Wondering What They’ll Think

It’s been one weird (long) month for me. I handed in the manuscript of the next book way at the beginning of the month, recently found out it’s already listed at amazon.com, and my publisher tells me that the initial copies have gone out to “early readers” – which is code for “people who might say nice things about it that we can put on the cover.”

So, my first readers. Well actually my 5th – 12th, or thereabouts, since a few people read the whole of it, or nearly so, while I was writing it. But still, nerve-wracking. I just hope if they hate it they don’t tell me that. But they have until late this fall to send in a blurb so I may not know for quite a while. It’s this waiting bit that really is the hard part.

(I hope they don’t hate it. Betty keeps telling me they won’t, but I think Betty’s biased.)

Screwed-up His Courage

Ah, another inspired headline from The Onion: Area Man Finally Works Up Courage To Sexually Harass Secretary

After having nearly resigned himself to another seven years of unspoken requests for sexual favors, Winters seized an opportunity to express his feelings Monday morning, offering to help Davis “get to the important stuff” as she bent over a file cabinet. Later, as further proof of his commitment, Winters suggested that he and Davis discuss a possible promotion at his beach house over the weekend.

(Thanks to Ronnie Rho for the RSS.)

She’s Not the Man I Married Cover Art

Well, here it is, folks! The cover of the next book, with my lovely partner looking as beautiful as ever:

That Forbes Article

I’m a little surprised, though I guess I shouldn’t be, by the brouhaha created by Forbes re-printing an article from 1973. (That’s a joke, folks, it’s a new article, but it could have been written in 1973. The whole premise of said article is that career women suck as wives and mothers – more likely to: not have kids, not stay home with kids, cheat, get divorces, etc. etc. etc.)

What amazes me is that this got by an editor. Is sexism so not apparent to people? I mean if a woman wrote an article in Forbes that men who have careers make bad husbands and fathers, the hue & cry would be outrageous. But writing an article judging how good women are in their “natural” role is perfectly reasonable?

The whole thing makes me ill. As does the use of the term feminazi. What a bunch of schlock. I’m reminded of that old feminist slogan, “Men of Quality Love Women’s Equality.” Not many quality men out there, apparently, at least not if the Forbes’ forum for discussion of said article is to be believed.

But the sense of humor in response is quite satisfying: this little slideshow on why to marry a career bitch, in particular. Oh, & Forbes took down the original article, so if you want to read it, it’s archived here.

Week 4: Buster Film Fest

Today at Film Forum: Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr., The Boat, My Wife’s Relations, Daydreams.

This is a stellar selection, folks. Steamboat Bill, Jr. is a classic Keaton film: poor soul in love, trying to get the girl, hit by a hurricane, floods, and even the entire side of a house.

The Boat is – simple & indescribable. It’s the one that clarifies why Beckett loved him so much.

Daydreams & My Wife’s Relations are two top-notch two-reelers, as well.


What a lot of news today! It turns out the NYT published my letter to the editor concerning that piece about FTMs.

Interestingly, the letter from Sailor Lewis Wallace articulates much better than I did what I was trying to get at in my post about near-misogyny.

(Thanks to Caprice for spotting it!)

Wouldja Look At That?

Completely unbeknownst to me, She’s Not the Man I Married is now listed at amazon.com. No cover image yet, almost nothing at all yet, but there it is, and yes, you can pre-order it if you’d like.

That said, if you’re in the NYC area, you can get a signed copy in March when I’m doing publicity. Or in Philly in April. (Those are my only confirmed post-pub date events, so far.)

Not Chick Lit

It’s come up a couple of times in a few short days, so I thought instead of simmering until I boil over this time, I might address an issue sooner rather than later this time.

Women’s writing is not, en masse, to be called chick lit. Chick lit is a term used for a certain kind of fluffier, upwardly-mobile, sexually titillating kind of fiction or non-fiction about women’s lives.

Examples: Sex and the City, A Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing.

Please do not refer to any book about women as chick lit, or to any book by a woman writer as chick lit.

Examples: Margaret Atwood is not chick lit.

For further clarification, you can check out the new(ish) anthology This is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America’s Best Women Writers.

Bordering on Misogyny

More thoughts on the MWMF controversy: I find sometimes the anger expressed toward the exclusionary policy-makers at the MWMF bordering on misogyny. Because relatively speaking, lesbians want to keep trans women out of a camp. But when I look around at the world, and what goes on with trans women, I see really horrible things, like rape and horribly brutal murders and cops and media using phrases like “he” or even “it.” & I wonder if sometimes the level of outrage against MWMF isn’t kind of – overamped. I mean they’re just keeping trans women out of a private music festival, not firing them or denying them housing or health treatment or hormones or life.

You know? I don’t think their policy is right, but I also think there are bigger eggs to fry, and using all this energy and rage over MWMF might find people exhausted when something else comes up.

I understand that it’s much easier to be very angry and disappointed with people who should know better, and yes, I think the organizers of the MWMF should know better. But their actions, in terms of comparison, are not as hateful as some of the anger describes it as being. Discriminaton and exclusion is horrible, yes, but it’s a music festival, not the right to live and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I’m just not sure the level of anger is – well, appropriate.

But then I don’t think the level of hate and suspicion being tossed around by MWMFers toward trans women is anything like appropriate, either.

Neither of these reflections, by the way, has anything to do with what people have been saying on our message boards – they’re observations taken from other things I’ve been reading.

Bann Coulter

Finally, someone not trans has put the Ann Coulter myth to rest, and quite respectfully of trans women, too.

86 Years (And Many More)

Today is the 86th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution – in other words, today marks the 86th year since women got the right to vote.

The right of citizens in the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

It’s an amazing thing to think about, isn’t it? The idea that this country used to keep a full half (more than half, actually) from voting? To allow them no say whatsoever in the laws that shaped our lives?

I’ve often thought that women who live in this country who don’t vote should have to trade places with women who would love to – and who can’t. In too many countries, that is still the case, but we take it for granted here.

My thanks to all the women who sacrificed so much to earn us this right, and to all the women who vote, who work in politics, and who raise daughters who vote. Some of those women are being celebrated at NYU today, if you can make it.

Endymion: Bored

Big endymion

He looks bored a lot, but he’s the most playful of all three cats. And he sure is a killer, even if he doesn’t look it. In fact the boys (I’m never sure which one) have caught two mice in the time they’ve lived here; in one case I heard a growl from Endymion and having never heard that kind of mean sound out of him before, went to find out what was up. As it turned out, he had a mouse in his mouth that his brother wanted to know about. (The other time we came home from a short trip and there was a dead one, placed with respect, about a foot away from my chair.)

But funnier still is when Endymion decides to play with a bug. He watches, he growls, he follows every squiggle or drunken flying jag. Once he grounds the flying thing, or corners the crawling thing, he plays a game of hide and seek, putting his massive paw down on it, then picking it up to check on it and let the bug run away. The problem is the massiveness of the massive paw: unfortunately these games don’t last very long, because even the most hearty, exoskeleton’d types tend to die after two “hide the critter” attempts. The odd thing is that Endymion himself always look disappointed, as if he rung the bell of his best friend only to be told by the kid’s mom that Jr. unfortunately has chicken pox and can’t come out and play.

Between A Rock & A Hard Place

What with all the discussion going on about the MWMF policy, I’m finding myself once again heavy-hearted, confused, and feeling terribly unresolved.

I’ve met so many MTFs who would fit right in at MWMF. Others who could give a rat’s ass about not being allowed to attend something like that. But I’ve also met a ton who are clueless, demanding, completely lacking a feminist consciousness, & reeking of male privilege.

That said, as a heterosexual feminist, I’ve also been treated by lesbian separatists as a traitor just for liking men (which, as I’ve pointed out more than once, has got to be at least as innate as being born lesbian), and would feel it necessary to hide who I am if I were ever on “the Land.”

Saying ‘a pox on both your houses’ just doesn’t feel satisfying today, either, but this interstice I’m living in feels very, very small indeed today.

More Things You Can Do: #s 26-34

I’ve missed a few weeks of posting more things you can do to further trans rights and protections, according to the NCTE:

#26: Locate Support Services

#27: Collaborate with another group on a community project or social event.

#28: Work to Pass a Nondiscrimination Policy at Your Workplace

#29: Connect with PFLAG!

#31: Plan to Come out on National Coming Out Day on October 11

#32: Register New Voters!

#33: Fund Scholarships!

#34: Programs for Youth

Best Spam Subject Line of the Day:

Insincerity Whaling

Ick! Santorum!

In keeping with Dan Savage’s lovely coinage, bumper stickers for the PA race.

News from Camp Trans

Michigan Women’s Music Festival ends policy of discrimination against Trans women

Happy Birthday, Maurice!

To my friend and former roomie, a very happy we’re-not-saying-how-old birthday!

Week 3: Buster Film Fest

Today at Film Forum: Buster Keaton’s Seven Chances, with shorts Three Ages and Hard Luck.

Five Questions With… Update

I’ve been doing the Five Questions With… feature on this blog for over a year, with 38 interviews so far (the first with Gwen Smith on 7/27/05, & the most recent with Kate Bornstein, and will probably slow down a bit, maybe to a monthly interview or as they come at me.