Eyeshadow and gunpowder: the imaginary war on cishet society

By Daviemoo

LGBTQ+ existence has long been pitted as a culture war where the bejewelled combatants assail everyday ways of life, hurling gay grenades down the halls of institutions like American congress or men in leather pants and harnesses are kicking in the doors of middle England to convert your children.
There is no war, and it’s time to quite literally put down your guns.

I had an argument today which I’ve screencapped for your perusal.
As an Englishman I find American obsession around guns and gun laws to be absolutely gauche. But most of all, when men crow about their love of carrying guns I look at people like that with a mix of utter suspicion and- frankly- derision.

I find this type of delusional thinking objectively fascinating. The lack of nuance never fails to amaze me: if I walked into a kitchen and saw a man brandishing a knife I wouldn’t bat an eye- contextually it’s normal even if a knife is a deadly weapon- but if I saw a man brandishing a knife walking down the street I’d be pretty within my rights to think “well… that’s not good”.
Same with a gun. In the right context, guns don’t scare me: I’ve been on shooting ranges and guns in that context are normal- I’ve also walked past the mint in Leeds where money is created, and had police with P90s stand looking at me warily. It’s intimidating, and it’s done for one of two reasons: to avert danger, or to threaten it.

Men with guns aren’t out stretching their firearm’s legs, there is a reason behind why they carry weaponry and walking out of my favourite gay bar after a show to find a line of men dressed up like marines rejects fingering the trigger of an AK47 is, understandably, nerve wracking- and yet honestly mystifying.

To act like fear is not the motivator for carrying guns- why else has anyone ever carried a weapon in history- either to do harm, or protect themselves from it- so which scenario do these anti drag folks envision- protecting themselves from drag queens or wreak harm on them. Ironic too, for people used to carry sidearms back in Shakespeare’s day… when this newfangled “men in dresses” thing started, because there were no women in Shakespeare’s plays, only men in drag.


Perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps it’s rage. Either way it’s misplaced. If it’s rage, be reminded that drag queens aren’t trying to convert your children: it’s impossible to do that and a huge swath of the LGBT+ will tell you so. If it was possible to convert, how many of us would have chosen the path of least resistance in our youth to avoid this ridiculous argument we’re forced into. If conversion was possible, conversion therapy would work: it doesn’t, it leaves most of its victims psychologically scarred enough that they don’t act on their urges, but it doesn’t remove them. I’d also hasten to point out that the existence of conversion therapy speaks to who is trying to “groom” whom into being like the other.

If it’s fear that necessitates dragging firearms around, which I suspect, I fail to see what’s so scary about a man in a dress and fake nails, other than the possibility of a catty comment or being accidentally blinded by flying sequins. But can we be surprised that so many are radicalised into thinking LGBT+ people are creating a WAR on normativity? Look at the messages pumped out by conservative media outlets.

Each of these things has been described by Fox News as having a “WAR” against it

If there was a war; we wouldn’t stand a chance.
3.5% of Americans identify as gay or lesbian. 0.3% identify as transgender. If 3.8% of the population waged war it’s not exactly going to go well- is it.
But conservative types are desperate to push this narrative that anyone outside of their normative model is assailing it, coming for your way of life, trying to FORCE you to be like them.

Making small concessions towards a tiny fragment of the population isn’t war. Not asking people personal questions that you don’t want the answer to any more than we want to give it is not war. If you ask if I have a wife and I say no, and you tell me I should be married at my age and I just smile and say nothing you’re being intrusive- why not leave it instead of prying further then being offended when I tell you I’m gay? It’s like purchasing a rod, waiting for it to arrive, taking it out of the box then handing it to someone and asking them to hit you with it.

It may come as a shock: I don’t want there to be more gay people in the world: I want the people who are to be able to come out and be happy if they so wish, I want the people who are trans to get their healthcare and get on with their lives, and especially, I want people so brainwashed by the endless shouts of WAR, WAR, WAR against them to let go of the rhetoric and realise they’re not being threatened by gay people- but by their perception of us: you’re fighting ghosts.
Yes, you might get fired if you call me a slur. I might get fired if I call someone a slur… it’s not a right I have that you don’t, simply that there are no slurs to describe you and even if there were I wouldn’t use them- but of course, normative culture has a morose obsession with trying to make normal words slurs.
TikTokers like Nicholasvanj call heterosexual people “upsetterosexuals” or “straggots” and then face deluges of “HETEROPHOBIA” in their comments. People constantly decry the use of the word cis when it’s literally a descriptor like “tall”, “athletic” or “interesting”. If you don’t want to be called cis I won’t call you cis- but I’m sure going to be confused about how you’ll wring insult out of a factual descriptive word with no negative connotations, and I’ll make extra sure that you don’t use any offensive lingo either- you’d be fascinated by how many people offended by a biological descriptor like cis throw around anti trans or homophobic words with what they believe is impunity.

The saddest part is that most virulently anti LGBT+ people seem miserable, obsessed with something that isn’t their concern. I cannot imagine spending my life wrapped so intimately around something I find disgusting. But they cannot simply disengage because there almost seems to be a need to create a dark shibboleth of the community, to make us the enemy that worsens their lives, poisons their water and steals their precious children into depravity. I don’t just want them to stop because they endanger my life with their increasingly provocative rhetoric: I want them to stop because I don’t like seeing miserable people yelling about my private life 24/7 and I think they must have better things to do with their time: Imagine how much happier you’d be if you stopped worrying about imaginary genitals or whether I’m a top or a bottom. So much free time to knit, to go to the gym, read, drink beer, I don’t care- just stop obsessing over people who, frankly, want nothing to do with you.

Heteronormative men in particular are desperate for there to be some sort of attack against them- constantly pushing the rhetoric that they are having their way of life dismantled, their freedoms taken away, their free speech censored. Unfortunately this is what parity looks like: when you finally get held to the same standards as others it’s not because we’re taking your rights away, it’s that we’re applying societal norms to you that your predecessors did not face.
Let’s imagine there is this fabled war though, and when they win, when they finally take over… then what?
I don’t understand the world that the men who espouse such toxic nonsense actually want, and frankly I don’t think they do either. If you rid the world of the LGBT+ and the feminists and the feminine men, how long do you think it would be until the less masculine men were up next, charged with feminising the real alphas… and which group would you be in? If every man suddenly became a super masculine paragon of manliness it would be a flash before they turned against themselves- they have to have an enemy to survive, because the whole ethos of the “alpha” male is victimhood garbed as strength, and if nobody is there to pick on them.. what then? It’s an ideology that folds in on itself like poorly done origami the moment it’s subjected to critical scrutiny, and one too many men fall into to expunge blame for their own failings when they are often the arbiters of their own misery against each other.

The fallacious thinking of the meninist crowd is made complex by people debating the grossly vapid talking points of empty fools like Andrew Tate, who likes to spend his time failing to antagonise 19 year old women on the internet or by lionising the actions of those cosplaying Navy SEALs outside drag bars when it’s really very simple: Men have spent years being lied to by media, shown movies where masculinity is control, manliness is anger, where if you just keep pestering, eventually she’ll say yes- from James Bond movies to every other action movie dross, negative masculinity is at the forefront of most of our historical media. Men grow up being told if you’re rude and dismissive to women they’ll do what you want because all women secretly want bad men- but wait, no, feminism is ruining it, making women think they have equal status? You have to put effort into dating? To men who think like this, I have to ask: do you even like women? I saw an interview with a meninist recently who argued his girlfriend should not be allowed to go on holiday without him because other men looking at her is disrespectful to him.
Security with a partner comes from trust, and if you cannot trust you are deeply damaged. Forcing someone into fidelity by simply refusing to allow them to go anywhere and do anything is not a paragon of masculinity, it exemplifies true fragility- and if you disagree, reverse the roles and ask yourself how you would feel about a woman averse to allowing her partner to go on holiday without her…? Control freak? Crazy?… Insecure.
It’s no different in the inverse.
A partner is just that: someone on equal standing who supports you as you support them, and if you’re too weak and fragile to be in a relationship with an equal I want to heartily assure you- it’s not women who have the problem in that scenario. Strength seeks strength, so if you hope to find a weak willed woman who will do what you say it’s because of your own inherent weakness, not because of your strength.

Further, LGBT+ people aren’t coming for your way of life. Many LGBT+ people call for integration into cishet society and whilst I understand it, the older I get the more I want some form of base separatism. I want to be left alone to live my gay life in a gay subculture that barely bumps against straight culture. I don’t want to have to mask my irritation at insensitive questions about my sex life, or feign patience when I listen to someone say “I’m fine with it, I just wish they’d leave kids out of it” when I have always known I was gay and was suicidal as a child and into my mid teens because nobody could or would help me understand it, and despite this endless patient explanation still being told “but some people might take advantage”- again, creating imaginary “what if” scenarios proves to me only that you’re more interested in living in an imaginary world than the physical one.
If you want to have a realistic conversation about indoctrination lets talk about forcing children to say the pledge of alliegance, or splashing water on their forehead so they don’t go to purgatory forever or relentlessly pestering your young children about if they have a girlfriend or a boyfriend… or is is that there’s good and bad types of grooming and indoctrination?

Society is crowded with bigots riled up by media pundits whose mission is to make you think everyone who isn’t a carbon copy of you- skin colour, political affiliation, sexual proclivities- is coming to destroy your life. Ironic, then, that they so readily destroy lives that they see as apart from their own.
If your existence is maintained via the dismantlement of other peoples’ normal, perhaps your normal is the aberration.

When it comes to masculinity, the very idea of feeling so threatened by a drag artist that you hover outside their work with a loaded gun is not masculine: The essence of masculinity is security, displayed by being so unbothered by gun toting yahoos that you cooly stroll into work unbothered by the threat of their presence.
If you want to shame people for dressing up to be that which they are not, might I suggest you take off your store bought army garb, holster your unused firearm and realise you’re just as much- if not more than- a cosplayer as those you hope vainly to threaten.

The war on women by healthcare

Medical misogyny is a phrase that every single woman will have an intimate relationship with. Misogyny is as closely interwoven into healthcare as it is every other area of society: sometimes it’s a whisper in a corridor, sometimes it’s a blatant dismissal by a woman in agony- whatever form this many headed hydra takes, misogyny in modern medicine is clearly a problem and must be tackled: but first it must be brought out into the light to be seen by those who would plead ignorance.

The first time I was scandalised by the treatment of women in medicine was when my oldest sister casually told me a story about being in labour. She was a first time mother and was scared and naturally was in pain as she was readying to give birth. She told me that as she lay groaning in pain, as contractions were beginning, a nurse said from behind a curtain “will someone shut her up!” 
That began a long and frightening journey into understanding the roots of indifference and sometimes open malice that medicine hides when it comes to dealing with women. 

Misogyny is soaked into the bedrock of our society- it runs so deeply that many of us, even those it affects, are still not fully aware of how systemic the issue is. From simple transactions in the street to a nullification of bodily autonomy, women face horrendous pressure to conform and to placate simply to exist in society. And we already know that men will kill because they harbour misogyny in minds shaped by the pervasive nature of the scale that shifts from utter indifference towards, open disparagement of or white hot hatred towards women- but one area which must have this misogyny uprooted with urgency is medicine- because when medicine mixes with misogyny, the truest form of danger to women can flourish.

Listening to womens’ voices

When I was researching this piece, I decided to create my own sources: with a healthy internet following, I asked women to step forwards from all corners of experience to highlight their travails in the literal no- man’s land of medical misogyny.

I have been horrified by the messages which have filled my inboxes- from cis white women to transgender women of colour being overlooked, overruled, ignored, mocked, trans men telling me about their pre transition woes and issues in their treatment as they seek to undergo gender reassignment and as their transition progressed noticing that suddenly their issues were taken seriously, trans women explaining the way they have been utterly shamed, nurses telling me stories of the way they have been spoken to or overlooked, female doctors being spoken to with absolute distain: it is clear to me more so than it has ever been that misogyny flourishes in the medical setting. 

We know from research, letters, endless interviews and more, that many institutions have deeply flawed modus operandi and are biased against women and especially women of colour- it is only yesterday as I begin writing this that an article condemning the police for strip searching a young woman of colour- underage- at school without consent. This utter disregard for the autonomy and respect of women runs deep in society.    

In the course of my researching, I’ve been contacted by quite literally hundreds of people with their stories, and though I wish I could simply share those context is needed.

Since I wrote this piece initially I have come across two even more troubling incidences: one, a white American woman writing on the subreddit r/antiwork who explained that she miscarried at work, bleeding so heavily she was taken to her local ER in an ambulance. Upon returning to work she was fired for taking “too many sick days in a row”.

The second story was a breakdown of absolute racial and gender based dismissal of a woman of colour I found on TikTok: this woman has cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. She woke recently to find herself in debilitating pain, unable to walk properly and called an ambulance. Upon giving her last names (one French, one a name of her heritage which I unfortunately cannot remember) the dispatch caller became dismissive to the point that she hung up on them and begged her partner to take her to the ER. There she waited for hours in agony to no avail and she was eventually removed from the hospital by security because she sat at the front bench trying to complain about her dismissal as a cancer patient in agony.

It goes further even than this, and here is where you will begin to feel the gut wrenching worry that I have ever since I started my research.

Specific conditions

Many medical conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) are vastly under diagnosed in healthcare, and research carried out by the university of Sydney put this down to a reluctance for doctors to take up confirmatory diagnoses- whether the end result was expenses, time or simply an indifference towards finding the root cause, this is a problem.

PCOS presents a myriad symptoms which can also  mirror other diseases but they ARE definitively linked to PCOS, and a doctor failing to investigate such a serious condition with such severe ramifications is appalling- but unfortunately seems to be commonplace, because the most common non exploratory symptom is crippling pain during periods.

Some of the women who have reached out to me about PCOS have gone through the explanation of walking their doctor through agonising irregular periods and still the doctors would simply stat that “this is what periods are like for most people” and even if this is the case- should that not then be something which can be alleviated? We can attack cancerous cells, perform hemispherectomies and replace bones with plastic and metal but we cannot alleviate period pain for over 50% of the world’s populace?

Additionally, a lot of the messages I’ve had have typified a worrying tendency to write off women suffering from PMDD – an extremely serious condition which can cause women and those who ovulate to experience gutwrenching pain, severe shifts in mood to the point of suicidal ideation and more. From being told to “just take painkillers” to being informed the doctor felt they were being “unhelpful in their diagnosis”, the women in particular who reached out about this confirmed how dismissed they felt, forced to make do with agony and horrifyingly low mood with no intervention. The shock of hearing women confessing to literal suicidal feelings and being lambasted by doctors who feel they are “being dramatic” was quite shocking- to me- but to those on the receiving end of medical misogyny, they confirm this is utterly par for the course. One trans man was told that he should simply have a hysterectomy and when he explained that he may want children he told me the doctor almost said “that would be wrong”.

Medical conditions like PCOS, tilted uterus, PMDD and more are rarely looked at by medical professionals outside of the area of gynaecology which is ludicrous: over 50% of the world’s population have the requirements for regular gynaecological examinations and with such a huge swath of people requiring medical checkups related to this, doctors – even GPs, should be far more versed in this area of healthcare. Secondarily, the idea of keeping back referrals for gynaecological examinations is insane: if someone has a medical health issue relating to their genitals then why would it ever make sense not to refer them to an expert, instead of confidently writing the problem off yourself?

Women in medicine

For ten years, I worked as a compliance person for locum agencies- this meant my role was often to correspond with medical workers about their file requirements and as I had such regular contact with medical workers, I did develop the occasional friendship with some of my workers.


Some, either cis or trans female, were more than happy to lay out a wealth of incidents – from being told “I’m not being seen by a woman” to patients seeking confirmatory diagnoses from men, and in fact being spoken down to, scorned, spurned and even threatened by male colleagues.

One of my friends who is a male nurse told me that he regularly had to tell patients, other doctors etc that his consultant was the doctor and he was the nurse, because everyone assumed this was the case simply based on his gender.

One of my female doctors had to leave her old place of employment and move across the country because she was being actively stalked by one of her patients. Her place of employment suggested that she simply ignore him- a man who would regularly walk into a busy A&E department to declare his love for her, offer her gifts and more.

Every woman reading this has just felt the deep dread that comes with those words, for every single one knows the dangerous path that can twist amongst those declarations of love from a stranger.

Intersectional Nightmares

Of course, further than simply being spoken to in outrageous terms by people who have problems with women, this pervasive ignorance of women’s issues along with the issues that transgender people can face can also lead to dangerous consequences- much research has been undertaken into the medical testing gender gap. Cis women’s bodies metabolise drugs differently than cis men at different times and in different ways- and a lack of research on this has led to over or under-medicated women- but why? It’s hardly a surprise to find that men’s bodies metabolise drugs differently, one need only look up the horrendous side effects of men ingesting the contraceptive pill to realise that meds work differently on the different sexes.

Ah, but there again- the pill – another perfect example of medical misogyny. In 2016 a contraceptive injection for men was shelved due to side effects like mood swings and depression, lethargy and blood clots… all side effects, and well known ones, of the contraceptive pill. So medicine will expect women to bear the onus of taking pills and their attendant side effects, having children etc- but the moment those side effects are found in men as well the research is shelved. 

An excellent video by emmaisafeminist on tiktok breaks down how a drug, sildefanil, was turned into viagra. Sildefanil was useful for heart attacks and angina, and it helped women deal with menstrual cramps and period pain- but the marketability was in it’s ability to give men erections.  Imagine the different world we’d live in if a drug that helped women function with period pain and helped everyone with heart issues was given it’s proper research funding, instead of being turned into a pill to help men still be able to have sex.

One of my contacts, a strong woman who is regularly found in activism circles we both run in told me that the pill gave her a stroke in her 20s: these side effects are known and they are not as rare as believed- in fact, for those who decry the coronavirus vaccine and it’s perceived risk, the risk of blood clots from the pill is precipitously higher.

The dismissal of women’s safety is baked into a medical system that has never catered to women primarily, even for services geared towards them. 

Bodily autonomy

Another horrifying tendency is that of doctors completely overruling women’s bodily autonomy: I have been told by no less than 4 cis women and 2 trans men that their choice to have a hysterectomy has been overruled by physicians.

It’s always been a cornerstone of understanding that people should be able to make executive decisions about their body- or else why do we fight for bodily autonomy – so to take command of people’s bodily choices and state that they cannot make this decision is an appalling one; to deny someone their right to change their body is to deny them access to healthcare they want and may need! 

Misogynistic thinking patterns are interwoven with medical treatment, and coincide with other issues like the experiences of women of colour- so many fabulous and brave women of colour speak loudly and clearly on the internet about their experiences at the hands of a medical system that doesn’t factor in differences in endocrine production, the myth of pain sensitivity and other health conditions that contribute to black women’s mistreatment at the hands of a system that mistreats them not only because they are women but because they are of colour. Thetalkofshame on Tiktok’s video lays out concisely how dangerous being a woman of colour in the medical setting is.

The intersectionality of women’s existence in every setting must be purely exhausting.

Trans women’s healthcare is another issue in which the meeting of intersectional bigotry causes unnecessary issue- from delays in beginning treatment for trans women to the government’s new plan to throttle treatments like electrolysis to help with dysphoria, trans women not only experience the narrow minded gaslighting that comes with the trans experience so widely written about, but must also deal with those who aren’t just bigoted against trans people but are against women.

One of my trans contacts on twitter laying out the foolishness

On and on wind the examples of women experiencing horrific pain, embarrassment, shame, frustration and mental health lapses because medicine simply is not equipped to function based on the idea of equity, not just equality.

One could charitably look at the evidence of the women around us telling us how horrendous their experiences are and read myriad stories of horror on the web, in the news, on the shelves and conclude that mayhaps this was built by ignorance, or even malevolence- but the why no longer matters. Now we’re aware of such disparity, the question is- how do we tackle it?

The painful reality is that we live in a world which is so bottom shelf desperate to cater to men – men’s pain, men’s needs and emotions, men’s wants and whims- that women are so often cast to the back row of the amphitheatre. Women will lay out concisely their requirements for parity and are disparaged from speaking with, at best, indifference and at worst open scorn or hatred- and all too often, violence. To deal with misogyny in medicine one must look to tackle misogyny in society and root it out, but the overhaul to medicine will be a huge one and will take time; this would put off society from moving forwards to address this issue but I’m reminded of my favourite Chinese proverb: the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago: the second best time is now- and the tree that would grow from an overhaul to a sexist healthcare system would be a boon for all.

Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.