I didn't post much last month because I was busy elsewhere: finishing a big editing job and arguing online with anti-feminists about feminism. Yes, I know the latter is nearly always pointless. We come in with our opinions already preset, so that all we're doing is trying (and failing) to convince each other that we're right and they're wrong – until, sooner or later, we get round to trading insults, and usually sooner than later. In fact, very often people don't waste any time, they just get on with the insults straight away.
Nevertheless, I thought I'd write something about it all here, setting out my own perspective on feminism as a gender-non-conforming man, away from the arguments as it were (and if they followed me over I could always delete them). To this end I started Googling for anything related to "feminism" and "transvestite" – and after a while I came across this:
I don’t consider the way I cross-dress to be emulating any kind of ‘proper woman’, it’s just that it’s pretty hard for me to emulate the ‘tomboyish feminist welder/bike mechanic’ of my dreams without looking actually more masculine than I already do.
That wasn't quite what I was looking for, but it got my attention and I went on reading:
I think I have a hardwired notion that it is desirable to be a girl. I also have over the years accepted and internalised the fact that I cannot be a girl. Therefore it is desirable to be like a girl, and because of our hugely gendered clothing split, the easiest way to achive that is to wear the clothes of a girl. If I looked more feminine, I think I would probably act a lot more feminine, but as I don’t want to try and fail to pass for female, I ground what I do in an acknowledgement that I am male. The identity I project outwards is therefore feminine male, rather than woman. I want to dress as ME, not as something I am not.
This came from the same blogpost: Issues of authenticity and ‘womanhood’. The blogger: Stand-up comedian, amateur occultist, musician, metalhead, and out transvestite, Andrew O'Neill.
After that I went through the entire blog from the beginning (October 2010), nodding emphatically and enthusiastically as O'Neill laid out his thoughts on coming out, being out, passing, femininity, binary gender, labels, language ... as he talked about harassment, phases, heels, fashion, records, grind(core), noise, steampunk ... as he referenced Eddie Izzard, S.Bear Bergman, Andrej Pejic, Genesis P.Orridge ... basically ticking my boxes one after another.
As for my title, that comes from this post: Gender-punk and consumerism, which is partly about labels and partly about buying pink handbags. All very nice :)
Finding a blog where you agree with almost everything is like a big virtual hug. And it's especially warming after you've been engaged in vehement online disagreement for however long. I may come back to the arguments at a later date; at the moment I don't feel like it. Instead, I'll just add Andrew O'Neill's splendid Postmodern trannyblog to my blog list and make sure to go and see him next time he's in Nottingham – whenever that might be. Apparently he did a Pride benefit here only a fortnight ago and I missed it :(