On The “Cotton Ceiling”, Rape Culture, and Feministe

Planned Parenthood Toronto is planning a conference called Pleasures and Possibilities for the end of this month.

One of the events featured at this conference is called Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling: Breaking Down Sexual Barriers for Queer Trans Women.

What is the cotton ceiling?

The term cotton ceiling is a reference to the “glass ceiling” that second wave feminist identified in the workforce, wherein women could only advance so high in the workforce but could not break through into positions of power and authority. The cotton represents underwear, signifying sex.

The theory of the cotton ceiling is useful in identifying the dynamic trans women are experiencing, and is meant to open up conversation around desirability’s intersections with transmisogyny and transphobia.

Some feminists have found this conference to be blatantly rapey, since women should have the right to refuse sex with anyone, for any reason, and no one should hold a conference attempting to overcome these barriers to sex. Furthermore, it is offensive to compare overcoming barriers to sex with women to the historic example of women overcoming the barriers to equal treatment in the workplace.

As this petition says,

Planned Parenthood Toronto is helping to sponsor a March 31 conference in Toronto that includes a workshop inviting participants to discuss and strategize ways they might be able to “overcome” women’s objections to these participants’ sexual advances. We believe that no means no, that a woman’s right to say “no” to sex at any time is sacrosanct and that no explanations should ever be requested because none is ever necessary. The name of the workshop proposed is “Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling: Breaking Down Sexual Barriers for Queer Trans Women.

I encourage those of you who agree with this statement to sign the petition here.

Because I believe that feminists support a woman’s right to say no for any reason, I linked this petition to feministe.us. I was under the impression that the petition would be well received. The ensuing conversation verbal stoning occurred here.

Instead of engaging with the petition as it was written, against rape culture and for a woman’s right to choose her own sexual partner(s) for whatever reason(s) she chooses, I was lambasted with unkind names such as “bigot”, “transphobe”, “self-righteous idiot”, and told to “fuck off” for criticizing the conference. I was even called names by the moderator.

As I’ve pointed out before, name calling and ad hominem attacks are not effective argumentation strategies. Using them shows that one’s argument is weak, and that an attempt is being made to change the subject from the content of one’s interlocutor’s position, to her character, associations, and prior work– which are not the topics at hand.

In fact, the commenters stone throwers went through my blog and quoted it in attempts to further denounce my character. Interestingly, however, they did not notice that they themselves were participating in the argumentation strategy that I criticized in my first blog post. They quote me as saying:

Second wavers recognize that there are intersecting oppressive forces, but don’t want to lose sight of the oppression of women. They may see 3rd wave feminists use intersectionality as a strategy for turning female energy away from female causes. These radfem thinkers are particularly concerned about transgender and transexual folk who are seen by the radfems as having hijacked feminism and our efforts toward women’s liberation and moved them into a more male centered direction. Trans women are also seen as male invaders to female spaces by these rad fems, and the fun fems think this view is transphobic.

An interesting critique of this privilege checking procedure is that any individual making a logical argument can be proven wrong by having not properly checked her privilege. So, by making trans critical arguments that do not align with the 3rd wave party line, an individual will be shut down as transphobic, and her arguments will not be listened to. This silencing tactic is particularly worrying to me as a person interested in the *truth*– rather than what is least offensive.

Clearly, I was shut down and silenced, just as I said I would be (even though I wasn’t even being trans critical in the post!). These folks are not interested in critical thinking; they only wish to hear their own ideas repeated to them.

I’m disappointed at what I take to be feministe’s support of this conference that encourages rape culture.

It’s clear to me that many commenters at feministe do not see that the name calling and dog-piling they engage in against those they disagree with is used to silent any dissent from their narrative.

Bullying is not a feminist tactic, but it is often used as a silencing tool by those who have weak arguments.

About smash
Women's liberationist.

70 Responses to On The “Cotton Ceiling”, Rape Culture, and Feministe

  1. It is sick that these liberal feminists support rapists without thinking about it………

  2. smash says:

    It is. It is also very sad, and very not feminist. Thanks for your comment BBK!

  3. Witch says:

    I am sad, really.
    Their modus operandi is:
    1- See blog
    2- If you like GenderTrender and Mary Daly you already got thumbs down
    3- If you dare say transwomen are different from women (Which is why they’re called TRANS women, not just women, take a look), lotsa thumbs down
    4- Ignore main topic, ignore Lesbians in rape culture, ignore rape, ignore creepyness, ignore MAABs trying to get sexual access to Women Who Got Vulvas Who Like The Vulva
    5- ???

    Apparently misogyny is OK when it’s trans-on-female! You can even attempt to rape them, it’s OK! But when it’s female-on-trans “misogyny” it’s the biggest fucking issue EVER, because OMG WHY DO YOU SAY ~*TRANS*~WOMEN AREN’T WOMEN, WHY DO YOU SAY PEOPLE WITH PENISES AREN’T WOMEN, THEIR PRECIOUS FEELINGS! Repeat step 4- Ignore bodily issues, ignore fear of pregnancy, ignore fear of STDs, ignore STDs, ignore pregnancy, ignore bodily harm, ignore everything, focus on MAAB’s precious, precious feelings.

    I just wonder if any of them is a lesbian. How would they feel if a M2T came to them and shamed them onto being sexually accessible. If you really didn’t want to have sex with them, but if you didn’t you’re transphobic, and you’re not transphobic, so you have PIV with them and you’re guilt-ridden and afraid of pregnancy and STDs and the M2T is all fine because he got sexual access to lesbians and THAT’S AWESOME! Every man’s dream EVER is “converting” a lesbian and he did that! Ha! Take it lesbians! You really LOVE the dick! I knew it!

    When men’s feelings are more important than women’s bodies and minds and sexuality in feminism, there’s something really wrong.

    What is that world when women can’t deny PIV? Lesbianism was the last resort to not having PIV and then some PoMo freak comes and says BUT LESBIANS CAN HAVE PIV TOO, SEE, I GOT A PENIS BUT I’M A LESBIAN, COME HAVE PIV WITH ME OR ELSE YOU’LL BE TRANSPHOBIC AND SCUM.

    This is why I don’t go to feministe and feministing and every libfem site ever. Too much focus on men’s feelings, too much focus on looking SO ENLIGHTHENED, and helping SO MANY MINORITIES, and FIGHTING KIRIARCHY because in some logic a Lesbian denying a transwoman PIV is a bigger aggression than a transwoman forcing PIV on a Lesbian because reasons.

    So that’s the trick? A man says he’s really a woman and his penis is really a vagina and BAM! Free, easy sex, and no feminist will ever call them on it because it’s twaaaaaaaaaaaanzphobic to do so?

    Those feminists aren’t even feminists. They hate Lesbians, really so, to the point they think it’s totally OK for a man to coerce a Lesbian into PIV because of his feelings. If he wasn’t trans and maybe if she wasn’t a Lesbian it’d be a fucking issue, right? Because MEN shaming straight women into having PIV when she said NO and has no intention in having sex with him is awful! But a men calling himself a woman while still packing penis shaming a Lesbian into having sex with him is OK!


    Also I lol’d at “oh no smasher, the way you talk makes it seem as transwomen and women are different! and they aren’t! am i right? AM I RIGHT???” like as if trying desesperately to convince themselves that transwomen ARE REALLY WOMEN, am I right?

    I can’t even. Really. I hope they……. Step on legos.

    TL;DR: am angry

  4. ibleedpurple says:

    Smash, have you checked Cathy’s blog? Our petition has already been unsuccessful as it seems.

    All of this is very disappointing. Our points do not come acoss at all, no matter how nice and respectful our attempts are – as is evidenced by how you were treated and I have never seen you acting in an overtly aggressive manner and cannot remember when I saw you last using a swear word (quite in contrast to me who is liable to get caught up in my own anger).

    Transsexuality has divided the feminist movement. That’s basically it, isn’t it? It’s post-structuralism against social constructivism and we are the latter and we are losing. I really do not want to think about what kind of consequences that will have. You do not need a giant movement to do a lot of damage.

    Every man’s dream EVER is “converting” a lesbian and he did that! Ha! Take it lesbians! You really LOVE the dick! I knew it!

    Check out Serrano. She actually did a piece congratulating herself on the transformative powers of her woman-penis.

    • smash says:

      Thanks IBP for your comments. I did see Cathy’s blog. I think PP was responding to her email to them and not the petition, but I could be wrong. I hope folks will still sign the petition; it makes a very important statement.

    • “and we are the latter and we are losing”

      Nope I don’t think we are losing. It will just take some time before people wake up from this sick and unethical ideology. It already happens the more crazy the whole trans thing gets. And damn it was never that crazy as before. It turned into a inhuman (at least for women) mess.

      • ibleedpurple says:

        I so hope you are right. Trans politics have successfully colonized a lot of activist efforts because they are aggressively pushed by academia. I would like a grassroots women’s movement who is actually helping women and not alienating or stifling them with continuous mindfucks.

        • smash says:

          I hope you’re right too, Lilly. This entire experience has led me to believe otherwise though. I’m not feeling optimistic at the moment.

          • “This entire experience has led me to believe otherwise though”

            I think someday the whole ideology will reach its final peak of hate, misogyny, homophobia and all the other terrible things its propagating. Just look how crazy it got over the years and how awful its followers behave. Their only defense is screaming transphobia like paranoid or think of the death threats, rape threats etc. They have no reasonable arguments. The more they behave like complete assholes the more people wake up. Thanks to blogs like this their assholery is well documented. I for example didn’t know how extremist the whole trans thing got…then I read blogs about it and damn it’s a big crazy mess. I still have hope. 🙂 We just have to be patient and continue to protect the rights of females against the trans dogma.

            • Nicky says:

              Lilly, Give it time. Sooner or later, people will one day wake up and see for themselves how extremist trans is and how they become a threat to biological women and lesbian. By documenting their actions, people can see for themselves how aggressive trans is towards women and lesbians.

        • karmarad says:

          Yes, I bleed purple. Grassroots, to me, means situated in women’s reality. The tendency in post-modern writing on feminism is to invisibilize women by defining them out of existence.”Women” in pomo theory become contingent social constructs. MRAs and transgender men understand very well that a big battleground is in defining “women”, and are taking advantage of the confusion postmodern academics have sown.

          The idea that “woman” is nothing but a social construct has always contained within itself all these destructive implications, but many radical feminists bought into that idea because of a false fear: that men also would then have to be recognized as partly biological beings, and they have built-in violent predilections. The fear was that this fact would become an excuse for men not changing, but science and medicine are exploring many ways of dealing with maladaptive and destructive biological predilections. I think we have to return to a conspicuous truth: “women” are not just social constructs, we are a distinct biologically-based group influenced in many ways by our societies.

          “Women” are not just what anyone would like to be, or who people want to emulate or disguise themselves as. Women are humans who do not have the male gene.

          That a small group of men prefer women’s culture should not be a problem. That some of them will go so far (even surgery) to attempt to pass as women in social interactions doesn’t bother me. That a few of them are delusional, believing they are actually biological women, is sad but expectable.

          But to attempt to hijack the movement for women’s rights by claiming that their delusions are civil rights that require re-defining women minus their biology, and require women to accommodate their delusions by pretending these XY beings are not men, and require women to embrace those delusions by pretending those who still have male genitals do not, is more than divisive or destructive, it’s crazy-makery.

          Making it worse is the inevitable male aggression they display, by asserting that their crazy-makery must be addressed over and above the movement to end the oppression of billions of human beings. They are derailing and dividing the movement of half of humanity toward freedom. This of course plays right into the hands of the System, which has been using a strategy of divide-and-conquer against the movement for women’s freedom for decades.

          And the cap on it all is to appropriate a crazy-making academic fad begun by male phallus-worshipers, and adopted by a small group of benighted female academics, to appropriate for themselves some color of theoretical legitimacy.

          No wonder we just shake our heads, or throw up our hands in astonishment.

    • ned says:

      Reading everyone’s comments on this issue has depressed me, but I just wanted to convey that I share your dismay at the colonization of feminism by various forces like sexual liberationism and trans politics.

  5. nuclearnight says:

    Smash, this is a very succinct, intelligent post that makes sense. That means it will never be taken seriously by liberal feminists. I am sorry they shat all over you for STANDING UP FOR WOMEN’S RIGHT TO SAY NO TO SEX THEY DO NOT WANT TO HAVE.

    & I have to say, wouldn’t most trans women who are fighting to be accepted as women in the world find this shit insulting? People already think they’re freaks, they have trouble getting and keeping jobs, many feminists throughout time have objected to them being accepted as women because of the male entitlement they are indoctrinated with from birth. Do they not find it the least bit insulting that they are again being portrayed and as 1) males with no respect for female autonomy 2) males that have serious entitlement issues with women 3) males who are creepy fucking rapists.

    I do not support transgenderism, I think its patriarchal, violent and oppressive to people like me who hope to end the concept of gender and live our lives as full human beings doing whatever we want without being policed as females. That being said, my problem with this workshop does not stem from that. It stems from women’s right to say NO, for any reason they want, with no discussion, no attempts to make her say why, no questioning whatsoever.

    We live in a rape culture. This workshop is propping up male sexual entitlement to female bodies.

    I’ve been wondering why this has gotten me so upset. I realized today that it was that I’ve been triggered this whole time, since learning about this. I haven’t been able to shake it. Its because this is yet another manifestation of women never being safe, never being respected, never being able to ever say no, because the goal posts keep changing. There’s never a time when its not going to be called into question. It doesn’t matter what we do. The gains our foremothers have made are eroding before our eyes. I really don’t know what to do anymore.

  6. jen says:

    Hi Smash, I recently started reading Gender Trender and Femonade after I saw stuff like that ludicrous “I Wouldn’t Fuck a Trans Person” article by Vexing at Feministing.

    I just couldn’t believe “rights activists” whose sexual freedom apparently depends on arm-twisting someone into sex who isn’t sexually interested in them. I also couldn’t believe the idiot het women (I am hetero) lining up to pat the poor, pussy-deprived MTFs on the back.

    Who else but lesbians have been subject to this level of guilt-tripping by so-called rights activists? What other group gets told that they must interrogate their desires because they may be socially constructed rather than genuine? I’ve heard lines like “what’s wrong, don’t you like black guys?” but no one ever expected me to fall for them.

    Saying that you OWE it to them to even consider it, is saying that you aren’t intelligent enough to know what you really want. “You’re not really repulsed by cock, toots, you just need to try it.”

    It’s rapey to the core, and the fun fem apologists should be ashamed of themselves.

    I totally agree with your analysis here and enjoy your comments on Femonade.

  7. Sargasso Sea says:

    Another time I “hate” to “like” a post, Smash. I feel like we’ve all just been sucked down the rabbit hole at this point.

    I appreciate very much everyone’s participation in keeping after PPT (and Sherborne for that matter) even though it is so personally draining. Our purpose lies in reminding the world that female-identified females exist and that we will NOT disappear to suit a bunch of would-be/practiced rapists and the females who fall in behind them.

    (also, I couldn’t help but lol at your comment Witch – thanks for a much needed one 🙂 )

    • smash says:

      Thanks Sargasso Sea, it is draining, especially when our work is belittled and hated and name called by other supposed “feminists”. We are not bigots- we are standing up for female-identified females right to say NO! for any reason!

      There is nothing phobic about that, and I refuse to allow their name calling and refusal to engage with our points to silence us.

  8. Chonky says:

    Hi smash,

    Seems as though (LotusBen) is the cock-of-the-walk over there. His experience and expertise of Female issues is lauded by women commentors who look to him for how they should feel on Female topics.

    Dude’s ignorant rants ONLY exist because of some females who don’t know any differently. They feed off of the penis=lovin’ ladies who will embrace any opinion, because it’s a MAN saying it.

    These male fuckers grab the nearest lady to be their front in their insane, vitriolic comments and hide behind them. KNOWING they will be supported whatever they say.

  9. Very sorry to hear this – I hope you’re ok.

    • smash says:

      Thanks Catherine, I appreciate it! I have truly never been so bullied in my whole life, but I recognize the bullying as an attempt to silence, so I’ve been able to not take it personally. Your support means a lot!

  10. There is no reasoning with people like that. No logic, no willingness to engage with the points being made, just kneejerk screams of “transphobia”.

    It is scary that we are called “haters” for the simple statement that female-born is a real and meaninful class of people.

  11. To add, just skimming that feministing thread you linked, they are talking about “CAMAB” – stands for coercively assigned male at birth, and in the post from ladyface you link at feministing one of the commenters declares “trans women are female born, and then coercively assigned male at birth.”

    So now that male and female have lost all sense and meaning, in these ridiculous trans-delusional contortions, what do we need to call ourselves ?

    Coercively Assigned Subhuman Servant Sex Class At Birth On Account Of The Actual Real Reproductive Plumbing Whereby We Can Be Impregnated And Bear Children (Whether Or Not It Turns Out We Are Sterile Or Have Organs Removed At Some Point EtcEtcEtc)

    Or maybe, you know just “Women” ?

    Down the rabbit hole indeed.

    • smash says:

      Parallel Existence, thank you for your comment. I’d like to point out that it is feministe, and not feministing, so that folks direct their anger to the proper place.

      As has been pointed out many places, trans women are not exactly the same as women, and that is why some of them elect for sex change surgery. If they were exactly the same, then there would be no requests for surgery. But none of this, at all, is what the petition is about, at all. The petition is about a women’s right to say no! for any reason!

    • Ladyface says:

      haha! I like the new acronym for women. ; ) I actually hadn’t hear CAMAB until that comment on my blog.

  12. Pingback: LMAO! « GenderTrender

  13. BadDyke says:

    I just cannot BELIEVE the tone of those supposedly ‘feminist’ sites. Ignore what someone is actually saying, refuse to discuss the actual issues, and kow-tow all the damn time to what transwomen have to say about being women (because they know better than real women obviously).

    They didn’t disagree with you, because no there actually discussed the real issue — that the way the whole workshop was set-up WAS rapey and creepy. Instead it was just your personal choices of reading matter, and enough said (she likes Mary Daly therefore she must AGREE with every word she ever wrote and be a screaming transphobe).

    What I used to like about rad-fems (and what I’m glad to see is still going on now that I’ve come across a few decent blogs), is the willingness to continually QUESTION, to be critical whilst being willing to LISTEN to what women actually have to say (because we all know what it is like to be a woman therefore NOT listened to, or have your opinions dismissed as unimportant before you’ve said a word).

    But seems fun-fems do the SAME thing to any woman who dares to question (or has ever questioned in the past, or can be assumed as possibly being open to questioning because they’ve read Mary Daly. McCarthyism anyone?), the great trans LIE.

    Not just lie actually (which would be gender atheism) — you can’t even discuss the possibility of being agnostic on the gender issue, you HAVE to believe in it, else you’re transphobic.

    The trans lie strikes right at the root, because by removing our right to name ourselves and who WE are (and also who we are and who we are attracted to), then feminism is DEAD and buried and composted and turned into pomo manure to help produce more pomo manure (as if there wasn’t enough to start with!). Whatever the fun-fems offering the men-in-dresses pity-fucks may say……………………

    Sorry, but I’ve just NEVER come across this level of hostility from other supposed feminists before. Okay, we had our spats back in the old days, about S&M dykes in lesbians centres and all that, but at the root we still had common ground because we all knew what we meant when we talked about a women or a lesbian, and womens oppression. But now, it’s not just about a few trans-women sneaking into lesbian spaces, but a radical re-definition of what ‘being a woman’ is, to the point where we’ll cease to exist as a nameable class, because the men will have done it yet again…………………….

  14. Chonky says:


    On the bright side, you had a chance to have more comments posted than me or SS over on DU.

    We were tombstoned within a matter of minutes. Our crime? Being and embracing our Female bodies.

    Guilty as charged!

    Are you going to Festie?

  15. Cheryl says:

    If I read about this scenario in a scifi or futuristic novel, I would put the book down and mark it as bad writing, because there has to be at least some link to a logical progression of events, even with suspension of disbelief. The comparisons to Alice in Wonderland are apt, but that was a dream!

    The MRAs must be laughing themselves silly; feminists are making coffee and sammiches–hell, even peeling grapes for them.

    Plus, I wonder if some of these women are so desperate to seem up on the latest trend that they will throw away anything perceived as “old.” “Second wave is like, so yesterday. This ain’t your grandmother’s feminism, etc.”

    Does any other activist group divide itself to such a startling degree? (That’s a legitimate question; I really can’t think of any examples off the top of my head.)

    Smash, I’m not saying you need it, but here’s a cyber-pat-on-the back of encouragement if you want it.

  16. Nicky says:

    I’m not surprised that Trans have become extremist like. It shocks me that the trans ideology is about raping women and lesbians at every turn. It’s why intersex people need to wake up and see what trans are doing to women and lesbians to see what can happen to them if they don’t take a stand against the trans community.

  17. FCM says:

    thanks for at least attempting to talk to them about this smash. these fun fem sites ALWAYS have a fucking MAAB “cock of the walk” as chonky says, they dominate and take over every discussion and end every comment with “vile lying bigot!!!111!112234” its so predictable, and cliche, it hurts. but the linkage is good and necessary, i think. we get comments all the time from women who say that something just didnt feel or seem right about the fun fems blogs, and they couldnt put their finger on what it was until they wandered over to the radfem blogs and were exposed to real feminism. these women are right: something is very wrong with fun feminism, and this is a perfect example of what that is: trans entitlement being privileged over pro-woman rape culture-critique in feminist discourse, and pro-trans discourse erasing and replacing pro-woman discourse at the points they intersect with each other. and they intersect a lot, for obvious reasons: its because pro-female and pro-trans are in direct conflict with each other. and they choose the trans every fucking time.

    • smash says:

      Thanks for saying so, FCM. Following the radfem links from sites like IBTP, etc is the way I came to radical feminism.

      In this case though, I genuinely thought this was an egregious enough boundary violation that they would happily sign and be on their way. Whoops!

      • FCM says:

        well, some of them may. dont forget that the fun fem big-wigs are making money off of this, they have book deals and connections to liberal/democratic politics. they may NEVER admit that any of what we say is true, bc they cant, but not everyone over there is so compromised. being ignorant or even brainwashed is not the same thing as being deliberately obtuse and lying to suit a political agenda.

  18. Ladyface says:

    I’m excited to find that the comments here are much more respectful of the trans community than that out of control comment thread on factcheckme.wordpress.com where cisfolks couldn’t seem to distinguish between their own well-founded arguments and the isms they’d internalized. It is possible to disagree with a group of folks without disrespecting them and resorting to hate speech and I appreciate the thoughtful, respectful exchange. I’m enjoying reading a discussion around this issue that doesn’t get my hackles up and make me feel protective of my trans (but FTM) lovers. ❤

    Also, some trans women have bottom surgery and some don't. Dick is beside the point. The real issue, in my opinion, is the sense of entitlement and coercion that the cotton ceiling embodies. Though I am convinced that trans women wouldn't feel quite so entitled if they hadn't been raised male. And I don't think that is a radical idea, we know by now that gender socialization affects us all whether we transition or not.

    p.s. Smash, thanks for the shout out on Feministe! Between that and my public tweet war with Drew my blog hits quadrupled. 😀

    • smash says:

      Hi Ladyface, thanks for stopping by.

      I expect that you and I will probably disagree about many things,but I appreciate your having mentioned the rape culture elements to this cotton ceiling conference, and that gender socialization has a real effect.

      I disagree that folks over at factcheckme are resorting to hate speech. I also want to point out that many women find the word “cis” to be a slur, and do not want to self-apply it.

      Glad you got some traffic over this issue! Take care, and thank you for your commentary.

      • Nicky says:

        Not only is “Cis” Offensive and derogatory, it’s also a slur towards anyone including biological women, lesbian and intersex people. I think they like to thrown around the “Cis” Card as much as they like to use their male entitlement card as well

  19. smash says:

    Miss Universe is a misogynistic competition anyway, and is not feminist. Why would anyone want to participate?!

    • ethicalequinox says:

      The fact that a MtT wants to be in beauty pageant in the first place just illustrates how little the trans community understands even the basics of women’s history as the sexual and psychological underclass to men. (The sexual part goes without saying, the psychological in reference to the clear assumption that men have that we are not allowed to disagree with them on anything that matters to them, lest they throw a goddamn fucking fit about it and threaten us in any number of ways. OH YES MEN/TRANS, WATCH ME NOT ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR CLEAR MORAL SUPERIORITY OVER ME.

      • Elin says:

        You don’t even have to have an intellectual understanding of the basics of women’s history or some feminist sense to dislike beauty pageants. Every woman I know dislikes beauty pageants – although they do know hardly a thing about women’s history, and as such, can not really articulate their point. They just have some intuitive understanding it’s WRONG… The women who “like” it (actually, they don’t ) are the ones who just shut up about anything and go along with whatever happens to them, or the obvious 24/7-mask-wearers.

  20. FunLove says:

    I guess I’m still confused why this conversation can’t take place?
    I guess it’s pretty clear that a lot of lesbians don’t want to have sex with trans women or will always think of trans women as men, but why try and stop that conversation from happening between people who have a broader definition of their sexuality.

    It also seems like making a fuss about it helps justify the need for this conversation…

    • smash says:

      Funlove, The conversation can’t take place because women who think that that the cotton ceiling conference is rapey are being called names and silenced.

      Or, did you mean why can’t women and lesbians stop objecting to the rapey conference?

      I knew it- you weren’t listening! Please read all we have written about this conference before commenting again Thank you.

  21. Just thought you might get a kick of the reactions when I posted the petition on my favourite Anarchist forum:

    Some reactions:

    (from a trans man called Alice) “Francois: how dare you address me with the pretense of conversational respect if this it what you truly are.” and “Because of people like you, I can never begin meeting another human being and begin with trust. ” (how the hell did I do that??)

    “That’s no different than straight guys claiming gay guys are sexually harassing them by making remarks they’d think nothing of from a woman – a prime example of how transphobic radical feminism parallels heteropatriarchal thinking.”

    “It may be my own cowardice at work, but I have a hard time mustering up the… whatever it takes… to engage with Tremblay, and I appreciate all the comments on here so far, but am especially gladdened to see Alice weigh in.”

    “From the description of the event, it sounded like it was about teaching people to accept that transwomen are women and not feel grossed out if one hits on them.”

    • Chonky says:


      I doff my hat to you. Engaging with personality disorders really must take its toll. We’ll go out and have a drink if you are ever in my neck-of-the-wood,

  22. skeptifem says:

    This is a seriously different approach from the fat acceptance movement’s activism to increase their visibility as viable partners (and to prove to other fat people that they aren’t doomed to be alone forever). The FA movement simply showed that fat people do fall in love, and proudly display photos of their bodies on things like the adipositivity project. That would be a million times better as an approach to the issue of social rejection based on appearance.

    I don’t know how comfortable I am with implying that a woman’s panties are a “barrier” to be overcome. I really doubt that the intent was to sound so rapey, considering how at risk trans women are for rape and sexual violence, but it was an extremely poor way to raise this issue. I am also on board with the lesbian rage at this event, it does ignore the experience of FAAB lesbians who are only attracted to other FAAB lesbians, or who are lesbians for political reasons.

  23. DoomsdayWolf says:

    You have my full support. They try to silence me as well. They don’t accept that I don’t want to be called ‘cis’.

  24. The cotton ceiling is an obviously misogynistic term, bringing to the fore the image of Trans men literally smashing through into lesbian’s vaginas. And the fact that the Trans community seems to think this is an acceptable term, betrays the misogony at the root of much Trans “theory”.

    But I also think the Trans community have got a point. Many lesbians welcome Trans men into women only space and agree with them they are women and lesbians. And yet most would never consider a Trans man as a partner.

    The Trans community sees this as Transphobia. I think it is because deep down lesbians know Trans MtoT are not women and really are men. And as lesbians they do not want sex with a man.

  25. Feministe isn’t a feminist site. Neither is Jezebel. I won’t even bother to call them funfeminist. They are straight up fake. Sites like those seek to manage women’s anger by directing it at relatively weak targets and away from the load-bearing walls of patriarchy.
    As an example, that recent story on Jezebel about wedding boudoir photography encourages readers to get angry at some individual photographers (who probably don’t advertise with Jezebel), but never at the beauty-industrial complex or the practice of femininity. The same site all but worshipped Helen Gurley Brown as a goddess of women’s liberation, and rabidly defended her from any criticism of her shiteous, porny magazine that existed to sell expensive crap and train women to be perfectly submissive girlfriends. HGB had money and power, the photographers did not.

    Be skeptical of any site catering to the mass market ( and whose ads push beauty or fashion products ) claiming to be feminist. Chances are staggeringly high that it’s not feminist at all, just another decoy.

    • smash says:

      Thanks for your comment, MK. You’re absolutely right that sites like feministe often prop up the patriarchy by going for soft ball targets, rather than the sources of female oppression. Great imagery here, as you say, “. Sites like those seek to manage women’s anger by directing it at relatively weak targets and away from the load-bearing walls of patriarchy..” Love that quote!

  26. Pingback: Lesbian BDSM, part 2: Contemporary Lesbian Culture | Radfem Hub

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  30. druidwinter says:

    Reblogged this on winterdominatrix and commented:
    Being on many adult sites for the past few years, I noticed this, :/
    At first, when I told this guy that I do not offer full-service, he attacked me like he would Never Find a hooker would never give him a blow-job for pay again,[like there is none to be found] We [a few of the few,]called him out as a cry baby, butt..this was about the mens.
    [sadly, it was my job as a Dominatrix to understand where these needs came from to pay rent & get food.] [ASD people prefer to work for a living, Asperger’s is an eccentric journey of autistic people with no sense of gender]
    I noticed, the straight men that are fans of the porn- fetish, ‘lesbians that crave cock’ and, lets be honest about this, [otherwise I will not respect you with my high IQ.,]
    they have socially entertained & advised straight guys to put on a dress to get in on trans privilege of banging sacred lesbian pussy. They offer cotton-ceiling instructions on ‘how to teach “gay” women how to suck ‘trans-women cock ‘ to get biological females to do as they are told.
    Excuse- the muse, but, This is not FEMDOM..Yawn…
    When I asked one of these guys about, what real gay women being gay’ and only attracted to the same sex, he flipped out like I insulted him with a transphobic comment.. Mens in sex forums seeking porn are normally quite shy to talk to a real female. I have wishes to only understand them and their motivations. Oh, BTW, Other [our sisters]trans women that questioned this as well, WERE MARGINALIZED!
    [We have to protect/respect them for speaking the truth, as well.]

    As an adult with Aspergers, I don’t have a gender compass. I ask for exact descriptions and don’t like illogical bullshit.

  31. Mike says:

    As a teenager in the 70’s, I used to joke to girls that I was a woman trapped in a man’s body, but I was lesbian. I thought it was surreal, ridiculous and hilarious. Naturally, the girls looked at me as if I was a complete idiot.

    Sad to see that has gone beyond a joke. I agree with everything you say here. I followed a few links from this page and cherry picked a comment.

    “Very well said…and the same with the whole ‘stealth’ phenomena when MTF’s try to trick Lesbians in bed by ‘passing’ extremely well, and not until an intimate moment does the Lesbian find out, if she hadn’t a clue before….I only had this happen once, and fortunately it didn’t lead to intimate sex. But I felt psychically violated for two weeks and was very, very angry about it afterwards.”

    This is disturbing, especially the “I only had this happen once”. As a man, I’ve never stooped to this level of deceit. This is not just rapey, this is predatory. I would probably face criminal charges if I behaved like this.

  32. unpsyched says:

    I agree with a lot of the points you made. I have trans friends whom I respect, and I don’t believe that transwomen are men, but at the same time I want the right to deny PIV and I want people to acknowledge that penetration with convex genitals is penetration with convex genitals no matter what the gender identity of the people involved may be. I am really not okay with or comfortable with penetrative genitals sexually speaking, and the idea of “I don’t want to tell you that I have those until the last minute so that you can become attracted to me and hooked before you find out” makes me really uncomfortable. A seminar about how to get lesbians to have sex with transwomen is also just not good. I mean, if I held a seminar about how to get bi women to stop doing men and be more into me, people would go “wow that’s stupid, they have a right to get with whoever they want.” Yeah case and point.

  33. sigh says:

    I have no qualms with transwomen exploring the female gender and going as far as to have surgery to do so. However, there are some very strong supporting evidence in the scientific community that lesbians can recognize lesbians via scent as you can read for yourself from the following excerpt:

    “When Charles Wysocki, a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Monell Chemical Senses Center, asked volunteers to sniff underarm sweat from donors of a variety of genders and sexual orientations, some clear patterns began to emerge. Gay men strongly preferred the odor of other gay men, lesbians gravitated toward the smell of other lesbians, and straight women rated the odor of straight men higher than that of gay men. Each group, in short, preferred the smell of their first-choice mates, indicating a scent-based ability to assess sexual orientation. Another study confirmed that gay men and lesbians can recognize and identify the odor of others who share their sexual preference. This kind of scent-based gaydar enables gays to pinpoint potential partners instantly.”

    Now, I am a supersmeller. I can smell brakes burning, electrical wires hitting the heat threshold of their sheaths, when exactly food is done, etc. For instance, I don’t actually have to taste the food I am cooking to know whether or not it needs more salt. I can smell the salt ratio. Yes, salt has a smell.

    As a lesbian, the smell of men makes me irritable after around 20 minutes and then I want to gag around the 1 hour mark; this has been so since I could remember back to that sensation arising around 16 years of age. I have tried to hang out with transwomen as well, and their scent literally makes me feel sick to my stomach after a hour of chatting. I don’t mean I have hung out with just a few transwomen, I mean I have done the whole getting involved with the LGBT community and really socializing. I have a sensitive nose and stomach, and I just cannot deal with the smell. It smells putrid. I am sure they do not smell bad to others and do not smell bad in general, but they smell bad to me. No amount of perfume covers it up either. So, there.

    As for transwomen complaining about why my vagina is reserved for other lesbians only (not saying I run a community pool, lol), it is because they cannot fool my nose. Yes, I have ran into incredibly rude transwomen who still cling dearly to their male entitlement and attempt to use guilt and slanted reason to cajole me into opening my legs for them. To those transwomen–> FUCK YOU!

    To the respectful transwomen who respect the boundaries of my body and my choices, thank you. I will not let the few bad seeds of transwomen cause me to cast a shadow over your sub-community. I just can’t handle man scent including yours, but I will talk with you for a bit. 🙂

    Back to men smelling gross, I once sat in the back of my cousins car. My cousin and his friend were up front and I ended up throwing up on the side of the road because one of them forgot to wear some deodorant that day and insisted on keeping their window down, which created a wafting affect towards the back where I was sitting. True story. -.- I am too lazy to correct the run-on sentence, fyi, if you catch it.

  34. J.D. says:

    The very use of the term “cotton ceiling” is all the explanation any transwoman should need as to why they are being rejected by lesbians. Because that term in and of itself shows a fundamental lack of understanding for femaleness and the experience of being a woman.

    Lesbians want to be with female women, and this behavior — not to mention many others — prove to us in action that you’re not one of us. You may appropriate the word “woman” to describe yourselves, despite the fact that the term woman is defined by the dictionary as “an adult human female.” You may shop in the women’s section, you may even use the women’s bathroom, but those are symptoms of what it means to be a woman, not the substance of it.

    The substance of womanhood is in the intimate understanding of the female body and the condition of living as a woman. Demanding access to female restrooms and locker rooms instead of asking to be let in, demanding access to female divisions in sports and competitions instead of asking participants if your presence is welcome or if it feels fair to them, and imposing yourselves on female sexuality are all in line with the same entitled, disrespectful, and dehumanizing behavior females have experienced from some (but not necessarily all) males during their lifetimes. Any female woman understands this.

    You claim to be in the same group as us, but instead of working with us, you work against us — and that is not the female thing to do. Our innate inclination is to resolve conflict and collaborate towards a mutually-beneficial end. This may not be the behavior of all of us, but it is the inclination of the vast majority of females that I have met in my lifetime. On the other hand, whether taught or innate, there is an inclination in many males to dominate. This is not part of who we are, it is not something we tend to enjoy, and it is certainly not something that we identify with.

    I can’t tell any transwoman whether they feel like a “woman” as per their gender identity. But, what I can say is that the “feeling” of being a woman seems to be something fundamentally different from the actuality of being female. So, a rejection by a female who is oriented towards an attraction to her own sex only makes sense in this regard — you are not like her, and so she is not attracted to you. If you have a problem with this, you clearly don’t understand the nature of dating, which is that each person decides for themselves whether they wish to date or have sex with another person. Name-calling, manipulation, deception, or forcefulness — either verbally or in action — are no part of a consensual and healthy relationship with another person. Not understanding that is more likely responsible for your lack of sexual partners, as opposed to any bias on the part of females who are by definition, attracted only to other females.

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