Meghan Murphy, owner of the wonderful blog Feminist Current, is being targeted by dudes and fauxfems over a post she did on Laverne Cox’s nude photo shoot. Murphy’s been subject to endless harassment and threats for stating the obvious radical feminist analysis of Cox’s photo. This analysis has been around for years and hasn’t changed.
And men don’t like it.
Playboy just ran an article by Noah Berlatsky calling Murphy a terrible feminist and implying she’s a cold evil meanie racist for her standard and appropriate analysis regarding sexual objectification and radical acceptance.
I normally wouldn’t respond to such tripe from a porn mag but in my view it’s kinda cathartic to laugh at men who show up decades late to the party and start expounding on feminism.
Get your collective yawns ready.
Dudebro immediately conflates black women with trans implying Murphy is a racist for understanding that males aren’t females and Cox is NOT female. I know, I know. This allegation has been leveled at me too for agreeing with Murphy.
More than that, trans women and black women, too, are often told that they’re not real women.
This is how dishonestly this
‘critique’ mansplaining begins.
Feminist Meghan Murphy reacted to the photo just as Cox suggests that people often react to black and trans women — with disgust, prejudice and horror. In a short but impressively cruel post, Murphy sneers at Cox for attempting to achieve a “‘perfect’ body as defined by a patriarchal/porn culture, through plastic surgery, and then presenting it as a sexualized object for public consumption.”
Once again we see conflation and a lot of dishonest adjectives. Meghan used pronouns like ‘she’ but I won’t. Cox isn’t a black female and will never experience being female. That’s reserved for the biological sex class: female.
Cox will never have to worry about birth control, abortion, and all those other biological issues black females, all females face that define our sex and have a direct link to our oppression.
Does Berlatsky think black females who are sex trafficked into porn and prostitution are there because they’re empowered? Do black women have agency while they’re making the least on the male dollar? Yeah, probably.
I wonder how much Playboy pays its African models compared to its white models? Or how about the fact that white women are warned not to do scenes with black men? Porn is racist. Radical feminism isn’t.
Didn’t see that one coming did you dude?
Murphy suggests that trans women are “spending thousands and thousands of dollars sculpting their bodies in order to look like some cartoonish version of ‘woman,’ as defined by the porn industry and pop culture.”
They are and your racist, sexist, misogynist, patriarchal magazine is a big part of the problem.
I know you might not have thought about this but the women you put in your magazine are hardly real and as a result we have FEMALES dieting to death, having surgery on their perfectly healthy labias, and spending fortunes on plastic surgery.
Is that acceptance?
Cox isn’t a role model for females. He has spent thousands of dollars to appropriate a gendered stereotype of femininity complete with the semi nude celeb photo. Selling more of the same objectified images might be Playboy’s idea of liberation but it ain’t radical and it’s a hard reality for girls who buy into this perfection on the page.
If you think the myriad of eating disorders of females is acceptance then you’re an idiot.
Cox, for Murphy, is a cartoon: a plastic-surgery-constructed thing, unreal and, in its parody of beauty, ugly. The loathing and contempt are palpable. With black feminist activist Sojourner Truth, Cox, in her nakedness, asks, “Ain’t I a woman?” And Murphy with cold glee, replies, “No.”
Playboy has the nerve to talk about beauty when it sexually objectifies women by selling fake images for males to consume? That’s rich. Remember the terms ‘loathing and contempt. They’ll come in handy later.
And no, Cox ain’t a woman.
That coldness isn’t new. Ideally, you’d hope, feminism would be about fighting for the rights of all women and trying to free all people from oppressive gender stereotypes.
You’re confused dude. You talk about freeing people from ‘oppressive gender stereotypes’ while simultaneously you’re praising Cox for several painful surgeries and hormones to achieve a gender stereotype?
White women have historically been perpetrators of violence against black women’s bodies, and the same entitlement and identity-centeredness in feminism has enabled them to proclaim themselves as the arbiters of womanhood.”
The above statement in his shitty article seems to be plopped in there in true neoliberal fashion to get people thinking ‘racism.’
The person who made that statement also said this on Twitter:
White people invented and enforce the gender binary and created reparative therapy (and conversion camps), but black homophobia.
— Zoe Samudzi (@ztsamudzi) April 25, 2015
The gender binary is currently being enforced by trans’activists’ not by radical feminists. It’s not radical feminists taking 5 year old boys who like dolls, labeling them trans’women’, carting them into gender clinics, implanting puberty blockers in their arms 6 months at a time, preparing them to surgically alter their bodies before their bodies are even mature, and then lying to them by calling them women.
This same person went on to harass Murphy on Twitter by pairing up and re-tweeting ‘Sophia’ Banks who is laughingly and falsely accusing Murphy of wanting to sue Playboy. Funny thing is ‘Sophia’ was doing the same damn thing while falsely accusing Cathy Brennan of destroying him. In fact, there’s good evidence that ‘Sophia’ made a clone account of Cathy Brennan and used it to garner attention and sympathy on Twitter.
‘Sophia’ also goes after lesbians on Twitter and tweeted that he wants to take down a women’s rape relief shelter.
Recently, ‘Sophia’ was banned from Twitter for harassment.
She wants to sue?! *screams* https://t.co/cWXJfK0WTo
— Zoe Samudzi (@ztsamudzi) April 24, 2015
The same “porn culture” which Meghan Murphy derides has proven itself to be more inclusionary then her faux feminist nonsense. I love it.
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) April 24, 2015
Porn culture isn’t inclusive, it’s racist and sexist. Next you’ll be standing up for the torture of animals, labeling it inclusive because it’s just a ‘choice’ to abuse animals. Neoliberal rhetoric is ridiculous.
I’m sure there are plenty of black women and black lesbians in the world who don’t quite like their womanhood being appropriated, mocked and sold as a sexually objectified body. This has real consequences for females.
Just as black women have been defined as outside femininity, so have trans women.
What is femininity Mr. Playboy writer? Can you enlighten us radical feminists about what exactly that is?
The Michigan Womyn’s Festival has spent four decades refusing to admit trans women; the organizers appear to have decided to close it down after this year rather than move towards trans inclusion.
That’s a lie dude. Michfest wasn’t closed b/c of twanz.
Trans feminist and author Julia Serano explained that trans-exclusionary radical feminists “subscribe to a single-issue view of sexism, where men are the oppressors and women are the oppressed, end of story … This framing also leads them to depict trans women as entitled men who are ‘infiltrating’ women’s spaces and ‘parodying’ women’s oppression, or as ‘gender-confused’ or androgynous people who transition to female in some hapless attempt to ‘assimilate’ into the gender binary.”
Reducing the analysis so you don’t actually have to think about it is another mansplainy neoliberal tactic.
Trans-women, whose refusal to conform to gender norms subjects them to hatred, contempt, vilification and, not infrequently, murderous violence, are seen as somehow creating or supporting gender norms. In the name of gender radicalism Murphy vilifies a woman because her gender expression is not the same as Murphy’s.
How can you be so dull? Trans is all about conforming and appropriating femininity and masculinity. Those two gender boxes are patriarchally constructed where femininity is seen as the weak submissive and masculine the strong dominant.
Females have no choice as to which box they’ll be forced into. We are put in the subservient ‘woman’s role’ based on our sex from the moment of birth. This is why radical feminists want to eradicate gender, eradicate femininity and masculinity. It’s oppressive for everyone, but particularly so for the female population.
Part of what defines Cox’s experience of gender is, as she says, that black women and trans women are not seen as beautiful. They can be, and often are, hyper-sexualized — and in seeing Cox as overly sexual, and only sexual, Murphy participates in that stereotype. But while they can be sexual things, trans women and black women are not allowed to be glamorous or lovable.
Isn’t it just like a man to employ the restrictive feminine gender adjectives ‘beautiful, glamourous, and lovable?’
P. Marie, though says that for her, “When it comes to sexualized images of us, for me it’s all about agency! Did we consent? Are we respected? Is this our choice? Is this a collection of body parts or erased humanity?”
Ugh. There’s those silly neoliberal buzzword again. Agency and choice are meaningless when you live in a sex and gender based class system under patriarchy silly man. Soon you’ll be telling me an impoverished aboriginal girl got into prostitution because she ‘chose’ to express her ‘agency.’
Murphy sees no humanity in Cox’s picture; only a trans, black woman who, by the very fact of being trans, can have no agency.
What the fuck does that even mean?
But if you look at the picture, what’s most striking about the image is its distinctness and individuality. Murphy claims that the image is too perfect; in fact, though, the picture is remarkable, as a fashion photo, for it’s willingness to let its subject own and celebrate, her “imperfections.”
There is ZERO analysis in radical feminism that strips people of their humanity but there’s plenty of it in your crappy piece and the crappy mag you write for.
Playboy, when not sexually objectifying women, loves women’s humanity so much they created a ‘Hate Fuck Rating List’ of GOP women complete with misogynist commentary. Playboy tried erasing this piece but not before lots of people saw it and captured it.
I can think of nothing more ‘loathing and contemptible’ than to celebrate ‘hate fucking’ (raping) women aka biological females. Playboy understands biological sex so well I’m willing to bet they’ll put a MtT complete with ‘lady penis’ in their centrefolds for 6 months straight. Let me know how that works out.
Cox is not fashion-model-thin. She’s not fashion-model-petite or willowy, either. She has very large hands, which are not hidden, boldly displayed. In the photo, Cox lies on a blanket; her body taut rather than relaxed, her head in one big, strong hand, eyes closed, a slight smile on her face — like she’s a little embarrassed and amused at being embarrassed. She’s voluptuous and awkward and sweet all at once. In her simultaneous enjoyment of and discomfort before the camera, she seems, in the frankly staged pose, startlingly natural — and beautiful.
The counterpoint here is startling. The fragile flowering white woman vs. the savage black ‘woman’ that pornography is so infatuated with. Ding! Ding! Ding! I found the racism!
He even had to make special mention of how uncomfortable Cox looks and without being conscious of it admits that the image is awkward and staged. This pained look is what men get off on because they can do anything without having to consider the persons humanity. When you break women down into parts for male consumption that’s sexual objectification. You just made Murphy’s point for her you silly wanker.
It doesn’t matter that Cox is male in the sense of what the image represents as long as it appears stereotypically ‘feminine.’ Cox is a fake copy of the sexually objectified sex class known as female. To achieve the copy, to fit into the binary, took painful surgeries and hormones, not acceptance. Whether an actual female or a visual copy the images are interchangeable and that’s Murphy’s whole point. These images strip away any sense of humanity into categories for male consumption. The ‘redhead’, ‘voluptuous’, ‘teen’, ‘big tits’ and so on.
Not only did Berlatsky himself exude the racism, coldness, cruelty, inhumanity and misogyny he was accusing Murphy of, through his own words he found out the hard way just how right Murphy was and how stupid he is.
Here’s another article responding to Berlatsky’s juvenile mantrum: