Mockingbird: A long-tailed thrushlike songbird with grayish plumage, found mainly in tropical America and noted for its mimicry of the calls and songs of other birds.
Over the past year or so, a role model of sorts has emerged for the transgender identified community; Janet Mock has pushed a new version of the transgender narrative. I read her blog and watched her video clip about the appropriation of the Hawaiian culture by Hollywood in the new movie, Aloha, with Bradley Cooper and Rachel Macadams. While I have not seen the movie, nor read much about it, I cannot comment on Mock’s criticism of the film and its use of Hawaii as a setting. However, I found that she is disingenuous in her charge of “appropriation” of her indigenous culture, because I can see very strong appropriations in trans-women identified people of Western culture’s female sex-role behaviour in dress, customs, and social expectations, and the language of Western feminist struggles against exploitation and subjugation. In other words, transsexuals like Mock have taken our beauty mythology and somehow mixed it with the rhetoric of liberation. If these men want our discarded notions of femininity, let them have them. If men want to use women’s liberation rhetoric to liberate themselves, I am about to call a spade a spade.
What I have done in this piece is to use Mock’s own writing style, sentence structure and message to highlight the insincerity of the trans-identified narrative. To view the blog, click here.
- So I have something to tell you: I’m addicted to bloggers…there is nothing more affirming to me at the end of a horrible day than to see ….a silly web blog. Every. Single. Time.
- So this week I was so ecstatic to see Janet Mock’s So POPular! until I meditated on its title. She is ready to “pop” or is she just part of a pop culture that demeans the role of women in our culture…anyway, she is trying to state her cultural relevance…. or she wants to be like her pop idol, Janet Jackson? Who the hell cares…pop goes the weasel….
- To view the website and the video segment, click on this sentence.
- The web-show is based on Janet Mock’s views on a variety of topics, but they all come down to her transmission of her “new” transsexual narrative. In her latest instalment she talks about how the movie industry has appropriated Hawaiian culture in a new romcom with Bradley Cooper and Rachel Macadams.
- Like RuPaul’s Drag Race, “Janet Mock” is a Hollywood product where transgender is centered, females and female culture is appropriated, and native-born women are nowhere to be seen. And when I say native-born women, I am not talking about the people who claim that they feel female since birth, I mean women who are born with vaginas and ovaries. I am referring to Women, like my mother, grandmother, my sister and myself—the native indigenous women who have reliably birthed and populated the earth since, like forever, whose gametes predate the arrival of men who want to be women. Harry Benjamin arrived in North America, after failing to cure his impotence with Dr Freud’s psychoanalysis, he turned against the “talking cure;” he promoted the surgeries that resulted in men purchasing women’s body parts. These men are the colonists who have objectified women’s sexual organs and wish to recreate themselves as women out of their own male tissue.
- Echoing what Bowlby might have said, I wrote on my blog “what is difficult about being a woman is that everyone has a female figure, called mother, in their psychological composition and attachment history, so everyone thinks that they know what it is like to be a woman.” Womanhood lives vividly in people’s minds as nothing more than a soft place to land….a space of escape, fantasy, and paradise. But womanhood is much more than a special place or an imagined image…just as female is more than just a term given to us at birth.
- The on-going appropriation and commercialisation of everything female only makes it clearer as to why it is inappropriate for those with no menstruation or ovulation to invoke the female experience, culture, language and body. This is uniquely true of the word “female”…a term that has been bastardised, deconstructed and diminished with its continual adoption by men who wish to change their gender.
- Most who invoke the term do not seem to know its true meaning. Female refers to the organism of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces eggs, normally meaning to have a vagina, a uterus, ovaries and enlarged breasts. When we perform coitus, the female of the couple, not the male, produces a baby. If two men lie together, etc. you get the drift. That’s female.
- When Janet Mock uses the language of the marginalised, native-born female, whose body, culture and experience have been stripped from them by the politics of transgenderism, she contributes to a long tradition of reducing native-born women to her own limited imagination…and this is dangerous.
- To put my own words to a quote that Janet Mock uses to promote her ideas on appropriation:
- “Embedded in every male theft of femaleness is the denial of that theft, be it theft of role, culture, oppression, all the things that define womanhood, all that we need to struggle as a people. The exploitation and appropriation of Woman’s identity and cultural identifiers, like subjugation, inequality and violence is in keeping with that millennial old traditions of misogyny and patriarchy. This sort of appropriation is possible, because women have been remade and deconstructed, turned into a strangely passive icon that represents entertainment for men who claim to be women.”
- A message to those in Transland: If you are not native born female or intersex, you do not get to spread the message of womanhood because you own the product, the objects, the purchase of female sexual organs, because they are not yours naturally. You have objectified the female form even more deviously than the Playboy king has done. Our body is not yours for appropriation or profit, even as a Janet Mock self-promotion of realness.
- My target of this editorial is Transland, and not men who take the roles usually ascribed to women. There is an entire system, that more often than not, silences native-born women’s voices, rather than include them. I am also aware that though I am centering on native-born women voices, I do not wish to erase the presence of men who naturally inhabit some of the culturally female stereotyped roles and expectations, but who have contributed to and have embraced feminism.