The Pyromaniac’s Stance on Transblogging

January 25, 2012 § 2 Comments

A blogger attempting to write a review of a blog for a class assignment is like a pyromaniac attempting to light a controlled fire; the foreboding disaster feels imminent. Yet I am allowing myself to be put in a situation with such an ominous outlook to announce to the world my disdain towards Stephen Ira. Ira’s blog, Super-Mattachine Review, attempts a level of political correctism that borderlines generally insulting on several fronts that Ira is attempting to empower.

I will go out on a limb to make the assumption that, out of all of those currently enrolled in this course, I am the only trans-identified person in the class, or, if not that, the only agendered-identified person, meaning that I reject the identification of gender in general. That being said, my viewpoint of Ira’s blog is very critical on his take on issues revolving around the Trans community. Though that is not Ira’s only topic of discussion—he takes on the burdens of racism, misogyny, sizeism, cissexism, and I’m sure more—he speaks on it as though he were an academic authority. I’m not entirely sure if it’s an innate sense of pretension or if it is simply an attack on anything that registers above a .05 on his “possibly oppressive” meter, but Ira has certainly struck a chord on this trans-blogger with his assault on the terminology of the Trans community in general.

Going to specifics, on the first page of Ira’s blog, third post, he begins what began my instant dislike of him. Pointing out the pretentious title himself, the post “Reduced to Pilgrims: The Oppressive Foundations of the Word ‘Transgender’” presents his own susceptibility to transsexism. Ira’s main complaint is that terminology across time has been oppressive to the Trans community. I don’t dispute this, as language for minority groups is rarely complementary when first given; however, I do find the line crossed when the prefix “trans” is considered the ultimate assertion of oppression inflicted upon the community now.

“That is why this prefix has been made a part of us. It is because [it is] an essential part of the cissupremacist project is to reduce [T]rans people to pilgrims.” This was Ira’s resolution to the concept of the usage of the prefix “trans”, a prefix meaning “across, through, over, to or on the other side of, beyond, outside of, from one place, person, thing, or state to another” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. “Trans” to Ira means that those in the Trans community are meant to be regulated to a never-ending journey in finding one’s body, negating the ability to set comfortably in a gendered state. Ira completely isolates those who consider themselves multigendered or agendered as there is either no one gendered state that is most comfortable or this is no comfort found in any gendered state. His witch hunt for the cissupremacist isolates a group he claims to be assisting.

That example is only one of many insinuations-turned-insulting from Ira that has ruffled this blogger’s feathers. Another stems from Ira’s hypocrisy in his attack on Chaz Bono’s status as a publically-known Trans individual not representing “us”—meaning the Trans community—when he himself does not “represent us” either. Another comes from Ira’s adamant attack of cissexism in the general populace when individuals have incidents in mispronouning a Trans person—and believe me, I frothed at the mouth at his own hypocrisy. There are, to this blogger, many more that would take a much longer word limit allowance to address, yet the point stands: Stephen Ira’s blog is filled with assumptions that are just as insulting as he claims everyone around him is being. Whether or not he is addressing the issue of transculture, cissexism, racism, sizeism, or any other –ism out there, this blog will only rile up visitors in some form or another causing this blogger to say that this is not a blog to be enjoyed.

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§ 2 Responses to The Pyromaniac’s Stance on Transblogging

  • I can understand why, as a person who identifies as agender, the Super-Mattachine Review rubs you the wrong way. He (is this the correct pronoun for that blogger? I wasn’t sure) takes gender and amplifies it, making the relationship between the poles the crux of his position. And it seems like he sees gender as a continuum along which all people exist, instead of a mode of behavior adopted out of necessity or conditioning, which may be donned or doffed according to the wishes and needs of the individual. It’s a subtle but important distinction, and his view of the situation doesn’t allow for it at all. It looks like he sees everyone as existing somewhere on a monorail of gendered identity.

    As someone who has chosen to adopt a gendered (cisfemale) identity often out of necessity more than preference, I found myself occasionally affronted by his portrayal of the supposed relations between different gender identities, and his insistence that cissexuals, or transgendered people, etc. form these monolithic groups that necessarily alienate them from each other in certain key respects.

    • bibliogay says:

      He does seem to view identity on a monorail of some kind–emphasis on the prefix denoting “one”. He leaves no wiggle room, no room for error, and no room for those who don’t fit his depictions of a good individual. To me, now that I’m outside of the realm of a class paper, Ira is a spoiled child with little to offer outside of a “Look at what I can do!” stand point.

      Also, to just further my own point, your confusion of Ira using masculine pronouns would have led him to squinting his eyes and scolding you. In one of his posts, he’s very adamant about mispronouning.

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