Why subscribe?

If you like short, critical essays on novels, films, poetry, music, critical theory, haircuts, people u donโ€™t like, people u like 2 much, psychoanalysis, body parts, etc. I write those and post them here, so that could work. Iโ€™m also a trans woman, about eighteen months into a medical and social transition, and thatโ€™s an important part of my writing and my reading.

I use this newsletter to explore trans questions within a feminist frame, and often through various attempts to be funny. That means, for me:

โ€ข trans feminism shares goals with other kinds of feminism, and โ€œtrans women are womenโ€ is a descriptive statement about how we all relate to one another.

โ€ข I am not dogmatic about the nature of my transness (I barely understand it myself), and I welcome discussion and disagreement.

โ€ข trans experience and embodiment is neither new nor uniform - part of this work is to uncover historical expressions of transness in historical figures usually not associated with it. In that frame, I think about transness with a number of historical writers - Browning, Descartes, Eliot, Swinburne, Freud - as well as contemporary poets like Jos Charles,

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The phrase โ€œThe Stage Mirrorโ€ is an inversion of a familiar essay by the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. What he called the โ€œmirror stageโ€ is a moment in infant development where we learn to identify ourselves with an image - and therefore to separate our sense of identity from the feeling of presence - the mirror self, so to speak, is the real โ€œus.โ€ Trans discourse also relates narratives of disconnection and self-objectification - though Lacan didnโ€™t, I think, very much care for us. Iโ€™ve been thinking a lot about mirrors on stages recently - how they must be angled, and what they shouldnโ€™t reflect. A trick mirror, or else a mirror that reflects the audience rather than the character.

I am British. I am very bad at Tinder. This has been extremely embarrassing. I wish you good morrow.