I'm really disgusted to have to even write about this but I can't remain silent either. Never before have I encountered someone as despicable as Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff (also known as "Heart" or "AmazonHeart" on some internet boards). I've had more than my share of dealings with her in the past but never before have I been this furious about any of her asinine behavior. Most of the time, I can just point and laugh or shake my head when I happen to read about her internet antics. However, I'm so-oo-oo past that right now.
Of course, if you need to, you could probably get some hearty laughs of your own by reading about how she has decided to enter into the presidential elections race. That's right, Cheryl "Fight The Establishment" Seelhoff is running for the position as Commander in Chief of the United States military. It makes sense, right? I mean, it's not as if maintaining a military force would make one a tool of THE PATRIARCHYTM, right?
Then there's the fact that she wrote her own wikipedia page. Now, that is a riot all by itself! Don't bother looking for it on the site because it's already gone but you can check out the cached version of it on Google. For some reason, the editors didn't think that having one mention on page three of an article on Salon.com constitutes sufficient proof of fame. I wonder why! Is anyone surprised that no one besides Heart and her (less than a dozen or so) regular commenters thought that she was notable enough to warrant having a wiki listing? There are some people who have become moderately famous in real-life thanks to their internet following: Mario Lavandeira aka "Perez Hilton", Amber Lee Ettinger (Obama-Girl), William Sledd (from "Ask a Gay Man"). Now, we can argue about whether these three people should have listings, but Heart? That's a no-brainer.
I found it interesting that her self-praising blurb mentioned that, back in 1998, she won a court case against some folks at the church she used to attend. According to Heart, she was awarded in excess of one million dollars. So why was she begging her fan-girls for money last week?
"If you can help me to get to the Festival, I will be eternally grateful. Airfare to Fest as of just now is $503 round trip, which is the cheapest fare. I need to take my youngest daughter, Maggie, so the total cost for both of us would be $1,006. The womyn raising money to help us all get home are hoping to be able to help get me a ticket for Maggie, but that is still not certain, so I may need $150 for her ticket at the gate. I also would need two shuttle tickets to get us from the airport to the land and back, a total. The total is $1,236."
Now, unless Heart has managed to spend an average of 100,000 dollars each year for the past ten years--that's not even factoring in the fact that she has a full-time job that has been generating an income during this time, as well-- there is no way that this woman could be broke. That makes it all the more disgusting to see her go on to say,
"It’s bizarre to me to read, as I sometimes do, that this event is for rich white women. That’s foolishness. It’s for lesbians, a comparatively impoverished, disenfranchised group, no men to depend on, no men paying the bills (as is true of quite a few of Fest’s detractors)."
The fact that this came from the lips of a person who brags about her $1,000,000+ settlement makes that particular claim sound pretty dern hollow, in my book. And why is she asking for money? It's not because she doesn't have enough money to put food on the table for her family. It's not because she needs airfare to go and be with a dying relative. It's so that she can go and hang out at a festival for a week.
Oh, and by the way, she has a husband. That's right! This woman who goes around calling herself a lesbian is married. Her and her husband have been together for over ten years now. And lest one think that it was just some sort of "arrangement of convenience"--a concept that I find completely understandable given the situation that lesbians face in some other countries--this is the same husband that's the father of her two youngest children. She doesn't really talk about him on her blog. Perhaps it's because doing so might show what a fake she is when she waxes on about being a lesbian. After all, as Heart says,
"A female entering a relationship with a male? That’s a heterosexual relationship, no matter how anybody 'identifies.'"
It's crazy. If you're heterosexual, then what's the problem with being honest about that? You don't have to have a spouse that agrees with every view you have in order for them to, at least, be worth acknowledging. The German and I certainly don't see eye to eye on everything but does that mean that I'm going to pretend he doesn't exist whenever I'm talking about what and who is important in my life? Of course not! You don't have to be dishonest in order to be a real feminist. In fact, I'd say that a major part of being a feminist means being willing to speak truth to power. For all her so-called"rad-fem" beliefs, it seems Mrs. Seelhoff never figured this out.
Anyway, I've gone on long enough about Heart's other antics, so I suppose it's best that I get to the reason why I've taken the time out of my day to point out Heart's hypocrisy and lies. I had decided that Heart wasn't really interesting enough for me to expend any more energy writing about here on My Private Casbah. It's quite clear that she's proud to be a racist, disablist, transphobic bigot, so there really isn't any point in trying to reason with her. This became especially apparent to me once I saw that there are other self-proclaimed "radical feminists" who are willing to consider the idea that feminism necessarily includes the principle that all women are worthy of protection. After speaking my mind with the award, I moved on to other topics.
Well, that was until someone was kind enough to hip me to one of Heart's posts on the forums for the Michigan Women's Music Festival. In it, she uses me, bint alshamsa, in an attempt to buttress her transphobic views. Now, it's one thing if Heart wants to spout her garbage all across the internets, making herself look like an idjit. However, when she tries to use MY disabilities as proof that people should be afraid of teh evil transgender people, that's when I have to speak up about it.
Here's a snippet from her post:
"Last winter a young, disabled woman blogger, unaware of who Renee was (Renee was going by "Womansspace" at the time (!)), all but invited Renee to stay in her house with her after having been e-mailed by Renee and subjected to the RainSong routine! I should leave Renee out of this discussion precisely why? So other women reading -- a LOT of women read here who aren't Festies, and some of them have encountered Renee via the blogosphere -- can get sucked in by her and have their lives all fucked up by her like a whole bunch of other women"... If anyone wants to see the blog posts where RainSong almost ended up moving in with the young disabled woman, e-mail me.
Now, would you like to see the blog posts that she was talking about? Here is it:
You've Saved My Life
Now, granted, it was several months ago but even then, does being thirty years old mean I'm so young that I couldn't possibly make an informed decision about who I wanted to let stay in my home? Does the fact that I have a disability really have anything to do with whether or not I am intelligent enough to determine whether or not someone is "safe enough" to have around?
I mean, why did Cheryl think that invoking my identity as a person with disabilities would add validity to her transphobic views? See, this isn't the first time I've dealt with this sort of thing. It's disablism, pure and simple. By referring to me as a "young, disabled woman blogger", Heart is trying to position me as someone in need of protection, a feeble child in danger of falling into a trap that only the transphobic rad-fems can save me from. It never occurred to her that a woman with disabilities could actually make up her own mind about who she wants to have around her by CHOOSING to be around transgendered people. I guess someone forgot to tell me (and millions of other people with disabilities) that we're supposed to walk around scared to make the same sort of decisions that non-disabled people make every day. After all, we might be Taken Advantage OfTM! Quelle horreur!!!
According to Heart's mentality, because I have a disability, I'm supposed to be frightened to death by the idea of having a sixty year-old transgendered woman visit my house. Okay, that seems silly to me but I can understand why the idea of taking in folks from off the street might be a bit too much for some people to handle. What I don't get is why, of all people, Heart is the one who supposedly knows best how to judge what kind of person someone is. She doesn't exactly have a good track record of choosing emotionally-healthy people to share her life with.
I, on the other hand, have plenty of experience with successfully living with those that others might not be willing to take a chance on. Ever since before I was born, my mother took in others who were in need of a more stable living environment. When I became an adult, I did the same thing. In my lifetime, I've lived with:
1.a woman with paranoid schizophrenia
2.a sex worker
3.several pregnant teenagers
4.three siblings who were the children of a woman with a drug addiction
5.a seventeen year-old boy who had never had his own bed before moving in with us
6.five children (male and female) who had been sexually abused and abandoned by their mother
7.a girl who was a member of a gang,
And that's just a sampling. The others I won't mention because I don't know for sure if they'd be comfortable with me talking about it here. Now, despite the issues that these individuals faced, my mother made sure that no harm ever came to us from those she let into our home. For all her faults, she never taught me to live in fear of my fellow human beings. She NEVER accepted the idea that having a disability meant that I should be pitied or shielded from the world that everyone else had to face.
But none of that matters to people like Heart. To her, it's perfectly acceptable to use people with disabilities as pawns in her campaign of hatred. It's the same thing she tried to do with people of color and then had the nerve to get angry when numerous bloggers called her to task for it in the same way that some of the other posters to the Michfest boards have done lately.
She can't support her assertions with any sort of rational arguments. Instead, Heart anoints herself spokesperson for all sorts of groups that she knows nothing about and then she begins to claim to be an authority on what these people think. She's been in two inter-racial marriages. Therefore (according to her), that makes her an authority on what it means to be black. That idiotic idea didn't work on the people of color bloggers that she tried to present it to and that dog won't hunt here either.
I'm the one who has had their body cut open, stapled, stitched, sawed on, and irradiated. NOT HEART. What has she done to earn the right to claim what my disabilities prove? Only a disgusting individual like Cheryl would have the unmitigated gall to use someone else's--a woman, I might add--disabilities as a means to bolster her hateful and fundamentalist assertions. Well, I've decided that I'm not just going to sit back and do nothing about it.
I'm placing a link to this post on the site that Cheryl is telling people to go and look at. That way, those who want to can see who it is they are dealing with when they talk to her. Renee's problems are nothing compared to the utter fraud that is Mrs. Cheryl Seelhoff.
P.S. Don't expect me to have any sympathy for her because she and some of her buddies have managed to piss off some folks over at Ebaumsworld, Encyclopedia Dramatica and 4chan. I'm sticking with the same position I stated when it first began. Malcolm X has a quote that keeps coming to mind when I think about this situation:
"Chickens coming home to roost never made me sad. It only made me glad."