Sexing it Up at Bondage-a_Go-Go
Dec 29 2009
This was my Bondage-a-Go-Go outfit. In the end It was too sexy for the club. A lot of women liked it, but a few of the straight Males got aggressive. I had crossed a scary line where I loose my “human” status. Twice boys told their girlfriends to stop interacting with me. A blatant, social performance of othering which is more intense than the simple stinkeye. I was glad that I was not alone with any of those hostile Males. That is the risk of sexing it up as a Mab Femme.
I have recorded earlier Bondage-a-Go-Go experiences in my Queerpedia.
I think I want a new word for RadFem (Radical Feminist ) individuals whose words and actions I am critiquing. I have been using the “Lesbian Separatist” category, but it is not the social practice of separation that I find reactionary, it is the social act of hating and scapegoating the “Other” in order to achieve separation. If the Fab separatists go off and create a space and hang a “No Mabs Allowed” (Mab = Male At Birth) sign on the door, I do not really care. My problem is with the hate and prejudice that Dworkin, Daly and Raymond promoted and that a lot of Fab-separatists still enact. Mab-Negative Feminism might be a more appropriate term than Lesbian Separatist. Mab-Neg Separatists think that Fab-Love means Mab-Hate. This Mab/Fab class war spills out onto the streets, parks, Mab-inclusive queer spaces and University Classrooms of Progressive America. It leaves its mark in Mab-Neg policing of interaction between bisexual lesbians and Mabs. I have encountered some intensely hateful Mab-Neg Feminists. Funny enough, these incidents were not in Women’s Space, they were in neutral space. The pattern was that I would make friends with a queer girl. An angry Masculine Identified Women would see me talking with her girlfriend/ex/friend and would vent her insecurity, jealousy and threatened masculinity in terms with the language of Mab-Hate. So I reject the narratives of valiant feminists under siege by the cruising Mab predators. This Anti-Mab bigotry was motivated by the basest and pettiest of human emotions. The race card gets played to enact a mob as a power gambit. In Mab-Neg spaces the Mab card gets played in order to perform relative power and exercise relative privilege. The binaries are performed though these internal police actions.
I am a huge critic of Seranoan Feminist identity politics. In a sense Julia Serano went back to the original RadFem texts, embraced the rage and resentment she found there but redirected the Mab-hate onto Cissexuals, Postmodernists, Social Constructionists and Fab Feminists who refused her Essentialist definitions of sex and gender. The Dworkinian hate and anger is the same on both sides. Both sides fuel anger with images of Rape and Murder by their “Other”. Much as American Crypto-Racists tell narratives of Black rapists, and the Cultural Right Wing portray Gay Men and crossdressers as molesters and rapists. Mab-Negative Feminism is just another example of the self-organization of oppression.
Seranoan Feminism retains the Mab-Neg attitudes of the RadFems but define themselves as exterior to Mab. The masculine enemy is retained but an attempt is made to shift the markers away from their transsexual bodies. In some ways this category shift is ingenious because Seranoan Feminism retains the Dworkinian security blanket of an anti-Mab class war but the enemy becomes a Masculinity which can accrue to both Mab and Fab bodies, and most especially to the RadFem Transmisogynists. The weakness of this social engineering of Identity Categories is that it relies on a radical disidentification from Mab-ness. Transfeminists are the recipients of an intense Mab-negativity but they can not contest this hate on ethical grounds. Mab-Negativity is fine as long as they are not marked as Mab.
I contend that Mab-Negativity is a pathologization of the Mab-body which is marked as intrinsically aggressive, perverted and wrong. The Dworkinian trope of Mab-as-rapist, the intrinsic depravity of the Mab body has lead Mab-Neg feminism to participate in intensely reactionary, social purification movements against pornography, alcohol and sex-workers.
Polly said (and this is probably the only non rad fem place on the internet I can say this without also being accused of killing someone).
Creating a space where I can discuss a Mab Femme category, makes this one of the few places on the Internet where I can critique Mab-Negative Feminism, because I can argue for the intrinsic wholeness of a Mab disassociated from the false consciousness of Social Masculinity. I think that a Sex-positive, and Body-positive feminism must eventually also transcend the form of Body-negativity which I call Mab-negativity. There is no original sin. Mab’s are not intrinsically evil. It is time to emancipate every body through Body-Positive Bio-Politics.
Mab = Male At Birth
Fab = Female At Birth
Cissexuals = non transsexuals
Seranoan Feminism = A transfeminist activism inspired by Julia Serano’s The Whipping Girl