‘I’ll never be a man, but there’s a boy crossing out words…’ – The Boy, By Marilyn Hacker
If you don’t follow me on twitter, you won’t know that I have recently changed my twitter handle from @quietriot_girl to @quietriot_boy
I did it in a playful moment, in part, but also as a response to some of the most hateful misandrist bile I have seen in a long time, from, yes, you guessed it, feminist bloggers. Not just misandrist but also transphobic, nasty, nasty stuff. That in my mind boils down to the ‘eugenics’ element in ‘radical feminism’.
But of course, if you do read this blog, you will know too that my own gender identity is something I put into question quite regularly. I am ‘Quiet Riot Girl’ but what that means is often unclear to me. I am a ‘woman’, but I don’t feel much kinship with many women, just because of our shared gender and sex identity, particularly not feminist women, which are the ones from which I came. It’s like being in the sisterhood without any sisters.
So @quietriot_boy goes a bit deeper than an internet nickname or a political statement against radfems who often ‘accuse’ me of being a man anyway. I sometimes wish I was a boy. I sometimes think I am one. The main long sexual/romantic relationship I had was with a boy who would probably have loved and desired me even if I had have been a boy. And that makes me happy and sad simultaneously.
But when I went to change back to @quietriot_girl twitter told me ‘this name has already been taken’. I thought that was weird, so I went to look and there I saw ‘my old self’ with my avatar, my name, my location and my blog URL. But it wasn’t me. To cut a medium-sized story short, it turned out that someone had taken my handle when I’d dropped it for @quietriot_boy and just copied the details of my profile to make it look like me. They only made two tweets, both obscure youtube videos, making references to things I was saying on twitter, or things they thought about me. I found it disconcerting but I didn’t let it get to me too much.
Then the person who had done this ‘identity theft’ emailed and owned up. It was one of my feminist ‘adversaries’ who seemed to have a particular bugbear about how I write aout trans issues. I didn’t get an apology but I got my log-in details back and was able to close down @quietriot_girl.
I am not sure what to do next. I am not going to ‘name and shame’ the person involved. I don’t want to draw attention to them. I don’t know if I will go back to being @quietriot_girl (unless someone else takes it!) on twitter, or if I will stay as @quietriot_boy.
As far as I am concerned, as far as I have always been concerned, really, I am both @quietriot_boy and @quietriot_girl
‘I am all the daughters of my father’s house and all the brothers too’. – Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
So when people express hatred for ‘men’ and ‘boys’ and ‘trans people’ they show hatred for not just my brothers and sisters, but also for me myself. I don’t split people into the ‘girls team’ and the ‘boys team’ like feminists tend to do. I think we are all people. And, despite the part of my name that doesn’t change, I will not be quiet!