Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Broad-Spectrum Anti-Idiotics

"Before Carol was a Carol they were a David, strange but true. Make some hard cash and any transexual can become a woman."

This is broadly speaking the comment someone made about somebody else in a discussion I was part of recently. They had it in for somebody whom they didn't agree with on some or other matter, and went around posting articles and comments venting their dislike for them - and in each case pointing out the detail that they were "transsexual", only to later have it pointed out to them that they had it completely wrong - "Carol" as it were, is intersex, not transsexual.

Personal differences aside, it made me wonder why some people find it necessary to pick out a particular characteristic of somebody they don't get on with - and then use that as an insult and a judgment - at the same time insulting and judging all other people who have that feature in common too.

That is like saying "Joe Soap, who is an Aquarius, is an incredibly bad cook - and therefore all other Aquariuses are too". Make sense?

I see no need for some people to climb into somebody's gender pedigree or to vilify or mock someone for being intersex or make it a point of special mention every single time they are brought up as a topic of discussion. This form of "entertainment" is cheap and degrading of transgender and intersex people.

It is the same as mentioning ''John who wrote "X title", the topic of our article - and only has one testicle (so he is therefore by implication, less of a man than me) Hahaha". It is irrelevant. And if it is being used as a means to ridicule or whip up sentiment against somebody, it makes it even worse. If you don't like somebody then just say so - it is unnecessary to offend all other transsexual, transgender or intersex people because you dislike one person who happens to also be transsexual or intersex.

A little clarity on the differences between intersex and transgender seems required on the topic of transsexuality in comparison to intersexuality. Allow me to provide it.

Transgender/Transsexual:

Let me say for the record that (for those of you that still don't know) I am transgender, meaning that I transitioned from male to female, which technically means that I could be called "transsexual". However, while *some* people may call me "he/it/tranny/freak/wannabe" IRL (at their peril), it is still offensive to me, and even hurtful to be called anything other than a woman. I'm not sure if people do this out of actual ignorance, bigotry or even malice.

Now, allow me to put it to you how I see it:

While I may not be able to reproduce biologically - as some transphobic people like to point out, and use this detail to claim that I am "not a real female" or "good enough" to be treated as female or thought of as such - I seem to corner them on the detail that there are many born females and males out there who also cannot reproduce and yet nobody ever uses their sex or gender as an insult against them. The same argument is particularly useful when it comes to same gender marriage issues, but that is another point for another day.

Let me just say, also for the record, that I feel no shame for my nature, or my transition - nor do I see any reason for such guilt complexes as would be forced upon me by certain social groupings, religious zealots or individuals. If somebody doesn't like that I am trans, or that I once was male - tough. I tell them 'that is your problem, not mine and I simply don't care. You don't have to date me, and you don't have to sleep with me, so it's none of your business. Give me a hard time about it and you will get what you give, maybe more, and in a tender spot.'
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 Dead Man’s Hammer” by Christina Engela
Obsidian crows frequently got run over because quite frankly, they were too damn lazy to get out of the way and anyway, they would just get up and walk off again afterwards. They were flightless birds, mainly because they were extremely hard bodied and far too heavy to fly – unless they fell off a cliff or were launched from a catapult. (Anything will fly if launched from a catapult – ask the Navy.)

Deanna was just another third rate colony in the Terran Empire – and it was pretty much as boring a lump of rock as could be expected. That is, until Gary Beck, aka Beck the Badfeller ran over an obsidian crow with his Jeepo and didn’t have a spare tire. (Things pretty much went down hill from there.)

There was an assassin in town now and she had a score to settle. She was pretty, but as most poets will tell you, beauty can be deceiving. The same poets, who would write about Helen of Troy as the face that launched a thousand ships, would write about Villainessa Tittle as the bitch that sank them. As an assassin, she was the worst kind; this meant that she took pride in her work, enjoyed what she did for a living – and above all, that she was bloody good at it. And this time unfortunately, it was absolutely 100 percent personal.

Buy: Paperback / Ebook

Published: May 26, 2016
Pages: 212
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Dimensions (inches): 4.25″ wide x 6.88″ tall (pocketbook)

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Intersex:

The issue of intersex is a little more complex and thorny at the present time than the transgender issue, because while we trans people may feel that we were born in the wrong body or gender, intersex people may feel like they are one or the other gender, but their physical bodies display either both or indeterminable gender characteristics. This gives rise to many of us realizing that internally at least, we are pretty much in the same boat. This group also includes people with intersex genes - but a large number of such people are not even aware that they are in fact intersex or that there are women out there who are completely content with being women who have in fact got male dna - and vice versa.

Add to this the complication that society pressures people to conform to either one or the other gender - anything in-between the two is considered "wrong" or just "doesn't belong" and just like transgender folks, people are always trying to "fix" intersex people without ever stopping to consider that there may be nothing actually *wrong* with them.

Furthermore, when a baby is born intersex, the old method of dealing with this is parents or doctors (or both) deciding for the individual as a child or minor which gender would suit them best and effecting surgical changes is especially unfair and cruel. Of course, the whole matter is hushed up and the poor child therefore has no say in the matter and has a condition forced on them that may or may not actually be the correct assumption. In the end, this can result in great misery for these people, who may struggle with numerous stigmas and internal issues afterwards.

The increasingly modern view allows intersex children to choose for themselves which gender suits them - and if they even WANT to have any surgical alterations made. Many do not, and are quite content being intersex - and here's the clincher - WHY SHOULDN'T THEY BE? It is that person's body and their life, after all - and why should conformity be so important that it be forced on anyone? Why should they be made to feel guilty or "sinful" because they are born intersex? Why should they be mocked or ridiculed for it?

Hermaphrodite:

Btw, just an extra annotation - "hermaphrodite" is considered un-pc and insulting when applied to intersex people. It is also completely inaccurate, as "hermaphrodite" describes a creature that is actually both male and female and could technically reproduce by themselves, or simultaneously with another member of its own species. Earthworms and snails are good examples of true hermaphrodites.

Intersex is the correct term and describes people who may vary from having both ovum and testes (although the "plumbing" may not be functioning for various reasons etc) to just having genitalia difficult to identify as male or female.

Let me close by saying I don't expect *everyone* to know this as it simply hasn't yet become common knowledge, although if people took the trouble to do a little research on the internet - such as Wikipedia, they would find it easily available and to understand.

That said, I hope this helps you all to understand the issue a little better.

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