About A Boy

Posted: June 2, 2011 in Blogging, Feminism, Identity

‘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!

http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/marilyn_hacker/poems/4074

Comments
  1. typhonblue says:

    I’m sorry to hear that happened to you.

    BTW, if it’s any consolation I have felt some of the same things whilst dealing with feminists.

    A sisterhood based on dogma is no sisterhood.

  2. Tim says:

    Well, well Elly, we all know that there have been rumors about you actually being a man in disguise and that you are secretly putting on your all-purpose detachable honorary penis when you think nobody is looking.

    Maybe you should also adopt a second name, one more fitting to your internet-scheming self. Something like Alan or so.

    Anyway, good to have you back ! Boy, girl or otherwise.

  3. Thanks guys! You have to laugh, really. It is kind of silly.

  4. Lori Adorable says:

    I’m sorry you have to deal with that bullshit.

    That ain’t feminism.

    • Tim says:

      Is the big red lips gravatar and the pseudonym “Lori Adorable” really necessary? I read your blog for about five minutes, and lady, you are a train wreck.

      • I know Lori is a bit out of step with most of the commenters/posts on here, but at QRG I like to think all train wrecks are welcome. Unless they are really personally insulting/hurtful.

      • Lori Adorable says:

        Oh this is where Tim the troll came from. Just FYI he stopped by my blog to tell me I deserved to be sexually assaulted.

        I’m a porn performer and erotic model, Tim. The avatar and psuedonym are part of what we call ‘branding.’

        • i just read the comments on Lori’s blog and am understandably confused as to which ‘Tim’ commented on her blog and which one mainly comments on mine!

          I think it may have been ‘Tim’ from Canada who commented on Lori’s blog I am not sure.

          But anyway I did not agree with the comment from ‘Tim’ on Lori’s blog.

          However neither did I agree with Lori publishing his IP address on her blog and saying anyone who wanted to do something nasty with it had her blessing.

          I will keep an eye on things here but I hope you dont bring any hard feelings from other discussions into these comments if you can help it.

          Thanks

          • Lori Adorable says:

            Yeah, I used to think it was wrong to fuck people back in return too. Then I started sex work and realized it was a necessity. Not that anyone is likely going to waste their time trying to hack Tim the Canadian troll.

            Feelings compartmentalized.

  5. Jenn says:

    I’m feeling you, I’m basically Hawkeye and Trapper / the cast of Achewood trapped in the body of a northern-irish dyke with a 39-inch butt. Not that there’s any part of that I have a problem with. There’s a specific kind of femininity they want though if you’re involved in feminism – it’s got to be an essential femininity, because they reject feminine artifice, so it’s got to be all natural, which, of course, isn’t even possible.

    Also related, thanks to reading the blogs of some of your regular commenters yesterday, I now know what MRA means. I’m shite with acronyms and I had absolutely no idea whatsoever, kind of inconvenient because I got called an MRA troll a couple of times when commenting on feminist blogs. The thing is, I grew up around big ass Alsatian women who tend to be pushing six foot, are often well-built, and also often wear their hair short or in a mullet. I even work with one – she’s short, but the rest is there, total tomboy. One of my childhood friends rides a motorbike, hangs out with bodybuilders and works in construction. This doesn’t mark you out as a man over here, in fact a lot of these ladies prefer gentlemen and even like to marry them quite a lot, and even have opinions such as ‘women shouldn’t be muscular’ or ‘a woman should always wear make-up’. So, I’m not impressed by how un-feminine a woman is simply if she has short hair or wears Dr Martens, and I find it kind of hard to believe she will get stared at in the streets for being oooh gender ambiguous and threatening the patriarchy! because of it. Especially if she’s knitting and canning tomatoes and doing pagan dances in her spare time.

    But yeah, always amusing, that, when you’re fucking shit up unintentionally in a thread where everyone’s incredibly sensitive and you have to be careful not to trigger anyone, and it’s fine for them to be passive aggressive and say the worst possible shit to you, and then, well, there’s no way anyone as horrible and naughty and slutty as yourself could have the essential spirit of womanhood. It’s gotta be a man in disguise!

    MRA indeed! They wouldn’t know feminism if it was beating on their skulls using the disinterred tibias of Andrea Dworkin (and I shall make it my duty).

  6. Excuse me for treating your life like fiction, but what a great story. You were the girl form, then changed to the boy form, and in the meantime your girl identity was appropriated. It doesn’t get much better than that. I think you should be Marilyn Hacker’s Boy or Hacker’s Boy if that doesn’t fit. I feel like that expresses even better what you’re saying.

  7. elissa says:

    I’m thinking the identity thief realized how difficult it would be to mimic your essence and has moved on to game exhibiting a slightly more pronounced limp.

    I caught their last attempt at impersonation, on Feministe. I knew right away it was poor mimicry….

    “I resist my own aphrodisia, embrace my lack of concern for the hermeneutics of desire, and long for the perverse purification rituals that are scribbled on my consciousness.
    You fucktard feminists, eat cock!!”

  8. elissa says:

    Opps sorry about that –

    That was just me being goofy, trying to be you, or what I thought the challenges of a thief trying to be you may have – don’t mean to make light of your experience.

    Sun is shining where I live and I’m not Ms. sensitive on a good day

    • no worries elissa! It was funny I just thought for a moment someone was being me on Feministe. But I really don’t think they’d bother! I am not THAT interesting…😀

  9. elflojo84 says:

    That’s a little creepy it has to be said. Still, at least she didn’t go through with whatever she was gonig to do. A rad-fem where the “you know what, this is a bit extreme, even in the name of womanhood” alarm is still functioning deserves SOME credit!

    Does it make you feel kind of good you’re important enough to warrant the treatment? Probably not. But I think it would a little bit if it was me

    Elissa, “You fucktard feminists, eat cock!!” has a certain poetic beauty

  10. Graham Perrett says:

    That is truly a modern tale QRG. I think you should take Carolines advice and write yourself a short screenplay. Maybe you and Paul Q (from Mark Simpson) could make a short film. I’d watch it.

    • nice to see you Graham!

      I have a few internet-related ideas for stories based on real and imagined scenarios. I find it difficult to turn online ‘stories’ into written ones though. I am not sure if I can think of many good fictional accounts of the internet. I haven’t seen the Facebook film yet though.

  11. Mark says:

    Whatever it is Quiet Riot Girl had/has, whether it’s a secret penis or just having a mind of her own, it seems some feminists wanted it all along.

  12. Schala says:

    I haven’t really seen you getting bad stuff said by feminists (or anyone really) for believing trans stuff… though twitter definitely isn’t my thing.

    I visit blogs, that I think will be visited, read, and hopefully have comments replied to. Much blogs with people who would hate me wouldn’t let me post at all (moderate everything off).

  13. Schala says:

    What I mean is, can you show me some of those discussions?

    My “authority” in that domain can help sometimes…even if it doesn’t make radfems budge even an inch (I tried dozens of times, it all gets ignored and twisting my words, often misandry too).

    • I refer to some of it here.

      Most of the hassle was on twitter re: trans.

      But on feminist blogs, I got called ‘a man’ as an insult which is a direct attack on my gender identity. eg see my ‘safe spaces’ post.

      https://quietgirlriot.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/ghetto-women/

      • Schala says:

        Being called a man is rarely an attack on your gender identity.

        It’s a call on you that your way of thinking isn’t approved by them.

        It’s like saying “she’s a witch!”, a way to discredit you in the face of others, little more.

        If you toe the party line close enough, then you can do like dirtywhiteboi and adopt an appearance that everybody would qualify as very masculine almost Wolverine-like – while continuing to bash maleness itself as something seeped into privilege and about how masculinity itself is bad.

        You can be assertive and “take space” as much as you want, while interrupting women while speaking and insulting people with violent language – all supposedly male behavior (I call bullshit on this assertion anyway).

        But if you don’t, you’ll be accused of being patriarchy itself. An accusation much too easy to levy to ‘uppity’ women who defend themselves, since apparently, trans women denying they are men, entering women’s space = male privilege.

        A bit hard to prove you’re a “real” woman, if the criteria is not having been barred entry for any reason (ask women of color what they think of that, and how “too angry” they are portrayed as, when demanding equal right of entry in women space).

        My reaction to always having male privilege thrown in my face at every turn…has been to refute its unilaterality, and thus it’s power. If female privilege exists, then male privilege isn’t a damning thing that can make you evil. It just happens to be stuff people take advantage of.

        • thanks Schala but I don’t agree that being called a ‘man’ is rarely an attack on my gender identity. I respect your views but you don’t have any particular ‘authority’ here at QRG- we all express our views and share ideas.

          • Schala says:

            Well, if you go on IBTP blog and say anything about male victims, trans women or anything critical of radical feminism or sex positive…you’ll be accused of being a brainwashed woman, or a man.

            Because only men can think stuff like that, supposedly

            Though being called a man outside blogs is something else, it’s rarely happened. I’ve been outed in various ways by my ID cards and legal name/sex to staff at my last job, prior to being hired. Then to just about everyone at this place, because of the work-email (which ‘had’ to match the paycheck name, which ‘had’ to match the legal name, supposedly).

            There were a couple people who reacted negatively to knowing I was trans, with barely hidden disgust even. They “called me a man” in their head.

            I got “called a man” once, when with my brother (of 9 years younger), coming from seeing a movie at the theatre and walking back, with him. I was 25, he was 16. I don’t look my age, and didn’t then either. Mostly everyone at the local “café de rue” knew about my transition…because I had transitioned not that long before, and went nearly daily.

            A bunch of people in a car 30 meters away called out our way, yelling “Hey, you know it’s a man right?” at my brother, thinking we were dating.

            Someone from my place of work, whom I didn’t remember ever meeting, heard of me and my status, and shouted at me using my legal name (which no one else used), with obvious disgust in the voice.

            That’s all I can remember, because I pass for cis. A jeans and t-shirt somewhat loud woman, but I could never pass for what we think of a female trucker. I don’t follow fashion, do “faux-pas” almost intentionally (ignore them knowingly). I don’t wear make-up mostly either – and can’t figure where this “You have to wear make-up and heels to get work” thing is from.

      • Schala says:

        Being called a man by people on the street is a call on your gender identity. By radfems, if it isn’t about what you say at all. By conservative people.

        But it only carries sting when it’s internalized, and most trans women internalize the notion that they were “not as good as [cis] women” from early childhood. Some outgrew it. And thus don’t mind as much. Some identify outside the binary, which makes the insult look groundless.

        • and you don’t know about my gender identity beyond what I write about it. so I don’t think you should make so many assumptions. thanks.

          • Schala says:

            Now I wonder what gender identity means to you (not what yours is), since to me, it’s a “more PC term” for saying:

            -The (physical and social) sex someone identifies as being.

            As opposed to a role (ie I can be seen as female, even if I’m not soft, submissive or femininely-dressed).

            The real term to me would be sex identity…but apparently, some people think this means sexual orientation.

  14. Graham Perrett says:

    How’s this for a fictional idea QRG?… you let them keep your Twitter identity because you’re about to get busted for a bunch of cyber crime you have committed and you let them take the rap.

  15. @schala I am not a politically correct person so I use terms based on how useful they are to me. I tend to use both gender identity and sex identity to mean how I define myself according to the concepts of ‘male and female’ ‘man and woman’ or ‘gender queer’ ‘gender-non-conforming’ etc.

    I know we have to fill in ‘m/f’ on forms but this is not how I define my gender/sex identity.

    • Schala says:

      I’ll take ombrage to a person who says I’m a woman “but not female”, as I’ve seen on certain places.

      I identify strongly as female, and only weakly as a woman, and am not too gender conforming.

      Woman is a position of least resistance if identifying as female, so I concede the point to people who think they’re just the same. I don’t have strong interest (personal or otherwise) in not identifying as such.

      • I don’t know if it is worth taking ‘ombrage’ at anyone’s form of self-identification. I figure it is up to them.

        • Schala says:

          They’re not identifying themselves, they’re negating my identification.

          They say *I* am not female, either based on “being female is defined as being oppressed from birth” or on a “being female means making eggs”.

          They might think my self-identification attacks theirs, but I don’t seek to negate theirs. If their identification is based on definitely-excluding people it’s on them – they’re kicking people out to feel better.

  16. Hi Lori. I get called a troll all the time too. I don’t like the term and I am finding you a bit annoying to be honest.
    This is my blog. I like to keep discussions civil. Thanks.

    • Lori Adorable says:

      You might want to look up what ‘troll’ means. Or I’ll save you the time: someone who comments just to incite vicious argument or get an emotional reaction, not to add to the discussion in any meaningful way. A guy who leaves a comment saying I deserve to be sexually assaulted most certainly counts as a troll. You might want to spend a little less energy defending people like that. It’s a bit annoying to be honest, as is your inability to recognize the privilege of civility.

      • Ok Lori but you are on my turf and I am not using my blog to host an argument between two people that started elsewhere and is not to do with me. I am not going to publish any more comments that seem to be part of that argument, whoever they are from!

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