Welcome To NewBlog!

Hi everyone!

This is my new blog, NewBlog!

This will be my home for my bloggings and writings for the next little while!

As you may have noticed, this is just a simple little WordPress freebie set-up. That’s just a temporary thing, as I thought it pretty important to just go ahead and get started doing my writing again. But I’ll be moving over to my own domain, and something I can do a little more customizing with (not too happy with the fonts up there, or the GIGANTIC picture of me above the bio!), as soon as I’m able.

I’ve got a bunch of essay all nearly ready for posting, so it should be a pretty consistent rate of updates for these early days.

I also have a new tip jar set-up. There’s a link for it up there at the top of the page, as a little tab (hopefully, anyway! If you can’t see the link, you can just append “/tip-jar” to the end of the url and that’ll pull it up… but if it’s not working I’ll fix it)  The new tip jar is primarily concerned with trying to raise the $3000 I’ll be needing for my surgery in Spring-ish (and I need to try to cmoe up with it fairly soon!), but for the next couple weeks will also go towards some of my immediate worries and concerns with medicine and housing and stuff (this December is particularly rough, and I’m in particular need). 

Unposted Essays and Transcripts Of Talks being sent in return for donations is something I’m discontinuing until everyone who donated over the past nine months receives theirs. But once that’s all handled and everything is all caught up, I’ll try to come up with some new ideas for little thank you gifts and such.

In the mean time, though: Thank you!

If you’d like to write to me, my “public” e-mail address is sincerelynataliereed@gmail.com. You can write me with questions, thanks, letters of hello, hate mail, whatever. I do my best to reply to everyone, BUT I’m not very consistent and often get panicky and weird about correspondence stuff. So sadly I can’t PROMISE I’ll reply promptly, but I can promise that I read everything and deeply appreciate every word of kindness and support sent my way.

I also have a twitter, @nataliereed84, which I post at regularly. Warning: I often post lots of tweets in succession, as sort of little mini-essays. They can clutter up feeds a bit. If you find my twitter account annoying, you can unfollow, I won’t take it personally. But if you find it interesting… neat! 🙂

If you’d like to see my previous blogging work, you can check out:

http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed

or head on over to

http://www.skepchick.org

And do a search for “Natalie Reed” while there.

Lots of love and appreciation to you all! It’s nice to be back. 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

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Interrogating Intersectionality; and Julia Serano’s ‘Excluded’

Note A: Throughout this essay I refer to the dominant, feminist mainstream as “White Feminism”. I acknowledge that white-supremacism is not the ONLY problem with this form of feminism, but  due to careful thought and personal experience, I nonetheless consider White Feminism the best and most appropriate descriptor. I will perhaps explain this in detail at some point in the future, but for now, I might just note how many white trans women buy into and support this iteration of feminism as a reason why I don’t bother saying “White Cis Feminism”.

Note B: Throughout this post I will often put things in quote marks. These are often simply concise descriptions of a given concept or model. They are not actual, attributable quotes unless specifically indicated as such. 

So… earlier this week I went to see Julia Serano read at Elliott Bay Books. It was part of a series of promotional appearances for her new book, Excluded. I had a lovely time. There were lots of interesting ideas to think about, I got to meet and chat with lots of great people, and while there are many things with which I disagree in Serano’s work, and I find her position as rather non-critically exalted “community leader” for trans-feminism (existing on a wobbly sort of line between the pursuit of academic / print legitimacy and radical independence) to be dodgy and counter to the discursive, heterogenous approach I feel trans-feminism needs to embrace to be effective, she is for the most part someone with genuine intentions, someone presenting worthwhile concepts (at least to consider), and probably the most progressive and least dubious of the trans-community ‘leaders’ existing on her level. And she’s a pretty warm and friendly person to meet.

However, there were some key questions I found myself asking about the concepts and ideas of Excluded, as well as its ideas for how we might build more inclusive movements. These questions touched on some issues I’ve been thinking quite a bit about recently, particularly in regards to the role that “intersectional feminism” has come to play, as an ideal, label and ambition, within the White Feminist mainstream, and the infinite potential for harm in any effort to look at “the real problems”; especially where such suggestions involve someone in a position of relative normativity, privilege and power suggesting that we de-prioritize the specificity of marginalized, and intersectionally marginalized, experiences (or experiences of oppression that one wouldn’t imagine as the “normal” or “generic” iteration).

Excluded presents itself as being a work in service of building a more generally inclusive feminism, but speaks specifically from the standpoint and experience of a white, able-bodied, bisexual trans woman, and claims that experiences of marginalization and exclusion beyond her own lived experience not only can be understood via her own history and background, but that these experiences are better if divorced from their specificity, and treated in a “holistic” sense. She presents, for instance, the idea that rather than organizing around shared demographic identity that we instead organize around particular forms of oppression or invalidation, or particular political issues- “being treated as fake or unnatural”, “the right to medical autonomy”, “being de-sexualized or sexually fetishized”, etc.

But is it possible to pursue issues within those terms without obfuscating the limitations of our own positionality, much as Serano downplays the limitations of her capacity to understand issues like disability, or race? She appears to be assuming her experiences of marginalization as trans and bisexual are already sufficient to meaningfully understand all variations of the general range of invalidations she experiences (and at points she seems to suggest it provides sufficient understanding to speak of all variations of invalidation itself, that each invalidated demographic experiences all “general” forms of invalidation). Continue reading