Above, left: State Representative Leola C. Robinson-Simpson (District 25 - Greenville County) speaking at our local 50th anniversary celebration of the Civil Rights March, in Greenville's Cleveland Park on Saturday.
Above, right: Traci Fant, event organizer and local activist extraordinaire.
Back from Texas! (Did yall miss me?) You can see my purty family-photos HERE. My grandchildren (below) are both huge. And my grand-cat Napoleon is almost 9 years old! (as always, you can click all photos to enlarge)
And hey, I got old cars! (waves to the car-photo lurkers) You knew I would. (below)
I barely managed to get the first photo, as we went zooming by at breakneck pace. (Texans all drive like maniacs, including my beloved daughter.) I have no idea of the make, model or year of first one (it was for sale) or even the exact location--except that I snapped the photo somewhere between Fredericksburg and Kerrville. I am thinking: 60-61 Buick? It has fins!
The second photo, a Monte Carlo (75 or 76?), was taken in back of the Mellow Mushroom after the rally on Saturday.
Lots going on, as our awful Governor Nikki Haley (spits for emphasis) announced her re-election campaign right here in Greenville yesterday. When in trouble (as Haley certainly is), conservative state politicians ALWAYS run up here to hide amongst the GOP faithful. (As I have said many, many times, this IS the most conservative county in the USA, according to Rick Santorum's former campaign manager, who should know.) Haley's decision to announce here signals that she is in trouble in her own backyard, which is Columbia. (She avoids the coast at all costs.)
At yesterday's event, Texas Stoner Governor Rick Perry was on hand for comedy relief and her other good buddy, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (I mentioned here how chummy they are) was also present, for back-up.
She needed it.
Our own Double A, one of my two dynamite radio co-hosts, attended the demonstration against Haley, and reported on the foofaraw. Other than a few small, brave news outlets, the counter-demonstration was mostly ignored by local media.
HEAT and TRANS update, all in one
Recently, whilst sitting and baking in the ungodly heat, I have read/seen a good number of young trans men ecstatically bragging that they are post-op (known as "top surgery" i.e. mastectomies) and now, ohhh happy day, they can jump in the pool topless and sit around the house topless and at long last, go without a shirt! As if it is somehow intrinsically impossible to do these things unless one is male. These statements are utterly infuriating, and incidentally, feed the (unpopular and oppressive) radfem perspective that gender IS entirely a social construct (and therefore, they believe, surgical/hormonal transition should be unnecessary, and society itself should change or "transition" instead). Because going shirtless is not an intrinsically male or female activity, but IS entirely socially constructed, as we all learned as children, leafing through National Geographic and seeing photos of topless women in the Amazon or wherever.
The fact that these young trans men do not question their cultural environment, and make a big point of bragging about their newly-acquired social superiority (i.e. they are FINALLY FREE of having to do what those NARROW, CONSTRICTED, REPRESSED, GROSS WOMEN ARE FORCED TO DO: keep their shirts on), is very reactionary, offensive and sexist.
Wanting to shed one's shirt does not make you a man, it makes you conscious of the goddamn heat. Living in the broiler that is summer in South Carolina, I want to take my shirt off every single day. Every. Single. Day. And I am not a man and have never wanted to be one. As regular readers know, this is one of my big FEMINIST ISSUES--that men have this right and women do not, all because the almighty sacred titties are arousing to men and obscenity laws were written by men. (NOTE: This is rightly called PATRIARCHY, since the laws were written by MEN, using men's desires as a guide to what is regarded as obscene; women's desires have not been a factor.) I see no reason why WOMEN should not enjoy these so-called "male" privileges too. Instead, as in THIS VIDEO, it is simply understood that men have this seemingly-God-given right and women do not, period. Consequently, the young trans man brags that he can now, finally, at long last, hallelujah, take off his shirt.
And so, instead of properly fighting for everyone to have this right, it is presented as evidence of manhood (and in this context, transgender feelings), thus preserving the patriarchal status quo. This is backward, not forwards.
And further, radfems rarely (if ever) mention trans men and these kinds of sexist statements they make... its only when a high-profile individual like Chaz Bono is openly misogynist that anyone speaks up and says WHOA. I am tired of trans women taking all the heat for their choices, as trans men get off the hook, which by the way, perfectly mirrors our cultural sexism. As Julia Serano writes:
[The] media tends not to notice—or to outright ignore—trans men because they are unable to sensationalize them the way they do trans women without bringing masculinity itself into question. And in a world where modern psychology was founded upon the teaching that all young girls suffer from penis envy, most people think striving for masculinity seems like a perfectly reasonable goal. Author and sex educator Pat Califia, who is himself a trans man, addresses this in his 1997 book Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism: “It seems the world is still more titillated by ‘a man who wants to become a woman’ than it is by ‘a woman who wants to become a man.’ The first is scandalous, the latter is taken for granted.Which brings me to the matter of Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea Manning.
I said most of my piece on the radio yesterday. As I said then, I fully support Chelsea, and I am very proud we have a woman-whistleblower (go team!), which took all kinds of nerve. Although I must admit -- as a blogger, my first thought was, how on earth do I change all the tags on my blog (LOL) to CHELSEA when they already say BRADLEY--including some headlines and photos. Indexing nightmare! I remember the same problem back when I worked in a record store and we had to figure out what to do with Walter/Wendy Carlos. I finally lettered and inked a sign myself, that said Walter/Wendy Carlos, since people would come in asking for both (no internet in those days) and often believed they were a married couple, not the same person.
Speaking of sexism, sometimes classical-music freaks would actually inform me (haughtily and knowingly) that Wendy wasn't nearly as talented as her husband Walter (!), totally unaware that Walter and Wendy were the same person. When I tried to tell them they WERE the same person, they often refused to believe me, since you know, Walter is a serious musician who would NEVER do something crazy like change his sex! I mean, this was the 70s.
In response, I would simply tell them to look it up, since as I said, there was no internet in those days. So it was difficult to prove my assertion, since Wendy was/is a pretty private person. I hung around bisexual-circles even then, and I heard about Walter-to-Wendy through general gossip. And my record-store boss also seemed to know by community-osmosis (wink-wink), so he never argued with me.
In all my time there, only one of the aforementioned snotty classical-music crowd came in to apologize to me and tell me I was right... and come to think of it, I realize now that he was probably gay.
I am tagging this BRADLEY MANNING until I figure out a new tag. Blogger used to make it fairly easy to change a tag (you could change them all at once), but now, they make you do it one at a time. Ugh.
Does anyone know how the "big blogs" manage this type of situation?
Glad to be back, hope your week is going well too.