Jack Molay's picture

The Transgender Nature of Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway in Kenya

Jack Molay's picture

What the words trans and transgender really mean

There is a new movement of transsexual separatists over at tumblr who claims total ownership of the term "transgender". They call themselves "truscum" (appropriating a slur directed against them) and require that anyone who calls him- or herself transgender must be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. 

I have the deepest sympathy for the transsexual struggle and is gender dysphoric myself, but this attempt at excluding other types of gender variance from the transgender umbrella is simply unacceptable.

So here is a reminder on the common use of  the word transgender.

Jack Molay's picture

How to Effectively Invalidate Marginalized People

Many people seek comfort in strict  stereotypes, and they do their best to police others who do not share their prejudices.

A very efficient way of forcing others to adhere to whatever is considered "self-evident" in a society is to negate or invalidate the lives of those who fall outside these norms.These tactics are used against women, people from other cultures, the disabled, homosexuals and  transgender.

arvan's picture

open letter from a progressive white dude to other progressive white dudes defending stephen colbert

since most of us progressive white dudes do not really don't feel safe being talked to about race by anyone else, I felt compelled to say my piece on this issue as a card carrying white progressive dude.

(note: if you feel compelled to tell me that "not all white progressive dudes are like this and that you are one of the good guys...please don't. like, ever.) 

if you are white, male ID'd and progressive - this letter is addressed to you.

stephen colbert was wrong. he said some racist ass shit and no, it does not matter if "it was just a joke". colbert's response should or could have been

"I am sorry. That was racist. I was wrong to say that. It's not funny."

and then moved on.

instead, he blurted out in bravado, vanity, pomp and circumstance a bit about michelle malkin (the GOP asian girl) in what amounted to him saying "but I'm only joking and republicans are actually bad people"

it was a fauxpology of sarcasm that people would understand if they had a sense of humor. and for this, stephen colbert continues to be wrong.

arvan's picture

This is a comment on some things in Indian politics and US politics.

I’m not from India nor did I ever vacation there.  I don’t take yoga and I don’t own the Kama Sutra (why bother, when I can download it for free, anyway?)  So, I’m not an expert and I’m probably more wrong than right.  No cookies for pointing that out.  That said, here goes anyway.

Recently - Arundhati Roy agreed to write an introductory essay to “Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical edition by B.R. Ambedkar" which she titled, "The Doctor and the Saint: An introduction”.  Hindu nationalists like the BJP love to get their outrage underpants all bunched up whenever Roy does anything other than keep her mouth shut, basically.  Roy’s introduction to Ambedkar’s work may cause Hindu nationalists like the BJP to be outraged that she dare to say anything that is anti-Hindu (which is basically anything that is not unquestioningly pro-Hindu/BJP). The BJP is for all intents and purposes, India’s GOP.  So, their outrage comes as no surprise for her association with a speech that Ambedkar wrote to challenge progressive Hindus on their own desire to reap the benefits of caste are antithetical to their stated organizational goals and perpetuating the targeted oppression of lower castes.  

Ms. Roy is fairly leftist, challenging empire, corporate-military capitalism, caste and so - she’s an easy and constant target for people born into wealth and status and whose bank accounts seem to do very well when the ultra-nationalist BJP gets their way.  

arvan's picture

brown voices, white spaces

I got into a conversation the other day with my friend, about this post:


I said that a good strategy would be to give up on whitespace ever coming around, tell the bastards to fuck off smartly and carve out some posts in languages other than english because the thieves are too lazy to translate or learn another language.

she replied:

I read all of it and I disagree at the same spot I usually do

"If Brown bodies create social streams in their own cultures…"

The onus is on us (again) to escape such colonial forms of knowledge production

this really set me off emotionally.  I tried to restate my ideas, and that didn’t assuage me.  I didn’t want to prove her wrong, I didn’t think she was wrong, I just wanted to not have to agree with her.  then I realized that I wanted to deny that she was right.  and I thought, “oh my…” and I knew that I had to question my motives. 

why was I so attached to fleeing from whitespace?  I wanted to believe that I was cynical, resigned and willing to leave whitespace.  I wanted to avoid confronting my own active participation in sustaining whitespace and benefitting from it.  I wanted to leave whitespace and I did not want to admit that there is no way to leave, no place to run.  

whitespace can only be maintained or dismantled.  that’s it.  there are no other choices.  and no one can do your work or my work for us.

Jack Molay's picture

Broad Study of Gender Variant People Confirms Gender Continuum

Extensive study confirms spectrum of gender variance and debunks theories that try to sort transgender and transsexual men and women into distinct categories.


ShoesJaimie Veale is a New Zealand scientist who has spent quite some time on understanding transgender and transsexual conditions, including what I call crossdreamers.


I 2011 she published her doctoral thesis on gender variant identities, a follow up on earlier work that had also discussed Ray Blanchard's autogynephilia theory about birth assigned males who get aroused by the idea of having a woman's body.

arvan's picture

Powerful video from one woman to her rapist father

I saw this yesterday and it struck a nerve.  I was assaulted once and she was for years.  Her voice and all voices are welcome here...always.


arvan's picture

Is that the royal "we" in your pants or are you just happy to see me?


"We need to..."

When I see that in a sentence, I really wonder if there is in fact, a "we".  Did some group of any number of people at all (2+...) actually agree that the speaker can / does speak for all parties?  Sometimes there is and sometimes not. 

For the same reasons that one person speaking about another group of people is most likely inaccurate and informed by that person's subjective views, speaking for a group of people is not reliable as fact.

In the times where there is no actual agreement for "we" speaking by one person, I don't know if it helps.  It sounds better to say "we", right?  I mean, if all of "us" think X, then I am right by saying X...right?  That seems to be the implication. 

If this happens, and I'm not saying that it always is the case, but just looking at the times when "we" is assumed or employed without stated permission / agreement (never mind that agreement is not static and people can be halfway through hearing an agreed statement and find themselves in personal disagreement because they disagree with it now), does it end up helping that individual's communication? 

The answer is that it might or might not. 

I can't even begin to list the infinite scenarios of using "we" without prior consent / agreement, but I do want offer it up as a consideration.  Further and what I find value in, is asking myself, what can be gained or lost by stating one's own view as simply that?

The answer to that can lead me to choosing either option.  No single answer here, either. 

In fact, the only solid conclusion I can come to in the question of whether or not to use "we" when stating one's own opinion is that there is no single right answer. 

Considering all of this, I really have begun to question any statement with "we" in it.

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