In the middle of the road

I can't get from the cab to the curb without some little jerk getting on my back, cries Chrissie Hynde in Middle of the Road. "I'm tired! I'm 33!" Chrissie, Chrissie! 33 was just a baby!....At this point in menopausal middle age I am not just tired, I am comatose. Add to that a crack party in the room next door last night (what are they building in there?!), and everything else in one giant globule of shit dropping from a great height onto my life, I am not feeling great. I am not feeling good at all.

I need hormone replacement just to bring me to some kind of feeling alive, can't get it. Meanwhile any dude with a liking for pink can be flooded with cross sex hormones at will. Since when did we regress into 1950s gender stereotypes? Liking pink doesn't make you a girl, liking trains and tools and baseball don't make you a dude. I have a deep appreciation for a good camping knife, I never wear dresses or paint my nails. Doesn't make me a boy. Doesn't mean I want to be a boy. Why can't we have feminine boys and masculine girls? Bowie in a dress didn't want to be a chick, he wanted to shock, he wanted to be pretty. He succeeded. He was gorgeous. All of it smacks of homophobia, of crushing any individual that doesn't comply with these regressive gender stereotypes. Sex is immutable, it cannot be changed. It is what it is. What you do within that is something else, something free, something that is what you want to make it, no shame, no insults. 

There is no way but through it, over the mountain. The kids are alright, they will work it out, there will be tears and upsets, and grand regrets, and eventually everything will settle down. It is a trend, a fad, this transgender shit. Meanwhile women's spaces have been dismantled, no shelters, no bathrooms, no lesbian bars, no sports, nothing is for women who were born XX female, grew up as girls, and know the brutal reality of life as a woman with no possibility of opting out.

I admire the late great Dworkin. She knew where it was at. These handmaidens that serve the patriarchy would have been grist to her mill of righteous anger. In her 1983 book, Right-Wing Women: The Politics of Domesticated Females, she looked at why right wing women collaborated with conservative men in their own subjugation and the destruction of women's rights. 

Only women die one by one, smiling up to the last minute, smile of the siren, smile of the coy girl,
smile of the madwoman. Only women die one by one, polished
to perfection or unkempt behind locked doors too desperately
ashamed to cry out. Only women die one by one, still believing
that if only they had been perfect—perfect wife, mother, or
whore— they would not have come to hate life so much, to find it
so strangely difficult and empty, themselves so hopelessly confused
and despairing. Women die, mourning not the loss of their own
lives, but their own inexcusable inability to achieve perfection as
men define it for them. Women desperately try to embody a maledefined feminine ideal because survival depends on it. ( Right Wing Women: The politics of Domesticated Females, Dworkin, page 19, paragraph 1)

There you have it, women co operate in exchange for survival. If we are good girls, maybe you won’t kill us, maybe we get to keep out jobs if we shut our mouths and open our legs. What next? I predict that men will want our wombs transplanted into their abdomens so they can carry a child within them, reducing us to womb farms. Maybe we get pats on the head and accolades if we sacrifice our children to the Trans-Kult, maybe we will be judged by the rest of the society to be acceptable, and not worthy of destruction. Male approval which is the approval of the world order as it stands in the Patriarchy, where someone actually writes that Prince Phillip, he of the comment that whore and wife are the same thing really, all just cunts to Phillip, writes that Phillip was a great feminist! Bah! MEN CAN’T BE FEMINIST, LIKE MEN CAN’T BE WOMEN. It cuts deep doesn’t it, to be refused entry to the club, after all you can force yourself in everywhere else.

I had to shut my mouth to get in a shelter, my way barred by men who insisted on entering them. I can’t share with men in shared spaces. No woman should have to just so some fucker gets his validation rocks off. I shut my mouth, but I am sick of being quiet in exchange for some pretense at survival. You won’t stop hunting me down anyway, might as well just say what is on my mind.

Wrong side of history, you say? I don’t care. I am on the right side of fucking reality.

Meanwhile, Sisters…come over to the side of sense, other women have your backs, you don’t have to perform for the Patriarchy in order to be safe, it is a lie, it will never be enough to keep you safe, trust me, I am a former co operator, they almost killed me anyway, and still won’t stop. Quiet or loud, compliant or rebellious, your sex will always put you in danger, and we need to work together to make things safer. You will always be a whore to some man who seeks to keep you down, to destroy everything you ever loved and cared for in a swing of the fist. We are safer when we stick together.

As for me, I never did belong in the middle of the road. TERF AND PROUD, BABY!


  1. Ruth

    Andrea Dworkin was one of the bravest, most insightful women of my generation. Looked the whole sorry mess straight in the eye and called it out for what it was. She came to the UK and I heard her speak out against porn and in defence of Linda Lovelace/Boreman (Deep Throat). She was treated with utter contempt but she remained clear and unequivocal. Utterly inspirational.

    1. The Paltry Sum

      Ruth your last comment just disappeared! Wonderful quote! I will keep writing, promise. I just need to take a break for a few hours and play guitar. I am in tears out here, sister.

  2. Ruth

    “You tell the truth and people can shit all over it… but somehow once it’s said it can’t be unsaid; it stays living, somewhere, in someone’s heart.”
    Andrea Dworkin
    Goes for your words too Paltry. Keep writing sister.

  3. Ruth

    Oh sweetheart. So sorry. Hope the music is a comfort… here’s the Dworkin quote again: “You tell the truth and people can shit all over it… but somehow once it’s said it can’t be unsaid; it stays living, somewhere, in someone’s heart.” Hugs.

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