***TW: mis-gendering, strong trans*-bashing, transphobic violence***
In the primer, I shared what I felt was a useful summary excerpt from a very good article by Jaclyn Friedman. I also found some interesting reading on attempts to ‘rebrand’ the Men’s Rights Movement, in light of the negative publicity generated by… well, by speaking. Here is some of what I read: http://community.feministing.com/2013/02/25/mras-attempt-rebranding-as-mens-human-rights-activists/
But, what I just couldn’t pry myself away from was a post in “The Spearhead.” (seen as one of the “moderate” and “respectable” MRM drivel-spiggots)
I thought it was especially appropriate, given that I have been talking about transgender motherhood, I wanted to share a little gem with you from this past Mother’s Day. After I let the author, W.F Price have the floor, I will be back with some thoughts.
Here is the article, presented unaltered, with extremely strong trigger warnings:
A NY Times Mother’s Day Op-ed: Trannies are Equal Moms
When you see some kinds of articles, you start to understand why it was prescient women like Phyllis Schlafly who killed the Equal Rights Amendment. Men were pretty much in favor. I mean, what’s not to like about it? Under legal gender equality women would have to share all the crap that falls primarily on men’s shoulders. However, it should be pointed out that feminists, with a few notable exceptions, never supported it either. The version they supported included something known as the “Hayden Rider,” which preserved all female privileges and exemptions while granting women all of men’s privileges, i.e. the status quo.
But a brave, valiant minority is challenging female supremacy. Not patriarchal drones or supporters of male privilege, but men who reject everything about masculinity. Men who reject it so much that they chop off their genitalia and take female hormones in order to eradicate everything male about them.
One of these stalwart, self-mutilating individuals – a “former” male who goes by the name Jennifer Finley Boylan – has declared that he’s every bit the mother as any woman. Sure, he had children as a male, but that doesn’t mean he can’t now call himself “mom,” and demand they do the same. However, it isn’t only his kids who must call him “mother,” but all of us. If we don’t accept that he’s a mother, we’re bigots. Why? Because he has shared the defining maternal experience, which he puts down as “suffering.”
ONE day, toward the end of my transition from father to mother, I came home to find my 6-year-old son looking thoughtful. “Are you all right?” I asked.
“Yes,” Sean said quietly. He was playing with Thomas the Tank Engine. His favorite engine was No. 5, red James. That had also been my name, back before it became Jenny.
“What are you thinking?”
“It’s just it used to be you and me and Zach, the three boys on one side,” he said, “and Mommy and Lucy-dog on the other.”
“I know,” I said, feeling my heart clench.
“Now it’s Zach and me on one side, and you and Mommy and Lucy-dog over there.”
“I’m sorry, Sean,” I said. My voice was barely a whisper. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s O.K.,” said Sean. “The boys are just outnumbered.”
I have been a dad for 6 years, a mom for 12, and for a time in between I was both, or neither, like some parental version of the schnoodle or the cockapoo.
People have pointed out to me that, despite calling myself a mother, I didn’t give birth to my sons. They’re right, of course. But there is a lot more to parenting than birthing, just as there is a lot more to a novel than its opening sentence. After this long journey from an opposite-sex couple to a same-sex one, my wife and I can say it’s what comes after that counts.
I understand the reluctance many people have to play down the importance of gender, or for that matter, biology, in parenting; a world in which male and female are not fixed poles but points in a spectrum is a world that feels unstable, unreal. And yet to accept the wondrous scope of gender is to affirm the potential of life, in all its messy beauty. Motherhood and fatherhood are not binaries. And that, I’d argue, is a good thing.
Only a small percentage of American households now consist of married couples with children in which only the father works. The biggest outliers in our culture are not same-sex couples, or transgender people, or adoptive parents, or single fathers, but the so-called traditional American families themselves.
What does it even mean, at this hour, to call anybody traditional? Surely it is not the ways in which we conform that define us, but the manner in which we each seek our own perilous truth.
Pure self-indulgence of the most disgusting variety, and highlighted on Mother’s Day. I’d like to say it’s sacrilegious, but sadly it is appropriate. I understand why some of the most selfish, depraved men among us would want to relinquish their masculinity. In our society, women are free to pursue their heart’s desire without fear of sanction. Judging women for putting their own needs first is condemned in every mainstream outlet, from Dr. Phil to The Atlantic.
Some men are bound to be envious of this. Some of them go so far as to try to try to become a woman. And what kind of woman do they emulate? The worst parody of one. Gaudy, self-righteous, exhibitionist, attention-seeking, demanding, selfish and all too willing to place their burdens on others.
And in this great society we have built, it is they who stand at the pulpit and speak to the masses.
USA! USA! USA!
Let’s all just take a minute. Let your arms fall loosely at your sides. Draw a good, full breath, hold it a moment, and let it escape slowly from your mouth.
Okay. Are we good? Let me establish what I think are some parameters.
First off, I will never be able to educate Mr. Price.
Second, Many of you could probably write at least as good a response as what I am about to.
I am talking to those in the middle. The people who read that post and thought, “I can see both sides of this.” If you said that, I am talking to you.
I began this by writing a character assassination. It was disturbingly easy to find materials. But I don’t want to have to shoot every messenger who pollutes the world with this kind of hate. Thus, I deleted it.
I’d much prefer to appeal to your humanity.
Let’s start by establishing that Jennifer Finley Boylan is a person. She has feelings. She has a family, who also have feelings. One predictable outcome of Mr. Price’s insidious hate speech is that these people’s feelings would be hurt… profoundly. Who is helped by that?
Then we go out one layer to find people like me. People desperately trying to carve out a place in this world when the endless shouting of the W.F. Price’s of the world trying to take those places away… People like the ones who made this:
Go out another layer still, and find those who haven’t yet learned enough about transgender people to know what to think about us. Gosh! If it means male perverts in girls’ bathrooms, I’d better make sure those trans-whatchamacallits stay the hell away from my kids.
Which is just great!
In fact, why don’t we just round up all the transgender people and put them into internment camps, like Todd Kincannon, the former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party suggested.
Oh, and remember that scary pervert in the girls’ bathroom that everyone is so scared of? Here she is: Seriously. This is SIX YEAR OLD Coy Mathis. THIS GIRL, and others just like her are what people are loosing their shit over.
And, even if this was an adult transwoman like myself, we don’t have any intentions of causing trouble in bathrooms. We are far too busy being afraid for our own safety
Chrissy Lee Polis, 22, was viciously beaten by two teenage girls after allegedly trying to use the women’s restroom at the McDonald’s restaurant.
This may all seem like fun and games to you, Mr. Price, but I am paying for the real-life consequences of the hate that you invoke.
Too many of my sisters have paid a far greater toll…
In 2012, 256 transgender people were murdered because they dared to exist.