I imagine some of my regular readers, seeing that title, might think I have slipped a cog... That I might have blown a fuse... That I might suddenly have taken leave of my senses... That I might now be a few French fries short of a Happy Meal... That I might just plain have lost my mind!
But! There is something we might well thank "Autumn" Sandeen for. He is, quite frankly, the exception that proves the rule. That is always an interesting phrase. It is hard to explain, until an example happens along. And then one suddenly realizes, "Here is just such an exception." Of course, that is not completely accurate. The "exceptions" are not really exceptions, but why quibble over such details. For example, in Sandeen's case, he is not a transsexual, or a woman. But he claims to be both. Worse, he tries to force transsexuals under the "transgender umbrella." He is a constant source of bad information, and seems to do his best to make transsexuals look as bad as possible.
But, in doing so, he provides us with a unique opportunity. On very rare occasions I find myself in a debate with someone who is trying to argue that I am "not really a woman." Such a person is usually approaching this from, to at least some degree, a rather bizarre mix of religious and pseudo-scientific arguments. That is where someone like Sandeen comes into the picture.
Sandeen is such a bad parody of both a woman, and a transsexual, who claims to be both. He provides a perfect example of something that can be pointed to and shown as a counterpoint to true transsexualism. One can offer up Sandeen and say, "Now here is a classic example of what you are accusing me of being, and here, quite frankly, is where Ihe differ from such a person." And more to the point, it would be near-impossible to find any meaningful areas where I, or any other true transsexual, has anything in common with Sandeen. Aside from the relatively superficial argument that we were both "identified as male birth" there really isn't anything else. In that sense, Sandeen becomes the example of a person who identifies as transgender, but who is lying when he claims to be either a transsexual or a woman. Clearly, he is neither, and as such is the exception that proves that we are different. His counter-example provides evidence for our veracity.
Think of it as having a known standard to compare something fake against. Looked at alone, it might be hard to tell if something is real or not. If, for example, you don't have a real Rolex, you might be fooled by a good fake. If it looks well made, if it is heavy enough, and there is nothing obvious to give it away, you might be fooled. But next to the real thing, the fake becomes more obvious. This is also true of any number of other things that are often copied. In isolation, the fake may, or may not, look pretty convincing. But compared to the real thing, the fake quickly shows it flaws.
Sandeen, I will admit, is pretty obviously flawed. He is more like a cheap imitation. No one seeing a video of him flouncing about in an outfit that no real woman his age (or probably any real woman, period) would ever where, acting like a bad caricature of how women act, or in a classic, explaining the virtues of a device that allows women to pee standing, would ever think...well, that might be a real woman. But put him next to a real woman, and the differences are all the more apparent.
So, perahps, we should thank Sandeen for giving us a strong argument for the veracity of our experiences.