Notes on the Journey

Posts tagged ‘battered women’

Tranz Trances, Session 3

11800264_1479268932388342_1932913393874812129_nI have been thinking about what it was that triggered me into writing about the Tranz issue. I had been going along with it, reserving judgment, not taking it personally, not seriously questioning it, never confronting anyone who believed that tranzing was not only possible, but somehow virtuous and brave. This morning it came to me exactly what it was that turned the tide for me and gave me the courage to begin questioning this phenomenon in public.

maxresdefaultAmy Beede was a woman in the psychiatric survivor community of Vermont, a “frequent flyer,” as they describe people who are in and out of psychiatric hospitals on a regular basis. The first time I met Amy was in 1985. We had the same counselor, who was working with us on emotional problems connected with being sexually assaulted by our fathers during our childhoods. I met Amy at the psych unit at Central Vermont Hospital.

Amy had a lot of problems. She was put on a lot of drugs for a lot of different psychiatric diagnoses over the years and had trouble living independently in the community. But, obviously, the main problem was that she had been beaten and raped by her father throughout her childhood. In fact, many of the women I knew in Vermont who were trapped in the psychiatric system were victims of rape and incest, but this was covered up and denied by virtue of the fallacy promoted by psychiatry that emotional problems are brain diseases that must be medically managed with drugs.

I didn’t see Amy for several years, although I knew she’d had trouble at the VT State Hospital, where she was charged with assault for defending herself from attacks by psychiatric personnel. The last time I saw her was in 2012 on a bus to Burlington, VT. She had the affect of a person with dementia, speaking out inappropriately to people on the bus. Although she had known me in the past, she didn’t recognize me as we spoke. I attribute this to the brain-damage that is caused by psychiatric behavior-control chemicals. 

amos-beedeThen, this past summer of 2016, I found out something truly horrific. Amy had changed her sex to male, calling herself “Amos,” and she had been murdered while homeless in Burlington, VT.

Of course, the Tranz activists bemoan this as a typical attack on transgendered people, which is a terrible reality. But here’s my problem: Why did none of the doctors who “treated” Amy for her supposed “mental disease” of “Gender Identity Disorder”  consider her trauma history when they agreed to prescribe her cancer causing hormones? I don’t know if she had actually undergone the surgical mutilation that is plastic surgery on her genitals and the slicing off of her breasts, but that was the next logical step in this horrific progression. Why did insurance pay for this kind of treatment when what she really needed was a good trauma counselor with an understanding of the sexual caste system and sexual violence against women? Why is nobody talking about this? I tried to talk about this with mutual friends on Facebook and was promptly silenced.

I was shocked by all this news and all the more so, because this could very easily have been my story. Amy and I have similar histories and similar experiences with the mental corrections system;  the same doctors and hospitals and counselors in Vermont. There is something very wrong with the medical system, there is something chillingly wrong with a psychiatric system that would recommend an operation on a woman’s body to change her so that she APPEARS to be male but not make sure that a severely traumatized individual HAS A FUCKING PLACE TO LIVE. What kind of priority is that? It’s an ECONOMIC priority. The made money from diagnosing her as “gender dysphoric” and prescribing her hormones. There’s no money in telling the truth, avoiding medical harm and struggling for social justice for rape and incest victims.

Amy died because incest is soul murder. It destroyed her sense of self and made her vulnerable to the social control agents of the Corporate-Industrial Medical Corrections System. It put her on the street and made her a murder victim. They had given her drugs to control her behavior that affected her hormones  and they kept hammering home the message that her problems were the result of genetic brain chemical imbalances and not simply the result of being battered and sexually assaulted by her father. And thus she came to believe that the solution to the problem of being in the rapable class, i.e., female, was to become male.

 

sad-depressed-little-girl-sitting-near-wall-grunge-34480298

Tranz Trances, Session 2

In this Session I will be dis-enchanting the Tranz Trance with a bit of scholarship from famed gyno/ethicist,  Mary Daly.  I recently picked up her book Gyn/Ecology after 30 years and the effect of reading it now as an old woman is nothing less than shattering. I heartily wish I had taken heed of her message the first around.

Erasing Women

I came to this college town 3 years ago, hoping to repair my relationship with my daughter, in the wake of my having been chemically raped by doctors during her childhood.  I lived with her for nine months in a student housing coop. I went to a local rape crisis center looking for support for my post-incest trauma, I considered connecting with a woman’s center associated with the university and I became involved with an arts organization. And what I noticed happening in all of these organizations was the arrival of the Tranz and the beginning of the erasure of women.

The housing coop had Tranz members and at every meeting we had to go around the circle and state our pronoun preferences so that no-one would be mistaken for the sex they were born as. The rape crisis center did not deal with male violence against women, but with gender-based violence. The woman’s center welcomes “people of all genders.” (although I think they recently changed it to “people of all identities”.) They also state that they work toward “Violence Prevention,” neatly erasing the fact that the overwhelming majority of interpersonal violence is committed by men against women.  When I wrote to them and tried to engage them on why this might be a problem, I was ignored. They did not even afford me the dignity of a reply. The arts group includes a man pretending to be a woman. And I am forbidden to say anything about these lies, lest I be marked as an evil bigot. I chose to abandon these groups rather than to confront what I see as blatant violence against women in the form of the Tranz sado-ritual that I am not allowed to question.

witches_being_hangedIn her book Gyn/Ecology,   Daly  discusses  The Pattern of the Sado-Ritual Syndrome. The Sado-Ritual Syndrome is the patriarchal method of behavior-control for women, including suttee, or widow-burning, footbinding, female castration, the European witchcraze and modern gynecology and psychiatry.  This is my synopsis of the seven features of this syndrome:

  1. obsession with purity.
  2. abdication of personal responsibility to authorities.
  3. “catching on” and spreading from the elite to the poor.
  4. scapegoating victims and setting up “token torturers”
  5. compulsion: orderliness, repetition, fixation on minute details.
  6. normalization of atrocities through conditioning.
  7. legitimatization by authoritative scholarship.

For the purpose of this Session I want to focus on element lll:

Element III

These ritualized practices have an inherent tendency to “catch on” and spread, “since they appeal to imaginations conditioned by the omnipresent ideology of male domination. Moreover, since the patriarchal imagination is hierarchical, there is a proliferation of atrocities from an elite to the upwardly aspiring lower echelons of society.”

I see this element very clearly in the Tranz fad. It is chiefly a trend of upper class white males who can afford the doctors and chemicals and surgery and the time off from labor to recuperate. The Tranz fad is in fact spreading into every corner of my world, places such as rape crisis and women’s centers, where previously I could expect safety as a woman and where I could voice my opinion. And now I am constrained from speaking up about my recognition of Tranzing as an atrocity against women.  I am certain that if I extended my analysis I could find all seven elements being expressed within the Tranz phenomenon.

The Tranz fad is not about liberation of the sexes and freedom of sexual expression, although this is the ad copy that is being presented. It is nothing less than the new face of Goddess Murder, another face of the sado-ritual practices that silence and oppress women, in this case the underlying idea is that males who Tranz are more womanly than women and women who Tranz are sacrificing their womanhood, in the time-honored tradition. As long as there is a gender caste system, there will be an unequal power dynamic between the sexes. Changing your pronoun and/or chopping off/mutilating your sex organs does not change your sex, it only reinforces the terrible sex ROLES that we are forced to inhabit by the threat of violence from males.

Raised To Be Silenced

Another clue as to the phallocratic nature of Tranz phenomenon, i.e., that is about males taking over female space and obliterating female reality, is illustrated by this personal experience of mine:

sad-depressed-little-girl-sitting-near-wall-grunge-34480298The condition of belonging to the male-dominant, misogynistic family I was born into was that I had to keep silent about being raped by male family members and take the blame for these rapes when they became too egregious for others to ignore. My father continually warned me that if I told anyone what he was doing I would lose my family. I did speak up, I sued him in court. And now I have no family.

downloadThe condition for my belonging to the housing coop or the rape crisis center or the women’s center or the arts group was that I had to keep silent about men pretending to be women (less frequently, vice versa) who are forcing others to go along with the lie that it’s ok to mutilate your body to match some artificial social role that was dreamed up by patriarchy in order to enforce women’s slavery. I chose to walk away from the social groups that are silencing me. But, I have this blog where I can tell the truth about my experience.

I see an exact parallel of oppression in these two situations. The shame associated with talking about incest is the same shaming and being pressured into silence that surrounds the Tranz phenomenon. Which makes it about male privilege and sexual violence against women and not about liberation and equality between the sexes.

In the next Session I would like to cover the rise of The Holy Factory Temple of Medical Corrections in order to connect the Tranz issue to the disempowering and devastatingly harmful practices of Western  Corporate-Industrial Medicine.

 

The Enchantment Model Of Addiction

Support Groups PicI stopped in at a Al-Anon meeting at Thanksgiving, hoping it would help to listen to other people talk about their family pain, but first thing they hit me with the proselytization and the disease model. I just can’t ignore it long enough to sit and listen, that’s my defect I suppose. I felt pressure to read the steps and recite prayers, did not feel safe to refuse, and that is crap.

I know now that AA softened me up for harvest by the psychopharmaceutical cartel. I first attended AA when I was 28 and planning another baby. I’d had a few drinks during of my last pregnancy and felt guilty about that, didn’t want to do it again, and in general, drinking made me sick and depressed altho I enjoyed the painkilling effects. I went to women’s meetings for the first year. It was clear to me that I drank to kill the aftereffects of being raped on a daily basis by my father for the first 12 years of my life, and that’s what I wanted to work on and it felt safer to be in a women-only group.

pillsBack then nobody was taking psych drugs, but we were all being sold on the medical model brain disease/genetic defect theory. So sadly, I was easy pickinz when my GP offered chemicals to fix my congenital brain abnormality. I looked tired because I was engaged in  a lawsuit against my rapist parent and raising two toddlers by myself and I was having trouble sleeping. The doctor, John Matthews of Plainfield, VT, said I was biologically depressed and the drugs were like insulin for diabetes. Then once on the drugs there is the spellbinding effect along with all the other subtle and not-so-subtle coercions I was subjected to. In 2007, when I decided to begin tapering the drugs (after reading Mad In America) AA was a hindrance because just about everyone was on the (safe, non-addictive) drugs and we were not allowed to question the holy doctors. I got a lot of hostility from people who were threatened by my withdrawal, and nobody had any support for me or had information about safe withdrawal.

godthe fatherFor me personally, the whole Protestant religious moral model of the twelve step model is a big problem. For one thing, it is emblazoned upon the deepest reaches of my consciousness that GOD IS MY FATHER, for another, it is a victim-blaming philosophy that totally separates the individual from the violent, addiction-generating culture. So I have to do the mindsplitting thing to be able to sit in a 12-step meeting and I am not up to it anymore. I joined an online group for people who are tapering from behavior-control chemicals. At first, as it was forming, it was a good support but then the admins started in with the 12-step liturgy and dogma. I tried to point out the heterosexism and christian values and got shut down.

The way I see it now is that we are ALL addicts. The word, addiction, literally means: to be spoken over to slavery. It comes out of the Roman court system, where captives were legally made into slaves. Western culture has made us all into slaves to oil, if nothing else. No-one escapes modern slavery. But, some of us run into bigger trouble faster, with whatever we are doing to kill our pain and distract our attention, that is the difference. It’s a continuum. And absolutely, without question, everyone I know who struggles with destructive addiction is a survivor of trauma, usually the good old interpersonal violence kind. I also saw this as a member of a support group for the psychiatrically labeled in Montpelier, VT. Every woman, at least, who was diagnosed and labeled as a psych case was a survivor of childhood rape. I kept telling the staff of the MH center about this, I wrote about it in The Counterpoint, a psych survivor rag in VT, and went before the state legislature to talk to them about it as they made policy on MH services. But nobody really listened. They are not listening now.

The only way that addiction could possibly be considered a medical/physical disease is by thinking of it as a reaction to BEING INJURED. It is a maladaptive attempt to heal an injury. Once we start to damage organs with whatever we use to kill pain THEN it becomes a medical issue.

earAs I have been struggling to understand what addiction has done to me and the people I have been close to, it has occurred to me that since the medical model is such a destructive metaphor, that maybe a good way to characterize what is going on is that it is a kind of enchantment. It is like being under an evil spell. (Certainly being on the psychiatric chemicals felt like this to me. I lost my power to choose and I believed things that were not true. I was trapped, I was a prisoner, a slave.)  How does this enchantment come about? Well, I’m not sure, and prolly there is no one answer, no bogeyman to blame, no witches in the hedges casting spells, BUT, in my case I can trace the enchantment right back to the ugly things that ignorant and cruel adults kept chanting into my ear, all the insidious messages about my lack of human worth that surrounded the incest drama and the simple fact of my having a female body in a patriarchal, misogynistic culture.

One Billion Rising

These are videos of the One Billion Rising phenomenon. One in three women has survived sexual assault. One sixth of the entire human race.

 

This one is very disturbing and very powerful:

 

This is the official video of the flashmob dance, Break The Chain:

 

And this is a video that I shot in St. Johnsbury, Vermont on Valentine’s Day 2013:

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