When the Rubber Hits The Road, When The Bullet Hits The Bone

Hai! My wife Cheryl came home one night in 1990 and found me dressed in her clothes. So, I garroted her and almost beheaded her. House me with women!

Much has been written about the decision of U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf, sitting in a Massachusetts federal court, to order the State of Massachusetts to give  murderer Robert Kosilek a “sex change” due to his gender-identity disorder.

In a telephone interview with the Associated Press, Kosilek said that “(t)his is who I am. My essence is female … To those who don’t understand gender-identity disorder, I understand that there is a reluctance to even think about this in a serious vein because to the average person who is uninformed, it may be truly bizarre, but this is who I am. This is who I have always been.”

Let’s put aside the the gender essentialism for the moment (My essence. Blergh.)

And if you already agree with me that Gender Identity is harmful to Women, you can skip this post. And if you have a penis, or used to have a penis, this post is also not for you.

This post is for Certain Women, the Laurel Ramseyers and Bevin Branlandinghams and the Avory Faucettes and the Avital Norman Nathmans of the world, who insist on helping Trans Women destroy Women-only space, all in the name of “equality.”  This post is for the “pansexual” Woman at SisterSpace who equated Lesbian Sexuality with being a Racist (yanno, because Lesbians reject Men sexually, which makes us bigots).  You know, you are the Women who cheered when the protagonist in Better than Chocolate beat up that mean dyke for telling the Trans Women to get out of the Women’s bathroom.

turns out that mean dyke was right!

(This post is also, somewhat, for my Feminist Sisters who express exasperation that we Lesbians spend “soooo much time” on this “fringe issue” of “Men in Dresses,” although I think more and more of you “get it.”)

The Kosilek ruling marks the first time a judge has ordered prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery and represents a key milestone in the battle waged by GLBT Organizations to completely override sex-based protections.

Why a key milestone?

Because we are coming to the point in the twenty-odd history of the Transgender Rights Movement where people are starting to notice that the Harmful Outcomes for Women created by an unyielding support of Transgender Ideology. In other words, this is the point When the Rubber Hits The Road.

We are not talking here, in this post, about employment or housing protections based on Gender Identity (or, as I would rather see it, based on Sex, a la the Macy and Glenn cases).   I have written before that I (and other Feminists) support these efforts to protect Trans People from irrational discrimination using a theory based on the badness of sex stereotyping (because it’s the same old sex stereotyping that Women have suffered for hundreds of years – it doesn’t magically become “sometime else” because it happens to Men… in Dresses).

What I want to talk about in this post is when the Reality of a Trans Woman’s anatomy/physiology (i.e., He is Male) meets a space that’s intended only for Women (e.g., Women’s bathrooms and showers, Women’s colleges, Women’s music festivals, any place that a Woman says “go away” to a Man, including our Vaginas).

What I want to talk about is when a Woman rationally discriminates against a Man – because Women don’t actually have to make our bodies accessible at all times to Men – and that includes the intrusion of simply being seen by Men when we are vulnerable (or when we don’t feel like it).  This idea that discrimination (i.e., judgment) is ALWAYS wrong is especially toxic and deadly for Women, as we rely on our judgment, in part, to protect us from violence by Men (because let’s be honest, if we relied solely on Men’s judgment to protect us, we’d be even more worse off, notwithstanding noble efforts to name the problem).

So back to Robert Kosilek.

I am a WOMAN, you bitch. And I make a womanly sign.

So, for Kosilek, it’s not just about “the sex change.” Kosilek has made very clear that he hopes state prison officials will house him in a Women’s prison after the surgery.  So, it’s not just about Kosilek feeling comfortable in his own body. Kosilek further demands that we – the rest of the world – see him AS A WOMAN and validate HIS IDENTITY by placing him in circumstances and space reserved for WOMEN.

“It’s just the right thing to do, to give me congruity …  People need to understand that — whether it troubles them or not — it is a valid medical condition.”

If you have accepted that having a surgery that involves the removal of your penis in order to fashion a hole makes you “Female,” then you probably believe that housing such person with Female inmates is “the right thing to do.”

If you believe that Kosilek ‘s case is a one-off circumstance and you feel bad for him, then you probably believe that housing such person with Female inmates is “the right thing to do.”

But consider this.

Women housed in women’s prisons are already subject to substantial risk of sexual assault and violence. When you decide to add Male prisoners to the mix – yanno, Male prisoners in prison sometimes (read, often) for violence against Women – you increase that risk exponentially. Oh, and Women of Color are disproportionately represented in the prison population.  According to the Women’s Prison Association (which advocates for Women), 93 of every 100,000 white women were incarcerated at mid-year 2008.  During the same time period, 349 out every 100,000 black women and 147 out of every 100,000 Hispanic women were incarcerated. What about them? Do they have a voice in this Liberal debate about “what makes a Woman”?  These are Women living in substandard conditions, with substandard medical care for Actual Women’s Health Issues. Do you represent them?

But again, you might decide that Women inmates have “done something wrong,” and, thus, you don’t care what happens to them (this, btw, also makes you an asshole).  Or you may believe that Kosilek and Men like him become Female when they lose their dicks (did I mention that Kosilek strangled his wife? Oh, and this guy.)

If that’s what you believe, what about …

Homeless shelters?

Targeted direct services for Women (e.g., support services for Women in prostitution or exited Women)?

Transitional housing for Women, including exited Women?

Temporary emergency shelters?

Domestic violence shelters?

Do you think that economically disadvantaged Women (because, let’s be honest, it’s mostly Upper Middle Class White Lesbians – or Trans Men, whatevs – and their Liberal Heterosexual Sisters who support Gender Identity theory and never, ever seem to have to bear the real world consequences of their Liberal decision-making) are somehow less worthy of our concern?

Or is it because you believe that all Trans Women are good kind angel babies who would never hurt a fly?

Or perhaps a little from Column A, a little from Column B?

I know you “check your privilege” – your Educated Upper Middle Class White privilege – when it comes to Trans Women. Do you ever consider the MANY MANY MANY Women who don’t want Men in our spaces. You know, the uncool Women and our Girl children, Women who have been raped and victimized by Men, incarcerated Women, homeless Women.

What about us, Liberal Women?

What about the spaces that Upper Middle Class White Lesbians and their Liberal Heterosexual Sisters DO encounter? The showers in the locker room at the Y? Women-only gyms? Women-only changing rooms? Women’s colleges and universities? Women-only conferences? Women-only political space?

Is this ok with you, really? You think there is no public policy reason, no basis in rational discrimination, for Women-only spaces?

Is it because you don’t want to hurt Trans Women’s feelings?

Yes, we all have Trans Women friends. Even me! And I like them.

And they also like me, even though I don’t believe they are Female. But all of this is irrelevant to the issue of public policy. And if you continue making public policy decisions based on your feelings or your Trans Woman friend’s feelings, you Fuck Over Women.

Or do you think “Equality” demands no spaces for Women?

If you do not believe that sex-segregated facilities serve any useful purpose, or effectuate any public policy, then why wait for Trans Women to break down those barriers? You should support efforts to completely repeal laws and regulations that allow sex-segregated facilities.

You should support all efforts to allow Men into Women-only space.

Why aren’t you doing that? Is it because there is actually a reason why we have sex-segregated facilities? Is it because Females suffer demonstrable harm at the hands (and penises) of Males?

Ok, so back to Kosilek.  Assuming the state doesn’t appeal, or appeals and loses, Kosilek will get his dick made into a second asshole, and then will ask for a transfer to a Women’s prison. And in asking for a transfer to a Women’s prison, he will have the support of organizations like Lambda Legal, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality,  the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Transgender Law Center.  Those groups have noted that:

Because nearly all transgender inmates are placed into sex-segregated facilities based on their sex assigned at birth and not on their gender identity, transgender women are frequently placed in men’s facilities, and transgender men are frequently placed in women’s facilities. When prison officials make these incongruous placements, inmates are singled out for scrutiny, harassment, and abuse by other inmates and prison staff.

So placements based on sex become “incongruous” if a Man says “I feel like a woman.”  And if we decide, for whatever reason, that this is a good enough basis to make public policy, bye bye any space that is Women-only.

Where are the organizations pushing back on this powerful coalition? That is, where is the coalition of Women’s organizations saying “Hey, wait a second. It’s a bad idea for Women who are incarcerated to be housed with Men.”


So, tell me, what is it, dear Liberal Woman, that you believe? If you believe that Trans Women are Female, then, by all means, keep doing what you are doing.

If you believe that sex-segregated spaces are unimportant, then, by all means, not only should you lobby to get Trans Women into all teh spaces, you should lobby for MEN to get into all the spaces.

(And for my Feminist sister who thinks we spend Too Much Time on this fringe issue of “Men in Dresses,” the ability of a Woman to define her own boundaries is kind of important, no matter what kind of Man is demanding to violate them.)

But if you decide, dear Reader, that Trans Women deserve all the Women’s spaces, we will fight you, because you are wrong.  You are wrong all day, no matter how many times you tell us we are bigots because we don’t want to be naked or vulnerable around Trans Women and their Ladysticks (or Men and their penises, for that matter. Oh… wait…).  We will fight you no matter how many times you tell us it’s a Right Wing Position to not want dick up in our faces (but not, apparently, a Right Wing Position to assert that some traits are womanly… how on earth do you live with this cognitive dissonance?).  We will fight you no matter how much you cry it is “racist” to oppose Men in Women’s Spaces, because we know Women of Color bear the brunt of much of your Liberal Fuckwittery, and we know that All Women are allowed to establish a boundary based on Sex.

Your shaming of our rational judgment does not make our judgment wrong. It simply means you have no other argument.

And when you support the eradication of our ability to meet AS WOMEN and to separate ourselves from Men, you diminish us. We notice this, Liberal Women. We see what you are doing and what, we expect, you will continue to do.

You don’t actually exist in a bubble, Liberal Woman.  You exist in a world where Men hurt Women on the daily, and the Women who bear the brunt of it are the Women of least means.

You often speak of “checking your privileges,” and how we – as “Cis Women” (or as I like to say, Women) have some advantage over Trans Women because we don’t have a penis (I LOL for days and then cry).

Nevertheless, despite the fact that WE KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, how’s about you check your fucking “privilege” and think again about how incarcerated women and women in homeless shelters feel about having to get rest or use the toilet or change clothes around Men (oh and by Men, I mean Trans Women). How do Women who have been raped feel about co-ed Rape support groups? Have you considered this as you’ve done your inventory of privilege?

Awww poor man feels unsafe dresses as a “lady” and peeing around men! Fuck those stupid women who feel unsafe peeing around the man in the dress, a dress is a cloak of niceness that ensures all trans women are gentle angel babies! Duh!

Priorities, man.

What are your priorities?

Who do YOU fight for?

What do YOU fight for?

Because it seems to me, if you celebrate the fact that a man who murdered his wife can get a transfer into a Women’s prison, your priorities are fucked up. But if this moment, this case, gives you the least bit of pause, the least bit of concern, I encourage you to stew on that and let it sink it.  Think about what you have been doing all this time. And ask yourself…

Is it right?

Is it necessary?

Does this help women?

We’ll be here for you when you figure it out.


  1. You claim to not want to discriminate against trans women in jobs and housing, but you do discriminate by calling us “me in dresses”. A wolf in sheeps clothing is still a wolf, and a bigot is still a bigot even if they claim not to be.

    1. I don’t give a fuck if calling a man in a dress “a man in a dress” makes me a bigot. You are not entitled to demand that others recognize your delusions.

      Here, Sarah, be oppressed because we can see you: http://pretendbian.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/because-trans-is-about-fuckability-amirite/

    2. Ann Tagonist · ·

      A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf. Right. Which is why men in women’s clothing are still men.

      1. Advantage: The Actual Woman.

        Bye, Sarah, thanks for commenting on a post specifically *not for you.*

  2. Robin Artemis · ·

    creepiest quote from link about “this guy” (http://genderidentitywatch.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/people-v-olsen-california-usa/ ) :

    “He expressed his anger through rape “[b]ecause it was a control issue” and because he “identified [himself] as a woman [he] took it out on women.”

    1. Ugh. Yeah. I wanted to be a woman so much I needed to rape and kill them.

      Liberal Feminism.

  3. As the “thanks for letting me in de group” man of the house when I posted the following it caused those among the wishful thinkers much consternation.


    But when I pointed out their hypocrisy of finding fault with Anderson Cooper .. well as they say “all hell has done broke loose now !”.


    So much so that Lady Dy wrote a post trying to give me a new butt hole which of course didn’t work.


    In her response and two others (I’m so popular) she keeps bringing up the 8th Amendment which I don’t think she has truly bothered to read and the battles in court other than the headline “cruel and unusual punishment”.

    For my posts on all things T the link below pulls up the posts.


    Hey I’m bisexual, I like Ladyboys at least the very good looking ones and they’re hot as hell in bed.

    But these posers who look like a guy in drag … please pass the barf bag.

    They can play “Makes me feel like a woman” all they want .. ain’t gonna happen and they’ll never be “I am Woman … hear me roar”.

    More like “when you wish upon a star”.

  4. PS:

    Cathy you should’ve added the video of the song “Take A Walk On The Wild Side”.

  5. Great article Bug. I cannot believe the judge in this case – talk about creating law on the go! I just do not understand this type of thinking. Sure as hell hope it DOES NOT migrate to our shores at the “arse-end” of the world.

    1. If the 8th Amendment protects “trans women” from cruel and unusual punishment, query whether it’s ” cruel and unusual” to house men in a women’s prison?

  6. Great post! I know women will figure it out. I shared this on tumblr.

    Relevant poetry I wrote the other day–http://thentheysaidburnher.tumblr.com/post/32136493379/woman-is-your-choice-but-not-mine

    1. This is wonderful:


      I am more than the sum of my parts
      But these parts make a whole
      So it bemuses me when you consume me
      When you claim my selfhood for your own
      You imitate my exterior
      Even when it marks me as inferior
      The make-up you don with pride
      Has always been my attempt to hide
      To fit in to blend in to shield myself from those who say
      I do not live up to my gender expectations
      But those rules, they restrict me. They bind me
      I cannot breathe for them but you—
      You embrace them and hold them against your chest
      You turn them into law and use them to hurt us
      With these rules you call yourself more woman than I
      But what is a woman to you—what is womanhood?
      A collection of things from the part of the store
      You never went to before
      And experiences collected while wearing someone else’s body,
      You invent a word for and designate it worse
      Than the things that have happened to women and girls
      It is not people with female bodies killing you
      Though it is people with male bodies killing us
      If you recognized the real enemy
      Maybe we could fight together
      But I am different from you and I need space away
      From someone who volunteered into the oppression
      That stifles and and assaults me every day
      That rapes and wounds me
      That weakens and defeats me
      Because gender is the patriarchy in practice and I did not choose it
      You did and I will never understand why
      I need, at times, a distance from people claiming that to become a woman
      Is beautiful and natural and feels so right
      When to be a woman for me is to be disbelieved and hated and given a worth
      Bought and sold
      Raped in girlhood, in marriages, for money, on camera, all our lives
      So now I beg though I’ve done so to deaf ears before
      Give me room to hate and rage against
      What you chose for yourself
      And hold up as god.

  7. This is brilliant, Cathy — and accessible in the way that only you seem able to make these things. I think you’re absolutely right that the crux of the issue really is the abandonment of critical thinking that passes for tolerance among feminists who can’t or won’t stay with whatever line of reasoning they claim to believe, instead falling back on what they “feel” when the flaws in their argument begin to be apparent. Janice Raymond nailed it years ago, but I doubt that even she would have thought things could have gotten as crazy as they have:

    “A dogmatism of tolerance has infected the women’s movement. As a dogma, tolerance asserts that there should be no value judgments made about anything. Using the rhetoric of not imposing values on others, women buy into a dangerous philosophy in which they strip themselves of the capacity for moral judgment. What they do not realize is that values will always assert themselves. When women do not take responsibility for generating and representing their agreed-upon values, they become pushovers for the tyranny of others’ values.”

    ~ Janice Raymond, A Passion for Friends: Toward a Philosophy of Female Affection, p 169

    1. That’s a really important Raymond quote. When we decided to abandon judgment, we rendered ourselves unable to articulate why gender identity as a concept harms women.

  8. Reality doesn’t need validation. Men don’t belong in women’s prisons, or any female-only spaces. I do not recognize transwomen as women. I recognize them as men who identify as women, and identify is not a reality-based word.

    1. That is a statement worth repeating:

      Reality doesn’t need validation.

  9. Since that time the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that simply permitting transgender employees to use gender-appropriate restrooms is not sexual harassment. (See Cruzan v. Special Sch. Dist. #1 [Minneapolis, MN], 294 F.3d 981 (8th Cir. 2002) ) Also, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has determined that a post-operative male-to-female transsexual was fully entitled to use a women’s restroom. More information about restroom and other transgender-related human-rights issues issues has been published in the Minnesota Department of Human Rights’ The Rights Stuff newsletter.

    1. Here is Cruzan: http://www.garlands-digest.com/cases/8th/2000s/02/080602cr.pdf. You will note that Cruzan’s claim failed because she didn’t demonstrate an impact on her title, salary, or benefits, not because the claim will *always* fail.

      We have yet to see a case that squarely addresses the issue of how trans infringes on sex-segregated space.

  10. Ok….I’m kinda confused on the surgery and the legal change of sex on paper. Legally, Michelle is still listed as male. The surgery itself won’t change that right? I thought you go through a separate process to legally change your sex. I know transwomen who have legally changed their sex without any kind of surgery. Since Michelle was already getting HRT and was able to name change all while being in a male prison, the surgery won’t be treated any differently? I was under the impression that Michelle’s surgery was only to stop her suicidal thoughts and nothing more.

    1. Robert will seek a transfer to a women’s prison, and he will be supported by gay orgs to accomplish that goal.

  11. Ugh, I am pleased that Barney Frank is not an ally to trans ppl. Trans ppl hurt women. http://dentedbluemercedes.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/michelle-kosilek-barney-frank-and-prisoner-sex-changes/

  12. Would you ban lesbians from women’s facilities on the possibility of their voyeurism? No, probably not, and it’s extremely statistically unlikely for lesbians to commit sexual assault in such a setting. But… it’s just as unlikely for trans women to do so. And remember that stuff about our libidos? Our difficulty achieving erection if we even have a penis?

    1. Lesbians are female. As females, lesbians are *incapable* of male predation, your lesbophobia notwithstanding.

      And ewww, take your porny comments to Pam’s House Blend or Bilerico.

  13. […] Davis, decided to introduce himself to me as “my worst nightmare.”  Jordan Davis is a violent man who blogs for Advocates for […]

  14. […] Force demoinstrated how much they hate Women by filing an amicus curiae brief on behalf of a man, Robert Kosilek, who murdered his wife and now seeks sex reassignment […]

  15. […] part of this study that bothers me, and that bothers many of us who have been keeping up with the Robert Kosilek case, is the complete lack of conversation, analysis, concern and care about how housing Men who […]

  16. […] This case should provide a window into the soul of policy makers, judges and others in positions to shape the dialogue, as it pits the rights of Women and Girls to have Women-Only space against the right of Men and Boys who think they are Women and Girls to have entrance into that space.  We have discussion that conflict elsewhere. […]

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