Start Your Week Off Right: A Round-Up

I loved P. Sufenas Virius Lupus’ “The Alphabet Boys”.

As I mentioned on Memnon’s Day, I wrote a further poem in the last few days that would have perhaps been most appropriate to have posted on the day devoted to Herodes Attikos’ children.

I have to admit, I’ve not always been particularly kind to the memory of Attikos Bradua, because Herodes Attikos himself was not kind to him and his memory. He was the only child of Herodes that survived to later adulthood, and actually outlived his father; but, Herodes disinherited him, and they never seemed to get along. As I’ve said previously, I suspect that because Herodes was renowned ….

It also seems that Zsuzsanna Budapest is still on a lot of people’s minds because she just won’t stop digging herself deeper. Her fan-club better known as her lineage of “Dianic witchcraft” hasn’t really been doing her any favours, either. My best friend even had something to say about Budapest:

Thought on a marvellous post about Z Budapest’s most recent flagrant display of queerphobia and mysogyny.

Yes, I just called Z Budapest, Dianic OG “feminst”, a mysogynst. She has styled herself the arbitrater of womanhood, to the exclusion of women’s capacity for self-determination. I’d say that’s pretty fucking mysogynist.

And speaking of feminists of the Second Wave, as horrid as I find her opinions on pornography as a medium for expression (as an industry, it has it’s problems, but it’s not irredeemable), apparently Andrea Dworkin, may not be one to be lumped in with the likes of Robin Morgan, Janice Raymond, Mary Daly, and Zsuzsanna Budapest (as an aside, I absolutely refuse to refer to that despicable human being as simply “Z”; I ♥ that letter, and I HATE her):

In conversations with trans feminists, I have continually assured them that many Second-Wave radical feminists were NOT transphobic, and actually empathetic to trans people. However, I’ve had trouble finding any proof, other than my own memory and a few trans friends of Kate Millett’s. Depressingly, the more I searched, I found much more proof that radical feminists were mean and vicious (i.e. Robin Morgan’s lynch-mob rhetoric concerning trans women in her book titled Going Too Far). The Janice Raymond/Robin Morgan/Mary Daly faction seems to have “won” the transgender round of radical feminist theory, by default.

And so, it brings me great pleasure, after a very long search, to finally have the following quote IN MY HAND, not just from memory. Thank God for and the used books option, since this is long out of print.

…I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I still find the Dworkin quote exerpted problematic, as part of her conclusions are not only open to interpretation, but her final suggestion for a post-revolution future rests on a gendered, rather than skin-toned, form of the false idea of “let’s all fuck until we’re the same colour”; in reality, the alleles that are responsible for skin colour do not work that way, and “colour-blind” procreation between human skin-tones, in reality, simply produces a greater variance of skin-tone. If a multi-sex species can come to truly accept that fact, then “the end of transsexuality as we know it” may simply be the proliferation of far greater variance in sex, gender, and expression of said (and not to mention the fact that Body Dysmorphic Disorder will not necessarily be eradicated by the fact that some bodies have become more-acceptable): The key words thus should not be “the end of transsexuality”, but the end “as we know it”, and as such, her speculations on what that end-as-we-know-it could mean are too over-reaching. Whether this was to satiate the feminist status quo of the day or was her actual post-revolution dream, I know not, but I have to agree with DaisyDeadhead that —at least for the feminism of the 1970s— this isn’t really transphobic. It’s unfair to hold the excerpts to the same standards for “anti-transphobia” that we have now because for a lot of reasons, the standards we know now just didn’t exist to any useful measure then, and thus I cannot in good conscience call Dworkin transphobic, especially while many of her contemporaries very clearly ARE; to say Dworkin was inherently transphobic (rather than just pointing out that she had some transphobic ideas that got the best of her) is like modern people erasing Al Jolsen’s history of actively promoting the careers of African-Amerikan contemporaries and speaking out against racism because one of his most-remembered career moves was performing in blackface, even when its popularity was waning in the late 1920s.

(I debated making the above a separate post, but decided against it as I’m feeling this blog is getting too over-swamped with gender stuff, lately, and I need to re-focus on my relationship with Eros.)

And speaking of “ill-thought moves and ideas that overshadow one’s legacy”, it will never cease to amuse me this this is not one of those, but considering Yusef Islam’s 2004 detainment at a U$ airport, I can’t help but wonder why it’s not:

(s~o hot…)

So, I know this post is scheduled for March Eighteenth, but whatever, here’s a beautiful article from Cracked than my humanoid meat-based housemate sent me, noting that I could have very well written this thin myself:

On March 17, millions of people take the piss out of Ireland by taking the piss and every other bodily fluid out of themselves, as publicly as possible. The Irish don’t celebrate Independence Day by guzzling hamburgers until we throw up over crates of machine guns, and even if we did it would be more respectful. Because at least we imported those things from the U.S. For a country so worked up about immigrants a lot of Americans are absolutely desperate to claim any other nationality. Every St. Patrick’s Day drunken North Americans stagger up to tell me their great-grandmother was Irish, and I say great, if she turns up I’ll buy her a pint.

No, seriously, my name is Ruadhán J McElroy, and what my father named me is about as ethnic; I am sick to death of the annual bullshit known as “St. Patrick’s Day”. The only way I deal every year is with a home-made t-shirt proclaiming my identity as “Ultach”, a smug sense of superiority that I was raised mostly by my English maternal grandparents, and the fact that I’ve re-purposed the day as the Feast of Hibernia, who I recognise as the Greco-Roman interpretation of the tutelary Goddess Ériu.

That said, St. Patrick is unfairly credited with “converting Ireland”; this is, at best, a half-truth. He was just the first moderately successful missionary to Ireland, and there were far more successful missionaries to Ireland after he died. The misconception, even among pagans and polytheists, that he managed to somehow single-handedly convert Ireland lies in the likely-allegorical tale that was popular for centuries of how Patrick somehow “banished the snakes from Irieland”, with the assumption being “snakes = Druids”; this is not a universally recognised allegory, but all things considered, it seems the most likely.

By the way: Druids? Word on the street is that no-one knows who they were or what they were doing:

Earlier this week, I noticed that Pantheacon has officially declared that from 2013 onward, all single-gender rit and workshops are to include anybody who identifies with that gender —I then promptly wasted three days commenting on The Wild Hunt, because Budapestians simply cannot help but dodge perfectly reasonable questions and then whine about how us transies and our cheer-leaders are FMPPHs. If my computer had a “boot to the head” button, I could have saved at least one day and spent it watching NCIS marathons on USA or finally recording all those old delicious Ramón Novarro films off the DVR —or at least watching the cats collect dust. Here’s a link for posterity.

Just In Case You Were Curious:
I’m going to be doing some spring cleaning over the next week, so that’s an official reason why I might not be posting so much in the next week, and might even skip a round-up for the 25th, in case I don’t get a chance to do much reading.

Shit You’ve Probably Read Already:
* P. Sufenas Virius Lupus’ ‘”Burn Rome”‘
* Galina Krasskove guesting on Pantheon: Happy St. Patrick’s Day? I Don’t Think So.

Your New Old Word for the Week:
Geneclexis, n, from the Greek genos (sex, birth, origin) and eklegein (to select): selecting a marriage partner on the basic of physical appearance, regardless of intellect or character.


2 thoughts on “Start Your Week Off Right: A Round-Up

    • The problem that I saw a lot of the TS/TG commenters in your post making, after the unreasonable holding of 1970s writings to 2010s standards (after all, while it’s far to assume that people who held 2010s standards did exist then, they were not known to be in a significant-enough number to advance those standards any faster than they did), is the inability to realise that cissexism and transphobia are certainly measurable traits, and only past a certain threshold is it fair to call some-one a bigot based on those traits.  It’s certainly fair to assume that even a majority of trans people in 2012 possess a lot of transphobic ideas that aren’t merely internalised; Internet fora for trans women and men alike are often junked-up with “Do I pass?” threads, and responders are often not just obsessive, but downright vicious in picking apart every little thing about a person’s appearance.  Is it fair to call those responders transphobes?  They’re certainly displaying outwardly transphobic behaviour.  Hell, in comparison to some TS/TG people, Dworkin’s words are especially trans-positive.

      In all honesty, at worst, I think it’s clear she had some residual transphobic ideas left over from any combination of her own personal background and the communities she participated in, and maybe she didn’t examine them perfectly, but it’s clear that she realised it was wrong to hate on trans people, she realised it was wrong to dismiss trans women as “mutilated Frankenstein creations”, as Mary Daly did, it was wrong to deny TS/TG persons the medical transitions sought, and it was wrong to recognise TS/TG persons as anything but another natural human variant on sex and gender.  In a lot of ways, that thinking was ahead of its time, but it clearly possessed residual artefacts of the environment it came from.  I’d certainly recommend her one essay that addresses this over anything from the Daly/Raymond Borg; Dworkin’s thoughs on the subject were certainly no worse than Kate Bornstein has been on the subject, of late, that’s for sure.


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