PantheaCon has no personal effect but I feel the need to contribute to the discussion of the issues that have been made public.
The comment on the Wildhunt by Z Budapest that follow prompts my response.
“This struggle has been going since the Women’s Mysteries first appeared. These individuals selfishly never think about the following: if women allow men to be incorporated into Dianic Mysteries,What will women own on their own? Nothing! Again! Transies who attack us only care about themselves. We women need our own culture, our own resourcing, our own traditions. You can tell these are men, They don’t care if women loose the Only tradition reclaimed after much research and practice ,the Dianic Tradition. Men simply want in. its their will. How dare us women not let them in and give away the ONLY spiritual home we have! Men want to worship the Goddess? Why not put in the WORK and create your own trads. The order of ATTIS for example, (dormant since the 4rth century) used to be for trans gendered people, also the castrata, men who castrated themselves to be more like the Goddess. Why are we the ONLY tradition they want? Go Gardnerian! Go Druid! Go Ecclectic! Filled with women, and men. They would fit fine. But if you claim to be one of us, you have to have sometimes in your life a womb, and overies and MOON bleed and not die. Women are born not made by men on operating tables.”
It is on this comment that I want to speak out.
I am a [link id=’2796′]transwoman[/link] myself. I was born in a male body, but I have always felt that I was a female, born in the wrong body. This has been a condition of my life. This means that in all likelihood my brain is wired like a female’s brain, and I can and do empathize with many female issues of the day.
- I fear being raped.
- I fear being attacked by those who don’t understand me and my life.
- I wish to have children of my own body.
- I have raised my daughter when she was younger.
- I have taught her to be proud of herself as a woman.
- I have helped and tried to talk to her about female issues, including telling her about her period and other such “female-only” topics.
- I have given her much advice on relationships, and reveled in her relationship with her lover.
Do these make me a woman? Probably not.
However, having the internal plumbing of a female doesn’t either. Here’s what we can look at:
- Am I genetically a female? No, I’m not.
- Do I have a period and bleed from my uterus? No I don’t.
- Do I have the biological ability to give birth to children from my body? Not yet.
- Do I have hormones of a female in my body? Yes I do.
- Do I have the mood swings associated with estrogen and other female hormones? Yes I do, and I have for long before I had HRT.
- If I take a pregnancy test, will it be positive? Yes, it will.
- Can I lactate from my breasts? Yes, I can.
- Do I have to worry about HPV and Breast Cancer? Yes, I do.
- Will I have a subcutaneous layer of fat, making my skin softer and a bit more squishy? Yes, I do.
- Do women who have a hysterectomy bleed from their uterus? No they do not. Are they considered women? Yes.
- Are infertile women considered women? Yes they are.
- Do women who have mastectomies still have access to “women’s Mysteries rituals”? Yes, they do.
- Do women who have had their cervix removed still have access to a women’s bathroom? Yes, they do.
- Are people who go to work in paying jobs outside the home, who have two X chromosomes considered women? Yes.
- Are AFAB who put on a tuxedo and boxers considered to be female? Yes.
Yes, these lists are a bit scattered. See, assigning gender to a person is slippery.
I can have all the sexual organs of a female, transplants work. I can have someone’s uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries implanted in myself, and I can have things redesigned, cut and changed around so that I can have all the same equipment to carry a fetus to term and give birth to it.
That is, if I had the money for it.
Does that make me more of a woman? Does it allow me to enter the “sisterhood of the bloody week”? Will that give me access to “feminine mysteries”?
I worship a goddess. Does that make me a girl? My wife worships a God, does that make her male? Is it that my wife has a female name, and I have a name that is typically assigned to a male?
What standard are you using to define who is and is not a particular gender? Is it ultimately genetics that tell you which you are?
If I can find a AMAB who has two X chromosomes, can he enter into the Sacred Sanctums of the Goddess? Or will he be denied too?
See, in my mind, the problems is not “who can participate”. The problem is “What defines gender” and that has ALWAYS been the problem.
I don’t have a problem, really, with those who want to have a AFAB ritual. I truly don’t. But when an intersexed person comes in who has a vagina, uterus and all the equipment, along with a penis and tries to participate, and they are turned away, is that truly what the Goddess wants? Will only lesbians be allowed into those rituals next?
Z. says that women are born, not built on a table. I can see and I actually agree with that. However, a woman who has an extra appendage has it surgically removed still a woman? If they have a rhinoplasty, are they women? If they have a facelift, are they still a woman? What if they have a “Vaginal Rejuvenation” as in getting a facelift for the lower lips? What if they are in an accident and have to have a complete Vaginoplasty? Are THEY still considered women?
Is the difference a matter of what we grew up with? How we were taught? Do I have to be beaten up by boys who don’t like me to be a woman? Do I have to learn how to cook and sew, how to put on makeup? How to walk with a book on my head? What about having a relative molest me, or a stranger who wants to grab my “private parts”? Do those make me a woman? Do those experiences make me closer to the Goddess? Will I commune more successfully with the nurturing mother, and the self-centered maiden or the wise crone if I have been abused sexually?
Here’s the central question: If a person who was assigned male at birth, who has had ALL of the above happen to them, rape, abuse, being beaten for being gay, for being too effeminate for being too swishy, for not liking to play football, a person who has studied how to provide a loving and happy home, who takes care of children, who looks and acts and has the hormones of being a female, if they tried to declare “I am Woman, hear me roar!” and stood out and asked to be allowed to be with her sisters, is it right and the Will of the Goddess that those who were assigned female at birth continue to abuse them by saying “no”, or would the Curse of the Goddess fall upon them?
A drag queen who revels in being a parody of a woman? Sure, deny them. Someone who does it for humor? I can see that too. Someone who only crossdresses because they get a sexual thrill out of lacy underwear? I can get behind those who want to deny them a place in the Circle. But someone who has had every, EVERY thing happen to them that you think makes a female, other than the genetic accident of XX instead of XY, why do you insist on continuing the abuse? Have they not suffered enough? Will YOU, Z., will you personally stand before the Goddess with them and say “They are not a woman”?
I think that is the central problem here. You say you speak for the Goddess, that you are Her representative on the Earth. Yet, you are spewing EXACTLY the same discrimination that the other Churches and religions out there do in denying this person the ability to be who they are. Hell, the Muslims don’t have a problem with TransGender people, they are commanded in the writings of Muhammad to be whom they are, and those who feel they are female should be female, living that way, even if they don’t have the equipment.
You are right in that there were groups in the past who would change themselves to be more like the Goddess. They would keep to enclaves where they could be with their own kind. But I want you to think of something for a minute: How do you know about them?
The men of the day wrote down about these deviants and about the weirdoes who cut their balls off so they could sing female parts. They told stories about men who dressed and acted like women, as they derided and made fun of those deviants. There was no place for them in any aspect of “Western” society. The Native Americans treated the berdache people as the sex they wished to be. The Japanese did the same. They weren’t hunted and hounded. They were allowed to live their lives as they chose, identifying as they chose.
So how is what we have now progress?
To those who have problems with these “men” being included, I say to you; Yes, I can see your point. Men should not be part of those rites of femalehood. But when someone goes through two, three, four and more years of effort to be female, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to correct a genetic mistake, all to be simply who they are, if you can HONESTLY say that they are mocking the Goddess in that effort? Will you continue to kick them when they are asking you to treat them as a Sister?
I can tell you that it has been my experience that many male groups would welcome FtM transsexuals with open arms. Why are you so threatened by a person who wants to be treated as a woman being included in your rituals? Shouldn’t women be allowed at all rituals that celebrate womanhood?
I would think that you, as a true Goddess-loving female, would want to celebrate any form of womanhood. That to have a ritual dedicated to bringing a new woman into the fold would be something to bring joy, not something to be disrespected.
Or do you plan to stop having “coming of age” rituals for girls who start their menses too? After all, they aren’t women but they want to be women, and a little blood does not a female make. After all, I can bleed.
And think about this: Here is a male, someone who has male privilege, who you allege has a lot of power in our society, is VOLUNTARILY deciding to become a minority, a female. They are giving up their “place in society”, as you seem to suggest, to move down the ladder of empowerment, right to the bottom as a transwoman. They will have no rights to anything, they will get the short end of being female, they will get the hate of being a “failed male”, the bad parts of being gay, all of it, heaped together. They will be denied the use of ANY bathroom in public, because the women don’t want them in their bathroom and the idea of being forced into a men’s bathroom is repugnant. They will live with fear EVERY DAY that someone will spot them as a transwoman, and that they will be killed with sticks and bricks. They will be killed and the cops won’t do anything. They will be beaten by the cops too and no one will believe them.
Why all the hate and rejection? Because they are the person they were meant to be.
And you will be adding to that. Think about it.
Originally posted 2013-04-04 13:12:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter