Anonymous asked:

Just do a quick Google search for Zak S. transphobia. You should find a Fail Forward article that has links to his public statements and a link to the RPG Net forum permaban with an explanation on why. Mostly it's just a discussion of how he intentionally and repeatedly stonewalls discussion of sexism and even tries to argue the definition of the word. Enjoy!

I have posted several links to fact-based refutations of that exact failforward post. the-real-seebs posted a great refutation of it. The definition of sexism should be argued and evaluated. A lot of people use discussions of sexism to further their own faulty conservative sex-negative misogynist views!

Anonymous asked:

sex is biological??????????????? go open a biology textbook?????????????????? its not a social construct ur thinking of gender????????????

transdykeprivilege answered:

i hope the superabundance of question marks is an indication that you’re aware on some level of how utterly wrong you are.

[trigger warning: discussion of genitalia and internal organs]

first of all, when you say “sex” i assume you’re talking about what is called “biological sex”, “sexual dimorphism”, or “sexual difference.”  specifically what you are trying to state or imply here is the material existence of two categories of bodies: male and female.  i’m gonna guess you’re starting with chromosomes since that’s been considered the ‘most fundamental’ basis of sex by transmisogynists since at least 1979.

a sex chromosome is a particular-appearing blob that shows up on a karyotype, or a test involving dyeing and microscopically viewing chromosomes.  chromosomes are little blobs of folded up goop that if you spooled it out long enough you would find to be a chain of DNA—which is to say a chain of base pairs (guanine and cytosine, adenine and thymine).  what you’re also gonna find in there are histones that the chromatin (the material of somewhat spooled DNA) is wrapped around.  In addition, you’re gonna find methylation, and all other sorts of little chemicals and particles in there because guess what?  DNA is not a linear coding system.  DNA codes in chunks—usually triplets that are usually read as certain amino acids, which then come together to form the building blocks of proteins.  but the thing about triplet coding is that it can be very complex.  so


can for example simultaneously code as






like just to give you an example.  now there are signals indicating how that coding should start, but those signals can move around, or be turned on or off.  that’s one of the things methylation is for—it can turn on or off the signals of where to start the coding chain.  methylation for any given part of a DNA strand can be triggered by all sorts of things.  one study found a linkage between rates of diabetes and levels of stress in the grandmothers of those with diabetes—i.e. the stress was linked to diabetes in the grandchildren.  that’s just to give you some idea of the level of complexity of coding.

and the complexities continue at every level.  the proteins that are formed by those DNA sequences may come together in different ways depending on the chemical composition of their environment.  the DNA itself—a three-dimensional object in the same environment—may physically interact with the proteins or with itself.  but also remember that we are talking about chemical goop subject to environmental conditions, which include all sorts of mutagens.  sometimes shit just goes weird (not gonna say ‘wrong’ because that presumes that mutations are ‘bad’ which is bullshit given the necessity of mutation for genetic adaptability—also it means applying anthropocentric notions of functionality, of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behavior, to goop) and AGG CTT ATT loses a letter and becomes AGC TTA tt (this is what’s called a frameshift mutation—you can also have other stuff like point mutations).  also, things can just go weird when the DNA is being replicated—it’s not a perfect reading process, it’s a bunch of chemical reactions floating in goop.  and it’s happening millions of times, so the likelihood that things will go wrong in various ways is high.

but even above the level of the DNA coding, on the level of the chromosomes, things are confusing.  because the chromosomes come together out of more loosely distributed goop when the cell is splitting, and things can go wrong in that process—get misplaced, get shuffled over to the other side, etc.  likewise, there’s a process called crossing-over that occurs at cell replication during metaphase (while the chromosomes are paired at the center of the cell prior to the nucleus dividing) where chromosomes just swap shit around for the heck of it.  and it’s pretty random where this happens too, which can mean that important codes just get cut in half, or new codes get created.

all of which is leading to say that it’s incredibly unlikely to expect any sort of meaningful fifty-fifty split between “XX chromosomes” and “XY chromosomes”.  which works with reality, because in reality we observe all kinds of variations, exactly as we would expect.  now, what happens when there’s variation?  for the most part, things just happen.  it’s all just cells.  they do their thing, make little organs, replicate so the organs get bigger and more specific, etc.  so maybe now you can begin to see why expecting them to neatly behave in two sets of patterns is completely inaccurate?  or why it is that in the real world we observe a wide range of human bodies rather than just XX Barbies and XY Kens?  but even looking beyond that, what’s actually going on with the so-called reproductive system?  well, some of these cells have the ability to generate gametes—sorta like half-cells—which can get together with other gametes to grow into another big blob of organs.  that’s what fertilization and pregnancy is.  that’s all that’s involved.  generally speaking, one type of gametes will appear in the bodies of people whose cells tend to have goop that shows up a certain way on a karyotype, while another type of gametes will appear in the bodies of people whose cells tend to have goop that shows up a different way in a karyotype, with a whole lot of variation and possibilities for things to be disrupted.  so why does that even matter to us?  why am I sitting here at 4am on christmas night with a box of cheezits and a glass of wine answering shitty anons about this? [note: i wrote this a couple days ago and am only now posting it]  because out of those general tendencies of bodies, people have constructed the notion of sex.

patriarchy, at its basis, is a system of economic exploitation that consists of one group of people being assigned to do work which is valued, and another group of people being assigned to do work which is not valued.  this was mapped onto two general groupings of people, those who tended to have one type of gamete and those who tended to have another, and the ones who pushed the idea that their own work was valuable were ‘males’, ‘men’, etc, while those who were forced to be the object of exploitation and violence were ‘females’, ‘women’, etc.  as part of the process of valuing male work, men constructed an explanation for the inequality that they claimed derived from the nature of physical reality.  specifically, the notion of ‘sexual difference’, or the tendencies of people to produce different sorts of gametes.  in order to better justify and value their exploitation of women, men constructed a whole notion of selfhood around this, an ideal which for them happened to be contained in the organ that most of them used to distribute the gametes.  and in order to justify the violence that they were doing, they argued that there were naturally only two categories of people, grouped based on labor done/positions during sex/gamete production/etc (all these things were conflated and differently emphasized over time, helping to mystify the falsity of the distinction).

the notion that certain types of organs map to certain types of behavior, certain economic patterns, etc, is a product of a social system of oppression.  it is NOT founded in any sort of ‘biological fact’ because first and foremost ‘biological fact’ does not exist.  an organ is not a signifier except in the context of a socially constructed ‘biology’ which is specifically constructed as a justification of patriarchy.  quite literally.  i’ve worked with biologists (yeah, anon, turns out i may have in fact opened a biology textbook a few times in my life) and one thing i can say definitively is that like most scientists they don’t tend to think deeply about how the sorts of questions they ask and the ways they interpret data are structured by the world.  at best they’ve taken a required bioethics class or two while an undergrad.  so when they’re going to interpret mathematical data, they’re doing it in a way that already presumes the real question as answered.  they find sexual dimorphism not because it’s in the results of their data but because it was assumed by the way they asked their questions—if you ask ‘which sex is better at math?’ you’re never going to find evidence that ‘sex’ is a meaningless construct.  this is what a lot of ‘scientific truth’ is, in fact—the things that were already accepted when people went to ask more complicated questions, and which were only torn down, if ever, when all the answers to all the complicated questions continually revealed something which undermined the previous model (which, by the way, is happening right now with the notion of sex—that’s right, even patriarchal scientists are coming to an awareness of how utterly bullshit it is, albeit by the most roundabout way possible and still doing as much harm as they can on the way).

But what we can see from all this is that gender precedes sex.  gender is a way of organizing the social sphere, and biological data is organized off of that.  gender, in other words, is the fundamental category of sex under patriarchy.  now, one might say that we live in a social world, that our subjectivities are socially constructed, and thus for us an organ is a signifier.  this is of course true, but one has to recognize the socially constructed nature in order to realize first and foremost that we are not looking at a rigid system here.  it is not simply a matter of saying that under biological reality a certain chromosome or a certain organ leads to a certain place within patriarchy, and likewise it is not simply a matter of saying that under social construction a certain chromosome or a certain organ leads to a certain place within patriarchy.  if one is aware of the complexity involved in socially constituting what is basically a blob of goo (cells) that does or does not more goo (babies, people, etc) as belonging to a somehow binary and rigid category, one can more easily see how that social construction may at times slip, and result in a person who, for example, has one sort of organ, and yet has had their identity socially constructed within the category for a person with a “different” (within patriarchal notions of ‘sexual difference’) type of organ.  in fact, one can only fail to recognize this if one begins from the disingenuous place of assuming a priori that the person in question is being deceptive or being deceived, rather than reporting reality as closely as it can be reported in this language.  and the use of inversions of this language to report closer realities is an effort to redirect and gain control of biopower as it has enacted itself on us.  it is no more or less legitimate than the language of patriarchy, except if one finds legitimacy either in supporting patriarchy (arguing for sex as ‘real’) or disrupting patriarchy.

what, then, is sex?  it’s the way people talk about blobs of goop, and specifically the way that blobs of goop have been categorized into two types, in broad defiance of reality, for the express purpose of perpetuating the patriarchy.

so yes, sex is biological, in the sense that the terms of sex are coded into the discourse of ‘biology’, which is itself socially constructed by patriarchy.

sex is a social construct.  this is my final fucking word on this shit.

do NOT bring this ignorant shit into my inbox again.



The world is being run by people my age, men my age, with falling-out hair and health worries, and it frightens me. When the leaders were older than me I could believe in their wisdom, I could believe they had transcended rage and malice and the need to be loved. Now I know better. I look at the faces in newspapers, in magazines, and wonder: what greeds, what furies drive them on?
Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye (via fewthistle)

On D&D 5th Ed. Consultancygate and Zak Smith

If you don’t know anything about the drama surrounding the consultants credited in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, well, you’re probably better off keeping it that way and skipping this post.

Several people are calling for a boycott of 5th edition because of two of the consultants credited, RPGPundit and Zak Smith. People are making all sorts of claims about those two, including misogyny, transphobia, stalking, harassment, and making death threats. I don’t know enough to comment on RPGPundit, but about Zak Smiththese accusations are lies.

If they were not lies, I want to know. Hell, Zak would want to know, and would consider real proof and change and learn if it was presented to him.

I don’t care if you boycott D&D 5e or not, but I do care if you make serious accusations without a shred of proof. I do care if you lie, especially about a guy who has done more than most people I know to make the hobby more accessible to women, queer people, and trans people.

I asked one of the accusers for proof, and he was unable to provide any, or even anything remotely resembling proof. I made the point that If you can’t prove damaging, legally actionable claims, you don’t make them. It’s how we adults behave.

But don’t take it from me, take it from trans artist and RPG Writer Scrap Princess:

Just for the record Zak Smith is a friend of mine and I am trans.
 I have not found him to be transphobic or anything he has done to be transphobic.

People are calling him transphobic or passing on that other people are saying he is transphobic without checking that out.
 Which is shit because
a) It’s a fucking lie
b) Transphobia is something that is bad and important and as a transperson I fucking hate you if you are using it to shore up some shitty argument you are having. Show me why you are saying this so I can know and make effective decisions or all you are proving is transphobia means fuck all to you.

take it from poet and RPG writer Patrick Stuart:

Take it from Mandy Morbid, Zak’s disabled queer girlfriend:
Seebs makes some good points in rebuttal to failforward here:

all of the allegations appear to have to do with a couple of people telling lies about him once, and everyone else repeating those lies as “something that happened to a friend”, and the net result is dozens of people saying that he’s done particular things, and… actually he hasn’t. At all. (Note: I am not merely relying on character judgment; some of the things he’s accused of doing are biologically impossible for him.)

Don’t know a thing about Pundit, but the Zak thing sounds really witch-hunty from here. 

So while I am in general inclined to take assertions that someone on the periphery of the games industry is horrible, this particular presentation is just full of red flags that make it less credible to me.

James Raggi, while obviously biased, makes some good points - the tl;dr is to always use critical thinking and don’t automatically believe everything you read. Ask for proof of serious allegations.

If you read an article criticizing (or downright blasting) Zak, see if they did actual research. See if they show their work. See if they speak of actual incidents and actions or if they just refer to vague, unspecific claims of behavior. See if they allow you to look at the sources for what they are talking about to allow you to make up your own mind. See how they respond to you if you ask questions about their version of events, or ask for any evidence of claims.

Then ask Zak about the issue. See if Zak can back up his argument with sources, see if Zak can point to quotes and context and full links (or at least transcripts) to allow you to make up your own mind. See how Zak reacts to questions concerning his view of events. (Warning: Ask in good faith, and be prepared to answer questions in return - Zak will want to figure out if you’re a Dumbass or a reasonable human being if you engage him in conversation.)

Then decide if claims are being made because wrong has been done, or if claims are being made because Dumbasses have had their feelings hurt and think they can get some cheap and easy revenge. Or if the truth lies somewhere in between, or if it’s something else altogether.

The main thing is, don’t believe me (Zak makes me money, I’m biased!), don’t believe anyone. Do the research and then make up your own damn mind. Not just about Zak, but about everything, and everyone.

All emphasis above is mine.

Zak asks for proof, and damn it people can never provide it to him, twisting themselves into illogical knots to avoid admitting that they have none. See this twitter exchange, screencapped on Mandy’s Tumblr.

Awesome DM and artist Kiel Chenier:

I’ve gotten some hate for asking for evidence when someone I know has been accused of making death threats. I’ve been accused of being a misogynist, and someone has posted my home address, followed by "someone pays you a visit, fucker".

…that’s kind of fucked up. 

In case you missed that: he asked for proof that Zak made death threats, and instead of providing proof, someone instead threatened Kiel for asking.

Some facts about Zak Smith:

-he is a vocal feminist

-his main D&D group is mostly women, sometimes all women. Several of them are persons of color, and several of them are queer.

-things he frequently does with trans people: discuss game design and art, champion their art, and encourage them to make more game stuff.

If you want to read one of his takes on all this, the latest one is on his blog.

Everything quoted (or underlined or in pink depending on your view) in this post is a link.