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The Spearhead celebrates Mothers Day by attacking trans* mothers

Vintage Mothers Day copy

I apologize for returning so quickly to the cesspool that is The Spearhood, but I felt the need to note how head Spearheader WF Price celebrated Mothers’ Day this year: with an attack on trans* women that probably deserves a TRIGGER WARNING for its nastiness and ignorance.

Responding to an Op-Ed in the New York Times by author Jennifer Finley Boylan reflecting on her experience as a mother who also happens to be a trans* woman, Price lashes out at what he describes as

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.

You may recall A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam making a similarly transphobic “argument” about the alleged motivations of trans* women a couple of years back.

After this general attack on trans* women, Price narrows his aim a bit, attacking those trans* women who have the chutzpah to declare themselves mothers, focusing his wrath on Boylan in particular:

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. … If we don’t accept that he’s a mother, we’re bigots.

Well, yes, Mr. Price, not accepting that she’s a mother does make you a bigot.

After setting forth this rather garden-variety transphobia, WF Price spells out the broad outlines of what you might call an MRA Theory of Trans* Womanhood:

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.

Ironically, with the possible exception of the word “gaudy,” all those adjectives in that last sentence apply perfectly to Price himself, and more than a few of the other Men’s Rights Activists I’ve had the displeasure of encountering while writing this blog.

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Buntzums
Buntzums
8 years ago

Trans men don’t hate masculinity lol. They just want to adopt certain aspects of femininity which they feel better represents themselves.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Ok, it’d still require ASSFAX but that doesn’t surprise me. However, if he counts all anal sex as raping the person on the receiving end, and assumes that all gay sex is anal…sure, I can see how he pulled out of his ass that gay men are 100x more likely to be having anal sex than women. I mean, he’s almost certainly mathematically wrong, and gay sex = rape is so gross as to resemble fish poo, but yeah, I can grok the mind twisting.

What I can’t grok is how an under 10 lb cat just clomped in here like a horse.

I’ll need to check something on prison rape to review his other claim.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Ok, as I thought. The rates of men raped in prison, and women raped outside prison, are about the same. “Funny” how MRAs make the focus of male rape victims about how women are totally rapists!! And not about our fucked up prison system (our = US)

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

@Argenti:

If he’s counting consensual sexual acts of sodomy as rape, then the latest survey numbers from America say that heterosexual rates of such are high enough that actual incidence would lean heavily towards the women, not the men. Heavily.

And his “forcible” word-drop lets us know that he’s just out and out saying he believes most rape isn’t rape at all, that’s its false claims of rape.

qocheedy
qocheedy
8 years ago

(My previous comment was in response to Howard, incidentally.)

@thebionicmommy:

Well, it all makes perfect sense once the numbers have been adjusted to reflect the fact that (a) any given woman counts as some small fraction of a real person and (b) women exist to be sexually penetrated by men; therefore, the forcible penetration of a woman matters much less than the forcible penetration of a man. You also have to account for the huge volume of false rape accusations made by consequence-dodging sluts, man-hating feminazis, and pretty much any woman ever. After all that, if the numbers still don’t add up, that’s because your feeble ladybrain can’t handle math.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

Argenti, you are the best at analyzing stats. Thank you. I’m not much of a math whiz, but I could tell that his numbers had to be way off. I also think he is classifying rape into “forcible/legitimate” rape vs. “phony rape”, and then deciding that any oral or vaginal rape goes in the “phony rape” category.

pecunium
8 years ago

Howard:

Sometimes I think that “gender” was made up by Puritan feminists (which is what they truly are).

….Brz, is that you?

nah… it’s a common trope in the manosphere. See women want to “stop” men from having sex whenever they want it. They think there ought to be rules, and understandings, between people.

This gives some men sad pants (because the women they want don’t want them).

So, because we are against non-consensual sex, we are, “puritans”, trying to repress men in their expression of “natural” urges.

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

@Howard Bannister

Sorry if I came off unsupportive. I had just gotten up and wasn’t thinking straight yet. I missed part of the context and thought maybe we had drifted into silly casual conversation, as we so often do.

I don’t entirely disagree with you here; but the overall context, where Price is ripping into trans people and is adamantly mis-gendering them, makes any quibbles about ‘where does self-labeling become a problem’… it makes it a little problematic.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Howard — the more you know! I’m one of today’s lucky 10,000!

thebionicmommy — given that, my only guess as to how he managed to get 100 times more likely is the total bending of logic that qocheedy describes.

Something like that must be going on (or, and this is possible, he’s a country with a much higher rate of prison rape…doubtful given the US sucks, but possible)

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

“Seriously, if you’re cleaning up puke at 3 AM, comforting a kid that didn’t make the varsity team, selling raffle tickets for the PTO, worrying about whether your toddler’s cold has become a sinus infection, and all the other challenges of parenthood, then you are a mother.”

I know it means looking like I agree with Joe, but I had a similar “buh?” moment when I read this. I mean, Price isn’t denying that Boylan does parenty things; he’s denying that she’s a woman. So I’ guess I’m not sure what a list of “things parents (including Boylan) do” had to do with that.

@Freemage I figured it was probably a “tone doesn’t translate over the internet” thing. For my part, I apologize for getting defensive.

Karalora
Karalora
8 years ago

@Howard Bannister

No, I dig. I consider self-labeling pretty unassailable*…it’s labeling of other people I don’t want to let go unexamined.

* With caveats for certain labels that automatically imply assigning a particular label to other people. Actually, “mom” is one of those – if you go around calling yourself a mom but nobody actually considers you their mom, there’s a disconnect somewhere. But! If you call yourself a mom and someone whom you call yourself a mom in relation to also calls you Mom, then by Mom you’re a mom.

And WTF Price sucks.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

I know it means looking like I agree with Joe, but I had a similar “buh?” moment when I read this. I mean, Price isn’t denying that Boylan does parenty things; he’s denying that she’s a woman. So I’ guess I’m not sure what a list of “things parents (including Boylan) do” had to do with that.

Price was also denying her the status of mother as well as the status of woman. I was agreeing with Boylan’s point that suffering, or working hard and worrying to raise children, is what the job of motherhood is about. Motherhood can sometimes begin with birth, but it is definitely not a necessary part of the job. I think Joe was just trying to accuse me of overlooking dads and male caregivers, even though the post was about a trans* mother. He probably thinks its misandry to ever discuss anything and not make men the central focus.

Falconer
8 years ago

Instead it should “masculine sex and feminine sex”, as they say in a Latin derived language like French, Spanish or Portuguese, which is that sex is a much truer and better word than “gender”.

Oh, I see, a Germanic-derived, French-influenced language like English is too mongrel for you, eh? It must be the light-fingered way English has with words it likes from other languages, and carries them around on its back like those junk muppets from Labyrinth.

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

It must be the light-fingered way English has with words it likes from other languages, and carries them around on its back like those junk muppets from Labyrinth.

“English doesn’t borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.”

― James Nicoll

Tracy
8 years ago

I’m going to have ‘Dance Magic Dance’ in my head alllll day. Thank you, Falconer 🙂 That, at least, shoved some of the MRA gender arglebargle out.

If someone calls you Mom, then you are a mom. Period.

Agreed – I have 3 mums, and they’re all awesome.

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

Howard — the more you know! I’m one of today’s lucky 10,000!

I love the lucky 10,000 concept. 😀

Sadly, I ran into those numbers due to a massive case of fail by Will Saletan at Slate… (sigh)

Back in my old life I thought he was a clear thinker because of how he could use progressive language to come up with utterly bog-standard conservative conclusions. Sometimes opening up one’s eyes can be painful. Heroes lose all luster!

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

The closing credits song “Down in the Underground” is just as haunting… I love Labyrinth SOOOOO unironically…

katz
8 years ago

Did you guys know Bowie auditioned for Elrond? And PJ turned him down!

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

Were we doing Trans 101 book recs earlier in this thread? I wanted to repeat the Serano rec – she’s a feminist biologist with personal experience, her analysis is multifaceted and very enlightening – and also mention S Bear Bergman’s The Nearest Exist May Be Behind You. It’s a collection of essays that I read early in my feminist days, so at the time zir stuff on gender as performance was new and mind-blowing, and ze introduced me to the terms transmasculine and transfeminine (and also the idea of butch as a gender identity unto itself). Ze also has some interesting stuff on being trans* and Jewish.

Falconer
8 years ago

I have a serious love for Labyrinth, it’s awesome. That and The Last Unicorn.

Falconer
8 years ago

I’ll watch most anything with Jennifer Connelly in it, I think I had a small crush on her when I was a tyke.

Karalora
Karalora
8 years ago

@Falconer

Did you ever see The Rocketerr? Unappreciated classic, if you ask me.

Karalora
Karalora
8 years ago

Er…The Rocketeer, that is. Typo monster is stalking me!

melody
8 years ago

Labyrinth and the The Last Unicorn? *hugs*
They are on my movie pile right now.

Lets be honest MRM folks don’t want Jennifer to be recognized at all. He would throw a tantrum if she got recognized on fathers day too (not saying that should happen just observing that there is no winning….if that makes sense).

@the bionicmommy

He probably thinks its misandry to ever discuss anything and not make men the central focus.

It is misandry to ever focus on womens issues in the eyes of the mens rights movement. They pop up on ANYTHING that focuses on women. They claim they are about “human rights”.
Their logic is if cancer advocates showed up at every convention not about cancer and whined about how their cause isn’t being acknowledged.

Sorry for vanishing. I’ve been dealing with some stuff. I just got laid off 🙁
So, getting things in order and figuring out how I’m gonna make it work have been priority number one.

bagelsan
bagelsan
8 years ago

I love The Rocketeer!

Falconer
8 years ago

Did I ever! I made myself a pest until Mom took us to see it.

And then I came home and made fanart.

It was only years later, when I was sharing the gem with Beloved, did I realize that Jennifer Connelly was in it.

I bought myself a special, remastered collection of the original Rocketeer issues a couple of years ago, and I was struck by how much Cliff’s Betty is based on Betty Page, and how cheesecake and damsel she is (a href=http://www.atozombies.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/betty04.jpg>cf). I was disappoint.

On the other hand, nerd boner. *wads jacket on lap*

Falconer
8 years ago
Aaliyah
Aaliyah
8 years ago

About words like “male” and “gender” in English, one problem is that “gender roles”, “male gender” and “female gender” (the words themselves) are an abomination. These words have little to no meaning and can be switched at whim.

Instead it should “masculine sex and feminine sex”, as they say in a Latin derived language like French, Spanish or Portuguese, which is that sex is a much truer and better word than “gender”. And that while there is a difference between male and masculine or feminine and female, it is interconnected. Gnosticism and false dichotomies aren’t good.

Actually…

Gender: a trait that encompasses identity and expression.

Gender role: a social role associated with a particular gender identity.

Sex: the set of physical characteristics that include sex hormones, external genitalia, chromosomes, brain structure, and so on.

Can be switched at whim? Have little or no meaning? Ok.

Nice attempt at shaming language, though. technically ‘homophobia’= “fear of those like one’s self”. completely incorrect usage of the word.

What’s with MRAs and the etymological fallacy? Sheesh.

And, to be completely honest, why should we NOT ridicule men that lop their penises off in order to be failures as both males and females.

And what’s with transphobic people and their constant obsession with a medical treatment they don’t even understand adequately?

melody
8 years ago

I can’t write right now.

The logic of the MRM crowd is the same as if folks who were into cancer research showed up at every convention, lecture ect about any other illness and whined that that convention/lecture didn’t talk about cancer.

Hopefully, that makes more sense.

Falconer
8 years ago

And the first time I played Savage Worlds, someone played the Rocketeer (without having seen the movie or the comic, just because rocket pack), someone played Evie from Somers’ The Mummy, and a third someone played Rory the Plastic Roman. I played a gangster with a tommy gun in a violin case.

We fought a crocodile cult in the Amazon, culminating in a big battle against a giant animated croc statue.

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

The Rocketeer was why I was really excited about the Captain America movie.

Despite what I was certain would be the terrible casting of Chris Evans. I told myself, over and over again, that just because he was constantly typecast into that one role he plays really, really well didn’t mean he doesn’t have the kind of range necessary to take on a different role.

(sometimes the cynical and scared side of me is wrong. And that’s why I’ll give Man of Steel a shot even though I have no trust in Zack Snyder at all)

katz
8 years ago

The Savage Worlds pulp settings are pretty awesome. I’ve got a boss fight on Wednesday that I’ve sorely inadequately prepped for.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Sorry about the layoff, melody!

For a brief respite from your worries and cares, have some kittens:

Bee
Bee
8 years ago

Never seen Labyrinth, the Rocketeer, or the Last Unicorn, but I’m a big fan of the Neverending Story, Legend, and the Dark Crystal. I’m totally uncool! (Again.)

Falconer
8 years ago

I am very intrigued and very, very scared of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, apropos of nothing but the movie discussion.

I will go see it. And then I think I might sit in my car and let the shaking stop before I go home.

Falconer
8 years ago

@katz: I played more Savage Worlds this past Friday. I got a bit frustrated at the chase rules. If one group in a chase draws the lowest card, they don’t get to do bupkis, as my group understands it.

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

@Bee: Labyrinth is like Dark Crystal, but with David Bowie instead of scary terrible scenes where the vulture heads eat. (I may lose my lunch just thinking of that scene….)

@Falconer: seriously, that trailer is soooooo intense.

Dvärghundspossen
8 years ago

Labyrinth is a movie about muppets and David Bowie in really tight pants. Everyone who’s seen that movie has an image of Bowie’s crotch branded into their cerebellum forever.

Falconer
8 years ago

Someone on the Internet dubbed Bowie’s groinal bulge in Labyrinth as The Area, and the name has stuck with me ever since.

katz
8 years ago

Someone on the Internet dubbed Bowie’s groinal bulge in Labyrinth as The Area, and the name has stuck with me ever since.

Not to mention that his pants are nicknamed “The Magic Pants.”

I got a bit frustrated at the chase rules.

I like the idea of having abstracted chase rules, especially since so many of the vehicles have move speeds impractical for tabletop play, but I think the actual implementation is weak. A lot of trying to figure out what the rules mean and not a lot of logic.

Falconer
8 years ago

Yeah.

I gotta shake the expectation of mapping the action out on a grid that has been inculcated by playing D&D and other squad-scale skirmish-based RPGs.

Falconer
8 years ago

The vehicle rules in GURPS are awful, and seem to require the use of hex maps.

I would hesitate to run a Battle of Britain game in GURPS because all the planes are so fast. But I’d run it in Savage Worlds in a heartbeat because the draw of the cards represents the chaotic nature of a dogfight, let alone a furball (which is a big dogfight).

The draw of the cards also somewhat dilutes the relative distance between a highly skilled participant and a moderately skilled participant, because it’s another random element, and not one controlled by anything on the character sheet.

Aaliyah
Aaliyah
8 years ago

@marcilannister

Aaliyah: I am so sorry that you have to live in fear of these types! I can only hope that things will get better for more trans*(can someone please enlighten me about the asterisk?) people in the future. Guys like this make me want to hulk out and smash things.

Trans* basically is an inclusive term (i.e. it includes non-binary gender identities).

Crip Dyke
Crip Dyke
8 years ago

About the asterisk (or “splat”) character in “trans*”, see:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/10/you-want-to-see-bullying/comment-page-1/#comment-393220

Tracy
8 years ago

Labyrinth is a movie about muppets and David Bowie in really tight pants.

Every movie should be about these two things. Even documentaries.

Also, thanks Aaliyah and Crip Dyke for the info about trans* – I’m learning so much here, and that is good 🙂

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Crip Dyke — I forgot to ask earlier, but what are your preferred pronouns? Ze/zir for me (and just call me Argenti 🙂 )

Ok, I am really in a wacky mood, I find it hilarious that I’m one of NWO’s “zie creatures”…it sounds like “sea creatures” and FISH!!! (For the new around here, I keep fish, and will babble about them the way others babble about their babies, consider yourself warned 🙂 )

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Learning about fish is one of the things I love about this site. 🙂

I’m now imagining zie/zir having to be said in a Cornish accent, preferably by a fisherman.

cloudiah
8 years ago

@Crip Dyke, That was one of the best explanations I’ve seen about the origins of and reasons for trans* — thanks!

Kittehserf
8 years ago

I’m glad I know where trans* came from too, though as a non-geek person the terminology was monstrous confusin’! 🙂

marcilannister
marcilannister
8 years ago

Aaliyah & Crip Dyke: Thanks for the info. I know google is a thing and all, so I appreciate people willing to answer. I will try to keep them to a minimum, but I’m glad that others learned something too!

Sorry if the “If someone calls you Mom…” wasn’t very articulate. I think that regardless of actual biology, when someone is Mom to you, nobody should be able to say otherwise. And some people are lucky enough to have more than one!