Friday, November 30, 2012

What's Wrong With Just Being Normal?

For many of us, nothing.  For some...well...  To me, there is nothing wrong with being "traditional" or " "mainstream,"  but in her most recent rant, Suzan Cooke, transgender kook, gender fascist, and pretty much increasingly a bit of a shrill joke, goes off over someone named "Purple." What did this person do that was so terrible?  Well, apparently they have extolled the virtues of being a relatively normal person.

Granted, this person does seem to also be a bit of a flake.  It is not clear if this is the person who used to post under the name, "PurpleGirl," who was a devotee of Charlotte Goiar, who started a European "Harry Benjamin's Syndrome" movement (apparently it has since dropped the incorrect use of a possessive...naming is to honor, not imply ownership) who used to post under the name "Courtney Michelle Holder."  That person, who as I recall did take some extremist views not unlike those taken by person posting as Donna Reiser, who is also a devotee of Goiar.  The HBS group that I was part of had major disagreements with Goiar, and broke with her very early on.  

Cooke never misses a chance to attack the HBS movement, apparently because the idea that a person might actually transition simply to live a normal life seems to disgust Cooke.  This Reiser is as extremist in one direction as the transgender activists, including Cooke, are in the other.  Where they want to claim that everyone who is "transsexual" is motivated by a desire to transgress gender, and must be "out, loud, and proud," Reiser claims that "true transsexuals" cannot be lesbians.  While many of the "straight men in dresses" that make up the core of the transgender extremists do claim to be lesbian, that does not mean that everyone who is transsexual, and identifies as a lesbian, is a fraud.

Let's consider that view.  Certainly some women, a certain percentage, are sexually and romantically attracted to women.  Some of them are that way, pretty much from birth.  Others are more fluid in the sexuality.  A lot of women, after a bad experience with a man, or because of abuse by a male, will, for a period, be attracted to women.  They may well return to being attracted to me, often to the dismay of their female partner.  So, to say that a "transsexual" cannot be a lesbian is to say, in effect, that transsexuals are significantly different from other women.  And this plays into the Blanchard-Bailey theory that attempts to "prove" that transsexuals are not really women at all, just excessively gay men, and straight men with a weird fetish.

This sort of thing is not uncommon.  I once had a well-known transgender kook tell me that a transsexual could not possibly be "pro-life."  I have seen others try to claim that transsexuals can't be Republicans, or conservatives, etc.  

The simple fact is, women, including transsexuals, like women in general, can have a wide range of views.  Some of us are more conservative than others.  Personally, I tend to joke that my politics are radically moderate.  I am a member of the Far Middle, the extreme center.  I pride myself on the fact that I can enter a debate between someone who is far right, and someone who is far left, and have both of them calling for my head. 

Some people, like Cooke, are very rigid in their thinking.  They are incapable of comprehending other view points.  I don't mean "agreeing" with those viewpoints, but comprehending why someone might hold them.  They cannot see that their might be arguments supporting that view that people might honestly hold.  Cooke sees the world as  black and white.  If you do not share Cooke's highly extremist left-wing view then you are wrong, end of story.  No just in error, but wrong as in "you will face the firing squad" when the revolution occurs type wrong.  Even evil, in a sense, though Cooke does not quite seem to believe in actual morality in an traditional sense.

On the other hand, while I may not agree with someone, I can often see why they think the way they do.  I can see the reasoning behind their view, and that enables me to see the flaws in their reasoning, if such exist.  I could make their arguments for them, and then explain to them why those arguments are flawed while also explaining why the extreme opposite view is equally wrong.  That is more than an extremist can handle.

A good example of this sort of thing would be the recurrent bathroom issue.  On the one hand, and extremist like Cooke will claim that there should be NO restrictions on transgender access to bathrooms.  No matter where one is on the imaginary spectrum, whether one identifies as a straight male fetishtic crossdresser who is just really turned on by the idea of slipping into the ladies room even though you know you are not going to pass and will cause major distress...which really, really turns you on, are you are a surgery-tracked transsexual who is a week away from surgery, it is all the same.  And I can see the arguments that might be made.  Everyone needs to pee.  It can be dangerous to go into the men's room if you are crossdressed.  We have to respect everyone's gender identity and gender presentation.  Now, on the far opposite extreme are those who might go so far as to say that even if one is a fully transition post-op, they have no business in the ladies room.  Their argument would be, a Y chromosome has no business in the ladies room (I would love to hear how they would deal with someone with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, a so-called "XY female.")  Well, The first arguments are not really persuasive.  If one wishes to crossdress, that might be their right, but it does not give them license to create a public nuisance, and quite frankly, speaking as a woman, a man in the ladies, and that is what a crossdresser is, is a public nuisance.  They don't become a woman when they slip on a dress.  If they are concerned about danger, then they should take responsibility for their behavior and avoid such situations.  They do no have an absolute right to crossdress and use that as an excuse for being a nuisance.  And the term gender identity is, to a large extent, meaningless.  It is one thing to be a true transsexual, carefully screened by a qualified and competent therapist, and another to simply assert that one "feels like a woman today."  And presentation?  Give me a break.  It may be your right to present as you wish, but that does not mean I have to pander to your fantasies.  

As I say, I am a moderate.  There need to be provision made for those who have a legitimate need to enter the ladies room, even though they might be physically male.  Those who are properly diagnosed as transsexual (not some kook who manages to fool a therapist with a big rubber stamp), but also provision to protect the privacy of women.  Personally, I did not enter the ladies room until I felt reasonably sure that I would be accepted as a woman, and not cause distress.  That, simply put, was because I was a woman, and had concern for other women.  The vast, overwhelming majority of those who identify as transgender are men, and like men, they think they have privilege that they really don't.

No, there is nothing wrong with being normal and traditional.  And people have a right, within limits, to be otherwise.  But, if they make that choice, they should also take responsibility for their behavior and realize that not everyone is going to look at them and say "Aren't they so cool, being a rebel and all..."  We aren't.  We are far more likely to look at them, and at best laugh, and at worst see them as a very disturbed, and disturbing person."  

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