Abbott, Kenny, Greer, TERFS, and the blogger as bride

1 Nov

Failed Prime Minister Tony Abbott took the opportunity last week to second-guess Jesus Christ, demonstrating to his audience of Thatcherites and a gobsmacked Australian nation why he’s also a failed priest, and a failed journalist to boot.

The reaction of the Australian media to Abbott’s reconstruction of Christian principles was varied. Christians among them were appalled. Those who support the decent treatment of refugees were appalled. Politicians were appalled but mostly didn’t say so. The nation was temporarily in a pall.

Margie, Mrs Abbott, was by her husband’s side as he gave his sermon to the London flock and I marvelled, as I have on other occasions about other wives, how there are women who stand by their man no matter how much of a grub he is.

I use that word with some apprehension, recalling how recently The Australian’s Chris Kenny threatened Labor MP Graham Perret with something unimaginable for calling him, well, a grub over his disgraceful antics on Nauru. Poor Kenny seems doomed to suffer abuse that is in some way connected to the animal world, though I suppose a grub is an insect rather than an animal, like, say a dog.

“A joke that I am a dog-fucker does not have to be true to be defamatory,” Kenny argued to the High Court, and nobody can deny he has a point.

However, standing by your man has, I’ve observed, a tipping point. Once that’s reached it looks like collusion, delusion, and extreme co-dependence, rather than wifely support. Hilary Clinton is the only woman I’ve seen carry it off and she did it by becoming secretary of state and presidential candidate, a course not open to many women, some of whom who cling to an idiot and at times criminal male as if to an esky lid after the boat’s capsized. Let it go, let it go, I am one with the wind and the sky…

(For those of you who don’t have small people in your life, that’s a reference to a song from an immensely popular and immensely stupid Disney movie called Frozen. I have a friend who sings a bastardised version to do with farting. It’s much, much better.)

Then there was the kerfuffle over another Australian, feminist, author and rainforest regenerator Germaine Greer, who appalled the transgender community and supporters by stating that she doesn’t believe a man who is surgically reassigned female is really a woman. Greer was set upon as a transphobe, on the grounds that her remarks over time have proved extremely hurtful to transgender women. Well, toughen up, princesses, is all I can say, because if you’re going to live in this world as a woman, hurtful remarks such as Greer’s are the least of the problems you’ll encounter.

I was also called out as a transphobe and a TERF, which acronym stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. Don’t worry, soothed Mrs Chook as I sobbed on her shoulder at the hurt. You’ve been called so much worse.

It did occur to me that this most recent attempt to silence women appears to originate from within a group that came to adulthood as men. Make of that what you will.

What seems to have been forgotten, and usually is forgotten when heads get hot and hearts get bruised, is that the transgender community is not homogenous and like all communities, contains some thoroughly decent people and some nasty tossers at the ready with the death threats if anyone disagrees with them.

But for me, the highlight of the week was meeting up with one of my sisters and retrieving my first wedding album. I know there’s only supposed to be one wedding album in a woman’s life, but I’ve got two and the first one has been missing for years, until my sister found it amongst our deceased mother’s stash of family memorabilia.

(Another of my sisters who lives overseas is partnered with a transgender woman, by the way. The partnership began as heterosexual, so I know something of that which I speak, in this instance at least.)

Anyways, here is the blogger as bride. I don’t know how anybody got me into all that white stuff. Have a laugh.

Blooger as Bride



Blogger as Bride Two

18 Responses to “Abbott, Kenny, Greer, TERFS, and the blogger as bride”

  1. Carlene November 1, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    What else did you do with your week????
    Seriously though I’ve been thinking (dangerous I know) but 1. Ironically, for the no-platform ears, Greer got a much greater public platform via the BBC interviewing her about the no-platforming than she would have had if she had given a very specific lecture to a very specific group at a single university, 2. Why did the person who started the petition to silence Greer think that others at the university a) couldn’t make up their own minds about what she had to say, b) would think that a single person expressing an opinion validated transphobia, would make people transphobic by expressing her view on biological sex (or in fact talking about women & power in the 20th century), &/or c) could not cope with hurt feelings. 3. As Greer didn’t speak I assume transphobia has been defeated #PowerOfOne

    Abbott is the best argument against Abbott; ditto Kenny

    Woohoo the white gear!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Carlene November 1, 2015 at 9:22 am #

      That says no-platformers -stupid predictive, spell changing text!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 1, 2015 at 9:25 am #

      Yes, yes yes & yes!
      Don’t they know about the Streisand effect, is what I wondered in astonishment


  2. LSWCHP November 1, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    I’m not a fan of the “no platform” phrase. It’s a pompous euphemism that hides the ugly reality of censorship.

    And as for the wedding pics…I’ve read a lot of your work on this blog and know that you’ve had a helluva lot of sadness in your life. On that day though, you looked happy and fabulous, and the pics made me smile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 1, 2015 at 11:03 am #

      Yes, agree on that first comment.
      Thank you, it was a very good day. 🙂


  3. doug quixote November 1, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    Truly radiant, Guinevere.

    Fancy being called a TERF! I’d be crying for a week. 🙂

    And I would have thought dog fucking one of the least of Chris Kenny’s faults.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 1, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

      Ha, yes indeed DQ on the Kenny comment.


    • Jim Fitz November 2, 2015 at 7:50 am #

      Maybe true about Kenny, however what about the dog’s opinion…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Anna November 1, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

    They were students, including some assigned male at birth who identify as women. ‘Coming to adulthood as men’ might be considered somewhat inflammatory as well as highly innacurate my dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 1, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

      I was referring to Greer’s comments, Anna, on men who identify surgically or otherwise, as women. I’ve said a million times that I don’t agree with Greer, and that my argument is about using fear and death threats to silence her or anybody else.
      As for being inflammatory – a trans woman supporter on Twitter has just called me a moron, that I am everything that is wrong with feminism, and told me to get fucked, so I guess my point about abuse is proven.
      I don’t think trans women ought to be the subject of violence, anymore than anybody else,but I do think it’s stretching a friendship for trans women to demand that women who suffer violence to the extent that two of us die every week at the hands of partners and I forget exactly how many of us are hospitalised every minute but its too many, see the suffering of trans women as worse than our own. I mean, a hierachy of suffering? Where does that get us?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. rhyllmcmaster November 1, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

    Jennifer, I do love you dearly because you make me laugh. And what a loverly bride you made.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Heather November 2, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    I was with you into the comments about trans women. Sure, trans women will not have experienced the same kind of oppression as biological women in their lives. But the idea that they have benefitted from male privilege and can’t understand the struggle of cisgendered women is almost willfully ignorant of the transgender experience. Transgender women are most definitely victims of a patriarchal society – you only have to look at the rate of violence against trans people or their rates of suicide. And to tell trans women to ‘toughen up’ – think about the courage it takes for a trans woman just to go out in public as themselves, hoping that they are ‘passing’ enough to not get stared at, or verbally abused (almost a daily phenomenon for many trans people), or worse, to be physically harmed, a fear probably never to far from their mind because it’s so common. As a cisgendered woman, I don’t fully understand the trans experience, but I can empathise. The concept of what is a ‘real’ woman is just sexist bullshit as harmful as the notion of the ‘real man’.

    Sorry to make the first time I’m commenting on your blog critical, I do enjoy reading it, but after reading the comments on trans people here (and the one on Greer the other day) I couldn’t not say something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 2, 2015 at 7:37 am #

      I don’t expect that comments agree with me, quite the opposite, and I welcome yours.
      I get your point that transgender women are victims of patriarchy. I think my point is they are among many victims of patriarchy, including pretty much anyone who doesn’t fit the patriarchal notion of how women should look and behave.
      I’m arguing with Greer about her reference to trans women not being “really women” I think it’s ridiculous and essentialist and meaningless.
      But my core point is that attempting to silence through fear and threats is abhorrent and ought to be challenged whenever it’s employed, even when its employed by victims of the patriarchy.
      Otherwise, we become the same as the oppressor.

      It’s occurred to me as well that I do seek to understand the transgender experience, at the same time, I don’t understand how trans women can simultaneously own that experience and deny their experience living as male. I’m working on this.


      • doug quixote November 3, 2015 at 12:25 am #

        Probably they never really felt like men in any event.

        Certainly they were not part of the patriarchy.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. zoebrain November 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    What constitutes femaleness? It is my considered position that femaleness is conferred by the final pair of XX chromosomes. Otherwise I don’t know what it is.
    — Germaine Greer

    J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9
    A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. hudsongodfrey November 4, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    I hadn’t realised Kenny was the subject of the Chaser’s joke. But in response to his plaintive “A joke that I am a dog-fucker does not have to be true to be defamatory” I’d have ruled that it has to be untrue to be funny and thrown the whimpering idiot out of court.

    Then there’s the humourous case of the insult that you can’t decipher without a special trip through the urban dictionary where you’re liable to find out its either a strange acronym or a gay escort site. On balance it might be easier to refute the latter, but either way when anyone levels a truly obscure insult at you it’s almost as funny as a buggered dog joke, and invariably at their expense. It has all the cadence and maturity of very small children making up insults to without proper swearing, “You’re a poo bum”, “Well you’re a double poo poo bum, so there!” And you’re just sitting there thinking what might happen if they called Malcolm Tucker a TERF? “Oh really well that’s about as useless as a marzipan dildo.”

    It does indeed take black and white to conjure a proper film noir femme fatale vision at the high point of the prequel to the difficult second book or album where our heroine truly earns the respect of her audience. And so it goes.


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