I notice many cis-feminists out there attacking trans-women and berating them as "male pretenders." It makes me mad. After all, what does it take to be a woman? How much must a trans-woman cut off before she isn't considered "male" by these hypocrites? Some are truly hateful in their argument, leading me to believe that they hate anything which is - or was - in any way, shape or form masculine - even in terms of origin, even if no trace at all of that remains.
As one who supports democracy and freedom of conscience, it is my firm belief that cis-feminists are entitled to their erroneous opinion that trans-women are "men" - even if it proves that they are insensitive, blithering idiots.
Yes, everyone deserves to be respected for who they are - and treated with equal respect and dignity. For some, being a woman means "being treated like shit", which to me means ALLOWING themselves to be treated like shit. As far as wife-beaters and other abusers of women and children are concerned, let me just say that they have to sleep some time - and God made boiling oil and clothes irons for a good reason. Be that as it may, for trans women, being accepted as a woman (by both cis-gender males and females) means acceptance for who they are.
Some women - being feminists - declare "I don't get how some men can decide they need to be women or are really women inside." This indicates to me that although information on transgender issues is readily available, few actually bother to avail themselves of it.
This brings me to the point where I ask: what is gender? Is it between your legs? Or is it between your ears?
Medical studies and research, including genetic studies has indicated clearly that transsexuals have the physical brains and personalities of the opposite manifested physical gender - thus, trans women truly are "women inside" and further studies have also indicated that genetic and prenatal hormonal influences play a role in determining both sexual orientation and gender identity - this should indicate that there is no actual "decision" or choice in the matter.
What makes it so unfair and soul-destroying is the failure of either cis-males or females to accept us as being "welcome". Yet we exist, often stuck in a barren no-man's-land, and it is us who has to "make the best of it".
One matter that bothers me is that you have cis-gender women and cis-gender men who are feminists and support the feminist cause, but some feminists (not all) attack anyone who is not born female, even though they are allies?
Another is the fact that the enemy of feminism and women's equality - and also the major enemy of gay and transgender rights and equality are one and the same - the Patriarchy, who views any deviation from its own set standards of masculinity and femininity and male superiority - as a threat. Shouldn't that make us allies?
I was born into a male life and lived the first part of my life as a male, before going through a journey of self-discovery which led me to where I am today. Most trans-women I have seen speaking about this topic agree - it does give us a slightly unique perspective on things. I have also seen both sides of the "fence" - this side is much better - at least I can live with myself as a woman.
What is the patriarchy of which I speak? Well, let's look at Wikipedia for a definition of patriarchy -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy Oh yes, that patriarchy.
And to look at a typical patriarchal attitude towards women as nothing more than "fuck dolls", look here: http://ihatewhitewomen.blogspot.com While you're at it, maybe you should report this misogynistic son of a bastard *wink* for his clearly apparent hatred of women - and especially women who are discerning enough to enforce this bigot's also clearly apparent small-penis-syndrome.
Considering all of the above, I think you might find this news article from SA rather interesting:
http://newsletter.mg.co.za/lt/t_go.php?i=56&e=MjA0Mjk=&l=-http--www.mg.co.za/article/2009-09-27-sa-man-marries-four-women-at-the-same-time - MAN marries 4 women at one go. Funny the NILC and Rhema don't tackle that kind of patriarchal bullshit in their talk about "corruption" and "morality", but are more keen on preventing women from having a say over their own bodies and robbing gay citizens of the right to marry at all, even monogamously. I wonder what they would have to say if a WOMAN had married 4 men at one go?
My jaw dropped at the irony of something posted by a contact in the US over the weekend - "there isn't enough money to spend on charity for sick people - churches spend it all fighting marriage equality for gay people." Interesting "Christian moral values", don't you think? Perhaps those churches should look up the meaning of all three words. Come to think of it, a large portion of local SA churches could benefit from some education as well. I could donate them a dictionary.
Gay, transgender and intersex people have no more choice in being what they are, than autistic people have in being autistic. In both cases it is a biological state in nature. It isn't a "debate" about genes anymore - it is a recognized fact that being gay - or transgender - or autistic, is a natural inborn trait, whether genetic or by other biological means.
Something I found troubling is the recent statement by the international group "Autism Speaks" which encourages science to find ways to remove the autism gene from the human genome. In effect, this will prevent people from being born with autism and Aspergers. Some may feel it is a good thing, but I am not one of them. I find it interesting that the same groups who oppose gay rights also fund autism groups to criticize autistic people and also to research cutting the autism gene out of existence. Speaking as a person whose gender identity and sexuality is the focus of such bigot groups, I find such an action offensive and contrary to the spirit of human rights. I don't think I am alone in thinking that as soon as people manage to engineer autism out of the human genome, they will begin to look for other branches that need pruning. And we all know how these same groups detest anything that isn't quite straight, don't we?
My girlfriend has Aspergers - which is a milder form of autism - and she is very smart - smarter than me, in fact, and quite proud of being an "Aspie". And I'm proud of her. What they propose would strip us of what we have. Had they already done it, we would never have met, she would never have existed. Am I supposed to think of that as a good thing?
So sure, why not - let's all just start rewriting the human genome to take out everything we don't like. Take out everything which makes us a rich and diverse species and what will we be left with? The stuff you find at the bottom of the barrel? Or perhaps floating on the surface (usually upside down)?
Sure, let's redesign the human species, cut some inconvenient groups we don't like out, call it version 2.0 and make it better for "all" of us.
Some people say that "to state the being gay is in inborn trait is a recognized fact is to follow a self serving bias with regard to ones source of truth." "The fact is the jury is still out in the larger scientific community, that genetics play a role is not in doubt, the degree is what is in question." "I am suggesting that you are free to change (and perhaps that you should)" "To assume that all that you are and all that you will be is dictated to by your biological processes suggests that we are little more than robots, when free will leaves the equation we cease to be human."
And then they top it all off with: "In the end it does not matter, we all have a right to be who we are, whether made by God or the big bang." Then why argue against facts? If they say that "it does not matter", then why does it still matter?
The jury is not still out - it is fact. The only reason there is any argument about "choice" is because those arguing are religious nut-jobs trying hard to make it all about "sin" as a "lifestyle choice". None of their arguments washes or even makes sense.
Let's put it this way - if you are right handed, did you make a choice to be right handed? Did you "choose" to be heterosexual? No? But somehow Alan X "chooses" to be gay or transgender? Here are some links to help me illustrate my point:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7456588.stm BBC NEWS Health Scans see 'gay brain differences'
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617151845.htm Swedish study brain symetry GLBT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/surgery/body_mind/everyone/gender_dysphoria_transgender/ what is transgenderism?
The "big bang" sounds a lot more fun than "creationism" fairytales by the way.
"I am suggesting that you are free to change (and perhaps that you should)".
Why? Why should people change if they are happy being who they are and who they were born to be? The same level of intolerance and cruelty in this sort of statement is evident in the Catholic school tendency to force left-handed children to write right-handed - and to treat them as if they are "demon-possessed"! And let's not get started on ignorance!
What this person is suggesting is not new - it is as old as Time and has been around as long as those who are intolerant of us. The info on the following link http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=503 should explain why and how it is not possible for a person to change sexual orientation. And remember, it isn't just me that says so - all those professional societies and bodies do. In fact, the only groups disagreeing that sexual orientation and gender identity are inborn characteristics are ones which you can clearly link to right wing fundamentalist religious groups. I wonder why that is?
"I'm ambidextrous." Perhaps I shouldn't ask if you are also bisexual *wink*. Ok, so perhaps left and right-handedness isn't such a good example - so how about eye color? I hear they make colored contact lenses these days - but I never heard of anything that actually changes your eye color - if you can get what I am implying.
You may see people with brown eyes and who claim to have brown eyes, but what if they are just wearing brown contact lenses? You might never have seen the natural color of their eyes and may be completely unaware that they are concealing anything, until the day you see, whoops - Jamie actually has green eyes. Did Jamie suddenly now only "become" green-eyed? Or did Jamie simply "come out of the green-eyed closet"? Can anything you do to Jamie change Jamie's eye color to brown? Or can you just convince Jamie to wear the brown contact lenses again and to tell everybody that he is "cured" and have brown eyes again?
I think this in a nut-shell describes exactly what the "ex-gay" fallacy is all about. Deception.
And the "i" word. Ignorance.
Although information on gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues is readily available, why do so few actually bother to avail themselves of it?
Is it to use "ignorance" as an excuse or justification after ruining somebody else's moment, day or life?
After all, it seems some are interested enough in us to want to ruin our lives - but not in any way interested enough in what we really are to really learn about us. Does this indicate a prejudicial attitude attuned to inflicting malice? A preferred and pre-determined hostile bias? What does this say about the nature of those who claim to love all people, follow what is believed to be a loving creator-God - and yet act out of hatred and ignorance against us? Is willful ignorance an excuse? Or is it an aggravating factor?
Isn't unconditional love supposed to work both ways? How can we expect unconditional love from God for ourselves if we are not willing to grant others the same mercy?
Many sayings reflect this: "you get what you give", "the wheel turns", "as you sow, shall you reap", "do unto others..." and also the concept of karma. Is this duality and fostering of double standards not the very beginning of hypocrisy as a human trait?
I would say we are all hypocritical at some level. We all want our cake and we want to eat it as well.
By this I mean the following:
If we have a constitution that defends human rights then shouldn't it be enforced to defend the rights of all those who are human? Ergo, shouldn't a faith such as Christianity which promises unconditional love and acceptance to all people hold to this promise - and not be promoted by a specific group as exclusively for themselves, while in the process condemning others?
Regardless of what your principles and morals - hypocrisy invalidates them.