Define Woman



Blugh, I feel sick. :( *snuffle*

Anyway, we have guys call and come in asking to work for us ALL THE TIME. And we get cross-dressers sometimes, too. Now, I personally have nothing against working alongside a trans gal but our boss won't have it. *shrug* Most of them just sullenly accept when we tell them we can't hire them but we've had a few folks get fiery with us. This is another mini-arc, it'll be a few pages long.

Now, I'm beat. See you all Saturday.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, basically, your boss is saying that woman isn't a real woman. I mean, obviously that's not your rule, but don't pretend that makes it any less offensive than it actually is.

Hel said...

Dunno if you're aware or not, but a lot of transgendered people are very offended by cisgendered people using the word 'trannies' or 'tranny'. It's got a lot of negative history, obviously. Of course not all transgendered people object to/are hurt by it, but a number do/are.

Nic said...

I was expecting flack for this one.

Anon, I hope I didn't come across as trying to defend my boss's viewpoint. It's not my own so I don't feel I should have to defend it. I wouldn't anyway. It's just a fact about the job. I COULD hide it from you all but everyone's going to see something here that they may not like, it doesn't change it.

Hel, and some black people hate being called black and some hate being called African American. The truth is, EVERYONE has their own personal objections to being catagorized but I can't please everyone. If it helps, I did not use the term in order to be offensive.

Hel said...

Most of the transgender people who object to 'tranny' and its variations more closely equate it to a far more objectionable term for Black people than either 'black' or 'African American'. *shrug* You're free to ignore the info, but if you'd like to explore cis privilege and how to work against exercising it, http://community.livejournal.com/debunkingcis/ can be a useful place to start.

Nic said...

I object to being refered to as privileged, particularly in a derogatory tone. I would never use any of my terminology to put down others and if someone personally objects to a certain term I will not call THEM that.

Rose Thorn said...

Being the daughter of a Trans individual... Hel and Anon... are either of you trans? If not...its not your problem get over it.
Nic, Keep up the good work. ;) You rock girl.

Heathen said...

As someone who is not cis, and is familiar with said dungeon, I can say the following:

It IS a fact of the industry, and while it isn't a nice one, most clients don't like seeing anything other than "real women". She is simply reflecting this fact in an honest and funny way. Kick back and enjoy the fun, because while it is somewhat offensive, it is true.

On top of it, she is bringing the problem to light, and addressing it, which means she is aware of cis privilege to some degree, or at least sympathizes.

People were offended by the internet?!?! *GASP*

Some people identify themselves as Tranny in the SM community. What about them?

Finally, shes not saying it is not offensive, or pretending that it isn't. It is clearly shown in the comic actually that it is offensive, hence the humor.

Whisper said...

"Tranny" is not equivolent to 'African American'. It's equivalent to the other one, that begins with an 'n'.


"I object to being refered to as privileged"

Oh, wow. On top of the hate-speech and negative stereotyping in the comic, that just sealed it for me. Get over yourself and get an education.

-1 reader.

piratestan said...

I'd imagine your boss's reasoning for not hiring transgendered people is one of simple economics. He/she probably doesn't have enough potential clients to make it worth having one on staff.

Nic said...

Whisper, I interact with people everyday who have zero issue with being refered to as tranny. I wasn't using it as hate-speech. And if you don't like it, don't be a reader. It's as easy as not typing my URL.

Anonymous said...

I have several trans friends and I don't think "trannie" is the issue here; the use of the word "real" is. A more PC way of saying that to someone would be to say "we only hire 'women born women'" WBW is a lot less insulting than "real" to a person who has worked their whole life and put a lot of work into being recognized as a member of a certain sex.

Just FYI. While it is clear Nic isn't really up on trans issues, no one knows everything and insulting them isn't the way to educate them. Once a reader, still a reader :-)

Nic said...

I got an email that there was a new comment here but now it's not showing up. Because it's something I really want to address I'll quote the anonymous comment:

"I have several trans friends and I don't think "trannie" is the issue here; the use of the word "real" is. A more PC way of saying that to someone would be to say "we only hire 'women born women'" WBW is a lot less insulting than "real" to a person who has worked their whole life and put a lot of work into being recognized as a member of a certain sex.

Just FYI. While it is clear Nic isn't really up on trans issues, no one knows everything and insulting them isn't the way to educate them. Once a reader, still a reader :-) "

I was surprised this specifically wasn't brought up earlier but I'm glad it has been, since I have a very specific reason for wording this comic the way I did.

If I'd phrased it "We only hire women born as women" then there would be no punchline, as it wouldn't make any sense for the tranny to retort, "Are you saying I wasn't born a woman?"

I would never tell anyone they weren't a real woman but for the sake of a joke this is what works best. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to think that this comic is just kind of... off. It read more like "ha ha, look at the tranny trying to be a real woman. lol trannies". I get it, you didn't mean any harm, but it is... well, it just feels bad. I guess it's mostly the implication that "trannies" are somehow less real than you are. Kinda like how faggots are less real than straights.

Nic said...

Not my intention. There are a few more comics to this story-arc. We'll see if it changes minds, for the better or for the worse!

Heathen said...

People will see what they want to see folks, but her intention is clear. See the look on cartoon nic's face in the last panel?

That's the look of many things , such as consideration, embarrassment, surprise, etc. freezing up in her noggin all at once summing up in "oh hey, holy crap, I've stepped into a faux pas...how do I respond!?" or some other variation.

When dealing with a gender normative culture, it falls on those of us outside of that norm to show some patience, understanding, and humor. Let this play out, let yourself laugh, and try not to obsess over the fact that the term "real woman" is subjective. There is no sense in projecting your own problems on a art piece, and then becoming belligerent with the artist on that basis.

Nic herself doesn't exactly fall into the norm (in case you haven't noticed)and she jokes about it all the time. Look back to the piece about weight when she applied for the job. IT IS THE SAME THING. Dungeons are about fantasy, not real people. It doesn't matter if you're 'real' or not, it is how you fit the paradigm of the customer's fantasy. Industry standard.

Sorry folks, but if you ain't exceptionally passable, regardless of being pre op or post op, then you don't fit the fantasy paradigm at most dungeons. Granted there are some who come in with a steady clientele, but these are exceptions to the rule.

Also, no, there is no implication that trannies are less real. The implication is that there is a fair argument either way, and how the dungeon functions within that argument. Your own misinterpretations are, much like the subject of gender: subjective, and reflect you.

Tracy said...

lol anyone who is complaining about this comic needs tog et over themselves and realize that the world isn't accepting of trans people and yes... "real woman" is a thing. I'm sorry....hormones and a persona does not change gender in the eyes of the wider world and Nic has handled it rather gently. I know trans men and women who dont mind being called trannies and identify as such. I also know others who would be upset if you called them such. You can't please everyone and to the person who said that its comparable to thinking that fags aren't as real as straights...umm thats a stupid comparison. A faggot is a bundle of wood and that is as real or as fake as the idea of a "straight" person. All labels are bullshit and if its not intrinsically offensive...get the fuck over it.

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt she was insulting ANYONE. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is as open minded as some of us others. She did no name calling, didn't use any words in a derogatory sense.

and as heathen said, Nic doesn't fall into any "norm" and this entire comic is pretty much based on that.

Nic, keep being your awesome self.

Other people...get over it. You are picking at a person who is ON YOUR SIDE. You have to deal with real abuse and shit often enough without digging for it.

Vanessa

Static Nonsense said...

I'm going to pass over the discussion over the use of the phrase/punch line "real women" or dungeon industry.

"I object to being refered to as privileged, particularly in a derogatory tone. I would never use any of my terminology to put down others and if someone personally objects to a certain term I will not call THEM that."

The problem is not necessarily whether or not you are using it in a negative fashion or to put down others. The problem is that regardless of your intention, this is how our culture uses the term.

The reason why it's not a problem for trans people that personally identify with the term or use it toward themselves in a positive fashion is because they are making an effort to reclaim the term for themselves. This is a psychological effort to counteract the negative associations with the term and to see it in a positive light instead. A coping method, more or less. This is also seen in other situations, for example when some GLB people reclaim the terms queer or fag and when some black people reclaim the term nigger.

The difference, however, is that they are in a position where it can have a positive effect for them. They are taking a slur used toward themselves and turning it toward themselves in a new fashion. It becomes a problem when that is turned toward others, whether those people are reclaiming the terms or not. These people may still have the negative association with the terms, and for good reason - the use of such terms outside of a personal reclamation further feeds the cycle of our culture's negative usage of the terms. Regardless of your personal intention behind the usage, society will still feed on it and twist it to their own perspectives.

People make mistakes, Nic. It happens. And it's not a problem if someone takes responsibility for their mistakes and seeks to correct them.

Vera Wylde said...

I'll never understand how fired up some "gurls" will get. Especially the ones who don't even pass.

Mouse said...

Oh my god, Whisper, grow the fuck up. This is not YOUR comic, it's Nic's comic, and she has every right to put anything she wants into it! If she wanted to say, "All trannies are dog-humping losers!" she could, though I think we'd all think less of her because of it.

If you want to badmouth someone, go do it on your own website! Or if you think you can do better, go draw your own fucking comic. What an asshole....

Anonymous said...

The only assholes here are the stupid fucking cis assholes who refuse to acknowledge their damn cis privilege and say transphobic shit all the time.

So, that'd be you, Mouse. And you too, Nic.

Anonymous said...

http://www.derailingfordummies.com/

http://genderbitch.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/pseudoally-tears-and-tone/


Fuck all of you cis people. Educate yourselves and stop whining about those mean trans people being mad when you say fucked up and transphobic shit.

Anonymous said...

You are the reason I as a queer cis woman can't have nice things. Thanks a lot, assholes. Thanks for making my life harder and making every trans person I ever meet think I'm going to be an ignorant transphobic piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

There were plenty of black people who let white people call them niggers for a long time, too. It wasn't because they liked it; it was because they were desperate for positive attention, just like a lot of my fellow trans people happen to be. They didn't exactly have a lot of options.

So just because you found a few black people who don't care if you call them a nigger, or don't care if *anybody* called them a nigger, you probably shouldn't be calling black people niggers anyway in general, and you sure as shit shouldn't be defending it when you get called on it.

"I have a lot of friends who like to be called fat!" "I have a lot of friends who like to be called Yids!" No, no, no, no, and no.

This goes the other way. If a specific person lets you use an epithet to refer to them, priceless, they're an exception. The rest of the time, *tranny is not a word you get to use*.

Anonymous said...

"This is not YOUR comic, it's Nic's comic, and she has every right to put anything she wants into it!"

And not expect criticism when she posts some of the most blatant and virulent transphobic crap I have ever seen?? And then offer up every privileged excuse in the book for her own and her boss's bigotry? Intent means zero. A sincere apology never contains a "but".

Honestly. This is really NOT OKAY.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't understand why women get all pissy when the menz call them bitches. Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Mouse said...

Nice. Instead of finding someplace you DO have a right to complain, you litter the comment box with a childish, whiny tantrum. I bet you're so proud.

Anonymous said...

I dunno about the other commments, but I, for one, only posted on criticism. Oh, and, nice job telling people speaking up about transphobia that they're being "whiney". Do you tell people speaking up about racism or homophobia the same thing?

Mouse said...

Oh, give me a fucking break. Transphobia, by definition, is someone who is afraid of transexuals. If you weren't so determined to be offended, you would realize that she didn't mean anything by it.

Masterspet said...

Oh dear Nic,

myself and my Master both read this comic regularly, and W/we love it. Don't let the hating trolls get you down dear!

to the hating trolls. i work in an adult store selling porn, and we get a number of trans-gendered persons who come into our store and buy clothing among a billion other things. We use the term trans and tranny at random at work, and not once has anything been said about it. There are a number of people i have met (who are NOT my friends and are STRICTLY paying customers) who have not had a problem with it and in fact called themselves trannies. The negative meanings to a word only come from the way society uses it. Take away a negative meaning, and change it to something empowering and you change the meaning both for you and for people who feel trapped by the English language.

Anonymous said...

I know some African-Americans who use the "N" word themselves, but I would never presume that because they used that word that that made it OK for me to use it, since it's not my word and I didn't grow up with it aimed at me like a weapon.

Trans women, on the other hand, have long been stereotyped as objects of pornography, and the "T" word in the context of a trans woman is always an insult when spoken or written by a cis person, regardless of intent. The fact that some Trans Men have "reclaimed the term," itself rather controversial since it was never used as a slur against Trans Men, should not be an open invitation for people who regard themselves as our friends and allies to start slinging the "T" word at us.

Anonymous said...

I understand Nic meant no harm but as a trans person, I seriously object to being called a "tranny". To some transgendered folk, that's the equivalent of calling African-Americans "niggers". She could have used another word in the comment section - "transgendered women" or "MTF"s would have been the correct terms.

I understand Nic worded the joke the way she did to have a punchline but the comic is pretty transphobic... Even though I wasn't BORN a woman, I still consider myself a woman. Nic doesn't seem to think we aren't real women. I didn't expect Nic to be such a close-minded cis-privileged person who purposely ignores the objectors' arguments and perpetuates transphobia...

Scott said...

What a bunch of BAAAAABIES. I agree with Heathen. She didn't mean it offensively, the comic was just light-hearted, and like nic said, she can't please everyone. I'm FTM transsexual and the butthurt chicks on this page make me ashamed to admit that. Just GTF over it and move on.

Anonymous said...

*Facepalms* Nic, I've been a reader for a little while, but this is the first time I have felt the NEED to speak up. I am not going to bother to say anything specific, because no matter what anyone says, someone else will have a problem, but I can say, all of you people who LOOK for transphobia, just because there is a wisp of smoke, does not mean there is fire. Grow up. Yes, strictly speaking, this was not the most PC comic panel ever, but as has been stated before, AND here, Nic has no issues with transexuals, and she has never made any pretense at complete PC-ness.

Torrin said...

Hi, you're not trans, don't use derrogatory terms aimed at trans people. kthnxbai.

Seriously, this comic is awful, I don't care if it's your "real life experience" or whatever, be more contientious.

Anja Flower said...

Hey, look, a stereotyped trans woman character thinks she's a "real woman!" Get it? It's funny, people! I mean, discriminatory hiring practices that exclude one of the most heavily discriminated-against groups of people on the face of the planet are *funny*! They're also, yanno, *just a fact of the industry*. I mean, there's no *demand* for trans people. It's not like there's a whole market of skeezy trans-fetishists! It's not like trans people made up to look/act like cis people's weird fantasies of "she-males" and such constitute a whole sub-industry of porn! NOBODY WANTS YOU TRANS PEOPLE!111 Gah!

Cue the ridiculous cis-splaining, the defenders acting like trans people's concerns just aren't that big of a deal, the folks claiming that words I've had screamed at me by people who were throwing rocks and otherwise trying to do me bodily harm are *clearly not offensive* because some trans people they've met use them...

What next? A defense of the term "she-male?" An ode to the gender binary? A hagiography of some awe-inspiringly tranpshobic lesbian feminist (Janice Raymond, perhaps, or Mary Daly)?

Look - as a kinky, queer, sex-positive trans person, I support and respect sex workers - and I expect to be supported and respected in return.

Anonymous said...

You should fucking delete this. And I have every right to say that. You're contributing to a shitty transphobic culture, is why. Your words don't just float off into space. People take them on and think it's okay to call people trannies and she-males and invalidate their gender identification based on whether or not they "pass".

I don't care how many fucking friends you have who don't object. You have about ten readers objecting here. That's enough to tell you that yeah, in this context, a public comic read by transfolk and trans-allies, what you've written is offensive.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This comic is awful. Ever post above me clearly outlines why this is, but I just wanted to echo it in case you forgot.

But you're cis...so, like, wtf do you care, really?

dirty said...

Hey Nic- I'm not hating on you or your comic. I am gonna make the observation that when a bunch of people say "That's outta line and it perpetuates an existing power imbalance that hurts us in real ways every day", the useful response is prolly to listen up a bit.

I understand when you say "I object to being referred to as privileged". Most people do, yet it's true of all of us. Everybody has areas of privilege, parts of our lives in which we can side with the supposed majority to throw around insults and ignore their impact if we choose. It's easier and more convenient to look at the ways in which we are victimized than to see the ways in which we might (unthinkingly or deliberately) victimize others.

Not initially seeing the ways something you've made might perpetuate stereotypes in damaging ways doesn't make you a bad person. Retreating (as some of your supportive commenters have) to defensive belittling of other folks' experience doesn't make them (or you) look good. It's not about being politically correct. It might be about being politically responsible. Part of that is facing up to having stuff to learn, being big enough to notice having caused hurt and to call off friends who're throwing around further insults on your behalf.
Take care, & good luck.
-D

Anonymous said...

How can people get so freaked out over A JOKE?

Nic used the phrase “real woman” because it fit into the COMIC FLOW of the work. They hire biological women at her place of employment. Does Nic run the Dungeon? No. She is an employee who was simply enforcing the rules. There are plenty of other facilities who do not hire people for one reason or another. The airlines did not allow male stewardesses and it was not until the seventies that the “marriage ban” was lifted. Sometimes jobs have requirements we find unreasonable, it is not the employee’s fault.

There is a distinct difference between belittling speech and joking. She is not hurting the community by making a joke. She did not mean it in an offensive way. I feel like the people who are hurting the view of the trans community more are the people who are attacking the readers for laughing at a joke. Being politically incorrect is often part of comedy. We NEED to learn to laugh at ourselves to grow as people. Laughing and enjoying one another’s eccentricities is NOT discriminating against one another. That is completely different!

Might I also point out that the words “tranny” and “she-male” are often used in the sex industry with no complaint. I would also like to point out that other normally offensive phrases are often used in certain cultures. Women who work as sex workers are called “sluts” or “whores” while calling a typical person this is wrong.

The trans individuals who are spamming the other readers of this comic are the ones who are making the community look bad. You make yourselves look hateful and over-sensitive. We are never going to get anywhere if we act like assholes to the people we want to accept us. I am bisexual and a feminist but I still enjoy jokes about queer individuals (as well as straight ones) and all types of gender exploits.

Enjoy life. Loosen up, dammit!

Anonymous said...

As a transgender person myself, I find an awful lot of these comments to be either unnecessary, insulting, or simply absurd. The unnecessary comments are the ones trying to protect us trans-folk from bigotry that we generally have come to ignore in the first place. Insulting ones are fairly self evident for the most part, but also include the ones posted by people who seem to think that we all like flaunting our transgendered nature to the whole world. As for the absurd comments, I think those are probably pretty easy to recognize, and that the posters should already be feeling ashamed of themselves by now.

Having said all this, I'm curious as to how Nic's work would treat a fully transgendered person (one who has had hormone therapy and sexual reassignment surgery, aka SRS). I don't know for certain how my therapist would react to me seeking employment in this industry, but there is an undeniable charm associated with the idea of being paid to indulge in BDSM play.

Nic said...

I posted about the change in my recent updates but recently a friend suggested that it would be relevant to post here now that under the new management we fully welcome and embrace TS players into our fold of professional dominas, switches and subs. :) It's not just the gender issue, either, we've overall begun hiring women of more sizes, colors and styles and I'm pleased at the change.

Pumpkins said...

i am glad that you didn't take this down. as someone reading your comic from the beginning at the end of 2011, i can say that-i actually dont know what to say.

but i am glad you kept this up.

some people were trolling, some were multi-accounting, some were aggro'ing unnecessarily and i think it's interesting to see what people were...thinking a year ago.

On the show degrassi, they had a trans-gendered kid on there (FTM) and handled the drama that happened in a realistic way in my own opinion. i have had a transgendered person in my high school as well as numerous gays, and lesbians (almost my full circle of friends aren't straight now that i think on it). i think the world is changing for the better, frustratingly slow but it is changing.

*coughcough if all these old fogies would just go sit in the shade and play scrabble or something instead of infringe on the rights of others coughcough*

P.S. i understand what you were going for and i am sorry so many people took offense :/

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand why it's not ok to say "real women" when it is ok to say "real" or "fake" boobs. A friend of mine once said "These aren't fake! I paid good money for them :D". Well... I thought it was funny.

Anonymous said...

lol was reading your comic from start and was loving it.
But I think now's the best time to leave and never return.

Not offended, just disappointed.
Expected more from you; thought you were quite educated.
Apparently not so.

Anonymous said...

I am not going to involve myself in the entire transgendered politically correct phrasing debate too much. I just felt that in this case it may be best to realize that perhaps everyone here might be a little over the boundaries. In general, it may serve as a good point for all of us to look at our own biases and perceptions. Either way, lovin' the comic Nic :)

Distant Horizon said...

Jesus Christ. As soon as I read this one I knew it was going to be a long-ass scroll to the bottom of the comments...

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