March 26, 2008

Look. I Know Everyone's Going to Get Mad at Me Again,

but I think it's interesting that men can now get pregnant.

Transgendered men, but . . . men nonetheless.

I mean, I know it's a rather challenging topic, and I do remember finding out that my ex-girlfriend was now cross-living, and IM'ing about this new development with a prominent blogger.

"Wait a minute," he asked. "If the disconnect is due to the person being 'mentally' the other gender, why couldn't simply change this person's brain chemistry? I mean, to be politically incorrect about it."

Well," I explained, "in many cases it isn't about the human brain. It's about genetic irregularities, and those are immutable. To my knowledge, one cannot change one's chromosomes. They are, after all, in every freakin' cell in our bodies."

"You know," he confided, "men don't like the idea that they might be dating a girl, and find out that she'd once been a man. It's just weird to us."

"Oh, okay," I responded. "In that case, we should outlaw gender-reassignment surgery, cross-living, and probably even cross-dressing. I didn't realize it was making you uncomfortable."

Okay: I didn't say that. I think I wrote: "interesting; gotta go. Working in the office tonight. Please link me soon, 'kay?"

Just think about it. This kind of thing is not very common, but it does happen. It worries me that we seem to be lumping it in with homosexuality. Truth be told, there is some overlap: I think people with a gender-disconnect often flee to the gay community (and its "agenda," which is bound in crocodile and contains a Mont Blanc pen), but I'm not sure that is how it would go if the mainstream were more accepting.

When, for example, did The Advocate become a "transgender" publication? And why do we use the designation LGBT all over the place? Furthermore, why are left-handed people excluded from that grouping? Are left-handed people not real "equals" in the LGBT community?

And why can't we simply give left-handed people drugs to make them right-handed? Not, you know, to be politically incorrect about it . . . but they make me uncomfortable. I mean, I give someone a document to sign, and suddenly they're angling the paper in the wrong direction. I don't like it.

Posted by Attila Girl at March 26, 2008 10:47 PM | TrackBack

Yes, I too find it interesting that someone born a biological female can get pregnant. Who knew?

Posted by: Darrell at March 27, 2008 07:50 AM

"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked."

I seem to recall reading that the uterus is itself not necessary for childbearing. Evidently a fertilized ovum, placed in the abdomen outside of the uterus, will develop a placenta and begin to develop. The chief advantage of the uterus is that it has an exit point already installed.

Posted by: John at March 27, 2008 08:55 AM

The immune system may have something to say about that, irrespective of what's "possible". And Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. ("Junior")

Posted by: Darrell at March 27, 2008 09:42 AM

I guess I just don't understand how a person can feel any particular gender at all. I mean, I was a tomboy, I like being a stay at home mom. I had a career, I like math. Should I be confused? ;)

I guess what makes me uncomfortable about it is that it seems very stereotypey if you think you like X so you can't be Y gender. Or is it different? I quite honestly don't know. I just know I was the ungirly girl, but I never thought, "Hey! I must really be a man inside!"


Posted by: silvermine at March 27, 2008 12:31 PM

Well, I certainly relate to that, inasmuch as I keep telling people that I must really be a 17-year-old male inside: after all, I like guns and trains, and I think about sex a lot (but I repeat myself . . .).

And I have a streak of the engineer in me, mentally: it doesn't manifest itself in being good at math (quite the opposite, really), but in a desire to make things precise that cannot necessarily become precise, and in a sort of absent-minded disconnect from the world around me, from time to time.

Do I really know any "girly girls"? I don't know anyone who can live up to the notion of being feminine all the time. I don't know anyone who wants to.

But at the same time I'm not particularly feminine, I'm very, very female. So even if my brain is androgynous, I don't have any reason to suspect that my chromosomes are irregular.

Plus, I have great breasts. I could see trimming them back a bit so I could run, but I wouldn't want to get rid of them entirely. (My mother, after her breast-reduction surgery: "Great start! When are we going to get the rest of it?")

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 27, 2008 01:26 PM

Does it matter more who the person you're dating thinks s/he is, or who you experience him/her as? That is, when I dated a girl (oooh, a girl!), I had the experience of dating a girl. The fact that that person now says he was always a guy doesn't change the experience that I had. It may cast an interesting new light on that experience, but it doesn't change it so fundamentally that I now have to say I never dated a girl. Does it?

But then again, what's most important, at least to me, is that that person then and this person now are smart, funny, eclectic, loud, supportive, and kooky.

Do we really choose our partners based on their gender identity -- either the one they seem to be defined by or some secret one -- or on whether they're cool and groovy, kind and funny? The latter, I hope.

Which is not to say that gender and genitals shouldn't matter. You like what you like. But what you like most should be a personality, character, worldview, sense of humor, and commitment to human decency. Oh, and good teeth. Definitely hold out for good teeth.

I guess, deep down, I'm a teethist.

Posted by: Rin at March 27, 2008 01:36 PM

Well, on my personal scorecard, Joe counts as having dated a girl. Definitely. He was on the other side of the line at the time, and he had (and has) all the juicy girl equipment.

Though with a couple of other girls--even one who considered herself a hard-core dyke--I think more of the male part of my personality ascended. Just as when I had that fling with a male-to-female person, I experienced a sort of macho overprotectiveness that is difficult to explain, except that it's less vicious than feminine overprotectiveness. More reasoned, and less potentially violent. (When my maternal side is aroused, God help anyone who gets in the way of whomever I've decided I'm feeling overprotective toward.)

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 27, 2008 01:54 PM

BTW, when we were teenagers my mother wondered if you and I might be involved, because we were so touch-feely.

"No, no," I told her. "It isn't a sexual relationship; just really sensual."

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 27, 2008 01:55 PM

Despite the fact that you were unspeakably gorgeous (and I miss your curls!) and brilliant and sexy. And you still are.

I feel very fortunate to have been tucked under your protective girl-wing. I would not be where I am today without it; of that I'm sure.

Posted by: Rin at March 27, 2008 02:07 PM

Hmm. I dunno. I suspect after what I am about to write I might find myself a couple of hundred feet away with a gigantic boot print somewhere on my back...side.


I disapprove of homosexuality. That's fine by me. I suspect I disapprove of homosexuals too. I'd go so far as to say that I viscerally have a problem with someone I know to be out and out. This part, not so great, but at this stage I'm not sure I can change.

Which is somewhat of an issue, because when it comes to trannies, especially the really, really passable ones, well... anyways, let's just say my lower-body brain doesn't always agree with my skull-encased brain.

First, the main point of the post. Has anyone read the Bicentennial Man? I swear, Isaac Asimov, atheist/agnostic that he is, must have just a apark of divine intervention, because that story carries with it everything you ever want to know about the SRS thingy today. Andrew Martin went to a whole lot of trouble, even to the extent of killing himself slowly, to be recognised as a Man.

Rather, I should have said, R. Andrew went to a whole lot of trouble, even to the extent of destroying itself slowly, to have the World President declare it a Bicentennial Man. Even though it was not then, and would never be, a man.

That is the long and short of it. You cannot assign so-called 'gender' roles and say that it's based on your deep feelings. We need objective reality to guide us, and if you can't shove your penis in a vagina and make babies, and you do not have XY chromosomal patterns, then your malehood and manhood is extremely suspect.

Yes, I would say that if (if!) a woman can get her genes tweaked to grow herself a dick and balls (and hell, maybe the prostate), then she'd be a man (sort of the 'If your Aunt... she'd be your Uncle!" scenario). Pretty-boy kinda man, but a man. Similarly, if a man can tweak his genes to grow ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus etc, then he'd be a woman. Ugly - ass woman, maybe, but a woman.

But if it's just cosmetic surgery and hormone therapy, forget it. You're a man or a woman till you die. Life sux, get over it.

Now, having insulted quite a number of people, let me continue along those veins.

Rin, You'd better believe a whole lotta people, male and female both, choose their long-term sex partners based on reproductive capacity. AFAIK, about 99% of the world's population. Or more. Sure, I'd hit Patricia Araujo (and I've admitted as much before), but like I said, that's my lower-body brain talking. If I invested actual processing cycles on mate selection, you bet your ass I'd go for a woman with actual ovaries.

More to the point, personality can be grown and cultivated. Genitalia, not so much.

In my more drunken moments, though, I always thought the best 'marriage' would involve a man, a woman, a tomboy and a trannie. Just for the hell of it. Menage a what???!!! :)

And, just so you know, I was left-handed once. But thanks be to my parents, I have seen the light, and am now unequivocally right-handed. And I thank God for their guidance, because they increased my life expectancy by about 10 years or so.

But you know why I'm not so bothered about lefty-handy folk? They're not trying to telll me that it's 'normal', they're not trying to force my kids to see if they're left- or right-handed, and they're most definitely not forcing companies to accommodate their strange and unusual practices.

btw, it really was true, I was left-handed when I was young. My Mum had to tie my hand behind my back and force me to write with my right hand. I'm fine now. Honest. But I do more typing than writing.

And to try to answer your facetious question seriously, or semi-seriously, Atilla, it would probably be much, much better for left-handed people if there really was a procedure that would turn them into right-handed people. Southpaws tend to die younger, because this world is adapted for right-handed folk. Not that I'd force them, but the option would be a good one.

Posted by: Gregory at March 28, 2008 01:35 AM

Gregory: I agree with almost none of what you say. And yet I swoon before your honesty. Naturally, I alienate a lot of my true SoCon friends when I post on homosexuality and on TS issues, but I'm not planning on shutting up any time soon.

Let me throw out the obligatory Koans:

- is an infertile woman less of a woman?

- is a man with a low sperm count less of a man?

- may I see the studies that correlate life expectancy with left-handedness? (I'm curious about the methodology: as one might expect, 33-45% of my friends are left-handed, which has to be unusual.)

- If you were to find out that no female-to-male transexuals had XX chromosomes, and no male-to-female transexuals had XY chromosomes, would that change your feelings about the matter?

- Does the fact that the Bible says nothing about gender reassignment change your feelings about the matter? (Especially given that Scripture is so disapproving about homosexuality?)

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 28, 2008 01:17 PM

Are Gregory's feelings about homosexuals genetic in origin?

Posted by: John at March 29, 2008 11:02 AM

And won't that be just great: yet another excuse we shouldn't strive to change - I can't help myself!

1. And 2. No. Assuming they had the correct chromosomal patterns. XX and XY, iow.

3. It's not the 'native' or 'raw' life expectancy. It's the fact that because our urban world is predominantly set up for righties (scissors, knives, for all I know guns, mice, etc etc etc), southpaws tend to die from related accidents more ofen. Of course, if you had Ned's Leftorium in your neighbourhood, maybe it won't be so bad. I'll try to dig out the source, if you're really ineterested.

4. Definitely. I'm a big believer in chromosomes. If the doc chopped your dick off (accidentally! it happens) and tried to make you a girl with your parents' agreement, and you want to reclaim your manhood, I say go for it! For that matter, if you're a hermaphrodite (as opposed to a pseudo-hermaphrodite), then go ahead and choose. Or not, I don't particularly care.

5. The Bible doesn't say much about hentai tentacle rape dickgirl anime either, but I'm sure it's not a good idea to watch it...

Gosh, I musta srunk morere 'n I shuld...:hic> :)

Posted by: Gregory at March 30, 2008 09:53 PM

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