In the aftermath of the Emmys, and with Kylie and Julia’s retrospectives now in full swing, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and look back over the most recent season of Game of Thrones. It’s easy to say that any given character on that show deserves better. Whether from the horrible scripting or the in-universe treatment,
it is always an accessible criticism. Loras Tyrell in particular
suffered grievously at the hands of the writers, and of all the
characters savaged by D&D’s idiocy I have yet to read an article
about the pride of Highgarden. So here I am to enlighten you as to how
thoroughly Loras was savaged because of the rampant Toxic Masculinity, Homophobia, and False-Ally-ism present in HBO’s dumpster fire.
A heartfelt and inspiring letter that all boys/men should read.
Everyday there’s news/outrage about the latest female tragedy, the
“war on women” the #SJW feminist women, the body-shaming women. Then
there’s “rape culture” and “male privilege,” and “micro-aggression.” Seems to me, if you’re a man in this world, there’s nothing you can do right. If you tell a woman to smile, you’re a sexist.
If you tell a woman she’s pretty, you’re reducing her to just her
looks. If you tell a woman she’s smart, you’re a sexist for being
surprised that she’s smart and more than just her body. If you vocalize
that you think a hot woman is hot… oh geez. Bar and lock the doors, the feminists will stab you with their steely knives.
Well as a woman (yeah, it’s Courtney Kirchoff here, not Steven
Crowder), here’s something you need to know: women love men. For being
Okay, several feminist keyboards have been reduced to dust. Chicas
are hammering their keys like the old cavemen hammered their women
before dragging them into the cave. Oh that right there? Joke. I know
you feminists don’t think it’s funny. Nothing to you is funny. That’s
why it’s funny.
Yes, I know you’re out there, SJW feminists. You’re going to call
me a bitch. You’re going to call me a sell-out. You’re going to say I’m
an ignorant this, that, and plenty of other four and five letter words
because I dared to write “women love men,” despite the glaring proof
women do love men. Proof? The perpetuation of the species. You know, men
and women getting together, doing the deed, having and not aborting
their babies. I can hear you all yelling, “PATRIARCHY” and “RAPE,” out
there. Yell and scream and stomp all you want. I don’t care. Background
This letter is for the men who go out and do. Who build, who
create, who pursue excellence, who make the world a little better by
being unapologetic MEN. I’m not talking to the jerks and the creeps.
They get too much attention and they do NOT represent all men. Okay?
Sorry guys, I had to address those harpies first, because they’re shrill and annoying. Where was I? Right, women love men.
Millions of women, myself included, celebrate you guys for being
dudes. We may joke about how you annoy us with your one-thing-at-a-time
focus, but we love that too. Life
is simpler and better with you in it. We love how you say what you
mean. You’re uncomplicated, straightforward, and easy to talk to. And we
usually don’t have to issue disclaimers before we do speak with you…so
thanks for that.
We appreciate that you want to protect women. Despite what all the
feminists say, millions of us know you care for women. We know you would
pound a punk into the ground if he tried messing with us. We know you
love children and want to protect them. We know you want to call your
daughters “princesses,” and you’re not being patriarchal when you do.
We celebrate your ambition. One of my favorite qualities in a man is
his drive to be his best. He likes to take risks because he likes to
push his limits and test his strength. He likes to be challenged both in
his career and in his personal pursuits. Every day he is working to
better himself to be a greater man than he was before.
We love your competitive drive. Women might mock you for needing to
“out do” the other guys, but *this* woman at least, enjoys it. What’s
life without a little competition? Thanks for the sarcastic back and
forth, for trying to one-up your buddy at the gym. Rock on. We’ll watch
and cheer you on. But you better win…
We love your self-deprecating humor and how you want to make us
laugh. This one should be self-evident, but sadly it’s not. Even when we
don’t want to be cheered up, you still try. You’re a soldier who loves
his woman. Even if your woman gives you “the look” I’d like to think
that deep down she’s not plotting to smother you with a pillow when you
snore; she’s appreciating your good humor. Okay, maybe she wishes you didn’t snore so much. Hey, she’s human, too.
Oh SJWs, give it a rest. Are all men like the ones I’m describing?
No. But a lot of men are, and not everything is about you and your
micro-aggressions and fat-shaming. Stop taking up all the attention,
this shouldn’t be about you.
We love how you pursue us when you like us, and we like you. Three
feminist’s brains just exploded right there. Yes, men, we LIKE IT when you call us.
We like it when you show us how much you care for us by actively
pursuing us, even when you have us (7 more feminist brains have
exploded). We like it when you open the door and treat us like queens.
We like it when you make the plans, when you have direction.
So guys, when you’re constantly bitch-slapped by the loud, modern
feminists for “man-spreading,” or whatever other new term they’re going
to pull out of their uptight butts, know that millions of women cherish
you for exactly who you are: Men. The world is a better place with men
in it. Yes. I WROTE THAT. Millions of us support you. We support your
careers. We support your choices. We love you for being masculine, and
we celebrate you for it.
When I see pictures of the 60s, 70s and 80s, it overwhelms me how groundbreaking those men were, breaking every single social convention, standing for a new masculinity, a new society. They were called every name under the sun. It’s sad that when today someone like Harry Styles emulates them we still call him bold, because it means, in spite of those efforts, nothing has changed, and gender norms constricting individuality are as strong today as 40 years ago.
this is out of the blue but there are very few radio/film detectives i can stand from the golden age and thats bc most of them are chauvinist pigs lmao but its actually why i really like sam spade/the maltese falcon
bc sam is kind of the beginning and inspiration of every major fictional detective out there. hes the original. but like… he’s not a good guy; he’s cruel and self-serving. hes literally described as “blonde satan” on the first page of the book
but whereas every other detective has that behavior romanticized - marlowe, for example - dashiell hammett makes it clear on the last page that its not behavior to be admired. he was willing to let o'shaughnessy take the fall for the whole thing regardless of her innocence; its a defining part of his character. but when he goes to settle back into his job as per usual, he finds his secretary cant even bear to look at him or even speak
its an interesting game of telephone. hammett inspired decades’ of crime fiction, but nearly every detective from the era can be reduced to a womanizing scoundrel who (usually) gets the girl. the behavior is glamorized
its like how people came out of brba thinking walter white was a hero for his achievements when he. isnt
“It is not simply enough for trans activists to challenge gender binary norms (i.e. oppositional sexism)—we must also challenge the idea that femininity is inferior to masculinity and that femaleness is inferior to maleness. In other words, by necessity, trans activism must be at its core a feminist movement”- Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
During the course of writing this blog, I look back and reflect on things I’ve talked about to see how my perspective has changed. After 78 weeks, I still understand my gender identity as nonbinary, but I also recognize and enjoy seeing myself as male these days.
This week I read Julia Serano’s work. Her conversation around exceptional gender expressions made me consider my obsession with binary busting. Serano introduces the idea of subconscious sex, or that the brain knows what sex it wants to be. For some people it’s clear. For others it requires a lot of interpretation. I fall into the latter category. When I first came out as trans, I said that I related to both genders or neither. This is still the case. What is becoming less possible, for me, is the hope that I can live beyond gender, or beyond the binary. I feel its grip more and more as I settle into the body that I’ve always imagined/wanted for myself.
Curious about the ‘before’ me, people sometimes ask: Were you masculine back then?
They mean: Did you look like a man?
I did not. I was afraid to. My biggest fear is failure. I was very aware that I was living under a gender label and knew what was required for people to believe that I was a woman. I convinced others and myself for a long time. I was by no means hyper-feminine, but no amount of stereotypically masculine behaviour challenged my long hair, plum eye shadow, or D cup size. How I acted never seemed to matter as much as how I looked when it came to people making assumptions about my gender.
Back then, nobody ever said to me: “You look really happy.” They say that now. That’s the best compliment. Not: “You look like a man, I wouldn’t guess you’re trans.” In these instances, my gender feels validated for a second, but then guilt presses into me. I remind myself that being trans is not a weird or bad thing, and that looking like a man is not difficult for me (especially since starting T and having top surgery). It’s far easier than what I did before. The strangeness in the statement, “You look like a man, I wouldn’t guess you’re trans,” is knowing that some people think that I’m somehow less than a real man because I was born with different genitals. For these people, how I was born matters more than my day-to-day existence now.
Regardless of my exterior, I like to think that my demeanour/energy/behaviour is nonbinary. In this way, I feel like an exceptional man. I don’t enjoy a lot of typically masculine things/behaviours/attitudes. But I do like some. I enjoy even fewer typically feminine things. But I do like some. Julia Serano says this is the problem with oppositional sexism (or the belief that there are two distinct sexes and that they are opposites)- it makes the world much harder for women, trans people, and especially trans women. Oppositional sexism is fuelled by cissexual privilege, or the idea that being cisgender is better/normal/more authentic. This is a complex term, but one way of unpacking it is to imagine that two women are standing before you. They both identify as women and they both have little desire to embody stereotypical femininity. The woman who was born with a vagina will never have her womanhood questioned, but the woman who was born with a penis will. For this reason, Serano says that exceptional gender presentations are difficult for trans people to navigate because the reality of your assigned gender at birth could surface at any moment and change how people have come to see you. In an instant of external judgment, your gender identity can feel erased, sensationalized, or objectified (again, Serano’s points, not mine). Serano says this problem continues because the public refuses to let go of its fierce attachment to cissexual privilege and the need to make assumptions about other people’s genders.
I’m having a male experience. I’m experiencing the world in a way that feels comfortable to me and I have the knowledge that strangers who walk by me see me as male. I know this because I still have memories of how things were before (although less and less with each passing month). I can still compare experiences. My cab rides are quiet now. Drivers don’t usually throw small talk at me or over me and demand that I engage. This is one privilege. Another privilege is the ease that comes with knowing that how I see myself and how the world sees me is much more aligned now. There are other benefits too. But there are also new hardships of being unmasculine/less masculine/feminine in a male body (or a body that displays visible signs of maleness).
I don’t know what maleness feels like for every person, but I know what being a man is starting to mean for me. And it’s not simple. That’s the refrain we often hear about men: they’re simple or dumb. Some men glide through life without ever questioning masculinity, maleness, or their connection to gender. And some are like me.
My discomfort with sexism is something that has not changed. I find it unnerving and I feel its presence and danger. I don’t experience sexism as often as I did before, or as often as women, but it’s there. I feel it when my femininity surfaces and I know that I’m supposed to be embarrassed because I’m male-bodied. I feel the pressure, but I don’t feel the embarrassment. It’s who I am. What I wish everyone spent more time thinking about is how being feminine in a misogynist culture is an act of ferocity and courage. Read Serano’s book if you want to know more about that.
I’lll end with another great quote from Serano: “Because if construction workers were man enough to wear skirts and heels, they wouldn’t whistle at women who walk by. And if misogynistic rockers and rappers were man enough to cry while watching tearjerkers, they wouldn’t need to masturbate all over the mic. And if presidents and generals were man enough to wear lip gloss and mascara, they wouldn’t have to prove their penis size by going to war all the time. Because male pride is not really about pride. It’s about fear— the fear of being seen as feminine. And that’s why “girl stuff” is so dangerous. And as long as most men remain deathly afraid of it, they’ll continue to take it out on the rest of us.”