“Gender Reassignment: It Sure Ain’t Simple” by Dani Katz


I have no idea who this person is but this is one of the funniest goddamn things I’ve read in a long time. Great writing, fearless, politically-incorrect and seemingly lacking all feminist consciousness: one wonders what this author would create if the full picture of “Jendur” circa 2014 bit her on the ass. Unimaginable things!
Give it a quick read before transactivists threaten to rape her grandmother, burn down her condo, and prevent her from ever eating lunch in her own town again.
*Trigger warning: new-age jibber-jabber

48 thoughts on ““Gender Reassignment: It Sure Ain’t Simple” by Dani Katz

  1. I enjoyed that.
    Shouldn’t have read the comments.
    “You will never know, not with the soul that wrote this article, what strength and courage it takes to endure the world these women live in.”
    Really? Is that person for real? A woman doesn’t know what it’s like to be treated like dirt and to constantly battle against people trying to tear her down?
    Trans DO NOT have it “harder” than women. Women (especially in developing countries) get raped, beaten, sold at alarming rates.
    I’ve looked at the statistics on violence against transgendered individuals (from the Transgender Day of Remembrance), it does not compare to the violence inflicted upon women. Especially when you take in to consideration that the majority of trans murdered are working in prostitution, which is also dangerous for women.
    These people are fucking sick.

    1. I also enjoyed that, very much! I’m not familiar with the hippy-dippy new age stuff, but it seemed to relate to the matter at hand and was interesting to read, rather than eye-rollingly obnoxious.
      I think what many trans people suffer from (and aren’t able to properly communicate/get in touch with) is how differently the world treats them. There are two major splits:
      1. The trans person fits in. For all intents and purposes is considered female to the world around them, and most people probably aren’t aware that they’re trans. (Or the person is so inoffensive that people give them a ‘pass’.) These people are treated as women, and therefore must wear the soul-crushing societal straitjacket imposed upon women. Coming from the world of men and the automatic privilege that affords, this can be (and continues to be) quite the shock. Everything from being paid less, valued less, opinions ignored, talked over. Men feeling it’s OK to touch you, pat you, comment on your body. Being told that you need to ‘smile more, you’re so pretty when you smile’. Being terrified of walking alone in the night because of the threat of rape. There are a thousand more things that a man would have never had to deal with or even comprehend the existence of. (Keep in mind I’m not saying these trans people -are- women, just that they ‘fit in’ and are treated identically to women.)
      2. The trans person that is the “man in a dress”. Desperately trying to bully people into the illusion that they really are women, and live their entire lives no matter their age as if they are eight going on fourteen. Everyone knows they aren’t really women, and treatment of them varies from person to person — from pity to pretending to revulsion to refusal to acknowledge at all. This is the type of trans person that tends to get star billing on this blog, and generally the type leaving the most atrocious comments here there and everywhere.
      No matter which group they belong to, they find the world treats them differently. In the case of #1, it’s societal. Their eyes are opened to why feminism exists, and that women really are given second billing and valued first for how they look above all else. In the case of #2, it’s everyone. They butt heads with women, men, anyone that has to look at them and be affronted by their mess. No matter which camp they end up in, the world -is- hard. Harder than they’ve ever had to experience before. In the case of #2, they tend to act more like men than ever before. Oh how hard they have it, they cry. You have no idea, they cry! We are so much more oppressed than you, they cry! We all know it’s not the case. If you want to walk around looking like the stereotypical footballer in a dress, you have to be prepared for how the world is going to react to you. Judith Scheindlin (Judge Judy) always said it best: “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”
      Take responsibility for your choices, and understand that the world does not have to play along with your fairy tale delusion. Be grateful for the ones that do, and hopefully find peace with yourself somewhere along the way. I’ve met many m2t who have this perception that once they’ve had the surgery that they will be beautiful desirable people and that everything in their life will be perfect. It’s so sad to see because surgery is not a magical cut-off line that divides what’s wrong in your life from what’s right. It doesn’t fix ANYTHING. Only you can fix what’s inside your head, no-one else can. No surgery can. Getting mad and hulking out on the class you’re trying to be a part of just goes to show that no matter what delusion or disease you’re suffering from, you aren’t women. Violence against trans people (Gee, when that guy you’re making out with discovers you have a penis, what did you think was going to happen? Did you think he was going to hold you in his arms and whisper sweet words about how biological reality doesn’t hold a candle to what you think in your laydee brain?) doesn’t even register as a blip on the radar compared to violence against women, and the fact that these m2t can’t see they’re contributing to that violence is very, very sad.
      Sorry, ramble ramble.

      1. I’ll add something to your (2) – call it 2A: The obvious M2T fails to understand that his lack of passing makes it obvious that he has CHOSEN to have surgeries or whatever else in an attempt to be a woman. He then fails to understand why people then treat him as either seriously mentally disturbed, or an appropriating poser, depending on behavior.
        Gender is a hierarchy, not a binary. The M2T refuses to see this, and so will complain at every turn that it’s “so unfair” that women can wear pants if they want, but a man in a dress is seen as something freakish. The M2T will claim to be the “most oppressed” (more oppressed than either women or F2T) on this basis.
        But it’s like a white person putting on blackface and then trying to claim oppression for being black. The ACT of trying to join an oppressed group causes people to react, people are hostile to it – those who are actual members of the oppressed group because this guy is trying to appropriate their experiences and “slum it,” and members of the mainstream non-oppressed group because “why on earth would someone want to take that on???”
        This is where at lot of the supposed “cis privilege” BS comes from, too – the M2T are jealous of actual women who don’t look like men in dresses when they wear dresses, because those women don’t get the specific revulsion “ZOMG what a freak, he can’t accept his own identity he has Obvious Issues” treatment from the public.
        So there are endless stories about M2T who are so terribly oppressed because they can’t go to work “dressed” or they get weird looks from either coworkers or customers when they do, or when they insist on using “she” pronouns (before they’ve had anything legally changed, even). Well, of course they do – because they’re broadcasting the fact that they have these issues to the general public. They’re saying “I am not comfortable being a man, I need to be something I’m not.” That makes people uncomfortable, it’s not about the dress itself. Particularly if the M2T also has a serious case of “and I’ll crumble and utterly fall apart if you remind me of reality for even a moment” going on. People don’t want to deal with their issues.

      2. And something thry don’t seem to get is that people who are truly oppressed don’t have so many rabid allies and supporters rushing to their aid at every turn, can’t get negative articles removed or writers fired, and don’t get special laws passed so quickly. Just look at all the laws they’ve had passed to give themselves extreme freedoms, and in a fairly short amount of time. They like to complain that it’s taken a few years, or even a few decades, to get those laws in place. And yet, how many centuries have women fought for rights and protective laws, with much less progress?

    2. Correct me if I’m wrong because I’m not a medical professional but to me it seems that some of the people in this trans cult suffer from a variation of BIID or Body Integrity Identity Disorder.

  2. This was so funny! Politically incorrect and uninformed…yet oddly insightful at times. I loved the comments! And her responses: ” i find your vaguely threatening tone disconcerting/disappointing, ” Guess she’s too protected by white light to be scared like most everyone else.
    “regarding your question as to what gives me the right to share my opinions with the RS community/world at large? um….it’s really more of a birthright than anything bestowed upon me from an outside authority – quite similar to your own right to not have to suffer the torment of reading my articles by simply averting your eyes and/or not clicking through to them. free will is rad like that.”

  3. This article makes it seem not only simple, but progressive:

    Mama, Ella Has A Penis!: MARLO MACK on How To Talk To Your Children About Gender Identity

    When one reader wondered whether the author of the article was simply propagating gender stereotypes, one commenter replied by saying, “The author’s child DOES feel like a little girl. It’s not a change in gender identity imposed by the adults, it IS their identity as far as we know.”
    The author’s son said he was really a girl when he was three years old. His mother says she is now the mother of “a happy, confident little transgender girl who just started kindergarten.”
    There are overtones of eugenics in this. Absolutely chilling.

    1. As always (I realize I sound like a broken record by now, really I do) I have to ask the question, what does it mean to “feel like a little girl?” Can either the kid OR the mom put that into actual descriptive words?
      Absolutely chilling indeed.
      The fact that people don’t see the rampant misogyny involved in considering that “think like a girl” is a THING just scares me.

      1. This is why they need the thought terminating slogans. Because if you tied them down the only way they could describe “feeling like a girl” without using sexist cliches is to describe body dysmorphia: “He feels like his penis and testicles should be a vulva and ovaries. He feels like his reproductive system is defective.” Which casts a stark light on the child’s mental health and makes the situation much more worrisome and dire to the general public.

      2. @GallusMag – I must admit, when I was 3 years old or what, I had no idea what ovaries even ARE, never mind that I had any!
        I think I had “the talk” in the next year when I was 4 (my mother was pregnant with my little sister so it was the obvious topic of conversation in our house then).
        I remember being told everything from when the sperm meets egg, finding it fascinating, and yet wondering just how the two met. And yet I somehow sensed this was something I shouldn’t ask my mother. So I wondered for a while, what, is there is some day it just flies across the room or what? And yet, not everyone has the same birthday, so that can’t be it… ah, hilarious my naiveness.
        Still though, at 3 or so or as far as I can remember, even with no knowledge of interior structures, it was all about well, you’re a girl, so, you will be a mom and that’s what you’re suited for, and whatever else.
        …never did have kids in actual life (my sister has taken care of the grandchildren providing, so the pressure is off of me, thank her for that). So many dire predictions of how my life would be terrible for not conforming, did not actually come true.
        But so yeah, some kid is 3 years old, and supposedly (SUPPOSEDLY, because yeah I have major side eye going on) saying that he “feels like a girl” – just what is that possibly about?

      3. @Adrian- I love that, picturing sperms and eggs flying across the room to meet. I can remember thinking the same thing about what it meant to ‘be a girl’ from a young age, around 4 or 5- and resenting it. Having children meant, to me, as an actual girl child, being married, a housewife, and being tied to my family rather than to myself.
        But it never occurred to me to tell my parents that ‘I was really a boy’, and I find it hard to believe that any child does that spontaneously, with no prompting from an adult. The only way I knew as a child to explain that resentment was to tell my parents I was never getting married or having children- and hey, that prediction came true!

      4. @LC – You mention “Having children meant, to me, as an actual girl child, being married, a housewife, and being tied to my family rather than to myself.” and it reminds me of something else, too.
        Around that same age (kindergarten, maybe?) I hated to “play house.” I never was much for pretend games of any sort, but the whole “let’s play dolls” thing just really never did it for me.
        So! When my group of girl classmates would get together and the inevitable game chosen was “house,” I would always, ALWAYS, insist on the being the Dad.
        Uh-oh, does that mean I’m trans?
        No. I was the Dad so that I could conveniently “go to work” and thereby just get to happily do art on an easel or whatever nearby, without having to mess with the rest of the game.
        …though this is still one step up from my mother I guess, according to her she always insisted on being the dog!

    2. The thought terminating cliches. Very cultic. I think this is child abuse to teach your kid this shit. This goes well beyond lying to them about Santa Claus. It’s like teaching them that objective reality is wrong. Hot is cold and Cold is hot. Up is down. I wonder if these kids will grow up with severe mental health problems. They should title this article “How to turn your child into an adult schizophrenic”.

      1. Here here. It is the responsibility of the parent(s) to TEACH a child what sex the child is. This cannot be accomplished by asking it what it wants to be. They’re too young to comprehend. It’s not a discussion; they’ll understand later if exposed to natural biological examples and kept away from gonzo medicine. Why does that seem so difficult for parents to understand?
        No doubt it will be hellishly difficult to teach some gender bender kids what sex they are. Like me, some will completely meltdown over the insult of wearing a dress. I found it COMPLETELY UNNATURAL to be “dolled up” and dressing femininely disturbed me on a fundamental level. Still does. I simply WOULD NOT DO IT, and I was a good and compliant kid otherwise. If I had been dying of starvation and made to eat the clothes, I am certain I would have vomited them back up (gratuitous melodrama). Seems irrational the way I reacted. Kind of “clothes Autism,” I suppose. My poor parents, bless their hearts for their patience and love and for letting me dress in tasteful, dignified, gender neutral clothes. None of us knew what the hell we were doing. We really all did the best we could with such a challenging situation. To raise a gender bender… whew… They did an outstanding job!
        I am grateful that my parents were sensible folk and not lazy or dismissive about this teaching like so many well-intentioned, asshat liberals are these days, allowing their kids to figure it out for themselves. It’s not even well-intentioned; it is failure to parent. It’s abusive. I would have been doomed if left to my own devices. I had to be taught what sex I was and reminded repeatedly. I am a textbook androgynous female with Jessica Rabbit’s body and a visible Adam’s apple that bobs up and down when I speak. It was confusing for me as a kid and young woman. Gender bender thoughts and feelings are exceedingly complicated. There are, however, a multitude of wonderful healthy sexual feelings, thoughts and experiences to be had that go along with such an array of hormones as an adult. (Weeeee!) Trust me on this young benders if you’re listening: Find a brainy, old-fashioned young woman, fly each other like magic carpets and don’t come up for air until this trans nonsense shit storm blows over. (I apologize if this is uncouth blog behavior.)
        Ramble. Sorry to go on like this is an installment of “It Gets Better,” but it basically is.

      2. “I had to be taught what sex I was and reminded repeatedly. I am a textbook androgynous female with Jessica Rabbit’s body and a visible Adam’s apple that bobs up and down when I speak.”
        Sorry, but what sort of nonsense is this? WHY would you have to be taught what sex you were? And anyone who thinks they are ‘textbook androgynous’ yet can refer to the pornified body of Jessica Rabbit in the same sentence is just talking bollocks.

      3. @BadDyke: forgive me for offending your scholarly sensibilities.
        “WHY would you have to be taught what sex you were?”
        Doesn’t really matter WHY I had to be taught what sex I am. Because I didn’t know? Because I liked boy things exclusively and my body didn’t match with the pictures and it confused me? What matters is that my parents didn’t give in to my will like parents do so readily these days. After I hit puberty I discovered healthy sexuality and went on with the rest of the lesbians.
        Jessica Rabbit is a cartoon character with exaggerated features. I was trying to make a point. Lighten up. My body is really kinda like hers; I don’t consider my shape “pornified.”
        So I guess I must get an “F” in androgyny also. All I can tell you, Ma’am, is that I have been laying out by the pool in a bikini with a 36 c cup and been asked (by children, who see through everything to it’s core) if I was a man. Must be from all the bicep curls while watching rabbit porn…

      4. Teaching kids to ignore reality and their instincts is like handing them off with a great big bow to predators. Who benefits if we create a generation of girls with MORE hesitation to react to their instinctual sense of danger out of fear of being impolite?
        (Speaking of impolite: obviously us gals are always randomly chatting about our bra sizes and adam’s apples. But damn “ma’am” save it for mani-pedi night!)

      5. “I was trying to make a point. Lighten up. My body is really kinda like hers…..”
        Anyone who thinks their body bears any relation to Jessica Rabbit has a SERIOUS disconnect from reality. Of course, we all know who takes things like Jessica Rabbit as their ideal………..
        ” obviously us gals are always randomly chatting about our bra sizes and adam’s apples. But damn “ma’am” save it for mani-pedi night!”

      6. I don’t understand the problem with truckdriver’s comment, she was just using hyperbole to make a point. I think it’s a problem that a lot of young girls face: feeling trapped in the wrong body because they aren’t “proper girls,” others pornifying their body, being accused of being a man even while obviously female, etc. So maybe she used the word androgynous in the wrong context or something. Big deal. Oh and she mentioned her breasts, get the fainting couch. We should be allowed to tell our stories even if we get some words wrong. But no, it’s a lot more fun to not give her the benefit of the doubt and accuse her of being a transwoman.

      7. @BadDyke and Babazep:
        The concern at hand is young women (some with prominent adam’s apples) hacking off their breasts from body shame due to hormonal imbalance and the confusion that goes with it; not to mention Radfem ideals of unacceptable pornified body shapes. I was speaking to that issue by relating part of my personal story and hoping to find my target audience in an effort to help young dykes. Female body shape is central to that issue. It’s just perfect that my effort was hijacked by giggly radfems too uncomfortable to digest the idea. With standards like yours, no wonder some young lesbians butcher their bodies. Have another glass of wine, BadDyke. Have two. Tee fuckin’ Heeeee!!! The conversation, however impolite, is about basic human sexuality, primal drive and acceptance of one’s own body.

      8. truck driver logic- you;’re posting rude sexist shit however unintentionally. I don’t really care but stop being surprised when women find it strange.
        baddyke- as far as I know tdl is female, not the usual male imposter who uses hyper-sexualized language.
        Everyone move on and stop this personalized back and forth. Give each other a break. If you don’t I will stop posting the comments. I just don’t have the energy for this derail. Stop now please. Thank you for all you have posted but move on from this now. Thank you.

    3. What creeps me out is when parents like that say that the kid says things like, “I want a penis,” or, “I want a vagina.” How do little kids even know that terminology. I mean, I knew there was a difference between girls and boys when I was a kid. They peed different, and that was all I knew. I didn’t know what those body parts were even called, yet four-year-olds do?
      To me, that screams parental involvement in the kid’s body dysphoria. I’m not saying it does 100% of the time, but when kids that young are using said terminology, it raises a flag in my brain.
      Then again, maybe I was just way too sheltered as a kid, and I really was.

      1. Uuuugh the poor children! Nevermind that they will suffer from the consequences. Who cares. Parents and trans activists of course not. I mean what will happen to such children if no one with common sense helps them? Disabling puberty blockers, surgery and a lifetime of dependence on hormones.

      2. Teaching the correct body parts to children is not inappropriate. It is totally necessary. Girls that young – what should they call their vagina, vulva, clitoris – their “hoo-ha”? “Down there”?

      3. Well, I did say I was sheltered. When I was a kid, all I knew was that boys had a “thing” and girls did not. Our parents kept us in the dark about that stuff. I was 13 before I learned the proper terminology, and even then I wasn’t allowed to say them aloud.

  4. I really liked it. I wish she’d gone farther about the fad of having kids take meds to suppress puberty. To be honest, I’ve never seen a M2T that I couldn’t tell–not irl, anyway. There’s always a tell, in either behavior or appearance and usually in both. Some people I like, and so I’m willing to play along, because they’re a good person, and who does it hurt? but, increasingly, I’m tired of being an audience for the performances of others.

    1. You really hit the nail on the head.
      I’m so tired of being required to perform suspended disbelief on command, too.
      It’s downright galling. You have a penis? NOT a woman.

  5. Hi Gallus Mag,
    I am interested in setting up my own gender critical blog, not just to explore issues related to trans/queer culture, but to examine more in detail feminism and find my own take on things.
    Can you suggest resources where I can read up on trans law (in the US and the world), and the legal overlap between women’s rights and TQ rights?
    Also, do you advise self-hosting to avoid censorship or is it okay to use a free wordpress/blogger platform?
    Thank you for your work

  6. As a man – and what does it say about the world we live in when one feels the need to begin a response with such a self-justifying, dare one say, apologetic qualification? – it’s gratifying to read these questions being posed from a non-feminist perspective. Not that I disparage feminist insight you understand, quite the reverse: rather that it denies trans (gender) aficionados the easy out of projecting their issues onto ‘feminists’ (read, ‘women’). This is a thoughtful and witty piece (albeit with no hint of ‘edge’, or hostility) and yet it’s no wonder commentators respond with such abuse – the author anticipates such a response. Applause, for much the same reasons I (and GM) applauded ‘Demonic Males’: no pretensions to feminism; but highlighting similar – well-founded – concerns.

    1. ” it’s gratifying to read these questions being posed from a non-feminist perspective”
      Which reads to me like — lets IGNORE reality (i.e. centuries of patriarchal subjection of women) and then try and discuss trans AS IF the former did not matter. Like trying to discuss why minstrels are objectionable without mentioning black people, and then calling it gratifying if someone attempts it………..
      True there are objections to trans from the ‘is cutting up healthy bodies a good idea’ angle, but you can’t understand the WHY of it without talking about sex and jenduh and our current society, hence feminism.

      1. Men have their own issues with the trans, but of course they don’t have a lot in common with ours. There’s the absurdity level (“why are we supposed to play along with these crazy people again?”) or genuine concerned about the medical ethics, but there’s no threat there. At all. If a woman pretending to be a man sneaks into men’s spaces, she’s the one in danger.

      2. It’s often struck me, BadDyke, in conversations I’ve had around issues pertaining to gender; that the ‘F word’ has an unfortunate effect of polarising opinion; not because others are unsympathetic to feminist ideas, so much as burdened by misconceptions (about ‘feminists’ in general): many men – and not a few women – become unaccountably hostile to perfectly sensible ideas on account of the fact that nominal feminists hold and promote them. Couch the same argument in scientific terms, say, and they’re all ears. I feel like I’m patronising you here; and for that I apologise: I’m simply of the mind that if an idea’s sound it’s worth skewing the pitch towards the target audience – though I accept you may not feel obliged to do that work; and you’re right; one can’t dodge the fundamental question of gender forever. Not a perfect analogy by any means; but I’m thinking of Ray and Jean Greek’s excellent book on vivisection, Sacred Cows and Golden Geese http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sacred-Cows-Golden-Geese-Experiments/dp/0826414028 which eschewed emotional appeals against animal experimentation in favour of scientific and economic analyses. I’d like to think that there’s room for both approaches.

      3. Feminist was always pretty much a dirty word, and still is it seems!
        I tend to avoid the purely scientific here (apart from pointing out their bad science), because even IF it was shown that trans had female-like brains (and that we had similar ‘female’ brains), that SRS really was medically the BEST approach to certain such cases, that it really did give people a better life and so on and so on……….despite ALL that, it still would not help with the main issue, which is our right to distinguish between ‘women like us’ and them. They’re not and never will be my sisters, as simple and as emotional as that! I don;t have a great problem with emotional appeals, but having ONLY emotional appeals isn’t a great plan. But as well as FEELING they’re not like us, we of course have the blindingly-obvious facts of bodies and biology and upbringing– it’s not a sophisticated argument here!
        I guess I just resist the ‘science shows I’m a woman (with a proper ladybrain’ approach, because it makes it sound as if the debate can ONLY be had at a scientific level. As if our everyday perceptions and commonsense notions (he’s male-bodied and was raised male and had a penis for 35 years, which makes him a little different to the women I know don’t you think?) don’t count when held up against ‘yes, but she has a female-shaped bit of the brain here, and more connective structures here, and a 3-sigma deviation from the norm for the volume of this tidgy little bit of deep gray matter…………..’.
        Keep it simple, and listen to the women, cos we know that is not what men want! To take some other current news, seems that the men want to keep it as the legal and procedural issues of sexual harassment, and debate about whether ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ or ‘on the balance of probabilities’ is the best one to use.
        Whereas the women? My knee/leg/shoulder/breast, your hand — keep it OFF! Job done.

  7. @babaszep
    I’d say your post is very accurate, and if possible I’d like to add a 3rd possible point of concern: Boys are being taught that they must subject themselves to “sex reassignment” procedures or at least to “identify as girls” in order to perform in a certain way that is usually associated with femininity.
    This should worry any parents (male or female, straight or gay) and should be perceived by gay men as attack on our lifestyle.

  8. “Couch the same argument in scientific terms, say, and they’re all ears. I feel like I’m patronising you here; and for that I apologise: I’m simply of the mind that if an idea’s sound it’s worth skewing the pitch towards the target audience – ”
    I think too often women “skew themselves” right out of existence. Couch the same argument in scientific – as in science? Still a male-dominated field? – couch the same argument about feminism in masculinist rhetoric….try to sound more like what people expect of men, male people in power, and people will listen…???
    I think your pseudo-apology is exactly the opposite – just more patronizing language. Gosh, if only you women would communicate more like emotionally-repressed and repressive white males…here’s a whole book you can read up on…how you can be more like me….

    1. I certainly wouldn’t presume to try and persuade anyone around here to – even attempt to – think or communicate more like me: I’m the one learning here. I forget the name but a musician in a band I respect said in a recent interview ‘if you’re the best player in the band you’re in the wrong band’ and that kinda sums up why I follow GT and read women’s writing: it opens my eyes to a whole bunch of stuff I wouldn’t otherwise get to know. Likewise with ‘Sacred Cows…’ – which I totally recommend anyways, it’s an interesting book, and one which was as critical of (bad) science as much as it promoted (good) science as a useful tool. For instance, there is a chapter on Thalidomide which highlighted how the observable detriment to real women and kids was initially ignored because the results couldn’t be proved (replicated) with lab animals. Bollocks logic; but it supported the (financial) motives of (male) institutions… as if the suffering caused to the kids and the mothers wasn’t enough; the suffering to the animals only additional insult.
      I don’t want to see women ‘skewing themselves out of existence’: I’d, conversely, much rather see men appreciate women’s wisdom and adjust their behaviour accordingly. Like I said, I don’t believe women ought to feel obliged to do that work: I often feel I’m being patronising when I leave comments on feminist sites because who am I to presume readers aren’t already keenly ware of whatever it it I’m saying? But then again maybe not. I aim to initiate respectful dialogue; apologies – again – for falling short.

  9. Re: “As if our everyday perceptions and commonsense notions (he’s male-bodied and was raised male and had a penis for 35 years, which makes him a little different to the women I know don’t you think?) don’t count when held up against ‘yes, but she has a female-shaped bit of the brain here, and more connective structures here, and a 3-sigma deviation from the norm for the volume of this tidgy little bit of deep gray matter…………..’.”
    This is wonderfully quotable. Thanks for posting.

  10. Reality Sandwich editor Ken Jordan left the following statement today on a Decolonizing Yoga post demanding that Dani Katz’s article be censored and an “apology” issued. Whattaguy! Valerie Solanas FOR THE WIN!
    “Ken Jordan
    It’s impossible to read Be’s article without becoming aware of the difficulty she must have experienced in her journey to become her full self, the obstacles she had to of overcome, and the anger that left her with. Reading this article, I feel for her — even as she attacks me and the Reality Sandwich staff personally. But her personal pain doesn’t justify the many errors — slanders, even — she makes in her article. I wish she didn’t feel she had to attack in order to be heard.
    Be implies that I and the Reality Sandwich staff have opinions and intentions that couldn’t be further from the truth. Her questions and mistaken impressions could have been addressed, and laid to rest, had she taken part in an open, respectful dialog. But instead Be pulled out the flamethrower.
    Be completely misreads Dani’s article. Yes, Dani uses provocative language, but she does it to probe her own emotions in an unvarnished, thoroughly honest way. She acknowledges her prejudices, explores them with blunt language, and holds them up to the light for all to see. It’s uncomfortable to read, sure. It’s meant to be. Dani Katz is far from the first writer to deliberately press buttons that force readers to face their own uncomfortable reactions, aspects of themselves that they’d prefer to deny are there. She’s part of a long and honorable lineage that includes Baudelaire, Jarry, Burroughs, Valerie Solanis, Patti Smith, and so many others — many of whom, at one time or another, were the target of righteous calls for censorship. Just as Be is calling for Reality Sandwich to censor Dani’s article, and is quick to make threats if we don’t.
    Nowhere in Dani Katz’s article does she suggest that transgender people don’t have the right to surgery. She never questions the legitimacy of a transgender person’s desire for surgery. The article does test some widely held, progressive assumptions about transgender sexuality that, even if you don’t agree with her, are provocative to consider. But the article is not a polemic. It’s one person’s attempt to come to terms with her conflicted, at times unconscious, emotions about a highly charged subject.
    To represent the article as hate speech is disingenuous. Be cherry picks lines, then arranges them in a way that masks their original intent. Be does the same thing to a private email I sent her, which was not meant to be shared with the public. I’ll let that email speak for itself. It’s below in its entirety.
    Hi Be,
    I’m sorry the article hurt you, and that you’ve taken personal offense from it. I am certain that wasn’t the author’s intent, nor was it mine or the RS staff’s.
    Still, if you’ve been a reader of Reality Sandwich for any period of time, you should know that we publish a wide range of articles that address topics of interest to the transformational community. Some of them are controversial, and occasionally they use language that people might find upsetting or offensive. RS places itself in the honorable tradition of radical, independent publishers who have presented challenging material that some would prefer to banish to the margins or censor because the writer crossed a sensitive line, desecrated a sacred cow, embraced a taboo. For me, protecting a writer’s ability to freely express his or herself is paramount, especially when it comes to difficult topics that invite strong emotional responses. I think it’s clear that society benefits from this kind of protection. Without it, we would never have seen such catalytic works as Naked Lunch, “The Scum Manifesto,” City of Night, “Howl,” etc. — these are only the first to come to mind — which offended many readers, but which ultimately helped to shift our understanding of ourselves and human sexuality in general.
    My reading of Dani Katz’s article is that she asks provocative questions that our community will find valuable to consider. Anyone who doesn’t find her article engaging can stop reading it and move on to something else. Our publication of this article — or of any article — is not an endorsement of everything it says. Reality Sandwich does not follow a party line. In fact, the author actually quotes me in the article as disagreeing with her. But on RS we offer articles from a variety of perspectives that we think are relevant to conversations taking place in the transformational community. Some of our writers don’t agree with one another, and that’s okay. RS is a platform for discussion, not an organ for correct thinking.
    It was in that spirit that I invited you to take part in a safe and moderated dialog with Dani Katz so you could say exactly what you think, and have her respond to you. That invitation is still open. In your reply to that invitation you express assumptions about Dani Katz’s character that I do not believe to be true. By refusing to engage in a dialog, your assumptions will never be tested, and you can simply dismiss her in your own mind as a hateful person. What do you gain by that? The history of the civil rights movement — which you refer to — is filled with deliberate dialogs between people of different communities that saw themselves in opposition to one another. Only through dialog and compassion can any real understanding and change take place.
    I realize that Dani Katz’s article uses some language that could be considered offensive. Clearly it upset you, and I’m sorry it affected you that way. As a Jew, I relate your experience to my reading of anti-Semitic statements in the poetry of Amiri Baraka, a great writer and activist who I’ve long admired, but who was also capable of writing stunningly offensive lines about Jews. I always read those lines in a larger context. You can tell the difference between a provocateur and the Gestapo. If you pay attention. It’s a mistake to put everyone who upsets you into the same extreme category.
    Ultimately, I see Reality Sandwich as a platform where many different threads are weaving together a new culture — giving birth to a new vision of society. That process is not always easy or pleasant. We are continually being challenged to keep our hearts open, and to ground ourselves, again and again, in compassion. But that’s how the real transformation on this planet will take place: when we recognize ourselves in everyone around us, and realize that the distance between us is an illusion, it doesn’t exist. The value of dialog is that it helps us affirm that heart connection to one another, with the understanding that it’s always possible to reach another person so they can acknowledge and value our personal truth.
    I hope you will reconsider your earlier decision and take part in a dialog with Dani Katz about her article. I think the RS community would learn a good deal from it. Perhaps you and Dani Katz might, as well.
    Ken “

    1. On the one hand I applaud Jordan’s response – as much as he over-qualifies himself and RS – but there is something troubling when he appears to equate ‘…Scum…’ and ‘Howl’ as catalytic works; apparently – and this is only my reading, mind – equating the motives of a a Radical Feminist satirist and a sexual predator.Can he discern ‘a provocateur and the gestapo?’ Maybe they’re sometimes the same person? Maybe he adheres to a party line more than he appears to realise?

      1. Guls,
        I think he coming at both works as an editor re censorship not a nuanced reader of either poetry or womens’ writing. That’s my take. I also applaud this.

      2. @ Motherhood – yeah that makes more sense. It was late, I’d had too much Guinness and read something that wasn’t implied at all. 🙁

    2. That website is so laughable. Be Scofield, self-appointed savior of yoga.
      That Gus Allis article, “What Does a Woman’s Body Possess that Makes it a Woman’s Body?” is really too much. It’s been published before, so maybe it’s already been covered on here.
      To say that none of the different privileges, triumphs, oppressions, failures, and experiences of all our lives outweigh the fact that at one point all four of our ovaries released an egg for the very first time is insulting and demeaning.
      No, what females have in common is that we’re born with a babymaker. This gets you slotted into class female, which males seek control over, including sexual access and reproduction. Whether individual babymakers are functional or complete is irrelevant to how we’re treated as a class. Identifying the actual source of your oppression is not demeaning, but the first step toward liberation. Postmodern feminists, if you can even call them feminists, skip this step and assume you can identify your way out.
      Our differences are important (it’s called intersectionality, maybe you’ve heard of it?). The only thing we have in common, all of us, every single woman, cis AND trans, on this planet, is that we call ourselves “woman”.
      Female fetuses, babies and children don’t call themselves anything. Teena Brandon couldn’t identify her way out of being treated like a woman.
      On what basis can they accuse radfems of being the patriarchy? If there’s nothing to being female except identifying as such, what the fuck is a patriarchy and on what basis does it enact oppression? Why would they bother? Libfems have deconstructed the female body and feminism out of existence. It’s all about individual feels.
      Mostly, though, Gus Allis just watches Netflix in her room and cries about fictional characters.
      For once, Gus, I believe you.
      Color me unsurprised that she’s upper class. Like all libfems, she’s just an attention-seeking busybody too stupid to realize that for all her babbling about intersectionality, she’s stabbing the poorest, most oppressed women on earth in the back. You’d have to be a spoiled first-worlder to indulge in postmodern liberalism. The ones who shock me are the western WOC who buy into this. I’d expect them to know better. What they think they gain from fretting about all things “cis” is beyond me.
      Question: Why is it so hard for liberal feminists to identify the actual source of oppression?

      1. I read that Gus Allis article – I give it the benefit of the doubt, and assume it was written for a really YOUNG (teenaged) audience…so the language is extremely casual, hip, informal…I take GREAT offense at the idea that because I reject trans theorizing re: mutability of biological sex, that somehow I believe women who’ve had mastectomies and hysterectomies are NO LONGER WOMEN. It’s programmed into the frickin’ DNA by evolution, “nature,” biology whatever you want to call it. I mean, how many millions of years has LIFE been EVOLVING on planet earth? We humans are a product of that – our fingers, our stomachs, the fact that we are a sexually-reproducing species.
        But I guess maybe one can “identify” out of being a “member of a sexually-reproducing species,” ’cause you’ve “evolved” past all that. It’s just a version of creationism.

  11. Loved that trigger warning! There is something so awkwardly endearing about the new-agers. Yes, I would want to hang out and watch a Charmed marathon with Dani Katz, but if I fell asleep, she might start weaving my armpit hair into dreamcatcher. There was a woman I used to see at my pharmacy who used some sort of crystal pendulum to decide what vitamins to buy (at least I think that was what she was doing, but I may never know!) I am a little envious that I don’t have a gadget like that to make those kind of tough life choices for me. Seeing the world through a rainbow mist of unicorn farts certainly appeals to me at times. Not enough for me to abandon reality completely and agree that a penis is a female organ and that men can speak for and define womanhood better than we can for ourselves, but up until that point, yeah, magic is pretty neato.

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