the letter z

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2009-08-31

Okay, so I admit, I cave in and read Pam’s House Blend from time to time. Today, I was confronted with some horrid little expose about the increasing popularity straight male chasers and of trans woman porn.

Great.

Take a trans woman who already has a fragile sense of esteem and body image and then tell her that acceptance and tolerance for the greater community will not be made through the fact that she is a human being but rather that straight men will find her sexually attractive … one is left with only a sickened feeling in one’s mouth.

(As an aside, I am responding to the specific argument in the article and the ongoing sexualization of trans women, and not to the existence of porn and sex work — which is fine enough only if it is absolutely consensual — probably a discussion for another post)

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Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2009-08-31

I read yet another horrible thread today about how yet another random transphobe thinks that trans women have no place to be mentioned in a women in tech/IT article, and there was the sickening display of transphobia on Slashdot recently about Caster and sex determination.

Why is it that there are questions about the appropriateness of trans women in IT in discussing women in IT? Do trans women have any sort of “advantage” over cis women in IT, by virtue of their biological history? Let us suppose first that this is not the case, and the affinity is afforded by, say, the lack of gender policing towards the field — then any trans woman in technical fields is demonstrative of any woman’s natural ability to excel in technical fields. If trans women have some biological advantage by virtue of, say, early exposure of the brain to testosterone, then what is the question we are presented with? Someone may posit that if a trans woman has an advantage in technical fields and should not be considered for encouragement, as it would be “unfair” — but then the argument has shifted away from women in technical fields and rather to where one may draw the boundary involving trans women.

Thus, raising questions about trans women appropriateness in technical fields becomes an excuse for, most often, a cis person to exercise their hostility towards a trans woman who has worked exceedingly hard to get where she is both in life and in her career, and to criticise her technical efforts because the bigotry of person doing the criticising.

Luckily most women in IT outreach groups I have seen are inclusive organizations, however, I have not had personal experience with these groups. Perhaps a bit of effort is required to make sure that cis hostility doesn’t gain a foothold and yet make outcasts of these women in yet another area.

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2009-08-26

I hate myself so much. I hate myself so much it brings me to tears sometimes. I have this pent up rage that gets twisted up inside that explodes sometimes. I hate what I do, I hate the way I behave, I hate my existence…

The hate dies down sometimes, but it never goes away. It never stops, it just mutates, shifts between the sand…

My misanthropy

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2009-08-26

I feel like I am an irrevocably defunct human being.

My life has no direction. I hold myself up to impossible standards. My life is made complex and threatening by my mere existence as a trans, lesbian, woman of colour. I have no real friends of my own to talk to. I am most likely suffering from depression.

And yet, some of these are somehow binds of my own creation — that is not to say, however, that they are any easy to dismantle — and some of these are binds placed upon me by society. This society that we operate in, that multi-faceted being we call collectively humanity, is simultaneously merciless, intolerant, and utterly demanding of conformity and punishing of deviance, and also bristling with tolerance, humility, benevolence, and a thirst for knowledge.

It seems so easy to believe that the former is the prevalent strand of humanity. Look to the news (in no particular order): recently, we have the sickening media festival around the IAAF’s decision to make Caster Semenya an outcast because she had the audacity to perform well and look different, we have trans women dying by the hands of cis people — every third day such a murder is reported, we have the fundamentalist Right lies and violence and the Republican party in the US that showing an utter absence of backbone in repudiating those lies and violence for their own political gain, those lies and violence often racially motivated, or aimed at depriving women of their bodily sovereignty, we have those who in the same breath saying that they belong to a creed that says as one of the highest imperatives to do unto others what you would have done to you and yet they would condemn natural human variance such as sexual orientation or transgender behaviour as the epitome of evil… And it is the face of humanity is the media, thrives on ridiculing and picking on the weak to appease the privileged.

Human history is stained like this in an ongoing fashion backwards through time. We have the potential of such heights, and yet humanity as a whole remains content to be bottom-feeders. There are those who aim to be better than this, but this is like a single drop of water in a massive tank of blood.

We hold the fantasy that the media is supposed to report on the news in an unbiased fashion. We hold the fantasy that states like America, for example, are the bastion of freedom and democracy, and yet we find oppressed classes without effort, who are virtually disenfranchised, discriminated against, and living in poverty. We hold the fantasy that we uphold intelligence, or athleticism, or any other dispassionate characteristic as most important; but these are just that — fantasies — and it is utter lunacy to think that it is otherwise.

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2009-08-24

So, I’ve decided to start writing things again. Curse thee, who stole my subdomain name.