Everything Is Transphobic (But "Gay Men Draw Vaginas" Isn't)

Comments

1
File under: "...being so open minded that your brains fall out."
2
Ah for fuck's sake.
3
What a bunch of sensitive pussies.
4
I believe that picture is mislabeled, and Shannon is on the right, and Keith on the left. That or I've woken up backwards today.
5
We're beginning to approach "boy who cried wolf" territory.
6
I never quite understood the whole "vulvas/vaginas are mysterious" thing. I mean, I guess it is just a kind of humorous social exaggeration riffing on dudes who can not be bothered to please their ladies, but it really is not that confusing down there.

More to the point, just because you are not included in everything does not mean you are being "erased." As cis guy, I have no part in the discussion involving genital issues of, say, FTM trans folks, but that does not mean I am being "erased" by their discussions just because they do not take some time to focus on MY parts.

"Trans folks" isn't a slur is it? I find it hard to keep up sometimes.
7
If the use of the word "vagina" is triggering to a transman because he doesn't want to be reminded of his genitalia or to a transwoman because she doesn't have one, they need *therapy*, not coddling from the Left.
8
I'm guessing it might be OK if you issued a trigger warning every time you were going to say 'vagina'.
9
@5,

We blew past that a long time ago.
10
Anyone notice the total erasure of bi people from this post? Dan Savage is famous for coining terms like Santorum and DTMFA and "chocolate chip cookie". The Savagism he's expressing here, decoded, is "I have a collection of bi people in my freezer and you should too!"

Dan Savage needs to cut the charade and just file papers to have his name changed to Kill All Bis Savage.
11
Chalk this up on the same board about Jezebellites complaining about "risks to their mental health" from GIF spamming.

How did social activism evolve into a new form of being a weak-minded mental isolationist?
12
Somebody needs to write a dictionary of words we can't use.
13
@10, if I'm reading your comment correctly, you're accusing Dan of Bis Cis Dis? This is an alphabetic dysphoria to be reckoned with.
14
Also, the medical profession already has a term for patients who refer to their "front hole" -- it's "three-year-olds". Maybe next year they'll advance to "bagina".
15
I completely embrace the freedom of any person to be offended by someone else's expression, doesn't matter if it's is politically left or right. Whiners should man up and grow a pair. [uh oh!]
16
Yes to #1, #11 and especially #2. It sounds like something good was happening (benefit for Texas abortion funds) and supported by an actress willing to speak out (Martha Plimpton) and then it gets micro-analyzed.

For fuck's sake.
17
@4 - Not to assume about their gender identities, but Shannon has been known to be a man's name, and the person on the right could very well be trans (really, though, either of them could be trans (although I suppose that would have come up if trans people were accused of transphobia)). I don't see gender-identifying pronouns about the two anywhere in this post, though, so who knows.
18
and we need to refer to the heart as the blood pumper and the lungs as our internal balloons
19
Is anyone's language processing capacity big enough to include absolutely everyone in everything all the time? I don't think so.

For fuck sake, why would people who are not and never will be able to get an abortion (barring a miracle of science) worried about being excluded from things that have to do with abortion?

It seems to me that the concept of trans erasure should only apply to subjects in which they can be included.
20
Where's the fetus gonna gestate? You going to keep it in a cardboard box?
21
The purpose of words is to provide shorthand for definitions; definitions are exclusionary by nature.
22
This really seems to be about people trying to get attention and respect, rightly or wrongly, the only way they know how.

It is counterproductive, in my opinion, to take specific complaints like these at face value. That just leads to a cycle of dismissal, leading to people feeling more disenfranchised, leading to more misplaced outcries. Similarly, appeasement is not an option either, as that just rewards these attention-seeking outcries and encourages more and more zany demands.

Instead, see these things for what they are– attempts to find and/or make a place in a society that is, in general, pretty trans-phobic. It's a shame that the biggest victims of these antics are people who are for the most part actual allies (turning these into purity tests). Help trans people find a place and voice for legitimate issues (like, you know, trans kids living on the streets, etc.) and I suspect over time these silly issues (like what you can call a vagina) will dissipate.
23
Dan sure seems angrier about a random example of a minority overplaying their right to police language related to their minority group than the larger injustices practiced against them. That's some Fox News bullshit right there.
24
@ 19 - Not that the complaints aren't ridiculous for other reasons, but trans people can get pregnant and have abortions, FYI. Which is just another way that the complaint falls apart under scrutiny. Trans men (read: actually just a couple of online "activists") supposedly didn't want vagina used in an abortion funding drive because they didn't want it associated with femininity. The problem is that it wasn't a fundraiser for femininity, it was a fundraiser for abortion rights, something which could impact anyone born with whatever you want to call biologically female reproductive organs, whether they are cis-female or trans guy.
25
@22,

Given that even relatively mainstream transadvocates feel entitled to harass lesbians for not wanting to suck cock (google Lily Cade for some examples), this goes way beyond some oversensitive people crying about things that don't actually affect them.
26
@14 you win!
As a Trans woman I find all this hubbub absolutely ridiculous, I'm not being excluded because you don't expressly include my unique parts. In fact I don't want you to see me as what's between my legs. It's nobody's damn business except mine or whoever is in my bed. I know very few T folks that want to indentify with what's between their legs and this type of self victimization just draws attention to that. I call shenanigans!
27
@18: I, for one, will certainly hence forth be referring to my lungs as my internal balloons. Because I love the word balloon.

BALLOOOOOOOOON!!
29
There are always going to be Ellen James Societies popping up, and demand alms to their self rigtheous behavior.

(Ellen James Society, to those naughters and mid nineties hipster is from "World According to Garp", but read one John Irving Book, you read them all)
30
@24--19 is making the same point as you--only people with vaginas and uteri and ovaries, whatever gender they identify as, can get pregnant. Not that the uterus-less shouldn't also care about abortion rights, but the vagina-ed are the people directly affected.
31
this thread isn't over until Raku weighs in.
32
@14: I thought they were pronounced "paginas" when I was about 4 or 5 years old. And you know what? I still do.
33
@27 I have a severe latex allergy and am allergic to balloons, so I require, neigh, DEMAND a trigger warning whenever you use the B-word.
34
The vagina is a potential space between the external genitalia and the cervix of the uterus. Unless it's being penetrated by someone or something it's not a space at all. I don't know how anyone could draw that.
35
I think madcap @22 is pretty on the money.
I think that in a gynecological setting the term used should be discussed on a case by case basis when the patient is a Trans man, or gender queer. What ever term they feel comfortable with is the one their provider should use, and they should speak up and let their preference be known. Nobody is a mind reader after all.
But.
As a vagina haver I will continue to call mine specifically, and the organ generally, a vagina. Or a pussy. If that's good enough for Buck Angel it's good enough for me. :) I am in no way interested in erasing Trans men, but again, as a vagina haver, I am also not interested in being erased either.
36
@33: I bring you this peace offering

http://www.balloonplace.com/catalog/late…

BALOOOOOOOON!!
37
@18: Personally, I like to refer to the rectum as our "internal shit externalizer".
38
@ 24 - I never actually mentioned "trans people", just the subset made up of "people who are not and never will be able to get an abortion" among them, which are the ones being "excluded".
39
I mean

BALLOOOOOOOOON!!
40
The word "trigger" is itself troublingly phallocentric in both the gun and firing device images it immediately evokes. Thus, could anyone giving a trigger warning give a trigger warning for their trigger warning? Of course, then you'll need to give a trigger warning for that last one, too. And then for that one warning about the other one. In fact, could you all just spend the rest of your lives typing the words "trigger" and "warning" over and over and over again? It will protect my psyche and I'll feel much better for it. Thank you in advance.
41
I can't wait to go see "The Internal Genitalia Monologs."
42
@41 I understand it is far superior to "The Front Hole Monologues!"
43
@Dan, Remember when you said homophobia in the black community was a far larger problem for people who are homosexual than the racism in the gay male community was for black people? You focus on combined gay/trans issues seems to focus on trans people engaging what you feel to be ridiculous in language policing (some of it is). Personally I feel more threatened in queer spaces than general public ones that I know to be liberal, and I'm not sure I've ever seen more than a paragraph or two on it in years of reading most every article on the stranger. I'm probably wrong on that, but nothing is coming to mind.
44
I wonder if Dan Savage is concern trolling this stuff. The opening quote is: "[Some] online feminists have even deemed the word “vagina” problematic."

Are there really that many people who consider the inappropriate use of the word vagina an issue or are we talking about a lunatic fringe whose views should just be ignored because they are irrelevant as to power and influence. Is this sort of like how, for example, one can scroll Jezebel, find an angry commenter that believes the first drop of alcohol validates consent, and then make a blog against the angry feminists among us?

I admit that I live in a relatively insular bubble - I have never heard the term privilege or patirarchy outside this website, so there are obviously subcultures of thought outside the mainstream that exist that some take seriously. But assuming attitudes about vaginas being offensive are limited to a small subset of crazies, best to ignore them rather than waste time debating them and in the process giving legitimacy to their insanity.

45
If there's one thing that social justice warriors excel at, it's attacking their allies.
46
@36 What a darling you are. I used to have kids throw balloons and erasers at me to watch me break out in hives and sometimes need an epi pen when I was in middle school. Pre-teens are assholes.
47
In case anyone is wondering why the left can't get anything accomplished, this. This is why.

A popular, mainstream actress on two popular shows who just won an Emmy is open about the fact that she's had an abortion. And is criticized for using the word "vagina". (And "front hole"? For real? I wouldn't even let my three year old niece call it that).

I'm pretty sure most "social justice warriors" are far-right loons running an elaborate trolling on the rest of us. It's the only thing that makes sense.
48
"some people on the internet said some stupid stuff"
49
@46: Ah yes, the Thunder Dome that is Jr. High. I am so sorry they did that to you.
But now! Through the Miracle of Science! You too can know the joy of making carnival poodles and giraffes with BALLOONS! And fuck those rotten kids! Fuck them right in the side of head hole (more commonly known as the "ear")
50
This is the new SJW thing, I guess.
I got called out by someone (either a transman or baby butch) because I wouldn't go along with the statement "Both men and women have vaginas. Both men and women have penises. It's just the truth.” And I was trans-phobic because I asserted that a vagina was, by definition, female.
And for "I have issues with Dan Savage" AKA Spike1382 1) Dan is a columnist who's supposed to be keeping up with what's going on. 2) If Dan shouldn't be reporting on stupid shit people do--then they shouldn't be doing it. 3) Why do these kinds of things always have the perps carrying on like trash whenever there's any push-back. Just because you claim a higher moral ground doesn't mean you're exempt from people telling you it's stupid.
And if I had the nerve to tell any woman I know that they're supposed to say "front hole" for vagina--just thinking about the reaction is enough to make me want to lie down with a cold compress.
And Glanz' article gave me a headache because I can't stand the "so sincere" tone of that kind of thing. Jesus Christ--is humor a lost art?
Wonder what would happen if someone started a "Good Woman Project" website?
51
I don't know, man. Is this actually some kind of movement we need to be afraid of, or did Dan just find somebody being a dick on the internet and post it here so SLOG could get an outrage-boner about how OTHER people are stupid and don't have good common sense like WE do? (i.e. the Fox News business model) Dan Savage is the boy who cried 'wolf' about boys crying 'wolf.'
52
Is anyone else reminded of the Ellen Jamesians from World According to Garp? Fucking insanity.
53
@51: Yeah, maybe you could argue that point. If this was the only thing I'd written about trans stuff this week.

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Savag…

Sorry, but I don't think it's fair to stand by and say nothing when people are maligned with false charges. Spoke up for myself when I was, happy to speak up for others when they are.
54
I don't even. . ."front hole"?! Really?!

I do not understand what is transphobia or exclusionary about the term "vagina". A woman can have a vagina. A transman can have a vagina. Therefore, isn't "A Night of 1000 Vaginas" inclusionary by not specifically inferring that abortion provision is only for women? Or am I missing something?

As for Gay Men Draw Vaginas - I'm a gay man who works in works primarily in women's sexual and reproductive health. I have seen *a lot* of vaginas. . .
55
Perhaps they could redefine the term "pie hole" for their purposes. Just a thought...
56
@20 Gestation takes place in the uterus, or what we should all be calling now the "baby place"
57
Tim @44, yes I think these are sub-sub-cultures! I work as an administrator in a University department where we teach courses called (for example) "Reproducing Gendered Bodies" and I do think lunatic fringe is not too far off the mark.
58
Some gay men do find vaginas mystical, most probably don't give them a second thought. And as far as front holes are concerned, it amuses me to think of all the front holes around that the next generation of boys will be sticking their front sticks into.

Why don't we simply abandon language altogether. Nobody has a vagina. There! Solved. They don't exist because we don't speak it.

There is nothing 'phobic' about using appropriate terminology for body parts that many (not all) people have. I simply don't have one.

Furthermore, everybody seems to generalize. It doesn't say ALL gay men. Just gay men. Frankly, I've never seen one, will never draw one, and probably won't even understand jokes about one.

But 'Front Hole'? What does that make a Man Hole? Seattle City light employees crawl in and out of those everyday!
59
Front hole.

Jesus.
Does no one understand basic biology? WTF. There are three holes. The front one is *not* the vagina.

*headdesk*
My two-year-old had a more comprehensive understanding of her body parts.

60
So, how's the whole identity politics thing working out? Today's normal word is tomorrow's hateful slur, people always having to step around eggshells just to appease neurotic freaks on the internet...isn't dealing with the left's version of the Westboro Church such a fun experience?
61
So I can't even use the term vagina now to refer to my own body now? Thanks allies! Our congress totally agrees with you. Glad you are on their side.....
62
@59: No, no, no! There is your "Back Bottom", and your "Front Bottom". Babies come out of the "Tweenie", (from the descriptive phrase in regards to the reproductive process "Weenie in Be Tweenie").

Ta da! You're welcome!
63
But did Dan contribute his drawing of a canned ham?
64
@59, I was just about to post that but you beat me to it. These people need to lighten the fuck up and stop making themselves ridiculous, because this shit only makes it harder for trans* people to be accepted in society. "Vagina" is the technical term for a goddamn body part, and we have technical terms for good reasons. Using baby talk isn't "inclusive," it's fucking stupid. It seems like trans* people have more than enough issues on their plate as it is, so why dream up dumb shit to be offended about?
65
which brings me to a question for Gantz: Was your erasure of gay trans men intentional?

Thank you for using Gantz's words against her.

I wonder why there's so much anger, hostility, and a willingness/expectation to see bigotry everywhere, even places that are clearly safe havens for them. I worry that one of two things will happen: they (with the help of their feminist, lesbian, and bisexual allies) will destroy all of our organizations, festivals, and groups from within or they'll be ostracized from the LGBT umbrella.

Either way, this isn't sustainable. It can't stay like this.

Also? They're no fun to be around.
66
#11 A lot of it has to do with the millennials. They're not the only ones to blame, but they're a large part of it.
67
Jane @26, +1. Thank you.

I'm starting to think we need a NALT trans movement. I've know and lived with some trans folks [FTM & MTF], and while all of them had some sensitivities here and there [I think that pretty much goes with the territory of being trans in this culture], none of them had a moments patience for this kind of inane pettifogging.

We certainly need to educate the gender-normative mainstream, and work socially and legally for trans rights and acceptance, but the twits who pitch a fit no matter what are only alienating allies and weighing down the effort.

[And there is no way in hell I am ever going to use term front-hole, thankyouverymuch.]
68
I don't see why we can accept a bipolar gender paradigm that is nonetheless non-normative. You need to be able to say the sky is blue before you can say it's other things.
69
The saddest consequence of all this is that Gavin McInnes is gonna start to seem intelligent in comparison.
70
"Front hole" makes it sound like a disgusting object or something that I should be ashamed of. I'll be sticking with calling it "my vagina" thank you very much.
71
@17: Sure, but I have a quick counterpoint:
http://static.squarespace.com/static/503…
72
"The feel-good book project of the year"?????

All together now...

Gimme an L
Gimme an M
Gimme a B...

Still, at least the book people get a good-on-them for inclusion.
73
The only hole which faces front is the eating-food-and-speaking-and-grunting-hole.

The vagina is the pointing-down-at-the-ground-in-front-of-you-as-you-walk-hole.

A friend of mine calls hers Mona. Maybe I should just start calling them Monas.
74
Fuck the Word Police. Seriously, Fuck Them.

Where do they get the idea that it is OK to suddenly declare a commonly used word, which has been part of our linguistic heritage for centuries and was never considered offensive before, "exclusionary"? Where do they get the idea that it is for them to decide what a word means, when they are very much in the minority?

"Vagina" is the ordinary word we use to denote the female genitalia in the English language, when we wish to avoid connotations of either vulgarity or euphemism and ensure that there is no confusion about what we are referring to. It was never intended to have a transphobic connotation and the people who claim it does are seeing something that just isn't there. The problem is with the people who are choosing to be offended for reasons that are completely made-up.

This kind of arbitrary linguistic policing has the effect of mangling the language and making it hard for people to say anything. Take your umbrage and shove it up your back holes.
75
fuck these freaks. every.single.one.of.them needs to be in therapy to try and fix their warped fucking minds.

and I will god damned if some societal reject is going to tell me what words I can and cannot use. Fuck all of you and your PC bullshit.

76
Also, "front hole" and "internal genitalia" are poor replacements for "vagina" because they are too vague. "Front hole" could, depending on context, be misconstrued to mean a mouth, a front door, the front entrance of an animal's burrow, a port on an electronic device, or a whole bunch of other things. "Internal genitalia" could be construed to refer to the uterus or ovaries, or even a male part like the prostate gland. "Vagina" is the only word in the English language that is precise in its meaning and avoids vulgarity and euphemism. It is the one and only "pure" word to refer to this particular body part, and taking it away would do immense harm to our ability to talk about anatomy and sexuality.
77
Having viewed some of the drawings submitted to this project, I didn't get any message (implicit or otherwise) that these guys all find vaginas "ludicrous or mystifying". Many were realistic in a way that suggested real-life experience, and others were more abstract but beautiful and even appreciative. There were definitely drawings from guys who do not find vaginas appealing (often hilarious!), or have probably never really seen one before, but I don't see how anyone could assume that none of the artists could possibly be trans, or the partners of trans-men.
78
@71: How do you do that? How do you do that thing where you click and a picture shows up instead of taking you to a website? HOW? I am old and want to learn this new thing that is of the intertubes.
79
Just a note that front hole has a real problem due to location. That particular opening is the middle of 3 holes down there. People seem to forget about the urethra for some reason. I realize it is a far smaller opening but it is indeed in front of the Vagina. So instead of the stupid sounding "Front Hole" it should be called the just as stupid sounding "Middle Hole"
80
(1.) I see this "art show" as just more immature misogynist "Dur, hur, hur, vaginas are gross!" bullshit. Goes along with calling women breeders and children "crotch fruit". Queer male privilege is no more "cute" or "funny" than straight male privilege. (2.) Those are not vaginas. Those are vulvas.
81
@78: So generally speaking if you see a picture on the internet, by right-clicking, one option will be "copy image URL", and using this URL, we go straight to the image.

http://slog.thestranger.com/imager//b/sq…
82
Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina.
83
That's one book I'd like to get.. Really, everyone of us was intimately, in out gestation, connected to the vagina..That pesky sperm our dad shot out, had to enter our mothers vagina and travel up that dark warm passage and crash land into an egg..
What the hell is going on in the US? This stuff really seems way over the top.
Hail to 1000 Vaginas...
Front Hole, Yeah, no thanks. Vagina is one cool word for one amazing part of a woman's body. And the Vagina is not the front hole on a woman . Maybe you guys want us to go with second hole? Yeah, again, no thanks. What a hide.
Please, trans folk- feel free to call your body parts any name you choose. Ok? But stay the fuck out of what I call my body parts. Deal?
84
We've had men for so many many yrs, pushing us women around. Now we've got trans-women ( people who have XY chromosomes ),
Trying to tell us we can't acknowledge and celebrate our vaginas? Wtf? What next, pregnant women should hide away for nine months cause the sight of their fat, pregnant with child bodies , might offend trans- women?
Yeah well, nice try...
85
Didn't read the comments before I put up my own. Cheers @79, you
Picked the problem also. Guys have got two holes, guess nobody bothered to check hole nos in us women, before the outrage..
86
I think it is exactly because "front hole" is ridiculous and wrong that makes this a good moment to discuss the "word police" and "support".

If there are trans people having trouble with the term "vagina" in various contexts and in contradictory ways, then I think we should be supportive of them speaking out. If they are doing so in ways that set up a no win situation for their allies, or attack those who are generally for them, then some of supporting them should include trying to correct that.

Sure, the word police are having some high profile bad moments, escalating peaceful protesters into riotous mobs and shooting people over petty crimes, but for the most part, they do good work.
87
All I can say is: if anyone asks me what my "preferred pronoun" is, I'm going with "anus".
88
@84: The people who are pushing this "Don't Call it a Vagina" agenda are not Trans women but Trans men. They have vaginas but don't want they genitals coded as female since they are men. Trans women who have GRS to get a vagina are more than happy to call them by that name. Just as you and I are. :)
89
As someone from the Canadian prairies, I propose we use "Regina" as a trans/non-binary-gender-inclusive term. (Side note: my friend's little brother thought that babies came from Regina.)
90
Thanks Lissa.. Apologies to trans- women. Though I'm sure my points can cover some of the militant voices coming from trans- women. So, I'll leave em..
Trans- men. And some modern Feminists( no wonder the name is so on the nose these days), I say to you. Er, No.
Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Vagina.
91
Pretty much anyone who uses language like "intesectional policed gender binary" is likely to find pretty much everything transphobic. It's best to ignore such far left idiots, along with the far right bigots.
92
Vagina Vagina Vagina

This is something trans activists better just drop and get over real quick.
93
"Indeed, there’s a nascent genre of essays by people who feel emotionally savaged by their involvement in it—not because of sexist trolls, but because of the slashing righteousness of other feminists." is from the Nation article. I don't think a newsflash that women can be sexist trolls writing internet essays too helps, why link that stuff? And I don't get the importance of this rant from some spanking new bs Good Men project. Maybe reporting a recent piece from a credible news source?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteveryt…

It's short and to the point. If you want a transgender topic:
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entert…
94
Since you can't read the full links:
washingtonpost
/women-who-hate-on-feminists-hurt-all-women/

independent uk
bbc2-commissions-britains-first-transgender-sitcom-boy-meets-girl
95
Where is Raku? Swallowed up by his own vagina?
96
trans activists getting upset at VAGINA is insane

97
@ 47 and others assuming trans people are liberal/ left wing/ progressive

They all most certainly aren't

There are many conservative repub trans people. Heck, born frank Maloney / now Kellie Maloney is anti gay, racist, and an anti semite. Just check his wiki page from when he ran for public office

Please stop assuming all trans people are liberal.
98
" others assuming trans people are liberal/ left wing/ progressive"

wanna bet they all also support gub'ment funded genital reassignment surgery?
99
"My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal, which bothers some men. The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina."
100
This is what happens when you attempt to placate a tiny group of mentally ill people by pretending that they are not mentally ill. No effort at pretending is enough because there is always some way in which the pretense fails to completely mask reality. So we have demands that transfolk" be called whatever name and pronoun they choose. But that wasn't enough, so we had to call them by newly minted terms like "zir" and "zie." But that wasn't enough, so according to trans activist "Hex," the correct pronoun is "it" - a pronoun which only last year was considered offensive. In the meantime, Piers Morgan was attacked because he said that Janet Mock had been born male. Mock went after him even though it was revealed that Mock used the exact same phrase. Now, women are forced to refer to their vaginas as "holes." How much more are we going to take from these basket cases before we realize that what they need is psychiatric help, not appeasement?