Shared posts

04 Sep 01:48

Mt. Denali VS Mt. McKinley

by Kristie Lane
bernot

long but informative

A little long, I know- But I had to get this out. Ohio is making a bill that would void the name change, and they're gathering fuel from people who don't know that full story. Which is pretty much everyone. So all I ask is people just be INFORMED.

Thank you,
04 Sep 01:52

I never liked that cat.Hey I’m coming on tour, POSSIBLY NEAR...



I never liked that cat.

Hey I’m coming on tour, POSSIBLY NEAR YOU, with my new book, Step Aside Pops!

so see you THERE (maybe)

[x]

03 Sep 01:55

California data shows racial disparity in arrests, in-custody deaths

Data shows arrested black juvenile males are booked into jail at a 25 percent higher rate than whites
03 Sep 01:17

Photo



03 Sep 02:47

grungebook: Melvins, San Diego, Aug. 27, 2015 (poster design:...



grungebook:

Melvins, San Diego, Aug. 27, 2015 (poster design: Delano Garcia)

02 Sep 18:02

parl–calmer: soundsof71: FULL ALERT: LIFESIZE DAVID BOWIE...

bernot

$400 and He can be yours







parl–calmer:

soundsof71:

FULL ALERT: LIFESIZE DAVID BOWIE PILLOW!!!

The Lifesize David Bowie Pillow stands 66" tall and is the ultimate gift for a David Bowie fan’s home decor.

Sit this Bowie doll onto a daybed or sofa, against a wall as a soft sculpture artwork or on the floor as a makeshift chair.

Handcrafted from high quality printed fabric that is silky soft to the touch and backed with sturdy broadcloth, this tribute to David Bowie’s famous Ziggy Stardust costume is an utterly unique addition to any Bowie fan’s home.

**I’m a body pillow…
**I’m a Big Bowie coming for youuu…
**I’m the couch invader…
**I’ll be a rockin’, rollin’ cushion for youuu…

Designed by Demi Anter, available at ProxyShop

ziggy-played-keytar buy this.

02 Sep 17:46

White Noise Boutique to sell ‘artisanal white noise’

bernot

no
well, maybe


 
Residing at the precise point where conceptual art meets commerce meets mathematics meets cyptography meets transcendental meditation meets, shall we say, hipster excess is the White Noise Boutique, a pop-up shop that will exist in the city of Brighton in the United Kingdom from September 9...

02 Sep 13:30

aagdolla: Twins at Afro Punk 2015 by aagdolla



aagdolla:

Twins at Afro Punk 2015

by aagdolla

02 Sep 14:06

scrappadoir: Judge — September 1925



scrappadoir:

Judge — September 1925

02 Sep 16:43

Photo









02 Sep 16:47

the-weird-wide-web: “ I’m 87 years old…I only eat so I can smoke and stay alive.. The only fear I...

the-weird-wide-web:

“ I’m 87 years old…I only eat so I can smoke and stay alive.. The only fear I have is how long consciousness is gonna hang on after my body goes. I just hope there’s nothing. Like there was before I was born. I’m not really into religion, they’re all macrocosms of the ego. When man began to think he was a separate person with a separate soul, it created a violent situation.

The void, the concept of nothingness, is terrifying to most people on the planet. And I get anxiety attacks myself. I know the fear of that void. You have to learn to die before you die. You give up, surrender to the void, to nothingness.

Anybody else you’ve interviewed bring these things up? Hang on, I gotta take this call….. Hey, brother. That’s great, man. Yeah, I’m being interviewed… We’re talking about nothing. I’ve got him well-steeped in nothing right now. He’s stopped asking questions.“ 

~ HARRY DEAN STANTON

02 Sep 01:23

Photo



01 Sep 13:56

Watch: Eddie Redmayne Plays Trans, Danish Artist Lili Elbe in First Trailer for ‘The Danish Girl’

by Moze Halperin
bernot

cautiously optimistic
also weeping openly

Eddie Redmayne

The much-awaited (both by those excited to see Eddie Redmayne’s transformative performance, and by those eager to underscore how Redmayne’s transformative performance — while indeed transformative — could have been played by a trans actor) trailer for Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl is finally here. 

The Danish Girl depicts the life of Lili Elbe, who, living initially by the identity with which she was born in the late 1800s — Einar Magnus Andreas Wegener — had been a married artist. Elbe’s wife, Gerda Gottlieb (played by Ex Machina‘s Alicia Vikander in the film), was also an artist, and one day, Elbe filled in for one of Gottlieb’s models, donning women’s clothing — and attained a never-before-felt sense of comfort. Gottlieb’s art became highly recognized, without people knowing that her female subjects were often based on her spouse.

Eventually, Elbe became one of the first people to receive the then-experimental and incremental sexual reassignment surgery; her marriage dissolved, and she left art behind, affiliating it with her former identity. She had her name legally changed, and was able to get a passport bearing her full new name, Lili Ilse Elvenes (Elbe was her more-frequently-used nickname) — but died three months after her final surgery. In an op-ed for The Advocate, David Ebershoff — who wrote the biography on which the film is based — said of Elbe:

Lili knew that a false life is no life at all. Who are we? Whom do we want to become? How do we perceive ourselves? How do we want to be perceived? These questions of identity are often at the core of our own internal struggles. Resolve them, and you are closer to being free.

The film, which also stars Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, and Matthias Schoenaerts, will be released in North America on November 27. Watch the trailer:

Here’s the poster:

the-danish-girl-poster

Via Indiewire.

01 Sep 16:00

Alice & The Queen - The Luck Of The Draw

by Zeon Santos
bernot

i'd never really connected Queen Liz from Blackadder with the queen of hearts, but there we go


Alice & The Queen by Kellabell9

Someone once presented the theory that Alice and the Queen of Hearts are simply two sides of the same card, one oriented towards positivity the other pointed towards Wonderland's underworld. This theory has been debated by mad hatters and brilliant philosophers alike, but they all run headlong into one fatal flaw in this logical leap- Alice is hunted by the Queen, and would lose her head if Alice had her way, but can such a narcissistic soul truly desire to destroy herself?

Deal yourself a winning hand with this Alice & The Queen t-shirt by Kellabell9, it's a bright and colorful design that's sure to drive your fellow fans wild!

Visit Kellabell9's Facebook fan page, official website, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more playfully geeky designs:

All The Fox A Peanut Galaxy Adventure Alphabet Moby

View more designs by Kellabell9 | More Movie T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!

01 Sep 15:30

The Groundbreaking Silhouette Animations of Lotte Reiniger: Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and More

by Colin Marshall

You can’t talk about the origin of the modern animated film without talking about the work of Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981), the German creator of some 40 animated films between the 1910s and the 70s. And you can hardly talk about Reiniger’s work without talking about the enchanting art of shadow puppetry, which we mostly associate with traditional cultures like that of Indonesia, but which also inspired her early 20th-century innovations in animation. This may sound quite obscure, especially when put up against the Disney and Pixar extravaganzas in theaters today, but all these forms of entertainment draw, in a sense, from a common well: the fairy tale.

The creators of today’s mega-budget animated films know full well the enduring value of fairy tales, and so continue to adapt their basic story material, layering on both the latest visual effects and smirking gags with up-to-the-minute references in order to keep the obvious entertainment value high. But Indonesian shadow puppet theater has been doing the same thing for centuries and centuries, converting ancient folktales into an evening’s (albeit often a long evening’s) musical entertainment for audiences of era after new era. And Reiniger, in her day, revived the oldest European stories with technology once as striking and cinematically cutting-edge as today’s most advanced CGI.

You can watch Reiniger’s 1922 adaptation of Cinderella at the top of the post. “Nobody else has defined a form of animation as authoritatively as she did,” writes Dan North of Spectacular Attractions, “and the opening section, where scissors make the first cuts into the main character, conjuring her out of simple raw materials, displays the means by which the story is fabricated and marks it out as a product of her labour.” Below that, we have a later work, 1955’s Hansel and Gretel, an example of her further developed technique, and just above you’ll find that same year’s Däumelinchen, also known as Thumbelina.

To get a clearer sense of exactly what went into these shorts (or into 1926’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed, her only feature-length film, and first fully animated feature in the history of cinema), watch the seventeen-minute documentary “The Art of Lotte Reiniger” just above. “No one else has taken a specific animation technique and made it so utterly her own,” writes the British Film Institute’s Philip Kemp, “to date she has no rivals, and for all practical purposes the history of silhouette animation begins and ends with Reiniger” — but the way she breathed life into her material lives on.

You can find Reiniger’s films added to our list of Free Animated Films, a subset of our collection, 700 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc..

Related Content:

John Turturro Reads Italo Calvino’s Animated Fairy Tale, “The False Grandmother”

Watch Animations of Oscar Wilde’s Children’s Stories “The Happy Prince” and “The Selfish Giant”

Colin Marshall writes on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

http://www.openculture.com/2015/09/the-groundbreaking-silhouette-animations-of-lotte-reiniger.html is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

%%POST_LINK%% is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

01 Sep 13:27

No more winner-take-all in Missouri’s GOP presidential primary

by USA News
bernot

update your spreadsheets everyone

Once upon a time, Missouri Republicans gave the winner of its presidential primary or caucus all of the state’s national convention delegates.

No longer.

For 2016, the party has changed its allocation system. Now, Jo Mannies of St. Louis Public Radio writes, the winner of each of the state’s eight congressional district will win delegates.

And that could have a profound impact on the level of interest in Missouri.

With more chances to win delegates, a bevy of GOP wanna-bees will show up in the state to campaign, predicts John Hancock, the state GOP chairman.

“I expect this presidential primary to see the best turnout of any primary we’ve ever had,” Hancock said. “There’s just a tremendous amount of excitement about these candidates.”


  • The Buzz

    Comments
    source

    01 Sep 14:00

    Photo



    01 Sep 06:34

    "It has been decided that Halloween season officially begins on September 1 and lasts until 11:59..."

    bernot

    it's time
    it's time
    it's time

    It has been decided that Halloween season officially begins on September 1 and lasts until 11:59 p.m., October 31. There is far too much to see, do, taste, touch, listen to, scare, hide and/or run from to contain within the 31 available days in October.

    Thank you for your cooperation.



    -

    Evil Supply Company official press release
    August 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM Central, USA (via evilsupplyco)

    2nd annual re-issue: August 31, 2013 at 10:51 AM Central, USA

    (via evilsupplyco)

    3rd annual re-issue: August 31, 2014 at 11:15 AM Central, USA

    (via evilsupplyco)

    4th annual re-issue: August 31, 2015 at 8:29 AM Central, USA

    (via samhaineveningpost)

    01 Sep 08:42

    maudelynn: Ziegfeld Follies Spider Dance 



    maudelynn:

    Ziegfeld Follies Spider Dance 

    31 Aug 13:59

    Carrie Brownstein One Punch KO’s Danzig on Set of Portlandia

    by ihatebillconway

    PORTLAND — The production of popular IFC sketch comedy show Portlandia was suddenly halted last week after the show’s writer and star, Carrie Brownstein, knocked out guest star and legendary punk frontman Glenn Danzig with one punch.

    After Danzig’s cameo on the upcoming season was announced, many within the punk community — who inspire much of the show’s material — wondered if Danzig’s notoriously short fuse would cause problems on set. According to sources close to the incident, it took less than two hours on location before Brownstein and Danzig became involved in a heated exchange about the show’s filming schedule.

    “Carrie was just calmly asking Glenn if he would be willing to film his part a bit later, because an earlier sketch (about a guy who works at a food truck that only sells beard oil) took longer to film than originally anticipated. Glenn got really upset and the two starting arguing in front of the crew,” said production assistant Danielle Rice. “It eventually got so heated Danzig said ‘Fuck you, motherfucker” and then boom, Carrie just laid him out with a wild haymaker that she threw like fucking a baseball. Danzig melted like a candle into an unconscious mess on the ground.”

    A grainy, blue-tinted video of the tussle quickly spread on social media and left many Danzig fans wondering if it was time for the 60-year old punk icon to take a look at himself and maybe stop picking fights with people that are more physically imposing.

    RELATED: RECAP: Comedy Central’s Roast of Glenn Danzig

    “Danzig’s chin just isn’t what it used to be. Back in the day he was a little ball of fury that could really fuck you up,” said longtime Danzig supporter and current devil lock-haver Timmy Howell. “But father time is undefeated and gets us all. I still think he is the greatest frontman of all time, but he needs to quit being so macho and talking about his black belts and just reunite with The Misfits already.”

    After scoring the one punch knockout Brownstein was reportedly heard shouting “Carrie Brownstein is undefeated,” at Danzig’s unconscious body.

    UPDATE: According to preliminary paperwork filed in the court system of Los Angeles, Danzig’s unconscious body has already sued Carrie Brownstein, Fred Armisen, Sleater-Kinney, Crisis of Conformity, The North Side Kings, IFC, and Kanye West’s 2020 presidential campaign.

    Article by The Hard Times Staff @REALpunknews. Mirinda Moriarty @leeloodallas_multipass.

    Like us on Facebook and keep up with all the latest Hard Times news.

     

     

    The post Carrie Brownstein One Punch KO’s Danzig on Set of Portlandia appeared first on The Hard Times.

    30 Aug 13:40

    sorinthemourning: theinturnetexplorer: Poke-Shaming Have not...





















    sorinthemourning:

    theinturnetexplorer:

    Poke-Shaming

    Have not actually played a pokemon video game ever, just the cards when they first came out, and even I find these adorably endearing.

    29 Aug 10:54

    La Bite - Joseph Loughborough

    bernot

    nsfw-ish



    La Bite - Joseph Loughborough

    29 Aug 13:53

    Shaniya |...



    Shaniya | NY

    http://rebelliousambition.tumblr.com/

    Photographer’s IG: gordyy___

    29 Aug 22:08

    blvckery: vaporwave error grid leggingsS-XL$20

    bernot

    yes please





    blvckery:

    vaporwave error grid leggings
    S-XL
    $20

    31 Aug 17:45

    Dungeon Grind: Urge Support Dungeon Grind on Patreon!



    Dungeon Grind: Urge
    Support Dungeon Grind on Patreon!

    28 Aug 06:35

    Ban on Gay Bars + Mafia = Nightmare to Homophobes Everywhere

    lgbtq-history:

    image

    Handwritten chalk text on a boarded-up window of the Stonewall Inn (1969)

    Why did the Mafia own virtually every gay bar including the historic Stonewall Inn?

    In the early 1960s the State Liquor Authority (SLA) of New York considered establishments that openly served alcohol to gay people to be “disorderly houses” as well as places where “unlawful practices are habitually carried on by the public”. Consequently, the SLA refused to issue liquor licenses to gay bars and revoked popular gay establishments’ licenses for “indecent conduct”. Sounds like a bulletproof plan to put an end to “indecent conduct”, right?

    🍷 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨 🙅 💰 👮 👯  🌈  😷 🔪 💰 

    How it became every homophobes’ nightmare:

    • The Mafia realized that there was a huge, profitable, and untapped market for creating drinking establishments catered towards homosexuals. By the mid-60s, the Genovese crime family controlled the majority of the gay bars in Greenwich Village.

    • The Mob owner of the famous Stonewall Inn, Tony Lauria Genovese or “Fat Tony”, made as much as $5,000 to  $6,000 on the average Friday night from almost a 100% profit. 

    • As a result, Fat Tony had no trouble sliding the New York’s Sixth Police Precinct an envelope with $1,200 a month to turn a blind eye to his many city code violations. 

    • However, the payoffs did not meant that the Mafia-run establishments were exempt from state laws. Luckily, a choreographed dance routine was established between mobsters and cops so that they could each play out their appearances without threatening their mutual access to easy cash. 

    • For instance, police raids never occurred on the busy nights and the owners were always prepared for regular raids. And the managers made sure that there were only a few liquor bottles on the actual premise as they would be confiscated during the police raid, meaning that owners like Fat Tony could continue be open for business again from only suffering minor losses.

    It could be said that the price of banning gay bars made the Mafia richer whilst allowing “indecent conducts” such as slow dancing with someone of your own sex, and realizing that you might belong to something of a minority group, to thrive. Unfortunately for the homophobes, this would eventually contribute to the outbreak of the Stonewall Riots, the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ movement. 

    Despite the benefits the new era of LGBTQ+ activism would reap, it shouldn’t be overlooked that the system was also a nightmare to the patrons of gay bars:

    • The payoffs to the police also enabled Fat Tony to cut corners on hygiene. For instance, Stonewall did not have access to running water so drinks were served in dirty used glasses. The bar was accused of a breakout of hepatitis among its patrons by many Gay Rights groups. 

    • Safety was a serious issue at the Stonewall. The bar lacked a rear exit. which meant that the only escape in the event of a fire or emergency was the narrow front door.

    • Rumour has it that the alcohol served at the gay bars were stolen or bootlegged. Yet, they were watered down and sold at top-shelf prices when the majority of the patrons of gay bars belonged to the poorest group of New York city.

    • The more wealthy patrons were subject to blackmail for large sums of money by the Mafia. The employees would single out affluent customers whom were not publicly open with their sexuality. This practice of extortion is said to have been the most profitable aspect of the Mafia club-management.  

    Overall, the system the Mafia had been established only benefited them. The real nightmare was of course the health and security risks the patrons of gay bars suffered from as the result of SLA’s unfair and homophobic treatment. Thankfully, Stonewall Riots would come out of this and pave the way for the fight towards equality for all sexualities and gender identities. 

    Sources

    Documentaries: Stonewall Uprising directed by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner

    Image: Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images

    Web Sources: (x), (x), (x), (x).

    27 Aug 21:00

    A Cyclist's Track Stand Befuddled One of Google's Self-Driving Cars

    by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on Gizmodo, shared by Justin Westbrook to Jalopnik

    It’s usually easy for our human brains to predict how any given car, pedestrian, or cyclist is going to act, but computers must be programmed to “understand” all of our varying behaviors on the road. The latest thing perplexing Google’s self-driving cars (and thereby entertaining us)? A simple track stand, according to Washington Post’s Matt McFarland.

    Read more...










    28 Aug 00:49

    tuttifuckinfruittyyy: The Nymph of Amalthea, 1780s



    tuttifuckinfruittyyy:

    The Nymph of Amalthea, 1780s

    27 Aug 18:00

    My Journey – As Told Through Bras

    by Freiya

    Submitted by Celina / Cedric, the model and photographer.

    “This collage is part of my finals art project. I chose gender roles as my topic, especially so, as I’m trying to find out if I’m trans or genderqueer right now.
    You can see me wearing all bras I ever owned in pretty much the chronological order I bought them in. What I wanted to enact was a a transformation from typically female to typically male traits but it occurred to me in the making, that that’s exactly my own transformation and my own journey, that I seem to have been on longer than I realized.”

    27 Aug 17:55

    Regarding Trans* and Transgenderism

    by -julia
    bernot

    haters gonna confound your attempts to reclaim words and create increasingly inclusive language

    Last year, in the second half of my piece A Personal History of the “T-word” (and some more general reflections on language and activism), I described what I call the activist language merry-go-round. Here’s how it works: Because trans people are highly stigmatized and face undue scrutiny in our culture, all of the language associated with us will face similar stigma and scrutiny. At some point, every single trans-related term will be called out as “problematic” for some reason or another—e.g., its origin, history, aesthetic quality (or lack thereof), literal meaning, alternate definitions, potential misinterpretations or connotations, or occasional exclusionary or defamatory usage. And supposedly more liberatory or inclusive alternative terms will gain favor. But over time, these new terms will eventually be challenged too. Because the crux of the problem is not the words themselves, but rather the negative or narrow views of trans people that ultimately influence how these words are viewed and used by others.

    So rather than constantly trying to eliminate certain words and inventing new replacement terms, I argue that we would be best off challenging the narrow or negative views of trans people that sometimes latch themselves onto trans terminology. That is a brief synopsis of the activist language merry-go-round; I encourage you to read the linked-to essay above, as I make my case far more thoughtfully and thoroughly there than I have in these two paragraphs. 


    The reason why I am bringing this up now is because I want to share some of my personal thoughts regarding the terms trans* and transgenderism, both of which have come under activist-language-merry-go-round scrutiny lately.



    Trans*


    Since the 1990’s, the words “transgender” and “trans” have been the most often used broad umbrella terms to refer to people who defy societal norms with regards to gender. But on many occasions over the years, some people have objected to them. For instance, I’ve heard some transsexuals object to “transgender” because it was previously favored by Virginia Prince to distinguish herself from transsexuals (even though that is not how most people use the word today). And some non-binary folks have told me that they don't like “trans” because they feel it is too closely associated with transsexuals who identify within the binary (e.g., when it is used in the phrases “trans woman” or “trans men”).


    In attempts to be inclusive of people who dislike these labels for one reason or another, trans activists (including myself) sometimes turn to alternate umbrella terms, the most common ones being “gender non-conforming” and “gender variant.” But of course there have been complaints about these terms as well (e.g., too clunky, too vague, seems to favor some identities over others, objections to being called “variant” or “non-conforming”). Again, it’s not that any of these terms are inherently better or worse than others—they can all be used in a respectful and inclusive manner. It’s just that there is no perfect word: Every term will have its detractors, and so long as trans people are stigmatized in our culture, some people will use these terms in disparaging or exclusionary ways.


    Over the last few years, trans* has become the new umbrella term du jour. The way it was told to me, the asterisk is intended to serve the same “wild card” function that it does in search engines—thus, trans* would include trans, transgender, transsexual, transvestite, and so on. While I had seen the term used on a few occasions in the past, starting around 2013 (and seemingly out of the blue), it was practically everywhere: in articles and trans-themed glossaries, in the names of organizations and events, and so on. Being interested in trans terminology, I was curious as to how this came to be. Perhaps there was some blog-post or manifesto out there that galvanized the community to start using the word? I never did find out, in part, because doing searches for trans* is complicated by the fact that search engines view the asterisk as a wild card!


    While I have no problems with the term trans*, I did dislike some of the dynamics that accompanied it during its rise in popularity. Specifically, I’m talking about a phenomenon that I’ve seen play out before in other marginalized communities, and I’ve come to call it word-sabotage (to contrast it with word-elimination). Here is what I mean: When activists say “don’t use the word tranny,” or “it’s transgender, not transgendered,” that is an explicit word-elimination campaign, one that directly states that the word in question (e.g., tranny, transgendered) is bad and should not be used. Word-sabotage is indirect, as it insinuates that certain terms are suspect or problematic on the basis that they are supposedly not as liberatory or inclusive as the term being championed. I have encountered this on many occasions within BMNOPPQ communities, were some people prefer to call themselves pansexual, or multisexual, or polysexual, rather than bisexual. And this is totally fine—people are free to self-identify however they like. However, sometimes people will claim that they have chosen their preferred label because it is supposedly more liberatory or inclusive than bisexual. This latter case is an example of word-sabotage, because now people who identify as bisexual and who use that term in an inclusive manner (such as me) are now presumed to be conservative and exclusionary.


    On a number of occasions, I saw this sort of word-sabotage come into play with the popularization of trans*: Because many people viewed the asterisk as imparting broad inclusion, suddenly the use of the terms transgender and trans sans asterisk—which I have used in a broad inclusive manner for well over a decade—would sometimes be questioned, or might be interpreted as promoting exclusion.


    It is rather surreal to have the language you have long used as part of your activism shift in meaning or connotation so quickly. But the activist language merry-go-round keeps on spinning, so of course the inevitable happened: People started critiquing trans*.


    The first such complaint that I heard was from a trans woman who felt that the asterisk seemed to suggest that being trans is illegitimate—the example she offered was how asterisks are used in sports statistics to imply that a particular record is not legitimate for some reason. I suppose that somebody somewhere out there has probably complained about how asterisks are often used for footnotes, thereby insinuating that trans people are merely footnotes rather than part of the main text! I am joking a bit here, but these sorts of literal interpretations of words are often invoked in word-elimination attempts (e.g., “I don’t like the word ‘transsexual’ because it has the word ‘sexual’ in it”). In general, people don’t read words literally—they get their meanings from how they are used in everyday conversation. However, when it’s a term associated with a marginalized group, then people will tend to pick it apart in this manner, and in countless other ways.


    In the last few months, I have become aware of a new claim: Trans* is apparently trans-misogynistic. I am not sure where this originated, but it seems to have garnered steam (a recent google search using “asterisk” and “transmisogyny” revealed numerous pages of results to this effect). According to a recent post by Tobi Hill-Meyer (that I encourage you to check out), she summarizes the current arguments being made against trans* this way: “that female assigned genderqueers popularized it as a way to prioritize their issues at the expense of trans women.” But she then goes on to talk about many previous incarnations of the trans* in “2010, 2007, 2003, and 1998” when it was forwarded by trans women to circumvent “transsexual vs. transgender” infighting that was occurring in those settings at that time. The last paragraph of her post really resonated with me:


    I'm not really invested in whether or not people use [trans*]. I don't feel it's important enough to fight over. But seeing the way people talk about it now makes me sad that the trans community seems to have a historical memory permanently limited to only 2-4 years back.


    The word trans* is not inherently inclusive or trans-misogynistic. Rather, like all words, it gets its meaning from the way in which people use it. And it may be utilized towards positive or negative ends. Just because some people may use it in an exclusionary way doesn’t mean that the word itself disparaging or exclusionary.


    Transgenderism


    The word transgenderism has been around for as long as I have been aware of transgender activism. It appeared in the titles of explicitly trans activist books such as Patrick Califia’s 1997 book Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism, and the 2003 anthology Bisexuality and Transgenderism: InterSEXions of the Others. It appears in Kate Bornstein’s Gender Outlaw, Leslie Feinberg’s Trans Liberation, and countless other trans activist books, including Whipping Girl—most notably in the chapter “Coming to Terms with Transgenderism and Transsexuality.”


    In all of these cases, the word “transgenderism” was used in a neutral manner to denote one of two things: the phenomenon of transgender people (our existence and our experiences), or the state of being transgender (e.g., I might talk about my own transgenderism). It is very common in English to use the suffixes “-ity” and “-ism” to create nouns that describe a phenomenon or state of being—for example, I might talk about my curiosity or intellectualism. So transsexuality and transgenderism are linguistically akin to those examples, and to me talking about my bisexuality, or discussing the subject of lesbianism more generally.


    Prior to the last two years, I would (on rare occasions) hear complaints that transgenderism sounded like jargon or was too academic. Admittedly, it is not an “everyday conversation” word, but it does sometimes come in handy when one is writing about gender variant people and experiences (e.g., transgenderism throughout history, or people’s differing experiences with transgenderism). I have heard people presume that transgenderism has its origins in psychiatric/sexology discourses, the implication being that this would automatically make the word problematic. While I haven’t been able to confirm its first usage, I have doubts that this is necessarily the case. “Transgender” itself was a community term (not a psychiatric/sexology one), so it seems likely that the first usage of “transgenderism” would come from within the community, or at least from someone who was aware of and respectful toward trans perspectives. But even if it did originate in psychiatric/sexology discourses, this (in and of itself) wouldn’t disqualify its usage, as many other terms that trans people use all the time (e.g., transsexual, FTM/MTF, dysphoria, SRS) had similar origins. Indeed, the first known usage of cis terminology occurred in a 1914 German sexology article—I certainly do not think that we should stop using it for that reason.


    So anyway, transgenderism has a long history of being used in a nonjudgmental and neutral manner, often by trans people themselves. But then, in the last couple years, some TERFs (trans-exclusive radical feminists) have purposefully misappropriated it in a way that confuses the state of being transgender with a potentially dangerous political ideology. This tactic is most obvious in Sheila Jeffreys’ 2014 book Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism. And it was repeated in last year’s Michelle Goldberg “faux journalism” article “What Is a Woman? The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism.” Both of these subtitles compare apples to oranges—transgenderism is a naturally occurring phenomenon, not a political ideology—and both subtitles would have been more accurate had they pitted trans-exclusionary radical feminism against transgender activism (which is an actual ongoing political/ideological debate). This incorrect usage seems to purposefully capitalize on the fact that transgenderism is not an everyday word (so it will strike trans-unaware readers as somewhat alien) and seems intended to invoke certain oppressive ideologies (e.g., sexism, racism, fascism, and others) that also just so happen to end with the suffix “-ism.”


    Jeffreys’ and Goldberg’s subtitles most certainly should be critiqued for insinuating that the existence of transgender people and the state of being transgender (i.e., transgenderism) is merely an oppressive political ideology. But sadly, it is so much easier to destroy words than to save them. So unsurprisingly I suppose, in the wake of Jeffreys’ book and Goldberg’s article, a word-elimination campaign against transgenderism began to pick up speed.


    The most common complaint in this campaign against transgenderism centers on statements like “transgender people are not an ‘ism’.” But as I said earlier, “isms” aren’t always ideologies—many of them (e.g., magnetism, metabolism, hypothyroidism, lesbianism, transgenderism) are simply naturally occurring phenomena. Plus, not all ideological “isms” are bad or dangerous—for instance, I personally think that feminism (as a whole) is a positive and beneficial thing. If the subtitle to Jeffreys’ book was “A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgender Activism” (as would be more appropriate), would we be calling for a ban of the phrase “transgender activism” because it implies that transgender people are associated with an "ism"?


    The other meme I’ve heard on multiple occasions in this recent word-elimination campaign is that trans people have never accepted or have always rejected the term transgenderism. Such statements are utterly ahistorical: As I’ve detailed above, the word has been used by trans activists (including myself) in a nonjudgmental and neutral manner for over two decades. What is new is that the term is now being misused by TERFs. And even if you do not personally like the word transgenderism (which is absolutely your right), you can probably recognize that it would be an extremely counterproductive strategy to surrender trans-related words to our enemies (whether they be TERFs, conservative political forces, etc.) as soon as they start misappropriating them. To take another example: Jeffreys and others misuse and abuse the word transgender in all sorts of ways (e.g., “transgendering,” “transgenders”), so does that mean that we should eliminate that word as well? And what would the ramifications of that be?


    An alternative to sabotaging and eliminating words


    I didn’t write this essay to tell others what words they should or should not use. And I am fine with trans-related language gradually evolving over time. But I do wish that we (transgender/trans/trans* folks) would think more about the long-term ramifications before engaging in word-sabotage (e.g., trans* is the most inclusive, so therefore trans sans asterisk is exclusionary) and word-elimination (e.g., transgenderism is a slur, and trans* is inherently trans-misogynistic, so therefore we should all stop using these words). As I have shown, such arguments are arbitrary and ahistorical, as words are often used by different people in different ways, and may take on positive, negative, or neutral connotations depending on the context.


    But more importantly, the people who use trans-related terminology the most (by far!) are other transgender/trans/trans* folks. And whether intentional or not, attempts to undermine some specific trans-related term will have the effect of undermining those transgender/trans/trans* individuals who use that term in their activism and/or to describe their experiences.

    It is really easy to condemn a word: to take offense when people say it, to tell others it is disparaging or exclusionary, and that they should not use it. But it is not the only path (or even the best path) moving forward. Perhaps instead, we could try saving words, by calling out the negative or narrow assumptions that sometimes latch themselves onto trans-related language. When someone uses a trans-related term in a disparaging or exclusionary way, perhaps we should challenge the misappropriation of that term, rather than surrendering or undermining the word itself. It is not the words themselves, but the negative assumptions and sentiments behind the words that are the problem—so perhaps they should be our primary target.