Change Your World-NOT your Body

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Straight Male's Comment on Trans GENDER ism

Hi there.

I am a heterosexual male and I've been reading your blog, honestly from a logical perspective I agree a lot with your views on transsexuality in terms of its preservation of archaic gender roles (males act/look a certain way, females act/look a certain way)...while I do respect the fact that people can do what they want with their bodies as long as it isn't done in violence/hate. I also don't believe that one needs to become the "other" sex (more than two sexes actually exist) in order to feel comfortable in embodying social 'norms' associated with one specific gender.

Maybe some people truly do feel the need to change their sex (to whatever extent it is actually possible), but I never quite understood the whole thing about "I've always felt like I was a girl/boy" -- how can you feel like a girl/boy if you have never actually been one? I could be wrong, but that seems to me more so someone projecting their own ideas of the 'other' onto that gender. Wearing dresses and make-up and playing with dolls does not make one any more of a woman. Neither does having a certain length of hair or not wearing makeup make you any more of a man. That doesn't make any sense to me.

I respect the views of my friends, but that in itself is honestly a gripe I have with transsexualism, as gender roles cause a lot of unnecessary harm, pain, friction, segregation, etc. in society. We would be better off without strict, rigid ideas of how one gender is "supposed" to be! I just wanted you to know that not all (heterosexual) men support the culture of enforcing "hyper-femininity" on women. I for one am not attracted to it and I think the world would be a much better place for everyone if people weren't encouraged to fit into a caustic stereotype, ones with histories of brutality and degradation, on both sides, but especially women!

While the system of this is supported by men, it does not represent the ethics or sexualities of all men, and I support womens' right to not conform to a stupid-ass cartoon of what it means to have a vagina. No, I am not trying to turn anyone straight or infiltrate your culture, I just want to reassure you that some of us men do agree with the things you are saying.

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54 comments:

  1. Thanks for the article. I enjoyed reading it, and you sound like a kind and respectful man.

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  2. why would someone need to be reassured that straight men agree?

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  3. I'm glad he chimed in. The more people who "see the light", the better. Thanks anon straight guy.

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  4. "why would someone need to be reassured that straight men agree?"

    Why not? As long as most women aren't living in all women societies, maybe it's nice to know some of our neighbors are supportive.

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  5. How ironic to have a straight individual's perspective posted on this website when dirt before specifically stated that any "straight" posting will be deleted.

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  6. What I've been trying to tell you all along is that most trans people don't agree with rigid gender stereotypes either. We do have the right to our own bodies. It must be that you a) get all of your information about transsexuals from videos made by children and b) you don't actually give enough of a fuck to ask transpeople what their beliefs about gender roles are. Because it's much easier to judge without knowing- just like any old racist fuck does.

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  7. I'm a straight woman, and I this this blog is amazing! Ai've posted here--was that not allowed? Frankly, I'd rather hear from a male born male than any m2T.
    margeauxb

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  8. It is kind of funny how straight people post here. They almost sound as if they think their vote is worth a *tiny* bit more than all the dykes. Like, they'd like to lend you some of their credibility in your hate movement. Anyhoo, eat a bag of dicks.

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  9. quote from the Indigo Girls...

    "We strongly feel that the time is long overdue for a change of intention, to one that states very plainly the inclusion of Trans Womyn. To us, this change of intention is the only path to a truly 'safe space' for womyn. […] Although we are playing the festival, we honor the current protest against MWF and hope that it will help move the community towards change. Any money that we make playing the Festival will go towards Trans Activism. We will make a statement from stage at the Festival in support of Trans Inclusion. We have made it clear that this will be our last time at the Festival until MWF shows visible and concrete signs of changing their intention."

    http://www.glaad.org/blog/indigo-girls-speak-out-about-anti-trans-policy-michigan-womyns-music-festival

    QUESTION:

    DOES THIS INCLUDE FUNDING TRANSGENDER RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND/OR ATTORNEYS WHO HAVE PROVIDED LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO TRANSGENDER INMATES WHO SAY THEIR RIGHTS ARE BEING VIOLATED BECAUSE THE STATES THEY ARE INCARCERTED IN WON'T PAY FOR SEX REASSIGNMENT SURGERY/HORMONES, ETC? IS THIS ONE OF THE TRANSGENDER ACTIVISM CAUSES THE INDIGO GIRLS MIGHT FUND WITH ANY MONEY EARNED AT MICHFEST? DID ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CONVICTED MURDERERS OF WOMEN AND CHILD MOLESTERS RECIEVE ANY SUPPORT AND/OR LEGAL ASSISTANCE FROM TRANSGENDER ORGANIZATIONS?

    Sandy Jo Battista (David Megarry), a convicted sex offender who has molested girls, expects tax payers to pay for his feminizing hormones.

    http://pacer.mad.uscourts.gov/dc/cgi-bin/recentops.pl?filename=woodlock/pdf/battista071111.pdf

    Katheena Soneeya (Kenneth Hunt), who is trying to get the State of Massachusetts to pay for hair removal and sex reassignment surgery was convicted of murdering two women.

    http://pacer.mad.uscourts.gov/dc/cgi-bin/recentops.pl?filename=tauro/pdf/soneeya%20v%20spencer%20et%20al%20memo.pdf

    Robert Kosilek (Michelle Lynn Kosilek), then 39, was already transitioning when he killed his wife, Cheryl McCaul, during an argument. He strangled her to death, nearly decapitating her in the Mansfield, Massachusetts home they still shared.

    http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/blog/article/the-transgender-prisoner-and-the-eighth-amendment/index.html

    I HAVE AN EXCELLENT IDEA! INSTEAD OF GIVING ANY MONEY THEY GET FROM MICHFEST TO TRANS ACTIVISM CAUSES, WHY NOT GIVE EVERY CENT THEY GET FROM MICHFEST TO THE 13 YEAR OLD GIRL THAT TRANSGENDER CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER, RONNIE DARNELL, BRUTALLY RAPED? ISN'T A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL MORE IMPORTANT THAN A TRANSGENDER CHILD RAPIST?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2295185/Ronny-Darnell-Oklahoma-providing-TWO-prisoners-including-convicted-child-rapist-cross-gender-hormones.html

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  10. I'm not too phased by straight guys agreeing with me. After all, they can't all be wrong all of the time (do the math). But reassured? If only I could look at it “from a logical perspective” the way he does. We all know there's nothing better than testosterone for helping that along. Anyway, sleep easy, gals, you don't have to work at being “hyperfeminine” any more: Mr Nice Straightguy is “not attracted to it”. Phew!
    OK, it's cheap and easy (and fun) to lampoon a guy who wants to be on our side, but maybe just expressed himself clumsily, so let's look more seriously at what he actually says (I do it so you don't have to, sisters):
    He opposes transsexuality (his word) because of its “preservation of archaic gender roles”: would that they were archaic, we could all relax a little; sadly they are alive and fully functioning, the lynchpin of patriarchy. Admirably, he defends everyone's right to “do what they want with their bodies as long as it isn't done in violence/hate”, but this sidesteps the very crux of the issue between us and the trans-lobby, about whether “re-assignment” surgery is violence and an expression of hatred or not.
    I must be grateful to Straightman for some new information, namely that “more than two sexes actually exist”. I admit I was not a straight-A student in science classes: maybe I was away cheerleading for the girls' softball team the day they covered that. But my understanding of Biology 101 was that Homo Sapiens, like all mammals, is a sexually dimorphic species. Awaiting further elucidation, I can only remain silent.
    Some of you may rally behind him when he asks, rhetorically, “how can you feel like a girl/boy if you have never actually been one?” but I do not. If he and you are right, then story-tellers, poets and shamans have laboured in vain for the best part of 10,000 years to help us understand what it might be to be someone or something that we are not. The fundamental (fundamentalist?) error of the transsexualists is to seek to turn imagination into a crude simulacrum of reality.
    He deplores the “caustic stereotype” (of sexism, I assume: his grammar escapes me at this point) which has resulted in “histories of brutality and degradation, on both sides, but especially women!”. Note, please, that “on both sides”: the Spanish-American War was the scene of crimes “on both sides” - and of course patriarchy and resistance against it are just like that, aren't they?
    I wish Straightman well. I hope he continues to learn and grow. But you do not have to be grateful to him for his little crumbs of agreement, nor indeed to me, a gay man.

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  11. EWW. You are disgusting. How about you go back and talk to my 10 year old self after I almost successfully hung myself because of this problem and tell me that to my little face. You have no idea what you're talking about and quite frankly why do you feel the need to say you're straight? If you were gay, would your opinion be worth less. It's nice lesbians are so full of hate. Really you are disgusting and should go join hamas.

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  12. It's true it doesn't matter if he is straight or gay - it's still nice for a male to chime in for a change. (I think we all know even well-meaning straight men tend to be a little more bumbling than we're used to).
    The storey-tellers and poets(I won't speak for Shamanism)are encouraging us to use our imaginations, not to go out and mangle our bodies or try to act out actual behavior in their stories. I always say the sky is the limit as far as anyone's fantasy/imagination goes, just find yourself a good partner.
    Germany

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  13. Thanks for the article. I really appreciate the opportunity to confront a cisgender privileged male's professed "gripes" with the transsexual concept!

    Arguing for a fantasy world in which transgender expression doesn't 'have to' manifest in a world absent of the gender binary is almost endearingly naive. It's also, for the sake of cogent argument, a vacant hypothetical.

    Perhaps thinking of transgender expression as EMBRACING the falsity of the gender binary and EXPANDING the plurality of gender might be liberating.

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  14. Congrats, Dirt! You've found a cisgendered male ally almost as unsophisticated as you!

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  15. Anon @3:23, "transgender expression" is fanciful any which way you look at it. I certainly don't fit in the gender binary. I just don't think caving into the mental f--k society gives(especially to certain vulnerable groups), to the point of people taking hormones, cutting off parts of their bodies, sewing other parts up or on and all the rest can be described as "embracing" anything. Combine that with their mimmickry of behavior from their opposite sex and you've got a walking/talking art project, not pioneers breaking some kind of new ground.
    Germany

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  16. Anon @ 9:47. Your point was well-taken for quite a few years by the medical establishment and politicians here in the United States.

    The good news, if you have not already heard, is twofold:

    1. The DSM 5 (the diagnostic criteria, which until the 70s listed "homosexuality" as a mental disease, has taken "transsexualism" OUT OF THE MANUAL. The medical establishment is realizing that, like homosexuality's conception as a mental disorder 40 years ago, they have erred AGAIN with their conception of transgender identity.

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/12/03/1271431/apa-revises-manual-being-transgender-is-no-longer-a-mental-disorder/?mobile=nc


    2. The Vice President of the United States declared transgender discrimination to be the "civil rights issue of our time" in October of 2012.

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/18182/joe-biden-transgender-rights-why-obama-administration-will-need-extra-push-for-trans-rights

    THIS IS NO LONGER A FRINGE ISSUE.

    I always imagine the E.U. to be far more enlightened when it comes these ideas. My advice to you: do some reading, stay up to date with the current ideas on the issue, stay rooted in factual/cogent argumentation, and learn to love all within the LGBT consortium.

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  17. Kudos, anan at 3:23.

    Do you think these hatemongers even understand your sarcasm or do you think they're too busy trying to figure out how to replicate the violence taken against trans women in every city, every day, at Mitch Fest?

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  18. Anon@11:27,
    I'm quite well-read on the issue, don't worry. Have you forgotten that the "trans" concept actually popped up over here? Only around 100 years ago, and not in any way comparable to Homosexuality. Can you articulate what "rights" you are actually fighting for?
    Germany

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  19. consortium (n.) 1829, from Latin consortium "fellowship, participation, society," from consors (genitive consortis; see consort (n.)). Earlier, in British law, a term for "right of husband's access to his wife." Online Etymology Dictionary

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  20. Anon @ 1:17
    You are not the first to discover the patriarchal origins of the English language. But thanks for the elementary lesson in linguistics -- I would, however, urge you to leave such academic endeavors to heavyweights like Judith Butler, who as a mere coincidence, happens to support trans rights while proudly owning her identity as a lesbian. Who would have thought? There are ACTUALLY lesbians who are allies to the trans cause?!

    To Anon @ 11:27

    I'm sure you are well-read on the issue via Dirt's hate vehicle, but that's not quite the kind of reading I had in mind.
    Additionally, may I ask you what is informing your claim that transgender people originated in Germany 100 years ago? Do you have documentation of this? This is a fascinating assertion.

    I was actually under the impression that transgender people have existed as gender-variant people throughout history (that includes in non-Western societies that some Germans may find repugnant).

    Give a quick Google to the terms "Berdache" and "Hijra" and you will find evidence of gender transgression well before any evidence of such in 'Germany 100 years ago'.

    Conclusion: transgender expression has existed in different forms for a long time in many societies.

    Educate yourselves. Either way, the days of those and your kind are numbered. The Indigo Girls are publicly condemning the hatemongering of those like you ON YOUR OWN TURF.

    Here are the transgendered rights you inquired about, that need to be fought for:

    1. Federal law that prevents the discrimination of trans people in both the public and private sector

    2. Comprehensive health care to all for access to trans-related care

    You will not win this argument. The tides are shifting.

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  21. Anon 1:27- That's not an answer - it's clear what rights the G L and B are fighting for, but what "rights" exactly are "trans" as a group fighting for?
    Germany

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  22. Anon @2:12,
    I do think Dirt is right with her basic concept that "trans" is a medical invention.
    We can definately say homosexual people show up all through history. But "trans" popped up as a concept as Gay men wanted to be "normalized". Might be time for you to look into Magnus Hirschfeld and others, and yes, all the original doctors notes and other records of these early medical experimentations on Gay men (which they willingly partook in a bit over 100 years ago) are in German.
    Germany

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  23. Also check out Lili Elbe if you don't believe me.
    Germany

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  24. Anon @ 2:24 and 2:44

    1. Transgender people (while I am not one, I consider myself an ally as a lawyer who represents many of them) are fighting for basic civil liberties. These include not being discriminated against at work because of their gender identity expression and having the right to access affordable and suitable health care.

    2. Thank you for your recommendations regarding 19th century European transgender medical models. I will try to find translated versions from German to English, if possible.

    However, I take it that you did not follow up on my recommendation to broaden your research. Gender-variant people have indeed existed throughout history. Of course, the concept of "gender presentation" is shaped by culture. In some cultures, gender variance is not expressed through medical intervention but rather is expressed through cermony, ritual and 'cross-dressing'. In other cultures (namely, Western-Industrial cultures), transgender identity expresses itself as 'transsxualism' through the medical model.

    You are correct to state that the medical model used to grant transgender people legitimate identities as men and women is the product of patriarhy. However, does that mean that TRANSGENDER PEOPLE, who want to express themselves via the medical model or in any other form of 'cross-gender' expression should be discriminated against, penalized, and ostrecized by the broader LGBT community?! Dirt seems to think so.

    I encourage you to read a comprehensive history of transgender/gender-variant experience (See Transgender Warriors by Les Feinberg). I understand that your Euro-centric worldview may prevent you from understanding 'berdache' and 'hijra' trans identities as legitmate or worth reading about, but I think you would benefit greatly.

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  25. * And further, to clarify, 'berdache' and 'hijra' identities pre-date the 19th century German interventions you have discussed.

    I know, I know. It's hard to think of history as existing outside of the Motherland. The Fuhrer took issue with that as well.

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  26. Anon@May 12, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Transition was created because nothing else seemed to "change" homosexuality. Only the men who wanted transition werent gay, they were just like those today.

    White, middle class or higher and straight. Someone mentioned Elbe, perfect example of a male who fetishized "woman". These men go to extremes to make their cocks hard, and when the medical community ruins their sexual response, they seek greater extremes to gain "trans highs" via their mental phallus.

    dirt

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  27. Hahahahaha.

    Nicely articulated, Dirt. Righteous.

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  28. Hey Dirt,

    Did you hear about the trans woman who was assaulted by a group of teenagers in McDonald's so badly that she suffered a concussion and a seizure? This happened within the last year.

    But she deserved it, right? She was probably a rapist, criminal who harassing women, right? Just trying to get her dick hard at McDonald's, being deceitful, doing the things that transgender people typically do.

    Fortunately Dirt, your incredibly misguided and inarticulate world view doesn't matter. You have a readership that consists of a handful of undereducated people like yourself.

    Politicans, activists, the media and the medical establishment (and...MichFest) are revising their position on trans people. It would be advisable for you to drop your hate campaign now and to become and ally. You are already outnumbered

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  29. Anon 4:13,
    I actually never mentioned the patriarchy or any of that. I've explained to you as best I can the very clear history of how medical "transitioning" came about in the Western World. Dressing up as the opposite sex, role-playing,Homosexuality, etc. are not what we are talking about. If you want to understand culture you have to look at it in it's entirity, you can't pick and choose what you are comfortable with from yours, and appropriate from others out of context.
    Germany

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  30. Anon @ 4:13

    Are you suggesting that transitioning in the Western World can be separated from the social phenomena of "dressing up as the opposite sex, role-playing and homosexuality"??????

    Funny, I thought that all of the above qualities were typically associated with the physical act of transitioning.

    What I am "comfortable with" from my own Western culture is the concept of identity self-determination as a protected class of existence under law. This means that people are free to express themselves and their genders as they may please with full protection under the law in a free world.

    What do you think?

    You will not win this argument. The tides are shifting. The major figureheads of your own movement are speaking out against your perspective. Adapt and move forward, is the best advice one could give you.

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  31. * Correction: The previous comment was directed at Anon 11:00 pm

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  32. Anon @ 11:00 pm

    Are you really content being one of the last of your kind standing -- a fringe extremist with virulent transphobic tendencies in a changing climate?

    I have never lived in Germany, but according to my friends in Berlin, there are serious penalties imposed upon those who even go so far as to graffiti a Swastika onto a public surface in Germany.

    How convenient for you that cyberspace is deterritorialized and that the same laws against hate speech do not apply here.

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  33. Anon at 11

    How do u think the last of the rednecks in the southern United States feel?

    I'm going to speculate and say that they feel toothless, unshowered and ashamed to live in a country with a black, educated president.

    Do you really want to wind up like that -- alone and impoverished in your hatred and misconception of transpeople?

    You probably think you are doing young butch women a favor. There will ALWAYS be strong, beautiful and powerful butch women.

    This DOES NOT negate the legitimate status of trans identity nor does it negate the demand for transgender civil liberties. Only the intellectual and emotionally impoverished few will remain in opposition to this civil rights struggle.

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  34. Anon at 12:20

    We shall overcome.

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  35. QUOTE:" Anonymous said...
    Anon@11:27,
    I'm quite well-read on the issue, don't worry. Have you forgotten that the "trans" concept actually popped up over here? Only around 100 years ago, and not in any way comparable to Homosexuality. Can you articulate what "rights" you are actually fighting for?
    Germany

    May 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM"

    My goodness! What planet is this poster on? Has she never heard of CIVIL LIBERTIES?
    Not to mention, the right to not get beaten, attacked and raped in a culture that subjects trans women to THE SAME misogyny that cisgendered women are subjected to!


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  36. Oh and one more thing:

    I would like to ask the original poster of the article a two questions:

    1. What makes you think that your highly privileged yet grossly misinformed perspective on transgender issues is warranted? Did Dirt ask you to write the piece in one last desperate attempt to persuade her (small and insignificant) readership that trans women are subhuman and should not be allowed to access Mich Fest? I'm having difficulty understanding both the mindset of the original poster and Dirt from the perspective of political strategy. But, then perhaps, maybe I'm over thinking things.

    2. Quote from original posting: "Maybe some people truly do feel the need to change their sex (to whatever extent it is actually possible), but I never quite understood the whole thing about "I've always felt like I was a girl/boy" -- how can you feel like a girl/boy if you have never actually been one?"

    Have you read Lacan? If you had, you would understand that one's sense of gender is, in fact, always a projection. GENDER IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION. The meaning we assign to body parts results from language and social relations.

    Do the reading, folks. At this point, I'm just trying to save the few of you left on this 2nd Wave feminist wagon save your integrity, jump ship and include trans people into your cause.

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  37. Anon at 6:15

    Yo, I think u are over thinking this shit.

    Obviously, the original poster is dating a woman who formerly identified as a lesbian and was persuaded by her to write this article to prove himself 2nd Wave enough.

    You gotta stop thinking so hard

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  38. Quote from dirt
    May 12, 2013 at 4:55 PM:

    "These men go to extremes to make their cocks hard, and when the medical community ruins their sexual response, they seek greater extremes to gain "trans highs" via their mental phallus."

    Hi There Dirt,
    I am highly skeptical of the proposition that there exists a single translady who knows more about gaining euphoria from their "mental phalluses" than you do ;)

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  39. @ Anonymous May 13 at 6:15 AM
    (Addressed to original poster) "Did Dirt ask you to write the piece in one last desperate attempt to persuade her (small and insignificant) readership that trans women are subhuman and should not be allowed to access Mich Fest?"

    I have been a small and insignificant reader of Dirt's blog for some time, but have so far seen no evidence that she regards "trans women" as "subhuman". Even if she were to make such an outrageous personal judgment, it would be entirely separate from the *political* judgment that such people have no place at Michfest.
    Imagine, if you will, a white person who artificially darkens their skin tone to approximate that of an "average" Afro-American. Imagine they find a surgeon who is unscrupulous enough to transform their facial features into a caricature of those associated with people of African descent. As justification, they claim that they have "always felt Black" because they... [insert your own list of cultural stereotypes].
    One may suppose that such a person might suffer all manner of discrimination and ill-treatment at the hands of white racists, but is it overly unsympathetic to conclude that, unlike real Black people, they would have brought it upon themself?
    Imagine they then go on to seek entry into African-American cultural and political groupings on the basis of their physical appearance (or "internal self-image") and their "shared experience of discrimination". A *very* generous community might tolerate one such individual as a kooky but harmless eccentric. But what if a number of such people banded together and aggressively *demanded* participation, *insisting* that others regard them as African-American? I cannot imagine that it would end well.
    Black people's right to organize separately from whites, women's right to organize separately from men, working-class people's right to organize separately from the property-owning class, gay people's right to organize separately from straights, have little to do with liberal American "rights of the individual", important as those also are. They are the right of the oppressed to join together to fight their oppression. They are *not* symmetrical. We acknowledge no corresponding right on the part of white people, men, capitalists, or heterosexuals: the very society in which we live, and against which we struggle, is the embodiment of those groups' collective organization in their own interest. That's the point.
    The rights in question - in this case, women's right to separate themselves from men - are collective, class rights, and you do not gain entry to a class or collectivity simply by declaring your membership, nor by simulating the appearance of its existing members, no matter how ardently, or for whatever reason, you may desire it.
    Ultimately, only women - existing and undisputed members of that gender-class, "cis" women, if you insist - can decide this issue. They may choose, or not, to listen to what Straightman thinks, to what the intelligent-sounding transsexual Avid Reader thinks, to what I, a gay man, think. But they are the deciders.

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  40. "Have you read Lacan? If you had, you would understand that one's sense of gender is, in fact, always a projection. GENDER IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION. The meaning we assign to body parts results from language and social relations."

    Yes I have, but not by choice. I've translated great chunks of that shit into English. Let me apologize now to anyone who's read and struggled with my English version: it really is the same French hyper-intellectual Freudian wank-fest in the original. Lacan plundered many of his "ideas" ruthlessly, and mostly without acknowledgment, from feminists. I know that many self-described feminists in France and in Canada (correct me, Northern Sisters, if I'm wrong) have fallen victim to this nonsense.
    "The meaning we assign to body parts results from language and social relations."
    Even supposing this were true, just accept that neither the women here, nor I as a gay man, are prepared to consent to the "social relations" that would make any man's male dick a "ladystick", and that the expression "female penis", by contradictio terminorum, is void of any meaning whatsoever.

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  41. Anon@11:56,
    You missed the point. I'm saying the concept of medically transitioning is a product of western medicine and the western World. And bringing up "two-spirited" people, Shamanism, etc. and other aspects of Native American Cultures, as you did, and trying to call that "transgender" doesn't fly.
    Their entire cultures are different, and nobody medically transitioned. For hundreds of years the Western world has been about trying to make things better, faster, more efficient and people spend a lot of time fussing around doing that. Native Americans and Eskimos don't do that. For 100's of years they pretty much carried on with what worked for them, minimal adjustments as needed. Take a look at Eskimo Art and you will see it's mostly about a blending of humans and animals, if you want to talk about crossing borders. So this fussy, trying-to-fix everything mentality is a Western World thing and it shouldn't surprise anyone they came up with the "trans" concept and fix (not to mention psychology and gender studies).

    I do know several people looking critically at the trans question in Germany, and I know of a thesis which was written on it. Nobody hates anybody or is wishing ill on anybody, is competing in any way with anybody and we are not denying that this group of people exists, but we can definately analyze why. I don't see it as an arguement to win or loose, it's just a fact that people have differing opinions.
    Germany

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  42. Sorry, Dirt, I may be abusing your blog now. I'm a newbie and have a lot to learn about netiquette.
    I want to invite "Germany" to post a piece on my own blog (click on my name). Also Avid Reader, although I suspect s/he's on different thread.

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  43. Hi Petre (or alternately, "GLF dinosaur from the 1970s"??),


    Thank you for your thoughtful response to my various postings on Dirt's hate vehicle. I'll begin by saying that it's a shame your trans politics are so abhorrent -- I imagine we'd actually have quite a bit of fun watching reruns of the Golden Girls and drinking martinis fixed with cheap vodka...but I digress.

    Race and gender, as social constructions, have different etiologies and to act as though we can treat "black face" and transgender identity as completely parallel is quite a big mistake. But before we even address why that is such a mistake in detail, there is one major logical step we need to be trace over. And because you are a man (with a penis and testosterone), you will follow very easily.

    1. Can you please contribute a functional and complete definition of who qualifies as "black"? When you speak of race in an essential manner, you are saying that certain people have more 'authentic' experiences as black people.

    Who, Petre, is this special group of authentic 'black' people and what is it that makes their experience authentic? To what extent does this have to do with pigmentation? To what extent does this have to do with factors such as social class, manner of speech, style of dress, location of education etc? In short, what makes a 'black' person black? Remember, if you cannot give us a finite (that is, complete list of such qualities) you will prove my point.

    Did you miss the (black) cultural theorist Stuart Hall in the 1980s writing about the social construction of race? Too busy dancing the night away to George Michael at the Pines?

    So, to answer your question, a white person who were to undergo "black face" surgery and attempted to be initiated in the black community would be foolish, yes, but not necessarily any less authentic than a so-called "true black" person who is socialized with privilege we typically associate as 'white'.




    2. Transgender civil rights do not boil down to the rights of the individual any more so than any other civil rights cause is ever about individualism. There are groups (plural, global, international) of transgender people throughout the world that suffer from employment discrimination and are victimized violently.

    But as you so shamefully assert: "One may suppose that such a person might suffer all manner of discrimination and ill-treatment at the hands of white racists, but is it overly unsympathetic to conclude that, unlike real Black people, they would have brought it upon themself?" -- i.e. trans people bring this kind of treatment on themselves.

    Shame on you.


    The harsh reality is that you will probably live to see transgender civil rights break more and more into the mainstream and your view, dear Petre, will become more and more irrelevant, made even more implausible by senility.


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  44. Anon @ 1:51

    You make a lot of compelling points. And my apologies for letting the grotesque, competitive American come out a little too strongly once in a while. I'm really trying my hardest over here.

    You are correct in stating that the gender-variant expression of non-Western peoples has existed without the intervention of the medical establishment. You are also correct to assert that the medical establishment, like most establishments, is overwhelmingly run by cisgendered men.

    Trains, cars, buses and plains were invented by men but we use them to get to our feminist consciousness-raising circles where we talk about the atrocities of patriarchy.

    So, yes, while the medical establishment is not free of the problematic gender/power dynamics that exist on every corner of the earth, everywhere, at all times, this DOES NOT mean that we penalize, criminalize and discriminate against people who opt to express their gender using this system.

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  45. * That's "planes" not "plaines"

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  46. lol, hey anon at seven

    i think this old white queen was just informed that race has no basis in biological science. big fucking news flash

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  47. Black Invisibility and white supremacy which caused blacks to pathologically internalize racism has and in many places continues to cause blacks to try and bleach/lighten their skin, plastic surgeries to change biological bone structures, hair straighteners etc.

    Not unlike those from the "trans community" who have similarly internalized homophobia/misogyny to the same levels of self hatred and hopes/dreams of medical rescue. NOT because either were "born that way", but precisely because they both succumbed to white patriarchal standards.

    dirt

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  48. The social phenomena of "skin bleaching" and "transitioning" have different etiologies and need to be looked at separately in relation to the larger, and separate concepts of race and gender.

    I realize my last post may have been a bit long and academic, but I think Dirt would benefit from a closer read.

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  49. Since Dirt seems to appreciated brevity without academic citations. I'll keep this one short and sweet:

    Race and gender are social constructions. This means that what constitutes "black" and "white" and "male" and "female" shifts in meaning over time and throughout history.

    There is no such thing as essential race. There is no such thing as essential gender.


    Skin bleaching, while sad in it's history. does not make a "black" person less authentically "white" because these concepts don't exist materially to begin with.

    Eat a bag of dicks. At Mich Fest.

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  50. anon at 8:09

    Thx for the lunch hour political debate.

    I think it is important though, to note that while "race" and "gender" do not exist as material entities and are completely created and are subject to change, the effects of misogyny and racism are indeed very real.

    so, the question then becomes...

    how can trans/queer communities become allies to communities of color to fight against the negative effects of racism and misogyny?

    great debated. it does seem though like views are changing A LOT about transgender rights.

    thanks again!

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  51. LOL
    you're still talkin about transsexual issues comparing these to gender roles and norms.
    I don't know about transgender way of life, but i know about true transsexuals medical histories.

    Gender is a social construct. If you consider gender in terms of gender roles, gender expression and behaviour.

    If you feel you are born in the wrong body... you have a medical problem. This medical problem is called transsexualism.

    So, if you want to call "man" a transsexual woman then you can call "elephant" an elephant man.
    You are doing violence to the person (first). Second, you are rationally wrong.

    There is, infact, evidence that transsexualism is biologically based and not "fantastically".

    Oh no, please don't let me be misunderstood.
    I don't want to reinforce the archaic patriarchal gender binary nor to convince self-hated homosexuals to "change sex".

    I can't FEEL Black. But i FEEL i am Man, and i'm comfortable with my body.

    Few people are not comfortable with theirs.

    They have Always existed. In the past they used rudimentary techniques to modify bodies.
    They didn't magically appear cause of technological development!

    Finally

    Transsexualism (true) is a biological condition and not all of us have the PRIVILEGE to be born fully male or fully female.
    I am Male because i feel like a male, and also have male anatomy.
    I AM my Brain, first, my genitalia just follow Him\Me. Not viceversa.

    WhiteStraightManDoingResearchOnTranssexualIssues

    W.M.

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  52. @ Anonymous May 14, 2013 at 8:14 AM
    Race and gender are social constructions. This means that what constitutes "black" and "white" and "male" and "female" shifts in meaning over time and throughout history.
    There is no such thing as essential race. There is no such thing as essential gender.


    Race is indeed a purely social construct with at best a very feeble biological basis. But the terms "male" and "female" do not properly refer to gender, but to sex. My cat is female, not because I or anybody else, or other cats, have "socialized" her into "femaleness", but because of her biology.
    It is true, of course, that for humans membership of the gender class of "women" or of "men" has probably never been entirely coterminous with the possession of a female or male body.
    But it is nonetheless true that by and large, society assigns us to one or the other gender class on the (very real) basis of our biology. We can choose to accept or (if we like a fight) reject that assignment. We can also seek to destroy the gender-class system altogether, maintaining that nobody's social role should be determined by their biology.
    In this argument, each side accuses the other of "essentialism". You accuse us (it seems) of being essentialists for pointing out that Homo Sapiens, like all mammals, is a sexually dimorphic species. We accuse you of essentialism for apparently asserting the existence of a male/female mind or "spirit" which overrides the reality of our bodies to the extent, in some cases, of demanding their mutilation.
    We do indeed acknowledge biological sex as essential. But it seems to us that you, rather than we, are wedded to the notion of "essential gender".

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  53. Hi, I'm the original poster of this writing... I hadn't read any of the responses to this since Dirt posted this, so I would like to address what some commenters are saying...

    5/6/13 3:21 AM - Okay, that is cool if you don't believe in rigid stereotypes. However, what then defines gender if social roles and biological sex do not?

    5/7/13 6:17 PM/Petre - Sorry if I am coming off as ignorant. I am just trying to understand what exactly defines "gender" if biological gender and cultural gender are invalid. When I said there are more than two genders, I'm referring to the fact that intersex people exist... they may have chromosomes that deviate from 'XX' or 'XY' and are not entirely male or female. My comment on "brutality" -- yes, instilled upon women, for, well, being women and viewed as property and inferior, as well as certain men who were either forced into a stereotypical 'male' role or brutalized for failing to fit into it. Obviously one is worse than the other, but both are still bad! I have no problem with being corrected or taught the truth, I welcome anyone to show me where I'm wrong on all this.

    5/9/13 4:27 AM - I'm sorry you attempted to take your life because of your gender identity issues. I brought up my heterosexuality (which I become less sure of with time) because I was getting the impression that in this community it is thought that straight male-born men all share a similar view on sex and gender roles, being the most privileged sexual orientation/gender. Why do you jump to the conclusion that I think the opinions of gay men are worth less? I do not imply that anywhere, I say some straight men agree because I want people to know that SOME OF THEM DO, not because I'm trying to make Dirt's point more valid by interjecting magical "straight cred".

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  54. 5/11/13 3:23 PM - I see your point with saying it embraces the falsity of the gender binary, but if the gender binary is false, then why would people still be referring to themselves as distinctly "men" and "women"?

    5/13/13 6:15 AM - I don't believe transsexuals are "subhuman" in any way. I merely wrote this to Dirt as a private message to say not all heterosexuals want to preserve gender roles. She asked if she could post this publicly and I did not have a problem with it. I haven't read Lacan, and maybe if I did I would understand your views more. Yes, gender ROLES are absolutely a social construct. I'm not yet sold on the idea that biological gender is a social construct, seeing as human beings for the most part are born either distinctly male or female biologically (with an intersex minority occupying the space inbetween), and that is not a social construct. Like another poster remarked, a cat is not male/female as the result of a social construct. Its gender is the result of biology, and that is how I currently view human gender. And despite what other posters have tried to insinuate, no, I am not saying you are obliged to agree with me, and you are definitely not obliged on the basis that I am a (for the most part) heterosexual male. If I was gay or whatever, my point would not be any more or less valid.

    5/17/13 12:36 AM - I think this is where we disagree. I don't believe in gender the way you do. I see those as being behaviors which can be attributed to gender-neutral psychological factors and outside factors. I only believe in biological gender, gender roles and behaviors can be altered without artificial means, but biological gender cannot. I've read a lot about the "male/female" brain issue, but I have to wonder if the existence of both in either (biologically) gender negates the whole concept that one should be assigned to a specific gender.

    I believe biological gender is more real and less constructed than 'gender' as a social behavior/role. I'm willing to listen to anyone, I'm willing to learn, I am willing to try to understand where other people are coming from on this. I don't mean to sound ignorant on the subject, I would not mind speaking to people from all views on the subject and hearing what they have to say. I'm not trying come here with the mindset of acting like I deserve privilege more than other people, I'm trying to understand what's actually true in all the conflicting opinions and I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed to express my opinion or learn about others peoples'.

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