Eddie Pensier writes:
Transcribed, annotated, anonymized, and edited for spelling from a discussion group elsewhere on the web. The participants include:
AK, shopkeeper, female, 42
CB, researcher, male, 39
MM, retired US Navy, male, 54
CM, copywriter/translator, male, 54
JL, financial planner, male, 44
ML, self-employed, female, 50
AS, insurance adjuster, female, 43
PH, technical writer, male, 57
RV, media consultant, male, 61
PJ, technical writer, male, 36
JA, professor, male, 65
The topic. Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, the explosion of trans-awareness in general, and the wisdom or not of encouraging children and adolescents to transition genders.
AK: I’ve been wondering exactly what it means when MTF transgenders say, “I’ve always felt like a woman”. It boils down to, I can only speculate, one of three mental paths:
- They like pink, frills, dresses, makeup, high heels, and acting “feminine”. These are, we are unceasingly told, merely social conditioning and not inherent in the female brain. Makes them a girly man. Doesn’t make them a woman.
- They like to fuck men. Makes them gay. Doesn’t make them a woman.
- They feel a deep innate need to conceive, gestate, give birth to, and nurture a child. This is the only one that makes sense to me, and coincidentally (or not) is the one reason I’ve never heard for transitioning. It is also, for the forseeable future, medically impossible.
So, what does, “feel like a woman” actually mean? Tangibly? Physically? Emotionally? Nobody seems to be able to pin it down. Perhaps it is merely a feeling by omission, they feel “not-male”, and therefore the default opposite to that is female. Maleness and masculinity has been so crushed and marginalized in recent years. Maybe the trans phenomenon is a reaction to that.
A MTF cannot feel like a woman, cannot know what it is like to feel like a woman, because they are not and never have been a woman, no matter the mental contortions that certain activists and SJWs go through to convince themselves otherwise. Barring the presence of certain genetic or hormonal intersex conditions, the thing they think they are feeling “like”, is not femaleness or femininity. What is it? I admit I don’t know.
But WAIT A SECOND isn’t gender just a socially enforced construct anyway? The tragic secret, the ultimate irony of trans, is that these supposed trailblazers who believe that they are bravely defying conventional notions of gender roles and traditions, are in fact slavishly upholding them. The really “brave” thing would be to live as yourself, embrace yourself with all your weird quirks and idiosyncracies. Be a man who wears makeup! Go ahead and give Mother Nature a big fat raspberry and do your wacky thing. But a trans not only feels like a woman, they cannot be a woman without also having a woman’s body to go with it. That’s not subverting gender, that’s being crushingly literal about it. The help they need is not cutting up their bodies to match their brains, it’s coming to peace with their brains in the bodies they have. And until they realize that, there will be a great big logical hole in the “trans acceptance” movement.
PH “The help they need is not cutting up their bodies to match their brains, it’s coming to peace with their brains in the bodies they have.” Bravo.
ML I love this. Love. You have successfully articulated what I could not.
CM Exactly. Be a big het or a big faggot with a vivid imaginative life and some cognitive dissonance about your body. If you go ahead and live your life like that, you might even get over the cognitive dissonance after a while, and in any case you’ll meet some interesting people.
PH Embrace your cognitive dissonance. Embrace how fucked up you are. What could be more empowering than that? I am not joking, any more than the poster or these commenters are.
AK One part of it is a sad and crushing failure of imagination. Who among us hasn’t had flights of fancy about being a member of the opposite sex, or being a favorite historical/literary character, or having a superpower? But most of us understand that those fantasies are just that: Fantasies. Being unable to tell the difference between fantasy and reality is, I believe, the dictionary definition of “delusional”.
MM This is AWESOME. These guys have no CLUE what being a woman feels like. There is no way they could. This is a problem with RADFEMS – they think they know men. But all they know really is this small spectrum of what we are.
AK The most reactionary of patriarchal, male chauvinist pigs would salivate at the thought of eliminating any sort of gender nonconformity or queerness. Men who look like men and want to sleep with women, and women who look like women and want to sleep with men. And incredibly, trans/GRS supporters play right into that old-fashioned mentality. Think about it.
MM Frankly, in the end, we probably could do without 30% of the males we now have on the planet. So if a lot of them want to take themselves out of the competition for chicks by feminizing themselves and / or cutting their male parts off – well that kind of “playing field” would have been one I would have salivated over in my single, playing days.
RV I’m pretty girly in some ways — I like art, travel and food a lot more than sports, machines and beer, and I’d rather do yoga than weightlifting any day. Doesn’t make me a girl though. (Actually, over the years it may have gotten me more pussy than many conventionally male-minded guys get.)
MM The most reliable stats suggest that 70 to 80 percent of kids who identify as “transgender” eventually change their mind. But this guy can’t. I just can’t believe this shit. Physician-assisted self-mutilation. Turning a confused kid’s life into income. In five years when the kid wakes up and says … “WHAT HAVE I DONE!?!” and slits his wrists … the docs who did this won’t give a shit.
CB “but the question is no longer whether gender reassignment is an option…”
Glad that issue is settled! Thanks for telling me what to think, NYT!
CB Science can give you a fake pussy, but it still has no cure for massive man hands.
CB Looking forward to checking in with her in 10 years and asking her if she still has “zero regrets” about having the surgery. Assuming she hasn’t killed herself in the interim, of course.
PH Saying its not an option is saying it is not their decision. It is the abdication of responsibility, of basic human decency. This is cowardice and evil. What is going on today? What the fuck is happening?
JA There may be high suicide risk among pre-ops but apparently post-ops have a high suicide rate as well. It’s not clear if anything is fully resolved. Plus, I don’t think it’s fair to say that it is gender that is being reassigned. Rather it is the sex, or sex organs.
CM It’s definitely not the sex that’s reassigned. This chappy is still built of xy-chromosomes from his fingertips to the depths of his artificial vagina. He can’t father a child, because he’s been castrated, but he can never become a mother because he doesn’t have a womb. A highly advanced makeover has made it easier for him to portray female gender; his sex is unaffected.
AK The trans crowd rants about “TERFs”–trans-exclusionary radical feminists. As y’all might have guessed by now, I have long since ceased calling myself (identifying as?) a feminist, but I can’t understand how any feminist could NOT be uncomfortable around transwomen. Feminists have long preached that what’s on the outside doesn’t matter. It’s not the trappings of femininity that make a woman, it’s more essential than that. The trans allies are saying that what is on the outside is the ONLY thing that counts. If you “feel like a woman”, you ARE a woman, and therefore changing your body to “look like a woman” is not cowardly and gender-role-enforcing, but perfectly sensible.
CM This guy is of course the very person TERFs are on about, a man who seems pretty disturbed who has bought female externa and “identifies as a lesbian”. Leaving aside the differences between us, I cannot help seeing parallels between his lesbianism and my male heterosexuality.
JL Indeed. When the article noted that as s/he got older, s/he noticed attraction to women, that’s when I REALLY got uncomfortable with this story. Give the kid therapy. Let him explore the use of his developing man-parts. If he still doesn’t want them, I don’t care if he makes an informed decision to get rid of them. But this is a person in transition who just made an irreversible decision.
AS That’s what I’ve always wondered about, AK. It’s one thing to not really identify with ones own gender (which I often don’t). But holy crap, at what point does that go so far and become such a tragic problem that a person would mutilate their own genitals just to match on the outside what they feel like on the inside? I mean, society really does not enforce gender roles anymore (at least in first world countries). I am trying to imagine what it must be like for it to be so excruciatingly painful to be one gender over the other, on the outside.
AK I’m really not mocking people with serious gender-dysphoria issues, AS, I swear I’m not. My frustration is directed at the leftist/”social justice” crowd and their accomplices in the medical and psychological professions, who enable and encourage what can honestly be called delusions. What’s wrong with telling a gender-confused kid, “You’re a boy (girl) who likes (shuns) makeup and dolls. AND THAT IS OKAY. You don’t have to cut yourself up in a futile attempt to prove to the world that you are who feel like you are, which nobody will believe anyway, since odds are you’ll still look like the sex you were born as in many if not most ways”?
AK Every few months there’s a news story about some woman who has plastic surgery to look like a Barbie doll or a manga character. They get showered with ridicule while transfolk who have GRS are congratulated for their bravery. But how are they all that dissimilar?
AS They are exactly the same! Well, maybe not exactly, but pretty freakin’ close.
AK I do sometimes wonder though: would my feelings on this subject change if GRS were to become more successful in turning one sex into another? If the transition process were to result in not merely a drag-looking, messed-up, intersexed chimera, but could ACTUALLY and TRULY turn a man into a woman or vice versa? Chromosomes, body shape, internal anatomy and all? Flawlessly perfect and undetectable? I totally realize that this hypothetical question leaves the bounds of current science behind, but still, I wonder.
AS I’m pondering that. It feels like a science fiction novel (I love science fiction).
PH If my Aunt June was my Uncle Vern, she would be my Uncle Vern. The point being?
MM Y’all brought up a good point. According to the SJW’s – there is no difference between a surgically transitioned trans and one who has not been physically altered. They say it’s not important what’s “down there”. If that’s true — then why the rush to alter whats “down there”?
JL AK, one of the reasons given for wanting to offer hormones to children is that it allows them never to go through puberty as their birth sex, allowing them to look less drag-like.
MM I think the fact that at least 7 of 10 of those kids who gets hormones before puberty eventually change their minds pretty much debunks that logic though.
JL I have but a single data point of experience in all of this. A casual friend of mine (she and I belonged to the same synagogue, and we’re both into cycling, so would ride together in the park) transitioned to living as a man. She moved from [my city] to [the Midwest], changed her name, and that was that. (She was quite flat-chested and boyish looking, so no real need for surgery.) The sad thing about it is that as a woman she was a lesbian, and had married another woman, with whom she was raising children. That woman was (is) a lesbian, and had no interest in being married to a man, so the relationship ended — on apparently friendly terms. Since I don’t have a problem with any of this, I’m led to believe that my issues are with providing irreversible “treatment” to kids, and trans folks who approach the world with a “Look at me, I’m transitioning!” attitude. If you were once a man, and now want to be a woman, then the only people who should know you were once a man are probably your immediate family, your God, and whomever you are sleeping with. Otherwise you will never pass for being a woman, and you’ll always be trans.
MM Yeah, I agree. As a libertarian sort — if a dude wants to dress as a woman it’s fine with me. I’m not gonna hassle him for it. My problem arises when they insist on me modifying my personal thoughts on this. I also have a problem with them using the bathroom designated for vaginas when they, in fact, have a penis.
MM And let’s be real here — MOST (BY FAR) of the “trans” are MTF and not FTM. And that’s an anomaly that no one wants to address. If nature made a “mistake” — why so heavily skewed? I take this as more evidence that these folks are confused — and more than one of them who has transitioned and wasn’t happy with it eventually said that it was due to their unrealistic sexual fantasies as a man. I buy this — because I think men are driven by sexual thoughts in a stronger manner than women. Which is another reason to say to these guys … “No, you really don’t feel like a woman on the inside.”
CM The part of the story where my stomach starts fluttering is when the doctors come in. It feels predatory and very much contrary to the Hippocratic Oath. This kid was suicidal and cut himself as a sad male teenager. I don’t trust him to make a great decision now that he thinks doing irreversible damage to himself and his genetic future is the path forward. The fact that he looks like a fragile cyborg in the after picture matters, too. When I bestir myself to see something positive in all this transing, it is that it represents the first awkward stirrings of transhumanism, of the era of conscious evolution. Conscious evolution is a new realm of Faustian creation, and it takes courage to dive in. Courage, though, is the virtue perched between boldness and deliberation. These clumsy, feckless transitions are long on bold and short on deliberation, and old-fashioned, unconscious evolution — whose rules consciously evolving man will have to follow — is subtle, cruel and inhuman. Lopping your wang off and calling yourself a girl seems like a sad mistake in the context.
PJ I don’t disagree with you, MM, but I’m fairly sure that the answer that the SJWs would provide to the MTF vs FTM issue is that the lack of FTMs in comparison is to do with the oppression of the patriarchy and male privilege.
AK But wouldn’t that lead to MORE women wanting to become men, to nick some of that tasty, tasty male privilege for themselves?
PJ They might want it, but they’re much too oppressed to do anything about it, duh.
MM That’s the thing … men are more likely to act on a sexual instinct even if might hazard their career — or their lives. We’re built stupid that way. So it makes sense to me that there are more MTF than FTMs. But this fact also explodes the myth that these men “think” like women. That’s always been the chink in the armor for these folks who hold gender as a greater priority than sex.
CM J Michael Bailey made a plausible argument that the motivation for many high-achieving MtFs like Bruce Jenner, Deirdre McCloskey or highest-paid “female” CEO Martine Rothblatt is autogynephilia, a sexual fetish — a hypothesis that sidesteps both “privilege” and always having “felt like a girl”.
AS Do you think hatred of the potential power of male genitalia might come into play here? Maybe some of these people were sexually abused by men, and they can’t stand having the same parts as their abusers? Just a thought that popped into my mind this morning. I have no anecdotal evidence of this idea.
MM AS, I don’t like to think of male genitalia as “powerful”. I think we need to get away from that notion because it’s one of the things that, IMO — elevates rape to a fate worse than death – when it’s not. It’s like – the wrong man’s penis under the wrong circumstances “ruins” a woman for life and it’s not true. But you have a point there — most still hold this “magical penis” view so there may some trans out there who want to run away from it if they were abused by one.
- Paleo Retiree shares thoughts about two documentaries on transpeople.