Today I got suspended from a secret Facebook group for two weeks.

A self-described secret group, it proposes to be “a resource for all writers—with the exception of cis men—of all backgrounds and experience levels, to connect, network, ask questions, and learn from one another,” and states it “is okay to tell people about the existence of the group…without directly linking to it.”

I wanted to put that right up front, least I be accused to violating some blood oath, secret handshake, or gang hand sign.

Every member of this group was required to read an updated group policy–and agree with it–to be allowed to stay part of the super secret writers group.

I didn’t like everything I read.

I wanted to think about it, some of it bothered me. Some of it ruffled my feathers. Some of it was repressive and proscriptive and controlling and I needed to think about whether I could abide by it. I needed to think about whether I could live with some of those rules.

It said I had to “be willing to accept criticism and critique of ideas or articles posted” to that group. I had no problem with that.

The part that stated “critiques of power imbalances are important” and “provocative debate” is valued–I liked that a lot.

It enforced strictly gender neutral language. I get that maybe the gender binary may be considered an out-dated idea, and I balk at the forced use of gender neutral language, but I’ve been around long enough to pick my battles and this one’s not a battle worth fighting. I can live with it.

Then this:

“The group prohibits the removal or deletion of posts or comments by members…it is silencing and disrespectful to delete your own post or comment thread (taking others) words along with it. DELETION OF POSTS AND COMMENTS WILL RESULT IN AN IMMEDIATE TWO-WEEK REMOVAL SUSPENSION. Subsequent deletions will result in a permanent ban from the group.”

Wait, what? I can’t take down my own words, posts, or commentary?

That I have a problem with. I wanted to think about that. For my hesitation and questioning of the all-mighty mods, I was suspended.

“…we are suspending you for two weeks. Your negative comments toward the policy and purpose of the group indicate that this is not the group for you. If after two weeks you wish to indicate a change of heart/mindset, you can return.”

Apparently “provocative debate” is okay, unless it challenges The Policy.

The Policy goes full frontal George Orwell doublethink, saying suspensions are regarded as a step towards a members reconciliation with the policy. A chance for a member to “step back, take a break, rethink, and then talk about rejoining…”

Guilty of crimethink, there is a two-week opportunity to crimestop.

Big Brother is watching. 

By the end of the day, I’m banned, forever.

“Collectively, the mod team will not expend anymore energy or time engaging you.”

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Removing my offending posts would violate The Policy, but I can’t access them anymore to offer them up verbatim. In the world of this one Facebook group, I’ve become an Unperson.

I’m aware this post may have a ripple effect, since so many people are members of multiple groups, and I may be made to disappear from the ranks of other linked groups. But, I hope the ripple extends in an entirely other direction, sparking others to speak up and not tow a line that excludes men and yet still manages to regulate the speech of women , especially those questioning authority.


Scribbling all Summer


April, it was Woodstock, where I fell in love with John Elder Robinson and frightened Comma Queen Mary Norris with my rabid adoration of her grammatical perfection.

tumblr_o86h0jMSor1qb89fso1_1280July in Portland, Oregon, workshopping new work on our family legacy of truth, lies, facts, and fiction with Michelle Tea.

Aug.-12-14-_-Lancaster-PAhippocamp2016.hippocampusmagazine.com_August means three days in Lancaster, Pennsylvania surrounded by nonfiction writers, the brilliance of Mary Karr, the sharp wit and fab scarves of Jamie Brickhouse, and before I leave, some Dutch Haven Shoo-fly Pie. (There is still time to sign up, and enough pie for everyone.)

word-banner960And later in August, halfway around the world, twenty-two hours on a plane and across the dateline with BFF rockstar editor/knitter/feminist pundit Debbie Stoller to New Zealand for the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival. I’ll be on a panel of sex worker writers, in case you happen to be in the area.

On editing porn

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I love editing and proofreading other people’s work for many reasons. I love finding mistakes—correction: other people’s mistakes. I love being right, and having someone acknowledge that fact. I love putting things “in order.” And I love answering questions like:

Q: When does a gang bang start? Two is regular, three is airtight, and four is foursome, so does five put you in gangbang territory? 

A: Actually, it all depends on who is catching. For a woman, three is a regular threesome and your need four to go airtight (with one penis or penis-like substitute for every hole, at the same time). With a male catcher, three makes it airtight because there’s one less hole. A gangbang (also known as a train as in “we ran a train on her”), on the other hand, is one willing catcher (male or female), and multiple pitchers—usually three or more. When the catcher is unwilling, this becomes gang rape.

Q: If twin brothers ravage the same ass at the same time is that incest?

A: No. That’s plain old double penetration, or DP. Unless of course we’re talking about the ass of a sibling.  Or cousin. Second cousins once removed are okay, though.

Q: Where are all the transgender hookers working these days now the old West Side Highway is basically gone?

A: Since the West Side Highway has gone all Javitz Center and the Christopher Street piers have gone all bike paths, public parks, family-friendly, most of the street-based working girls of the trans-type can be found on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens. And, many of them have come off the street and work in the comfort and relative safety of 900 numbers,  Al Gore’s internet, and places like Backpage or

Q: What did they call vaginas and penises in the old days, back when there were wenches and m’ladies?

A: Here’s a whole list for the vaginas and their assorted parts, on a historical time line. And another for the penis and its entourage. You won’t be surprised that the lady parts are mostly cozy and cute (mossy treasure, poontang), and the boy parts are mostly ego-driven and aggressive (skyscraper, arse-opener). Personally, I like a nice flap-doodle in my jampot now and then.