The final republished post. I am seriously embarrassed by this one. I was self-aggrandising, over-confident, and unnecessarily provocative. I think I was looking for a fight - and very nearly got one. I hope the lessons to be learned are obvious. It's the classic post not to write, surely. And the comments I added were themselves crass, and merely the fanned the flames.
The very title was a provocation. It was GenderTrender gives me some attention! Cult status beckons! It came out on 3 January 2013. I shouldn't have written it. I squirm to read it now. Never, never again.
Well! I'm amazed. The GenderTrender blog has featured my recent post on drinking in its own New Year's Eve post titled In case you will be drinking tonight (the blog is at http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/). Do have a look at it, and the kind of posts they publish, and indeed click on some and study the kind of comments made in support of these posts. It's another point of view, after all. I was inspired to add a comment of my own, thus:
Dear ladies and gentlemen, I'm glad to see that you appreciated my post on drinking! I am a bit puzzled, though, because the post was aimed at trans women who might need a little lighthearted guidance...and I don't think that any of you are trans women. That's so odd.
Never mind. It's good to be noticed, and in a strange way it's very, very complimentary. Anyway, I'm bringing this post and your comments to my readers' attention on my own blog. This will do you a favour, because I think GenderTrender isn't much known about in the UK, and obviously you'd appreciate some publicity. Quite possibly a lot of curious new readers will be coming your way - although I can't guarantee that they'll enjoy your sense of humour. Be warned. Regard these readers as 'the judge over your shoulder'.
By the way, the yellow-scarf photo is from 2007 and is one of a series that shows my personal development over the last six years. I'd draw your attention to the one taken two days ago, in which I'm having a great time (did you?) and I recommend that you read the post in full ('Six years of personal development - the gallery', dated 2 January 2013). In fact I hope I can tempt you to delve into my past posts, and find out what I'm really like as a human being. That would be nice, if you're up to it, but if not, then I promise not to worry.
Remember, each click on my blog increases my pageview total. See if you can raise it beyond 20,000 a month. I want to get it up to 50,000 a month by the end of the year, and you GenderTrenders could all do your bit.
Happy New Year.
Not only did the post on drinking get examined, one of the lady commentators looked at yesterday's personal development gallery and used it to illustrate a point she wished to make. I'm immensely flattered. As they say (well, someone does) 'there is no such thing as bad publicity'. It's so true. The big thing is to have one's name bandied about, so that you get terribly well known. If you can actually become a cult figure, whatever the reputation, that's even better. So whether it's fame or notoriety, I might as well go for broke! Why, there could be a New Year's Honour in it for me, for Services to Internet Blogging. In the 2014 List as Dame Lucy Melford. Aaaaah, yes!
However, at the time of writing this, my GenderTrender comment is 'awaiting moderation'. And, you know, I fear that it will be misinterpreted as scurrulous and irrelevant. That pageview remark at the end does introduce a dirty commercial flavour (some would say 'taint') that GenderTrender may consider inappropriate. Their standards are pretty high! So alas, my comment may not actually get published. Not to worry, you have it above.
My concern that GenderTrender would fail to publish my comment was groundless. It did get published - for now. Whether it stays up is quite another thing. But quite possibly I'm misjudging the fairmindedness of the blog owner. It will be interesting to see, because actually I'd like to build some bridges, and get some minds meeting.
Posted by Lucy Melford at 21:07
There were eight comments (well seven really):
1. Caroline 3 January 2013 22:29
Only 14 dames per year compared to 70 Knights! They should stop creating knighthoods while the dames catch up!!
2. Innis Anity 4 January 2013 03:14
I am amazed at just how narcissistic some men can be. Can you not grasp the concept that you are epitomizing precisely what it is about "trans-women", that normal women find so offensive. You are so wrapped up in your own infamy that you seem impervious to the damage done to others of your kind. Shame on you,you self centered slug!
3. hypatia's child 4 January 2013 05:29
This comment has been removed by the author.
4. hypatia's child 4 January 2013 06:19
Lucy, you seem to be well-meaning but have you read much of what is posted on that site? They are not a radical feminism discussion board, they are a hate site, full stop. I am afraid that trying to build bridges there is doomed to failure. More importantly, why would you want to build bridges with the likes of them? There are indeed many supporters of separate spaces for non-trans women with whom it is possible to have a civil conversation. Google "Camp Harmony" for a shining example. Gender Trender is different, the blog exists only to defame and denigrate trans people and especially trans women. The frequent posters there are the hardest of the hard core.
They have also been known to boast about exposing and harrassing trans women in their 3D lives. This may well be empty puffery. However I would tread VERY carefully there, if at all.
5. Lucy Melford 4 January 2013 11:07
Oh yes, I'm quite aware of the stance that GenderTrender takes, and how little chance there may be to affect their views. But it's in my nature to know what other people are thinking, keep an eye on them, and try to see what can be done to force contact. In that regard, I wouldn't consider my comment to them, quoted in my post, to be positive dialogue, but they deserved a gentle reprimand. I think I made my point.
In any case, the chief function of my blog (and my Flickr site) is to keep myself exposed, and to show the public (including, but not especially, hate sites) that transsexual people - or at least one of them - are not sad deluded mutants but lively people with family and friends, normal interests, and down-to-earth ambitions. I think they need to wake up to that.
One of GenderTrender's UK supporters seems to be a Sussex man, and if I get the opportunity I will suggest a meetup with him in Brighton, so that he can encounter a genuine transsexual person face to face. Some good might come of that, you never know.
I rather think that few (or perhaps none) of these people personally know any transsexual men or women. It would assist their credibility to keep it that way, so that the dehumanising effect of distance isn't melted by any kind of real-life contact. It's obviously much easier to hurl insults and sneers, and pleas to shut up, at someone you don't personally know. I really can't see any of these people being rude to me over a friendly cup of coffee in the very public Lanes of Brighton. But if this man (or whoever has the balls to to meet me) insists on being brutal, I will be fine.
I'm very well-placed to face hostility. In my 35-year career as a Tax Inspector conducting and managing investigations I became inured to sitations in which people were cross, nasty and devious. There was tax law that could be used against them, and I used it, but mostly it was down to personal qualities, persistence, investigation skills, and knowing when to stop and settle. In many ways the kind of folk who post on hate sites resemble my former adversaries in language, tone and invisibility.
So I think it's worth reaching out, but if they can't or won't respond, then of course I'll just let them be.
6. Lucy Melford 4 January 2013 18:04
Mind you, when you get commentators like Innis Anity above, you do wonder if it's worth trying. I've no idea who this is. If you click on the name, the profile is bare - no photo, no posts, no personal information of any kind. It's impossible to evaluate comments like this for sincerity and proper background knowledge of the issues that surround transness. I sense the ill-will, but the message, such as it is, has been sabotaged by the intemporate language used.
I nearly deleted it, then thought it better to leave it up as an example of what gets said from the shadows, as opposed to what this person would actually say if she (?) were speaking directly to me, and others were listening.
7. Innis Anity 4 January 2013 23:19
Very well Lucy, I will try to be less intemperate. My point is simple. You are an over the top transvestite, a man who enjoys masquerading as a woman. Another term would be autogynephiliac, a man in love or engrossed with his image of himself as a woman.
You are not transsexual by any body's definition but your own. The very fact that your motivation is to be known as a trans-woman or, "that man who became a "woman", or more accurately thinks he did", is evidence enough that you are very much other than a woman.
The fact that I am not like you, seeking notoriety all over the Internet and my own community should be just one more indication that women find nothing in common with odd men like you and that we hold you in lowest most contemptuous esteem possible.
And yes. I would say that to your face in public. Does that make me a hater? Perhaps in your eyes it does, but the truth is that it is not hate that I feel for you, but shame, embarrassment and disgust.
8. Lucy Melford 5 January 2013 01:46
I'm sorry you feel so strongly against me. And I can't reach out to you, because I don't know who you are. I know for certain that you don't speak for all natal women, because the natal women I speak to in my day to day life don't recoil with shame, embarrassment or disgust.
Let's call a truce, and leave it there. If it matters to you, I am sincere about seeking common understanding, and I don't hate you for hating me.
Post-mortem in 2014
This post marked the end of any attempt on my part to taunt sites like GenderTrender. I saw that it was not the way. My first impulse to explore what the radfems were all about was not wrong, but I went about it clumsily and naïvely, and merely antogonised. I don't think I helped anyone with what I said. The comments of Innis Anity were annoying, but she was surely right about my 'seeking notoriety', or if not that, then something akin to it. No credit to me.
Well, a period of treading carefully followed, no bad thing. Once I had slipped from GenderTrender's immediate concerns, I could tackle trans issues again, but never again like this.
That's the end of the resurrection. All of my posts, every one, are now available on the blog. I might take a break from blogging tomorrow - but in any case the next topic will be very different.