Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Other Pile of Idiocy From Bilerico

Yesterday, I mentioned that there were two loads of idiocy on Bilerico.  Well, after writing about the first, I decided to wait before tackling the second.  So, here it is.....


A transgender identified transsexual named Cristan Williams made some claims about the term "transgender."  Now, the gist of this article is that the term "transgender" was used as early as 1970.  The claim is also made that the word was embraced by none other than Christine Jorgensen who, it is also  asserted, supposedly preferred it to "transsexual."


The purpose of all this seems to be to counter the fact that the term is attributed to Arnold Lowman, aka Charles "Virginia" Prince, who was the spokesperson for transvestites for years, and a person who bitterly despised transsexuals.


Okay, I see three problems with this article:
  • The claims in the article are questionable.  I honestly find it a bit hard to believe that the references are credible.  It seems a bit suspicious that, just when the concept of "transgender" is on the ropes, there is this "sudden" and "convenient" discovery of the term being used to refer to transsexuals dating back to 1970.  It also seems just a wee bit fishy that images of the articles are provided, not just quotes.  That, of course, reduces the likelihood that someone would bother to actually check out the citations, which are almost all from obscure sources.  I am not saying that they are fake, but it certainly seems possible, perhaps even likely.
  • In most of the instances where the term is used (there are three exceptions) it is applied specifically to transsexuals.  That does not really support the current "umbrella" model.
  • It really changes nothing.  Even if the citations are accurate...even if Christine Jorgensen actually preferred the term....even if some reporter, and some doctor actually used the term to refer to transsexuals on a couple of occasions, the term has taken on meanings that are still counter to the interests of transsexuals.
It appears that transgender activists are getting desperate.  The umbrella is falling apart, and it is increasingly obvious that transsexuals do not belong in the same group as a bunch of men in dresses.  But that does not mean they will give up...

18 comments:

idappaccayata said...

http://www.cristanwilliams.com/b/2011/07/18/transgender-best-rant-ever/

Just Jennifer said...

I stand by what I posted...with one exception. I meant to say "transgender activists are getting desperate, not "transsexual." You might want to correct your post.

Zoe Brain said...

You have bothered to check at least some of the sources before labeling them as fake though, haven't you?

She did give publication, date etc for all.

I suspect this is the source. Perhaps you should write to them. Ar least some of the publications would also be held by the Library of Congress.

Just Jennifer said...

As I said in the post, the sources are all very obscure and not easily checked. As I pointed out, this makes things suspect. Normally, such an article would simply cite sources, and people can check them out. But in this case, that is not easily done, and "pictures" of the alleged articles are offered. Now, it is being suggested that the source is an LGBT museum mentioned by none other than "Monica" Roberts, a leading gender fascist. This is getting interesting...

Let's see...I could invest time and money for a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the Library of Congress...or, I could just ponder why the sources are so obscure. Hmmm.....

Not your friend said...

Keep in mind Jen
If it's on the internet it must be true.
That's what Zoe and others believe.

Just about anything could be said since most of this history is preinternet and anything that would be left over from the old fido net days would be suspect.

But hay it's on the Internet it must be true. ;)

Not your friend said...

Zoe It's hard to attach any weight to jpegs of what appear to be newspaper clippings that could have come from anywhere and any time.

Where are the mastheads with the date and the newspaper logo?

You as a scientist should be able to appreciate the need for verification and repeatability.
I live in a large city with a large public library that has a considerable collection of newspapers on microfiche some dating back over 150 years.
If we had the masthead dates we could look this stuff for ourselves and any bias the original blog poster had would not matter. Without that information those jpegs of articles are suspect as they should be.

Just Jennifer said...

Well, my blog is on the Internet, so it must be true as well. Hmmm, I believe that is a paradox.

The simple fact is, it is relatively trivial to produce an image of an "article" that says anything. Give me a day or two, and I could produce a scholarly paper, published in a noted journal, that says that, oh say, Harry Benjamin said that anyone who called their self a "transgender" was just a fetishistic crossdresser. It would simply be a matter of work using Photoshop. Of course, that would be easily disproven. But, if I made it a quote from a legitimate sounding, but obscure journal, it would be harder to disprove. Not impossible, but difficult. I could claim it was from a newspaper that is really obscure, that just happened to interview Benjamin at his office here in San Francisco, and suddenly it would be pretty near impossible. Of course, common dirty trick in debating is to corner your opponent into proving a negative.

Not your friend said...

I totally agree Jen.
I could put Zoe at Dallas watching the Kennedy assassination, or you and I in a Korean MASH unit assisting doctors during the Korean war.
:)

That was my point there is nothing to back up the authenticity of those articles.

Just Jennifer said...

I'm not even that skilled with Photoshop and I have done things like made a folding chair disappear from a picture where it cluttered things up, or having a couple fighter planes buzzing the Transamerica Tower. I have also turned an overcast day into a nice clear blue sky, including changing the reflection in a window. I am especially proud of that last one. It turned a blah photo into a much better one. Creating fake sources would be trivial.

Not your friend said...

What really surprises me is Zoe Brain the rocket scientist will accept the articles without any authentication.
Zoe's street cred is lower than a snake's belly right now.

Zoe Brain said...

Try "Early American Newspapers. Series I, 1690-1876."

That should be available through your local library.

It's even available here in Australia, through the Australian National Library.

Not your friend said...

I find it disappointing that you Zoe didn't question the origin of those articles. It's not expected ether as we all know true believers never question their religion.

Just Jennifer said...

Uh, "1690-1876"? I doubt I would find any of the mentioned articles in that "source." Unless, now it is being claimed that "transgender" was in vogue around the time of the Civil War.

Zoe Brain said...

The first one I checked was this one. From the Maine Enquirer, Volume IV, No 33, May 27, 1828.

I figured that it was the hardest to check.

For the Circleville Herald article from 1934, try newspaperarchive.com if your library has a subscription to it.

If I can do that from Australia... though again, I do have the full resources of the ANU library and the Australian National library at my disposal, and have to do literature searches all the time.

Just Jennifer said...

Now, it appears that Zoe is either completely lost, or is trying to pull a clumsy bit of misdirection...

I have never questioned that there were people in the past who either "crossdressed" or chose to live their life as fully in the opposite sex as possible. Most of these that we know about were women who took on roles as men. For several reasons, it is a bit of a stretch to try to force most of them into some more modern label. Some might well have been transsexuals who would have welcomed full transition, and others might have simply been lesbians. And more than a few might simply have been seeking a way of escaping the oppression of women during that period. I know of at least one such woman who was awarded the Medal of Honor for service during the Civil War, who later went on to dress in men's clothing, and who was arrested for doing so. Her Medal of Honor was rescinded and then later reinstated by Jimmy Carter.

This was NOT the issue at all. The issue is the claims made that transgender was in use before the 1980s. This is part of an attempt by Yet Another Gender Fascist to force transsexuals to accept the label.

One thing is very clear...transgender people did not exist in the 1800s or earlier as the artificial construct had not been conceived, and since such an identity dud not exist it is disingenuous to force such a term on them. Worse, it is dishonest, though I cannot imagine dishonesty even bothering most gender extremists.

idappaccayata said...

"Now, it is being suggested that the source is an LGBT museum mentioned by none other than "Monica" Roberts, a leading gender fascist. This is getting interesting..."

I'm guessing that would be the TG Archive. Are you suggesting that maybe there's a conspiracy?

Just Jennifer said...

Let's just say that idappaccayata is not nearly as as idappaccayata seems to think.

LoveRants4u said...

I HAVE A GENETIC DISORDER (even if I'm XX) because I have too much testosterone.

I knew my "soul is a girl" and wanted to get rid of my testosterone since before I heard of the word transgender, let alone being thought of as a fake and a troll by those in the TG community (Susan's Place).

I knew something wasn't right as far back as "force accepting" the Gay Community when in the past I wasn't too thrilled with it, neither had I saw myself as a art of it.

Keep blogging, Jennifer, and tell that dancing transvestite to stop celebrating, OUR "SEPARATIST" Movement is NOT OVER, NEITHER IS IT EVER GOING TO END.

http://www.youtube.com/user/LoveRants4u