I am a trans girl, dyke, academic, and artist currently pursing a Master's in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Regina on Treaty 4 Territory. My research focuses on transmisogyny, and my soon to be completed thesis Transmisogyny and the Abjection of Girlcock looks at how trans women are cast as dangerous and disgusting intruders in feminist and lesbian spaces, theory, and media.
My artistic practice centers an autotheoretical investigation into my surgically transitioned body, and interogates concepts such as the trans body, sexual and gendered difference, and the intersection of my identities as a dyke and a trans woman. I am particularly interested in how my body is read and consumed as a trans woman who has undergone bottom surgery, and how I can use my body to subvert cissexist feminist theory, or create new theory.
witchknife is cat haines's ongoing solo tran(s)cey drone project. witchknife's drones are improvised rituals that conjure ethereal feedback into beautiful sounds to heal your heart. witchknife has toured across the Canadian Prairies, been installed in the Dunlop Art Gallery's Digital Media Lounge, and is featured in Bella Vendetta's art porn Forced Earth Connection.
You can listen to witchknife on Bandcamp!
The Lesbian Body ⚧ (2020) is a short zine that seeks to trans-form Monique Wittig's classic lesbian text, The Lesbian Body (1973). Monique Wittig states that "the body of the text subsumes all the words of the female body," yet as a trans lesbian, I find my body excluded and abject within the context of this work. This zine seeks to rectify that abjection by adding and entering into conversation with the original cissexist text.
The text of this short zine is included below, or you can download the zine here.
Author’s Note (M.W.)
Le Corps Lesbian has lesbianism as its theme, that is, a theme which cannot even be described as taboo, for it has no real existence in the history of literature… The body of the text subsumes all the words of the female [sic] body. Le Corps Lesbian attempts to acheive the affirmation of its reality. The lists of names contribute to this activity. To recite one’s own body, to recite the body of the other, is to recite the words of which the book is made up. The fascination for writing the never previously written, and the fascination for the unattained body proceed from the same desire. The desire to bring the real body violently to life in the words of the book (everything that is written exists), the desire to do violence by writing to the language which I [j/e] can enter only by force.
Author’s Note (C.H.)
The Lesbian Body ⚧ challenges Wittig’s assertion that the lesbian body is limited to the cisgender dyadic female body. This text enters into a conversation with The Lesbian Body that seeks to extend and trans-form the work through plagiarism and the act of (re-)writing the body (of the text). Le Corps Lesbian can be understood as a fundamentally trans- text despite its cisnormative understanding of the lesian body (it seeks to (re-)construct a ‘female’ body outside the existing binary). To understand it as a trans- text is the first step to subverting its cisnormative gaze upon the lesbian body. To plagiarize the text, as a trans lesbian, is to trans-form the text into something new and more radical, to open the possibilities of the text and further explore the lesbian body.
I am laid under an interdict in the city where you live. I have no right to go there. The women loose your dogs on m/e when I approach. Everything is denied m/e, even the right of asylum. I am overwhelmed by desperation when I hear your voice saying to m/e that I may not come, that they are determined to prevent m/e in every way… m/y cries m/y shrieks m/y ululations make your dogs shiver, they are at bay, I hear them whimpering… but whatever the impatience I provoke in them by m/y presence, they cannot prevent m/e from remaining here, they cannot compel m/e to move to a place where m/y voice would reach none of you.
I begin to sing as you sink your teeth into the flesh of m/y cock m/y most beautiful one, m/y most feared one. I feel your incisors slice into m/y glans, split m/y shaft in two, tearing the sponge like tissue. Your tongue explores m/y now barred corpus cavernosum travels up m/y urethra until it reaches m/y bladder. Left unsatisfied you begin to probe m/y seminal vesicle m/y prostate m/y vas deferens. As you explore each tube bodily fluids spill out of m/e and onto your hungry face and you moan in abject pleasure as m/y cum and blood and saliva begins to fill your lungs. Unable to breath you dig your face deeper into m/y body filling m/y scrotum and moving up into m/y stomach. I feel your face inside m/e biting at m/e transforming m/e.
Flowers begin to germinate around m/e m/y most adored one. They overtake m/y epidermis m/y dermis m/y hypodermis hair follicles bursting forth with now grown flowers. I feel their roots pushing into m/y pores forcing pearls of bacteria and sebum deeper into m/y body. Smells of blooming flowers mix with the rotting flesh of m/y body m/y decay m/y putrefaction. As I give birth to new life m/y most adored one, I call out in the direction of the city to ask if I am welcome.
THE LESBIAN BODY THE THYROID CARTILAGE THE LARYNX THE STUBBLE THE PREPUCE THE FRENULUM THE CORPUS SPONGIOSUM THE CORPUS CAVERNOSUM THE CORONA THE ADAM’S APPLE THE GLANS THE CLIT THE PUBIC SYMPHYSIS THE TESTIS THE SCROTUM THE SHAFT THE HAIR THE EPIDIDYMIS THE BLOOD THE ERECTIONS THE SPERMATIC CORD THE EJACULATORY DUCT THE BULBOSPONGIOSUS MUSCLE THE PROSTATE THE SEMINAL VESICLES THE BULBOURETHRAL GLANDS THE VAS DEFERENS THE EJACULATE THE SEMEN THE SPERMATOZOA THE SMEGMA THE TESTOSTERONE THE PROSTATIC SECRETIONS
Lady Dick is an early mix media work that was created in reasponse to an article published in The Carillon, the University of Regina's student newspaper. The article was writen by an undergrad visual arts student about their recent exhibit of pussy art at the 5th Parallel Gallery. In the article the student states "I am aware that not all women have vulvas but a lot of my work is self-reflection and I indeed, have a vulva. from here on in, every mention of woman is directed to those with vulvas." (emphasis mine). Within a single breath, the author opens the door to womanhood, and then slams it shut.
This work is an embodiment of queer rage, a peice that builds on Ahmed's notion of the feminist killjoy. The peice includes statements such as "I Am A Fucking Woman. Do I Need To Fucking Scream It," and "Fuck Your Transmisogyny" as well as images of women with dicks printed or pasted over the images of the installed pussy art. While cocks invading a space created around The Vulva would typically be seen as an act of tremendous misogynystic violence, this peice asks the viewer to account for the femininity of the cocks, and what it means to strictly define womanhood around the vulva.
A Spell To Hex Hormones (2018) blurs the lines between magic, art, and desire. It is an attempt to take control of my body at a moment when it was at it's most vulnerable--after being on hormones for three years, I was informed that my testosterone levels were back to where they had started. In some ways, A Spell to Hex Hormones is perhaps an exploration of how far I am willing to go to shape my body in the ways I desire. What does it mean to hex yourself, or a part of yourself in pursuit of a more livable life?
Assessment (2019) is a short autofictional/autotheoretical video that explores the psychological assessments I was made to undergo prior to accessing bottom surgery. Assessment links questions I was asked throughout the interview process with beliefs stemming from Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis (1886), which is often considered a founding moment/text for sexology. By linking these two moments in time, I challenge the idea that we have made as significant progress as we believe with respect to trans rights, and access to transition related healthcare.
This film is part documentation, part satire, and part critique of the modern gatekeeping system that prevents people from accessing transition related care. Ultimately, I would like re-shoot this video with access to proper equipment, such as a green screen, and professional audio equipment.