Thursday, December 31, 2009

It is Really Very Simple...

Well, once again, leading gender fascist "Autumn" Sandeen has seen fit to dictate to true transsexuals and those with HBS that they really did not need to have surgery. Or, to be a bit more specific, Mr. Sandeen is joining GLAD in making such a pronouncement.

In reaction to an article published by the Atlanta Progressive News, Mr. Sandeen quotes GLAD's media guide:

Problematic: “sex change,” “pre-operative,” “post-operative”

Preferred: “transition”

Referring to a sex change operation, or using terms such as pre- or post-operative, inaccurately suggests that one must have surgery in order to truly change one’s sex.

I mean really, this is possibly the dumbest thing I have read in some time. According to this logic, sex is effectively a meaningless term. First they claim that "gender is just a social construct," effectively claiming that what a transsexual or person with HBS feels is meaningless. Now, they state that having surgery is, in effect, a waste of time and money. Why go through all that pain when you can just "change your sex" by saying, "I have changed my sex."

Ironically, this is the same crowd that has been known to attack HBS women who have completed their transitions as "men with inverted penises." This is a perfect example of the division between true transsexuals and HBS women from those who are "transgender." And it is also a perfect example of why some of us decline, in most cases, to recognize the claims of womanhood of those who so loudly proclaim their transgender status. They attack us, but demand that we respect them. Sorry, but no.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Year in Review

Now, as the year, and the decade, draw to a close it seems an appropriate time to look back at the previous year and reflect on the various events that might have affected those born with Harry Benjamin Syndrome.


The first major event was the inauguration of Barrack Obama. I wrote about this in January. It appears that, for the present, he has had little effect one way, or the other. The year has not brought about the great changes that were hoped for by the LGBT movement. Health care reform may, or may not pass, but again it is unclear if it will have much of an effect on those with HBS.


In February, Barney Frank hired a “trans man” as an aide. Of course, the LGBT community instantly forgave all the slights Frank had committed and groveled at his feet, thanking him.


In March, the hot issue was whether or not TGs should be banned from bathrooms in Gainesville, FL. The problem was that the TGs could not see that the law did provide a loophole that could allow any man to enter the ladies room without fear of arrest.


In April, the hot topic was the trial of Angie Zapata’s murderer. Unfortunately, the TGs were more interested in making her the latest martyr for their cause rather than to take the opportunity to warn people and may prevent another tragedy.


May of 2009 will be remembered for the death of Arnold Lowman, aka Charles “Virginia” Prince. Lowman, of course was the man who coined the term “transgenderist” which evolved into “transgender.” Is also the man who was the chief spokesman for transvestites and crossdressers. He will not be missed by those with HBS.


In June we had the Raychel Roo-Transkid-Murder Hoax. Simply put, an absurd story appeared on Laura's Playground about how Raychel Roo, apparently a regular poster there, had been brutally murdered. The story was so over the top I immediately questioned the veracity of it. Over the next few days after the story broke, the truth began to come out, and it turned out it was all a fraud. The gender fascists were crushed to discover they did not have a new martyr to venerate, and the excuse offered for the whole thing was even more outrageous then the original story.


July was actually a very busy month. It began with the controversy over Lu’s: A Pharmacy for Women which was recently opened by the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective in Canada. The pharmacy was not welcoming to “trans women,” so the TGs went off on a rant. Then, in the blogosphere, Suzan Cooke began to openly endorse and promote compromise with transgender activists. And Chloe Prince appeared on ABC’s Prime Time: Family Secrets. Once again, the world was treated to another classic “transgender claiming to be transsexual being a jerk” story and HBS women everywhere cringed in horror.


In August, this blog celebrated its second anniversary. And in the news, the TG world was aghast that Conan O'Brien did a silly sit that played off of the word “Trannies.”


In September, a gay man on Bilerico presumed to tell transsexual women how they should think. And then they were somewhat surprised at the outrage expressed. This would, of course, soon turn out to be just the tip of the iceberg of their cluelessness.


October was another busy month, with stories ranging from a teenage boy in Georgia having trouble in school because he was showing up in outrageous drag to Julie Bindel’s hateful article attacking transsexual women. And then there was the offensive calendar of transgender men dressed as the Virgin Mary that came out of Spain. It was not a good month for us.


November, sadly, saw the apparent suicide of Mike Penner, the L.A. sportswriter who, for a while, lived as a woman using the name “Christine Daniels.” No one knows what actually led Penner to take his life, but the TG crowd was quick to try to capitalize on it.


And that brings us, finally to December. Bilerico went totally off the deep end with the posting of an article by long-time gay activist Ron Gold in which he viciously attacked transsexual women. It was an incredibly hateful article, which shows how many gay men actually feel about transsexuals (apparently our willingness to have surgery is just too much for them) and it set off a major controversy. Of course, the non-op crowd stepped in, presuming to speak for those who actually seek surgery, and the story revealed just how clueless Bil Browning actually is about transsexuals.


And as the month ends, we have “Autumn” Sandeen being totally insensitive to those who have had surgery. But that is another article.


Well, that was the year in review.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Too Funny for Words!!!!

Well, once again the boys of Bilerico has shown their true colors. On more than one occasion, some gay man has seen fit to set transsexuals straight about how things should work. Well, this time they allowed things to go a bit too far.

Ron Gold, who apparently is a long time gay activist, wrote a post entitled "'No' to the notion of transgender." (After much hesitation and a great deal of anger from the gender fascists, the article was remved from Bilerico. But it was preserved by Google, and so I have a link.) Now, as good as that title sounds, the article itself is quite nasty, full of bad information, and generally shows what this gay man thinks of transsexual women. And in this article, I am going to respond to what he says.

Of course. the gender fascists are up in arms, even though the article is not so much about them as it is about those who should not even be labeled "transgender." In Gold's twisted imagination, there are basically drag queens and transsexuals:
What is transgender? Well, there are two sorts who seem to be covered by the name, the drag kings and queens so good at portraying cartoon imitations of straight people, and transsexuals, the folks who report that from an early age they've felt themselves trapped in the wrong bodies. Despite the equipment they were born with that belies their assertions, they say they are really men or really women.
Okay, right there, he is off to a bad start. He seems to condense what is properly called "transgender," those who, almost always after puberty, suddenly decide that they want to live as members of the opposite sex but in the majority of cases wish to keep their genitals intact, with those who are HBS (also known as classic or true transsexualism) who knew from an early age that something was wrong, and who exhibited issues from an early age.

Now, from this unstable foundation he goes down hill...
What does it mean to be really a man or a woman? Since it's not about genitalia, it must be about personality, and what, one asks, is a male or a female personality? Even straight people nowadays concede that some men are the warm, loving type that used to be thought exclusive to women, and some women are the strong, action-oriented sort that used to be thought exclusive to men. And lesbians and gay men have always known that people of the same gender can be very different from each other. Isn't it true that those we form mated relationships with are always complementary - even polar opposites - to ourselves?
At first it appears that he is spouting the classic transgender "We can be women while keeping our penises," silliness. But it quickly becomes obvious that he is actually trying to deny the reality of the experiences of true transsexuals. His words seem to echo the ridiculous views of those like Janice Raymond and Julie Bindel. And worse, he seems to be pandering to outdated stereotypes and myths about gay men. He seems to be saying that they always pair as nelly queen with a butch male. How truly bizarre.
Just so there is no mistake about where he is coming from, he empatically states:
Let me state it categorically. There is no such thing as a male or female personality. Personality is not a function of gender.
And not surprisingly, his remarks are clearly, and dare I say, catergorically, a complete load of bovine excrement. No one, with a shred of common sense, would ever make such a dogmatic statement. Granted, this misconception is at the very heart of radical, extremist feminism, but no one, except the transgender community, really takes them very seriously. Everyone else just rolls their eyes, and recognizes their views as just plain silly. Some on the Left might extend them some slack just to be politically correct, but they don't really buy into such idiocy.

Gold continues on in confusion of transgender and transsexual and his attempt to set us all straight:
So where does that put the concept of transgender? In my view, down the tubes! And that leaves the further questions of how transsexuals got to think the way they do, and what to do to resolve their dilemmas. I hope I'll be forgiven for rejecting as just plain silly the idea that some cosmic accident just turned these people into changelings. What happened, more than likely, is that, from an early age, when they discovered that their personalities didn't jibe with what little boys and girls are supposed to want and do and feel, they just assumed they mustn't be real little boys and girls.
No, it is not some "cosmic accident," just something that interferes with the sexual differentiation of the brain in utero. And what he dismisses, refering to it erroneously as "transgender," is exactly what transsexuals experience. But he doesn't think that such an experience has any real meaning. And, of course, it is more than just realizing that one's "personality" doesn't jibe. It is much deeper than that. It is a sense of discomfort with one's body. Gold clearly does not accept that the obvious fact that boys and girls are actually different. But they are. All the efforts at raising a gender neutral child either fail, or result in a child who is deeply confused.

Next Gold presumes to tell parents how to deal with such a child, providing truly bad, and potentially harmful advice:
So, parents of such little boys and girls, do not take them to the psychiatrist and treat them like they're suffering from some sort of illness. Explain to them that, whatever the other kids say, real little girls do like to play with trucks and wear grimy jeans, and real little boys like to prance around in dresses and play with dolls. And make sure the teachers are on the same page.
While children may go through phases where such behavior occurs, for a transsexual it is more profound. And no, while "tomboys" and "sissies" exist, and often grow up to be normal, healthy children, that is not what we are dealing with here. Transsexuals, even as children, are not simply little boys who want to wear dresses and play with dolls. They have a brain that is wired like any little girl's, which inclines them to like the things that girls like. Telling them that this is okay for little boys is not going to change that, and will probably, ultimately, just lead to even more confusion.

It is when he comes around to advising adults that we get to heart of what is really bother Mr. Gold. In truth, that was obvious all along, and he does not hesitate to let us know what he is really concerned with:
As for adults struggling with what to do about their feelings, I'd tell them too to stay away from the psychiatrists - those prime reinforcers of sex-role stereotypes - and remind them that whatever they're feeling, or feel like doing, it's perfectly possible with the bodies they've got. If a man wants to wear a dress or have long hair; if a woman wants short hair and a three-piece suit; if people want romance and sex with their own gender; who says they can't violate these perfectly arbitrary taboos? A short historical and cross-cultural survey should establish that men and women have worn and done all sorts of stuff. I recall reading something by Jan Morris in which it seemed that he thought he needed a sex change because he wanted men to hold doors open for him and kiss him goodbye at train stations. For starters, I'd have told him that I've had these nice things happen to me and I've still got my pecker.
What a classic statement. Here we have the real reason that so many gay men have problems with transsexuals. They fear the lost of their, uh, pecker. Well, Mr. Gold should rest assured...no one wants to take his pecker away from him. No one is going to pressure him into having sex reassignment surgery to correct his behavior. In fact, Mr. Gold should be aware that actually be a gay man is considered a contraindication for having SRS.

It is kind of ironic in a way. Many of the gender fascists, in attacking Mr. Gold, have tried to compare his statements about how there is no such thing as a male or female personality to things from the Religious Right. In fact, such a few is contrary to what the Religious Right thinks. They strongly believe that men and women are quite different in terms of personality. What the Religious Right does believe instead, is the silliness Mr. Gold presents here...that transsexuals are really the same as gay men, and should not give up what he clearly sees as his most prized possession. Again, he just doesn't get it. I guess Mr. Gold is so worried about his own penis that he feels he has to be concerned with everyone elses as well. Sort of a "No Penis Left Behind" program.

He concludes with more ignorance:
Perhaps it isn't needless to say that a No to the notion of transgender does not excuse discrimination against cross-dressers or post-op transsexuals in employment, housing and public accommodation; and I strongly support legislation that would forbid it. I would, however, get after the doctors - the psychiatrists who use a phony medical model to invent a disease that doesn't exist, and the surgeons who use such spurious diagnoses to mutilate the bodies of the deluded.
Apparently Mr. Gold felt a need to play a bit of CYA. He wants to deny people needed medical care because he fears for the safety of their penises (funny how FTMs are suddenly not a concern) but he doesn't want anyone discriminated against otherwise.

As to the rest of his comments, they are simply the ignorant rants of a gay man who is terrified that some penis might be removed. In his mind, apparently becoming a woman is mutilation. The simple fact that he ignores is that transsexualism is a well documented disease, with research increasingly showing that it has a physical cause. In his ignorance, he would spare transsexuals from discrimination, but he would consign us to a living hell.

Much has been written about this article. Mr. Gold was immediately removed as a contributor at Bilerico (of course, censorship is their standard response to any controversy), a number of articles have been posted condemning Mr. Gold, and Bil Browing is in full retreat. He has yet, as far as I can tell, failed to explain why this article was allowed to be posted. Perhaps he thought that, since the primary target was classic, true transsexuals, the gender fascists would embrace it. This is not the first time that Bilerico has allowed a gay man to condescend to transsexuals, and it will probably not be the last.

I suspect that, truth be told, this probably reflects Bil Browning's true opinions more than he wants to admit. In fact, it probably actually relects the true feelings of many gay men who simply cannot comprehend the real nature of transsexualism. And once again it goes to show why it is a mistake for transsexuals, both women and men, to allow themselves to be linked to the LGBT.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christine Daniels Did Not Commit Suicide!

Mike Penner might have, but we don't even know that for sure. Right after his suicide, most of the gender fascist crowd started trying to use his tragic death for their own purposes. They tried to exploit the tragedy. But most of them had the decency to refer to him as Mike, and to use male pronouns, because the is how he was living when he died. From what I have read, Penner broke off contact with the transgender community which rushed to embrace him when he transitioned. Now they are trying to exploit him in death.

Worse, more and more of the gender fascists have started referring to him as Christine, either using his chose surname, "Daniels," or referring to him as "Christine Penner" (a name he never used. Both Donna Rose, at Bilerico, and Suzan Cooke, at Women Born Transsexual, have done this.

We don't know if Penner committed suicide, if he did we don't know why, but we do know that, for whatever reason, he chose to return to identifying as Mike Penner, not Christine. He should be left in peace, allowed to be remembered as he chose to be when he died.

Of course, the gender fascists are probably afraid of the very possible truth. Perhaps Mike Penner, having been exposed to the transgender community assumed that was what awaited him. And maybe he decided it was not the right path for him. I have serious doubts that Penner was a true transsexual. He decided to transition relatively late in life after a highly successful career in a very male field. For someone who actually has a female brain, such would be near impossible. Not completely impossible, and perhaps, if he really was a transsexual, and he really did manage to do the near impossible, the accumulated mental stress left him unable to cope and that led, eventually, to his suicide.

Or perhaps Penner was transgender, but he did not find the prospect of winding up like some many...as a sort of bizarre parody of a woman, at all appealing.

But the simple fact remains. His name was Mike Penner, not Christine. That should be respected, even if it takes away a martyr that the gender fascists crave so much.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Cautionary Tale...Revisited

Back in March, I wrote about some who have rushed into transition and then had regrets. In that article, I mentioned Mike Penner, the Los Angeles Times sportswriter who made headlines in 2007 when he announced that he was transitioning to become a woman and would now be known as Christine Daniels. In October of 2008 he changed back to being Mike. Today, it has been reported that he was found dead in his home, and that the suspected cause was suicide.

Of course, unless more information is provided, there is no way of knowing what might have led him to take his life. It may have had nothing to do with his attempted transition, or it may have had everything to do with it. But I have to wonder...did all those TG activists who were so quick to embrace him when he was making a very public transition abandon him when he changed his mind?

"Autumn" Sandeen made this comment on his blog at Pam's House Blend:

Mike, when he lived as Christine, was someone I considered a peer and a friend. I feel the loss of my friend Mike tremendously.

Now, I don't want to read too much into this, but it does make me wonder. He was considered a friend and peer when he was "Christine," but was he just forgotten when he went back to being Mike?

I've had friends who realized that transition was a mistake. I didn't stop being their friend because they realized they needed to return to their old life. If they still wanted support, I was there for them. I wonder if Mike had a different experience. Perhaps those who saw him as a peer, and even as a friend, were suddenly afraid to associate with him.And it is sad that he will go to his grave, labeled the "transsexual sports writer." He should have been allowed to put that behind him if that was his choice. Might that have contributed to his death? Might a wrong choice have been hung around his neck like an albatross?

Whatever the cause, his death is a tragedy. And again, should be a cautionary tale for all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Return of Gender Fascism

For a while, it has looked like the gender fascists were on the retreat. Sure, they still tended to include classic transsexuals and people with HBS under the "umbrella" at times, but they would also speak of "identifying" as transgender, and even some of the worst, like "Autumn" Sandeen, while still falsely claiming to be "transsexual," would acknowledge their being transgender was a matter of political and social identification. But "Mercedes" Allen, another of those "former" non-ops who has decided that want the "fully monty" now has decided fight back.

In piece, Rocky Horror and the Holy Grail, or: The Problem with Defining to Exclusion, on that bastion of gender fascism, The Bilerico Project, Allen wants to bring all those who wish to escape the transgender umbrella back into line. And, as is typical with the gender fascists, at least tries to pretend to just not get it.

The article is primarily a rehash of the classic transgender party line that those who do not wish to be classified as transgender are elitist. That is not remotely the truth.

What Allen is really trying to perpetuate is the erasure of HBS and classic transsexualism, which, by its very nature is going to not be inclusive when compared with the transgender model. And that, quite simply is because it has nothing in common with the transgender model.

And a side note, Allen lumps "Women Born Transsexual" in with classic transsexuals, and those with HBS. That is actually wrong. While WBT was originated as a term to differentiate from those who are 'transgender," it has now become an assimilationist term that links transsexuals with transgender.

But Allen, like so many transgender types, cannot stand this. It is not that they feel that transsexuals think themselves better than those who are transgender, but that those who are transgender fear that they are inferior to those who are transsexual or HBS.

They cannot argue that they have any reason for their behavior other than choices that they make, so they wish to erase those who have a biological basis, making us all the result of choices.

But those of us who are HBS and classic transsexual are not willing to be erased. Not because we are better, but simply because, we exist.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who is Godwin? Good Question....

Transgender blogger, Suzan Cooke asks "Who is Godwin?" in another of her rants entitled Nasty Girl on "Women Born Transsexual." Since Cooke, like most transgender bloggers, is very big on censorship, I will answer her here. (BTW, Cooke is always welcome to comment here, but she should, of course, keep in mind that here the playing field is level.)

I would imagine, given her comparisons of those who voted against gay marriage in Maine to Nazis that she is referring to Godwin's Law, which was originally formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. It states
As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.
The term Godwin's law can also refer to the tradition that whoever makes such a comparison is said to "lose" the debate.

And it is exactly the sort of over the top rhetoric of those like Cooke that led Godwin to formulate the law to begin with. He is not, as Cooke rather defensively suggests, a Nazi sympathizer. Quite the opposite. The purpose of the law is to try, far too often unsuccessfully, to get those who trivialize the Holocaust by comparing anyone they disagree with to Nazis, to reconsider. While I am unhappy that gay marriage lost in Maine, I would not compare it to the murder of six-million Jews, as well as a number of other people by the Nazis.

But then again, I don't share Cooke's often extreme views on a number of points.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Who is Julie Bindel and Why Is She Saying All These Terrible Things About Me?

Julie Bindel seems to be the 21st Century's version of Janice Raymond. Raymond, of course, is famous for her nasty diatribe, The Transsexual Empire:the making of the she-male in which she contends that male-to-female transsexuals are part of a plot by men to infiltrate the women's movement. Raymond maintained that transsexualism is based on the "patriarchal myths" of "male mothering," and "making of woman according to man's image." She further claimed this is done in order "to colonize feminist identification, culture, politics and sexuality," adding:
All transsexuals rape women's bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves .... Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive.
Bindel's views are not dissimilar from Raymond's, which should not be surprising since they both approach things from a radical lesbian separatist feminist perspective. The main difference is, Bindel seems unable to let go of her virulent hatred for transsexuals based on the fact that a group of transgender activists successfully blocked her winning an award from the group Stonewall in England.

If anything, Bindel is even more strident in her attempts to put an end to the treatment of transsexuals. But what is that drives Bindel's animosity towards people like me?

In her most recent attack, published in the November issue of the political and cultural magazine, Standpoint. In an article entitled, "The Operation That Can Ruin Your Life" Bindel states:

Feminists tend to be critical of traditional gender roles because they benefit men and oppress women. Transsexualism, by its nature, promotes the idea that it is "natural" for boys to play with guns and girls to play with Barbie dolls. The idea that gender roles are biologically determined rather than socially constructed is the antithesis of feminism.

In another words, Bindel objects to transsexuals because we don't fit her dogmatic view of how the world should work. The fact that we exist adds evidence to the science that is increasingly proving that the feminist view that gender is socially constructed is simply false. Bindel's position is increasingly unsupportable. In spite of many attempts by radical feminists to raise children to avoid gender stereotypes, the fact is, it is natural for boys to play with guns, and girls to play with dolls. And science has repeatedly shown that such behavior is primarily hard-wired into the brain.

To be honest, I find this sort of thing quite amazing. Granted, there are numerous groups who will continue to ignore scientific fact when it contradicts their devoutly held dogmas, and feminism is not immune from this. But it is sad that their doing so does harm others.

Another interesting thing about Bindel's writings is how she conflates transsexualism with transgender. It is not clear if Bindel does this deliberately, or if she is really that ignorant of the true nature of transsexualism. And excellent example of this from her article:
A definition of transsexualism used by a number of transsexual rights organisations reads:

Students who are gender non-conforming are those whose gender expression (or outward appearance) does not follow traditional gender roles: "feminine boys," "masculine girls" and students who are androgynous, for example. It can also include students who look the way boys and girls are expected to look but participate in activities that are gender nonconforming, like a boy who does ballet. The term "transgender youth" can be used as an umbrella term for all students whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth and/or whose gender expression is non-stereotypical.

According to this definition, a girl who plays football is trans-sexual.
Okay, this is not remotely a definition of "transsexual." It is, at best, a very loose and extremely broad definition of "transgender." But what I especially odd is that this is more precisely a definition of the rather vague term "gender non-conforming," which is rather ironic since Bindel accuses transsexuals of being rather strongly "gender conforming." And I know of no one who would remotely say that a girl who plays football is "trans-sexual." And surely Bindel knows that not all who identify as transgender claim to be transsexual, and that few who truly are transsexual remotely identify as transgender.

Another subject that Bindel obsesses about, but seems to have little actual understanding of, is the rare case where someone regrets having surgery. Again, her writing seems to combine deliberately misleading prose with a lack of actual knowledge of the subject:
A number of transsexuals are beginning to admit that opting for surgery ruined their lives. "I was a messed-up young gay man," says Claudia McClean, a male-to-female transsexual who opted for surgery 20 years ago. "If I had been offered an alternative to a sex change, I would have jumped at the chance, but as soon as I told the psychiatrist I felt trapped in the wrong body, or some such cliché, he was writing out a referral to the surgeon."
Now, first off, regrets have always been an issue, and are not something that have only recently been revealed. Years ago, when I was first beginning transition, I remember seeing a person on one talk show discussing how soon "she" had wanted to try out her new vagina, ignoring the doctors instructions to wait at least six weeks before having sex. A few months later, this same person was on another talk show telling how surgery had been a mistake and expressing deep regrets. Clearly, this was a person who should never have been cleared...but mistakes happen.
In the case Bindel uses as an example, the person was clearly an ego dystonic homosexual male, which has long been a strong contraindication to having SRS. Again, no competent doctor would have knowingly approved this person for surgery. In almost every case where regrets occur, the person either bypassed the established Standards of Care, lied to get surgery, or failed to follow their doctor's orders afterwards.

Along this same line, Bindel cites a very questionable statistic:
Apart from Thailand, the country with the highest number of sex-change operations is Iran where, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. When sex-change surgery is performed on gay men, they become, in the eyes of the gender defenders, heterosexual women. Transsexual surgery becomes modern-day aversion therapy for gays and lesbians.
Now, I have seen this claim made numerous places, but I have found nothing to actually back it up. It is true that SRS is not only legal in Iran, but also that it is paid for by the government there. I doubt, however, that many, if any, people come from outside Iran for the surgery. In the United States there are several surgeons who entire practice is dedicated to SRS.

What is true is that, tragically, SRS is a way for Iranian homosexuals to escape execution. However, this often turns out to be a fate almost as bad. Again, Bindel seems to show complete ignorance of the realities of the medical treatment of transsexualism. In most of the world, someone who is truly homosexual (for example, a man who actually sees himself as a man, and who desires to have sex with men who see him as a man, and who he sees as men) is not seen as a viable candidate for SRS. While such a situation is relatively rare in more recent times, it was a problem in the past, when being gay or lesbian was not as acceptable.

Granted, Bindel does raise on legitimate point. She mentions the case, previous written about here, where a male rapist, who claims to be transsexual (a claim I would be inclined to dispute) has won the right to be held in a women's prison, even though he has not had SRS. Bindel does present the fact is a misleading manner, implying that this person does not wish surgery (that is the basis for his being moved) but otherwise, her point is correct. Such an arrangement is unfair to the women he will be placed among.

Bindel also quotes Dr Caillean McMahon, a US-based forensic psychiatrist, who defines herself not as a transsexual but as a "woman of operative history:"
The trans community has an unforgiving global sort of condemnation towards critical outsiders. I have to be suspicious that the insistence of many of those demanding to enter it is not for the purpose of celebrating the spirit and nature of women, but to seek an enforced validation, extracted by force in a legal or political manner.
I agree strongly with Dr. McMahon. This is a very apt description of the transgender viewpoint, which has nothing to do with HBS or transsexualism. I find it interesting that Bindel would find someone who has had SRS that she seems to agree with. Perhaps if she got to know more actual transsexuals or better, those who actually have HBS, she might realize that she is misjudging the few based on the behavior of the many.

Bindel's closing remarks, again, show just how little she understand the true nature of transsexualism:

In a world where equality between men and women was reality, transsexualism would not exist. The diagnosis of GD needs to be questioned and challenged. We live in a society that, on the whole, respects the human rights of others. Accepting a situation where the surgeon's knife and lifelong hormonal treatment are replacing the acceptance of difference is a scandal. Sex-change surgery is unnecessary mutilation. Using human rights laws to normalise trans-sexualism has resulted in a backward step in the feminist campaign for gender equality. Perhaps we should give up and become men.

It is clear, though obviously not to Bindel, that her argument is with science, and not those who are truly transsexual. It is also obvious that much of her ire should be directed towards those who are transgender and not transsexual or HBS. Being "equal" does not change the need to be whole. Transsexualism or HBS is not about being "different." It is not about men wishing to pretend to be women. It is about having a brain that is female in a body that is male. It is ironic that Bindel, who seems to have such a dislike for men, thinks all of the problems are simply based on culture and upbringing. She does not understand that there are real differences in men and women. Such differences do not negate the need for equality. But trying to negate those differences will not result in equality, but instead will lead to a new form of repression. Women should be free to be women. Not as second class citizens, but as equals, And men should be free to be men, not as superiors, but again as equals. And that should be true regardless of how are bodies are.

I Don't Need Permission to be a Woman

On the English transgender web site, Bird of Paradox, the author is again having a hissy fit over the "Reclaim the Night" march that will be held by the London Feminist Network next month. Now, this march, which is a protest against violence against women, is specifically "women only."

What I find absolutely hilarious in all of this it the fact that LFN says it is open to women, including the phrase “women of all backgrounds.” Now, as a post-op survivor of HBS I would have no problems with that. It says women only, and I am a woman. But that is not good enough for some transgender activists. It does not specifically state that it is trans-inclusive.

I notice specifically it says nothing like “women born women,” which is, of course, the “nice,” politically correct, way of saying “no transsexuals.” So, the fact that they don’t single out transsexuals, and specifically say, “transsexuals are welcome too,” in effect saying that you might not really be women, but are welcome anyway, offends the author? Go figure. I would be more offended at the suggestion that because I had HBS that I had to be specifically told that it was okay for me to identify as a woman.

Now, personally, I would not join them because I don’t agree with all of their views, but it would not be because I am not really a woman and feel I need a special invitation to come.

An Identity Politics Fail

I just read a rather interesting rant posted on Suzan Cooke's transgender blog "Women Born Transsexual." It was written by Curtis E. Hinkle who is the founder of OII, a group that pushes identity politics for people who are intersex.

Mr. Hinkle is outraged that Fox News, which he proudly proclaims has blocked from his TV, had a commentary on the hate crimes legislation that mentioned "hermaphrodites" which those who are into intersex identity politics consider an insult. (You can't have a good identity politics movement without at least one word you find to be a terrible insult.)

I was reading the commentary, wondering who at Fox News might have written such a thing, when I suddenly realized the joke. It was from the late night comedy news show, Red Eye. The phrase that gives it away:

And if you disagree with me, then you’re probably racist.
At one time, it was "...then you are worse than Hitler," but that was changed to the current one. Taking this seriously, is akin to quoting something from "The Onion" as an actual news story.

That's the problem with people caught up in identity politics. They have no sense of humor. And it leads them to overreact to bad jokes every time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Transgender Myths...#2 Transphobia

The next transgender myth I want to examine is a very popular one, transphobia.

Now I am sure that some are already thinking, "What?!?!" The term "transphobia" has become so common we tend to take it for granted. But let's take a closer look at this term and consider where it comes from, and what it is supposed to mean.

Now, let me begin by saying that I am not denying that there are people who are have very strong negative opinions about those who are transgender, as well as those who are transsexual or who suffer from Harry Benjamin Syndrome. But, does this concept that has come to be labeled "transphobia" really exist?

Well, as they say, the beginning is the best place to begin. Before there was "transphobia" there was "homophobia." Originally, "homophobia" was a legitimate term which referred to cases where someone was so fearful of their own possible feelings of being attracted to someone of the same sex that they would react violently to anyone who was perceived as being homosexual. Something like what is know commonly referred to as the "gay panic defense," or the "trans panic defense" when it is raised during a criminal trial.

People started using the term "homophobia" as a bit of a taunt. Anyone who did not agree with the gay rights agenda might be accused of being secretly homosexual and making a big show to cover up that fact. Then, over time, the original meaning was lost and "homophobic" simply became a sort of short hand term for anyone who did not agree with the gay political agenda. Soon, it was being used as a way of silencing opponents much as some use the terms "bigot" and "racist."

Then, as the effort to add "transgender" to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual started in earnest, some transgender activists started trying to imitate the tactics of the LGB movement. So, suddenly a new word, "transphobia" was made up, and it was used much as "homophobia" was being used...as a club word that could be used to attack people who did not share a particular political view. It is especially common to use this against transsexuals and those with HBS, by accusing them of "internalized transphobia."

So, the bottom line is, "transphobia" is a misnomer. It is not an irrational fear, and therefore it is not a phobia. It is simply a made up word that is, first and foremost, a rather silly attempt to copy the word "homophobia," which is a concept that has lost its original meaning. "Transphobia" is nothing more than a word used to attack those who either do not agree 100% with the gender fascists, or who have the misfortune to incur their wrath. Simply put, it does not really exist. As I said, there certainly is real prejudice against transgender people. Some of it is justified, much of it is not. Just as there is real prejudice against transsexual, though there, quite frankly, legitimate justification is harder, if not impossible, to find.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Is It Complete Idiocy or Just Bad Journalism at Pam's House Blend?

In what has to be one of the most ridiculous pieces I have read in a long time, "Autumn" Sandeen attacks Seventeen Magazine in an article entitled "Is It Transphobia Or Just Bad Journalism At Seventeen Magazine?" The short answer to Mr. Sandeen's question is, "neither," though, of course, he does not see it that way.

The subject of the article is a piece in Seventeen entitled, "My Boyfriend Turned Out To Be A Girl." It is about a teenage girl who became involved with someone she thought was her first true love, and he turned out to be an FTM transsexual. The article is actually very well written, and even includes the disclosure that had he been truthful, she would have stayed with him. In truth, the young FTM was quite a jerk, and treated the girl rather badly.

So, why is Mr. Sandeen all hot and bothered, especially given that he admits this person was a jerk?
The gist of the article, from the article headline to the bolded and highlighted text, seemed to be that female-to-male transsexuals are really females who are deceiving others.
Well, since this person is a pre-op female to male, and since he did deceive this young woman, I think that is pretty much what the article would have to be about unless it was fiction. It says nothing about FTMs or transsexuals in general. It only deals with this one person, and this one relationship and the experience of this one young lady.

In addition, Mr. Sandeen seems upset that they did not, instead, write about how terrible transgender people have it.

The simple fact is, if one is pre-op, then one should be upfront as soon as possible in a relationship. In this case, the deception, and I am sorry, but that is what it was, goes on for a long time. It became revealed with the young FTM became abusive and was arrested by the police.

I mean really, Mr. Sandeen is so distraught over things like the Angie Zapata case, but at the same time wants encourage the very behavior that leads to such tragedies. In this case, there was no violence, except on the part of the FTM. And that lead to his being outed. If the situation had been the reverse, and it had of been another young MTF, it could have ended differently.

No, Mr. Sandeen would rather see another beloved trans martyr than to fail to push the latest transgender myth...that one changes sex by simply saying one is the new sex. I shall deal with that in depth in an upcoming article. But for now....

To answer my question....I would have to go with complete idiocy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Transgender Myths...#1 Association with the LGBT Has Not Hurt Transsexuals

I am starting a new series of articles that will look at various "myths" perpetuated by the transgender community. By "myths" I mean those false beliefs that they cling to desperately, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

I'm going to start with a common one. Many will claim that being associated with lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people has not caused harm to those who are HBS, true transsexuals, or classic transsexuals. This is based on the argument that "transphobia" existed before the "T" (which they insist includes transsexuals) was added to the LG and B. The oft cited example is Janice Raymond's nasty book, The Transsexual Empire.

Now. there are several problems with this argument. First, it is simply a straw argument. No one would deny that what they term "transphobia" (a silly term that will be dealt with at another time) existed before the rise of the modern transgender movement. That is not the point. The issue is whether or not being associated with transgender, and thus the LGBT has mad things worse for transsexuals.

And the answer to this is a quite resounding yes!

The ways in which transsexuals have been harmed are numerous. First off, the nature of transsexualism has become distorted by association with both homosexuality and with the various factions that comprise the "transgender." Transsexualism, or preferably HBS, is not about sexual orientation. A person with HBS might well be straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. But, because of the association with the LGBT, many see transsexualism as just an advanced form of homosexuality.

The next way that the association has harmed us, is the fact that we become connected to behaviors that have nothing at all to do with true transsexualism or HBS, such as transvestism, crossdressing, drag queens, genderqueer, etc. These share nothing in common with transsexualism.

We are also harmed by often being associated with political and social views that we may strongly disagree with. For example, transgender is increasingly associated with ideas like gender deconstruction and that gender can be changed at will. These are not only false, but are harmful to transsexual seeking their rights. If gender is meaningless, and can be changed at will, then it can be argued that transsexuals should either just express their gender without seeking surgery (thus countering the argument that the surgery should be covered by insurance) or that we should simply just choose to go back to being the gender associate with our birth sex. One has to wonder if people even think before they spout off some of this silliness?

Finally, transsexuals are harmed by the forcible denial of their identities by many transgender activists, or by having their experiences co-opted by those who wish to falsely claim to be "the same as transsexuals," or who even make such silly claims as being "non-op" transsexuals, which is basically an oxymoron.

So, yes, in spite of the claims of transgender mythology, those who are transsexual, or who have HBS, are harmed by being associate with the LGBT.

Monday, October 19, 2009

So Close, and Yet So Very Far....

This morning, Bil Browning, has an article on Bilerico entitled "Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol quote on tattoos & being transgender." He quotes from Brown's latest thrller, "The Lost Symbol" (emphasis mine):

The goal of tattooing was never beauty. The goal was change. From the scarified Nubian priests of 2000 B.C. to the tattooed acolytes of the Cybele cult of ancient Rome, to the moko scars of the modern Maori, humans have tattooed themselves as a way of offering up their bodies in partial sacrifice, enduring the physical pain of embellishment and emerging changed beings.

Despite the ominous admonitions of Leviticus 19:28, which forbade the marking of one's flesh, tattoos had become a rite of passage shared by millions of people in the modern age - everyone from clean-cut teenagers to hard-core drug users to suburban housewives.

The act of tattooing one's skin was a transformative declaration of power, an announcement to the world: I am in control of my own flesh. The intoxicating feeling of control derived from physical transformation had addicted millions to flesh-altering practices... cosmetic surgery, body piercing, bodybuilding, and steroids... even bulimia and transgendering. The human spirit craves mastery over it's carnal shell.
Now, it is arguable that Dan Brown's assessment of "transgendering" has some accuracy, but that is not my focus today. Instead, I want to look at what Browning has to say about the topic, and what it shows about how truly clueless Mr. Browning is about the topic of transsexualism.

In an attempt to make the case that perhaps, because society is now more tolerant of body modifications like tatooing and piercing of various body parts, they might also be more tolerant of "transgender" he makes the following statement:
Leaving aside the obvious simplification that arises from reducing gender reassignment surgery to tattoos and piercings (after all, how many people have committed suicide because they couldn't get their nipple pierced?) or the fact that some transgender folks never have surgery, the line of reasoning is quite compelling.
And here we see his basic cluelessness, and perhaps even more so, the basic cluelessness of those who push the belief that transsexuals are also "transgender." Yes, many have committed suicide because they could not get sex affirmation surgery (no Mr. Browning, surgery does not reassign gender), and yes, transgender folk do not have surgery. And there lies the difference Browning refuses to see.
True transsexuals, classic transsexuals, people with HBS, have a very real need to correct their bodies so they can live normal and happy lives. Transgender people may choose to pursue surgery for other reasons, but regardless of whether they seek surgery, or not, they are not seeking to be normal, and if denied surgery, they are not at all likely to commit suicide (except, perhaps by accident when an attempt to force a doctor's decision goes awry).

There really is a difference. But even when it is right in front of Browning's nose, he chooses to ignore it, and blather on as though he actually has a clue.

I Honestly Wish This Was Just a Joke

A lot of "transgender" activists have little respect for Christianity. Some are downright hostile. And that, of course, is their right. Granted, that makes them nothing more than bigots, but as offensive as it is, there is pretty much an absolute right to be a bigot. But, there is also an absolute right to be offended at bigotry. Not, of course, that the bigots will recognize, but that is another discussion.

I was reading a blog named "Questioning Transphobia" which is a typical gender fascist sort of blog. There I found a post entitled "Trans Virgin Marys and other such heresies." It is about an LGBT fund-raising calendar published in Spain that features photos of "trans women" posed as the Blessed Virgin. That, in and of itself, might not be so bad, but some of the images are somewhat pornographic, and the whole thing comes across more as a parody than a serious attempt to reverently portray a Christian icon.

I left the following comment at "Questioning Transphobia," but apparently it is not acceptable to the moderator:

As a woman born with HBS (I do NOT identify as a trans woman, just as a woman) who happens to be a devout Anglo-Catholic, I do find this calendar to be highly offensive. Not so much because the models are trans, but because it is clearly intended to offend people of faith.

The importance of the Blessed Virgin is not that she has a womb, but that she was willing to be obedient to God in the face of possible persecution for bearing a child out of wedlock. She suffered tremendously to bring God into human form so He could be the bearer of the sins of the world.
I rather suspect that it probably was not accepted because I openly state that I had HBS, and that I do not identify as "trans."

This whole mess strikes me as very similar to the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence," the infamous band of drag queens that are a fixture here in San Francisco. While the certainly deserve credit for the efforts they make to raise money, they also seem to go out of their way to be as offensive to the devout as possible. Their annual Easter celebration always features, among other things, "The Hunky Jesus" competition, which features gay men, often strapped to crosses, competing in a sort of bizarre beauty contest.

Now, the "Sisters" have a right to their views, and I have a right to be offended by them. Again, much of what they do is commendable. But how they do it can be quite offensive. Not that they seem to care one bit.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Arrogance of Some

There was a recent posting on Bilerico entitled "What Barack Obama really said about transgender rights." It was in reference to his recent speech to the Human Right Campaign. The bottom line is, he didn't really say much of anything, but that is not really what this article is about.

Like many Bilerico postings, what is really interesting shows up in the comments. And like just about any comments on an issue involving those who are transgender, the most aggressive of the gender fascists, "Monica" Helms is sure to show up. And he did.

And as is often the case with any discussion on Bilerico, someone who does not adhere to the official party line, and who has not been tossed off of Bilerico for actually making valid arguments against that party line, will show up, and ask something like:

I do not understand the intentional conflation of these two very different states, one a medical condition, requiring medical treatment, and the other an adopted identity that, there seems to be general agreement, does not require medical treatment.

I don't understand why it is necessary to say both are the same, why it is demeaning to one or the other just to point out the differences, and the different needs, and why the emphatic response that this differentiation is politically imprudent.

Now, that seems pretty straightforward. A lot of us don't understand these things, or more to the point simply do not agree with these positions, but we are open to discussing them rationally with those who do push these positions. So, are they willing to engage in such a discussion? Let's see what Mr. Helms has to say on the matter:
You don't "understand," because you refuse to understand. SOP.
Now, quite frankly, that strikes me as a pretty dismissive and arrogant response. Mr. Helms seem to expect everyone to just blindly accept his "transgender dogma," without question. But of course, some don't:
I don't understand because I don't subscribe to your ideology.

And it angers you that you can't impose it on me--and others.

Your ideology is fading.
Too true. Helms cannot see that people just might disagree with him. Worse, he simply cannot accept that disagreement. But he is not the only one, here is what "Angela Brightfeather," born Jim Sheedy, who spent most of his life as a successful businessman after a seven year stint in the Army as a drill instructor, has to say:
"And it angers you that you can't impose it on me--and others.

Your ideology is fading."

And now you understand why we are divided and will continue to be so. People like yourself continue to create rungs on the ladder that you climb at the expense of leaving others behind. Very similar to what HRC wanted to do to "Transgender people" in ENDA.

That makes it very difficult to take you seriously since your willing to do to some people in your own community, exactly what your fighting against someone else doing to you.
Now, first off you have to understand, this fellow is Mr. Helm's partner in founding Trangender American Veteran Association. Now, notice how he insists on referring to "people in your own community." Again, no one gets a choice from the gender fascists. You are part of their community, whether you like it, or not. But, then what else would one expect from a drill instructor?

And then Helms chimes in with this final bit of arrogance:
She's from Canada. I can't understand why she even cares what happens here in our country. She doesn't have a dog in this hunt. I think you pinpointed the real reason she commented here.
When all else fails, he tries to find some excuse for just dimissing this person's comments as otherwise invalid. As Mr. Helms would say, I guess that SOP, Standard Operating Procedure.

Quite simply, many of us are tired of being used as the transgender community's "beard." We are tired of them trying to hide their fetishtic behavior behind those of us who actually have a medical problem. And we will continue speaking out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Simple Suggestion

I would like to put forward a simple suggestion that would simplify the issue of a so-called inclusive ENDA. A provision should be added that would include the following provisions:

  1. Full non-discrimination protection would extend only to those who are legitimately transitioning to the other sex. That is, it would apply only to pre-op and post-op transsexuals. No so-called "non-ops" or other variants of transgender would receive full protection.
  2. Full protection would mean that they are allowed, for the purposes of the real life test, to present as the target sex, and with the exception of situations that involve inevitable nudity, would be accorded the full protection of the law.
  3. Anyone else would only be protected with regards to behavior that is not job related. That is, crossdressers would not be allowed to crossdress unless their employer has no problem with it. The same would apply to non-ops, and such. If you are not surgery tracked, you present as your birth sex if that is what your employer says.
  4. To prevent people from simply lying about their situation, the law would also include a provision stating that any and all health plans would have to include coverage for transsexual surgery. If a person does not complete such surgery within a reasonable period of time, and cannot present compelling evidence that there is a medical contradiction, and that they are actively making efforts to remedy the situation if possible (i.e. a diabetic who needs to lower their blood sugar) then they would be deemed to no longer be in transition and their level of legal protection would revert to that afforded crossdressers.

Of course, such a law would be controversial, and it would be vigorously opposed by the Religious Right...but it would do several things to end certain conflicts. It would eliminate the issue of how to deal with crossdressers. Under the current proposed law, they may not even receive this much protection since the law does not include "gender expression." And, it would serve to end the conflict between transsexuals and the rest. Transsexuals would be recognized as needing protection for their transition, and the rest would not be allowed to impose their behavior on people.

Yes, I realize it is probably a silly idea, but it does serve to prove a simple point. The gender fascists want to use transsexuals to get their way. They want to make people think that they simply want to protect people who have a medical issue and who want to correct what is, in effect, a birth defect. But, what they really want is protection for chosen behavior, which is something no law has ever done before. And no, don't give me the argument that protections for religion does that. That is simply absurd.

No, my proposal would expose them for the frauds that they are, as they would never accept such a law, even as they pretend it is really what they want,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Transgenders Say the Darndest Things...

Sometimes I am amazed at just how stupid identity politics can wind up being. A classic example of this is a comment about a posting on a feminist gathering in London. Now, this is the same blog I mentioned earlier, that had the article about the pre-op prisoner, convicted of killing a women while trying to rape her, who is being moved to a women's prison.

The comment had to do with the fact that the feminist gathering had cleared up the misconception that "women" Tincludes "post-op transsexuals." This statement now appears on the Feminism in London 09 homepage:

This event is trans-inclusive and transwomen are welcome in the one workshop that is women-only. The Feminism in London organising group would like to apologise for not making this clear from the beginning.

Seems simple enough. But nothing ever is simple when you are dealing with diehard transgenders types.

The person making the comment is upset that they assumed that people would know that "women" includes "transwomen." The fact that the people behind this event chose to not single out "transwomen" as being special, needing to be informed that they are "women" is somehow "cissexism.

So, it is apparently cissexism if you think that "transwomen" are not really women, but it is also "cissexism" if you don't think that, and therefore don't see the need to say anything.

And these fools get all bent out of shape when I say, "I am a woman, not a transwoman." And then they wonder why I want no part of their silliness.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Defending the Indefensible


Some people cannot seem to comprehend why those who have HBS or who are true or classic transsexuals might not wish to be included under the "transgender" umbrella. A perfect example of this can be found in "Autumn" Sandeen's posting on Pam's House Blend entitled "Georgia's North Cobb HS Sees Gender Conformity As More Important Than Educating Students."

This article concerns a Georgia high school student who "chooses to wear clothes that express himself." Jonathan Escobar wears, among other things, skinny jeans, wigs, "vintage" clothing and makeup. Escobar has an interesting take on how he dresses:
"I don't consider myself a cross-dresser. This is just who I am."
Now, according to remarks from a video linked to from Mr. Sandeen's article, Escobar sees himself as making some sort of artistic statement.Escobar, choose to leave school after being told by an assistant principal that he should dress more "manly" or consider being home-schooled. This came after a fight broke out when one student chose to defend Escobar after another student made derogatory remarks.

The school's dress code contains the following provision:
Administrators and teachers shall enforce the dress code Rule, and the principal or designee shall be the final judge as to the appropriateness, neatness and cleanliness of the wearing apparel, or whether or not apparel is disruptive, unsafe, or in violation of the dress code.
Now, obviously, Escobar's "artistic expressions" are intended to garner attention. I don't think anyone can seriously argue otherwise. And it would be impossible to argue that a student who presents as a male, dressed in such style, would not be disruptive.

The situation might be different if Escobar identified as a female. If he were transsexual, and was planning to complete transition, and wished to present as a girl, then then I would defend his right to do so. I would hope that such a student would work hard on being as presentable as possible, and would not be "out, loud, and, proud," and quite frankly would be far less inclined to be supportive if such was the situation, as that would raise questions as to actual motivation.

No, Escobar simply wants to force an issue...in this case, that students have a right to be different. Rhe problem is, like all rights, that one is limited. I certainly believe students have a right to be individuals. I support student's rights to free speech. I oppose overly restrictive dress codes, though I do see merit in some school's decision to impose a uniform policy. My daughter attended two public schools that had such policies, and the effect was generally positive. In her case, the rules were simple. white or oxford blue tops, and navy or khaki bottoms. There were also, as I recall, some restrictions on footwear to prevent students from expressing gang affiliation in that manner.

And, I would like to add, the issue would be the same if a student chose to attend school in any other sort of outlandish costume. For example, if a student decided to attend school dressed in some sort of costume, or period dress.

Of course, Mr. Sandeen is beside himself. How dare the school try to insist on some sort of gender conformity! What is lost in this discussion is the fact that schools are specialized institiutions. Some restrictions are necessary to ensure good order to facilitate the learning process. Escobar is not being denied an education. He is simply being denied the right to interrupt other students efforts to learn.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Issue of Rape

I read a lot of blogs. Sometimes I find new ones as links on other blogs. One I found this way is "Bird of Paradox," which is listed on Suzan Cooke's blog roll at "Women Born Transsexual." Now, there was a recent article there that dealt with the case in England where a "pre-op transsexual" who is serving a life sentence was moved from a men's prison to a women's one. Part of the reasoning was that being in a men's prison prevented this person from completing the real life test in order to have sex reassignment surgery.

Now, this is the sort of thing that might seem worthy of celebration as an enlightened view of the medical necessity of medical treatment for those with HBS. It might, but the facts of the case actually show that it is outrageous.

You see, the prisoner in question was convicted of manslaughter and attempted rape. Now, under English law, manslaughter has a different meaning than it does in the United States. The exact details of the case are not clear, but it is entirely possible that the death occurred in the process of attempting the rape, and that the rape is "attempted" only because the victim died before actually being violated. Such a case would be considered "involuntary manslaughter" if the death was not intended, but could still result in a life sentence given the seriousness of the crime in process when the death occurred. This seems the most likely scenario given that the court decision refers to a conviction, not convictions.

Now, the author of Bird of Paradox was quite thrilled at the decision. I tried to post a comment pointing out that it seems questionable that a man who is capable of such a violent act is actually a transsexual, and that such a person should definitely not be allowed to be present in a women's prison while still an intact male. My comment was not allowed because I was "ungendering" this person. In a follow-up email, the author pointed out that "Prisoner B" "has been granted a Gender Recognition Certificate which makes her legally a woman." The author simply cannot see that there might be a danger to the women this person might be incarcerated with.

Now, as bad as the above is, a newer post on Bird of Paradox serves to show the true absurdity of the transgender mindset. It seems that there is a "Feminism in London 09 event." The author expresses concern that this event might not be welcoming to "trans women."

Any trans woman seeing that will surely already hear the alarm bells ringing. It shouldn’t need restating that the word “woman” defaults to meaning “cis woman” and excludes trans women as a consequence. And “pro-feminist man”? I wonder if that includes trans men?

Now, I identify as a woman, not a "trans woman," so I would not be disturbed by such a remark. If there was something that interested me, I would have no qualms about attending.


But what really upsets the author of Bird of Paradox is the fact that a "Rape and sexual violence workshop is for "women born women" only.

Now first off, it is just possible that this is simply because it avoids the sticky issue of determining who might, or might not, have a penis. After all, in the transgender mindset, "women can have penises, and even wish to keep those penises." And it is just possible that a group of women discussing an issue like rape and sexual violence might not wish to have men who are capable of engaging in that behavior present simply because they are wearing a dress.

Or, just possibly these women see a very simple fact that is obvious to me. Given that the author of "Bird of Paradox" claims to be a spokesperson for "trans women," and given the cluelessness of this person with regards to putting an intact male, convicted of manslaughter and attempted rape in a women's prison, it is just possible that they might possibly view "trans women" as not being welcome in such a discussion. I know I would certainly not want someone with that sort of mentality present.

Just to make it clear...rape is not a sexual crime. It is a crime of violence. A rapist uses his penis as a weapon against a woman. It is not about sexual desire, but about a desire for the ultimate domination and humiliation of a woman. In an intimate discussion of this issue, I doubt many women would want someone who is incapable of understanding this to be present.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I've Got to Ask....

What is the deal with "Autumn" Sandeen and "weiners?" I mean, several times a week, Mr. Sandeen does an article he calls "This and That," and everyone of them has his "Wiener story of the day." Some of them seem to be pretty boring stuff that he digs up to fit the theme, while others seem to play off of the sexual innuendo that one can derive from the subject.

Now, Mr. Sandeen claims to be a "lesbian," so I would not think that he has any intererest in male genitalia as, shall we say, a "consumer." So, again, what is the deal?

I suspect this is just some immature humor on the part of an autogynephile who is getting all giggly, and perhaps a bit nervous at the idea of actually giving up a certain body part. In any case, it is a rather bizarre thing, but not really that surprising. I remember one author taking delight in his fellow "transgender" hosting a weiner roast right before his surgery. A truly sick joke that only a man who is making something of a mistake might find joy in.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Issue of Passing

Passing...it is a common concept for many who are HBS, transsexual, and even transgender. It is not uncommon, particularly in the early stages of transition, for those who suffer from HBS to speak in terms of "passing," meaning that one is perceived as being a member of their "target sex."

The actual term "passing" seems to have originated in the 1920s in reference to African-Americans who were light-skinned enough to be perceived as Caucasian. It has become something of a sociological term for the ability of a person to be regarded as a member of a combination of social groups other than his or her own.

For those born with HBS, the concept of passing may be a part of the early stages of their transition, but they usually outrgow it quickly as they become more confident. For those who are transgender it either becomes a way of life, or an anathema to be condemned at all costs.

An example of this latter attitude can be seen in the "Autumn" Sandeen's article on Pam's House Blend, "Four-Year Transactivists." One has to remember, Mr. Sandeen identifies as an out, loud, and proud "transgender activist." In the article, he bemoans the fact that many transsexuals come to realize that they are able to be accepted as women, and then decide to stop being out. And, of course. he simply cannot comprehend the simple truth that a woman simply might realize that she has no reason to continue to be seen as a man. As is typical of the gender fascists, Mr Sandeen has to spin this as a negative thing:

Welcome to the reality of how "passing" impacts individuals in the trans community; welcome to the broader concept of how there are individual members of oppressed, minority populations who don't appear to be members of their population(s), and "pass" as members of the unoppressed, majority population.
Like other "transgender" activists, he believes transsexuals are not really women, they are members of an oppressed minority population. He recoils in horror at the idea that one might actually succeed in one's transition and move on with one's life as simply a woman.

Mr. Sandeen goes on to whine about how he is treated:
Personally, I've been called Mr. Sandeen, "Autumn" Sandeen, and called by male pronouns by both people on the religious right and by people who would seem to be my natural allies. To trans people who take the public stage, I tell them "expect to be hit by a lot of lighting" -- similar names to what folk on both sides my transactivist peers are called are what they should expect to also be called.
Sadly, he simply cannot conceive of the glaring error he makes here... He simply cannot, or perhaps refuses to concede, that those who refer to him that way are not at all his natural allies. We are quite opposed to what he is trying to force on people. I share few, if any of his goals. I do not want to see gender "deconstructed." I do not believe that the criteria for being a woman should be that you say you are. I do not believe that women should have penises. (Yes, some of us are born with them, but if you want to keep it, you are not remotely a woman.) I do not believe that people should be able to change their birth certificate without having completed surgery. I do not want to see ENDA passed in a form that would acceptable to Mr. Sandeen. I do not want to be called "transgender." So where this man gets that I am his "natural ally" is beyond me.
In any case, for those of us who are HBS, and not "transgender" do move on from the concept of passing. We realize that to say that we "pass" would be to give in to the silliness of those like Mr. Sandeen who are not, and ever will be women, and who are all too aware of this. I mean, simply put, one cannot pass as what one is.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It is NOT About Class or Privilege

A common claim among transgender activists is that many people don't have surgery because they do not have sufficient class or privilege to be able to accomplish it. Therefore, they say, these poor folks (as well as those who simply don't want surgery) should be accorded the same legal status as those who have had surgery.

Now, anyone with any shred of common sense should be able to see that the purpose for most who make such claims is not to help those less fortunate, but instead to improve the standing of non-ops. But, that aside, is there any validity to these claims?

First off, the primary thing that determines who does, and does not, get surgery is how badly the person wants it. I lived for over a year on half of what I should have in order to get surgery. Ironically, my surgery was covered by insurance, but in order to keep that insurance I had to stay at a half-time job.

Another friend worked even longer at the same job, facing the same lack of money that I did to have her surgery. Now, some might want to be rather snarky and point out that I am white, and therefore privileged. My friend is Latina, from Mexico, and she comes from anything but a privileged background. And believe me, I was not that privileged either.

Now, within the same project I worked on (AIDS prevention targeting transgender people) there were several others who were also pre-op. Except for one FTM, no one else took advantage of the benefit. In another words, even when it is handed to them on the proverbial "silver platter" people who are non-op will remain non-op. It is not about class and privilege.

Now, there are a lot of transgender people who live in poverty. Many of them have other issues, such as drug abuse, alcohol abuse, lack of education, and mental and behavioral issues that keep them in poverty. Simply put, there lives are not improved by transition but are often made worse. These people do not make any attempt to assimilate into society as women. They prefer being openly identified as transgender.

Excuses can be made all anyone wishes, but the truth of the matter is, that most who don't have surgery actually don't want surgery, and would probably not have it if it was offered to them at little cost.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Absolute Insanity!

I can always count on Bilerico to regularly produce some post concerning "transgender people" that will lead to some bit of absolute insanity. A new post, entitled "Open thread: Who are the "real women"?" is no exception. Of course, as has become the pattern on Bilerico, the author is a gay man. I find it interesting how Bilerico seems to think it proper for men, gay or supposedly straight, to be telling women how to think and live. And yes, in this case, his remarks are, at least in part, aimed at women since he seems to be speaking of post-op women versus men who wish to claim to be women.

He starts out comparing a transgender person named "Rachel" Crandall (a so-called non-op) with someone named "Dallas," who from the description I strongly suspect is the infamous Dallas Denney.

Neither is a good choice for whatever point he is trying to make, unless that point is the now classic transgender claim that one has only to assert that one is a woman to become a woman. Crandall is, as I said, a non-op, and Denney had surgery, but makes no real attempt to actually be taken as a woman, choosing instead to insist that people accept him as a woman. In fact, I have been told that Denney never bothered to change his name, and that he still has an obviously male middle name..not that I know that many women named Dallas either.

But the really insane statement is in the comments. One of those commenting is a person using the user name "Paradox." This person claims to be surgery tracked, but is bragging about how the women in her gym's locker room accept her. Anonymous T-Girl has challenged her on this, leading to this bit of drivel from "Paradox:"

'Women' with penises that they have no desire to lose + intruding on women's locker and shower rooms = insanity.

An interesting question:
Suppose you discovered that there was a woman in your locker room that had a penis. How do you determine if she's
A) A woman with a penis that wants to remove it but can't afford it yet.
B) A woman with a penis that wants to remove it but can't due to medical issues.
C) A woman with a penis that wants to remove it but doesn't think its worth the surgical risks.
D) A woman with a penis that actually LIKES her penis and would never remove it.

And incidentally, which of these characters are "actually" women, and which ones are not? How do you determine this beyond just taking their word for it?

Now, the comment about women with penises invading locker rooms is from Anonymous T-Girl, and I agree 100%. When I was pre-op, I went to Curves, which is a well-known women-only gym. But, the one I went to had private, single person dressing rooms. I did not have to go into a room with other women, where there might have been any risk of anyone noticing anything. And I would never have been in any situation where someone might have had a chance to raise concerns about my presence. Nor can I imagine any pre-op who is truly a woman doing so. It is only men, masquerading as women, who care so little that they will place their own needs above those of women.

So, that is the answer to the above "interesting question." No woman would engage in such behavior. And no woman would ever identify as "a woman with a penis."

The commenter Radical Bitch puts it well:
Oh, surgery doesn't make one a woman, I've met a number of post op crossdressers. It's neurology that makes you a woman or not and a female neurology will eventually reject a male anatomy......that you can take to the bank.

A pre-operative classic transsexual is a woman. A post op autogynophile is not. 'taint rocket science.

I identified as a woman before my surgery, but I was also aware that I was undergoing a diagnostic procedure known as the "real life test." I was well aware that, as unlikely as it was, I had the choice to stop the process. I was a woman, but I was not truly female. And that is the difference that the transgender types cannot seem to grasp. It is my neurology that makes me a woman...it is my surgery that makes me a female.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

For the (Hopefully) Last Time

Let me start by reiterating...

This blog does not target any particular individual. It is about issues that affect those born with Harry Benjamin Syndrome, also known as classic or true transsexualism. What I write about is determined by what is being said on other blogs, especially those that are run by frightened activists who can't stand to be disagreed with in their comment sections. In fact, one of the principal reasons I started it was because I saw so many who disagree with the "transgender party line" being kicked off of blogs for daring to speak the truth.

Now, one of the worst offenders in this regard happens to be Suzan Cooke. For example, yesterday, Cooke removed a post that took her to task for the same thing that I had written about. And that was the incredibly, unbelievabe statement that stated that people who are transgender are intersex. Now, Cooke's remark is exactly the sort of thing I write about.

In a post where Cooke whines about my writing about her remarks, she doesn't focus on the real issue (her ridiculous remark) but instead goes ballistic because I pointed out that she hates God. I stand by what I said. Cooke is a classic example of an angry atheist....someone who is mad at God and who strikes out at Him in what they believe is the worst possible way, by ceasing to believe in Him. I guess they think that will show Him.

Cooke offers up something Cooke calls the Epicurean Dilemma:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
This is a rather poetic version of what is commonly referred to as the problem of evil. It is supposed to leave Christians dumbfounded and confused. It is meant to be unanswerable. In truth, the answer is very simple. God cannot remove evil from the world without removing free will. And if God removed free will, then love could not exist, because love requires a free will. And a world without love would be the greatest evil of all.

The great Christian author, C.S. Lewis said this about the matter:

We can, perhaps, conceive of a world in which God corrected the results of this abuse of free will by His creatures at every moment: so that a wooden beam became soft as grass when it was used as a weapon, and the air refused to obey me if I attempted to set up in it the sound waves that carry lies or insults. But such a world would be one in which wrong actions were impossible, and in which, therefore, freedom of the will would be void; nay, if the principle were carried out to its logical conclusion, evil thoughts would be impossible, for the cerebral matter which we use in thinking would refuse its task when we attempted to frame them.
Now, I honestly cannot conceive of Cooke, remotely being willing to give up free will. So, Cooke, like the rest of us, is stuck with a world in which evil exists. In fact, it is that very free will that allows Cooke to not believe in the God that grants it to her.

Oh, and ironically, if Cooke had not launched this latest diatribe, I would have, as planned, written about another of Cooke's fellow transgender activists. I will save that one for tomorrow, unless something more interesting comes along.