Valentine’s Day and Stupid Sexist Jokes

15 02 2014

Conan O'BrienLet me make this clear right away: I love Conan O’Brien. He is the funniest late-night television show host I have ever watched. He is refreshingly, self-deprecatingly wacky and off-the-wall. It is fun to watch Irish gingers make fun of themselves, too. Most late-night hosts don’t do that—Conan is uncannily British in his farcical humour, which is probably why he’s so popular in so many countries outside the United States. But he doesn’t write his own monologues—he works behind the scenes with writers and then delivers the final product on stage. He is not entirely at fault for the jokes he delivers in his monologues.

While I normally slap my knee uproariously over Conan’s crazy introductory monologues, I’ve been a little bit peeved lately at the show’s jokes about Valentine’s Day because of their retrogressive direction. One of the jokes was about how McDonald’s has offered discounts to 05 - Needle You - Vintage ValentineValentine’s Day couples, and how all the tables will be filled only by one person—presumably a man who was abandoned by his female lover for taking her to such an awful place for the most important date in her calendar. Another joke was about how Valentine’s Day bla bla bla men don’t care bla bla bla women love it bla bla bla therefore punchline about how men don’t care about Valentine’s Day, and just want to get their dicks sucked as payment.

OK. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, and I totally appreciate the overall vibe of the Conan show and other commercial outlets for St Valentine’s Day, but the whole ‘man pays woman with chocolates for sex’ thing is  just kind of annoying because it reinforces several very unfair things that many of us automatically assume about the ritual of love and romance. And it shouldn’t be this way; it should be about romantic love and devotion between consenting partners.

First, there is the assumption that men don’t care about Valentine’s Day as much as women do. Really? What kind of evidence do you have to support this assumption? I’m curious to know. The typical narrative is that the man gives the woman flowers and chocolates in exchange for sex. This suggests that men don’t care as much as women do about romantic love, for that is what Valentine’s Day is all about. It is an incredibly special day in which couples celebrate their love for one another. If you don’t believe the man cares as much Batgirlabout romantic love as the woman does, doesn’t this deserve explaining? Why do you think the man shouldn’t care as much? Men feel romantic desires too, don’t they?

Second, there is the assumption that women don’t care as much about sex as men do on Valentine’s Day. Again, really? Give me hardcore reasons for your assumption. We all know the drill: the man gives the woman chocolates and flowers as an expression of his love and devotion (like some brain-dead, sex-crazed zombie), and the woman rewards him by performing fellatio on him. Or more. This whole scenario suggests that sex is a form of payment to a man by a woman. No. If St Valentine’s Day means anything, it is that couples merge consensually in perfect, harmonic sexual love. There is perfectly good reason to believe that Valentine’s Day should be as sexually pleasing for the woman as for the man. It isn’t her fault that you don’t know where the clitoris is. Maybe that’s why she asked for chocolates.

My intent is not to ruin your joy—there is nothing more precious than true love—but it is to shatter the myth that St Valentine’s Day is an excuse to make a profit off some ill-conceived battle of the sexes. It is not the case that men have to earn sex by giving women flowers and chocolates, and it is not the case that women have to earn love by denying their own sexuality and gratifying a mate. It is far more egalitarian than that. Both women and men acknowledge that they both experience love and lust, and want to share it with one another. How fucking complicated is that? It sounds like a fun time to me!

And with that, I leave you with ‘Welcome to my VD’, by my favourite comedienne, Deven Green:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2746119/welcome_to_vd_comedy_parody_by_deven_green/





8 Reasons Why Transphobia Makes No Sense

22 11 2013

Transgender Man Evon YoungTransgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) was 20 November, but I didn’t post this blog entry in time. Ironically, it has allowed me to cull from the Web information that was only available on the day itself. It has allowed me to calculate the shocking cost in human terms of hatred toward transgender people.

**Trigger warning for graphic description of violent crime**

It has allowed me to acknowledge the horrifying fact that Evon Young, a 22 year-old rapper from Milwaukee, was suffocated, beaten, and shot before being dismembered and set ablaze.

Transphobia is abhorrent in all its forms, but it takes on a new shape when it involves class and race. Many victims of transphobia are poor, black, and utterly lacking in social or financial resources. That’s enough Carmen Carrerato think about in itself.

Compassion is key to ending transphobia—there is nothing more needed than an understanding soul—but I also find it helpful to challenge transphobes with reason (of which compassion is the keystone). Thus, I offer eight reasons why transphobia makes no sense. If this doesn’t sway you, I don’t know what will.

1. Transgender people challenge gender stereotypes

This is a classic argument used against transgender people by the religious right-wing. Yes, they do challenge gender stereotypes. So, what? What is wrong with a person offending your sense of the way males or females should appear or behave? You don’t have the right to restrict another person’s rights just because of your ideas about gender.

2. Transgender people reinforce gender stereotypes

This is the reverse of the supposedly ‘conservative’ stance. It states that transgender people are sexist because they reify ideas about gender. For example, a transgender man might cut his hair short and wear pants. How is this any different from anything a cisgender man might do? If you can blame the transgender man for Chaz Bono Cherstereotyping, you also have to blame the cisgender man for stereotyping. There is no difference. This attitude suggests that cisgender men can get away with being masculine, while transgender men can’t. Vice-versa for transgender women and cisgender women. If a cisgender woman can get away with growing long hair without being seen as sexist, why can’t a transgender woman? As long as cisgender people maintain gender stereotypes, they are in no place to judge transgender people for doing the same. We all live in the same milieu of gender-crap.

3. It’s unnatural

Of course this is bullshit. As I stated in 8 Reasons Why Homophobia Makes No Sense, just because something is natural does not make it right, and just because something is unnatural does not make it wrong. Clearly cutting hair is unnatural, but how many people create an uproar over that? Likewise, not Amanda Simpsoncutting your hair is natural, and few people create an uproar over that. So even if being transgender were unnatural, the appeal to nature argument is a fallacy. A thing doesn’t have to be natural in order to be valid.

4. Transgender people reduce people to their genitals

As opposed to cisgender people?? The argument is that transgender people reduce people to their genitals because they fixate on gender reassignment surgery. First, not all transgender people seek gender reassignment surgery—some transgender men can give birth, and some transgender women don’t want penectomies; second, so what if they did? There’s nothing wrong with wanting different genitals. It isn’t a fucking gender statement; it’s them realising themselves. In addition, some cisgender women undergo hysterectomies and mastectomies, and there are post-menopausal women, but we don’t say they are no longer women. Why should we say the same about transgender women? Why should cisgender women care so much about their anatomy, but not transgender women?

5. Genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation is an horrific crime against humanity in which all manner of mutilations are Trans Mancommitted against women and girls for the sake of the virginity, marriageability, social acceptance, and suppression of desire among women and girls, often with dire physical consequences. It is an abhorrent act that no cultural relativist can justify. It has nothing whatsoever to do with gender reassignment surgery. People who seek gender reassignment surgery do so voluntarily—and often at great cost—to fulfil their needs. It is absolutely wrong to equate FGM to transgender people seeking gender reassignment surgery.

6. Transgender women are dicks in disguise

There is this weird idea among some members of what is called the radical-feminist movement that transgender women are really men disguising as women to infiltrate the sacred sisterhood and violate them. Ugh. First of all, if you believe in gender ambiguity, how does somebody who’s fighting for their right to be recognised as a woman threaten you? Second, if a transgender woman has undergone sexual reassignment surgery, how can she do anything to you that any other woman hasn’t?

7. They’re pathologically confused.

No, they are not pathologically confused. You are. They know who they are, even if you don’t. In case anybody has any doubts, the American Psychological Association has not only validated transgenderTransgender Child identities as healthy, but has also provided a very helpful booklet of information for those who still don’t understand why transgender identity is good and healthy.

8. What about children and families?

I understand your apprehension. It seems like transgender people can’t or shouldn’t create families. The fact is, some of them do, and all of them have come from one. There are transgender men who bear and nurse children. Why should they be treated differently from other men? Because of their anatomy? Remember the woman who has had a hysterectomy. I understand that this seems silly and abstract, but think about it.

Those are among the many reasons why transphobia makes no sense. After reading about Evon Young’s horrific murder, I was paralysed with horror, but I figured that providing these points might help educate people about the real-life consequences of transphobia. It is not rational, good, or healthy to be cruel. Transgender people need our support, and wherever you meet a transgender person in need, give them the coat off your back.





The Nomenclature of Gay and Female Bodies

17 11 2013

Most of us are familiar with the highly developed and sophisticated set of terms used to describe the female body. (Understanding that gender is a complex creature, here by female body I mean the traditional concept of the biological female body.) Many, if not most, of these terms compare women to animals. In my experience some women don’t care, some women find them empowering, and many find them demeaning. This is totally understandable. I guess it just depends on the individual.

I am quite certain most of these terms are available on Urban Dictionary in case you are unsure of their meaning, but here I have provided a few of the most famous ones. Unsurprisingly, the majority of them seem to treat women in terms of their sexual relation to men. A simple Google search for each term reveals its image in the popular imagination. Oh, I suppose this is the time to tell you that the below images are not safe for work. Also, *trigger warning* for potentially degrading images.

First, we have the bitch:

Female Nomenclature - Bitch

OK, so this term does not refer strictly to the body, but it still compares women to animals, which is a running theme here. The bitch is supposed to be an unpleasantly feisty woman. Funny. I would never call Helena Bonham Carter a bitch—I would just call her magnificently talented—but I guess you could make the argument that a bitch is a good thing.

Then there is the fox:

Samantha Fox - Leather

While the bitch is a ball-breaking ‘cock-blocker’ (not exactly the same thing as a cuckold), the fox is a pornographic delight for heterosexual men everywhere. Samantha Fox, who happens to have a female partner (to the chagrin of men who grew up in the ’80s), calls her fans ‘foxies’, so sometimes it might be a positive term.

The fox closely resembles the vixen (which happens to be a female fox):

Female Nomenclature - Vixen

Here I have used a picture of the character Vixen from the Disney film The Fox and the Hound because a Google search of vixen yielded nothing but images of ’80s hair bands and pornography models. The vixen, I think, is supposed to be more sweetly seductive than the fox.

Even more seductive is the sex-kitten:

Female Nomenclature - Sex Kitten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously, the term does refer to her sexual relation to a man (or, I suppose, her sexual relation to a woman too.) The sex kitten puts the vixen to shame. She is ultra-cute and coy, and loves to toy with men’s desires. Personally, my idea of a sex kitten is Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman—a lady who will claw your balls off if you fuck with her:

Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman

In this case I must maintain that the sex kitten resembles something more akin to a powerful, self-asserting agent—like the Egyptian goddess Bastet—than a pleasantly-purring princess. Of course, this was from a film in which men themselves were compared with bats and penguins. Oh, there was also the Poodle Woman, but she was more creepy than sexy, which I kind of like.

And what of the majestic cougar?

Female Nomenclature - Cougar III

She is the sexually mature, over-forty mother of cats. There are many a pimpled teenage boy who fantasize about her. But why can’t older women be sexual and vibrant without kow-towing to silly puerile sex fantasies? Jessica Lange, Miranda Richardson, and Ellen Burstyn have already proved it is possible.

But the complimentary anthropomorphic archetypes end there, it seems, for we also have the dog:

Female Nomenclature - Dog

Does this look like a woman to you? It doesn’t to me. I am pretty confident in saying this is categorically cruel and demeaning.

Another case in which the woman is compared negatively with an animal is the cow:

Female Nomenclature - Cow

I guess this is supposed to refer to an overweight woman? So, what? It’s cruel and unnecessary. I take great delight in the thought of a cow daintily trampling the smug teenage boys (and sometimes older men) who mock women’s weight.

The nail in the coffin is the whale:

Female Nomenclature - Whale

The whale is actually a graceful and intelligent creature, but somehow this fact has escaped the minds of those who compare women’s bodyweight to that of a whale. Hopefully they get crushed by a calving cow while surfing the waves of southern California and, while pinned under her weight, have to watch her calf suckle from her teat, as the cow and her calf wash away. That would be sweet justice.

This trend in ascribing animal traits to women applies to lesbians too, particularly in the form of the bull-dyke:

Female Nomenclature - Bulldyke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is just one image of the bull-dyke, and it suggests there is power in the term. There are other images which are decidedly less sympathetic. The bull-dyke is a large, strong, assertive gay woman. I guess this is another case of ‘pick or choose’ whether you like the term or not. By the way, is that Betty Friedan? At any rate, I think she rocks.

Another lesbian category is the lipstick lesbian:

Female Nomenclature - Lipstick Lesbian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In accord with the third-wave feminist movement, she needn’t be masculine in order to be a woman. I don’t see a problem with that. Women should be able to be whatever they want to be, whether masculine, feminine, or gender-queer. Again, I guess it’s your business whether or not you like the term ‘lipstick lesbian’.

Let us not forget the leatherdyke:

Female Nomenclature - Leatherdyke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She wears leather and rides around on a motorcycle. She takes the dominant, butch role in sexual relations with other women, her preferred instrument of pleasure being either a fist or the strap-on dildo. Her leather gear symbolizes her tough exterior, which is supposed to be attractive to lipstick lesbians.

There is a very interesting intersection between women and gay men in terms of nomenclature: both groups have been categorised by body type, especially in terms of animals or sexual nature. The dynamic might be different with gay men in that there isn’t a heterosexual male presence influencing the categorisation, but there is an internal, sometimes self-defeating, pressure to do so. And sometimes women do view men in objectifying ways, although I think it’s safe to say this is less common  only because women know by experience what it feels like to have this done to them.

Some straight women will feel guilty about making some of these categorisations—and yet I almost want them to, because it would suggest that they acknowledge that they have sexual desires too. This doesn’t feel harmful to me, since I know men have traditionally been perceived as the sexual agents, and women, as the sexual patients. So read on, straight women and gay men.

Perhaps the most popular man is the twink:

Gay Male Nomenclature - Twink

He is called a twink because he is smooth and filled with cream, like a Twinkie. (Gay men are vile and disgusting in their metaphor.) He is the property of Hostess, which is now owned by the private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. Forget animals. He is a processed piece of junk-food from the local convenience store. How’s that for dehumanization?

But then there is the bear:

Gay Bears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bears adopt a rough and gruff exterior, but are often surprisingly sensitive and articulate. They do co-habitate, but the bear-net is loose. Some bears tend toward chubs or otters. (We will get to these latter two below.) Sadly, some of them believe in the ‘straight-acting’ script, which states that a real man isn’t gay, because gay men are somehow unmanly (whatever ‘manly’ is supposed to be). Bears who like leather are called ‘leather bears’.

A young, small bear is called a cub. A cub is just a baby bear; he is younger. What he has in common with his older peer, though, is that he tends to be hirsute. Hair is the crowning glory of the cub and the bear, whether it be a beard, or—ahem—anything else.

Akin to the cub and bear is the otter.

Gay Male Nomenclature - Otter

The otter is basically the same thing as the cub or bear—he is hairy—but unlike the cub or bear the otter is always slighter in build. Also he tends to have a markedly playful nature.

Similar to bears, cubs, and otters is the satyr:

Gay Male Nomenclature - Satyr

The satyr is half otter, half ‘average’. That is, while he has an average amount of hair on the upper half of his body, he has an enormous amount of the stuff on the lower half. Admittedly, it is not the most common of body terms used in the gay community, but it exists. The satyr of Greek mythology has an enormous sexual appetite, but I am unsure how far this applies in the modern-day gay male usage of the term.

And then there is the chub. The chub is just a large man, like the female whale:

Female Nomenclature - Whale

Some people like the term chubs, some people don’t. Some people are attracted to chubs and seem to use it in a complimentary way, yet I can’t help but think that the term is flippant, if not slightly degrading. Again, decide for yourself.

Then there is the dolphin:

Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

Like the twink, the dolphin is slim and hairless (and usually white), but unlike the twink he usually shaves it off so he can swim faster through the water. I guess he would be like a slim, sexy whale (depending on your preferences, of course). And like satyr, the term dolphin isn’t very common, but it exists. He is the prototypical gay bar go-go dancer.

One of the stranger creatures is the leatherdaddy:

Gay Male Nomenclature - Leather Daddy

The leatherdaddy is much like the leatherdyke—he performs an assertive, dominant sexual role—and he is usually older than his twinkish partner. I don’t get the weird ‘daddy’ thing—it kind of creeps me out—but I think it’s just supposed to signify adoration of an older, powerful man. Also like the leatherdyke, the leatherdaddy is totally into BD/SM. Oh, and Tom of Finland’s caricature of the male form is obviously exaggerated (as caricatures are)—most men do not have such ridiculously broad shoulders and narrow hips. I guess it’s just a fantasy.

Finally, there is the pig:

Gay Male Nomenclature - Pig

By pig, I don’t mean ‘male chauvinist pig’, I just mean a hungry, nasty sex animal. That is the way it is used in the gay male community. The pig doesn’t necessarily dislike romance—he may love it—but he is noted for his love of rough, loud sex. He is into all sorts of things that I cannot possibly enumerate here, nor should I for the sake of decency.

So there you have it. Those are the chief terms used to describe the bodies of women and gay men. Sometimes the term does not refer specifically to the body, but it does refer to the personality and the way in which the individual relates to another, often sexually. I won’t even attempt here to dissect how the media influences concepts of physical beauty—that is an entirely separate blog entry—but I do want to draw your attention to the way people categorise women and gay men according to body and personality type. Some people like it, some don’t, and some just don’t care. My only caveat is this—never be mean-spirited.





The Slut Formula!

8 07 2013

Apparently there is a new formula for calculating the promiscuity of women. It is called the Slut Formula, and it adheres to the most stringent standards of statistical analysis. Who cares about lesbians, gay men, or even the perspectives of straight women? It is all about the heterosexual male perspective. Just observe:

Slut Formula

I am not going to debate whether or not the author of this work is reliable–obviously it is a puerile teenage male, or else might as well be–nor am I going to debate his purported attempt at satire–it is irrelevant. Rather, I am going to address the premise upon which his formula is based: that women are slutty because they have a lot of sex. This is important whether or not the formula is satirical, because a lot of people actually believe it.

Even if the author is being satirical, many people do still think that women are slutty for having a lot of sex. This has always confused me. Many men feel as though it is their prerogative to have as much sex with as many women as possible, and that it is the woman’s role to “lie back and think of England”. But for every man who has sex with a woman, there has to be a woman who has sex with a man. (Most men appear to be attracted to women.) They want their sex from women, and then they cry, “Slut!” when Polyandry Nepalwomen provide them with their sex. Well, what on earth do they expect from women??

It sounds like a classic case of cognitive dissonance to me.

There are a lot of ideas about why men are more promiscuous than women, or whether they are, or whether they should be. Personally, I don’t understand why there should be a difference between men who have as much sex with as many different women as possible, and women who have sex with as many different men as possible. Even if there is a biological explanation, it is beside the point, because the fact that something exists, or that something is “natural”, does not mean it is right. I could just as easily say men have a greater compulsion toward rape. Finding a biological explanation for something doesn’t make it right.





RuPaul’s Queens Get “Red” for Filth on Their Perfume Commercials

24 03 2013

RuPaul RuPaul's Drag Race Perfume Commercial ChallengeLook! It’s RuPaul smelling “Grandma’s vadge”, as the always meek and subtle Aubrey O’Day put it. I usually hate reality television, and I’m constantly watching documentaries on asteroids and volcanoes, but RuPaul’s Drag Race pumps out some hot stuff, hookers. On Episode 8 of Season 5, the dolls had to concoct their own unique fragrance and make a commercial for it which reflected their personalities.

Well, I was not terribly impressed with the girls’ work. London makeup artist Joseph Harwood himself expressed surprise over the quality of the commercials–and I agree with him. They could have been more polished as actors. Nevertheless, I do think some queens did better than others, and I’ve included their delightfully tongue-in-cheek perfume commercials below. Enjoy!

1) ‘Red…for Filth’

Alaska had RuPaul cackling like a witch with this fine gem. The pun in ‘red’ is obvious, but it’s just so funny and catchy that it hits you out of nowhere like a friendly drunk hooker turning tricks on the street. Alaska’s right up there with Jinkx in terms of high-kookiness, in my opinion. She carried through with the theme of red in her runway look in the same episode, and her fragrance was the only one Aubrey didn’t think smelled like Grandma’s vadge. (Alaska wanted to create a raw, earthy, leathery smell.) So, deservedly, Alaska won this, her first, weekly challenge. Are you read(y) for me?

2) ‘Heroine’

Another clever double entendre. As Lineysha Sparx said in a previous episode, Detox looks like eyes with legs, but she is so posh and polished, and so very refined and committed to her art, that she is virtually unassailable. Her dark, alluring, expertly applied makeup matches perfectly with the message she conveys in her commercial: ‘I may be a drug addict, but, by golly, I am glamourous about it’. The deep ‘heroin’ voice nailed it for Joan Van Ark, one of the judges who critiqued her in this episode and loved her for being so bold. By the way, Heroine is available at the clinic.

3) ‘Delusion’

Jinkx is the queen of glamour-kook. She is a melding of beauty and humour. Tammie Brown has done kooky, but she depended too much on kookiness at the cost of glamour. Alaska is kooky, like Jinkx, but she doesn’t possess Jinkx’s appreciation of vintage drag, which is important when you want to make drag history accessible to modern-day youth. Jinkx is multi-layered and fascinating, always responding to criticisms from Michelle Visage by upgrading her look and growing as a glamour-queen. She is the strange, gorgeous, funny vaudeville surprise. And she isn’t defensive or catty, which is refreshing. Con-vince yourself!

So, while I prefer educational documentaries on asteroids and volcanoes, I have a weak spot for RuPaul’s Drag Race. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be for RuPaul to smell the samples of her minions. It must be like eating poisonous flowers. I am confident, however, that she will make a wise decision about who will take home the crown. And I will let you speculate on who that individual shall be. *hint, hint*





Drag Queen Jinkx Monsoon Talks Gender and Makeup Tips

14 02 2013

The fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race has commenced, and we are all dying to know which queens will make the cut to the much-relished triumvirate, let alone who will win the crown. I’ve actually had a hard time identifying the queen I think will win (in the past I’ve accurately predicted Raja and Sharon Needles), but I am quite enamoured with Seattle’s own Jinkx Monsoon. She’s just so bananas and full of character! And purpose.

I’m going to tell you why I think Jinkx is such a fascinating creature (and might deserve to win the crown), but first I want you to watch this video of her sharing her makeup tips as well as her ideas about gender, drag, and performance art:

The first thing that caught my attention were her thoughts on hyperfemininity in Hollywood films: “There are a lot of really hyperfeminine villains in American culture. I think we think that women can only be evil if they use their seduction to…gain status over their enemies.” I don’t think Jinkx is saying, “Hey, this is what women should be!” I think she is parodying traditional expectations of womanhood by making them look absurd and turning them on their heads by glorifying the traditionally scorned woman. Often, in drag, the “evil woman” is actually the misunderstood woman with a rich history that Jinkx Monsoon Seattle Drag Queen RuPaul's Drag Racedeserves exploration before fielding judgement.

I also appreciated Jinkx’s comments about drag as a performance art: “Beyond just the fact that you have to paint your face and change your body and step into this whole new skin…. It’s an art-form because it’s not just a form of self-expression, but it’s a forum for kind of discussing topics and bringing things to the foreground that you want people to start talking about. I think really good drag makes you think about something, just like any–any good spectacle or theatre piece or anything–they kind of make you take a look at something you may have not noticed yet.” This is precisely why drag is not just gender illusion–it is gender commentary. But it’s still fun to dress up, of course.

The most profound thing Jinkx says in her interview is about gender identity. “The best drag queens are commenting on gender Jinkx Monsoon Seattle Drag Queen RuPaul's Drag Race IIor sexuality. And when you’re playing a character, you can say things that you wouldn’t normally say as yourself. Like, I can call out all kinds of bullshit as Jinkx that I would never really talk about as myself.” In other words, men become drag queens to comment on the stupid ideas of sex roles produced largely in the middle twentieth century. But this aesthetic is also pretty, and they do celebrate that. It’s OK to be feminine too. Both are good.

Drag queens like Jinkx Monsoon are fascinating because they know what they are doing. They are sophisticated and ethereal about their craft, but they also know how to turn it out on-stage. Jinkx knows that she is mocking traditionally feminine roles while also celebrating the beauty of femininity–which is worthy. This is a hard line to walk, but I think she aces it.

Besides. My snitty-tits said so.





Julie Gentron and the Lady League (Vol. 1, Ep. 9): The Plouvre

5 02 2013

Last time on Julie Gentron and the Lady League, the ladies joined fists in a brilliant display of lady-light over the futuristic landscape of London in preparation to intercept their dreaded foe, Plastica, at her next target of assimilation, the Louvre museum in Paris.

Julie Gentron Plastica Black Lame V“The Venus de Milo. Right. Put some arms on her. I won’t have my goddesses maimed. And be sure to get my features right when you sculpt her face into my likeness.” Plastica said these words to somebody behind her as she slithered her way into the Louvre like a cobra, led by Dr. Electro-hag and Simpson Oswald, whom she had restrained with a pair of chains which served as leashes. “Mush, mush!” She whipped the chains, and her bitches pulled forth their queen on hands and knees until she gave a yank, signalling them  to stop. She was dressed in a drapey, 1940s-style, shoulder-padded black lamé dress cut off at mid-thigh, while her hounds donned tasteful, high-end S&M attire imported from Berlin. Three plasticons–one man and two women–attended from behind, dressed in identical S&M outfits, with the exception that the male plasticon’s outfit was fitted for his body. One of the women placed an incense-burner on Oswald’s head. He grimaced resentfully at the indignity.

“Why, I never noticed it before,” Plastica said, scanning the room thoughtfully with her darkly outlined green eyes, “but this newly redecorated Louvre reminds me of my childhood Christmases. All the glitter, tinsel, and shiny glass ornaments painted green, pink, and gold. My favourite were always the indented teardrop-shaped ones. They always scattered the light to create this garish display that captivated the eye and kept it rapt with fascination, like souls enslaved.” She said this as she fondled the ornate gilt frame of a fifteenth-century Flemish painting by Albrecht Dürer with a tidily gloved finger. The face had been re-painted in the likeness of the plastic witch, and many more were undergoing a similar transformation at the hands of her craftsmen, who had all been assimilated. (Their pitter-pattering could be heard in the halls without.) Indeed, the great museum chamber was suffused with a lurid pink-green glow, like a string of Christmas tree lights, or a Manchester fashion show.

Julie Gentron - Plastica Dominatrix S&M Oswald Electro-Hag“You! Sergeant Sodomite, what’s her name?” Plastica barked at Oswald, referring to one of the stationary supermodel servants.

“I don’t fucking know!” he snapped, grinding his teeth. She ignored his invective and returned her attention to her servant.

“You, the Eastern European beanpole by the potted palm in the shape of my face. Whatever your name is. Titty. Bring me some more pline!”

“My name is not Titty. It is Tina,” said the plasticon in a Polish accent which betrayed only the slightest modulation.

“Ugh, yes, whatever. Whitney Houston. Bring me some pline!”

“Pline, my mistress?” replied Tina in a timid, strained tone.

“Plastic wine, girl!”

“Yes, of course, mistress.” Tina trotted like a deer over to a buffet table stationed on the wall at one end of the room, poured a glass of strangely incandescent liquor from a carafe, and brought it back to Plastica on a small silver tray. “My apologies, mistress, for failing to fulfil your wishes immediately and without question. It will never happen again.” Plastica gave her a condescending flick of the lashes, and Tina spasmed slightly as if under some sudden, strange spell. The witch clasped the chalice in her purple claws, took a gulp of pline, and resumed her monologue, talking into the air.

“Gather round, my children. Behold the grandeur of my work. Every ancient statue, every priceless painting betrays, through my likeness, my gift to the world–Myself!” She gave Tina a dark side-glance, then Julie Gentron - Plastica Black Lamelooked back into the air. “It grows. It grows from all corners of the globe. From the sin-filled pleasure-domes of Bangkok to the salacious man-cauldrons of Hell’s Kitchen, my plastic empire grows and thrives like a Morning Glory smothering a rotting English fence. But it all begins here, in the storehouse of Western art, the newly christened Plouvre!” She said these words in a crescendo of passion and intensity, widening her green eyes and raising her chalice in the air. She slacked her chain, placed the chalice back on the tray (which was still being held by Tina), and took a seat on the back of Dr Electro-hag, who winced under her weight.

“I’m hungry!” she barked. The other female plasticon minced robot-like in six-inch heels to the buffet table and revealed a sushi platter. She took the platter in her hands with the skill of a veteran waitress and, with a pair of chopsticks, placed several sushi pieces on to Oswald’s back, which happened to be wrapped in a tube-like sheath of cellophane especially for the occasion. She then retrieved a fresh pair of chopsticks from the buffet table drawer and handed them to her mistress, who proceeded daintily to pluck the delicacies off her man-table and stuff them–a little bit awkwardly, to her chagrin–inside her thick, plump, red lips, chewing down like a cow on its cud. This unfortunate adventure in Eastern cuisine was met by an uncomfortable quietude among the room’s inhabitants, who dared not watch their mistress chow down, but kept their eyes straight forward.

“Good gracious, queen, you look like you’re ready to back up hard against some German leather-daddy,” Plastica squeaked at Oswald, whose spine was curved inward like that of a hungry virgin twink under the voluminous stash of Julie Gentron - Plastica Marylin Monroe Black LameOriental delicacies.

“I am, if it will put me out of my misery, you odious milf,” replied Oswald, trying doggedly to balance the incense burner on his head.

“Well, obviously I’ll have to assimilate you soon, Sergeant Sodomite, but right now I am quite content with watching your fitful outbursts and the pathetic, lame insults they produce.” With this riposte, she plucked a piece of sannakji, still squirming, off the nape of his back, dipped it in a dish of soy sauce, and shoved it in her voluptuous maw.

“We do have a deal, my mistress,” croaked Dr Electro-hag with a sneer. “You would give me half of Earth as my suzerainty.”

“You will have a quarter of Earth as your suzerainty, you decrepit queen. Be thankful and bow at my feet for my generosity. Oh, wait. You’re already bowing. Ha! How convenient.” At this, Plastica took another swig of pline, applied a fresh layer of yellow-green eyeshadow, and refreshed her lips with a thick crimson gloss.

“Paris may be the capital of high art and fashion, my darlings, but I have my sights set on a less polished gem–the cutural future of Europe–Berlin!” She gestured in circular motions with her chalice and chopsticks. “You’ll notice, my beauties, the old Prussian stronghold has re-invented itself as a centre of artistic creativity, but without entirely shedding the vestiges of its Cold War past, leaving it slightly rough  round the edges, like a cut-rate 1980s gay hooker who still listens to Kraftwerk on cassette tape. It is in this thriving metropolis we shall establish our new base. And from there, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Riga, Helsinki, Minsk, St. Petersburg, Moscow, the whole of northern Europe!” She rose from Dr Electro-hag’s back and unleashed a witchy cackle, raising her hands into the air and wielding her chopsticks like a deadly weapon, a piece of whitefin tuna tumbling to the ground between her six-inch Jimmy Choo heels.

Find out whether Plastica succeeds in her diabolical scheme in the next episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League!





Julie Gentron and the Lady League (Vol. 1, Ep. 8): Hot Tub Secrets

28 10 2012

In the last episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League, Lady Fairfax forced her girls to undergo a brutal martial arts training session as punishment for failing to capture Plastica. Afterward, she promised to reveal the latest MI6 intelligence on their foe. Here are those secrets.

Lady Fairfax turned round and gestured toward the Lady League hot tub, which opened up in the floor below. “Dive in, ladies!” The ladies acquiesced, changing into swimsuits and submerging themselves in the giant, hot bubbles, slapping water at each other and giggling like girls. A weird gynoid entered with a mechanical bleeping sound, but the ladies were delighted with the sight of the awkwardly feminine robot. Suddenly, a giant telescreen lighted up on the wall above the bubble bath.

“Ladies, it is my duty to apprise you of the latest intelligence on our elusive foe, Plastica,” said Lady Fairfax as a servant replenished her drink. The ladies perked up. “The witchy woman who absconded with our beloved community college dropout and professional fashion bitch-hound, Oswald, was born a very normal girl in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. Her real name is Beryl Ann Rivers, the daughter and only child of an American senator and a British horse breeder and equestrian.”

“Are you feeling comfortable yet, Julie?” said the gynoid as she massaged Julie’s shoulders.

“Yes, P.A.M.,” said Julie. “Thank you. Oh, that feels good. Wait, P.A.M?!” she said, whipping her head round at the mysterious masseuse.

“Yes, Julie. It is I, your loyal onboard computer,” said the gynoid as she continued to massage the Lady League captain’s tense muscles.

“How did you manage to take humanoid form?”

“It was simple,” cooed P.A.M. softly. “I was given my new form by gifted graduate students at the A.I. department of London University, in conjunction with a special research unit of the Secret Intelligence Service on artificial intelligence.”

“Amazing,” said Julie. She relaxed and let the gynoid grind away, pleasantly pleased at the surprise. The other ladies seemed too transfixed by the bubbles and the telescreen to notice the exchange.

“Beryl spent her childhood between her mother’s upper-class Boston townhouse,” continued Fairfax, clicking buttons on the telescreen console, “and her father’s country estate in Wiltshire. As a young girl, she had a private tutor and thus engaged in little contact with others her age; at around age 14, yearning for a social life, she persuaded her parents to enter her into public high-school—but even this time was spent largely between Boston and London, splintering the weak bonds she had managed to forge with her peers and creating an ideal environment for bullying. She was tormented by her classmates; this only nurtured her rage.

“Given her family’s wealth and her own genius, she entered Oxford University and sailed through her studies.” The telescreen showed slides of an increasingly unnatural-looking, but strangely beautiful Plastica. “With amazing celerity, she earned a dual-major in business and biology, and, after taking a gap year to explore the Continent and the Far East, went on to earn a master’s in bioengineering at Harvard. She then took another hiatus to explore the beauty culture and aesthetic traditions of the Vega star system, where she learned a great deal about colour and branding. She returned to Earth and earned her PhD in genetics and dermatology at L’école de la Peau—The School of Skin—in Paris. During this time she worked as a fashion model, but once she had finished her academic career she established her own plastic surgery firm and soon became its chief executive officer. The business flourished and emerged as the pre-eminent plastic surgery firm on Earth.

“Although she looks about forty, her true age remains unknown. The scraps of her early history we have gathered place her birth some time in the early twentieth century. She could be the oldest living human–if you can call her human. We don’t exactly know.”

“Does that feel good, Julie?” asked P.A.M. in her eerie monotone.

“Why, yes, P.A.M. Very good. A little lower, if you don’t mind.” The gynoid proceeded to massage Julie’s back.

“Our bloodthirsty Beryl wasn’t satisfied,” continued Fairfax, regarding the display between gynoid and cyborg with a slight smile. “She started recruiting patients, coercing them into plastic surgery operations and forging their contracts. She expanded her plastic surgery firm—or should I say farm—to the outer reaches of the solar system and then to other star systems, transforming into her likeness the vicious water-snake queen of Intrepida Q-43b and the vampire space-wolves of the Pleiadian star cluster. Her space-travel technology is as great as ours, I’m afraid, and it is all funded by her massive fortune. She can reach the most distant corners of the galaxy in mere minutes.”

“This is awful!” cried Donna. “Why, I ought to implant a telekinetic bubble inside her rectum and cause it to expand until she explodes!”

“Good luck mastering that technique, Donna. Meanwhile, I’ll be mopping the floor of her space-ship with her plastic booty–using my bare hands,” said Rosalind.

“And I will turn her ship against her by commandeering its central computer!” added Julie, sitting erect within the bubbling waters. “I will lead my ladies into the melee with the strong and firm fist of a true, alien-bred technopath!” Here the other ladies noticed the strange gynoid.

“Hey! Keep your hands off her!” whined Donna in the shrill, reedy voice of a Los Angeles mall rat as she saw P.A.M. working Julie. “You just want her for yourself!” With this remonstration, she proceeded to massage Julie’s worn feet with a ferocious jealousy. Initially hesitant, the cyborg acceeded, sliding her body back into the warm waters, and Donna performed an exquisite ritual upon her toes.

“This is bullshit. I am going to plow some pussy,” roared Rosalind. She submerged her gorgeous, glistening Michelle Obama physique beneath a rumble of bubbling waves and made her way between Julie’s thighs. Julie tittered, “Hehe! That tickles, Rosalind!” and stroked Rosalind’s wet head with a strange desire to wrap her thighs around her face like the interior of a warm, wet clam. P.A.M., apparently curious, resumed her massage of Julie’s back, this time in its lower region.

“That’s all very well, ladies,” continued Fairfax, peering down peremptorily at the girls with her imperturbable Bea Arthur face, “but Plastica does not work alone—she has a helper.” On the telescreen appeared a ghastly, wizen face pitted with two baleful, hollow eyes, a hideous nest of wires serving as hair. The skin was a sickly grey-purple. “This creature is known only as Dr. Electro-hag. He is a shadowy figure–his past is a blur. We know he hangs on Beryl’s bosoms like a baby sucking at the teats of Satan, but he possesses genius bioengineering skills. A few scraps of evidence suggest he played a major role in Plastica’s rise to success, but there was a fall-out between the two and somehow she got the upper-hand, assimilating him into her army. The details are foggy, and we’re not yet sure where the hag’s loyalty truly lies, but we think he might prove a formidable ally, if we can offer him amnesty on certain binding conditions.”

“Every mistreated monster deserves a chance at redemption!” cried Julie, withdrawing her thighs from Rosalind’s lips and rising up out of the bath, her trim, toned body glistening. P.A.M. withdrew a few steps, quiet and solemn. “I will not let such an unfortunate creature slip through our compassionate, forgiving fingers to become another trophy on the mantelpiece of that inhuman witch. Why, if only we could save her too. But we can’t, it seems.” After towelling herself off, she stationed herself at the telescreen console and clacked away at the buttons. “Look! She hasn’t gone far. We have been able to capture traces of the monster’s footsteps. Our satellite imaging technology, as well as our spies and ground-based telescopes, suggest Plastica is headed in the direction of the Louvre in Paris. She is targeting Western civilisation at its very core, and we are the only ladies who can stop her!”

“And we have to save Oswald!” cried Donna giddily. “He’s redeemed himself–he hardly deserves the fate which stands before him.”

“Since when did you sympathise with that ice-cold, cutthroat fashion-dick, Donna?” asked Rosalind, stepping out of the tub and drying off her muscular shoulders with a terry-cloth towel.

“Since he said that fashion should fit the woman, and not the other way around!” replied Donna, raising her head proudly and rising out of the tub. “He thinks fashion is a tool for self-expression, not a mould to be shoe-horned into. You would do well to learn more about him, you grumpy old muscle-dyke!”

“Ladies! Stop your bickering,” said Julie, her rich, brown eyes growing large with domination. “We have a greater goal in mind—the salvation of humanity—and I rely on you to help me achieve it! Once more–cease your petty squabbling and lend me your loyal assistance in this daunting task. London, Britain, and Earth need you! Now! You know what to do.” The ladies obediently rose up out of their comfortable water-kingdom and placed their feet on the firm, cold surface of MI6 ground.

“Girls,” cried Fairfax, tapping the remnant of her broken cane against her wheelchair to get the women’s attention, “Heed your leader’s words. We have one thing left to do, and my gin and tonic needs topping off anyway, so have with it!”

“Lady League, unite!” cried Julie. The ladies joined fists and shot a bright, white-green column of light through the roof of the MI6 headquarters into the night sky above Lambeth. London was aglow, its great landmarks glittering, and below, patrons of sex-bars and gay bathhouses alike looked up in awe at the brilliant spectacle, dropping their half-opened condom packages and plastic cups of warm beer. Fairfax surreptitiously pulled the plug on the gynoid, who went limp.

Find out what happens at the most famous museum in the world in the next episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League!





Julie Gentron and the Lady League (Vol. 1, Ep. 7): Karate Chop!

19 10 2012

In the last episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League, the ladies were blown away by the exhaust fumes from Plastica’s subterranean Parisian spaceship. After the plastic witch escaped into space with a horde of unlucky fashionistas, including their charge Simpson Oswald, the ladies were forced to return to London empty-handed. Furious at their failure, Lady Fairfax, the ladies’ boss and Chief of the MI6, forced her girls to undergo a rigorous martial arts training session.

Swerving round nimbly in her wicker wheelchair, Fairfax whipped the ladies into shape like a sadistic lesbian prison warden, a cane in one hand and a gin-and-tonic in the other: “Right, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and left, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and right, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and—”

“–Ugh, Lady Fairfax, I can’t keep up,” groaned Donna flailing in exhaustion and panting like a pregnant cougar. “My knees are sore and my pants are stuck in my crotch!”

“It’s your awkward bosoms getting in the way, girl, not your knees,” snapped Fairfax in her prim British accent.

“Wh–what?? I can’t believe you actually said that!”

“Silence, you shrieking sow! For every moment you spend protesting”–Fairfax wheeled her way behind Donna–”the fiend strikes at your heel!” She crouched like a viper, tripped Donna to the ground under her cane, and resumed her stiff position in the wheelchair. “You may be able to move objects with your mind, Donna, but you had better learn to concentrate, lest an old, wheelchair-bound coot like me should stab you in the back from behind. If you want to save this daft fashion critic from the demon’s clutches, you must think fast! Our time is limited!” She raised her cane perpendicular to the ground and gave a toffy-nosed grimace. Rosalind suddenly grabbed her from behind in an effort to retrieve the cane, but Fairfax deftly smacked her backwards in the face with it, swivelled her chair round, and grabbed her opponent’s thighs in her arms, dragging her to the ground. Rosalind had to use above-average force to extricate herself from Fairfax’s unusually strong grip.

“That wasn’t fair!” cried the proud Zaghawa tribeswoman.

“What do you mean it wasn’t fair, you unwieldy oaf?” countered Fairfax. “You possess super-human strength, Rosalind; hence, I rely on skill. Why, I could barely even do what I did!” Rosalind nodded apologetically, and Fairfax placed her gin-and-tonic gracefully on a nearby table with a gruff harrumph. “I look ahead, anticipate your next move, and prepare to strike”–Rosalind threw a punch at her, but the feisty sexagenarian blocked it with her newly free fist, clipping Rosalind on the side of the cheek with the other, cane in hand–”and thus emerge the victor! And next time, Rosalind, remember that MI6 protocol strictly forbids the use of mutant powers against a superior officer. Learn to govern your reflexes, you ill-bred country-woman. Carry on, ladies!”

Rosalind and Donna ganged up on the aging martial artist, but in a sudden swirl she knocked both to the ground with her cane and a fist. Julie intervened, pressing forth her large trunk and flexing her sinewy muscles. A tango ensued between the two, and Julie showed unusually precise movements in response to the cane-thrusts of the crippled but nimble woman. Fairfax darted about like a cat in a wheelchair for disabled pets, but Julie made few advances, finally surrendering in exhaustion.

“You have beaten me,” said Fairfax.

“What do you mean, Lady? I have not,” replied Julie, pacing about like an African lioness.

“My loss was inevitable. You have surrendered too soon; you have far too much integrity to give up so easily. You are being lazy because you are fighting an old coot in a wicker wheelchair. You must always stick it out till the end,”–she made a jabbing motion with her cane–”and that end is the triumph of the British people!” She gave her cane a stomp. “We shall proceed with a rematch.” She retrieved her gin-and-tonic, took a long, delicate sip, and set it back down on the table, noticing Julie’s discomfiture. “You are far too serious, my dear. Lighten up.”

“H—How can I keep going unless I use my powers?” asked Julie. She swiped at Fairfax, who dodged the blow and parried it with the tip of her fabled cane.

“Charisma, uniqueness, nerve, talent–and lady essence!” replied the crone. “A hard-hewn tool no muscle-bound man can out-manoeuvre. All one needs to topple a locomotive is a misaligned railway track—a single trip, a well-timed block, a clip to the jaw. Do not succumb to fear or distraction, girl. Focus on your goal.” She took another sip from her drink, returned it to the table, and swayed her cane at the ladies. “Lady essence consists of real-life epigenetic phenomena combined in a virulent concoction with supernova gamma ray bursts and high-galactic ectoplasm!”

“Huh?” said Donna in her annoying California accent. Her painfully contorted face belied her brainy potential. “Madam Fairfax, if genes are the script for human behaviour, how can anybody control what they do?”

“They control what they do because they realize they can,” said Fairfax, simply. There was an awkward pause as the ladies gave each other funny looks. “Genes are subsidiary to consciousness and environment. Volition is an inherent part of the lady essence, passed down to us by the cosmic rays of the universe and the many unseen lady-dimensions beyond. All that is required of you is to stop screaming like banshees in heat and focus on the task at hand. That is why you spit and sputter like a Model T Ford, Donna! You abandon yourself to destiny. And yet, with enough focus, you can do such mighty things. I almost fear you.”

Madam Fairfax,” interjected Julie, “respectfully, your observations sound to me like junk science.”

“What, you untrained vessel of womanhood? Are volition and self-awareness ‘unscientific’ to you? You talk like a maladaptive cretin. Never would allow some Stone Age brute to throttle me to the ground and drag me screaming back to his cave, forcing me to pop out a few more babes with random scraps of leftover wooly mammoth meat flung my way as modest incentive!” She raised her cane in the air with a queenly conviction. “Never would I sanction the violation of the yonic temple to satisfy the lusts of monsters who wage war over mates and resources only to mock their female prize with the scant remnants of their winnings. I take my life in my own hands! I am a lady of the future!” Once more the matron gave her cane a thund’rous rap, and this time it went home. In sudden silence, she delicately laid the unassuming weapon across her lap and clasped her hands there like a venerable grandmother. The ladies, stunned, tried to collect themselves.

“You are right, Madam Fairfax,” said Julie, bravely breaking the silence. “How remiss I am to forget my own passion for your cause. I myself gave a speech not so long ago enumerating the many necessities of female empowerment, and how we musn’t bow to biological determinism. All I know is that something inside me–this ‘lady essence,’ as you call it–drives me forth in an endless quest to secure justice for all humankind. Why, something–something makes me want to punch that plastic bitch square in the jaw, grab her by the wig, and toss her unnaturally pretty corpse into the Old Bailey–if only to defend the women and men of Britain, of Earth, and of the galaxy!”

“It is there your sentiment should lie, my dear,” said Fairfax. “Hopefully when it comes to that you’ll have prised poor Oswald from the witch’s clutches unbruised. The daft old queen is so delicate. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it; for now, my worries are soothed. With your fierce conviction, Julie, you have only demonstrated my weird hypothesis, which is that you have control over your destiny. I can tell that in your heart resides true nobility.”

“That doesn’t mean I’m not going to give up common sense, Madam! It’s the only way I can gauge a threat in my environment. Why, if I didn’t have my wits to rely on—” Julie suddenly grabbed the tip of Fairfax’s cane, spun the wheelchair round, and pulled the cane securely against her boss’s neck with both hands. Almost as soon as it happened, she mercifully released Fairfax, who spun back round, regained her composure, and gave a stunned, weird look of awe and delight. The old woman deployed a swift cane-strike at Julie’s kidney, but the technopath grabbed the weapon in her palms and broke it in two over her knee, throwing the pieces to the ground. Bereft of her cane, and with a maniacal look in her eyes, the crippled woman siezed her wheels, swirled round in a circle to gain momentum, and charged at Julie with wheels and legs in the air. Julie leapt up, catapulted herself over the wheelchair foot-holds, and landed crotch-first on Fairfax’s face, squeezing her thighs together. She sat there snugly until her mentor mumbled something along the lines of surrender, and she peeled her buttocks away to reveal a happy face.

“Spectacular!” boomed Lady Fairfax, repositioning her wheelchair with her strong arms and whipping blood from her nose. “You have passed the test! You have mastered the use of a most formidable weapon—the lady strike—a powerful repository of female ingenuity. But you had better know not only when to strike, but whom! Take that to heart. Now let us break and relax. I have some dark secrets about Plastica to tell you girls.”

Find out what those little dark secrets are in the next episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League!





Miss B Digs Her Nails Into A Gay Conservative Catholic

15 07 2012

I’m getting weary of the old-fashioned sex difference revival. (Yes, I’m channelling Linda Evans right now. Shut up.) It’s everywhere in the media, from Time to Newsweek. Clinical psychologist Rosalind Barnett and journalist Caryl Rivers tackle the subject in their book Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs. They critique the resurgence of gender myths in modern society, especially since 9/11, paring away at the bad science propping up such myths and showing how it hurts us.  And, boy, can these bitches mount a queen. In ‘The Testosterone Test,’ a section of Chapter Eight in their book, they mention a gay man who has embraced the specious notion that testosterone makes males more aggressive than females. To me this is anathema, and I’ll tell you why. I will, I tell you. I will!

As I’ve suggested, the section deals with claims that males are more aggressive than females because they have higher testosterone levels. The authors admit that males have on average ten times more testosterone than females, but they point out that the relationship between testosterone and aggression is very foggy indeed, and that we do not know whether testosterone causes aggression levels to spike, aggression causes testosterone levels to spike, or something else entirely causes both to spike. In fact, it is doubtful that there is any direct relationship between testosterone and aggression in males, according to John Archer of the University of Central Lancashire, who conducted a major review of the literature [1]. So we should remain sceptical about claims that testosterone causes males to be more aggressive than females. It’s more complex and nuanced than that, and failing to realise this point might have real-life consequences.

To show how influential quack notions about gender science can be in popular culture, Barnett and Rivers cite a sensationalistic 2000 cover story in the New York Times Magazine called ‘The He Hormone’ [2]. The article wasn’t written by a scientist–it wasn’t even written by a science journalist–it was written by a gay conservative Catholic essayist with HIV called Andrew Sullivan. Barnett and Rivers note that it would have been valuable reading if Sullivan had written about taking shots of testosterone to manage his HIV condition, because this might have great benefits, but he attempted to write a full-fledged science article on the relationship between testosterone and sex, citing out-of-the-mainstream scientists and making factual errors andinaccurate claims along the way. As Barnett and Rivers write,

Robert Sapolsky, an eminent Stanford University professor of biology and neurology and an expert on testosterone, told Slate that Sullivan ‘is entitled to his fairly nonscientific opinion, but I’m astonished at the New York Times [for publishing his article].’ Saposky notes that one of the studies cited by Sullivan is a scientific laughingstock that was discredited long ago. Three other respected researchers signed a letter to the Times about the article, stating, ‘[i]n particular, there are scant results from well-controlled experiments showing that testosterone affects behaviour of normal men in the ways asserted by Sullivan.’

So, given this scientific insight, my question to Sullivan is: Really? Are you serious? I am gonna put on my Lee Press-On Nails and slap the bitch off your face. You should know better, queen!

But, in honesty, why in the world would a gay man be promulgating such pseudoscience? Immediately I am drawn to five facts: he is gay, male, conservative, Catholic, and HIV positive. This is a very complex archetype to read, but to me it ultimately screams “sexual insecurity.” Of course, nobody should be promoting the pseudoscience Barnett and Rivers describe, but one would think that a gay man, of all people, would be among the first to recognise and criticise it. Doesn’t Dan Savage campaign against gay bullying? Doesn’t Sullivan? Anti-gay bullying is motivated largely by gender norms, after all, and gay people don’t fit  into the traditional male-female procreative script so integral to such norms. I think this strange disjunction in gay men like Sullivan stems from a sort of schizophrenia or cognitive dissonance over gay men being aggressive but also compassionate. Gay men want to be accepted for being effeminate, but, ironically, they also want to assume the bully’s role and hence gain power over the people who once tortured them. The white, bearded, brunette bear in plaid becomes this macho–in some cases very supercilious–bully towards the shaved, tanned, blond twink at the local gay disco. (Don’t get me wrong–I think they’re both silly for their own reasons.) The effect isn’t physical, but it’s psychological. And that’s also damaging.

Everybody should be dispelling gender myths, but one would expect gay men to be among the first to do so, because of their own personal experiences with how such myths have hurt them. But faggots have foggy memories, and their minds are like phantasmic labyrinths. I don’t think Sullivan wants to hurt people, but I think he does so with his essay. I think he might be confused, desperate, and slightly egotistical. Gay people should be reading more academic literature on feminism and gender theory, like Barnett and Rivers’s book or Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender, and they should be constructing an argument which produces a fuller image of who we should be as human beings. We should be raping the airwaves with real, sound, solid science on how everybody suffers from gender myths.

1. J. Archer, ‘The influence of testosterone on human aggression,’ British Journal of Psychology 82 (1991); 1-28.

2. Sullivan. “Why Men Are Different.”








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