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Realization on the Fly

December 14, 2010

It occurs to me that in the “beauty” industry, being a faggot is its own credential.  A faggot with no schooling, training, or experience, can assume a role in that field just by virtue of his homosexuality.  I’m sure we can all think of instances where this is the case.

Of course, being a lesbian is never its own credential.  Hell, straight women are preferred even when the job ostensibly *is* “be a lesbian.”

There really is very little parallel between gay maleness and lesbian femaleness.

  1. December 14, 2010 5:37 am

    That’s the truth! And those pricks get filthy rich telling women what ugly, demeaning “fashions” to wear.

  2. Armina permalink
    December 14, 2010 9:04 am

    Can I just say one thing?

    I don’t know everything that had happened with Valerie and The Magazine Project, although I did read some bits and pieces and all I can say is I don’t care for The Magazine Project, who the hell reads it, anyway? I don’t care for Valerie at all either. I never liked or trusted her and always felt that she had some kind of agenda.

    Margaret was so happy when Valerie announced she was a lesbian. I was too, I want every female to be lesbian. But I reminded Margaret that Valerie was married and had a son and didn’t seem to have any intention of leaving her husband or her son. But I suspected that if she found a woman who would take her husband’s place (someone who would support her or whose presence in her life would guarantee her ability to maintain the lifestyle she has now), she’d leave her husband. But Not her son. But Margaret was willing to overlook the fact that she was married and had a son because Valerie now claims to be a lesbian and that is what matters, what should matter. I have never interacted with Valerie, I don’t even read her blog because of its lack of substance. So of course, I may be wrong.

    Also, a white woman does not risk much by being a lesbian. A white woman, heterosexual or lesbian, fat, disabled is always preferred over a black woman.

    What I am certain about though is that white women interact with Margaret because they want something from her.

    When Valerie wrote to Margaret about the first article she was writing for The Magazine Project, she did so, rather sneakily under the guise of “her talking to a friend about this certain topic and she wanted to know what Margaret thought of it.”

    All white people do is steal. When Margaret told me about it, I told her I wasn’t surprised at all and that she shouldn’t trust any of these white women, anyway.

    When Margaret told me that Valerie was going to work for The Magazine Project and how she was concerned that Valerie sold out, I told her that Valerie is just another Heart and that she should walk away. But Margaret saw the injustice in having a white woman who claims to be lesbian and is married/living with a man and raising a son representing lesbians in a tranny-welcoming space. And all she wanted to do was point that out.

    And Valerie comes crying and claiming to be a victim and how Margaret, et al, have treated her harshly. And all white lesbians come running to defend and console her.

    I’ve witnessed this too many times. The “poor” white woman being “attacked” by the black woman.

    You, Valerie are an asshole and everyone who thinks you’re a white knight who’s out to save all the lesbians is an asshole too. And I don’t care about you, stay with your husband, raise your rapist son while sleeping with every woman who will have you, I will never read your insipid writing, and like the rest of us, you will fade into obscurity. That I am right about.

    And Mary Sunshine, I appreciate you, your support of Margaret and how you never came running to her; asking her or anyone else to support or defend you. I find that to be very dignified.

    Oh, and yes, white married women raising sons make better lesbians.

    • Mary Sunshine permalink
      December 14, 2010 11:12 am

      Thanks, Armina.

      I agree with you about the incredible whiteness of this whole thing. It has been an obvious characteristic of this episode from the get-go.

  3. December 14, 2010 9:42 am

    Thanks for commenting Armi love. I do wish I had listened to you sooner. I have not been the best judge of character.

    I never saw it getting to the point where white lesbians would be demanding that others congratulate Valerie for bowing to outside pressure on a topic she’d given the impression was a part of her own politics. There really is so much I was blind to.

    But, yeah, white married mothers of sons make the best lesbians.

  4. Armina permalink
    December 14, 2010 9:51 am

    I don’t care about about these assholes because whatever they do or write or say makes no difference in my life, whatsoever. I am still Filipino, poor and lesbian. The only good thing that comes out of these situations is that it gives you the opportunity to weed out the assholes in your life. And that is a very good thing, indeed.

  5. Armina permalink
    December 14, 2010 10:07 am

    And, no, trannies make the best lesbians.

  6. December 14, 2010 2:23 pm

    The irony in that shit is killing me.

  7. December 14, 2010 4:48 pm

    Armina, I agree 100%. The whole ‘white woman in distress, let’s rally around’ thing is just… ugh. Amazing how quickly everyone lines up to take a shot at AROOO. 😦

  8. Level Best permalink
    December 14, 2010 7:07 pm

    I love AROOO and respect all of you greatly. All of this latest makes me feel sad and ashamed.

  9. December 15, 2010 5:30 am

    Bev, Val may entertain a 20 year old fight at her blog, at this point I think she will do anything to deflect the attention away from her failure to be honest, but it will not happen over here. People here can say supportive things about Mary and they can say supportive things about you (neither will be said at the expense of the other), but I will not allow that 20 year old fucking fight to be done here. Here is the deal. It was 20 fucking years ago. Val betrayed feminism (women) (since we are now supposed to believe that she never alluded to being a feminist before) just a month ago! And she tried to wiggle her way out of it and you and others enabled her. She fucking sold out women, period, and for what, money that she hasn’t even made yet? And now we were told that we need to come back and tell her “Thanks Miss Valerie, thanks so much for listening to us after we done screamed in your ears for weeks on end. Thanks so much for letting us guide you straight [no pun and/or allusion], for letting us be your moral compass…….Thanks so much for making poo poo, we sure do love your poo poo.” What the fuck ever.

    I don’t know much about Mary, but I do know her life as not been easy. I can only assume that your life has not been easy. To me, that means two women whose lives have not been easy have had some disagreements in the past and by some act of coincidence or Fate (if you will) we are all here together now. Do I think a desire to be a separatist instead of a lesbian is lesbian phobia? Yes. Do I trust that everyone involved will remember how everything happened exactly? NO! But what the hell does my opinion matter? I have to work through lesbian phobia every fucking day (like most women who will admit that she has been conditioned by the patriarchy and at the same time desires to free her mind from that conditioning) if either one of you were mature enough at the time, or in an emotionally enough healthy place, then one or both of you would have said, “You know what, women are kicked around so fucking much that we can make do with both lesbians and separatists and then allow the one(s) with the problem work it out through love and support. Or let the one with the problem (if one thinks one has a problem) have some time to sort it out. But, noooooooooooooo, hell no, it can’t be that way. People aren’t allowed to heal and grow. No, we have to arrest development.

    20 fucking years ago, I was 27, and making some of the most stupid decisions of my life. Honestly, I cannot roll my eyes hard enough.

    I face mortality just as much as the next person, but it is time to grow up. 20 years ago was 20 years ago. And if it was not exactly 20, if it was more than 10, it was too long ago.

    Val, why don’t you leave your husband before you start entangling yourself with women? Are you having fun yet?

  10. December 15, 2010 7:28 am

    I repeat, this blog will not entertain something that happened 20 years ago. Val is not being held accountable for her deception that just happened, therefore, there is no way in hell we are going to divert from that betrayal and dig up the past.

    Repeat, there will not be another word about something that happened 20 years ago. It is either what has just happened or nothing.

  11. pseudoadrienne permalink
    December 15, 2010 8:27 am

    Re: Gay men, the fashion industry

    Is anyone else *not* surprised that hetero-women would rather take advice from a gay man, even if it means degrading and commodifying themselves for hetero-male consumption (and abuse) and exploitation by corporations? As opposed to taking advice from a lesbian who is genuinely concerned about women’s psychological and physical wellbeing (and liberation)? I swear hetero-women can be some of the biggest lesbophobes and yet they “squee” over a gay guy giving them fashion tips (or even fellatio tutorials) that will attract some hetero-male who just wants a fuckhole/broodmare/maid.

  12. December 15, 2010 8:38 am

    I’m so annoyed. I tried to leave this comment before and it didn’t take, so I’m going to have to try to recreate it.

    I agree that there is no use in talking about events that happened 20 years ago. If Bev and Mary are going to work things out, they will do so outside the context of this blog. I’m happy to help either of them get in touch with the other.

    I will say this. Soulsis’s interpretation of the actual words that were written was perfectly reasonable. I read it the same way – that Bev was throwing the hospitality or charity she’d shown Mary in Mary’s face. I know that there are other details that were left out, but given what was actually on the screen, it’s not irrational that sis would have reached the conclusions that she and I reached.

    It is lesbian-hating to say that lesbian separatists should not call themselves lesbians.

    I think, though, that when two women find themselves in the same place – this blog, wherever – it’s safe to assume that there is some political alignment between the two. It’s not necessary for women to be friends or to like each other to share politics. And you do share politics. It was Mary who recommended Bev’s book to me last year, after all.

  13. December 15, 2010 2:59 pm

    Margie I didn’t get the impression that Kitty’s comment was directed
    at me. I actually felt it might be due to some comment that violated
    room rules or was more of the “20 yrs ago” crap. Might even be so that
    my comment to Mary about the class-shaming wouldn’t encourage anyone
    to bring that shit show here. And if it were directed at me, point
    well taken and I couldn’t agree more (um feel the same way if this
    weren’t directed at me lol.)

    Actually, I had been working on a comment that said just this (and
    more) for the open thread when my IP blew up on me and barred my
    internet access.
    I will try to recreate from memory what I wanted to say. Typing on a
    phone, while fun for text messages, is difficult… lol

    basically my points were to address my absence (finals week, the time
    of year and rape trauma; not in that order…) to say I’m sick of the
    shit slinging and reframing of arguments and to say that what was a
    critique of trans encroachment and an analysis of a married het
    privileged mother of a son representing lesbianism to tranny males for
    a buck, has devolved into Val’s lies about what happened and the
    revision of events by her supporters. I wanted to say that any woman
    who has taken to trashing lesbians isn’t welcome to comment on my
    posts. I say this because I don’t want any lesbian woman who
    reads/comments here to feel trapped or unsure abt what she has to say
    because some asshole butchered her words and actions and attempts to
    defend herself. Ppl are free to disagree with me, but to lie and
    refraim my upset and betrayal (Val and I communicated privately) as an
    attack or being too harsh… I won’t stand for that. trust me when I
    tell u nothing I have said in the past even resembled harsh and if it
    did to u then how nice have YOU had it throughout your life and
    bloging experience to confuse critique with attack. Furthermore if
    anyone doesn’t want anything “personal” said about them, don’t write
    bragging about your personal life! Maybe then no one will take issue
    and mention the facts that you publically shared, in a blunt manner.

    The whiteness that has reared its ugly head here is disgusting!, but
    not surprising. I said from the outset that Val’s supporters were
    rallying together over whiteness. I don’t think for one second that
    Margie doing the same thing (that’s selling out women and lesbians for
    a yet to be made $) wouldn’t get the support, encouragement, and out
    right praise that Val is receiving from her “supporters” (read:
    enablers.) I don’t understand why it is so difficult to see her for
    what she is… or maybe I do. Its damn hard to be betrayed by someone
    you believe is your ally and the greatest source of my outrage is how
    she deceived margie to steal from her (just what white folks do to
    non-whites and they do it every fuckin time as soon as the chance
    presents itself) to go make money at that tranny rag. Yes I’m still
    calling it a tranny rag and doing so because I have yet to see how
    they’re going to weed out the males from the women… simply taking
    the “gbtiq” shit off of the soup group doesn’t mean they won’t try.
    Arooo has been staunchly female for years but guess who pops in every
    now and then to throw an insult, attack, demand to be centered? Yep,
    MALES and male-identified women!!! Those males with intact dicks and
    those with butchered genitals who think their fetishism=female. So
    I’m none too quick to “congratulate” two clueless women who both
    disagree that trannies are female yet allowed them to comment, take
    over, attack women, threaten with rape (as if any woman, let alone one
    who has ever been raped and most of us have 😦 needs a MAN to tell her
    he’s so woman and she should be raped for not licking his balls abt
    it) etc. And whether tmp was feminist or not, Val once claimed to be!
    But as with everything she has ever said abt herself and any way she
    has ever portrayed herself its been, conveniently, revised to fit her
    current story…

  14. December 15, 2010 8:39 pm

    Hey, sis, I agree with everything you’ve said here, and just want to clarify that I was responding to now-deleted comments from Bev addressing the 20-year-old issues between her and Mary. A lot of it was addressed to you, sis, so that’s why I mentioned you in my comment. I stand by everything you’ve said.

  15. December 15, 2010 9:10 pm

    Soulsis, Kitty’s comment was defintely not about you, but about me. Last night I thought it was in answer to what I’d posted, but it was instead of it.

    After having what I thought was a good talk with Margaret last night, and a nice exchange with Kitty, I was stunned to find both my posts defending myself gone. [M]y talking about Never-het and lifelong Lesbian oppression was cut also. Is that not allowed as a topic now, to be squashed like it is most everywhere else? Are others routinely censored here?

    I should be able at least to answer a false charge of classism. Please let me answer you, and everyone, Soulsis. Otherwise, it looks like I agree. This isn’t about 20 years ago, but now. Our lives and movement now. If you’re thinking things about me that aren’t true, it’s now.

    What I wrote [was about] responding only about what the issue of “political Lesbianism” brought up for me. That issue I is almost never discussed. I know the oppression of Never-het and lifelong Lesbians and Butches doesn’t affect most of you, but I have to believe you care because we are in the same struggle against males and patriarchy.

    I’d like to answer more to you all, but it took so much out of me physically and emotionally last night, to only have it censored. I’m disabled with chronic illness, so it’s hard to answer at all. One thing: No, I wasn’t not supporting Val at all because she’s white. I hadn’t known before all that I found out last night from Margaret. If I’m printed, I will answer more. If I’m not printed, you will be left making up stories about me and others without knowing the truth. But do know that I am always more likely to side with and support the more oppressed Lesbian in a situation. And I would never support a white woman over a Black woman if that is all I saw happening.

    Soulsis, I am so sorry you’re going through this hard time. I’m thinking of you with love. I also know the upcoming travel will be hard on Margie and Armi and am wishing you the best.


    • December 15, 2010 9:28 pm

      Bev, I didn’t want to tear your comments apart last night by deleting parts of it (so I deleted the whole thing), but now it looks like I have to since you want to play victim. You will not talk about that situation that happened 20 years ago. I told you, you will not talk about that topic on this blog. And I don’t fucking appreciate using the words censorship. I don’t have the power to censor anyone. This blog does not have the power to censor anyone. We can only protect our convictions.

  16. December 15, 2010 9:34 pm

    Kitty, I was accused of something I didn’t do. Don’t I have the right to defend myself and to explain to Soulsis and the rest of you here? Talking about that little part of it was only a couple of sentences in what I wrote.

    I’m not saying “censorship” to be mean, Kitty. You do have that power to not let me answer an untrue charge, and did. I don’t understand.

  17. December 15, 2010 9:40 pm

    Thank you for printing the rest of it, Kitty. If anyone wants to ask me privately, I have nothing to hide.

  18. December 15, 2010 9:59 pm

    Bev, I think enough was said on Val’s blog. Anyone who runs in our circle has read it already at Val’s. What wasn’t said at Val’s was said here. I cannot go over it like a forensic scientist and make sure it is exactly even to the letter, I can only stop it, now. You have a blog. You have an email account. Other people have email accounts. If both parties in a situation want to discuss something, both parties will find a way to discuss it. I will not enable the forcing of a topic about two parties when I know both parties do not desire it. Val chose to allow the topic to stand, although one of the parties did not want it to stand. We have chosen for the topic not to stand. It sounds like it is even to me. Of course as a heterosexual married to a man, woman, with a son, Val does not have anything invested in two women hurting each other. We here at AROOO do, and we will not enable it one word more. Not two women who we care about.

    As far as your two comments that are currently in moderation, I don’t even know what to do with them. I’ve asked you to stop talking here about that situation and you won’t.

  19. December 15, 2010 10:10 pm

    The comment [I want to respond to] happened here, after Val’s blog, so that’s why I tried to answer here. (I guess I could ask Soulsis to see my answer there?) And this is where my heart has been as well. I wouldn’t care what you all think if you didn’t matter so much to me. But you do. I’ve grown very fond of you as well as appreciating your politics.

    Again, I want no more hurt. I want to sort everything out. Otherwise we are all again in our isolated communities, trying to fight the same battles.

    So, do talk to me, any of you who are thinking anything about me that upsets you, so you can hear my answer directly from me. Talking on the phone is even better. I just wish we could all meet in person.

  20. December 15, 2010 10:23 pm

    Just for the record, what I think is something pertinent for everyone to think about is, why doesn’t everyone, especially sousis, feels comfortable talking about whatever at Val’s blog. To me, that says something. Why are there topics that have to brought back here if they originated in other places? But, for some reason that vein has been ignored even though the cause of that insecurity (lack of safeness) has recently occurred. Why pick at a scar when we have an open wound draining blood?

  21. December 15, 2010 10:56 pm

    What the hell? Bev, when you called me, I told you then in no uncertain terms that you needed to accept that Soulsis’s interpretation of that whole “we opened up our home to Mary” thing over at Val’s was a perfectly reasonable interpretation, and that it was the same one I had based on what was said over there. I told you that I didn’t want any more rehashing of the old stuff, and I didn’t want any more reconciliation talk on our blog. I told you that I didn’t think any kind of reconciliation was possible. And I’ve said here in this comment thread that if an unlikely reconciliation were to occur, it would have to be somewhere other than this blog. So, the fact that you’re pushing this issue here, when we’ve already discussed this, makes me feel like you don’t really want reconciliation or resolution at all. It’s not going to happen here, was never going to happen here, so what is it you’re trying to accomplish by pressing it here, when you could have waited to see if other avenues might open up (I’m thinking they won’t now).

    Kitty is right that you can definitely write about this on your own blog, or you can continue it over at Valerie’s, where it all began.

    Soulsis was not accusing you of anything. Soulsis was taking the words you wrote and giving her (and my) interpretation of those words – that if it’s shaming to bring up $500, it’s also shaming to bring up “we opened up our home.”

    I know. You say there’s more to the story. That’s fine. But that doesn’t mean that women aren’t allowed to have an opinion on what was already written when you’re claiming to have been attacked by Mary. Reading only what was written at Valerie’s I’ve told you that it didn’t look like you were attacked to me. It looked like you dredged up a 20-year-old grievance, threw the fact that Mary had stayed with you and your co-authors in her face, and then didn’t want her to respond in any way other than to make apologies for things that happened 20 years ago.

    That is what it looks like, as it played out on Val’s blog.

    No one here, when everything we’ve written here *and* at Val’s blog is being twisted beyond recognition and reason to suit her agenda, owes anyone who has been supporting that nonsense the courtesy of making sure that the words they chose to leave on Val’s blog are actually representative of what it is they intended to say. We’re just not. Soulsis is not obligated to double-check with you, who have said nothing about Val’s mischaracterization of Soulsis’s words, and have even hinted at agreeing with Val about how “harsh” she’s been, about whether or not she’s interpreting *your* words in the way you’d most prefer. Does that make sense?

    If you’re going to stand by unfair and, frankly, far-fetched, interpretations of what Soulsis has written, there is no reason why she should go out of her way to solicit more information than what you actually chose to write in order to put the most flattering spin on your having dredged up this 20-year-old thing – ESPECIALLY when she’s not the only one who read it that way, and especially when it’s not even an unfair reading of your words – as in the actual words you wrote, not the words you might have gone back and added if you’d thought about it.

    Soulsis didn’t accuse you of anything. Please stop saying she did.

  22. December 15, 2010 11:06 pm

    This is NOT about the politics, Bev. If you wanted to talk about ex-het privilege over lifelong/never-het lesbians, there has been PLENTY of discussion about that very thing over the past few weeks. And you didn’t participate in any of it! You were comforting Valerie (who’s abusing her own het privilege) over at her blog.

    This is about your dredging up 20-year-old grievances. You keep saying you didn’t out Mary. Fine. I’m not quibbling over that. Regardless of whether you outed her or not, you dredged up a 20-year-old grievance, knowing that the target of your dissatisfaction was around to see it. And when she responded, you said she attacked you. She may have said lesbian-hating things to you 20 years ago, but she did not, in my estimation, attack you at Valerie’s blog.

    So, the two things you insist on talking about are moot points so far as I’m concerned. Like Kitty has said, we’re not providing a forum for the hashing out of 20-year-old business. And I’m saying now that no one here agrees that you were attacked. Based on what was written, I don’t imagine that any of us will be changing our minds about that. So, there isn’t any reason to continue discussing any of it here. Please take it back to Valerie’s blog. Those of us who are interested in hearing more will go there.

  23. December 15, 2010 11:25 pm

    I think it is amazing how the attention has been diverted from Valerie and her lies. Whats motive is behind diverting attention from Valerie? Why is Valerie being protected? If we are going to rake women over the coals, then why is Valerie safe?

    • December 16, 2010 12:02 am

      Definitely. This whole thing is a diversion which Bev has created and Val has encouraged because it takes the focus away from her. And because it has given her the opportunity to get back at Mary for supporting Soulsis. That is entirely obvious and what’s also obvious is that the women who have run like crazy to cheerlead for Val at her blog would act entirely differently if Val was a black woman.

    • joankelly6000 permalink
      December 16, 2010 5:33 am

      I don’t know if those are rhetorical questions (I am on xanax after flying home tonight and so loopy AND blabber-y) and I have been so profoundly uncomfortable with everything that’s gone on, and the only sense I can even make of it is – I honestly believe Val didn’t understand that she was being hurtful at first (lord please hear me out that is NOT where I’m stopping), and when a person feels like “wait I don’t see how I did anything wrong,” then the fact that those she has hurt SHOW their hurt in no uncertain terms, which is exactly what I think went on, no more no less, in the hurt-er’s eyes it’s “hey what the fuck, personal attack,” and in the injured parties’ eyes it’s salt and more salt in the wounds, because first someone hurts them, and then does not appear to them to care, and then does not give the hurt party/parties any sense that they want anything more, really, than to just have people stop being mad at them.

      My guess as to why people are distracting from how Val handled this and the hurt it has caused people who thought she cared about them is that – well I don’t know if I’m qualified to say “it’s whiteness,” though I do know that when soulsis and/or Margie and/or anyone else here says it, it sounds true to me. The only reason I feel like I don’t know what’s right or not for *me* to say whether it’s whiteness-loyalty or not is that I think it’s possible it could be that PLUS people feel some things I’ve felt, but that I have tried to have the respect not to act upon (not always successfully). Which is, it’s so much less painful (selfish of me, I know) to grasp at any chance to see this as “god it would break my heart less if this were ‘just’ a misunderstanding instead of what it seems like it is,” and I think THAT mixes with either conscious or subconscious white person reflexes of : “well this picture looks like angry black women and deer-in-the-headlights white woman.”

      What I mean to say is, I think it is almost second (or first even) nature for white women maybe, that instead of seeing that soulsis has been very hurt, that Margie has been very hurt by this, and that Val’s response to the expression of that hurt has felt even MORE hurtful, what some white women see is “anger” instead of hurt. And then see Val as hurt instead of angry.

      Which I don’t mean to be confusing about it – I know that soulsis, Margie, Armi, and others are angry and I feel I understand why. I’m just at a point I guess in my own life where what I see, when anyone is that angry with me, is that I must have really fucking hurt them, or even if it’s a rare case where I’m like well maybe I don’t think I did something fucked up, I STILL know “but they feel really hurt by me,” and if they matter to me, then I don’t really care if it’s that I was a jackass and that’s how they ended up hurt or if it’s a true, rare misunderstanding and that’s how they ended up hurt. If I care about them, it’s not that I care about them not-being mad at me anymore, it’s that I care about them not-being hurt anymore.

      I’m not naive enough to think that there is always a way to do anything to make amends to someone I love so that they don’t feel hurt anymore, I just mean that that’s what would be important to me, not whether they or anyone else thought I was an asshole or said so.

      I feel like all of the above sounds self-righteous so I just want to note – I am capable of unseemly defensiveness as much as the next person. Maybe it’s just that I have unfortunately hurt enough people that I can take in someone’s anger as not-an-attack on me and instead a communication about me having hurt them, because of familiarity with that dynamic. Or maybe, like I said, I am just so sad and uncomfortable with how all of this has unraveled that I had the compulsion to blurt out how it all looks to me and how I feel about it. Plus as a transparency thing I want to say – I meant the support that I commented with here, back on the first thread where shit went down, though I later jumped in with some bullshit about “hey maybe it’s not that bad, maybe it’s this instead of that,” which I wish I hadn’t. and I emailed Val to say I understood everything that soulsis and Margie have expressed feeling about TMP and all of it, and also I don’t hate her. I emailed soulsis to say I’m so glad she is blogging here now, since I have missed DCMYS since it went private. And I feel like my point with all of that is to say to anyone else who is uncomfortable and felt compelled to say poor Val, here, or at Val’s place, I haven’t seen anyone here ask, let alone demand, that anyone stop loving Val or being her friend. And I think it’s possible to love Val without belittling the hurt that some choices Val has made have caused. I don’t, however, think it’s possible to act like Val needs defending (which is different than love, which everyone needs) without it being part and parcel of belittling the pain of women here, women you may have also expressed love for prior to this horribleness. It is excruciating to me that all of this is going on, so I had hoped it was possible to weigh in with “hey I see both blah blah blahs” without hurting anyone, but I don’t think it is anymore. I wish it all could just stop. But I wish more that you – everyone who has been – had never been hurt in the first place.

  24. December 15, 2010 11:34 pm

    God, yes, Kitty. Armi said Valerie and anyone supporting her is an asshole (and I mostly agree; would only add that some of Valerie’s supporters might just be duped) – and rather than address in any way exactly what would bring someone to support Valerie and be considered an asshole in others’ opinions, this whole thing has been re-purposed to first, attack Soulsis, as if she hasn’t been mischaracterized and lied about enough the past several days and second, to continue talking about how terrible Mary is for ENDING A FRIENDSHIP.

    If ending friendships is that awful, is there nothing to be said for the friendships Valerie has surely ended so recently? At least Bev got a letter. I only wish Valerie had had the decency and forthrightness to send us all letters saying she was denouncing all hint of support for lesbian separatism (or lesbian “separatist-y” women), was going to write for the tranny rag to try to make a quick tranny buck, and was going to start treating us all like we’d never been friends from here on out in light of the fact that we’d probably have some objections.

  25. December 16, 2010 12:35 am

    I just want to say that to my mind it is truly fucked up that Val has stolen not only Margaret’s words, but her time and her energy, and not just Margaret’s, but Kitty’s and Soulsis’s too, in order to further her own interests. She represented herself as a radical feminist supportive of lesbian separatism, and it was on that understanding that women here built friendships with her. She used the women here as a personal resource to exploit in her money-making schemes.

    When this all started to be discussed, Val was challenged about her behaviour in the most generous way possible, when Soulsis outlined her objections and asked Val to please explain herself. Val’s only explanation for her tranny-loving sell out was that she wanted to make money out of her lesbianism, and that she had ‘no choice’. When Soulsis and others found that explanation inadequate, Val ran to her blog and started playing the victim.

    That is exactly what happened. Then it was the pity party for the white woman ‘victim’. And Soulsis was completely mischaracterised and said to be attacking Val, which was the exact opposite to what was actually going on. And there is just no where to go on from there, in terms of commenting at Val’s blog or trying to sort things out with Val herself. So no one who understands that or who has any integrity at all is going to go and play cheerleading party time let’s-all-get-together-and-trash-the-black-lesbian at Val’s place, and the fact that anyone should demand that happens is just utterly vile.

  26. joankelly6000 permalink
    December 16, 2010 5:34 am

    p.s. my long wind above was in response to Kitty at Dec 15 11:25pm

  27. Armina permalink
    December 16, 2010 12:23 pm

    You know, I really don’t care what Valerie tried to do/wanted to do/is doing, it is all irrelevant to me because I have already written her off. She is white and married and has a son and her cozy place in this world is pretty much guaranteed at this point. What I care about is that she is making it seem like two black women are oppressing her and robbing her of her right to make a living. No black woman can rob a white woman of anything. Shouldn’t that be common knowledge?

    And please, it doesn’t take a “poor Philippino” to see that this episode is riddled with whiteness. Soulsis and Margaret (and Georgie) are the only ones who unequivocally stated that Val’s actions are a betrayal of lesbian separatist politics. And so when “poor” Valerie starts writing about how she had been treated too harshly, we all know whom she is talking about. So it’s all very clear to me how this is really all about one white woman and her white friends throwing a “pity party” (like Georgie said) and licking their wounds and then basking in self-congratulations and whiteness.

    And I am angry because Valerie took advantage of Margaret. Margaret doesn’t need my support, she can and has been fighting to be heard on this for some time now, and I have been telling her to let it go, but when I heard about secondwaver saying how Margaret, et al, overreacted about everything and how she expected them to congratulate Valerie, that just really pissed me off.

    And, to everyone who reads here, every time Margaret gets attacked by some white asshole or threatened with rape and murder by males, has she ever asked any one of you to support her, or congratulate her for standing her ground every time, all the time?

    If and when you offer it, you have her gratitude. Don’t expect her to fight her battles for you. Mary never asked Margaret to fight for her, to support her, to vouch for her character, when everyone who is close to Margaret knows how much she values Mary.

    That was all I wanted to say.

    • December 16, 2010 3:43 pm

      Yes, everyone knows that I value Mary. Even Bev knows that I value Mary! That is why it comes across as low to ask me to go back over to Valerie’s blog where Soulsis, Georgie, and I are being made out to be “harsh” and unreasonable solely to denounce a woman that Bev KNOWS I value. And you’re right, Armi, that Mary has never asked that of me. It’s been clear to her that Bev and I were developing a rapport with each other – she could have an any point started dredging up all kinds of things from 20 or 40 years ago to tell me about Bev if she’d wanted to. She could have come to me when Valerie welcomed the rehashing of decades-old events at her blog and asked me to defend her character there. She could have written to me insisting that I hear more details about the incidents than what she wrote over there in order to persuade me to take a more positive view of her part in it than I might have just reading what was actually there. But she didn’t! She knew that I value Bev’s contributions to lesbian feminism and separatism, and she wasn’t willing to try to negatively influence my opinion of her.

      I appreciate Mary for that as much as you do, Armi.

      And, you know, for me the issue with Valerie was never so much about her stealing from me. I write for free, on a public blog, specifically because I want to reach like-minded women. I want to reach them with my own words, my own thoughts, uninhibited by economic obligation. I want to have free and open conversations. Whatever input I gave her in response to her email about the “conversation” with a “friend” she could easily have found on this blog or in other emails I’d sent her in the past really. I don’t really care about credit. My issue was the lies – all of the subtle changes in the story that reveal her character. Within a matter of hours, the “conversation” with her “friend” had turned into a magazine article that someone had solicited her to write because that someone read her blog. Then, as she’s stated more recently, it turns out that she was the one to contact JC when she saw an ad for a writing position. JC wasn’t just reading her blog and decided to ask her to contribute to the magazine. No, when Valerie put her hat in the ring for the position, she gave JC the link as a sample of her work. These kinds of things. And, yes, I noticed from the very beginning that it was a “queer/pomo” thing, where trannies were welcome, and I noticed that she was asking readers of her blog, which up until then she’d called feminist, to participate in this tranny-loving space, only to later berate her feminist readers to just suck it all up because TMP was never feminist, so why should she apologize for having lured feminist readers to be her audience in a place where they’d be shouted down by trannies – on and on until eventually the feminists won out. Not Valerie, but the feminists. Because Valerie made clear at every step of the way that there wasn’t really any reason except a feminist one to exclude trannies and since TMP wasn’t feminist they didn’t have to keep them out, neener neener, and in fact she was going to be the one to choose which trannies got positions there.

      Oh, and she didn’t have any choice about any of it – not answering the ad to write for a tranny rag, not accepting editorship of a tranny rag, not using her used-to-be-feminist blog as a credential and as a readership recruitment ground for the tranny rag, not using her newfound lesbianism as a money-making opportunity at a tranny rag, not for writing about getting engaged to her husband and oh isn’t she a bad-ass for moving a rock as supposedly some kind of lesbian prose at a tranny rag, not for trying to pass that off as being generally pro-lesbian to the trannies *and* to the feminist readership she lured over to that tranny rag – just none of it. She had no choice.

      Well, if she had no choice, then what is she to be congratulated for?

      The whole thing was really just slimy to me. And credit for what I give freely was really the least of it.

    • December 16, 2010 3:48 pm

      Well it can’t be broken down any smaller than that. If anyone cannot see the problem now, then, they just don’t want to see the problem.

    • December 16, 2010 3:51 pm

      Calling it a tranny rag makes my tongue tingle. LOL! Tranny rag. Tranny rag. Tranny rag. Tranny rag.

  28. joankelly6000 permalink
    December 16, 2010 3:46 pm

    fuck it came out wrong anyway, I’m sorry Armina and soulsis.

    when Kitty wrote “Whats motive is behind diverting attention from Valerie? Why is Valerie being protected? If we are going to rake women over the coals, then why is Valerie safe?” –

    when I said “I think Val thought *this* and I think the people who rushed to defend her thought *that*” I failed to make it clear that THIS is a big part of how I think white supremacism works in these types of situations, with white women specifically (not that “oh you guys just don’t understand, so let me explain, because it will help things if you knew her intent!”). I think (from personal experience) that it’s possible for a white woman to never have it enter her head that her emotional responses and behavior are white supremacist, while the whole time doing and saying things that are exactly that. I failed to make clear that it’s not the intent that is the issue to me, it is the blindness, the sometimes-super-subtle-in-their-own-minds ways that white women can frame “good person-ness” against “unfair attackers” because of what they think they know of intent. And I can’t speak for anyone else, but sometimes I wonder too if it isn’t some gut reflex of “eek, I could be the next target of scary black women.” The fact that none of them/us may think for real “eek, angry black women!” helps nothing, changes nothing.

    I didn’t mean I don’t know if I’m qualified to call it whiteness or racism because of thinking only non-white people can make that call while I stand idly by with my neutral self, I shouldn’t have used “qualified” for my end – I was trying to articulate the fact that…this is likely going to come out wrong too (I say this not as a whined ploy for sympathy but as a hope to let you know that my fuzz is not for lack of taking this seriously enough to give it real thought versus dashing shit off – I had “took-xanax-to-fly” fuzz brain last night and I have “hungover-from-flight-related-xanax” brain this morning).

    So I was trying to get across the fact that I feel like it’s a different thing for me to point my finger and say “aha, pure white lady racism!” than when any non-white woman names the racism she sees in white women. Both of us could be stating a truth, but in general a white woman may or will expect to get approval at least among some people for saying it, while a black or Philippina woman can reasonably expect to get shit on for saying it. So unless I’m saying something that hasn’t been said, I feel self-conscious, like it’s self-serving, for me to pipe in with (at this point in this incident for example) “yeah, ya racist white women!”

    ANOTHER thing I didn’t or couldn’t clearly say last night about it is that, again, in this case in particular, me coming in to condemn racist white women is different from Armi or soulsis or Margie condemning it because if/when I do it, it is its own distraction, which is what Kitty’s questions made me think about too. Only it’s distracting (or would be or wanted to be, subconsciously or not) from what *I* said and did earlier, rather than from Val. “Don’t look at my own rush to try and go ‘whoa, maybe this is an out of hand misunderstanding or not that bad,’ – instead look at all the other bad white women who are not me!”

    I think this was muddled bullshit that I wrote last night:

    “The only reason I feel like I don’t know what’s right or not for *me* to say whether it’s whiteness-loyalty or not is that I think it’s possible it could be that PLUS people feel some things I’ve felt, but that I have tried to have the respect not to act upon (not always successfully).”

    I’m sorry to repeat myself I just get agitated when I know I’m not making sense or being clear – I was trying to convey that I agree intent doesn’t matter, and that in fact with myself and other white women I think it can/sometimes does function to be not just a misguided (or devious, depending) attempt to deflect from actions, but in fact I think a big function that “intent” serves is to invisibilize a very specific racist outlook. Which is, if you’re/I’m white and there is a white woman we care about and a black woman we care about who are at odds with each other, I/we might think “well [white lady]’s intent wasn’t to hurt,” about whatever the white woman has done, but it is rare or just never happens that I/we may think as our first thought, “well [black lady]’s intent wasn’t to hurt anyone.” The very *expression* of hurt, in the most human and straightforward of ways (saying you’re hurt and having anger about it) – if it’s a black woman expressing any/all of it, well…I guess what I’m saying is I haven’t or hadn’t seen a lot of white women who have been friends with both Margie and Val, for instance, rushing over to Val’s space to say “hey don’t you think you’re being a little unfair to soulsis? she wasn’t trying to hurt you with anything she said/did, she was doing what hurt people do and say when they’re straightforward in their hurt, that’s all.”

    [And since I haven’t rushed into either/any space really to add much of anything with all of this, I feel self-conscious pointing out what other people *haven’t* done as well, ugh.]

    I’m so sorry I don’t know how to not-be long winded. I wanted to convey agreement with much that has been said here, by all of you, while not trying to obscure any part that I’ve played along the way as a white hetero-passing/living woman. I wanted to say “I think this is how it is racist too, or how I was racist, and this is why I don’t think white women see it as being racist when they do it, but here’s how/why I know or believe that it is.” And now I’m, what, four comments in, and still have no idea if it ever came out clearly from my end.

    I’m not being Eyore about it, I don’t feel like “oh poor me that I suck”, it’s that I did not want to add to any bad feelings or frustration by coming here and sounding like I was saying “well but her intent and stuff…” Again, I agree that intent doesn’t matter, won’t help anything at this point after what’s gone on. I think *questions* of intent allow some white women (me included at times) to self-delude about racist reflexes in splits like these. And that’s the only reason intent as a question should come up at all, is to highlight that dynamic.

    Thanks Armina and soulsis for your replies to my comment last night and I’m sorry it was sounding like I disagree with or want to deflect from the points you’re making, which I do agree with.

  29. December 16, 2010 5:57 pm

    Since we are letting it all hang out.

    Just for the record on that thread at Valerie’s, Polly brought up political lesbians to start some shit with AROOO. She framed it so as there can be plausibility if she was ever called directly out. Notice she did not come back and answer my question as to whom she was talking about specifically. Val answered, naming UCP, which was absurd to say the least. UCP has her blind spots, mainly her narcissist stupidity, but I’m not sure she has ever called herself a political lesbian and even if she had, what does that have to do with Valerie, a heterosexual woman living and married to a man with a toddler son, selling out to a trannie rag.

    Here is the thing about blogging, a person (or persons) running a blog has to be sharp. They have to be aware of the different dynamics that each person is bringing (or trying to bring) to the table and they have to (to a certain extent) try to balance all of those different dynamics. Polly has attempted to imbalance life for us because we will not let her come in and shit when/wherever she wants to and leave and come back again without discussing the last time she shat all over the place and/or discuss how she hangs out with racists and pretends like she is a lone wolf when in reality she loves us to death and needs us desperately. Whether, Val, Bev or whoever didn’t recognize what Polly was doing is sort of beside the point. The point is, as soon as Polly tried that shit, instead of letting it shift the direction of the thread (as it did, even though now I would venture to say several people were itching for the direction to shift), everyone should have stayed on course. But they didn’t. There lies how to examine a personal motive vs a political motive. If one wants to reach the root of something one just has to look how and why a topic shifts, who did the shifting and who jumped on board. Of course, people will dismiss it all by saying, “Well I should have known the history.” Actually, no. Knowing history is unnecessary to recognize and ponder why something is being done. I don’t need to know a history to see that a conversation has shifted for personal reasons. I don’t need a history to wonder why a topic from left field, way in the fucking corner of left field was brought to the home plate. When that happens it sends up a red flag, an alert for me to watch how whoever it was who changed the subject behaves afterwards. Personal motives are revealed under the umbrella of it being political. Then the political gets derailed by all the hurt, “attacks,” and whatever accusation. Yet, I cannot dare tell someone to grow up. Because although the politics are being oppressed (derailed, relegated, subverted, etc) by personal motives, exposing personal motives, character flaws, lack of convictions, and inconsistencies are being called oppressive. Give me a break.

    But that is the problem with kick boxers, they can’t take a punch to the face.

  30. December 16, 2010 10:23 pm

    Score! My point has been proven.

    Like a puppet on a string.

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