to read it yesterday.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

You’ve got all the legal rights that anyone else has, all the legislation has been passed. What you’re fighting for now…all that’s left…is for people to like you.  And no amount of fighting, name-calling, militancy, activism, or other coercion will accomplish that.

Oh, we get it. You were fed the Riddle Scale of ‘homophobia’ that says if people aren’t actively loving you and supporting you and celebrating you, then they are still homophobic.  And so now you believe that other people need to change until they are actively supporting you, celebrating you and loving you.  Oh boy.

Where do I begin?  Well, we’d better go back to the beginning. Nobody has to like anyone. We get to consent who we care about, support and celebrate. We get to choose on a very personal level, who we are friends with, who we accept, and who we hang with.  Heterosexuals do not all like, accept, tolerate, support, celebrate or love each other.  We don’t have to like each other, and no, we don’t HAVE to like you. Or celebrate you, or support you. We don’t have to be friends, buddies or pals with anyone who we don’t want to.  Its a human right to choose our friends and acquaintances ourselves. We don’t owe our time or energy to anyone else. This is a consent issue. We get to choose.

  • Forcing people to like you by calling them names, won’t make them like you.
  • Getting people to like you by public shaming them, won’t make them like you.
  • Activism, marches, protests, parades, wont make people like you.

In fact, most of that is going to backfire in a spectacular way. This is why I’m writing. Trying to coerce someone into accepting you, supporting you, liking you and celebrating you, will only have the opposite effect.

What does work? That book I linked. Read it. And I have some more tips for you.

Become interesting.  If the most important thing about yourself, is that you are gay, if that’s your beginning and end, and that is all there will ever be about you, you aren’t going to win anyone over but other gay people. There MUST be more to you than who you fool around with. Hell, we all fool around; there is really nothing interesting about fooling around once you’ve done it a few times. Nobody cares, dude/tte. You have more to you than that, don’t you?  “Hi, Im Toby and I’m an artist. I’ve got a show at a gallery downtown” is interesting to other people. “Hi, Im Toby and I’m gay” is interesting only to other gay people who want to get down. BE more than your alphabet letter in the LGBTQQLMNOP. Surely, there is MORE to you than that.  There is more to heterosexual people than who they prefer to bump uglies with, and you really do want there to be more to you than your sexuality. At the end of your life, you don’t want to reminisce ‘What have I done with my life? Well, I was gay, so there’s that’.  If being gay is your entire identity, then don’t expect anyone to jump at the chance to be your friend.  (if your only interest in life, if your entire identity is being ‘into trains’, and trains are all you want to talk about, then don’t expect anyone but other train-nerds to hang with you.) Surely… SURELY… there is more to you than being homosexual.

Be Nice. Acceptance and friendship, celebration and support, must have common ground.  You’ll catch flies with honey, not vinegar. But naturally you wont get all the flies anyway. Be nice to everyone, and some will like you.  Stop with the over-dramatic name-calling ‘They don’t accept me, so they are homophobic’.  Not everyone will like you, and not everyone has to like you, so if someone doesn’t like you, move on. Seriously, let it go. Calling names to people who don’t like you is going to make them like you even less. And its going to make other people dislike you too. Calling people ‘homophobic’ is a punishment tool, a revenge upon them for not liking you, and everyone knows it.

Slap yourself awake. Nobody HAS to accept you. Hell, they don’t have to accept each other. Where do you get this notion, this deep-seated need for 7 billion other strangers to like and accept you for who you are?  Because it makes up for not liking yourself. I know that’s hard to hear, but there it is. You got to work on liking yourself first. Because when you like yourself, you won’t need the approval and acceptance of anyone else, let alone strangers. You got to get happy with who you are, and you got to like yourself first. Then you won’t need to go groveling for others to like you who never will. THEY don’t have to like you.  YOU have to like you.

GET REAL.  There’s only a tiny rare segment of population that hates you.  Just like any other spectrum, there’s a spectrum of opinions about homosexuality; it’s not an either/or (either everyone must love and accept us or they are homophobic.) That’s B.S., and you know it, I know it, everyone knows it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Their body, their choice. That’s a consent issue.  Even more so than their body/their choice, is their mind/their choice. Most people don’t care about it or you. In fact, the big bell-curve bulge in the middle consists of people who just want to ‘live and let live’.  Let them be, they’ll let you be. Live and let live. Tolerate them, and they’ll tolerate you.

‘Just Like’.  Are you really ‘just like’ everyone else? Do you want to be? That’s up to you, but if you want to say you are ‘just like’ heterosexuals then you might want to take a page from their book.  Aside from celebrities, how many straight people do you know who parade their sexuality in graphic ways?  You don’t have to be ‘just like’ straight people, but if you behave differently, then don’t expect to be treated the same.  I know this is anecdotal, but I didn’t know one of my co-workers was gay for a long time, till someone tried to set him up on a blind date and he said ‘no thanks’.  They responded with ‘What, you don’t like girls?’ and he laughed and said ‘No, I actually don’t.’  You do you, but if you want to be thought of as ‘just like’ straight people, then ‘just like’ requires being ‘just like’.

Um…you really want to stop comparing yourselves to animals.  “But animals do it, so homosexuality is ‘natural’.” Animals hump anything. Turtles hump rocks. Moose and rhinos hump cars. Animals hump dead animals. They’ll hump anything that moves and anything in the way, because the instinct to procreate is so strong and mindless.  Hump hump hump hump hump hump. Dogs hump coffee table legs and human legs, and it doesn’t make them legosexuals.  They are merely mindless rutting beasts. Humans don’t stick their shit in everything just because ‘instinct’, even when they get that random unexpected boner. I don’t think you do yourself any favors when you compare yourselves to mindless rutting beasts. That’s just me, though.






POC and conservative, Part I

20 Mar

The short version:

  • In December 2008 I was a democrat who voted for Obama.
  • In 2012 I voted for no one.
  • In 2016 I changed my registration to Republican so I could vote for Donald Trump in the primaries.


Obama promised us the world. The media fawned all over him. (The media wouldn’t lie, would it?) We believed it all. Here was change coming! All in!

By 2012 none of the changes or promises had come. Black income was down. The plight of people of color had gotten worse. Far worse.

And by 2016 it was obvious they weren’t going to come. Democrat-run cities like Chicago and Detroit were war zones. Black people killing each other (and swept under the rug.) And illegal immigrants were getting all the benefits and money and support that had been redirected away from black and other minority CITIZENS.

Let me tell you something maybe you didn’t know. Did you happen to see that video floating around of Hillary Clinton calling young black people ‘super predators’? That took place during the push for her husband’s 1994 Crime Bill- one that took focus off rehabilitation and poured black people into prison.  Did you know that? After that bill, every one of your play cousins spent time in jail. Your uncles did. It took fathers away from families, making black families poorer and removing their mentors and role models and incomes. Now I am NOT saying that anyone who commits crimes should be let free, no. But the Clinton Crime Bill put more minorities in jail than whites for the same offenses and levels of offenses.

That’s what democrats did for you. They ruined our families and ruined our towns. They kept promising all along they’d make things better for you. They gave you the first black president, and what did he do? Not a damn thing. Imagine, such an amazing opportunity.  You are the leader of the free world and you have more power than anyone. More privilege than anyone. Oh if you look at the media they will say he accomplished things. But you haven’t felt it, because he didn’t do any of those things for you.

They say he rescued the economy. Do you have a job? Do you have income?

Now, here’s the kicker. You’re not getting those benefits that you were promised. Those benefits are going to illegal immigrants. YOU’RE an American citizen, but your benefits and your jobs are going to illegal immigrants.’s another one. When YOU commit a crime, you’re going to jail. That Clinton Crime bill makes sure of it.  But when an illegal immigrant commits a crime, they won’t go to jail, they will just get deported (if the ICE can catch them). And they get to go to a “Sanctuary City” to be protected against deportation.

YOU are the American citizen. But the liberals and democrats have pushed you to the curb. You don’t exist in numbers large enough to be useful to them anymore. The influx of illegal immigrants is bigger in number than you are, so they want THEIR votes. You don’t matter to democrats. You been kicked.

Before you disagree or discount this, watch this first:




How White Privilege can Help Stop Black Deaths

24 Jul

There’s no doubt that Black Lives Matter and many black people, see the deaths of black people at the hands of police as a huge problem.   It is a problem that BLM and many others do not know how to address aside from protests, sometimes which rob the rights of others by blocking their free travel or unlawfully restraining them, and often with hateful rhetoric, calls to violence, and even the committing of shameful or horrifyingly violent acts. But in the same way that the concept of White Privilege may have exacerbated the reactions of black individuals to an extreme against the police profession as a whole, perhaps it can be used in the same way to help reverse the process.

White privilege is not just something that you’re born with by the accidental color of your skin; it proliferates due to the prevailing culture of Whiteness.  Whites are taught their white culture by living it, just as any other race or ethnicity learns their own culture.  And the differences in what white children and black children are actively taught or passively learn within their respective cultures, AS their culture, contributes to the yawning gap of “Privilege”.

Fortunately, that part of White Privilege – the part that is taught or learned as part of white culture, can be learned from.  While learning from White Privilege will not ever enough to eliminate the Privilege gap, it might just be enough to help minimize black deaths at the hands of police.

White Privilege teaches that crime is bad.  Naturally, not every white person internalizes this lesson, but most whites grow up with a firm taboo against crime of any kind, and living a bad guys/good guys mentality that is reinforced by their movies, books, games and other entertainment.  If you’re not one of the good guys, then you’re one of the bad guys, and  it becomes extremely difficult for most whites to break their cultural conditioning and cross over from being the “good guy” they grew up as, to a “bad guy” with their first crime against another person.   Contrasted with a pervasive part of black culture in which committing crimes does not make you a “bad person”, this bit of white privilege in the form of their cultural conditioning could be extremely useful if it were freely shared.

Statistically, it is likely that every black person in America has a friend or family member in jail right now, as a result of crime.  Oppression and poverty may have lead to the crimes, but whatever the causation, the culture of crime in which all your cousins’ selfies are taken with drugs and guns, and you grow up visiting family members in jail as normal, and the pilfering of petty crimes as ‘winning against the white man’ and soon you become desensitized.  Until when someone is shot in your own community, your culture shuns working with the police as ‘snitching’ against your own culture.

This is a dilemma that black people rarely voice to outsiders.  Facebook memorials to the shooting victim go up, twitter erupts in grief, and the victim’s family and friends decry that ‘police won’t do anything’.  Yet more than one person knows who did the shooting, and no one will say. Because you don’t snitch ‘to the ‘po’ against your own. And as it continues to happen as you grow up, your concept of crime becomes further desensitized and moves firmly into normalization and even acceptance.  When crime becomes normal, it creates self-fulfilling prophecies in related concepts until the police are bad, the judge is wrong, the jury is racist; continuing to keep crime normalized and even welcomed, at its nadir.

For the white privilege concept of crime as “bad” rather than normal, to take root among African Americans will be a multi-dimensional task.  Programs such as D.A.R.E, the schools, teachers, parents, and relatives’ buy-in would be required to change any cultural expectations that see crime as normal. But borrowing this concept from Whiteness and White Privilege, would be a start.

Don’t commit crimes.  Terry Frost, the young black man who was shot and killed during a bank robbery attempt, is not the only young black man to be shot in relation to a police call.  Committing a crime, even a small one, always brings the police to you. And bringing the police to you brings all their training and weapons with them, plus the fact that they are paid to win when they go up against you. They can and do, use force, up to and including deadly force, and that fact is written right into their job descriptions.  Its a poor decision to do anything that brings the cops to you when it is their legal responsibility to use force in cases which require it.

Terry Frost’s father said “I understand he did wrong, but he didn’t have to die for what he did.”  White Privilege accepts that yes, in fact, it was an acceptable outcome to die for committing an armed bank robbery.  A popularly-shared photograph shows a #BLM protestor with a sign that reads ‘NO MOTHER SHOULD HAVE TO FEAR FOR HER SONS LIFE EVERY TIME HE ROBS A STORE.’  Attention!-this is probably shocking for non-white people to hear, but Whiteness accepts this result as a consequence of engaging in criminal acts.  It is an undisputed fact that more white people (both by number as well as percentage of population), are killed by cops each year, than blacks, since the numbers are clear.  Yet white people do not get even mildly upset about the larger numbers of white people killed by cops, because in Whiteness, as we’ve seen, crimes and criminals ‘are bad’ and criminals cause themselves to get killed by police as a direct result of their bad choices and bad actions.  Whiteness celebrates the result of whites getting killed by police during the commission of crimes, as ‘the good guys winning’ and proving to them that their safety system works to keep them protected from ‘the bad guys’.  Whatever color the ‘bad guy’ was that day, its a ‘win’ in the mind of Whiteness.


While it would be next to impossible to borrow this facet of White Privilege, that of ‘criminal comeuppance’, understanding that it exists might help.  Because the law also upholds that such a police shooting is usually justified if the officer believes they or anyone else was in danger due to the crime being committed and the circumstances surrounding that crime.  Such as if the robber has a gun; he (or she) by law doesn’t even have to shoot it or even point it at anyone, because the risk of danger to others is so prevalent and egregious, that it is legally justified for public protection if police pre-emptively shoot the criminal who merely displays or is known to have a gun during the criminal attempt. And the law is what matters as a bottom line.

Comply. The culture of Whiteness engenders a respect for police and authority.  White fathers tell their sons to ‘not move, keep their hands on the wheel, say yes sir and no sir, and do what the nice officer tells them.’  White Privilege understands that they will get their day in court, that the phrase ‘tell it to the judge’ will actually work.  And so they are taught not to resist, not to argue, and especially not to fight back physically in any way, as part of their White Culture that relies on White Privilege. They rely on White Privilege concepts to see they get a fair treatment, hearing or trial. Whereas blacks do not feel they will be treated fairly by the system, they may unfortunately opt to try ‘getting away’ rather than trust to a system they view as helping to oppress them.  And respecting authority, doing what you are told to do, and saying ‘yes sir and no sir’ can stick in an perceived oppressed person’s craw until the only choice one can stomach is to fight back.

Resisting statistically increases the danger of a police-civilian interaction exponentially, whatever your color.  By merely arguing with a police officer, the argument sets up the confrontation’s direction in a negative way, and affirms from the outset that you are not willing to comply.  Since police are paid to specifically to engage with individuals, and they are paid to gain your compliance (‘win’) such confrontations as part of their written job descriptions, the risk outcome of injury is almost always negative to the civilian and not the police officer.   Legally, every act of your resistance, will be met with a level of force higher than your resistance. Legally, the officer is trained to one-up everything you do, in order to get you..or make you..comply.  So you can argue, but you open the door for the police to use hands when you do.  You might shove the officer away from you, but you just opened the door for the police to use a baton.  You might punch the officer in the face, and that can legally open the door for the police to shoot.  Take this video to heart:

That female police officer would have been legally justified, by law, in shooting the man who resisted, even though he was unarmed and even though didn’t succeed in killing the officer with his bare hands.  Because legally, the courts maintain that any police officer who is at risk of becoming incapacitated during a physical fight like this, can shoot their attacker to maintain their own safety and keep you from incapacitating them.  The police job is to win every time you resist.  It doesn’t matter how many times you hit, or if you break every bone in the officer’s face like this one did, or if you just get them down on their back like Darren Wilson did.  The law is what we have to work with, and the law says the police can save themselves from  just the potential of having this happen based upon what they reasonably think you will do based upon what they can observe of you at the time.  And if you have already affirmed you are going to resist, then according to law, its reasonable to assume you might resist them to the point they are injured or dead.

The responding phrase is now a pleading ‘Comply, don’t die’. While White Privilege may not get you the same level of fairness at trial, might not get you the same understanding from a judge, might not get you the same treatment as whites, complying is the single most effective thing you can do to keep you from dying.  Isn’t that a better bottom line?  Comply, don’t die.  Comply and get your day in court to tell it to the judge, and make the most of that day.

Understand the Law. The Law IS what we have to work with.  Not just the written laws, but something called ‘case law’ in which judges determine precedent and interpret the law, all the way up to the Supreme Court.  All the way up the line, all case law has determined that police can save their own lives pre-emptively.   That is, they are allowed by law to shoot first if they reasonably think they are at exigent risk of harm.  Whether you have a gun or not.  Just like in the video above, where the police officer WOULD have been legally justified to shoot and kill the unarmed man, but didn’t and suffered grievous injuries. It has been irresponsible of the media lately to highlight shootings of unarmed civilians and keep that word ‘unarmed’ at the forefront and as part of every headline.  As if the word ‘unarmed’ matters legally.  Because it doesn’t. Because the media is NOT what determines the legality of police shooting an unarmed person.  Public opinion is NOT what determines the legality of police shooting an unarmed person.  The only thing that determines the legality of police shooting an unarmed person is the law, and if the law sees the police officer’s belief at the time that the person was a substantial risk to that officer or to someone else, then the shooting is legal and justified, whether the civilian was armed or not.  It is important to understand that, that ‘unarmed’ does not equal ‘not a danger’ and it does not equal ‘not in danger’.

Why are not African Americans taught this piece of Whiteness, this facet of White Privilege, this important piece of White Culture?  Non-whites may find this shocking, but Whiteness views law as more important than individuals.  White Culture teaches that the good of many outweighs the good of the individual.  So the law, in their minds, becomes somehow a sacred cow that non-whites may have trouble understanding, if you come from a culture that places more importance on the individual than on the laws that govern those individuals.  Then again, they are white men’s laws.  Did African Americans agree to be subject to those laws?  Black Americans (those who came after the slavery experience) did have to, but they are far fewer in number than African Americans who have been affected by the institution of slavery in one way or another and who had no opportunity to agree to be bound by the laws of their importing nation.  And that makes laws, especially white men’s laws suspect, since at one time those laws even said that slavery was legal.  So the law is obviously fallible.  The law can be mistaken. But White Privilege holds onto the rightness of law even when it makes mistakes, and understanding that concept can go a long way into keeping yourself from being killed in a deadly circumstance that the law will uphold.  The right way, according to the concepts of White Privilege, is to challenge and change laws through legislation– not through resistance, let alone violence.

Black Lives Matter..but not more than anyone else’s. Pulling all these idiosyncratic values of White Culture together, it becomes clear how the majority of whites can have real lack of understanding of the issues raised by the #blacklivesmatter movement.  More whites than blacks are killed by cops in the US, but White Culture sees police shootings as comeuppance for criminal acts.  White Culture grasps that cops are human and some may make mistakes, and there could even be a bad apple now and then just like in every job, but that the system works more than it fails.  White Culture respects and trusts the system.  White Culture respects their police for protecting them from crime.  White Culture places a sacredness on their laws. White Culture trusts their police to decide when they need to strike first to save their own lives. More blacks kill each other than are ever killed by cops, and White Culture sees that as a more vital issue. And White Culture sees the killing of a cop as taboo.  As does the law. Police are the physical and legal representatives of law and order and peaceful society, and the legal penalties for killing a cop are harsher than for killing each other.

When we are working within a set of systems that are based on white cultural concepts, if we learn and internalize outside those cultural concepts, we will continue to have difficulty with those systems. We must understand the concepts behind the systems in order to understand the systems. And we must understand the systems in order to be able to work within them.  And we must work within the systems if we are to be able to be successful with them.  And we need to be successful within the systems, in order to survive them.

Comply=Dont Die.  It is the single most effective thing ANYONE, black or white, can do to ensure both their own safety and the safety of the police they interact with.










Not Black Enough

10 Jun

As a mixed race person, I’ve often been told Im ‘not black enough’.  They don’t mean my color, since I’m plenty black. They mean my ‘soul’, that I don’t think how they think a black person should think.  (but come on, every African American in America by now has white in them, so)

We aren’t kind to each other. Our crab-basket mentality keeps ourselves down. If one of us gets a good job and tries to improve then its ‘He actin white’.  If we work to improve our communities, work within the systems then its ‘coon’ or ‘uncle tom’.

But these ideas are put in our heads. They aren’t originally ours.  They have been put there by benevolent racism of the democrats. In 1963, the democrats realized they were on the wrong side of history.  Their generations of enslaving us, their decades of Jim Crow, their KKK and their segregation, were coming to an end.  So they threw us a bone in the form of the Civil Rights Act.


Yes, he said that. And we bought it because it was free money.  Before that moment in time, we had healthy black communities. Our fathers were with their families. We might have received maltreatment from some, BUT we were strong ourselves.  Did you ever hear about black wall street?


Yeah, that was us.  We had our own stores. Our own churches, restaurants, businesses and banks. We had our own schools, our own stores.  We had black Republican congressmen. We had healthy communities.

(And democrats burned Black Wall Street out, btw.)

I’m coming to terms with this. I’ve been a life-long democrat because of the civil rights act.  No republican ever owned a slave. The Republican party was formed to end slavery, and Abraham Lincoln was its first president. Democrats got so angry at the end of slavery, that they shot the president.  The democrats formed the KKK. The democrats made Jim Crow laws. The democrats fought de-segregation. Every responsible black person through those decades was republican.  We were strong.  And Dr. King, republican, made us stronger.

See in 1963, the democrats started handing out money. Welfare made our fathers WORTH LESS than the government.  The father started to become absent from black families. If the government can give you more than your husband, why have a husband? We let the democrats un-man our men.  Benevolent racism is when the democrats tell you, that you NEED them or you can’t make it on your own. Disguised racism is when the democrats tell you that you NEED them because you’ll never be a success without them. Subversive racism is when the democrats tell you to hate the people who believe you can succeed on your own.

At this point in time, I understand that its a lie that the democrats and republicans switched platforms and ideologies. No, Republicans have always understood that a man can only be a man if he stands on his own two feet. We don’t need taken care of. We have let ourselves be lied to.  Democrat run cities are becoming nightmares. Democrat policies have made us weak and dependent on handouts.  Democrats have ‘helped’ us, in return for votes. Votes that they do nothing with. The promised returns on our votes, never comes.


Clothing is not racist

6 Feb

I love ethnic wear. I love kimono as kimono, complete with obiage, inro and netsuke. I love the ritual of the tea ceremony.  I have to agree that its saddening to see the idea of cultural practices or clothing undergoing forced segregation, rather than celebrated. Its the raiment equivalent to being kept to the back of the bus, to keep only Asians wearing Asian garb.
And while I thought I was comfortable with my kimono until today, now I have questions. Is Gor slave wear to be foregone because it is suggestive of harems and female oppression, are Burton’s translated and sensuous Arabian Nights no longer to be part of our nights? Are Loli outfits now inappropriate because they originated in Japan, along with tiny top hats? If I had no ancestors who wore upper crust Victorian attire, is a silver-tipped walking stick disallowed?

Yes, blackface is as inappropriate as the movie White Chicks or any other entertainment that makes fun of a race or culture. It is never funny nor comedic to make fun of any race or group.  But sharing culture is not ‘making fun of’.  Forsaking harem pants because they are not western? I think that passes the limits of reasonability, and at that rate, everything in the world is racist if you use it and it doesn’t originate with your race assigned at birth. I cast off the idea of assigned races and cultures and vote in favor of celebrating cultures and sharing them.   Race is a cultural construct, and by god culture is a cultural construct and I will participate in Cinquo de Mayo if it speaks to me, and in support of new Americans who celebrate it. America is a stew of such amazing varieties of peoples that should rejoice in having so much to share with each other.  Different peoples are not to be divided into a bento box separating each dish so that your foods dont touch.  If Holi Day appeals to me rather than Hanukah, I will celebrate it. Do not force segregation on cultures by some misguided and strange view that only X culture can wear X culture clothes, and only Y culture can practice Y cultural traditions, and that X may not wear Y clothes without providing a vetted birth certificate to prove they have a birthright to do so.

Birthright?  My birthright is that I am human and we are all human.  Does anyone other than Piltdown man have a pure birthright to a culture?  How far back do we go before someone can claim a culture?  And how many generations of love and acceptance that produces mixed race children should we have before someone of that line can no longer claim a culture?  The culture-segragationists have not thought it through far enough, even in spite of their new and disparaging voices.  The culture-segragationists sneer at the thought we are equal and all human and wish to underline differences.

Shall you never eat sushi, oh white person?  Sushi is as fixed in Japanese culture as kimono.  Shall you never taste melt in your mouth Puerto Rican Pernil, oh Swedish-Wisconsonites?  Shall the Florida Seminoles never know the heavy comfort of an Irish fisherman’s sweater during a cold rain?   That is what the culture-segregationists would wish; that cultures can not be shared.   Shall you never wear a serape, sandals, a choli?  The culture-segragationists want to draw lines that keep cultures ‘pure’.   True, they do so out of a misguided wish to ‘protect’ cultures from each other.  But the world is a flattened place.  We speak one-on-one to others all over the world and become a world community.  Sharing is exactly where we should be.

I do not intend to wear only dashiki. I will wear the white people genes, and speak the English language, borrow from their music and their food and make my own way. And they can do the same because of the suddenly forgotten concept of ‘equality’.

Finally, with the barrage of questions that this new ‘to each culture must stay only their own culture’ concept raises, the final one becomes ‘Who can make these decisions for me?’  I have to trust that I’m the only one who is able to do so, because there are as many opinions as their are assholes in the world.  If I am not mocking, if you are not mocking, then eat your humus with relish, celebrate your sandals.  Point out that jeans are a Mediterranean invention and go back to dancing in your parka.

In short, of course there is a line of propriety that must be drawn when it becomes mockery, and then we can condemn the mocker for being rude and impolite. But any line must be reasonable and inclusive, not exclusive.  Lines segregate. Lines underline differences.  Take down the lines, take down the walls of the bento box and let your favors mix, and dance with each other on every holiday, in every manner of attire, with every person of every race, color, creed, religion, and do it as a celebration of the humanity of us all.

The Transgender Question

23 Jan

Since a transgender can not relate to problems or issues that I have specifically as a woman, it becomes akin to a white person saying they know how a black person feels. No, a white person can not ‘know’ how I feel. They can imagine it, but they can’t know it. There is a biological difference that is stringent and divisive by itself, as well as it also contributes to the social construct of being female, that can’t be surmounted by the epigenic markers of transgenderism.

For example, the vagina I own is very different from the SRS construct, though they are technologically advancing in small ways, such as the new surgery that retains some pre-cum glands are left remaining when the penile skin shell is stripped of its innards and inverted, which provide some minute natural lubricant. The SRS version must be supported with a synthetic mesh to grown around, and must be dilated regularly, several times a day taking upwards of an hour each, since the body treats it as a wound and continues to try to heal it and close it.  Dilation is painful as the body is forced against its attempts to heal.

This is on an entirely different plane from a woman’s biology and the culture that surrounds female biology. Hymen issues, period issues, MISSED period issues, abortion (and all that entails), pregnancy, ovulation, cycles, pads or tampons or cups, diaphragms, pills or shots, yeast and yoghurt, and to-douche-or-not-to-douche, cranberry juice, clots and accidents, cramps and fibroids, endometriosis, menopause, peri-menopause, UTIs and IUDs; all these things are intrinsically part and parcel of being female and an entire and very VERY large female culture complete with its own language, behaviors and norms exists and centers around our vaginas and the needs and whims of our vaginas. And that’s just our vaginas.

When we discuss vaginas we have, vaginas which provide our most basic belonging to our largest shared-cultural group as women, we are talking about very different things than transgenders. And that’s even before you get to the G-spot vs clitoris quests, squirting or shuddering, fluttering or clenching. And still we haven’t even begun to talk about ticking biological clocks, pregnancy or childbirth or nursing, or child-bearing and rearing, our prime biological roles, or all the parts of our female culture dependent upon our biology that surrounds them- the things that make us women and make us women together.

These are VAST basic biological differences; huge and basic biological differences that social construct ideologies, even a re-invented social construct as MtF transgender culture, one that seeks to force-enable any similarities and ignore our most base and basic actual differences plus eschew our existing and rich female culture that surrounds our biology, can’t surmount. We may have different languages than other women. But the one thing that is our shared culture, that makes us women and makes us sisters with all the women in the world.. and that provides us our most basic common ground with each other and an immediate level of understanding with them, whoever they are as women… is the culture of being a woman irrevocably bequeathed to us by our biology.

Our biology creates our culture as women, the female culture. It is the reason why, when they talk about female circumcision on the other side of our large planet, women relate viscerally in a way that no man can. why the topic of abortion is within our souls as well as our wombs. Our biology is our strength, our biology gives us unique gifts that biological men do not have, and I consider it also a job of the feminist movement, not to let us forget how strong our biology makes us and not to let it be devalued or minimized or appropriated. I value my femalehood very strongly. I can’t relate very well to those transgenders I know because I was never a man, though I do try, but at its root it seems we are from different planets without very much in common except for the way we dress.

I grant that you feel feminine.  However,  makeup doesn’t make you female, nor cause you to understand what it means to be female.We may have different languages than other women.  But the one thing in our shared culture, that makes us women among all the women in the world and provides us our most basic common ground with each other as women, is our biology.  The physical and biological differences between females and MtF trans, are in actuality, too vast to slap a foreign social construct culture over top and be successful.


Our biology makes us opposite to transgender MtFs.  And more markedly, our culture makes women different than transgender MtFs, and not only as above, we see that female culture is its own and as old as humankind.  But transgenders have their own cultures; their own culture complete with its own language, behaviors and norms exists, and it does not have anything in common with the culture of women, just the same way that female culture described above has nothing in common with transgender culture.

Transgender culture centers around transitioning, something that neither the sexes nor normal genders need to consider and is not part of their frame of reference.  While some people have androgenic disorders and take hormonal supplements, the entire culture that surrounds HRT is vastly different.  You are encompassed by transitioning and you are changed.  Testosterone blockers break down and undermine your masculine features.  Estrogen supplements then build up your feminine ones.  You  alter your body’s appearance quite drastically in doing so.  Because of the slow but drastic change, it is probably more comparable to what happens to a person’s psyche if they are born with a severe facial deformity that takes years of treatment till they can feel good about themselves and comfortable in their skin when they look in a mirror.   There is nothing in female culture that provides a similar frame of reference as the involvement of transitioning.  Women are born women and transitioning is alien to them.  Puberty, while being angst-filled, is still natural and everyone is in the same boat.  The sprouting of hair under your arms and on your mons is not similar to the drive to hide or rid yourself of masculine facial hair.  Comparable would be the fact that a young man went through his own puberty in the first place.

As the write of that article indicates, there is great pressure placed on trans to transition, to become part of their culture, to be one with it. Cultural discussions revolve on dosages and timelines and results, coming out to parents and friends, issues at work, the bathroom question, the locker room and gym questions, the hair, the hair, the hair.  The very reason that trans do transition is to force a reconstruction of themselves, and this is divergent from the female reason for clothing and makeup, and is again, more similar to someone coping with and overcoming a deformity.  Transexual culture revolves around transitioning, a realm that is alien to female culture.

No woman has a cultural knowledge of what a ‘gold star’ is, or a ‘hon’, or all the other intricacies of transexual culture which is apparently caste-driven.  Transexuals count their worth against their fellow transexuals in a complex system of hierarchies, for example; who started HRT and transitioning earlier, who is more passable, and who has engaged in more heterosexual acts before transitioning, and who is more ‘out’ than the next trans.  Their caste system operates with labels unique to their culture.  A ‘hon’ is an older trans who did not begin transitioning soon enough to ever pass.  ‘Hon’ is among the least desirable caste labels, and is used as oppressive name-calling and a way to assert the value of your own caste over another.  ‘Having your gold star’ means you never engaged in heterosexual activities before transitioning, and can place yourself in a caste above those who do not have theirs.  Infighting among their castes keeps them from any unified strength on a political or active front.  While these are not pretty points of a culture, they are distinctly cultural, relegated to within the trans community only, and are not familiar to, nor known by the culture of women.

Biologically, MtF trans are male, though after transitioning they may take on a female appearance through HRT and SRS.  (Hormone Replacement Therapy and Sexual Reassignment Surgery.) Culturally, as they transition, they move out of man/male cultural norms, and into Trans cultural norms and practices.  Aside from dressing and cosmetics, they rarely endeavor to take on many female/woman cultural norms or practices.   Their integration into Trans culture becomes more and more fixed as time passes.  Surgical enhancements and makeup do not a woman make, and their practicing Trans culture can not approximate their desired resultant female culture and in fact, pre-empts any entry into the culture of women due to these extreme differences between the practices and norms of the two cultures.

Sociologically, MtF trans are faced with social dynamics that are vastly different from those of women.  They find it incredibly difficult to begin or sustain relationships with men because of their biology and their culture, and one prevailing attitude seems to be that sometimes ‘sin-of-omission’ subterfuge is needed until a relationship would be under way.  To have sex, whether pre or post SRS, is very different than having sex with a woman or as a woman.

It is understood that trans ‘transition’ to cope with their dysphoria; that they are indeed so unhappy feeling like they are in the wrong body that suicide is a very high statistical and real risk.  However, it is not up to us as women to provide their safety net or support when they a) remain different in all but appearance, and b)to do so devalues who we are as women.  Appearance is not enough; and is instead, mimicry as among nature; to prolong their survival because they appear to be something else.  But mimicry (even to prolong their survival) is still mimicry even if done in order to mentally cope with their dysphoria to keep them from depression and suicide.  Women are devalued enough; we are Everymans’ wives and daughters, we are the girls at work, we are voices which are not always listened to in a patriarchal economy.  We can not freely give up what female strengths we have and dilute them by taking in every societal aberration in our effort to be inclusive, to let our female clarity muddy into a million shades of gray.  Women can not be the dumping ground for every difference, or we ‘difference’ ourselves into a divergent, confused and discordant multitudinous hum that lacks a distinct voice.  We have our own battles, and this isn’t one.

It is not up to women to ‘be nice’ when faced with the transgender question, or we devalue our own, rich and strong female culture, we ignore our biology, and dilute our value and our voices as women.  We ignore our biology at our own risk of identity.  To be asked to do so undermines woman’s strength and uniqueness and the female culture we share.   We are weakened by men enough, let alone we should willingly allow men transitioning to appear as women to weaken our own identities further.   To call male trans, women, is a perpetration on women which robs us of our own identities, diminishes our culture, and dilutes our identities as females by trying to encompass something which is as the complete opposite of female biologically and sociologically, and then undergoes mimicry.  Women are females and females are women.  To ask us to think otherwise is taking away from women and who we are, asking us to deny our biology and identities and culture, our places in society that we define as well.   At its truth, Mtf trans are men who endeavor to appear, with varying degrees of success, to be women.  Trans are not women, even if they are doing their best to appear to be.   If asked  Am I not a Woman?  But I look like one,’ the answer we make must always be the honesty of The Emporer’s New Clothes.

‘Rape Culture’ 1 – Prison and Rape Culture

13 Jan

Rape culture is a newer term used within modern post-equality feminism.  It is a concept to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape.  While the idea of a culture or society exists that normalizes rape, the first time the phrase itself is used appears to be as the title of a documentary film by Margaret Lazarus for Cambridge Documentary Films.  The film examines rape in prison, where, the film maintains, rape exists so prevalently that a clear ‘culture’ grows around it, complete with norms, ways of dressing, and ways of behaving and condoning it.

Prison has its own culture, and we’ve been graphically aware of prison rape as a paradigm given us by the media…that prison rape is prison power and a means to retain it.  For example, The Shawshank Redemption rape scene is a frightening depiction of how prison rape is assimilated into the overall culture of a prison.  Prison rape we accept as being rampant based on media that we view for entertainment and anecdote.  We accept, based upon media, that there is a prison hierarchy of tops and bottoms based on power and status and protection, and that it is always forced.

We accept the idea from our media and imagery like that of The Shawshank Redemption; that when a heterosexual male finds himself in prison he must defend himself or he WILL (not might or may) be forced into a  sexually submissive role.  We accept the idea that he WILL be made to service the tops, even dress a certain way, even belong to someone else as their ‘girlfriend’.  We accept this because the media has told us this repeatedly.

However, one of the best empirical studies done showed forcible prison rape to occur, but that it is rare. The book, The Myth of Prison Rape: Sexual Culture in American Prisons, shows a widely varied and finely nuanced sexual culture within prisons in which forcible rape is a small percentage.  J Lewis explains the difficulty here, very well.

An Valuable Critique of Free World Liberal Homophobia

March 13, 2011

“The Myth of Prison Rape: Sexual Culture in American Prisons” has a self-explanatory title. It’s object of critique is a well-established network of organizations and the systematic misunderstandings they generate about sex and sexual assault in prisons and jail. Not surprisingly, most of these myths are around male prison sex and sexuality, the reason for the implicit homophobia surrounding the topic. The authors take on the now large and influential establishment of human rights organizations, typified by Stop Prisoner Rape (SPR), prisoner rights advocates, religious activists and, not least, an extensive network of academics drawn not from research-based disciplines like criminology, sociology, psychology or anthropology, but from literary criticism within departments of literature, and producing writers ideologically blinkered by various schools of post-modernist pseudo-criticism.Unlike most contemporary proponents of this myth, the authors base their claims on empirical research rather than on the kinds of admittedly compelling anecdotal testimonials of victims of sexual assault featured in publications by groups like SPR. Yet horrific as genuine cases of sexual assault are, such accounts do not support claims of rampart male on male sexual violence such groups claim exist. “The Myth of Prison Rape” on the other hand did what other studies have not: asked several hundred prisoners themselves about sex and sexuality behind bars. The result is a far more nuanced and varied understanding of prison sex in which forcible rape does occur, but is rare. Which begs the question of how and why it’s come to seen as widespread thanks to the activists opposing it. This is when the implicit homophobia behind the issue comes in. It is the general fear of male-on-male sexuality that informs most of this activist misunderstanding. The fact that prison sexuality by definition occurs among hardened criminals, can involve forms of manipulation, and is generally among men of color combine to throw the fear of God into the generally white middle class, educated, heterosexual activists who write about it with a primal fear of being sodomized by a big black man. The fact that this constituency is generally “liberal” or “progressive” make these fears and their manifestation in distorted concepts that much easier to hide. This book is a start toward debunking their illusions.

Where do things come from?  Where do ideas or concepts generate, where do words begin, where do inventions take root?  Obviously prison has its own CULTURE but do prisons in America have a definite RAPE culture?  And if the idea of Prison ‘Rape Culture’ came to us from a 1975 documentary, and television and movies that have been made since then that we draw our ideas and perceptions from, and these were based on a 1975 idea, are we holding accurate perceptions?  And if new empirical studies show prison rape to be rare, isn’t it time that we catch up?

Activists seeking programs that would reduce prison rape tend to cite the older estimates or anecdotal evidence.  Truth be told, there are not many studies to cite.  In the last 40 years, less than 25 real research studies on prison rape have been done in the US.  A major source of some of them, The National Institute of Justice, indicates that only .005 percent of the total incarcerated population reported they had been victims of sexual assault while incarcerated.  That’s a huge anomaly to hold up against our media-based perceptions if true.

Read the National Institute of Justice report and findings HERE

On the high end of estimates, is the initital drafting of the PREA Act (Prison Rape Elimination Act) when in 2003 it estimated 13 percent of all inmates have been raped in prisons and jails in the US.  However, newer research done under PREA didn’t find their initial estimates to be supported three years later. (Curtis, Kim (2006-01-17). “A disputed study claims rape is rare in prison“. USA Today.)

Activism rightly points out that prison rape is under-reported, but to be under-reported to this anomalous degree becomes problematic.   And that’s where common sense must come in.  With widely diverging reports, sides should not form.  Activists should not point to low numbers and declare them ‘wrong because we know there’s more that goes on but doesn’t get reported.’  Well, no we don’t KNOW that; we infer that more surely must happen than gets reported, because we think that prison rape would carry such a stigma that people wouldn’t want to report it.  But this is too big an ‘IF’ between .005% under empirical research and 13% under anecdotal estimates that were later superseded by the same program that had the initial 13% estimate!

PREA now says prison rape is rare but the tidbit from the program that originally estimated 13%, hasn’t seemed to catch up to the activism programme.  We are holding onto old figures.  Make no mistake, while it should not happen, it does occasionally, but not so much so that known facts or projected figures that might account for the people who would not report it out of stigma, can sustain or support the idea that there exists an established set of practices, behaviors, norms, definitions, surrounding prison rape that would constitute a CULTURE of rape.

More reading:


*note:  the prevalence of waring jeans so low as to expose underwear in a ‘gangsta’ style originated in prison as a way to indicate the wearer was available to bottom sexually.  This IS part of prison culture, and obviously sexual, but as it indicates willingness can not be used to indicate a forced sexual culture.