Transgender non-logic #4739

June 22, 2010

You, my dear gentle readers who love real women, deserve a well-written and lively post gleefully ripping the transgendered ideology to shreds because as we all know,  non-logic is perennially annoying.  Instead, you’re going to get a post, which briefly and succinctly highlights a major inconsistency with transgenderism.  The weirdness, summarized below, starts here, but really, you can usually see examples in any trans discussion.  What am I talking about?  This:

Transpeople continually chant that any objection to transgenderism is the same as a demand for them to validate their very existence.

You could stop there and skip to the end, because hopefully the reframing is clear, but in case it’s not:

Any objection = Denial of their existence

Well, I for one am pretty sure they exist, if only because they tend to inhale and exhale at fairly frequent intervals.  It isn’t their existence which is in doubt, but strategy-wise, it’s beneficial for them to continually refocus attention away from their various inconsistencies and towards some sleight of hand poppycock  while overly dramatizing their feelings.  They embody, pardon moi’s crudeness, the worst stereotypes ever of hysterical effeminate dandies.   They are literally acting out a caricature of something which exists only in their imaginations, because not even effeminate dandies (if any actually existed) are that fucking hysterical.

It bears mentioning that if real women were to behave in such an exaggerated fashion, doctors would immediately diagnose us with insanity, following the pattern of centuries.   When men do it, however:

No one is allowed to question their authoritarian privilege.

They claim that any objections to transgenderism or any nagging requests that they clarify their own inconsistencies,  are merely impertinent  impositions on their valuable time and energy, and of course, an insult to their existence.

I’m not sure where they found that special snowflake exemption clause in all their “How To Pass As a Woman” manuals, because real women must validate our existence merely as a cheap party-trick prerequisite to the main course:  validating our humanity.  Validating our humanity, and especially validating our neutrality –  by that I mean constantly reaffirming that our status is non-whore and non-madonna — are two tasks which occupies the vast majority of a feminist’s time and energy.   Validating our entitlement to civil rights, usually comes dead last.   As far as I can tell, the evolutionary psychology field’s entire purpose is to invalidate our neutrality, rendering us either evil incarnate or self-sacrificing berry pickers on a pedestal; while the primary purpose of religion appears to concern itself with nullifying our humanity by regulating us to the babyfactory-helpmeet class.   Academic feminists spend their entire professional careers painstakingly refuting one misogynist claim after another which insist we are nothing but objects to be consumed.  Yet for all that, even we don’t run around screaming that every misogynist query is an assault on our existence.

One can only surmise that transidiots feel extremely threatened to the point of paranoia by anyone who notices or questions even minor inconsistencies.

Which is quite a peculiar stance for a supposedly mentally stable individual, but there’s more; and if you as a transperson take away nothing else after reading this missive, remember this for it is my main point:  Whenever any one person or group posits some assertion and expects other people to act upon their assertion, then the onus is indeed upon them to provide sufficient evidence.  Only a freaking loony tunes manipulative nutcase would change the subject.  Only a chauvinistic asshole would assume he is somehow magically exempt.

Next post:  I  ‘plain logic to teh stoopid.  Again.

276 Responses to “Transgender non-logic #4739”

  1. Aaron Boyden Says:

    I think part of the problem is that society doesn’t allow people to just want things that are not normal and approved and do them because they want to, especially in the area of sex. And this even applies to privileged males; our privilege means we have a somewhat wider and more appealing range of normal and approved activities, but it doesn’t mean there’s not still tremendous pressure to avoid going outside the range. It’s not normal and approved for guys to want to have sex with guys, so gays say it’s not a matter of what they want and who they choose to have sex with, it’s a matter of who they are. It’s not normal and approved for guys to want to be feminine in any way, so guys who want to be extremely feminine, to the point of changing their bodies, say it’s not a matter of what they want but of who they are. But like so many dichotomies, this dichotomy between what people want and who they are is a false and misleading one, and I think you’re quite right to criticize it. “Because I want to” is, in general, a good reason for doing things,* and society’s “normal and approved” lists restrict a lot of things that there’s no good reason to restrict (and do so unfairly, putting heavier restrictions on those with less privilege, as usual and as you also note with respect to women). I wish it were possible to carry on the discussion in those terms, as a criticism of the harsh and oppressive standards of normalcy and appropriateness.

    Still, sometimes strategic considerations make it necessary to employ a misleading description of what’s going on in order to advance the cause. This is, of course, tricky, as the deception has costs (sometimes it even undermines other worthy causes, as you suggest here that the way transgender people talk about their gender identity undermines feminist messages about gender). I tend to think that the strategic advantages aren’t worth it in this case, but they probably need to be examined before just dismissing the standard transgender framing.

    * Of course it doesn’t automatically override reasons which may exist for not doing things, but that should go without saying (I mention it because somehow people are very good at missing the obvious, especially in emotionally charged discussions). Wanting to kill people is not a good enough reason to kill people, because the reasons to not kill people are a lot stronger than the prima facie reason wanting to do something gives you for doing it.

  2. m Andrea Says:

    Thank you very much Aaron. You seem to be obliquely referring to “collateral damage”? If so, I’m not sure anyone could make a legitimate argument that any social justice progress for one group is ever justified by actively causing damage to another group. That argument becomes specially disingenious when there exists many viable alternatives for the first group to achieve their goals which do not cause harm to anyone.

    For example, in many ways I ignore discussing the equally worthy subject on racism on this blog, yet it should be obvious I’m not going out of my way to actively harm or block the efforts of anti-racism efforts. Most people would have contempt for someone who did that — because the willingness to disregard the harm inflicted onto others indicates that it is not genuine justice which is being sought, but merely domination. Woohoo, I’m gonna run over a person in a wheelchair on my way out of a burning building, yay for me. Except I just passed ten other exits which would have allowed us all to escape safely — I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I did that.

    Anyway, thanks again.


  3. Transpeople continually chant that any objection to transgenderism is the same as a demand for them to validate their very existence.

    OMG, YES!! It is maddening! This has happened to me approximately 7 million times.
    The comment thread at feministing that you linked to is like a BLUEPRINT for conversations with trans activists. We are NOT ignorant of the issues. It is NOT lack of education, but in fact actual knowledge of the issues, that drives our concerns. Feminist protests are QUALITATIVELY (and logically) distinct from conservative urgings to conform to the gender binary. It is not a failure to EDUCATE oneself. It is a failure of trans theory to be consistent in addressing its political goals. If they can’t understand this, they can’t READ.

  4. factcheckme Says:

    Yes, happens to me too. Sleight of hand poppycock, check. Overly dramatic, check. Emphasis on feewings, check. Although I never noticed that even the most damaging misogyny is never framed as challenging our (women’s) very existance…even acts of gynocide, which very obviously do. Where do they come up with this shit?

  5. Nicky Says:

    “Transpeople continually chant that any objection to transgenderism is the same as a demand for them to validate their very existence.”

    OMG….It happens within the Intersex community as well. Any intersex person who continuously challenges the Transgender existence. Faces the onslaught of being called out and being called a transphobe, bigot for challenging any of their objections to transgenderism.

    I have faced this so many times, that I have lost all count as to how many times I have faced the backlash for challenging their transgender existence. It’s pure madness on their part and I believe its because of their male entitlement that makes them believe that people will not challenge them.

  6. factcheckme Says:

    Also, this Anthony Hopkins pic keeps making me lol. Srsly. These transwomen and their cheap dimestore spackle. Try visiting the MAC counter, ladies. Beauty ain’t cheap, and its rarely pink or blue either. Not since the eighties anyway. Duh.

  7. Michelle Angrywoman! Says:

    By contrast though, if parents fear that they may have a non-transgender daughter who doesn’t conform to patriarchal, sexist gender norms (oooh shock horror!) there is apparently now a drug that has been invented that claims to keep her obedient even from before the cradle to the grave!

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/06/attention_perversely_assertive.php#comments

  8. m Andrea Says:

    Thanks, saw that somewhere else and asked for contact info and phone numbers, since both Cornell and IBR are big organizations and have no clue what department to look for. I swear to Spaghetti that I’ll be polite, but I am not interested in merely signing any goddamn petition.

    The labrats are apparently most eager lately to custom design StepFord Wives for the benefit of men, and this bullshit is going to stop right fucking now. First it was a pill which would make women patriarchal-compliant so men could have a handy meat sock for their own Viagra induced hard-on, then it was the American Assoc of Pediactrics recommending Female Genital Mutilation, and now this. I am fed up.

    It’s one thing to redesign yourself. It’s totally another to redesign other people for your own goddamn benefit. Men are gaping assholes.

  9. Miska Says:

    @ UP

    The comment thread at feministing that you linked to is like a BLUEPRINT for conversations with trans activists. We are NOT ignorant of the issues. It is NOT lack of education, but in fact actual knowledge of the issues, that drives our concerns.

    Totally! I just had someone leave a comment over at mine, saying that I must not know what cis privilege is, and writing me an “cis privilege for dummies” essay. Jeeeeeeeze. I’ve heard it all before. I understand it. And it’s why i started my blog in the first place!

    I completely get why some radfems simply refuse to engage with trans activists altogether.

    Validating our humanity, and especially validating our neutrality – by that I mean constantly reaffirming that our status is non-whore and non-madonna — are two tasks which occupies the vast majority of a feminist’s time and energy.

    Spot on. Someone, please write this up into a “feminism for dummies- whoops,I mean for trans activists” essay.

  10. polly Says:

    That is because they are making the elementary mistake of believing that if everyone else in the world doesn’t share their concept of reality, their concept of reality is invalid.

    This is a characteristic they share with religious fundamentalists. It is not enough for the religious fundamentalist to merely believe in God/Allah/Zoroaster/Buddha/Jahweh, everybody else has to believe in it as well.

    Whereas I am an atheist and do not say religious fundamentalists are denying my existence. I do however think they are wrong.

    The reason for this insistence of the trans fundamentalists that everyone else share in the delusion, is that it is a delusion. A delusion that they not only ARE, but ALWAYS HAVE BEEN the desired sex/gender/delete as applicable.

    Now trying to believe something that is palpably false about yourself is bound to be a strain. So you insist that everyone else must believe it too, or you might be forced to admit it isn’t true.

    Hence they do see any questioning as ‘denying their existence’ because to them their ‘existence’ is something that they know is untrue.

    They often say ‘how would you feel if a born again Christian told you you are deluded to think you are a lesbian’? And the answer is: I’d tell the born again Christian to fuck off, because I know I’m a lesbian. What I would not do however, is accuse them of questioning my existence, (unless I was being purposefully awkward somewhere in blogland) because hey, I KNOW I exist. If however I doubted my lesbianism myself, I’d probably react differently.

    But if you know you were in fact born male and are studiously trying to ignore that fact, it’s going to get to you. Just as trying to pretend you are straight when you’re really not, will get to you.

    Trans folks who do not have this delusion (ie the ones with a grip on reality) have no similar problems, but they’re sadly not often found on the internetz, because the emperor’s new clothes faction have driven them off.

    And it is in that Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale that we find the answer. Because the minute the little boy shouted the Emperor was naked, the Emperor realised what a fool he’d been.

    It’s spelt D-E-N-I-A-L folks.

    • Jo. Says:

      Thanks for that observation Polly. I’ve been trying to figure out why ideological transgenderism reminded me of a religious cult for years.

      You just helped me realize that its because it is one.

      I was confused because I was looking for some kind of higher authority or god(ess).

      Thanks to you I just saw the light: they are their own higher authority. :-)

  11. polly Says:

    To put it another way. SOME trans people are more concerned with external validation than being their authentic selves. So they do not therefore wish to authentically be whatever their own concept of ‘man’ ‘woman’ etc is, they want everyone else to validate them as the industry standard ‘man’ or ‘woman’.

    Straight people often imagine, fondly, that lesbians and gay men spend their time obsessing over whether straight people accept them. And I always snigger to myself at this bit of heterosexual arrogance. Because most lesbians and gay men I know either don’t give a flying toss, or would be actively upset if the straights totally accepted them. We actually LIKE being different from the Norma(n) Normals.

    So you know trans people, if you’re really proud of being trans, WTF try to pretend you’re not? And don’t say ‘So I don’t get killed’. That’s bollocks and we both know it. I’d be in a lot less danger, and certainly get a lot less abuse, if I tried to blend in and look straight. I’m still not going to do it.

  12. polly Says:

    And Aaron, it’s only defensive gay people (usually USAsians) who are keen on the idea of a gay gene, or saying that ‘we’re just born that way’. My personal take is ‘whether I chose it or not is none of your fucking business straight person. Now get outta my way because you’re just jealous your nightclubs are shite’.

  13. polly Says:

    M Andrea I have two comments in mod…..

  14. polly Says:

    Trans activists by the way NEVER address the points being put. That is because they can’t.

    They just resort to repeating the same standard responses over and over again. It’s like trying to engage with a speak-your-bullshit machine.

  15. Paul Says:

    Hi Andrea,

    I followed your link from Larry Niven’s blog.

    I have to admit I’m not sure what your beef is in this post, but maybe it’s because I live in a different country to you, and I don’t know what the issues are over there.

    I’m taking it for granted that you do know that transgender is a physical condition and not something that people choose. In Oz, people have to go through legal channels (i.e. courts) to undergo the sex change, and there seems to be some consensus that medical intervention be done at puberty and not later. In the courts, medical evidence has to be provided to prove that the person is transgender.

    I’m not an expert on this, but I saw a documentary on it a few years back, and it seemed pretty clear cut to me. There are people who are born with the wrong genes – that’s a medical fact – and performing a sex change to make them physically the same sex as their genes seemed perfectly logical to me, especially after seeing the evidence of the people who were affected.

    Regards, Paul.

  16. m Andrea Says:

    Hi Paul, I’m not sure why you think there’s a transgender gene, nobody is that desperate except the transgendered themselves. Even the doctors involved realize how confused the average trans is, and they don’t care, they just want your money. Surely you don’t think you can wander around spewing that shit around medical personnel and have them believe you’re sane?

    (edited to fix the name, I called him Larry, sorry)

  17. polly Says:

    I’m taking it for granted that you do know that transgender is a physical condition and not something that people choose.

    Sadly Paul, you have just entirely proved my point. If I hear one more person saying “transgender is a physical condition” (something there is NO GOOD EVIDENCE OF WHATSOEVER)in response to a piece that is NOTHING to do with whether transgender is a physical condition, I won’t be the tiniest bit surprised.

    Address the point being made Paul. Or go into politics.

    • Nicky Says:

      Polly,
      That proves my point as well that these transgender would keep pushing out that line of crap to people and make them think it’s scientific. The problem is that they got no Proof and all they are pushing is crap theories that wouldn’t stand up to any standard.

  18. polly Says:

    There are people who are born with the wrong genes – that’s a medical fact – and performing a sex change to make them physically the same sex as their genes seemed perfectly logical to me, especially after seeing the evidence of the people who were affected.

    That’s utter bullshit Paul. See my comments on the other piece for the problems with ‘brain sex’. But even if someone IS born for the sake of argument with some part of their brain that says they should have a vagina instead of a penis, why should that mean they want to be regarded SOCIALLY as a female?

    It doesn’t stack up.

    I actually do believe personally that there MAY be some people who are phyically ‘transsexual’ ie they only think their body is not right for them. There may not, we just don’t know. But if there are such people, they aren’t the ones getting upset about ‘misgendering’. I get ‘misgendered’ loads and it doesn’t bother me a bit, I think it’s quite fun in fact.

  19. Paul Says:

    I think we may be talking about different things, the term used in the case I was referring to was ‘transsexual’. The author and legal representative said it was important to distinguish the term transsexual from transgender. You can read about it here.

    It may not be in their ‘genes’ specifically, but the point is that it’s the way they are born. I remember the case that I cite, and the guy looked exactly like a guy, even though his birth certificate says he was a woman. This is distinct from homosexuality or lesbianism or transvestite. I wish I could find the entire documentary on the net but I can’t. The programme identified people who looked like one sex but were, in fact, born the opposite sex. In other words, their X and Y genes didn’t reflect their true sexuality.

    These are people who are literally born with a male brain in a female body or vice versa, so it is a ‘phyical condition’ and this has not only been recognised medically but also legally, at least in Australia, despite strong opposition from the Attorney General’s Department of the day.

    Regards, Paul.

  20. Paul Says:

    More scientific evidence of transsexuals being genetically disposed to their condition here.

    Specifically: “This is in line with what we previously know about masculinisation of the brain and is therefore less likely to be a chance finding”, he says. “Hence, the study is important and adds to the notion that gender identity is influenced by sex hormones early in life, and that certain gene combinations make individuals more vulnerable to aberrant effects.”

    ‘he’ being Clemens Tempfer of the Medical University of Vienna.

    Regards, Paul.

  21. m Andrea Says:

    Paul, you’re using bad logic. Here’s the form you’re using: Gender exists because I say it does. No proof is necessary! But if you really insist, look, there’s girls acting girly over there!

    Correlation is not causation, hello. All those studies which “prove” Black people have lower IQs are identifying correlating data rather than causative factors. Yes, many Black people seem to get lower grades — does this factoid mean they are genetically programmed to be dumb? Or does this factoid totally ignore the effects of generational poverty and the effects of internalized negative stereotypes?

    Because as soon as the fucking imbecilic researchers remembered to account for socialization, all of a sudden Black people have the same IQ on average as anybody else. What they had really found previously, was a quantifiable measurement of RACISM. The difference in IQ, was directly correlated to the amount of RACISM.

    Females used to be, and in some places still are, considered to be really bad at math. Now we know that those differences in test scores actually directly correlate to the amount of SEXISM.

    “The results are similar when gender stereotypes are studied. Not only have studies shown that girls perform worse when they are presented with a stereotype threat at the outset of the experiment, but global trends in the effect of cultural stereotypes about girls’ math performance have also been extensively studied. A fascinating 2009 paper in the Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences correlated girls’ test scores in math in 34 different countries with results from surveys measuring how much citizens of those countries associated math and science as a stereotypically male activity. The trend is striking–in countries where math is more stereotypically associated with boys, girls perform worse in relation to their male peers.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/oscillator/2010/06/the_science_of_political_corre.php

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20063928

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/26/10593.full

  22. Cristan Says:

    Fail.

    You linked to a blog post comment section whereby people are discussing that the word transgender means to them, presenting it as if this very same thing does not occur in the feminist community. Are you really going to assert that the feminist community doesn’t sound exactly like this from time to time? Is this really the argument your making here? Look, without actually describing the so-called “inconsistencies” your premise is a logical fallacy; you’ve constructed a strawman argument – which is incredibly intellectuality dishonest.

    You’ve set up a false dichotomy. You represent feminism as some homogeneous whole when the reality is that it’s every bit as nuanced as the trans community.

    Q: In your view, can lipstick lesbians, sex workers, transman or transwoman be a real feminists? If your answer is no, look up the No True Scotsman logical fallacy.

    Equally dishonest is your photoshoped representation of trans expression. Why didn’t you talk about transmen? Why didn’t you talk about transkids? Why didn’t you acknowledge that the TG community is incredibly diverse and that there’s a difference between transsexuals, intersexed people, cross-dressers, drag kings, butches, fems, gender queer people, etc? Instead, you argue against the trans experience as if it were some homogeneous thing instead of an evolving nuanced community experience. There is no true Scotsman in the TG Community and there’s not on in the feminist community either.

    You logical fail is so epic that you’ve lost all credibility on this one.

    • Nicky Says:

      Oh and you fail big time as well. Why do you have to include intersex people just so you can advance your own transsexual agenda. Leave the intersex people out of your crap and Intersex people do not have anything in common with Trans people. All you trans people seem to do is hijack an intersex persons experience and try to claim it as your own.

  23. m Andrea Says:

    LOL If you’re going to accuse someone of “inconsistencies” then you need to actually, yanno, delineate them. As I do frequently of the transgender… Seriously, anybody is allowed to “feel” anything they want, or to have whatever “opinion” which they prefer. But logical arguments spewed by the transgendered need actual supporting evidence, and it is this absence which I highlight. Perhaps you missed this part of my post:

    if you as a transperson take away nothing else after reading this missive, remember this for it is my main point: Whenever any one person or group posits some assertion and expects other people to act upon their assertion, then the onus is indeed upon them to provide sufficient evidence.

    The purpose of the no true scotsman fallacy is to identify invalid forms of an argument — I use it frequently when deconstructing transgender arguments. Do you have an actual point, or did you just come over here to babble? Accusing someone of a logical fallacy always requires a follow-up — the invalid form still needs to be enumorated. Otherwise the idiot is just throwing accusations around without evidence. Hello, anyone see a pattern?

    “Treating an entity as if it is homogeneous” is not evidence which supports your assertion that “credibility is lost”. In order for that to be true, the entity itself must be non-homogeneous. Analyzing the largest grouping of an entity is done all the fucking time, in case you’re unfamilar with how that works. An example would be categories such as “homosexual” “not homosexual” and “transgender” “not trasgendered”.

    And if that isn’t enough evidence for you, here’s more: When discussing the largest grouping of an entity which does indeed have subgroups, it is quite appropriate to discuss only those properties which are applicable to freaking ALL, ie the largest category. Which is what I do, hello.

    I don’t mind having a conversation with someone who seeks clarification, but really, there’s no reason to be rude merely because you don’t understand.

  24. Cristan Says:

    “Do you have an actual point, or did you just come over here to babble? Accusing someone of a logical fallacy always requires a follow-up — the invalid form still needs to be enumorated. Otherwise the idiot is just throwing accusations around without evidence. Hello, anyone see a pattern?”

    Ad hominin anyone? Yet another logical fallacy. So that we’re clear, instead of answering my question, you sidestepped it by attacking the way noted a logical fallacy. Instead of answering the question, you refer to my question as being “babble” and then referred to me as an “idiot.” So that we’re clear, you dodged my question which is yet another example of intellectual dishonesty. Please answer the questions I posed to you:

    - In your view, can lipstick lesbians, sex workers, transman or transwoman be a real feminists?

    - Are you really going to assert that the feminist community doesn’t sound exactly like this from time to time? (note: I’m referring to the arguing about what is and isn’t trans in the link you posted.)

    - Why didn’t you talk about transmen? Why didn’t you talk about transkids? Why didn’t you acknowledge that the TG community is incredibly diverse and that there’s a difference between transsexuals, intersexed people, cross-dressers, drag kings, butches, fems, gender queer people, etc? (note: I’m referring to way you chose to fall back on generalizations and stereotypes throughout your post.)

    Will you answer the questions or, will you just dodge them again by attacking me, attacking my right to ask the questions or by attacking the validity of the question? Will you attack rather than converse?

    “If you’re going to accuse someone of ‘inconsistencies’ then you need to actually, yanno, delineate them.”

    I did: Paragraph 1, sentence 4; Paragraph 2, sentence 1; and, Paragraph 4, sentence 1.

    “Whenever any one person or group posits some assertion and expects other people to act upon their assertion, then the onus is indeed upon them to provide sufficient evidence.”

    Yes, exactly. So, are you asserting that ALL transgender people – the entire transgender population, everyone from very young kids to the elders and every type of transgender – ALL of us are guilty of not backing up assertions? If so, what assertion are you talking about? THIS is the point of my last post. You never pointed out what the supposed deficiency within the trans population is. You did a fine job of using the same tired stereotypes the right wing uses, but you didn’t actually get around to saying much of anything except, perhaps, that the trans community as a whole is inconsistent. If that’s your point, SO WHAT? As if the feminist community isn’t also inconsistent? What point are you trying to make about the trans population that can’t be made about the feminist population?

    For instance, you complain, “Transpeople continually chant that any objection to transgenderism is the same as a demand for them to validate their very existence.” Are you inferring that the same can’t be said for a whole host of feminists, lesbians, Americans or any communal other group? Your point is so applicable to practically every other group as to render it moot. I honestly don’t understand what your issue is with the trans community.

    “I don’t mind having a conversation with someone who seeks clarification, but really, there’s no reason to be rude merely because you don’t understand.”

    Oh come now. Who wrapped up their stereotyped-infused post with a poorly photoshoped pic mocking the trans experience? It’s a little too late to feign offence.

  25. thebewilderness Says:

    That was a perfect illustration of the subject of the post. Brilliant!

  26. m Andrea Says:

    The correct usage, when accusing someone of an ad hominem, is to highlight the fact that they are basing their ENTIRE argument on insults. If someone includes an actual reason, rebuttal, or evidence in addition to the insult, then the charge of ad homenin is not applicable.

    This is yet another example where you throw beginner level terminolgy around without any comprehension of what those terms actually mean. The actual meaning and intended usage must be carefully explained to you.

    - Are you really going to assert that the feminist community doesn’t sound exactly like this from time to time? (note: I’m referring to the arguing about what is and isn’t trans in the link you posted.)

    The purpose of linking to that thread was to give an example wherein many transfolk frequently believe “any ideological disagreement” is the exact same as “denial of their existence”. An example is not an assertion, which is another basic term you are using incorrectly.

    Why do I ignore subgroups? Because as long as one limits one’s analysis to the properties which all subgroups hold in common, then it can be safely assumed that the purpose is to analyze the largest category.

    Why do I construct some sentences by referring to only one biological sex? Because the sentence itself becomes too bulky to include references to all biological sexes and their own corresponding gender. Those sentences are most likely constructed to convey a precise relationship between a category of biological sex and a category of gender — the focus is the relationship which exists between two points, not the points themselves.

    Will you answer the questions or, will you just dodge them again by attacking me, attacking my right to ask the questions or by attacking the validity of the question? Will you attack rather than converse?

    Well you’re going to have to be logical, then, but it’s obvious no one ever showed you how to reason properly. Not your fault, schools ain’t what they used to be. And would you be suggesting that you feel you are entitled to have all your questions answered, even when presenting them in a non-logical format?

    “If you’re going to accuse someone of ‘inconsistencies’ then you need to actually, yanno, delineate them.”

    I did: Paragraph 1, sentence 4; Paragraph 2, sentence 1; and, Paragraph 4, sentence 1.

    Okay, let’s check:

    Look, without actually describing the so-called “inconsistencies” your premise is a logical fallacy; you’ve constructed a strawman argument – which is incredibly intellectuality dishonest.

    Every blog post I’ve ever written objecting to transgenderism delineates yet another inconsistency, and you need links? Really, I’m not that much of an egomaniac that I need to link to my own blog posts, when the reader of THIS post is most likely viewing it on my own damn blog and can easily click on the tag conveniently labeled “transgenderism”. You are so grasping at straws. lol

    Speaking of which, you used that term incorrectly also. A strawman fallacy is when someone changes the argument from the original to a similar but easier to refute argument. Kinda like what you’re doing now. Allow me to draw your attention to this:

    if you as a transperson take away nothing else after reading this missive, remember this for it is my main point: Whenever any one person or group posits some assertion and expects other people to act upon their assertion, then the onus is indeed upon them to provide sufficient evidence.

    • Cristan Says:

      Brilliant. Your retort exceeded my every expectation.
      “Every blog post I’ve ever written objecting to transgenderism delineates yet another inconsistency, and you need links?”
      This is the first time I’ve ever run across your opinions. I find it interesting that in your hubris you are so obtuse as to not notice the parallels between your accusations and your own pontifications. You were apparently unable to recognize the fundamental issue I have with your premise (which, perhaps is my own failing). Here it is, for the 3rd time:
      Fundamental Issue: The very things which you identify as being deficiencies within the trans population are just as explicitly apparent in the feminist community.
      My secondary issue is in the way in which you chose to define your complaint. In this post, you opine that the trans community makes assertions without providing evidence. Instead of more accurately saying SOME trans people make assertions without providing evidence, you’ve chosen to make blanket absolutists statements. The dubious proof you claim to this blanket assertion is merely one comment section to a blog post. If you are experiencing trouble grasping the issue I have with this tactic, let me put it this way:
      No matter what I intend to mean, if I make an absolutist blanket statement like, “Feminists are out of touch!” and back it up with 1 link to some blog comments and go on to write about various personal subjective experiences I’ve amassed throughout a feminist trolling career, will you not agree that my “proof” isn’t sufficient to back up a blanket statement like that? The fact that you apparently can’t or won’t acknowledge this is problematic. You dismiss your stereotyping actions by flippantly stating:
      “Every blog post I’ve ever written objecting to transgenderism delineates yet another inconsistency, and you need links? Really, I’m not that much of an egomaniac that I need to link to my own blog posts, when the reader of THIS post is most likely viewing it on my own damn blog and can easily click on the tag conveniently labeled “transgenderism”. You are so grasping at straws. lol”
      Yes, it is your blog and you can troll the trans community to your heart’s content. I’m simply having trouble understanding why a self-proclaimed feminist chooses to revel in such blatant schadenfreude. You’ve obviously enjoyed attempting to eviscerate every attempt I’ve made to point out what seems to be problematic about your blanket statements, stereotyping and personal attacks. If your only aspiration is to be a trans-troll, so be it. You’ve only chosen to join the ranks of other regressive thinkers who regularly use similar tactics.
      This brings me to my tertiary issue: Your purposeful use of derogatory, flippant and caustic imagery and language. Are you at least able to acknowledge that if I had made the exact same post and substituted the word feminist for the word transgender, you might view the post as being out of touch, fractious and disrespectful of the real suffering and struggle within the feminist community? Can you at least acknowledge that had I ended this theoretical blog with some purposefully altered imagery that played to the basest of feminism stereotypes, that it would be problematic if I then quipped the following?
      “I don’t mind having a conversation with someone who seeks clarification, but really, there’s no reason to be rude merely because you don’t understand.”
      If your goal is reasoned discussion, are you unable to understand how you might be choosing to set a tone that runs contrary to your stated goal and that you are, in fact, inviting the same tone in response?
      Personally I think it would be great if you actually dealt with this reply with something other than troll-like tactics. If you’re looking to argue, let me say now: You win. You can out-troll me and probably most everyone who might challenge your opinions. However, since your response rhetoric claims a desire for reasoned discourse (claims that are simultaneously juxtaposed to personal attacks), are you willing to actually do so? If so, are you willing to address the three simple issues I’ve taken to time to enumerate?
      Thanks.

      • Nicky Says:

        m Andrea,
        The problem with trans people is that they are trying to include intersex people to advance their argument that who they are is biological. Which in reality is nothing more than a straw argument and they have no proof what so ever. What I am seeing in here is that trans people are using intersex people to advance their own agenda at the expense of intersex people.

        • Cristan Says:

          Hrm… maybe you’re mixing your terminology. Did you mean to say transsexuals?

          I can only speak for the community in which I live. In the Houston trans community, intersex people DO identify as being trans. Many butch lesbians also choose to self-identify as being trans as do many fem gays. In my community, the word transgender encompasses a whole hell of a lot of people (many of whom are feminists).

  27. polly Says:

    Paul you really, really need to watch the film “how to get ahead in advertising”, so to help I’m going to link it for you next.

    The piece you linked as ‘proof’ of transsexuality having a genetic component contained the words ‘may’ and ‘maybe’ several times. So they haven’t PROVED anything. Just found something that may indicate something on the other hand it may not. Weasel words Paul, weasel words.

    The bag MAY also have contained a pork pie.

    • Cristan Says:

      Yes, while most professional organizations throughout the world conclude that the phenomena of transsexualism seems to have a variety of biological cofactors and is not a mental health issue* they will not give a definitive answer yet because the research is in its infancy.

      It is (IMHO) an act of dogma to flippantly disregard any and all research (monozygotic twin research, brain research, body morphology research and, of course, genetic research) as BS simply because science claims do not use absolutist language. The question in the professional community is one of probability based upon current research. For the professional community the world over, the idea that transsexualism is purely a choice (AKA a nurture/behaviorism issue), has largely been abandoned (along with other quaint Freudian ideas) precisely because bio-research appears to hold promise while behaviorist research does not.

      Using the word may in science and may in advertising is different. In other words, if you smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day you MAY develop lung cancer; there’s no proof that you WILL. If you have a have a mutation in the BRCA2 gene, it is accurate to say that you MAY develop breast cancer. Again, dismissing science because it doesn’t use absolutist language seems strange to me.

      * eg, World Professional Association for Transgender Health (the people who write the actual medical and psychological standards of care for transfolk) http://www.wpath.org/ May 25 & 26 press release.

      • polly Says:

        No it’s an act of asking for proof of your assertions. If you can’t prove god exists, don’t expect me to believe.

        • polly Says:

          And I don’t give a shit whether transssexualism is a choice Cristan.

          That is NOT WHAT THIS PIECE IS ABOUT. You have severe comprehension issues.

          • Cristan Says:

            At this point, I have to ask if you know what this post is about. From what I can tell, it’s about:

            1. “Any objection = Denial of their existence” – which is an opinion based on subjective trolling practices and not on reality.

            2.”They embody, pardon moi’s crudeness, the worst stereotypes ever of hysterical effeminate dandies.” – which is an opinion based on subjective trolling practices and not on reality.

            3.” Validating our humanity, and especially validating our neutrality – by that I mean constantly reaffirming that our status is non-whore and non-madonna — are two tasks which occupies the vast majority of a feminist’s time and energy. Validating our entitlement to civil rights, usually comes dead last. As far as I can tell, the evolutionary psychology field’s entire purpose is to invalidate our neutrality, rendering us either evil incarnate or self-sacrificing berry pickers on a pedestal; while the primary purpose of religion appears to concern itself with nullifying our humanity…” The idea being that this is not the exact reality for the majority of transwomen.

            When I read this article, these are its main points. The author is as oblivious and full of vitriol as Rush Limbaugh is and you are just another ditto-head.

            This article is BS in that the premise #1 is a naive, 2-dimensional based on her online interaction with people she’s trolling. Premise #2 is a statement of stereotype worthy of Micheal Savage. Premise #3 is a simplistic argument over who’s the bigger victim.

            This article and most of your responses are nothing more than begging the doxastic question. Fail.

  28. polly Says:

    Cristan, why didn’t we talk about pork pies?

  29. polly Says:

    Do you have a point Cristan, apart from M Andrea has failed to write a blog post the length of the encyclopaedia Britannia?

    It may help you to remind you that the post is about one specific phenomenon – a particular ‘argument’. It’s not a discussion of everything to do with trans people evah. And never claimed to be.

  30. polly Says:

    Britannica even.

  31. polly Says:

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear Paul. I have now had the chance to read the piece you linked more deeply. And this leapt out at me.

    The variant was more common in men than women, although it doesn’t seem to be implicated in MtF transsexuality as the proportion of MtF transsexuals with it was similar to that in non-transsexual men. In women, however, there were some differences: 44% of FtM transsexuals carried it, compared with 31% of non-transsexual women.

    So absolutely no evidence whatsoever then that there is ANY gene variation linked with FTM Transsexuality. And in females slightly more female born transsexuals carried it than non transsexual females.

    It’s not really proof of anything then is it Paul? It this gene variation ’caused’ transsexuality in females (it makes no difference whatsoever in males) we’d expect to a complete split. You could probably find many characteristics in the two groups that were slightly more common in female to male transsexuals than vice versa.

    So maybe it’s a gene for social unconventionality? Maybe females who are born with it are more likely to do stuff that’s socially disapproved of than others. What is ISN’T though is a gene that causes transsexuality. Otherwise we’d expect a more marked split than that. And it would work in males as well!

  32. polly Says:

    Paul you’re also confusing intersex people with transsexuals. People who are born with say xY chromosomes but appear female are intersex.

    There is no such thing as a male brain or a female brain, any more than there’s a male kidney or a female kidney.

    • Cristan Says:

      Please explain your assertion. Are you really saying that male and female brains don’t have documented differences in size, grey matter, basal nuclei structures, corpus callosum size, etc? Are you making the argument that a forensic pathologist would not be able to distinguish a male brain from a female brain?

      Thanks.

  33. polly Says:

    Sorry mixed up my MTF’s and FTM’s above. Easily done.

  34. Zoe Brain Says:

    Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

    The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

    Boys and girls behave in different ways and one of the stereotypical behavioral differences between them, that has often been said to be forced upon them by upbringing and social environment, is their behavior in play. Boys prefer to play with cars and balls, whereas girls prefer dolls. This sex difference in toy preference is present very early in life (3–8 months of age) [1]. The idea that it is not society that forces these choices upon children but a sex difference in the early development of their brains and behavior is also supported by monkey behavioral studies. Alexander and Hines [2], who offered dolls, toy cars and balls to green Vervet monkeys found the female monkeys consistently chose the dolls and examined these ano-genitally, whereas the male monkeys were more interested in playing with the toy cars and with the ball….

  35. MgS Says:

    @Andrea:

    You write:

    Why do I ignore subgroups? Because as long as one limits one’s analysis to the properties which all subgroups hold in common, then it can be safely assumed that the purpose is to analyze the largest category.

    You do so at the peril of the integrity of the arguments you choose to make. To assume that the differences between the various subgroups that fall under the umbrella term transgender represents some kind of logical inconsistency is at best sloppy reasoning.

    While there are shared goals and objectives that the various subgroups all want to achieve, it is hardly rational or reasonable to assume that they all speak with a single, unified and consistent voice is … to say the least … ridiculous.

    Based on what I’ve read on this blog, I’d have to imagine that most of your awareness of the transgender population as a whole comes from really obvious crossdressers you see on the street and the occasional confrontation on your blog with transsexuals and others with a more sophisticated understanding of the topic.

  36. Cristan Says:

    On a side note, what do you think of:

    - Alison Bechdel (Author of Dykes To Watch Out For)

    - Leslie Feinberg (Author of Stone Butch Blues)

    - Minnie Bruce Pratt (Award-winning poet, essayist, and theorist)

    In your view, would you take issue with their identification as feminists and trans advocates?

  37. polly Says:

    Zoe, that stuff is bollocks and Swaab himself admitted it. OF COURSE the foetal brain develops in the uterus, where do you expect it to develop, in outer space?

    Look at M Andrea’s links (above) on the effect of social conditioning on behaviour. Find out about ‘stereotype threat’. You can google it, it’s on wikipedia.

    And then read this

    http://www.annelawrence.com/twr/brain-sex_critique.html

    2002, the brain-sex theory of transsexualism was seriously challenged by some unexpected findings published by Chung, De Vries, and Swaab. They observed that significant sexual dimorphism in BSTc volume and neuron number does not develop in humans until adulthood. Most MtF transsexuals, however, report that their feelings of gender dysphoria began in early childhood (e.g., Lawrence, 2003). It is difficult to see how the volume and neuron number of the BSTc could be neuroanatomical markers for gender identity if they have not yet become sexually dimorphic by the time cross-gender feelings have become apparent. Recognizing this difficulty, Chung et al. wrote:

    Late sexual differentiation of the human BSTc volume also affects our perception about the relationship between BSTs [sic] volume and transsexuality. . . . Epidemiological studies show that the awareness of gender problems is generally present much earlier. Indeed, [about] 67-78% of transsexuals in adulthood report having strong feelings of being born in the wrong body from childhood onward. (p. 1032)

    Cristan I don’t give a fuck what the people you have linked say. I think Bechdel is an overrated cartoonist. I think Feinberg and Pratt are mediocre writers (though Pratt has the edge over Feinberg). Which bit of THEY ARE NOT WHAT THIS PIECE IS ABOUT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

    You need to learn to argue the point being made Cristan, not just spew random thoughts.

    • Cristan Says:

      “Cristan I don’t give a fuck what the people you have linked say” Of course you don’t care about facts that are problematic to your view.

      I can’t believe you’re quoting Ann Lawrence! LOL! I can only conclude that you’re completely oblivious to how ironically sad that is.

  38. polly Says:

    But if you really want to write about it all this, why not just get your own blog?

  39. polly Says:

    And Zoe. Monkeys are SOCIAL ANIMALS. They are primates, and are likely to have socially conditioned behaviour too!

    You will be able to separate nature from nurture Zoe when – and only when – you can rear a control group of children entirely alone, with no outside human contact and see what happens to them. I think some Roman Emperor or similar tried it once, because he wanted to see what language humans would naturally speak.

    The children died.

    The bag MAY have contained a pork pie Zoe. Association, the oldest trick in the book. Short circuit critical thinking by appealing to something that people think sounds right. The trick of dictators and demagogues through the ages. Human beings are very easy to manipulate and convince of all kinds of bullshit, most will take stuff at face value.

  40. polly Says:

    Yes I AM saying that male and female brains don’t have documented differences Cristan. They have AVERAGE differences (male brains are larger on average). Male hands are larger on average as well. The average height of males is usually greater than the average height of females. AND?

    But they’re not dimorphic. Male brains are not blue while female brains are pink. And there’s no evidence as to the effect that the differences that have been measured have on human behaviour. If any.

    The problem with measuring things Cristan is that you can decide what you’re measuring. All observation is theory laden. You need to read some Karl Popper.

    I would also advise reading a WHOLE BOOK for you Cristan. ‘Sexing the body’ by Anne Fausto Sterling. It explains how researcher bias influences what is measured and the conclusions that are drawn. Science is rarely neutral and quite often scientists just don’t publish the results that don’t agree with their pet theory. It’s called ‘publication bias’.

  41. polly Says:

    *This is the first time I’ve ever run across your opinions*

    So you go a to a blog and are too intellectually lazy to read more than one piece then Cristan?

    And you expect people to take your ‘arguments’ seriously?

  42. polly Says:

    And Cristan, I am very much arguing that a forensic pathologist would not be able to distinguish a male brain from a female brain. I’m not a forensic pathologist, but I’ve never heard of a body being sexed by a pathologist by looking at its brain in my LIFE. What utter bullshit.

    Cristan, if the sex of a body is uncertain because it’s a skeleton, the size of bones (such as the pelvic bones) will be used to determine sex. If all we had was a brain, I think we’d be in trouble.

    It would make a very amusing film though.

    If you know of such a thing happening, please provide a link. Bet you can’t.

    And here’s an easy link (for kids) that explains the whole thing!

    http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/heshe.html

    Google is your friend Cristan. Well that and the ability to think rationally.

  43. polly Says:

    And here you go, from ‘neuroscience for kids’. (I think the level may be too elevated for some of our commenters though).

    Preoptic Area of the Hypothalamus: This area of the hypothalamus is involved in mating behavior. In males of several species including humans, the preoptic area is greater in volume, in cross-sectional area and in the number of cells. In men, this area is about 2.2 times larger than in women and contains 2 times more cells. Apparently, the difference in this area is only apparent after a person is 4 years old. At 4 years of age, there is a decrease in the number of cells in this nucleus in girls. The exact function of this nucleus in behavior is not fully known.

    Amazing eh! Differences only appear AFTER the age of 4. And the exact function of the hypothalamus is NOT KNOWN.

  44. polly Says:

    Cristan you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say ‘science proves x’ and then when it is pointed out to you that the available science proves nothing of the sort (by people who understand science, which I’d say doesn’t include you) and then go ‘Science, what does that prove, it’s still all in it’s infancy’.

    You’re an exact example of what Karl Popper was talking about.

    You also missed the point about the word ‘may’ by a country mile.

    The bay MAY have contained a pork pie. Think about it.

  45. polly Says:

    That is because they are making the elementary mistake of believing that if everyone else in the world doesn’t share their concept of reality, their concept of reality is invalid.

    This is a characteristic they share with religious fundamentalists. It is not enough for the religious fundamentalist to merely believe in God/Allah/Zoroaster/Buddha/Jahweh, everybody else has to believe in it as well.

    Whereas I am an atheist and do not say religious fundamentalists are denying my existence. I do however think they are wrong.

    The reason for this insistence of the trans fundamentalists that everyone else share in the delusion, is that it is a delusion. A delusion that they not only ARE, but ALWAYS HAVE BEEN the desired sex/gender/delete as applicable.

    Now trying to believe something that is palpably false about yourself is bound to be a strain. So you insist that everyone else must believe it too, or you might be forced to admit it isn’t true.

    Hence they do see any questioning as ‘denying their existence’ because to them their ‘existence’ is something that they know is untrue.

    They often say ‘how would you feel if a born again Christian told you you are deluded to think you are a lesbian’? And the answer is: I’d tell the born again Christian to fuck off, because I know I’m a lesbian. What I would not do however, is accuse them of questioning my existence, (unless I was being purposefully awkward somewhere in blogland) because hey, I KNOW I exist. If however I doubted my lesbianism myself, I’d probably react differently.

    But if you know you were in fact born male and are studiously trying to ignore that fact, it’s going to get to you. Just as trying to pretend you are straight when you’re really not, will get to you.

    Trans folks who do not have this delusion (ie the ones with a grip on reality) have no similar problems, but they’re sadly not often found on the internetz, because the emperor’s new clothes faction have driven them off.

    And it is in that Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale that we find the answer. Because the minute the little boy shouted the Emperor was naked, the Emperor realised what a fool he’d been.

    It’s spelt D-E-N-I-A-L folks.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

  46. polly Says:

    You also talk about BRCA genes Cristan. Here’s the difference between them and the ‘FTM gene’.

    Taken from here.

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA

    According to estimates of lifetime risk, about 12.0 percent of women (120 out of 1,000) in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives compared with about 60 percent of women (600 out of 1,000) who have inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 (4, 5). In other words, a woman who has inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 is about five times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who does not have such a mutation.

    Now lets look at the ‘FTM’ gene in a group of transmen.

    Let’s just remind ourselves of the figures first.

    The variant was more common in men than women, although it doesn’t seem to be implicated in MtF transsexuality as the proportion of MtF transsexuals with it was similar to that in non-transsexual men. In women, however, there were some differences: 44% of FtM transsexuals carried it, compared with 31% of non-transsexual women.

    So out of a group of 100 transmen, 44% will have the gene variation 56% won’t. 41% of transmen have the gene variation compared with 31? of non transsexual women.

    So probabilities:

    The majority of transmen (56%) DON’T carry the gene.

    And the increased likelihood of being a transman with this gene?

    41/31= 1.32 times more likely than the general population to be a transman with this gene variation. Not even twice as likely. Not even 1 and a half times as likely.

    So not only do many, many folks manage to be transmen without the gene variation, and many many folks with the gene variation AREN’T transmen, but if you have the gene variation you are only 1.32 times more likely to be a transman than the general population. As opposed to 5 times more likely to get cancer with BRCA genes.

    Which strongly suggests to me that even IF there is a genetic cause of transsexuality (which is by no means proved by these statistics, it merely shows a CORRELATION which is not the same as CAUSATION), it is only present in a very, very small percentage of the transsexual population. And only FTM transsexuals. It’s not present AT ALL in MTF transsexuals.

    Now this is not ‘Dogma’ Cristan, it’s just an inconvenient truth. Inconvenient for YOU that is, because you and Ms Brain are desperate to prove that you are real girls.

    • Nicky Says:

      “Now this is not ‘Dogma’ Cristan, it’s just an inconvenient truth. Inconvenient for YOU that is, because you and Ms Brain are desperate to prove that you are real girls.”

      Polly, That was the best one you ever said. That is the problem with Zoe and Cristan. They are trying to use science to prove that they are real girls when in reality science can’t prove it to them and for them, it becomes their own Al Gore’s version of the inconvenient truth.

      • Cristan Says:

        Ugh! I’m not arguing that the two are alike! Seriously! You people are just as hard to communicate with as young earth creationists! Context is everything people!

        Polly wrote (replying to someone else):

        “The piece you linked as ‘proof’ of transsexuality having a genetic component contained the words ‘may’ and ‘maybe’ several times. So they haven’t PROVED anything. Just found something that may indicate something on the other hand it may not. Weasel words Paul, weasel words.

        The bag MAY also have contained a pork pie.”

        I replied:

        “Using the word may in science and may in advertising is different. In other words, if you smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day you MAY develop lung cancer; there’s no proof that you WILL. If you have a have a mutation in the BRCA2 gene, it is accurate to say that you MAY develop breast cancer. Again, dismissing science because it doesn’t use absolutist language seems strange to me.”

        Polly takes my statement out of context, sets up a strawman and a your enter a Pavlovian ditto-head response:

        “Inconvenient for YOU that is, because you and Ms Brain are desperate to prove that you are real girls.”

        and

        “Polly, That was the best one you ever said”

        Polly set up a strawman argument (that I am saying the so-called FTM gene and the BRCA mutation are alike – WHICH I’M NOT) and you gobbled it up.

        Seriously, you and Polly are acting like a couple of cacafuegos.

        To be clear: I am a transwoman. I NEVER claimed to be a biological woman. Statements like, ‘Inconvenient for YOU that is, because you and Ms Brain are desperate to prove that you are real girls.’ are so vapid that it makes my gums ache.

  47. polly Says:

    Whoops – properly formatted this time.

    You also talk about BRCA genes Cristan. Here’s the difference between them and the ‘FTM gene’.

    Taken from here.

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA

    According to estimates of lifetime risk, about 12.0 percent of women (120 out of 1,000) in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives compared with about 60 percent of women (600 out of 1,000) who have inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 (4, 5). In other words, a woman who has inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 is about five times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who does not have such a mutation.

    Now lets look at the ‘FTM’ gene in a group of transmen.

    Let’s just remind ourselves of the figures first.

    The variant was more common in men than women, although it doesn’t seem to be implicated in MtF transsexuality as the proportion of MtF transsexuals with it was similar to that in non-transsexual men. In women, however, there were some differences: 44% of FtM transsexuals carried it, compared with 31% of non-transsexual women.

    So out of a group of 100 transmen, 44% will have the gene variation 56% won’t. 41% of transmen have the gene variation compared with 31% of non transsexual women.

    So probabilities:

    The majority of transmen (56%) DON’T carry the gene.

    And the increased likelihood of being a transman with this gene?

    41/31= 1.32 times more likely than the general population to be a transman with this gene variation. Not even twice as likely. Not even 1 and a half times as likely.

    So not only do many, many folks manage to be transmen without the gene variation, and many many folks with the gene variation AREN’T transmen, but if you have the gene variation you are only 1.32 times more likely to be a transman than the general population. As opposed to 5 times more likely to get cancer with BRCA genes.

    Which strongly suggests to me that even IF there is a genetic cause of transsexuality (which is by no means proved by these statistics, it merely shows a CORRELATION which is not the same as CAUSATION), it is only present in a very, very small percentage of the transsexual population. And only FTM transsexuals. It’s not present AT ALL in MTF transsexuals.

    Now this is not ‘Dogma’ Cristan, it’s just an inconvenient truth. Inconvenient for YOU that is, because you and Ms Brain are desperate to prove that you are real girls.

  48. m Andrea Says:

    Fundamental Issue: The very things which you identify as being deficiencies within the trans population are just as explicitly apparent in the feminist community.
    My secondary issue is in the way in which you chose to define your complaint. In this post, you opine that the trans community makes assertions without providing evidence. Instead of more accurately saying SOME trans people

    This brings me to my tertiary issue: Your purposeful use of derogatory, flippant and caustic imagery and language. Are you at least able to acknowledge that if I had made the exact same post and substituted the word feminist for the word transgender, you might view the post as being out of touch, fractious and disrespectful of the real suffering and struggle within the feminist community?

    (1) “Other people do it too” is a justification, not a reason.
    (2) ALMOST ALL trans can’t tell the dif between logic and a hole in the ground.
    (3) You are magically equating those who demand the right to be treated as a stereotype, with those who demand all the rights of the default human.

    Last time I checked, gays do not demand the right to be treated as a stereotype, nor people of color, nor real women. It is only trans who think that being treated like a stereotype is “progress”.

    You did make one very good point though, Cristan, it is something I struggle with frequently. On the one hand, my blog posts are my frustrated spewage to the world, but it is in the comments that conversation between individuals occur. I’m sure it is very difficult if not impossible for most transgendered individuals to read my spewage and expect they would be treated respectfully in the comments, yet that is precisely what does happen to those individuals who come in here and behave reasonably. If you notice, it’s only the people who act like an asshat who get the same treatment in return… If I could have that bit of advanced notice right above the chat box where commentators could see it, it would most likely save us all much grief.

    My definition of a genuine feminist is actually pretty restrictive, and I wrote the rudest fucking thing no one will ever see delineating that in quite precise detail. It’s roooooooood, even for my standards. Plus it needs more polishing. :)

    But I do sincerely appreciate your criticism Cristan, it helps me to understand the parts where I’m not clear enough; and also helps me to understand where the point of view of those in the transgendered community diverges from my own assumptions about them. Not that any one ever speaks for the whole, of course.

    • Miska Says:

      Oh, go on. Post it! Just for the lulz!

    • Cristan Says:

      m Andrea:

      Wow! I really, really appreciate the time, attention you gave and thoughtfulness of your reply. Seriously, I really appreciate that! Thank you!

      Before I move forward with my reply, I think I need to make a few things clear so that we don’t quibble over common ground: I am a transwoman; I’ve never claimed to be a biological woman. My experience is not the same as a biowoman and a biowoman’s experience will not be the same as a transwoman’s experience. I absolutely recognize and agree that there are fundamental differences between our experiences and biology. Only a dogmatist would argue that the 2 are the same. On the other side of the coin, saying that no similarities exist is equally dogmatic.

      Also, I’m not making absolutists statements. I’ve not once said that transsexualism IS or IS NOT a biologically-based condition. The fact is that right now, rational people must remain agnostic to that notion. While we may have a small mountain of interesting data, it has not yet reached the threshold whereby one might factually assert an absolute certainty one way or the other.

      Also, I agree that I’ve met SOME – as in, a minority – of transmen and transwomen who do embody a stereotype. When I see someone with gobs of deforming silicone, I feel sad. However, I have to acknowledge that this issue does not only afflict the trans population. Every time I pick up a so-called women’s magazine I see this very same issue played out throughout the pages. I personally find this practice as repugnant in the trans community as in non-trans communities.

      I wanted to take the time to acknowledge where we may, in fact, have some common ground in our views before I moved on to the questions I posed and your responses.

      1.) I’m not saying that it is a reason. My point was that if this issue afflicts many, many other communities, then why is it, in your view, such a blight upon the trans community?

      2.) I would qualify that and say that perhaps most of the trans people you’ve people met in the context of online debates are, in your opinion, illogical dolts. If you had qualified your statement in this way, I wouldn’t take issue with it in the least because it’s your opinion based upon your subjective experience. It becomes a statement of fact (and therefore problematic) if I say something like, “Most feminists are irrational.” (FYI: a sentiment I do not hold) If I make blanket statements like “Most feminists are irrational” without adding context, I sure to receive a lot of negative feedback.

      3.) The problem I have with this statement is that it seems to set up an artificial dichotomy. As I’ve noted above, I see this exact same issue afflict BOTH the trans and non-trans populations. I think if either of us spent just 5 minutes on the internet or flipping through a Cosmo magazine, we can find literally 100s of examples of biological women making a choice to embody the stereotype. I find both equally repugnant, don’t you?

      “Last time I checked, gays do not demand the right to be treated as a stereotype.” I know a lot of extremely swishy gay men who absolutely do fulfill the gay male stereotype and who also deserve the right to receive medical care, social services, employment and housing.

      Before I go further, I need some clarification. Do you think that people who do fit a certain stereotype deserves what they get? In other words, if a transwoman is taken to a hospital on an ambulance and is taken off the stretcher and left in the waiting room for 12 hours until she dies, is that appropriate? If a trans kid who wants to look like Beyonce is thrown out of a children’s homeless shelter and someone drives by and blows her brains out on the sidewalk, was that appropriate? I can give you virtually countless other examples of tangible anti-trans repercussions. I name the above two because I knew both of these individuals. Before I ranted at the idea that you deserve what you get if you look in any way stereotypical, I wanted to ask for clarification. The following statement….

      “Last time I checked, gays do not demand the right to be treated as a stereotype, nor people of color, nor real women. It is only trans who think that being treated like a stereotype is ‘progress’”

      … Seemed (to me) to be saying exactly that. Would you please write a little bit more about this?

      Thanks!

      Cristan

      PS:

      Again, I have to say that I really appreciate your thoughtful response. I apologize for my previous snark. My impression was that you were in no way interested in actual dialogue. I’ll hold my snarkieness to a minimum. Thanks again!

  49. polly Says:

    Cristan, you’re talking nonsense. Because feminists never say anyone is denying their existence.

    This is about a specific think that trans activists do.

    NB M Andrea I’ve got about 6 comments in mod under my other ID explaining in huge detail why Cristan is wrong about everything else, so I won’t repeat myself.

    And you know what Cristan, I used to bother being polite. It didn’t stop the trans activists being rude arseholes, constantly screaming *transphobia*, if I said it was Thursday, and doing a lot worse than that (like targeting my blog with computer attacks to shut it down). So I stopped being polite.

    • m Andrea Says:

      Er, they must be in spam then but I thought I checked that. A few days ago I was in the Dashboard area and saw that you had written an particularly hilarious comment but only the first few lines were available to read, went to check it in the threads and couldn’t find it anywhere.

      Finally found it but will check again for strays.

      [edit]Dear god I found about ten, am clueless, really sorry. Think it was because I held two back at first, to make sure you really wanted those posted. Unapprove one and wordpress will unapprove them all until it’s told to quit.

  50. polly Says:

    But I’m not talking about all trans people Cristan. I made that very clear in my first comment.

    I’m talking about those trans people who constantly squeal about stuff online. People like you and Zoe.

  51. m Andrea Says:

    Hi Zoe, thanks for stopping by! Always a pleasure to hear what you’re pushing. lol

    The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb.

    Okay, I really do not mean to be rude or hurt your feeling, but this is a logic problem and amazingly enough we can dissect this without knowing any damn thing about medicine as long as we can do logic. So.

    The first sentence is fine, it’s just stating what is commonly know about how hormones work in the womb. The problem is in the second sentence, where (1)gender is assumed to exist — not a very scientisty attitude. *tsk tsk* Not only that, but (2)feminine gender is assumed (there’s that word again) to usually attach itself to the left kidney (thanks Polly) while masculine gender is assumed (oops) to attache itself to the right kidney. If you notice, we’re doing an awful lot of assuming so far and we haven’t even got to the fun part where we look at the form of the argument.

    And what would that be, oh budding philosophers? That would be the part where the thing which is assumed to exist, is assumed to exist.

    That’s right, it’s fucking circular. But there’s more so let’s continue: The thing which is assumed to exist, is assumed to exist, because —– THAT WORD USUALLY NOTIFIES US THAT A POTENTIAL REASON IS COMING UP AND SO WE SHOULD PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT FOLLOWS —– it is assumed to exist.

    Hmmm, still circular. Got any actual evidence, Zoe? Oh wait, would your evidence be by any chance, the factoid that measurable behavioral differences between male and female exist? Are you sure you wanna use that as your evidence Zoe? Still time to find something else… No? Okay. Here’s the problem:

    Socialization has not been accounted for. While it is quite easy to cut up a dead male and a dead female fetus, and discover differences in biology, I’m not talking about biology. I’m talking about controlling for socialization and for that we need to observe humans being sociable. And the very first thing we find is that from day fucking one girl babies are treated quite differently from boy babies by all the people around them.

    What the evolutionary pyschnuts, the transnuts, and the MRAnuts, are trying to claim, is this:

    Despite being socialized quite differently, and despite having different biology which would influence and magnify those differences in socialization, somehow magically male and female humans are ASSUMED to never have been socialized differently at all.

    All measurable behavioral differences between groups of humans are assumed to be due exclusively to biology — which is patently false. The form of the argument itself isn’t just invalid, isn’t just circular, isn’t just circular twice or three times more, but appears to be a Möbius strip of invisibility. Logic, common sense, science, must all be first removed from the equation in order for that argument to even possess the illusion of viability.

    I would make this a post, but there’s not enough fucking insults in it.

    This has real-life application to logic in that some conundrums have what you might call a “Möbius topography”. The old logical puzzle

    This sentence is false.

    has a Möbius topography. Like the Möbius strip, it is self-referencing and self-reversing. Following forward without changing sides, you will find yourself on the opposite side from where you started after one circuit: If you assume “this sentence is false” is false, then it is proved to be true. If you follow the loop twice and assume it is true as shown, it then tells you it is false so that the second circuit around will land you back where you began. The joke shop version of the same is an index card which has a riddle printed on it:

    How do you keep a fool occupied all day? (Over)

    http://weekendfisher.blogspot.com/2007/07/mbius-logic-puzzles-that-cannot-reach.html

    Nice.

    Hmmm, I think I left out a step in my logic chain, I need to talk about biology, blah. Was planning on doing a post on this eventually, which is why I typed it so fast.

  52. MgS Says:

    @m_Andrea:

    What the evolutionary pyschnuts, the transnuts, and the MRAnuts, are trying to claim, is this:

    Despite being socialized quite differently, and despite having different biology which would influence and magnify those differences in socialization, somehow magically male and female humans are ASSUMED to never have been socialized differently at all.

    Incorrect. Just like your insistence that all transgender people MUST speak with a single, unified voice, you fail to understand the nuances of the claim and fall into the language of broad, sweeping absolutes.

    I haven’t seen any research papers that deny the impact of socialization on development. What is being brought out is that there are other factors involved besides socialization.

    The assertion that most transgender people are really making is that there is more to the gender picture than just socialization – in essence the claim is that there is a more fundamental drive involved that goes beyond mere social construct, possibly into the realm of physiological differentiation that occurs in utero.

    While the evidence is not conclusive, the body of evidence continues to grow, and many argue that it cannot be reasonably be ignored.

    You seem to be deriving a significant portion of your stance on gender from Butler. I would argue that Butler’s denial of any kind of essentialism runs smack into a brick wall when it encounters transgender, and in particular transsexual, narratives.

  53. polly Says:

    AN APOLOGY:

    I have made a grievous mathematical error with my ‘transseuxal gene’ BRACA gene comparison above. This is what happens when you post stuff early in the morning. The little grey cells are not firing efficiently.

    To recap – 60% of women with BRCA genes will get breast cancer vs 12% of the general population. IE with BRCA genes you’re approximately 5 times more likely to get breast cancer.

    The mathematical error I made with the ‘trans gene’ was that I failed to account for the fact that the vast majority of the female population is NOT trans.

    Lets assume there are 15,000 transmen in the UK out of a total FAAB population of circa 30 million. This figure is shamelessly plucked randomly from Yahoo answers,because of a lack of reliable stats.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080415121050AAUjxit

    but is higher than the official figure of transpeople in the UK. So I’m erring on the side of generosity.

    So for every 1500 transmen there are 3,000,000 non trans females.

    Lets remind ourselves of the figures again for that there *trans* gene.

    In women, however, there were some differences: 44% of FtM transsexuals carried it, compared with 31% of non-transsexual women.

    So out of our group of 3,001,500 people 44% of 1500 (660) will be transmen AND carriers of the gene. 31% of 3,000,000 (930,000) will be carriers of the gene and not transmen.

    So: likelihood that a carrier of the gene will be a transman = 660/930,000 = approximately 0.07%

    Likelihood that a non carrier will be a transman 56% of 1500 (840)/2,070,000 =0.04% approximately.

    Which actually gives a slightly more favourable result of being a transman with the gene compared to those without the gene.(1.75 times more likely to be a transman with the gene compared to the general population).

    BUT BUT BUT, the huge majority of those WITH THE GENE are not transmen. 0.07% is nowhere near a 60% chance of getting breast cancer with BRCA genes is it? It is a distinctly odd gene that raises the probability of an individual having a certain characteristic by a mere 0.03 per cent. As opposed to a whopping 48 per cent with BRCA.

    Conclusion:

    if this really is a ‘gene’ for transsexuality, its effects are extremely weak to non existent. 99.93% of those with the gene (variation) are NOT transsexual. As opposed to 60% of those with BRCA genes getting breast cancer over a lifetime.

  54. polly Says:

    You seem to be deriving a significant portion of your stance on gender from Butler. I would argue that Butler’s denial of any kind of essentialism runs smack into a brick wall when it encounters transgender, and in particular transsexual, narratives.

    Care to enlarge on that? Have you ever even READ Butler?

    What are the odds? Shall we ask Paul the octopus?

    While the evidence is not conclusive, the body of evidence continues to grow, and many argue that it cannot be reasonably be ignored.

    So where is this body of evidence then? Didn’t I just demolish it with mathematics?

    Clue: just turning up and “saying blah blah blah is true BECAUSE I SAY SO” is often successful for the average mansplainer. Unfortunately you’re up against females of high intellect and high self esteem here. So it won’t work.

  55. polly Says:

    You could say MgS that Richard Dawkins stance on atheism runs smack into a brick wall when it encounters the personal narrative of a born again christian. However, this be the verse:

    A personal narrative is NOT PROOF OF ANYTHING.

  56. polly Says:

    Just please, please, please for the love of dawg, stop repeating the same old shite!

  57. polly Says:

    Falsifiability. That’s the thing. If your theory is impossible to falsify, you can’t say it’s true either.

    “I know I am a woman because I have always felt like a woman” is impossible to falsify. It is also a nonsensensical statement, because you cannot know anyone else’s consciousness and therefore have no idea of how any other human being who is a ‘woman’ feels.

    To be able to experience a psychological state common to all ‘women’ you would have to know what that psychological state IS first of all. But you can’t know, because you can’t read anyone else’s mind.

    There you are, your argument demolished with simple logic.

    It may well be the case that you have a strong persistent feeling that you wish to be a different physical sex, or be perceived in a different social gender role than that traditionally associate with your physical sex.

    That does not PROVE that gender exists in any way, shape or form. How could it, unless gender is associated with physical sex? And if it IS associated with physical sex, how can you have a gender that is WRONG for your physical sex? You can’t.

    You really need to learn to think critically people.

  58. m Andrea Says:

    Did I just cross post to your blog Mgs? Didn’t realize that was you, so obviously my reply over there DIDN’T address your concern. Will be back later tonight and thanks again.

  59. thebewilderness Says:

    Just like your insistence that all transgender people MUST speak with a single, unified voice, you fail to understand the nuances of the claim and fall into the language of broad, sweeping absolutes.

    An accusation simply does not qualify as an argument.
    Truly, it does not.

    This accusation has been made several times. Do you think that if you repeat it enough times that everyone reading will forget what they read in the post and take your word for what was said?
    Cuz yanno, these mousies come with a scroll button.

  60. MgS Says:

    @Polly – I’ve read far more of Butler’s work than I care to think about … and I fundamentally disagree with her on some key areas – in particular where her basic denial of the possibility of intrinsic attributes related to gender requires that I dismiss the narratives of all transsexuals as coming from pathological liars.

    vis a vis the Falsifiability issue, I suggest you go explore a couple of mathematical concepts before you make that claim – in particular that of induction.

    You are attempting to dismiss something based on external falsifiability, when we are talking about something that comes from internal sources and is therefore subject to that uniquely human skill called introspection. Introspective evidence is very similar in form and content to mathematical induction.

    Lastly, for all that you want to scream and shout that there is no such thing as gender outside of a social construct, it’s pretty damned hard to conclude that when there’s evidence that suggests there’s a little more to the picture than that.

    A singular personal narrative is not proof of anything – true enough. Thousands of substantively similar narratives might just suggest that there’s a little more to the picture, hmmm? I am not talking about a single narrative here, am I? I’m talking about a small, but identifiable population that at the very least should cause us to look twice at the assumptions underlying the arguments.

    One last point – we are talking about human experiences here. Given the vast diversity of humanity, it seems more than just a trifle unreasonable to claim that there is some absolute truth here.

    One of the semantic and logical errors that I see repeated routinely when trying to deny the validity of another person’s experience is to do exactly what you and Miss Andrea are doing – applying the language of the absolute when it is thoroughly inappropriate to do so.

  61. polly Says:

    @Polly – I’ve read far more of Butler’s work than I care to think about … and I fundamentally disagree with her on some key areas – in particular where her basic denial of the possibility of intrinsic attributes related to gender requires that I dismiss the narratives of all transsexuals as coming from pathological liars.

    No, somebody can believe something that isn’t true. It doesn’t make them a pathological liar, it makes them someone who believes something that isn’t true. Lots of people believe stuff that isn’t true. Do you think all religious people are ‘pathological liars’?

    One last point – we are talking about human experiences here. Given the vast diversity of humanity, it seems more than just a trifle unreasonable to claim that there is some absolute truth here.

    Yes, it is. But the problem is this.

    It is not me that is making that claim. I am fully prepared to accept that Zoe Brain is -by her definition – a woman.

    The point is she’s not a woman by my definition. And I have an equal right to define woman. So Zoe has no right to insist I accept her as a ‘woman’. But that is exactly what she and other transactivists are doing.

    It’s the point of the post MgS. It’s the point of the post. The minute I say that I believe something different from Zoe (or Christan, or any other transactivist), they start to scream that I am ‘denying their existence’.

    Now if your proof that god exists is ‘I have a strong conviction that god exists’ then god does exist for you. The problem is that god does not exist for me. So you have no right to demand that I share your belief system just to validate it. Yet that is exactly what trans activists do.

    Believe what you want, just don’t expect me to join in.
    A singular personal narrative is not proof of anything – true enough. Thousands of substantively similar narratives might just suggest that there’s a little more to the picture, hmmm?

    Ok then so we’ve got proof that god exists. And that god doesn’t exist. And that Allah exists. And Zoroaster.

    You see the problem? Substantial numbers of people believe things that directly conflict. So are they ALL telling the truth?

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      ” I am fully prepared to accept that Zoe Brain is -by her definition – a woman.

      The point is she’s not a woman by my definition. And I have an equal right to define woman. So Zoe has no right to insist I accept her as a ‘woman’. ”

      I agree. You also have the right to define the moon as being made of green cheese if you like. Or that I’m actually an oyster by your definition.

      All I can do is quote evidence – mainly for the benefit of others – that suggests that your definitions are less than useful. It doesn’t have any bearing on your right to espouse them.

      • polly Says:

        Well I’m going to quote the oxford english dictionary which defines a woman as an adult female human being. You’re not female, so you’re not a woman.

        Words as a symbolic form of communication are only any use when everyone agrees on them Zoe. You can indeed define yourself as a woman, you can define yourself as a table or an aardvark, none of it will make you a female in terms of reproductive categories.

        • Zoe Brain Says:

          Diagnosis at a Fertility Clinic in 1985 on the basis of a simple physical exam and blood test: Undervirilised Fertile Male Syndrome ( a form of AIS )

          Diagnosis by a specialist team, including a professor of endocrinology in 2005, as the result of physical exams, blood tests, gene tests, MRIs, ultrasounds…: Severe androgenisation of a non-pregnant woman.

          Feel free to differ: I just place the evidence before you.

  62. polly Says:

    One more thing:

    While the evidence is not conclusive, the body of evidence continues to grow, and many argue that it cannot be reasonably be ignored.

    So where is this body of evidence then? Didn’t I just demolish it with mathematics?

    If you wish to provide a mathematical proof, (using induction!) please do.

    nb:

    Mathematical induction is a method of mathematical proof typically used to establish that a given statement is true of all natural numbers. It is done by proving that the first statement in the infinite sequence of statements is true, and then proving that if any one statement in the infinite sequence of statements is true, then so is the next one.

    The method can be extended to prove statements about more general well-founded structures, such as trees; this generalization, known as structural induction, is used in mathematical logic and computer science. Mathematical induction in this extended sense is closely related to recursion.

    Mathematical induction should not be misconstrued as a form of inductive reasoning, which is considered non-rigorous in mathematics (see Problem of induction for more information). In fact, mathematical induction is a form of rigorous deductive reasoning.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_induction

    I won’t hold my breath.

  63. polly Says:

    And you might have READ butler, but you certainly have not in any way, shape or form UNDERSTOOD her.

  64. polly Says:

    Which particular bit of Butler do you think denies the transsexual narrative? Chapters? Books?

  65. polly Says:

    Like I said to Christen, you can’t have your cake and eat it MgS.

    Firstly saying ‘there’s like LOADS of scientific evidence of transsexuality’ and then – when asked where it is screaming.

    But PERSONAL EXPERIENCE is absolute truth.

    The point about personal narratives, as anyone who has ever studied social science for about half a second will tell you, is that they are not random. They utilise already existing cultural forms. I have no doubt the personal narrative of an MTF transsexual is usually “I wish to live my life being perceived as a woman”. But that person will then frame that in the prevalent cultural discourse – currently of being a ‘woman trapped in a man’s body’. Whereas in a different time and place, their interpretation of the feeling may have been different according to the prevalent cultural discourse.

    There are no absolute truths that are not culturally mediated. Because you can only think in the concepts available to you.

    To take another example – homosexuality. In ancient Greece men had sex with youths, but they weren’t gay. Not one bit. Nowadays of course, they’d be not only gay but paedophiles. Then they were regualar dudes, respected citizens.

    The numbers of people who define themselves as gay also tend to be different in different societies. So do you think more tolerant societies produce more gay people? Or just that people’s self definition changes with social mores?

  66. polly Says:

    If I believe, really, really, really sincerely believe that I have been kidnapped by aliens, does that prove alien abdution exists?

    A great many people believe they have been kidnapped by aliens. And looky here.

    According to a Gallup poll done at the end of the twentieth century, about one-third of Americans believe aliens have visited us, an increase of 5% over the previous decade.

    http://www.skepdic.com/aliens.html

    A singular personal narrative is not proof of anything – true enough. Thousands of substantively similar narratives might just suggest that there’s a little more to the picture, hmmm? I am not talking about a single narrative here, am I? I’m talking about a small, but identifiable population that at the very least should cause us to look twice at the assumptions underlying the arguments.

    Abso-fucking-lutely. Let’s not bother with critical thinking at all eh, let’s just BELIEVE.

  67. polly Says:

    Clue MgS. Just saying ‘there’s lot’s of evidence’ and then not citing any, is going to make me think you haven’t got any.

    So go on then. This ‘evidence’. Let’s have it.

  68. MgS Says:

    You want a reading list? I suggest starting with something like “The Uninvited Dilemma” by K. Stuart. (It’s essentially the author’s PhD thesis) That’s a good start. Then I’d suggest spending some time perusing the WPATH journal and archives as well as spending some time in an array of Psychiatric journals.

    The fundamental point of any reasoned inquiry, Polly (and Miss Andrea this applies to you too), is to consider the full story in all of its dimensions. When we are talking about something as ephemeral as gender identity, that includes actually considering narratives of people unless you can produce sound evidence that those people are pathological liars. (evidence which I doubt you can produce in any meaningful sense)

    As for the physiological side of the picture, there are others who do a much better job than I of keeping up with the journals and identifying the interesting bits. I’ve perused enough of that to be distinctly uncomfortable with simply rejecting the possibility that there is far more to gender than the socialization hypothesis explains.

  69. polly Says:

    No MgS, I want you to link me to something ONLINE, that proves transsexuality is physically caused.

  70. polly Says:

    If there isn’t any evidence, why did you say there is?

  71. polly Says:

    The fundamental point of any reasoned inquiry, Polly (and Miss Andrea this applies to you too), is to consider the full story in all of its dimensions. When we are talking about something as ephemeral as gender identity, that includes actually considering narratives of people unless you can produce sound evidence that those people are pathological liars. (evidence which I doubt you can produce in any meaningful sense)

    You seem to be having comprehension issues here MgS. I am not denying that transsexual people a)EXIST and b) have strong feelings that they are transsexual.

    What I AM saying is that this is in no way proof of the existence of an innate quality of ‘gender’. And the reason it is in MY interests to put this argument, as a woman, is that plenty of people want to use the concept of ‘gender’ to argue that I am naturally inferior.

    Do you see the problem? Let’s use an analogy.

    Certain people (Christians) believe abortion is wrong, because of their religious beliefs.

    These religious beliefs are sincerely held.

    Therefore using YOUR reasoning, because a large number of people sincerely hold a belief, we should ban abortion.

  72. polly Says:

    MgS – here is the book you have recommended.

    “The Uninvited Dilemma” is different from the autobiographies and clinical studies on transsexuality. It represents two years of research involving carefully structured, in-depth personal interviews with seventy-five transsexuals, consultations with members of the medical and mental health communities, and conversations with loved ones of transsexuals. This book will give you an understanding of the true nature of transsexuality. It is a remarkable reading experience for all who are interested in the human condition and and exploration of the most fundamental aspect of our humanity. “

    Mgs – I personally know several transsexual people who have had gender reassignment surgery. In addition the personal narratives of transgender/transsexual people are widely available in the press and on the internet.

    So I am ALREADY FAMILIAR with the personal narratives of transgender/transsexual people. When YOU are engaged on a ‘reasoned inquiry’ (as if) can I strongly suggest you don’t start the endeavour by making (WRONG WRONG WRONG) assumptions about the people you are talking to.

    Now you said there is plenty of evidence that transsexuality is physically caused. Where is it? Where is your mathematical proof by induction of a physical cause of transsexuality? You said you could provide these things……

  73. polly Says:

    NB: I am perfectly willing to believe that transsexuality MAY be physically caused, though I’ve never seen any evidence. When I do,I’ll believe it. But at the moment the evidence I’ve seen points the other way. Or at least it points to it not being a congenital condition.

    The point is that being transsexual is merely a feeling that one’s physical body is ‘wrong’. However most trans people are much more concerned with how others PERCEIVE them. They want to be PERCEIVED as their desired (sexed) gender. They do not wish merely to alter their body and quietly go about their business.

    So if you constantly scream about ‘misgendering’ you are not, by definition, transsexual. Since what you wish is not to have a female body, but to be perceived socially as female. The two are not the same thing. I have a female body and am sometimes ‘read’ as male. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I wouldn’t like to have a penis though, cos I think they’re ugly.

  74. m Andrea Says:

    Ah, I sorta see where you’re coming from, Mgs. If I understand correctly, (and these are not sarcastic scare quotes) you’re thinking that the “lived experience” of people and how they feel about a thing is an appropriate way to determine the validity of civil rights?

    I’m sympathetic to that perspective, but unfortunately the principle is not one that can be applied consistently. If we’re going to use “how people feel about an issue” as our criteria, then we must remember to use the emotional response of EVERYONE as valid criteria, lest we become a hypocrite.

    As soon as we consider the emotional response of people whose lived experience and personal narrative is that folks can express themselves just fine in the body they they were born with, then we must respect and accomodate their feelings. I’m guessing, but I suspect you might want to reply, “oh that’s bigoty” or “oh but everybody should all focus on how the transgendered feel”.

    I’m not sure if you’re familar with this concept or not, but a hypocrite is someone who says, “oh it’s acceptable when I set the rules for everyone based upon how I personally feel, but no one else is allowed to set the rules according to how they feel”. Equality cannot exist in the presence of hypocrisy, it is impossible. When only one person is allowed to use their feelings as the determining criteria and no one else is allowed, then that is hypocrisy.

    Lately I have been thinking that a feminist is someone who wants what she wants when she wants it and to hell with everybody else. Is that what you believe, Mgs? Or would you like to be fair to EVERYBODY?

    As soon as you desire to be fair to EVERYONE, and you realize that EVERYONE has contradictory feelings, then under normal circumstances you should realize that we must find different criteria other than your feelings. Again, do you want to be fair to everybody?

  75. polly Says:

    I DO think that people’s ‘lived experience’ is sufficient to validate civil rights, but ONLY when that does not mean others civil rights are eroded.

    Thus I am entirely in favour of trans people having employment protection, protection in the supply of goods and services etc etc. I fully support anti discriminiation legislation in these areas.

    BUT

    This does not apply in situations where the employment or goods and services in question is/are sex segregated. Eg a swimmming pool changing room, a rape crisis counsellor. In that situation someone’s ‘lived experience’ matters not a jot. What matters is the comfort and safety of the people using that service.

    Similarly – to go back to my analogy.

    A christian has a right to be protected from unlawful discrimination at work and have their beliefs respected. So their employer shouldn’t be able to sack them just for being a christian. Even if their employer is an atheist and doesn’t agree with them.

    But IF that person’s religious beliefs prevent them from carrying out civil partnership ceremonies for gay men and lesbians and that is part of the person’s job as a registrar, then their employer DOES have the right to sack them.

    Do you see the difference MgS? Probably not.

  76. polly Says:

    Oh and MgS you need to know that I won’t be reading psychiatric journals, since psychiatry is largely a pseudo science. But if you have any psychiatric journals that point to the existence of gender conclusively, DO post a link, and I’ll take a gander.

  77. MgS Says:

    @Polly:

    Your double standard towards evidence and proof is disappointing. On one hand, your entire argument is rooted in YOUR APPARENT BELIEF that there is nothing to the entire gender conversation beyond socialization, and you dismiss anything that might call that into question as “inadequately proven”.

    The point I’m trying to make is that there is evidence out there that calls into question what you are asserting. Whether you want to believe it or not, is irrelevant.

    BTW – I dare say that in general psychiatry and psychology as disciplines do a heck of a lot more to quantify and validate their assertions than I see coming out of Rad-Fem thinkers like Butler and others (who mostly seem to quote each other’s ideas as if they are unquestionable fact)

  78. MgS Says:

    @m_Andrea:

    What I’m saying is that there’s a hell of a lot more to the picture than your claims suggest.

    … and yes, one does have to consider lived experience as part of the picture. Being human is funny that way – there are some areas where lived experience is the evidence.

    As for your insinuation of hypocrisy, I won’t claim to being perfectly fair to all at all times in my life – I doubt many people are – however, I at least give it an honest try. Something which, from what I’ve seen out of your writing, is sadly lacking.

  79. polly Says:

    No MgS I’m saying that the science that IS out there either doesn’t prove anything (because it’s impossible) or has been roundly called into disrepute. Read this which I will link for you AGAIN.

    http://www.annelawrence.com/twr/brain-sex_critique.html

    (zoe might want to read it too, since it says why all the stuff she is constantly linking isn’t proof either).

    The only research which stands up in any way is on the hypothalamus, and differences in the hypothalamus are NOT present at birth – they develop at about age 4. So the differences in the hypothalamus of transsexuals are likely to be because of the influence of hormones they have taken.

    The brain-sex theory of transsexualism has never been easy to reconcile with clinical reality: Homosexual and nonhomosexual MtF transsexualism are so different clinically that it is almost impossible to imagine that they could have the same etiology. Nevertheless, for a time the Zhou/Kruijver data gave the brain-sex theory a certain superficial plausibility. In 2002, Chung et al. reported new data that raised serious doubts about the brain-sex theory, but the authors were able to explain why the theory might still be plausible. The new data reported by Hulshoff Pol et al. in 2006 did not invalidate these explanations, but it rendered them largely irrelevant. The simplest and most plausible explanation of the Zhou/Kruijver findings is that they are attributable, completely or predominantly, to the effects of cross-sex hormone therapy administered during adulthood. There is no longer any reason to postulate anything more complicated.

    The point I am making is that there is NOT evidence out there which calls into question what I’m asserting.

    And yet again, you fail to provide any anyway. Because you can’t.

    Provide me with proof, and I’ll believe it.

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      Well, there’s this:

      “Hormone treatment or sex hormone level variations in adulthood did not seem to have influenced BSTc neuron numbers.”(J Clin Endocrinol Metab 85: 2034–2041, 2000)

      Lawrence ignored that in her critique, which is why it didn’t pass peer review, and is only on her website. A Vanity Publication if you like, but it contains so much that’s worthwhile, it should really be revised and published formally.

      There’s

      White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A diffusion tensor imaging study. – Rametti et al, J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jun 8.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20562024

      “CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated FtM transsexuals is closer to the pattern of subjects who share their gender identity (males) than those who share their biological sex (females). Our results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals.”

      And

      Regional cerebral blood flow changes in female to male gender identity disorder. – Tanaka et al, Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2010 Apr 1;64(2):157-61.

      “METHODS: Persons considered biologically male fulfilling the GID criteria are termed male to female (MTF) and, conversely, persons considered biological female are termed female to male (FTM). We compared 11 FTM subjects and nine age- and handedness-matched female control subjects. None of the subjects was regularly taking medication and none had any kind of physical or psychiatric comorbidity…. RESULTS: GID subjects had a significant decrease in rCBF in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and a significant increase in the right insula compared to control subjects.
      CONCLUSIONS: The ACC and insula are regions that have been noted as being related to human sexual behavior and consciousness. From these findings, useful insights into the biological basis of GID were suggested.”

      Note my criticism here of this paper:
      “Again, n=9 does not give me warm fuzzies. Moreover, the controls here were flawed, or rather, incomplete. A comparison was made with women, but not with other men. A better experiment would replicate existing work showing the differences between cis-sexual men and cis-sexual women, and then look at trans-sexual men before and after hormonal treatment. That way we could say something rather more precise than “trans men before hormonal treatment don’t have the neurology of cis women”.”

      Had you actually read the Zhou/Krijver paper, it would have been obvious that Lawrence’s critique was factually inaccurate. Or if you’d viewed Drantz’s work, for that matter.

      If you’re asking for a formal proof such as the one for Euler’s theorem, I can’t give you one. I can only give you a practical proof, such as the one that the sun rises in the east. I can’t absolutely prove that it will do tomorrow, just give a large amount of evidence that it will. That’s what Science does.

      Feel free to disagree. You may think that since mathematical ability – a metric traditionally thought of as sexually dimorphic – has been shown to be no such thing, that sexual dimorphism doesn’t exist anywhere, regardless of evidence to the contrary, which you dismiss without bothering to read. Whatever. It doesn’t really matter. The point is, that anyone visiting your site now has the URLs to find out for themselves. I’m sure my opinion matters as little to you as yours does to me. Both are irrelevant to Reality anyway, it is what it is, regardless of what either you or I think.

      • polly Says:

        Are you denying Zoe that all but ONE of the subjects in the studies Lawrence cites had taken oestrogen? And how do we know that the other one hadn’t taken oestrogen and not told the researchers?

        There’s another problem here though. What about the controls? How do they know that none of the control subjects were in fact people who had strong cross gender identity issues they had concealed?

        But the final, final problem is the nature vs nurture one. EVEN supposing that differences in the hypothalamus exist, and are not the result of oestrogen therapy, how do you know that – given that sex differences in the hypothalamus are NOT present at birth – that they are the result of nature, rather than nurture. You can’t know, you simply can’t. The same life events that cause transsexuality, could affect brain development.

        The study you cite above is subject to the same criticism. Until such studies are performed AFTER birth, and show differences, you cannot discount the influence of nurture. Because life events affect brain development, brains are plastic.

        But all this proves anyway Zoe, even if there is positive proof of a physical cause the in brain structure of transseuxality (which note I have NOT discounted) is that there is a physically based cause of transsexual feelings. It still doesn’t make a person a different biological sex. You are, I’m afraid, a male born person with a neurological make up which causes you to have strong transsexual feelings.

        People with dissociative identity disorder will develop a number of ‘personalities’ some of which may be a different sex than the person’s actual biological sex. Does that mean they are a different sex some of the time? Or that they have a neurological disorder?

        Even your idol Milton Diamond holds that gender identity is a matter of nature AND nurture in any case.

  80. polly Says:

    THIS rad fem thinker can do *the science bit* MgS. A hell of a lot better than you, Zoe Brain and Christen can it seems.

  81. polly Says:

    And both you AND Zoe need to go and do some reading on the stereotype threat. Which again has been studied SCIENTIFICALLY.

    Here’s a link to get you started.

    http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/carnegie/learning_resources/LAW_PGCHE/SteeleandQuinnStereotypeThreat.pdf

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      And what has that got to do with (for example) sense of smell? Math ability isn’t sexually dimorphic. There’s a few other things that are products of social environment too, not neuro-anatomy. Some things are though.

      Have you read any of the refutations of Lawrence? The later experiments that dealt with her criticisms?

      • polly Says:

        No Zoe, care to cite them?

        • polly Says:

          And Zoe, I am not denying for ONE MINUTE that there are physiological differences between male and female. Hello? Penises? Vaginas? OF COURSE there are physiological differences.

          What has sense of smell got to do with gender though?

          My guess would be nothing. Any more than men having, on average, larger feet has anything to do with gender.

          • polly Says:

            What you need to prove Zoe is not just that there are physiological differences (of course there are) but that these physiological differences PRODUCE a sense of gender.

            • Nicky Says:

              Polly,
              What Zoe needs to do is prove to people who Zoe is. Zoe likes to claim intersex and claims to have an Intersex like condition.

            • Zoe Brain Says:

              Regarding the physiological differences causing the sense of gender – see the Diamond paper on biased-interaction theory.

              Can we prove that this is correct? It would be difficult coming up with an experiment that falsifies it, so no, I don’t think we *can* prove that this is the causative mechanism, certainly not by remaining within ethical bounds.

              What we can do is prove that all people who have ever been examined, by MRI scan, autopsy, or other means, who have a stereotypically feminine pattern of development of the lymbic nucleus have female gender identities, be they cis- or trans- sexual.

              Unless we exhaustively examine all people on the planet, we can’t prove that there aren’t any exceptions. Even then, we couldn’t prove that one would not be born at some time in the future.

              What we can do is show that there’s an overwhelming correlation: that in animal experiments, we can reliably produce cross-sexed behaviour by appropriate manipulation of hormones in the womb; that as the result of accidents such as administration of the drug DES to the mother in the first trimester, that transsexuality (and other, intersex conditions) result; and that certain intersex conditions result in a cross-sexed gender identity.

  82. polly Says:

    Look it really is simple MgS. If you’re saying something is provable scientifically, prove it.

    If you’re NOW saying it isn’t provable scientifically, admit you were wrong.

    I’ve constantly asked you for a link to prove that gender is physcially based (CLUE: if this really had happened, it would have been world wide news, not just reported in obscure journals). You have failed to provide such a link. I have provided YOU with a link (well several actually) which explains why the available science is not proof of any such thing.

    In addition I have provided you with a link on the SCIENCE of the stereotype threat which explains how stereotypes on gendered behaviour affect behaviour. So I HAVE showed that socialisation influences behaviour substantially.

    I’m still waiting for your proof, as opposed to ad hominen attacks.

  83. polly Says:

    The point I’m trying to make is that there is evidence out there that calls into question what you are asserting. Whether you want to believe it or not, is irrelevant.

    And the point I am making, is that there isn’t.

  84. polly Says:

    And Zoe next time you (and Milton Diamond or anyone else)are quoting the David Reimer case, can I suggest you get hold of a copy of ‘sexing the body’. She cites (on page 71) an almost identical case to Reimer’s which did not have the same outcome – ie the individual involved accepted the sex reassingment. And you can read about it on the WWW!

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/102/1/e9

    The problem with the Reimer case is that Reimer’s parents knew he was male. Their own personal feelings about the matter, and quite possible parental guilt, were therefore likely to have substantially affected his upbringing.

    Reimer’s case is constantly cited by those who wish to prove ‘brain sex’ theories. They ignore the other cases that completely contradict the Reimer case. It’s called being selective.

    I think the only people who are ignoring evidence they don’t like the look of here are you and Zoe Brain MgS.

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      See “Bigender and the Brain” where this situation is discussed.
      http://aebrain.blogspot.com/2008/06/bigender-and-brain.html

      Evidence from certain Intersex conditions shows that if you’d assigned sex at random, regardless of genitalia, you’d “get it right” 2/3 of the time, rather than the 50% that would be expected if there was a strict binary in neurology, or the 100% of the time if there was no sexual differentiation.

      Some people have neurology that is sufficiently bigendered so their gender identity can crystallise adequately, if atypically, in either gender role. A minority, sure, but they exist. Moreover, a strict trinary model is only a marginal improvement on a strict binary one. In fact, it’s multidimensional and continuous but strongly bimodal. See Drantz’s presentations on the subject.

      In further follow-up, it seems Zucker’s conclusions may have been a little premature on that case BTW… but it’s a matter of degree anyway. Difficult to measure too in the face of so many psych co-morbidities.

      I suggest you contact Dr Z on this one yourself.

      • polly Says:

        Well I’m sure s/he will be thrilled to hear from me.

        But you haven’t (as ever) actually addressed the point I’m making Zoe.

        There may well be similarities between the brains of straight males and lesbians. However when it came out that story was widely criticised. Not least by me, but unfortunately the piece has been deleted so I sadly can’t link to it. But there is some criticism here:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2008/jun/17/homosexualitybiologyorchoic

        Again however Zoe, you have not demonstrated that the differences (if indeed they exist) are congenital as opposed to social conditioning.

        Brains are plastic Zoe, that’s the problem. That’s why the differences in the hypothalamus don’t occur until after the age of 4.

        I also recommend, for further reading, Ann Fausto Sterling’s chapter on ‘sexing the brain’ for the problems with brain measurement (it’s that good ol’ researcher bias again).

        And as you also correctly point out Zoe, sexual orientation has got ZERO to do with gender identity! So a study on sexual orientation tells us sweet FA about gender.

        None of which has to do with the Reimer case. Which is what I was talking about. Do keep up!

        • polly Says:

          Oh and a really important point on the guardian piece

          “if this study is valid, it can be repeated”.

          With an intial finding such as this, we’d expect to see follow up studies confirming the same thing. Have there been any?

          A lot of the studies you cite Zoe (like Simon Baron Cohen’s) have NOT been replicated.

  85. polly Says:

    And now I’m going to give an example of just WHY this shit is so dangerous.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1252462/Andrea-Fletcher-devoted-fiancee-whos-sticking-man-John-Ozimek-despite-fact-wants-woman-named-Jane-Fae.html

    ‘I’ve always been very feminine and sensitive. I like doing traditionally female activities such as cleaning, ironing, cooking and washing up. The emotional intimacy of love-making has always been more important to me than the physical side.

  86. polly Says:

    Zoe can I just repeat what I’ve already said to MgS. You are dealing with females of high intellect and high self esteem here. So the old mansplaining won’t work.

  87. polly Says:

    Sense of smell Zoe is not a gendered behaviour. In fact it’s not a behaviour at all, it’s a phyiological characteristic. The stereotype threat theory is about how human BEHAVIOUR is influenced by socialisation. You also appear to have severe comprehension issues.

    Obviously the size of people’s feet isn’t influenced by socialisation either. Except of course when they used to bind women’s feet to make them more ‘feminine’. Progressive practice that was eh?

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      To *caricature* both positions:

      The fanatical nurture-only position says that socialisation is everything, and that either no difference in brain structure exists, or if it does it has no effect, or if it has an effect, it’s caused by post-natal environment.
      This has to deny the existence of trans people – they are deluded, or lying.

      The fanatical nature-only position says that all gendered behaviour is set before birth, men are real men, women are real women, with no overlap, and we live in a world where girls are meek and mild, and boys are manly and strong.

      Both positions are rubbish.

      Most of what we call “gendered behavior” is a social construct that has varied from society to society, both geographically and historically. Perhaps 70% of it, if you want to assign a number.

      Much of the rest has some basis in neuro-anatomy, but the connection is tenuous, and often is based not on neuro-anatomy, but physical anatomy. The presence or absence of breasts, the complications due to pregnancy etc. We’d live in a very different world if men got pregnant as part of the normal course of events.

      But some of what is called “gendered behaviour” really is sexually dimorphic, and set pre-natally. Not much, it’s true, but some.

      Now let’s look at the consequences of adopting either of the fanatical, caricatured positions.

      First the extreme gender essentialism – you get extreme patriarchal BS. Saudi or even Pushtun societies, where women are treated worse than livestock. In a milder form, you get the kind of patriarchal BS that feminism, be it RadFem or the mildest form, struggles against. A world of the Stepford Wives.

      Now the opposite – this forces people with nonconforming physiology into roles which don’t fit – much as the previous situation. It’s less harmful, in that it stigmatises and oppresses only <1% of the population, rather than 50%. But it's still the same Patriarchal BS, the same privilege.

  88. polly Says:

    Something else you haven’t addressed Zoe, in those highly selective and not actually addressing the actual point I’ve made replies you have chosen, politician like, to give to me is the question I posed to Valerie Keefe. So I’m going to re ask it, and I’m going to go ON reasking it until someone gives me an answer.

    If your brain/gender identity/sense of smell/the position of uranus in relation to your arse at the time of your birth MAKES YOU A WOMAN:

    Why bother to take oestrogen and have sex reassignment surgery and facial feminisation surgery and laser hair removal and voice lessons to make your voice more female sounding.

    Now I know you claim Zoe, that you just changed sex spontaneously and we all know that’s bullshit. Because you yourself have alluded to taking androgen blocking drugs. You’re a male who has taken oestrogen and had surgery, because if you’d just changed sex spontaneously, you’d have made world wide headlines. You’d be the first human EVER to do so.

    So go on Zoe, answer me. If you already ARE a woman, why have surgery, why take hormones? It doesn’t make sense does it?

    • Nicky Says:

      @Polly,
      Even Zoe has gone so far as to claim to have an intersex like condition. Zoe has gone so far to claim intersex and even claim to be diagnosed with one. Even Zoe has gone so far as to say that intersex people and trans people are one in the same.

      I have even learned that Zoe takes a drug, that if he’s on it, he will be classified as a sex offender in Australia. It’s called Cyproterone Acetate AKA Androcur. In Australia, in order to take the drug, you have to be a sex offender or have a very narrow defined conditions such as Prostate cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), acne ,male pattern baldness or to reduce your sex drive and libido for sexual offenders. Zoe has said in his blog he takes this drug and as a result, he’s classed as a sex offender.

      • polly Says:

        Yes exactly Nicky, that drug is an androgen suppressant. It is given to MTF transsexuals to suppress androgen production (doh!).

        Zoe it is none of my beeswax how you identify yourself. But please stop LYING about things.

        You seem to think that your theories only affect you. They don’t. ALL FEMALES are affected by theories that say they’re naturally inferior.

        You’ve got a lot of highly offensive homophobic stuff on your blog Zoe, like saying lesbians are really men. Though I’m no wilting flower, and I’m not going to develop PTSD if someone shouts at me, that’s exactly the same kind of opinion that is held by people who think it’s ok to yell abuse at me in the street. Fortunately, where I live, it doesn’t go further than that. Lesbians are sometimes violently attacked, but it happens much more to gay men in the UK to be honest. It’s not the case in other parts of the world of course.

        We are constantly told that we are ‘encouraging violence against transwomen’. Well what about the transwomen who are encouraging violence against us?

        • Zoe Brain Says:

          Androcur is a testosterone suppressant. It’s taken by trans women until they have their testes removed.
          However, it’s also taken by women with CAH and similar IS conditions.

          I’ve had all the usual glands that produce testosterone removed. My levels still spike sometimes. We think the adrenals are the source, though that’s not proven. In any event, for my own health, when I show certain physical symptoms it’s time to take Androcur again for about a week.

          My E2 levels are similarly unstable, varying by 2 orders of magnitude. A combination of an implant and oral medication when physical symptoms show seem to be keeping things stable. It’s all experimental of course, my endocrine system is anything but standard. To say that I had a “natural sex change” is a gross over-simplification. That was just one of the results, and in terms of my life expectancy, not the most important. My cholesterol metabolism appears to be the key.

          However, all that’s irrelevant to the topic under discussion.

        • Zoe Brain Says:

          “You’ve got a lot of highly offensive homophobic stuff on your blog Zoe, like saying lesbians are really men.”

          ???? I’ve said no such thing. They’re not. The part of the brain that appears to be associated with androphilia or gynephilia is more consistent with the latter than the former.

          But you may as well say that a man who has less than the normal male development of the center associated with instinctive ballistic calculations is a “woman” because of that than to say that lesbian is a “man”. That’s poppycock.

          Most men are gynephillic, due to neurology. Most women are androphillic, due to neurology. But most men are taller than most women, and just because someone is short doesn’t make them female. Neither does the fact that someone is gynephillic make them “really men”.

        • Nicky Says:

          @polly,
          Yea, that I can understand. Though I do understand that your trying to get Zoe and that’s what I am reading here.

  89. polly Says:

    And if you’re so keen on some physiological differences (such as sense of smell, or a few brain cells hither and yon) making the difference in determing sex Zoe – why are you ignoring the rather more obvious ones? Like uteruses, ovaries, vaginas, clitorises and xx chromosomes? None of which you were born with I believe. Though your sense of smell is undoubtedly the girliest sense of smell around.

    You remind me irresistibly of Katisha in the Mikado, keen to point out that far from being ugly, her left elbow is universally admired.

  90. m Andrea Says:

    Oh dear. Zoe. In your own words, can you describe the difference between correlation and causation?

    Come on, you can do this. :)

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      A is correlated with B means:

      1. A causes B OR
      2. B causes A OR
      3. A and B are caused by C OR
      4. It’s a coincidence.

      Temporal dependencies can help sort this out. Thus we know that the BSTc layer differences cannot be causal, as they manifest after gender identity crystallises in the usual course of events.

      We know that sexually dimorphic play patterns similarly appear before gender identity crystallises. Moreover, such patterns appear in CAH 46XX people, 90% of whom identify as female not male. There is a correlation between that part of the brain causing these play patterns and the parts involved with gender identity, but it’s not an exact one. There’s a far better correlation between that and gynephilia. Most 46XX women are at least Bi, if not lesbian.

      The brain is not so much an organ, and a complex of structures, some of which can correspond more or less to a “masculine” or “feminine” stereotype. Autopsies of stillborn infants indicate that some of the differences are visible at 26 weeks after conception.

      In that respect, saying that there is a male brain and a female brain is like saying there is a male height and a female height. Or worse, since it’s multi-dimensional, a male size – height and weight – and a female size – height and weight.

      The key seems to be what parts of the brain correspond to a masculine or feminine stereotype, and the degree to which they do. There’s a correlation in that if one part is “masculinised”, it’s more likely that other parts will be masculinised too. “masculinised” being shorthand for “being similar to the stereotype most often found in males, and differing from the corresponding stereotype in females”. There’s nothing inherently masculine about it, and plenty of women have “Masculinised” parts of the brain, just as many men have “Feminised” parts.

      Trans people appear to have strongly cross-sexed neuro anatomy (compared with the rest of the anatomy) in a few areas of the lymbic nucleus – a structure that includes amongst others, the hypothalamus. They also have cross-sexed neuro-anatomy in the front orbital gyrus. There is a strong correlation with cross-sexed anatomy in the osmic bulb nearby, the areas of the brain associated with sexual orientation, and the corpus callosum.

      However… there are also areas where the neural development tends not to be cross-sexed; and even a very few where the neuro-anatomy corresponds neither to a male stereotype, a female stereotype, or anywhere in between – they’re just plain odd. We need to do more work here.

      There’s no evidence that the particular areas of the brain in question are plastic. Others are – but we’ve already excluded those, along with others, as they show no sexual dimorphism.

      Our current model is thus:
      Foetal environment, hormones and to a lesser extent genes, create the template for neuroanatomical development.

      After birth, certain behaviours are instinctive, and depend only on neurology, not environment.

      The process of gender crystallisation is one of (usually unconscious) comparison: “who am I most like?”. This appears to be mainly in emotional response, neither instinctive play patterns, nor appearance, nor socialisation have much to do with it, though all may have some minor role in boundary cases.

      Note that this is all evidenced theory. It fits the facts as we know them, while other hypotheses (e.g. Money’s “tabula rasa”) do not.

      • polly Says:

        Zoe we’ve been through the hypothalamus thing, again and again and again. Can you cite ANY studies where differences were shown in the hypothalamus in a number of non hormone treated subjects?

        Hmmm?

        You keep plugging away at this one.

        Yes certain behaviours are instinctive. They’re called reflexes for that reason.

        Asking “who am I most like” is a peculiar question don’t you think? Because if you asked me which of my parents I’m most like I’d say my father. Strangely a lot of lesbians will say the same. Strong relationship with their father. So maybe in a heteronormative world, they identify more with their (heterosexual) dad? Of course I was also NOT subject to gender stereotyping and told I must be ‘feminine’ in my upbringing. In fact my dad treated me like (just another) boy – they already had several.

        But I’m not even a teeny, teeny, weeny bit transsexual Zoe. Thorry. The idea of having a beard and top surgery fills me with horror.

        But given this question, don’t you think transsexuality could develop the same way? I’m most like my mother so I want to BE my mother?

        Just a thought.

        Actually I do agree with Diamond on this one. It sounds a lot more plausible than the other shit.

        But the point is we don’t know. And can never know, because you can’t separate nature and nurture. Simples!

  91. m Andrea Says:

    @Mgs, you said:

    As for your insinuation of hypocrisy, I won’t claim to being perfectly fair to all at all times in my life – I doubt many people are – however, I at least give it an honest try. Something which, from what I’ve seen out of your writing, is sadly lacking.

    In one breath, you admit to being a hypocrite — an entity I personally consider to be lower than the proverbial cockroach on the bottom of my shoe — and then claim it’s acceptable for you to be a hypocrite but somehow hypocrisy is not acceptable when others do it.

    Do you not realize how fucking stupid that sounds?

    Let’s go over the definition of hypocrisy again. Hypocrites believe that they are exempt from providing that which they demand from others. Hypocrisy deliberately creates inequalty — it’s not just a side effect — hypocrisy thrives on domination. As such, equality cannot ever exist in the presence of hypocrisy.

    Are you in interested in equality for all, or are you interested in dominating others with your emotional opinions? When you sit there and admit that you’re not interested in being fair, why the fuck do you think anybody would give your irrational opinions the time of day?

    I personally have never in my entire fucking life engaged in hypocrisy. NEVER. With the utmost contempt, I am utterly disgusted that you would so casually admit to having so little regard for anyone besides your own sorry fucking self while at the same time claiming your pathetic emotional response to anything is so paramount and of such vital concern to the entire fucking world that everybody should just drop everything and validate your irrational thoughtless selfish nonsense.

    You are the vomit of a cockroach on the bottom of my shoe.

    • MgS Says:

      Fuck you.

      I admit to being something less than an absolute saint in my life.

      Get something through your head “Miss Andrea” – the world is full of imperfect, less than absolute realities.

      At least I have the intellectual honesty to admit that I’m not perfect.

      • polly Says:

        Sorry MgS I must have blinked and missed that bit. Was that in between when you were mansplaining about why girls don’t understand science and explaining why it’s ok for you to be a hypocrite, but not anyone else?

        ROFLMAO as they say.

  92. polly Says:

    FWIW, if anyone is interested in my opinion. There MAY be a physical cause of transsexuality, we just don’t know. We can never know with current techniques. No more than we can know if there is a physical cause of homosexuality.

    But – why does it matter? Is a transsexual person (or a homosexual person) somehow more worthy of human rights because there is a physical ’cause’ of their ‘condition’. (scare quotes intentional).

    No. And you know what Zoe, as soon as they can TEST for gay genes, gay people will be toast. Selectively aborted wholesale. So I personally will not be agitating for them to discover the ‘gay gene’ anytime soon!

    You think merely Zoe that having a physically caused condition legitimates you somehow (when of course it doesn’t, at best it means you have a neurological condition). You don’t think of the downsides.

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      I do think of the downsides. But if there’s one thing history proves, it’s that Reality wins in the end.

      Is there a “Gay gene”? I think we’ve proved there isn’t. But there are genes that make it more likely by a few percent that someone will be gay.

      Will foetusses be aborted if they have, say, a 6% chance of being gay as opposed to the 5% that most have (a 20% increase)? Maybe. That would be wrong, and to be opposed, but you can’t ignore facts for very long.

      Similar gene sequences have been identified for transsexuality, and the mechanisms are probably similar. They lower the threshold so that a slightly anomalous hormone mix at a certain time in gestation has an amplified effect. But we’re talking about a 10% increase in rate at most (and different genes for MtoF and FtoM). Most trans people have neither, just as most people who develop breast cancer don’t have any of the identified pre-disposing genes.

      • polly Says:

        But if there’s one thing history proves, it’s that Reality wins in the end.

        Well if I were you Zoe, I’d be hoping it doesn’t. But I think you studied a different version of history from me. The one I studied said all men are bastards.

  93. polly Says:

    Oh I’ve found another problem with the study Zoe cited above, having found a rather more detailed explanation.

    Background
    Some gray and white matter regions of the brain are sexually dimorphic. The best MRI technique for identifying subtle differences in white matter is diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether white matter patterns in female to male (FtM) transsexuals before commencing cross-sex hormone treatment are more similar to that of their biological sex or to that of their gender identity.

    Method
    DTI was performed in 18 FtM transsexuals and 24 male and 19 female heterosexual controls scanned with a 3 T Trio Tim Magneton. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was performed on white matter fibers of the whole brain, which was spatially analyzed using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics.

    Results
    In controls, males have significantly higher FA values than females in the medial and posterior parts of the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), the forceps minor, and the corticospinal tract. Compared to control females, FtM showed higher FA values in posterior part of the right SLF, the forceps minor and corticospinal tract. Compared to control males, FtM showed only lower FA values in the corticospinal tract.

    Conclusions
    Our results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated FtM transsexuals is closer to the pattern of subjects who share their gender identity (males) than those who share their biological sex (females). Our results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals.

    Keywords: Diffusion tensor imaging; Transsexualism; Sex differences; Superior longitudinal fasciculus; Forceps minor; Corticospinal tract

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T8T-5088MHS-1&_user=10&_coverDate=06%2F08%2F2010&_alid=1396977885&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_cdi=5095&_docanchor=&view=c&_ct=2&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=5e87787f7a0ca71cddabcc9f38bdd571

    Interesting one this. The subjects were FEMALE to MALE transsexuals. The control group was HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN.

    We aren’t told the sexual orienation of the FTM transsexuals, but chances are most of them were sexually attracted to women, since most FTMs are.

    Were they just detecting a physical cause of lesbianism?

    Anyway Zoe, it says nothing about female to male transsexuals sorry.

    As with the gene study, it seems only MTFs are showing any data that could correlate with a physical cause of their condition.

  94. polly Says:

    Male to female transsexuals, I’ve done it again!

  95. polly Says:

    Try again

    Anyway Zoe, it says nothing about male to female transsexuals sorry.

    As with the gene study, it seems only FTMs are showing any data that could correlate with a physical cause of their condition.

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      See:

      A polymorphism of the CYP17 gene related to sex steroid metabolism is associated with female-to-male but not male-to-female transsexualism by Bentz et al Fertility and Sterility , Volume 90 , Issue 1 , Pages 56 – 59

      Association study of gender identity disorder and sex hormone-related genes by Ujike et al, Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Oct 1;33(7):1241-4.:

      Androgen Receptor Repeat Length Polymorphism Associated with Male-to-Female Transsexualism by Hare at al in Biol.Psych. Vol65, Issue 1, Pp 93-96

      Note that the Ujike paper in conjunction with the Hare paper narrows it down considerably – One experiment, Ujike’s one showing no evidence of correlation, examined only exon 1 of the AR gene, the one for which tests are most easily available as it has an association with prostate cancer and certain other conditions. Hare’s paper did not confine itself to exon 1. We also have greater confidence that neither the CYP19 nor ERβ genes play any role.

      It must be emphasised though that the effects are subtle. It is a slight increase in susceptibility, 10% more likely at most. Again, compare and contrast to exposure to the anti-abortifacient drug DES, an estrogenic (female sex hormone) compound during the first trimester of foetal development. There it’s not ~10%, it’s ~50,000%. Genes play a role, just not a very important one in comparison.

  96. polly Says:

    But as ever Zoe, if that study is robust, it can be replicated. Though I’d suggest they replicate it with a different control group – women who identify as lesbians.

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      Concur. Absolutely. We need a larger sample size, control groups of straight women, lesbian women, bi women, straight men, gay men, bi men, people who are taking hormones as part of cancer treatment… and replicate the experiments in different labs by different groups to try to reduce experimenter bias.

      I won’t get into the argument that just because someone self-identifies as lesbian, that that doesn’t prove that they’re *real* lesbians, or even that lesbians exist… I consider such arguments not very useful, and extremely silly.

      • polly Says:

        Well I don’t. Sexual attraction (exclusively) to women is a real phenomenon, but study the history of human sexuality (or just go out on the gay scene) and you’ll see the influence of FASHION Zoe.

        Or just google ‘hasbian’.

        Or Anne Heche, or Jackie Clune, or many of the other females who turned straight after varying lengths of time as a lesbian. Or meet my mate’s (charming) ex who swings between bi and lesbian with dizzying regularity.

        But yes lesbians exist. You’ll get no argument from me there.

  97. factcheckme Says:

    So go on Zoe, answer me. If you already ARE a woman, why have surgery, why take hormones? It doesn’t make sense does it?
    heh. this one they avoid at all costs, dont they?

    • Nicky Says:

      I’ll bet you Zoe can’t answer that because Zoe can’t admit why he has all the surgery and hormones. Zoe can’t even admit that he doesn’t even have any Intersex condition.

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      A number of reasons.

      First, removal of the dysfunctional glands was imperative. A pre-cancerous lesion had been detected quite early on one, and as they had retracted internally since then, the risk was far greater.

      Secondly, the urinary tract needed replumbing, there was difficulty with micturation, due to the genital atrophy. Basically, the end of the urethra was internal, and it needed externalising into an approximately normal female position.

      However.. those two reasons did not require a full reconstruction including a neo-vagina. A Barbie Doll genitalia would have sufficed. Surgery was necessary, but not the very expensive reconstruction that I had to travel overseas to get. A local surgeon could have done the minimum needed for continued health locally, at half the price. Just as they do sex reassignment surgery for trans women with approximately normal genitalia.

      The full reconstruction I did not because it was necessary, but because I wanted to. The same way that women who have been victimised by FGM want reconstructions to something approximating a sensate norm.

      Now since you arrogantly required me to discuss my genitalia in detail, please give me a complete run-down of yours. Length of labia for example, whether you shave or not… your first sexual experience, and exactly what shape your hymen is in.

      Actually, don’t. I’m not interested. I only said that to show you just how much arrogant privilege you’re demonstrating. And the reason I humoured you was in order to educate, not because you had the right as someone superior to me to ask those questions.

      • polly Says:

        Zoe you previously claimed to be a protandrous dichogamous hermaphrodite, am I correct?

        A condtion more commonly found in clownfish

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clownfish

        which start life as male and then mutate into females. Or plants. Dichogamous = sequential hermaphroditism. Protandrous = starts as male.

        You now appear to be claiming that you have a condition similar to -or actual – Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.

        That is trying to translate what you’ve said above into something like comprehensible English.

        Props to you for sticking it out Zoe, but I’m calling bullshit. You are a common or garden MTF transsexual. Self deluding variety. I’m glad I’ve met some sensible MTF’s by the way, or I’d think they were all bonkers! As it is, I think it’s just you and few more inhabitants of the WWW. (Christen MgS, to name but two).

        Which is NONE of my business – true – until you start exercising YOUR MALE PRIVILEGE by a)treating females like idiots and b)saying we have to accept you as female.

        If you want to be claim you are female Zoe, genitals are FAIRLY important. Otherwise they’re nobody’s business, I agree with you entirely.

        Now I may be exercising the ‘privilege’ of having my very own home grown vagina, (oh look at me and my genitals), but the point is that vagina is what makes me approximately twice as likely to experience child sexual abuse, likely to earn less, etc etc etc. So you know what Zoe being ‘protandrous’ matters. In fact I’ve invented a new phrase, you heard it here first.

        Protandrous privilege.

  98. factcheckme Says:

    The same way that women who have been victimised by FGM want reconstructions to something approximating a sensate norm.
    define “same”.

  99. Nicky Says:

    It’s very typical of Zoe, using science and pseudoscience to prove and justify his transsexuality. Even now Zoe somewhere gotta be claiming intersex to justify his transsexuality. Zoe can’t even explain why he had all the surgeries and all the hormones. It’s very common for people like Zoe to use science to justify who they are and knowing that they don’t have all the evidence to back up their claim.This is why all the evidence that Zoe is putting up in here is meaning less and it’s not factual.

  100. polly Says:

    I agree with you Nicky, I think it stinks to claim you’re intersex when you’re not.

    • Nicky Says:

      @polly
      Oh tell me about it. I’m starting to get sick and tired of people like Zoe claiming to be intersex. Only to use the Intersex as an excuse or to deflect responsibility for their SRS and hormones. Making life harder for Real Intersex people to exist, when you have people like Zoe going around the internet claim that they are intersex. Even people like Zoe, who is claiming to be intersex just so he can justify his own transsexuality and why he can’t admit he’s a transsexual. This is why I am seeing a classic example of why people like Zoe using science to explain and justify their own existence. When in reality, science doesn’t even fit the logic and it becomes inconvenient for them.

  101. thebewilderness Says:

    This is why I am seeing a classic example of why people like Zoe using science to explain and justify their own existence.

    Perhaps that is the key to the puzzle in original post, Nicky.

    Transpeople continually chant that any objection to transgenderism is the same as a demand for them to validate their very existence.

    Projection.
    Could it be that simple?

    • Nicky Says:

      The issue their is that trans people such as Zoe are using science as a weapon to validate their existence to people and even demand society to validate their very existence. Even when people disprove their science and disprove their objections. Which is why you have people like Zoe and Cristan trying to use science to prove their existence when their evidence doesn’t support it. To trans people, it becomes their inconvenient truth because the science they try and point to is not proven enough to validate them. As a result, they can’t seem to get past the fact that science can’t prove or even validate their science.

  102. Cristan Says:

    I gotta say, I’m done reading Nicky, Thebewilderness and Polly. They’re nothing more than cacafuegos.

    I really appreciate mAndrea’s July 8, 2010 2:07 pm response and look forward to what she has to share!

  103. m Andrea Says:

    Thanks Cristan. Turned out I did enjoy chatting with you and hope you stop by periodically.

    Mgs. Never in my life have I ever met a person who was so casually willing to admit to hypocrisy — your attitude is not normal at all.

  104. thebewilderness Says:

    I gotta say, I’m done reading Nicky, Thebewilderness and Polly. They’re nothing more than cacafuegos.

    Thank you so much for that. You live up to my every expectation.

  105. polly Says:

    Oh another lovely new word…

    Cacafuego 1.A spit-fire; a bragging, vaporing fellow

    Men really can’t take it when women are manifestly more intelligent and well informed than them can they? Try staying off the hallucinogens Cristan, you’ll find it helps clear thinking a lot. (Though you still can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear). And the alkaline of course! That milk stuff can be dangerous……

    • Nicky Says:

      That’s why Polly, trans people can’t take it when women like you who are far more intelligent and well informed than them. They try so hard to validate themselves and try to prove to people and society that they are women. Even when they try use science to prove to people they are women. The science they try to use, dose not even stand up to intelligent women such as Polly and m Andrea. That’s why people like Zoe, Mgs and Cristan try to hard but fail miserably in their attempts to use science to prove their so called womanhood.

  106. polly Says:

    Oh and on a side note….

    http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/crime/s/1301598_sexswap_lets_porn_pervert_dodge_prison?rss=yes&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+menews%2Fnews+%28News+-+Manchester+Evening+News+-+RSS+Feed%29

    A transsexual who downloaded sickening child porn has been spared jail after a judge said she would not be safe in prison.

    Laura Voyce, 20, who used to be called Luke, could have been locked up for nine months after being convicted of 14 counts of downloading indecent images of children.

    But Judge Lesley Newton handed Voyce a suspended sentence after saying prison would be an ‘appalling experience’ for the sex offender. Voyce, who is in the process of having a sex change, is biologically a man but legally a woman.

    Judge Newton said: “Frankly, you deserve to go to prison, but I can’t bring myself to send you to prison, entirely because I think prison would be an appalling experience for you. I do not see how you could be kept safe in a prison environment with the best will in the world on the part of those who run such establishments.”

    She added: “I’m satisfied that you downloaded those images with a view to perverted sexual gratification. I take these offences very seriously; these are real children who are being abused so that people like you can look at them.”

    Manchester Crown Court had heard how a stash of child porn was found on Voyce’s computer by police investigating another allegation. Four of the 14 images uncovered were at level 4, the second worst category of child pornography, and depicted youngsters being abused.

    The images were discovered when Voyce was living in Withington, Manchester in 2008.

    Voyce claimed she looked at pictures of partly-naked youngsters in a bid to come to terms with her troubled childhood.

    Kay Driver, defending, told the court that if she were jailed Voyce faced being sent to a male prison. She said: “She’s clearly going to be extremely vulnerable in a male prison environment.”

    She said Voyce, who now lives in Kirkby, Merseyside, still maintains her innocence,but has ‘an appreciation of the harm these offences cause’.

    She added that her client had suffered ‘gender insecurities’ throughout her youth which had led to ‘substantial bullying’, ‘isolation’, and ‘disrespect for her own body which led her to be used by others’.

    She said that Voyce, who is legally certified as female, was engaged to be married.

    Handing Voyce a nine-month sentence suspended for a year and 100 hours unpaid work, Judge Newton ordered her to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years and told her she would be jailed if she fell foul of the law again

    Oh noes, what about the poor sex offenders!

  107. polly Says:

    ALL sex offenders are extremely vulnerable in a male prison environment actually. That’s why they are usually kept segregated. I don’t see why the same couldn’t have been done for Voyce. Who doesn’t deserve the dignity of a first name. Whatever it is.

  108. thebewilderness Says:

    Since they are legally a woman they would have to go to a womens institution.
    They would not be safe there.

  109. polly Says:

    No, that’s not the case actually. It’s up to the discretion of the authorities basically. Voyce still has a penis and could be sent to a male prison. There are already quite a few pre op trannsexuals in UK male jails. (usually for sex offences or offences of violence against women). Voyce would probably have been sent to a male prison, and definitely SHOULD be.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1294620/Transsexual-downloaded-child-porn-escapes-jail-judge-says-appalling-experience-her.html

    Anyway Voyce isn’t going to be safe anywhere anyway, and I hope no one is going to mistake me for someone who gives a shit.

    Cos I don’t. Excuse me while I fail to weep if any paedophile gets the fat they deserve.

    • thebewilderness Says:

      The law is different regarding that on this side of the pond. It also varies from state to state. I should not have assumed that it would be the same there as here.

      • polly Says:

        The irony is that Voyce IS legally a woman of course, despite still having a penis. I’ve seen it reported elsewhere that this isn’t the case. Well it is. It says in all the reports I’ve read that voyce is legally a woman (ie has a gender recognition certificate) and is engaged to be married!

        You DO NOT need to have had surgery to be a ‘woman’ in the wacky ol’ UK!. So Voyce could apply to work in a women’s refuge and claim ‘discrimination’ if turned down. Now Voyce is a registered sex offender of course, that wouldn’t happen, but plenty of sex offenders never get convicted.

        However some sense prevails and prisons are one place it does. But now always of course as we found out from the case of Karen Louise Lawson aka Mark John Jones. It’s illegal even to disclose Lawson’s real name! Pity it’s still on the internet….

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/3161209.stm

  110. polly Says:

    Oh and I’m just going to do some (MORE) maths. There are approximately 30,000 people on the sex offenders register in the UK.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6076664.stm

    There are approximately 7,500 people in the UK who’ve had their gender reassigned legally. Let’s guess 6,000 of those are trans women.

    Of those TWO have been in the news as sex offenders in the past year. So lets do some maths.

    1 in 3000 versus a uk population of approx 60 million.

    If extrapolated up this would mean that 20,000 out of 60 million trans women would be registered sex offenders – which we can see is nearly the same as the rest of the population EXCEPT of course, that there are more than 2 trans women on the sex offenders register.

    This gives the lie very much to the often repeated statistic that trans women are no risk at all.

    Oh only 2% of those on the sex offenders register are women of course. Extrapolated up that would give 600 registered female sex offenders in the UK. (2% of 30,000)

    Quite a difference isn’t it!

    Conclusion: trans women are very much more more likely to be sex offenders than FAB women.

    I’ll bring you more trans sex offender news when I’ve got time.

  111. polly Says:

    Here’s another

    IRELAND’S most vile sex beast fled the country last night and will have a sex change abroad in the coming weeks.

    Michael Bambrick born Ballyfermot, Dublin, was jailed for 18 years for the murders of Patricia McCauley and Mary Cummins, whose dismembered bodies were found in the area of Ronanstown, Clondalkin. Bambrick first murdered common law wife McCauley in 1992.

    Bambrick’s release has caused outrage as he served only six years for each of his victims and it is unlikely he will be put on the Sex Offenders Register as he was jailed before it became law.

    The cross-dressing monster is known to be fixated with bondage and sex games and it was during one of these sordid sessions he killed his victims

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/EVIL+BAMBRICK+TO+HAVE+SEX+CHANGE%3B+Sick+pervert+can+return+to+Ireland…-a0198442929

  112. polly Says:

    (some of these are ‘just’ murderers of course).

    Rapist here though.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/World/Story/STIStory_347815.html

  113. polly Says:

    I’ve noticed that apart from one ‘call the Hague, human rights are being infringed here’ post (Voyce’s of course, not the abused children, what do they matter), the big trans blogs are strangely silent on the subject of Ms Voyce.

    I also notice an absence of Christen, MgS and Zoe lining up to condemn their sister.

    Funny that.

    • Nicky Says:

      Yea polly, I notice that their so called trans sisters like Christen, MgS and Zoe aren’t lining up to condemn one of their own and try to disown them for their actions.

      It’s funny how they like to condemn feminist and anyone who doesn’t like or support the transgender community. But when it’s one of their own that dose something like what you reported Polly. They all fall on silent deaf ears.

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      I note that you don’t always condemn every cis-sexual child rapist all over the world too.

      My attitude is that either we make it official that trans people be punished by rape, torture and execution, or that such unofficial punishments cease for all prisoners.

      The current situation, where someone who so obviously deserves serious jail time cannot be put there because they’d be raped and tortured to death is unacceptable.

      Note that for trans women in particular, the crime doesn’t have to be of this nature to be punished this way; neither is a conviction necessary. Arrest is enough.

      Inquiry into a death, Coroner J Abernethy, Wednesday 21 July 1999. Ref: W308 201/99 JI-D1.

      December 1997. After an appearance in a Local Court, bail was refused and Ms M. was remanded in custody. Late on 22 December she was transported to a remand and reception centre where that night and into the morning of December 23 she underwent induction assessment. She was identified as transgender by the welfare officer and it was determined she should go into a “protection” wing. Having spent December 24 in court Ms M. spent December 25 and 26 in “strict protection”. During this time she was brutally raped at least twice during daylight hours. The attacks were so vicious that two other prisoners took the unusual step of reporting the incidents and giving sworn evidence. On December 27 Ms M. was found dead in her cell hanging by a shoelace.

      We’re agitating for another inquiry to start in another death of a trans woman who was put into a male jail (against regulations), and was found hanged to death recently – her hands having been broken first.

      I note that you haven’t condemned these incidents.

      • polly Says:

        I note you have not condemned Laura Voyce. Despite it being drawn to your attention, by not me, but others.

        Do you think ‘cis’ women or ‘cis’ men don’t get raped/murdered in prison Zoe?

        When are you going to condemn THAT?

        • polly Says:

          And I condemned quite a few cis-sexual child rapists and adult rapists on my blog actually Zoe.

          When they are brought to my attention.

          However you have STILL failed to condemn Voyce, and Lawson/Jones and the shedload of other trans murderers/rapists/child molesters I’ve drawn your attention to above.

        • Zoe Brain Says:

          “The current situation, where

          —> ***someone who so obviously deserves serious jail time*** <—

          cannot be put there because they’d be raped and tortured to death is unacceptable."

          If you don't see that as condemnation….

  114. m Andrea Says:

    Zoe, in theory I could feel sorry for anything and everything. That’s why in practice I must reserve my energy to look at systematic injustice, and particulars of same.

    And really, Polly has a point. There wouldn’t even be so many stories about tran experience in prison if there wasn’t such a large percentage of trans committing assault, rape, or murder.

    It’s really weird — and by that I mean suspicious — the way we only hear about a trans getting busted is afterwards, when the trans is victimized in prison — or claims to be. Please notice how NONE of these born males are ever convicted of white collar crime, they always get busted for their own violent behavior. I wonder if most trans supporters are aware of THAT?

  115. polly Says:

    Indeed, hello, would Voyce be in any danger of being sent to prison, if Voyce had not DOWNLOADED CHILD PORN?

  116. polly Says:

    And Voyce would not be ‘raped and tortured to death’ at all. There are already a number of MTF transsexuals in UK jails. Like Karen Louise Lawson, the murderer/rapist, complete with penis, who has now been transferred to a female jail lest the poor dear’s human rights be infringed.

  117. polly Says:

    Oh Zoe

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7108676.stm

    I remember when that was ALL OVER the trans blogs.

  118. polly Says:

    You get the point don’t you Zoe?

    Voyce made worldwide news…

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/transsexual-spared-jail-for-own-safety-20100714-10b68.html

    But the trans blogs who usually jump up and down at anything trans related stayed entirely silent about the whole thing.

    Another inconvenient truth maybe?

  119. polly Says:

    I think Zoe that anyone who constantly wrote about what a terrible time rapists and murderers get in prison without also thinking about their victims could be accused of hypocrisy don’t you?

    But who would do a thing like that?

  120. polly Says:

    You might also want to take a look Zoe at what happens to female asylum seekers in this great country I live in, where the rights of paedophiles (but especially trans paedophiles) matter more than the rights of abused children. Because of course, they’ve not committed any crime at all, other than trying to escape dire circumstances.

    You can start here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarl's_Wood_Immigration_Removal_Centre

    I know a champion of human rights such as yourself will want to take this cause on.

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      When there’s such a great champion of women’s rights as yourself to do this, my efforts are best devoted elsewhere.

      I look forward to your multiple posts on the injustices you’ve raised, which I can then refer to and amplify. Your research skills are exemplary.

      Polly, I wish I really could give all these issues the attention they deserve. Starting with women’s rights in the Pushtun region of Afghanistan, then on to FGM prevention, and so much more.

      I’ve taken rather a lot of abuse here without answering back. It would do no good to do so, I’ll let the abuse speak for itself. If it’s warranted, then I shouldn’t complain. And if it’s not, it reflects on the abusers rather than me.

      Despite this, and your determination to win the dielectic contest at all costs rather than inform, I have a great deal of respect for you – for what little that’s worth. I don’t pretend it’s much, nor do I think you’ll value my opinion one jot or tittle.

      You could do so much good, make a real difference, in some of the areas you use and discard as mere weapons to be wielded against those you are hostile towards.

      I wish I had the time, and the resources, to be a “human rights champion” as you so sarcastically called me. I’m just one lone voice, at the ends of the Earth, trying to do what I can about areas I have personal knowledge about. In between bringing up a small boy, and trying to complete a PhD.

      Maybe you could do some of this for me? You have the passion for justice, the intellect, and really, really good research skills, as I’ve mentioned before.

      We disagree drastically on some things, sure. But as regards prison rape for example, or pedophilia, child abuse in all its forms, I think our differences are ones of detail, not principle. And they’re too important to be treated as disposable issues in a sterile argument between two entrenched positions.

      One other thing I should respect you for. You have let me express opinions on your blog, opinions you disagree with. To state the obvious, that shows intellectual integrity.

      I’m not saying all this for your benefit: but for those who are lurking without commenting.

      • polly Says:

        Well I wouldn’t say my research skills are exemplary at all Zoe, I’d say I can use google. And I also respect that you are willing to publish opposing opinions on your blog.

        I never censored comments when I had a blog because I wouldn’t want to say anything I didn’t believe 100% and that I didn’t think stood up to scrutiny. So someone took advantage of that to play dirty. What a surprise.

        I started out Zoe, wishing to be fair. I still wish to be fair. Unfortunately some people (I am not referring to yourself here) have no interest in rapprochement, but merely in silencing all opposing voices by any means they can. But some of us refuse to roll over and submit.

  121. Nicky Says:

    That’s why the problem with people like Zoe, is that they will jump at anything that is trans related on the bad side for them. If it was one of their own doing the bad stuff such as child porn. It all falls on silent deaf ears.

    That’s why Zoe is using his mansplaining of why he condemns anyone with bigotry and hatred of transgender people. But when it’s one of his own committing a violent crime, he can’t even explain why and even condemn one of his own.

  122. m Andrea Says:

    What the hell Zoe? You never publish any of my comments.

  123. factcheckme Says:

    what a bullshit deflection! IF ONLY there were say a dozen rapes and murders a year by “cis-gendered” men (oh if only!) if that were the case, i am sure that there would be some feminist somewhere who would report on and catalogue, each one, and taunt the rapists viciously. even if there were a few hundred, i could pretty easily imagine every fucking one of them being given the full treatment, in one way or another, by someone.

    and the transactivists cant even get their head aroud criticising ONE or TEN or TWENTY of their own, who rape and/or murder. NO, NOT ONE. not a single fucking one.

    completely ignoring of course that its impossible to tell whether a man who rapes and murders is “cis” or not. how do we know what they fucking “feeeeel” on the inside? besides rapey and homicidal, that is.

  124. polly Says:

    It is bullshit FCM because I used to regularly carry blog pieces on rapes and sexual assault and those who commit them.

    The point is the big trans blogs regularly report every single tiny bit of news, about trans people. The voyce case made WORLDWIDE news (go to google news and type in Laura Voyce if you don’t believe me). But have I seen it mentioned on ANY trans blog apart from some bullshit about how it wasn’t safe for Voyce to be sent to a male prison, (In that case no paedophile should be sent to prison then, and Ian Huntley, whom several other prisoners have sworn to kill, should be released immediately).

    FACT some prisoners are in danger of attack from others – those who have harmed children always are. For instance the mother of Shannon Matthews is being kept in solitary confinement. Is this a reason not to send them to prison?

    http://www.metro.co.uk/news/434138-shannons-mum-to-go-into-solitary

    Of course none of the big ‘feminist’ blogs have reported it either. The ones which also carry every single bit of news when a trans person was slightly offended by a bit of ‘misgendering’. The ones which report extensively on cases such as Angie Zapata, but mysteriously fail to report on ya know, plain old FEMALES being murdered. One would almost think they thought the male born were more important or something.

    Like I said, funny that. But not very.

  125. polly Says:

    And of course the trans lobby is quite happy to tell females how they should run their blogs.

    http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2008/08/an_open_letter_2

  126. thebewilderness Says:

    Quote: “When there’s such a great champion of women’s rights as yourself to do this, my efforts are best devoted elsewhere.

    Let me guess.
    WATM? Right?

  127. thebewilderness Says:

    I swear to you I closed that tag!

  128. thebewilderness Says:

    Hah!

    Is the third time the charm?

    EDIT BY M ANDREA haha, the tag was closed in this comment but never opened. Let’s see if that fixes things. I heart Bewilderness, btw.

  129. lisentia Says:

    To begin: I’m a transwoman. Period. Define that as you wish.

    I’ve spent the last three days reading through this entire thread, including all of the discussion and multiply multiple comments by Polly. The conversation between Polly & Zoe Brain (and others) comes down to a very simple statement that I shall make here.

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    In my own personal opinion, the trans community as a whole is extremely fractured and disorganized. The use of words, descriptions and definitions is, in no way shape or form, unified. Trans-activism is in its infancy, based on the perceived frustration with belonging to and aligning with Gay & Lesbian focused organizations.

    There is, simply put, a lack of reputable research that has been done to study the trans experience. As a transwoman, and constant seeker of knowledge, I’ve read many (but not all) of the cited works in this thread to attempt to understand WHY I felt the way that I felt about myself.

    In a nutshell, I think the absolute best way that I can describe it is thusly:

    Based on the social norms, and dichotomy in sexually oriented behaviors I feel more comfortable wearing clothing associated with the female member of society and being treated as such.

  130. m Andrea Says:

    Hi Lisentia, thanks for your comment! Only checking this blog every few days, which is why your other comment didn’t get posted right away. Once approved though, you can chat at much as you want.

    Based on the social norms, and dichotomy in sexually oriented behaviors I feel more comfortable wearing clothing associated with the female member of society and being treated as such.

    No doubt that is true for many if not most transfolk. They just feel more comfortable. And just as there isn’t anything “wrong” with a biological female who wants to express herself in the ways traditionally associated with masculinity, there also isn’t anything “wrong” with a biological male who wants to express himself in the ways traditionally associated with femininity. But our society doesn’t freely permit men to express much femininity without harrassing the absolute crap out of them, and that is indeed wrong.

  131. m Andrea Says:

    WordPress is putting everything in italics, buggy bugs buggery.

  132. m Andrea Says:

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    That is partially true, however, something else is completely true: correlation is not causation. Also completely true: The absence of evidence is not proof of anything.

    Long time ago, Twisty wrote a post trying to define “woman”, as in “what is a woman”. She might have changed her mind since she wrote that, but at the time Twisty decided that since the term woman could not be defined, then somehow that meant that anybody could be a woman. It’s classic “either/or” crap thinking. If something can’t be defined as blue then somehow it must be yellow — which only works until we remember that yellow isn’t the only possible answer.

    Using gender as our example, when the term woman cannot be defined then it doesn’t automagically mean that anybody is a woman — because logic tells us that there exist other possible answers, such as true or false or INDETERMINATE. In addition to that particular problem, “What is a woman” is a bad question in the same way that “what is an animal who quacks” is a bad question — the question is using a pre-defined definition to define itself. The whole thing is fucking circular as hell.

    Not sure if that point is clear so let’s try again. Asking “what is a woman” is problematic because the question is implicitly presupposing that certain traits are womanly and now that we know that certain traits are womanly only then bothers to ask “so do these womanly traits which we’ve already decided are womanly define the term woman accurately enough?”

    Her post was also conflating biological markers of biological sex with socially constructed ideals of gender, btw. If I could ever find her frickin post I might write one of my own on it. A better question to ask (not technically correct, just better) would be: “Is this particular trait X useful when trying to define the term woman?” Unfortunately, regardless which non-biological trait we pick, the answer is always no, which means that too is still a bad question.

    The answers to the question “what is a duck” all concern themselves with biological or more precisely, phenotypical markers, hello. The answers do not involve our mythological idealism of the animal’s spirit, which is only a ***consequence*** of the interaction of its genotype and it’s environment, after all. Notice the dependancy…

  133. lisentia Says:

    I’m perfectly familiar with the idea that correlation is not causation.

    The phrase came to mind regarding absence of evidence after reading through this thread. It seemed to me that there was a requirement to “prove it” when it comes to how I feel, and how I live my life.

    I have done my due diligence. I have taken the time to read through a large number of your blogs, and so I state that at this time, I respectfully detract myself from this conversation and will refrain from commenting on any TERF blog from henceforth. =)

  134. factcheckme Says:

    miss a, that was a beautiful response. well done! it is all so circular, its all dependant on the assumptions it trying to push as fact…its a goddamned joke it what it is, except that its really not funny, at all. its all a house of cards, and once again, instead of addressing any actual issues, the most rational trans-response is “but i exist!” well no shit, you exist. that is a true statement. but its not a responsive one. is it asking too much that people who are allegedly “responding” to a post, understand what “responsive” actually means, and then DO IT?

    god. its so boring.

  135. factcheckme Says:

    and LOL about the itallics. WTF? did bewilderness do that? :)

  136. factcheckme Says:

    i imagine a “true” statement is preferable to the normal barrage of lies though, like zoe and her ilk are forever pushing on innocent lurkers and intrepid newbies who might not know any better. although TRUTH is not the same as RESPONSIVE. its also NOT NECESSARILY RELEVANT. duh.

  137. polly Says:

    Lisentia, I never SAID absence of evidence is evidence of absence. It is not evidence of presence either though.

    I suggest you familiarise yourself with the flying spaghetti monster.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

  138. polly Says:

    Well anyone CAN be a woman M Andrea, depending on how you define woman.

    Whether or not someone fits the commonly accepted definition of the word WOMAN – adult female human being – is a different matter. However as I am fond of pointing out, one meaning of ‘woman’ is the reverse side of a coin.

  139. polly Says:

    The italics are annoying me

  140. polly Says:

    Based on the social norms, and dichotomy in sexually oriented behaviors I feel more comfortable wearing clothing associated with the female member of society and being treated as such.

    Funny, I’ve always felt like this….

    Based on the social norms, and dichotomy in sexually oriented behaviors I feel more comfortable wearing clothing associated with the male member of society and being treated as such.

    Shame it doesn’t happen eh?

  141. m Andrea Says:

    OH! Humble apologies, Lisentia, 99% of my comment was addressing Zoe’s reoccurring misuse of an argument in a roundabout way, in addition to something else I was contemplating. Sorry I wasn’t more clear.

    Personally, I have no doubt that transfolk “feel” a certain way (and don’t have a problem with other people who feel emotional responses to various circumstances). But I do see a huge problem with trying to manipulate policy of any kind based upon feelings. The reason bullying is wrong is because bullying violates a right to which Johnny is entitled — NOT because bullying hurts Johnny’s feelings. There are a great many young or immature people who believe that how they feel about something should dictate policy but reasonable folks understand that policy needs to rest upon actual rights to which people are actually entitled. My saying that of course hurts their feelings and they can’t get beyond how they feel feel feel about something BECAUSE THEY LACK THE ABILITY TO REASON. (That annoys me no end so I bring it up every chance I get, lol)

    Obviously, you are not one of those people, Lisentia. :)

    A biological male can express himself in whatever manner of extreme femininity that he desires, and more power to him. The ONLY problem I have with any of that is when he says he does it “because he IS a woman”. The reason I have a problem with that is because that ideology reinforces extremely harmful gender roles — ie “this thing X is only performed or expressed by females while this thing Z is only preformed or expressed by males”.

    The following is a logical argument: IF any trait can only be performed or expressed by only one particular biological sex, THEN how do the transgendered explain the patently obvious fact that all humans can desire to perform and perform well, those traits associated with the other biological sex? It makes no sense to say “because I feel like expressing this trait X and because I associate this trait with some bioloigcal sex, that I must BE that biological sex.” It doesn’t pass the logic test and it will NEVER pass the logic test.

    At the same time, I also realise that if someone has an extreme tendancy to react to most stimuli as if from a particular perspective, I can see how that person would more likely get the treatment they want if they ADVERTISE their desired perspective through their presentation. Again, I don’t have a problem with that. I dress pretty ambiguously in the crazy hope that other people will treat me as I prefer — as a human being who is capable of experiencing any human trait and capable of performing any human task. Usually doesn’t happen though… they usually slot me into a box of their own choosing and magically expect me to conform to their wacky choices.

  142. m Andrea Says:

    Went back to close tags on every comment and took the italics out of Bewilderness’s comment completely but I think wordpress is still doing it. Apologies.

  143. m Andrea Says:

    A while back somewhere else I threatened to write a particular post. In a nutshell: if anybody at all can make transgenderism pass the logic test then I’ll support them %100.

  144. lisentia Says:

    Again, I have detracted myself from this conversation. There is no further need to address me at all. My reasons include factcheckme and Polly’s subsequent remarks. Yup, I’m just another internet nickname so you can discount me all you wish =)

  145. m Andrea Says:

    Lisentia, the thing I would like transfolk to prove is the actual existence of gender and that gender is always matched with biological sex. It’s already clear that transfolk do feel like X, but the real question is does X exist.

    To continue my mini-blog post. One phenotype of fish is that they have fins, another is that they have gills, not legs and lungs like humans. The consequence of having fins and gills is that anybody with fins and gills tends to react to their biology by spending their entire live in water. We then assume and subscribe a personality type to someone who spends their entire lives in water — but our assumptions regarding their personality is only a consequence of their biology intersecting with their environment plus hey did you notice we ASSUMED crap?

    The phenotype of females is that they are physically small when compared to males, on average. This smallness has an effect on individual and group behavior: consider how easy it would be to intimidate someone who is physically smaller than you, you don’t even have to mention that you could beat the holy crap out of them if you wanted. It doesn’t even have to be said or even hinted at, it’s so obvious. And this physical intimidation of females by males has occurred so many times over the last few thousand years that of course certain submissive behavior would result both in individuals and class-wide. So after females are intimidated into submission by abusive males, THEN we as a society make up stories to explain why females are so submissive which conveniently enough deliberately hides the fact that males are abusive assholes to those they claim to love.

  146. Ssssss Says:

    Would you consider dropping in? I’m getting sick and have to quit for a bit. There’s a definite place here that you fit well.

    At the Globe and Mail.
    http://tinyurl.com/28d39rs

    Sis

  147. Schala Says:

    I can easily skip your comments, because I know they’ll say the exact same thing the above poster said. At best you add ‘intersex this’ or ‘intersex that’, which you take from thin air.

    [edit by m Andrea] I’m sorry you feel that your twelve pages of non-logical ranting won’t be appreciated. It might help if you were interested in having a conversation, and not just repeating somebody else’s lecture from a UFO convention.

    Come back when you wanna have a conversation. Sorry to sound so mean, but srsly, twelve pages? [end edit]

  148. Schala Says:

    I shortened it greatly (now it’s one page of notepad), only keeping the main points. But I did read the thread, and it does address points that were posed in the OP, or in the comments. So it is a conversation.

    The part you left above is only addressed to Nicky.

    If you have a good reaction to hormones, you’ll barely notice it, you’ll be as full of life and happy as you would otherwise be. If you got a bad reaction, you’ll notice and it will affect you greatly negatively.

    Since reincarnation might have been a long way down, I decided to give transition a shot. Maybe I’d get a will to live. Some sort of ambition. Less depression. It worked, lucky me.

    This has precious little with “expressing feminity”, which I already did anyways. I wanted to live, and that’s the only way I can – with a female body.

    Refer to Zoe’s post about 2/3 of people being fine with a given assignment. I’m part of the 1/3 that isn’t. That’s how testosterone is poisonous, and maybe tied to my resisting it (very very little effects from it, visibly speaking).

    The alternatives you present:
    1) Live as a man with a male body (no treatment at all) but feminine.
    2) Live as a man with a female body (hormones, surgery), regardless of feminine – but keep identifying as a man.
    3) Endure it and don’t do a thing.

    and I’d add 4) Suicide

    None of them work for me.

    So I go with 5) Transition hormonally, surgically, socially and legally.

    A woman who dresses androgynously enough and goes to work in company X, but gets ‘sired’ sometimes, well she could require the company employees to address her as ma’am, regardless of what they think. It’s basic respect, but apparently needs to be legislated. A trans woman simply asks for the same thing.

    Feeling is something you can rely on, like when you go to a doctor. If your back hurts, it’s not necessarily cut in half or making you bend in a weird direction, it just hurts. And it’s something you feel. Like that testosterone poisoning. If people decided you were deluded and couldn’t possibly having a back ache, because they don’t think it’s possible without scientific evidence, I don’t think you would just ignore your back ache.

    And well, it’s something you feel about yourself, not about others. If I felt gays shouldn’t marry, it’s a different kind of feel anyways.

  149. m Andrea Says:

    Funnily enough I just came back to make my reply to you less rude, but you’ve already seen it so too late now. Sorry, but for some strange reason I have an aversion to comments which bluntly state “I’m not gonna listen to anything you have to say but hey YOU MUST LISTEN TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”.

    It’s rude, and you started off rude and now I’m supposed to assume you know HOW to have a conversation with someone who has already said elsewhere that they like conversation, not lectures. Hmmmm.

    No offense but I tend to notice when people make assertions with no actual evidence, and all of what you wrote is simply your opinion. Boiled down, here is your argument:

    X makes me happy, therefore X is valid and acceptable and everybody should let me do X despite the fact that many people have already produced actual arguments and actual evidence which actually does proves that X is harmful.

  150. m Andrea Says:

    The purpose of an argument is that once proved, the conclusion stands. If somebody doesn’t want the conclusion to stand then they need to show how the evidence doesn’t support the assertion. Claiming someone doesn’t “like” the conclusion is kinda silly.

    Here’s an actual argument, if you want one: Gender fluidity does not validate biological sex fluidity. In other words, my assertion is that regardless how easy it is for a biological female to feel as if her character is more attuned to traits which are currently associated with masculinity, there is still no reason to claim that she is a biological male who was abducted by aliens or mistakenly inhabiting the “wrong” body.

    My evidence which supports my assertion is: Any physical body is perfectly capable of expressing whatever trait it wants in the body it was born with, and is only barred from doing so by current social norms. And so my conclusion becomes: Therefore it becomes true that the transperson is merely conforming to social pressure.

    That’s one of my favorite arguments, because it’s so short. And of course, it works as a good jumping off point — why reinforce such an incredibly oppressive system such as sexism by claiming “if I feel like this then I must be a boy” and why spend tons of money on surgery when we could just get rid of such outdated expectations of gender?

  151. Schala Says:

    Well, reading comments here m Andrea, I ironically feel you’re the only one I could have a conversation with. I didn’t initially think so because the posts seemed inflammatory.

    The fact that you allow dissent and discussion is commendable and your discussion with Curious and Cristan seemed courteous enough (I read back to your March post).

    Though for one, I find it hard to believe that it always boils down to “I’m a boy who likes pink, therefore I MUST be a girl” after many trans people tried explaining on this blog why it isn’t so. The media will jump on trans people who say it is so because it just confirms it’s own bias and is more sensationalist (sells more). But you have nothing to gain in doing so.

    Can you explain to me, if your theory is right, why do people who appear as successful, masculine men with heaps of male privilege, go on to become less successful, masculine trans women with no male privilege or at least much less of it?

  152. m Andrea Says:

    Yeah, my posts *are* way too snarkfest, and yet that’s where I put my frustration with the tenets and principles of transgenderism rather than taking my frustration out on any one particular person. There are transgendered people in rl who I do actually LIKE, btw.
    :)

    Though for one, I find it hard to believe that it always boils down to “I’m a boy who likes pink, therefore I MUST be a girl” after many trans people tried explaining on this blog why it isn’t so.

    Well, unfortunately that is exactly what everybody appears to keep saying, even when they are trying extremely hard not to, and even when they are trying really hard to find another way to say it. No matter how anybody fills in this sentence: “I feel like I am a female because ____” the answer always ends up equating a specific biological sex with a specific socially conditioned expectation of femininity. That expectation constitutes the basic creation/perpetuation of sexism, a very damaging system. As I ranted ad nauseum somewhere else, the *form* of the argument in italicis is problematic if not outright invalid, so it doesn’t matter what is subsituted for X. Anyway.

    Can you explain to me, if your theory is right, why do people who appear as successful, masculine men with heaps of male privilege, go on to become less successful, masculine trans women with no male privilege or at least much less of it?

    That argument is not valid even when gays use it, though I never said anything because hey I LOVE gay folks and don’t want to give their detractors any more ammunition. The asssertion is “I must be X because no one would want to be X when that results in such extreme negativity”. It’s a justification, not a reason. Enduring hardship does not explain why Mary is X. If that was all took, then anybody who “endures hardship” for a cause must automagically mean that their cause is valid, even pedophiles who endure scorn while practicing pedophilia.

    Apologies for using pedobear as an example, it’s the only one I can think of.

  153. Schala Says:

    The asssertion is “I must be X because no one would want to be X when that results in such extreme negativity”. It’s a justification, not a reason.

    The assertion of what you think is the reasoning to transition is:

    I’m feminine, therefore I’m female.

    I bring a counter example where someone is not feminine, this person is masculine, and *despite this*, decides to transition to female. They don’t transition for some feminity or a desire to wear dresses. They probably won’t wear a dress ever.

    I’m not a good example of this because well, I am feminine to an extent. Not as much as the kyriarchy mandates, but enough to be seen as ‘definitely feminine’. Yet there is a sizeable portion of trans women who are masculine, and not just in looks.

    That those people also lose privilege is an added argument that reduces the validity of the feminity-as-reason, because they have ostensibly no benefit to transition, at all, if you don’t recognize a biological component to sex identity.

    Feminine trans women who are also feminine pre-transition, go from pariahs to being average or even appreciated, if they pass. At least there’s some advantage to them even without saying females have privileges.

    I say sex identity because what I identify as is female. Being a woman is just something that people assume based on the other (often used interchangeably). The wordings about gender and gender identity, and the various different meanings of gender to different people, have obscured this fact. Transition is just my best bet while still alive.

  154. m Andrea Says:

    I’m feminine, therefore I’m female.

    Logic requires a bit more precision, really sorry. Define: feminine please. I’ll help! It’s normally defined as “traits currently associated with females” because hey it sure ain’t associated with males. lol So your thing becomes:

    “I feel like expressing a trait which is associated with females, therefore I’m female”. oops it’s circular. And you’re still using the same *form*.

    Really sorry Schala but I didn’t understand the rest of what you meant. Read it like twelve times. what?

  155. m Andrea Says:

    You sound like you could use some encouragement dear but what is it that you need?

    I meant, I don’t know what I meant. lol The world is full of assholes Schala, I usually deal with them by either running them over or avoiding them completely. Internalizing anger is not a good idea, leads to all kinds of self-destructive thoughts… And the whole transgenderism thing — you know there is a way out right? Struggling with an issue is painful, deciding not to deal with a contentious issue is avoidance, but resolving an issue always leads to pleasantness. — that’s something nice to look forward to.

  156. Schala Says:

    And the whole transgenderism thing — you know there is a way out right? Struggling with an issue is painful, deciding not to deal with a contentious issue is avoidance, but resolving an issue always leads to pleasantness. — that’s something nice to look forward to.

    The only way out that isn’t avoidance or patching a wound in hope its better, is suicide. I won’t kill myself though. Maybe a car will run me over (by accident), or cigarettes will give me lung cancer, but I ain’t using a gun, or jumping in front of a train.

    Really sorry Schala but I didn’t understand the rest of what you meant. Read it like twelve times. what?

    Well, that first sentence was me quoting *your* argument, not my argument.

    My argument is that *masculine* trans women disprove your theory by even existing, because they aren’t feminine, and didn’t transition to wear dresses, like pink or weave baskets, they transitioned for another reason you think is bogus, that has nothing to do with what someone likes or how someone is empathetic or caring for people. They transitioned because they felt a female body was more in line with their spiritual being, soul, spirit, or at worst you could call it mind (not brain). That is, physically speaking.

    Breasts might not signify much to some, but their presence or absence is very much remarked amongst those for which it doesn’t fit. And yeah, even if we did exclude socialization and the “meaning of breasts” (not scare quotes), we’d still be short of explaining why they feel they should be there or not there for trans men.

    I also bet that “being able to have PIV and deciding not to” feels different from “not being able to have PIV due to insufficient plumbing”, physically speaking. Even if you condemned PIV for good reasons, which won’t affect me (bf tested and negative for everything, 100% infertile).

  157. factcheckme Says:

    Polly has made the point like a thousand times, that if you believe you are and always were a woman, why take the hormones? Why have the surgery? If you were ABC before you transitioned, and you are still ABC afterwards, then the literal value of transitioning is ZERO. But you act like its not zero, and that it HAS value. Why?

    Also, “an alternative to suicide” is also not a reason, anymore than anything else the trans say. It makes you feel better. So what? Sheesh.

    And…if you are male, you can only ever have piv with your p. Cause you don’t have a v, and you never will.


  158. I HATE THE SUICIDE THREAT!!! What a load of crap. It’s supposed to serve as the trump card–”I’ll just KILL myself then!” WTFF?! Anyone who uses this as a threat in any kind of disagreement is a manipulative ASSHOLE who is engaged in hardcore AVOIDANCE.

    I know what it’s like to feel suicidal. I know what it’s like to consider how you’re going to kill yourself. I know what it’s like to be addicted to self-medicating, self-destructive substances. Yet I do NOT threaten suicide to ANYONE. EVER! If you are a danger to yourself, GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. But do NOT make empty threats to others, just to get your fucking way. It’s not a trump card, it’s evidence of your emotional and intellectual immaturity.

  159. Schala Says:

    Polly has made the point like a thousand times, that if you believe you are and always were a woman, why take the hormones? Why have the surgery?

    Trans women don’t have a monopoly on reinforcing the patriarchy. If you count that some people have seen the light and never reinforce patriarchy, there’s still over 6 billion people to blame, why blame trans people?

    Trans people are not a political flag to be waved around, or a political device. They are people, who have to live in this crappy world.

    If you say you expect it of yourself and of others, to not reinforce and maybe even actively fight the patriarchy, kudos to you. I just do my part in other ways than marginalizing myself.

    And…if you are male, you can only ever have piv with your p.

    I’ve never had PIV. I transitioned at about 24. I was sexually inexperienced in every way at the time, and was fine with it. Funny testosterone is supposedly giving a drive to people, cause I only got some when it all got suppressed. I’m also female according to people, blame them for seeing me that way.

    @Undercover Punk

    I’m not threatening suicide, just said I didn’t care much if I did die, but wouldn’t at my own hands or on purpose.

    Maybe I just sound cynical though.

  160. m Andrea Says:

    lol when I wrote that last night I could already hear Polly gossiping to Stormy that “she freaking lost it, now she’s doing the so-and-so punt all over again”. lol

    Um, I *am* pure unmitigated evil, you know. And yet, point taken. I was thinking last night that soon I will get to make fun of the hundreds of trans all claiming to be suicidal, as opposed to the thousands of suicidal females whom the trans don’t care about at all. But major depression is a tricky thing where it’s hard to know what to believe or what signs to look for but it’s damaging as hell and of course everybody’s a poser until they die… so in the meantime I just look for the “hey you must do this for me or else I will make you feel guilty” routine. Schala isn’t giving off that vibe.

    My argument is that *masculine* trans women disprove your theory by even existing, because they aren’t feminine,

    Your evidence is “Mtf people who express traits currently associated with masculinity” are an example of ________ ” and that is supposed to disprove my conclusion which is “The explanation for transgenderism always ends up equating a specific biological sex with a specific socially conditioned expectation of femininity”. So, does your evidence contradict my conclusion? Let’s check.

    “Mtf people who express traits currently associated with masculinity” are an example of ________ “ It’s still not precise enough (which is why I left it blank). What are they supposed to be an example of? That masculine people can express some quantity of feminity and still be male (or female)? That feminine people can express some quantity of masculinity and still be female (or male)?

    Well of course. But is anybody at all making the claim that feminine people can’t ever express ANY masculine quality? Not that I know of, and certainly not in my own argument, which means your evidence doesn’t actually address the original argument. So it’s not a rebuttal. It’s funny that you should bring this up now, because I left a comment somewhere else recently that I was thinking about pretending it was post-worthy. It’s here:

    http://www.epsychology.us/open-question-help-settle-an-argument-transgenderism/

    sorry for the length Schala, and thanks for clarifying, I am really learning a lot from just chatting with you. Srsly it helps.

  161. Schala Says:

    What are they supposed to be an example of? That masculine people can express some quantity of feminity and still be male (or female)? That feminine people can express some quantity of masculinity and still be female (or male)?

    What I meant is that it wasn’t even remotely their reason for transitioning. You don’t transition for a tiny thing. The cost at yourself, and maybe even your family if you have one, is so high that people consider it a last resort.

    So I can’t see why a masculine trans woman who doesn’t seek to be sanctioned by society for expressing feminity, and who doesn’t have any biological component to their transness, would ever transition.

    If my only motive had been persecution for expressing feminity within a male body, I wouldn’t have seen transitioning as a possibility. At best, I’d have found subcultures where androgyny and male feminity is accepted, not changed my body.

    And that’s because the female hormones and body parts would have felt no better, maybe worse, and at great cost to my health. I’d be transgender maybe, but not transsexual. I’d definitely not identify as female or do any legal change.

    I don’t say some people aren’t duped by the prospect of “finally being allowed to be feminine”, but I don’t condone transition in that case.

    So I totally agree with you for those cases. But finding those cases isn’t so easy. Some people just find it easier to simplify the language and it ends up completely wrong, like the DSM diagnosis.

  162. thebewilderness Says:

    “What I meant is that it wasn’t even remotely their reason for transitioning. You don’t transition for a tiny thing. The cost at yourself, and maybe even your family if you have one, is so high that people consider it a last resort. ”

    Please define “it” in your first sentence there.

    Then please explain how exactly it is perceived as a last resort when for many people it is their first thought. Are you unaware of the effort to give hormones to and do surgery on children?

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      Being Intersexed, I’m quite aware of the intense pressure to surgically alter children shortly after birth to “normalise” them, and the pressure put on them to take hormones against their will.

      Of course, if they want their surgical alteration changed to match their expressed gender identity, and to take hormones for that, then they’re also considered “disordered”.

      To give you an idea of the kind of issues here, see
      http://home.vicnet.net.au/%7Eaissg/2010_FamCA_237.pdf

      In this one, fortunately the courts listened to the child in question, and ignored gender theorist ideology that states that since gender is purely a social construct, she should let Nature take its course, with no medical intervention.

      Or, as was recently said,

      Any physical body is perfectly capable of expressing whatever trait it wants in the body it was born with, and is only barred from doing so by current social norms.

      Sally would disagree. I think her narrative trumps others’ ideology.

  163. Schala Says:

    Please define “it” in your first sentence there.

    Then please explain how exactly it is perceived as a last resort when for many people it is their first thought. Are you unaware of the effort to give hormones to and do surgery on children?

    It is feminity. In my example below, feminity is not the reason.

    So I can’t see why a masculine trans woman who doesn’t seek to be sanctioned by society for expressing feminity, and who doesn’t have any biological component to their transness, would ever transition.

    My first thought was at 8: Abducted by aliens and adopted by my parents to hide the facts of my female birth. Not exactly transition-promoting language. Though I was 8 in 1990, and internet wasn’t accessible to the public then…and I had no idea to look for information about trans stuff anywhere. My second thought at 11, was to reincarnate. And my third was at 22, when I learned trans existed. And it took me a year of intensive introspection to do it, not days.

    Nobody promotes surgery done on children, except as Zoe said, in the case of intersex children. Then done against their will near the time of birth or in early childhood.

    Hormone blockers, who have no effect except to delay puberty (which could be resumed if the meds are stopped) could be given at 11-12, and estrogen or testosterone at 16. Surgery at 18. Those are the earliest possible intervention times that doctors will do a thing. Battery of shrink tests and evaluations during the whole process which, in the case of a teen or child, could last well over a decade. Not on a whim for certain.

    Transitioning socially (no hormones, just a change of clothing and hairstyle, and possibly name) at a young age (like 4-5) is harmless for future development. At worst (if they change their mind), they will have had a rather unique perspective from being raised as both. At best (if they don’t change their mind), they’ll have had a headstart social-wise.

  164. Zoe Brain Says:

    I think – and I could be wrong here – that we both see injustices, real injustices that affect us deeply, and want to do something about them.

    One side – as I see it – has experienced the myriad persecutions, minor and major, that half the world’s population has inflicted on them, some “justified” by bogus studies and Junk Science. They see problems that every woman on the planet faces. Either being treated as sub-human filth, as in parts of Afghanistan, or having their potential stunted because “that’s women’s work” or “don’t worry your pretty head about things you don’t understand”.

    Gender as a Social Construct is a powerful force, and used as a tool of oppression.

    Yes, I’m aware of it too. Acutely. Anyone who has “changed sex”, be it by medical intervention or natural causes, and regardless of direction, has been hit over the head with it in ways they can’t ignore.

    The loss – or acquisition – of “male privilege” is far too obvious. See Ben Barre’s accounts here.

    The natural reaction is to have an ideological commitment, based on outrage at this pervasive injustice, that all gender is performance, there are no sexually dimorphic inherent behaviours, because too many times in the past complete BS has been spouted about this.

    The other side sees this, and more though. For example, the case of Sally above, and the cases of all Trans people. That there *are* some differences. Not many, true. I’ve said 70-75%% is a social construct, but it could easily be higher. The ones that exist though, well, they exist, at least on a statistical level. And to coerce people into fitting into pre-defined boxes on the basis of ideology is just as arrogant as the Patriarchal BS we’ve all been subjected to.

    Me rather less than most of course. Only 5 years of it. Of course we get Transphobic persecution too, a twofer, and all too often from those who have been themselves persecuted.

    • Nicky Says:

      Poor Zoe, trying to to claim womanhood when Zoe isn’t a woman to begin with. Zoe dose not have the privilege of a woman or an intersex person. Zoe isn’t even intersex to being with. Zoe isn’t even a natural woman at all.

      • Schala Says:

        Hey Nicky.

        People on this blog will tell you there is no privilege to being a woman. And I don’t think being intersex, woman or not, is a privilege.

        “natural woman” is a concept that only exists in the head of people.

        Everyone is natural, or no one is natural. Simple as that.

  165. thebewilderness Says:

    I disagree that “the natural reaction is to have an ideological commitment based on outrage…”
    Nor do I agree that there is an “other side”.

    Ideology requires ideas. Ideas require thought.

    I’m sorry to be so disagreeable, but you keep framing the subject in ways that preclude consideration of the subject.

  166. m Andrea Says:

    Um, I make a seriously lousy moderator and I hate to say anything for all sorts of reasons, mostly because I’m probably the worst asshole ever and the last one to be crying “thou shall not do as I do”, but it isn’t necessary to poke sticks at people who are making an effort to have a conversation.

    I only say things here that I would say to a person face to face, if we were having a conversation. I admit I get pretty free with the insults, even among friends who are inclined to return the favor. But some insults, the pointless kind which are only intended to cause hurt feelings, are better left unsaid.

  167. polly Says:

    Zoe: WTF does the story of Sally – an intersex child seeking surgery to feel ‘normal’ have to do with transitioning, gender ideology or anything else?

    Sally was raised as female, and unsurprisingly in a society which is intolerant of difference wants to be physically like others assigned female at birth. She isn’t naturally the same of course, she’s intersex, but she’s not a male person who wants to ‘transition’, who already HAVE a ‘standard’ male body, they just don’t want it.

    If anything Zoe, Sally’s case proves that the idea of inherent gender identity is absolute, pardon the phrase, bollocks. Because despite being “genetically” male, Sally identifies as she was raised – as female.

    Trans does not equal intersex Zoe. Stop trying to pretend it does. The two are COMPLETELY unconnected.

  168. polly Says:

    You are talking complete and utter bollocks Zoe. How appropriate! Medical treatment of intersex children with 5 alpha reductase deficiency is STANDARD. It is RECOMMENDED. Such children are not considered ‘DISORDERED’. Nowhere in the text you cite is the word used. STOP LYING.

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/924291-treatment

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      From that article:
      “Proponents of early surgery for female gender assignment suggest that early gonadectomy increases the likelihood of gender satisfaction and stability and that surgical outcome is improved due to increased tissue plasticity. Opponents point out the increased likelihood of repeat surgical intervention, the irreversible nature of the procedure made at a time when patient consent is not attainable, and the high incidence of gender dysphoria and sexual dissatisfaction.”

      From Gender change in 46,XY persons with 5alpha-reductase-2 deficiency and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency. by Cohen-Ketternis
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16010463?ordinalpos=19&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

      “Individuals with 5alpha-reductase-2 deficiency (5alpha-RD-2) and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency (17beta-HSD-3) are often raised as girls. Over the past number of years, this policy has been challenged because many individuals with these conditions develop a male gender identity and make a gender role change after puberty. The findings also raised doubts regarding the hypothesis that children are psychosexually neutral at birth and emphasized the potential role of prenatal brain exposure to androgens in gender development. If prenatal exposure to androgens is a major contributor to gender identity development, one would expect that all, or nearly all, affected individuals, even when raised as girls, would develop a male gender identity and make a gender role switch later in life. However, an estimation of the prevalence of gender role changes, based on the current literature, shows that gender role changes occur frequently, but not invariably. Gender role changes were reported in 56-63% of cases with 5alpha-RD-2 and 39-64% of cases with 17beta-HSD-3 who were raised as girls. The changes were usually made in adolescence and early adulthood. In these two syndromes, the degree of external genital masculinization at birth does not seem to be related to gender role changes in a systematic way.”

      My comment:
      So about half to 2/3 changed gender roles to male as their bodies masculinised. But the degree of their bodies’ cross-gendering was no guide at all as to who would do what. This is consistent with about 1/3 being strongly gendered female, 1/3 strongly gendered male, and 1/3 bi-gendered, “going with the flow”.

      Raise as female – 1 in 3 will be male anyway. Raise as male – 1 in 3 will be female anyway.
      And 1 in 3 are bi-gendered to a greater or lesser extent, able to function adequately as either sex.

      Biology is not binary. It’s messy and fuzzy at the edges.

      Of course some are forced into playing a role that may not fit. In the UK for example, all babies born with 5ARD are considered male – and if they object, are considered “Gender Dysphoric”, disordered. In the Gaza strip, all children with 17BHDD likewise.

      See (because it’s a video) this over-simplified and mildly inaccurate report from CNN.
      http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/12/17/gaza.gender.id/

  169. Zoe Brain Says:

    I disagree with Cohen-Ketternis over this statement:
    “If prenatal exposure to androgens is a major contributor to gender identity development, one would expect that all, or nearly all, affected individuals, even when raised as girls, would develop a male gender identity and make a gender role switch later in life.”

    I’d state instead
    “If prenatal exposure to androgens is not a major contributor to gender identity development, one would expect that none of the affected individuals when raised as girls, would develop a male gender identity and make a gender role switch later in life.”

    Furthermore, I’d say
    “If it is a major contributor, then the number of those switching would be dependant on the degree of exposure and cellular sensitivity – almost none in the case of CAIS, almost all in the case of Cloacal Extrophy, and variable depending on the exact Intersex condition.”

  170. Zoe Brain Says:

    Since my previous comment is stuck in moderation due to the links, I’ll try again.

    From that article:
    “Proponents of early surgery for female gender assignment suggest that early gonadectomy increases the likelihood of gender satisfaction and stability and that surgical outcome is improved due to increased tissue plasticity. Opponents point out the increased likelihood of repeat surgical intervention, the irreversible nature of the procedure made at a time when patient consent is not attainable, and the high incidence of gender dysphoria and sexual dissatisfaction.”

    From Gender change in 46,XY persons with 5alpha-reductase-2 deficiency and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency. by Cohen-Ketternis

    “Individuals with 5alpha-reductase-2 deficiency (5alpha-RD-2) and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency (17beta-HSD-3) are often raised as girls. Over the past number of years, this policy has been challenged because many individuals with these conditions develop a male gender identity and make a gender role change after puberty. The findings also raised doubts regarding the hypothesis that children are psychosexually neutral at birth and emphasized the potential role of prenatal brain exposure to androgens in gender development. If prenatal exposure to androgens is a major contributor to gender identity development, one would expect that all, or nearly all, affected individuals, even when raised as girls, would develop a male gender identity and make a gender role switch later in life. However, an estimation of the prevalence of gender role changes, based on the current literature, shows that gender role changes occur frequently, but not invariably. Gender role changes were reported in 56-63% of cases with 5alpha-RD-2 and 39-64% of cases with 17beta-HSD-3 who were raised as girls. The changes were usually made in adolescence and early adulthood. In these two syndromes, the degree of external genital masculinization at birth does not seem to be related to gender role changes in a systematic way.”

    My comment:
    So about half to 2/3 changed gender roles to male as their bodies masculinised. But the degree of their bodies’ cross-gendering was no guide at all as to who would do what. This is consistent with about 1/3 being strongly gendered female, 1/3 strongly gendered male, and 1/3 bi-gendered, “going with the flow”.

    Raise as female – 1 in 3 will be male anyway. Raise as male – 1 in 3 will be female anyway.
    And 1 in 3 are bi-gendered to a greater or lesser extent, able to function adequately as either sex.

    Biology is not binary. It’s messy and fuzzy at the edges.

    Of course some are forced into playing a role that may not fit. In the UK for example, all babies born with 5ARD are considered male – and if they object, are considered “Gender Dysphoric”, disordered. In the Gaza strip, all children with 17BHDD likewise.

    See (because it’s a video) this over-simplified and mildly inaccurate report from CNN.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/12/17/gaza.gender.id/

  171. m Andrea Says:

    No idea why it was stuck in mod, Zoe, all your comments should post immediately after being approved the first time. Maybe it had too many links in it, and wordpress didn’t like it?

    Btw, I do appreciate your willingness to chat with someone who disagrees with you — that is quite the great attitude, frankly. And of course I say that because elsewhere, some people aren’t so grown-up. :)

    Jesus, there is so nothing wrong with agreeing with someone on one point, while disagreeing on another. It’s called DISCUSSION, and tends to eventually resolve various conflicts and is the complete opposite of TALKING PAST EACH OTHER, which only results in little camps viciously defending their territory. Yes, I *was* screaming, lol.

    Also, I love Polly.

  172. m Andrea Says:

    I’d state instead
    “If prenatal exposure to androgens is not a major contributor to gender identity development, one would expect that none of the affected individuals when raised as girls, would develop a male gender identity and make a gender role switch later in life.”

    Bad logic form, Zoe, sorry. If X is not a factor, then X is not a factor, and therefore no conclusion can be drawn from either the presence or absence of X. You’re trying to claim: “Because Y occurs, then X must be a CAUSATIVE factor” — without every actually proving the dependency between X and Y. The relationship could just as easily be a correlation.

    You’re also leaving out the implicit assertion, which is never proved: Early socialization has zero effect on perception of gender identity. You need to prove that one, if your other argument is to be valid. But I think you’ve said before that you do recognize *some amount* of socialization will effect someone’s perception of gender identity to *some degree*. Which means your other argument must be correlation rather than causation, which means it’s invalid.

    Fun fact about logic is that we don’t need to know anything about endocrinology to tell when an assertion is using the wrong form. Also, it might have been FactCheckMe who noticed that many transgendered individuals do talk about how their early socialization did indeed affect them later in life…

  173. Schala Says:

    Also, it might have been FactCheckMe who noticed that many transgendered individuals do talk about how their early socialization did indeed affect them later in life…

    Being affected by how you were raised, versus it affecting your core sense of self, that’s two different things.

    I was affected by how I was raised. Being bullied had a net negative on my self-esteem and caused me to have a split personality (same age vs child) from the age of about 12 onwards, as a defense mechanism. It might have also affected how much feminity I was willing to show (scared out of my wits to show any) and how much I bought into the “females have to be feminine” argument (about not at all, since its never seemed to have a bearing on someone’s femaleness).

    But has my sense of femaleness been affected? Not one bit. I’m not one of those 2/3 who could adapt to either sex or who prefers a male body. Those who could adapt to either sex might have their sense affected by socialization, basically because its weak to start with.

    If you’re already ambivalent about taking busses or subways, but are raised to take subways exclusively…you’ll most likely do so. But if you hate subways viscerally, no amount of taking subways will convince you busses aren’t better for you.

    What affects age of transition is a mixed bag of cost-benefit analysis (which is why straight and feminine trans girls will tend to transition earlier, less cost, more benefit), willingness to see the issue and confront it (you can ignore it to some extent, but it never goes away) and the cultural attitude around you (Thailand is much more positive about transitioning, so they tend to do it younger, as in pre-teen – they have no religious objection to it and its a well-known phenomenon societally, contrary to US or Canada).

  174. Schala Says:

    Note that Thailand does have a moral objection to it, but don’t think this has any bearing on their forcing others to do what they think is “the right thing”. They are almost 100% Buddhist, and value a “to each their own” thing and believe in karma.

    Some just believe trans people to have been punished (by the cosmos or who/whatever decides reincarnation) and decide to not punish them further physically…while not sanctioning their legal change anyway (which causes poverty and employment issues for them).

  175. Zoe Brain Says:

    When you have correlation between 2 observations, X and Y, there’s one of four possibilities.

    1. X causes Y
    2. Y causes X
    3. Both X and Y are caused by some Z (which in turn may be an inevitable consequence of W etc)
    4. It’s all a coincidence.

    If X precedes Y temporally, Y cannot cause X – but any of the other three possibilities may be true.

    The 4th one can’t ever be completely negated, but if you have sufficient data to reduce the chance to an acceptably negligible limit – be that 5% or 10E-99, then you can exclude it. Once the improbability gets past a certain point, you *have* to exclude it, or you can never know anything. Irrelevant to this case anyway, few things in medicine are known that well.

    Thus the famous BSTc layer in the hypothalamus cannot be causal; sexual differentiation there happens only after trans behaviour has been observed in most cases. It is symptomatic, but appears to be quite reliable. The odds of the Germ Theory of disease being incorrect are not so low as to be epistomologically impossible, but “close enough” for the practice of medicine.

    My thesis is that it’s case 3. And that we have observations of evidence that strongly suggest what Z and W are.

    First Z – See Milton Diamond’s paper
    Biased-Interaction Theory of Psychosexual Development: “How Does One Know if One is Male or Female?” M. Diamond, Sex Roles (2006) 55:589–600
    http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/2005to2009/2006-biased-interaction.html

    “A theory of gender development is presented that incorporates early biological factors that organize predispositions in temperament and attitudes. With activation of these factors a person interacts in society and comes to identify as male or female. The predispositions establish preferences and aversions the growing child compares with those of others. All individuals compare themselves with others deciding who they are like (same) and with whom are they different. These experiences and interpretations can then be said to determine how one comes to identify as male or female, man or woman. In retrospect, one can say the person has a gendered brain since it is the brain that structures the individual’s basic personality; first with inherent tendencies then with interactions coming from experience.”

    The problem here is that it’s incompletely falsifiable. We cannot experiment on human children, varying the parameters to see what happens.

    We can, however, make use of “Nature’s Experiments” – Intersexed children, and by observing what happens in such cases, gain evidence.

    Now for W -
    We can also use experimental animals, and experimentally alter foetal environment, observing cross-sexed behaviour and neurological development correlated (that word again) with that anomalous foetal environment, and removing social factors from consideration. Cases of children exposed to hormones (notoriously DiEthylStilbestrol) are also informative, with a 500-fold increase of rate of transsexuality being reported (though with far less rigorously shackled variables than we’d like)

    See “Prenatal Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol (DES) in Males and Gender-Related Disorders: Results from a 5-Year Study ” and “The Presence of Gender Dysphoria, Transsexualism, and Disorders of Sexual Differentiation in Males Prenatally Exposed to Diethylstilbestrol: Initial Evidence from a 5-Year Study”

    That’s not the only problem though. There is no such thing as a “male brain” or “female brain”. There are only brains whose individual structures at the gross level, fine level, and cellular level, match female or male stereotypes to a greater or lesser degree. Worse, the brain as a whole is plastic: while certain structures (the ones we’re talking about here) are almost completely fixed in certain ways, in others they are not – but change over time in an entirely predictable way, independent of environment (barring gross insult such as bullet wounds etc).

    To say that “the effects of this sexual dimorphism on actual behaviour is not well understood” is a gross understatement. Some things we can be pretty confident of. Other things, which have been “accepted wisdom”, have, on being experimentally tested, been shown to be completely bogus.

    Thus baby girls really do have, on aggregate, different development in terms of facial recognition, language skills etc than baby boys. “Conventional Wisdom” was right, here. But their Mathematical ability is not differentiated at all, that “conventional wisdom” is wholly bogus.

    Getting back to this model, the sequence is:

    Foetal development of neurology is “steered” in a certain direction by hormonal environment in the womb. This in turn is affected by genes, but also environmental factors. XY genes usually will cause complete masculinisation, but may not. The SrY gene in region Yp11, SF1 gene in 9q33, and DHH gene in regions 12q12-q13.1 all can play a role, and there may be others. Y, 9 and 12 chromosomes can cause masculinisation, and FOX9 and SOX2 genes can be activated or de-activated later to cause pubertal changes in either direction long after birth, and in either direction.

    We Think.

    All of the above should have disclaimers such as “the evidence suggests that” or similar, but Science is like that. All I can say is that it works, we can genetically engineer things and get the predicted results. Not absolute proof, but “good enough”.

    This sexual differentiation before birth has immediate effects on behaviour, and lays out a path of least resistance in future neurological development. How rigid this path is, we’re not sure, and designing an ethical experiment to determine that qualitatively is probably impossible. Children differ, no two brains are quite the same, so all of this is “statistical” anyway.

    The immediate effects, and emerging effects during development over age 0-10, lead to crystallisation of a gender identity (in most cases…). Varying environment, such as the use of Operant Conditioning (electric shocks, beatings, rewards) on toddlers, as performed by George Rekers at the UCLA “Feminine Boy” project, had no lasting results. Ken Zucker’s work using “aversion therapy” at CAMH has, at most, a limited effect on borderline cases, but has certain sequelae (suicide) for many cases, borderline or not. He initially claimed to reduce the rate of transsexuality in cross-sexed behaving children from 30% (control) to 22% – but in follow-up, and with better control over free variables, the difference is at the margin of statistical significance. His efforts to change sexual orientation (the original aim) were abandoned some time ago, when he had similarly poor results.

    Such experiments – which I consider ethically questionable in Zucker’s case, and morally bankrupt, Mengelesque, in Rekers’, “strongly suggest” that post-natal environment plays little role. It must play some, in borderline cases, because biology is like that. But maybe 1 in 20, no more.

    This post is too long. Sorry. I’ll write another, giving an analogy which I think is apt.

  176. Zoe Brain Says:

    An analogy: the Big or Small model.

    In this model, everyone is either Big (tall, heavy), or Small (short, light).

    First Party:
    “This model is bunkum, the concepts of Big and Small are purely socially constructed, with no anatomical basis. The so-called observations of “height” are all fatally flawed by experimenters’ bias, and it doesn’t exist. Or if it does to some degree, there is no connection between height and weight, that too is a product of experimental bias. In fact, this whole thing is an artefact of the historical oppression of small people by big people. The supposed difference between big and small does not exist.”

    Party 2
    There are obvious physical differences between big and small people, that’s just common-sense. Everyone is born either Big or Small, and to interfere with that is to undermine Society and all that is Right. It is a plot by malcontents intent on destroying our society to further their own evil ends.
    Scripture says that The Invisible Sky Policeman created people Big and Small. If you’re Big, you’re tall and heavy, if you’re Small, you’re short and light. End of story.”

    Party 3
    “While statistically we can talk about how people are either Big or Small, and there’s a bimodal distribution, it’s not that simple. First, look at height – we arbitrarily pick one height as the divide between the two, but there exist minorities on the borderline. Similarly with weight. Worse, the correlation between height and weight is inexact: there exist short people who are heavy, and tall people who are light. The historical habit of using scales to determine weight, and then expect everyone of that weight to be tall or short respectively, is contrary to reality – it’s just an approximation. People differ, and should be treated as individuals, not as exemplars of one or another of a socially constructed binary.
    We can’t deny though that people’s heights do differ. This is not sizist. Observations show there is a correlation between height and weight too, and we have a good theory as to why this is so. We can’t be completely certain though, and designing an experiment to prove it is ethically impossible.
    We can however observe “Nature’s experiments” of amputees from accidents, and this gives us some evidence of correlation, if not causation.”

    OK, analogy over.

    That’s just a simple situation, the size of people, and with only two (albeit continuous rather than discrete, and variable with environment in the case of weight) parameters.

    How many parameters are there in sex determination? 5 in the most simple models, but probably dozens, perhaps hundreds when it comes to neurology.

    And look how complex and nuanced that simple “size” situation is. I’ve parodied and exaggerated all three views, including my own, of course. But compared to a few extremists (quite a few in party 2), it’s not parody at all.

  177. Zoe Brain Says:

    Andrea – thanks for the kind words. I’ll try to live up to them.

    Heck, if I can have a dialogue with Ron Gold and Dr Michael Brown, I should have no problems here.

    Poly can be a bit blunt at times; but that should never cause anyone to ignore her incisive intellect (even when she’s WRONG WRONG WRONG I say! WRONG!!!). As we’d say in Australia, she’s good value.

    If my ideas are so wonderful, they could stand a bit of challenging. And if not, only by critique can they be improved.

    Sorry for stating the obvious, but you’re right, reasoned discussion is rare.

    The multiple links were the problem with my other post. My apologies for that, should have realised, it’s not the first time such a thing has happened, and it put more work on your shoulders :(.

  178. SadieTheGoat Says:

    Time for a new post from you miss Andrea, or did zoe brain’s ‘splaining bore you to death?

  179. Damian Says:

    I’ve spent a good amount of time browsing through the comments made here, some I’ve given more thorough attention than others, most definitely. But in essence, I’ve gathered as much knowledge as I can completely from them.

    I don’t claim to be on an intellectual standing with the contributions already put up in here, and I’m skipping in late on the discussion, but the whole thing interested me. I’m a sucker for good debate, I love to read it and if I feel I have the ability to try and contribute then I will do so, irregardless of the consequences.

    I had to scroll up to get the quote I was looking for from M.Andrea, and it is this one:-

    “No matter how anybody fills in this sentence: “I feel like I am a female because ____” the answer always ends up equating a specific biological sex with a specific socially conditioned expectation of femininity”

    If I went to google I could probably pull up a hundred and one separate scientific studies across age ranges and societic norms. But I’m not going to, because I completely believe the entire thing is pointless, and will just end up in the same swings and roundabouts.

    What I am going to do, in my own way, is attempt to respond to the quotation above with my own personal experience. The initial disclaimer, I am FtM, not MtF, so for the benefit of the exercise I’m going to attempt to the best of my ability, the gender marking will be reversed to masculine.

    ~No matter how anybody fills in this sentence: “I feel like I am a male because ____” the answer always ends up equating a specific biological sex with a specific socially conditioned expectation of masculinity.~

    My personal completion of this statement would be –

    I feel like I am a male because identifying as masculine provides me mentally with a sense of completion within myself.

    I’m going to explain myself a little further, as I don’t want to be misinterpreted as being vague.

    I cannot explain why I feel I am a male, it is impossible for me to do so because I lack the knowledge for it. What I do, however, know, is that identifying as male provides the peace of mind and feeling of completion that I have desperately lacked in my childhood.

    I could go back through my past and pinpoint factors that point me out as masculine, but those wouldn’t identify me as transgendered. They would identify me as a masculine ID-d female. What identifies me as male to myself is the fact that I can hold my head up high and say to myself that this is who I have been all my life, and I have the freedom to be myself. No one else’s opinion matters on whether I am male in their eyes or female. What is important is how I perceive myself. As long as I am happy, the rest of the world can go to hell.

    Now the inherent question, if I am comfortable in my identity, why transition at all? This in itself is a complicated question to answer, and most transgendered people will respond with “because I want to” or “because it will make me feel better about myself” Which in it’s own way is true for them, it’s what they believe they require to make them happy, and if that’s what they require, then no one is at a position of power to tell them differently.

    Why I chose to transition, was a completely different reason. I wasn’t looking for social acceptance. I wasn’t looking for a step up in the social and employment ladder (Three years on and I’m still unemployed, if I was looking for a leg up, I haven’t found it yet.). I partially did it aesthetically for myself, because I found the figure pleasing. I wanted my five o’clock shadow, very much so. I wanted to catch myself absentmindedly running my hand over stubble, instead of on a soft, cleanshaven face as I had been for many years beforehand.

    I also partially did it for medical reasons. I’ll stress at this point that the transition stage I am currently at is top surgery and testosterone supplements, and that is where I’ve chosen to remain. Maybe I will change my mind a few years down the line, maybe I won’t. That will be my decision and no one else’s.

    I was extremely large chested. I was a J. It was causing severe damage to my back to be so large, and a reduction was already on the cards for myself. So instead of the reduction, I just removed it completely. Since I don’t identify as female, it was no loss to myself to remove it, in fact the comfort of havig it gone was undescribable. I can now be active and happy, whereas before my chest was actually causing me tremendous physical pain.

    I will not say that all of those claiming to fit the trans community are actually trans. Far from it, there are plenty who are turned away by medical professionals for being “tomboys with male fixations”. For me, being complete within myself, happy in myself, and able to go about my own life with comfort and happiness, is and always will be, far more important than social acceptance.

  180. m Andrea Says:

    @Sadiethegoat. Hi! Not bored, just extremely frustrated with trying to explain basic logic to idiots. (Okay, mostly they’re in denial, not necessarily stupid.) And knowing that whenever I express my frustration IN ADDIITION TO a careful deconstruction of their non-logic, all they ever notice is their hurt fweelings. Anyway, yeah, I should post something, thanks for noticing. lol :)

    @Damian. Personal anecdotes are irrelevant in a debate as they can’t actually refute a principle but I’m sure you knew that already. Yet all the same, thank you very much for reading and for your thoughtful reply.

    ~No matter how anybody fills in this sentence: “I feel like I am a male because ____” the answer always ends up equating a specific biological sex with a specific socially conditioned expectation of masculinity.~

    My personal completion of this statement would be –

    I feel like I am a male because identifying as masculine provides me mentally with a sense of completion within myself.

    Eh, that’s just another way of saying “oh I FEEL happy when I ______”. Fill in the blank with anything at all because whenever you do something “because it makes me feel happy” then it’s always a justification not an actual reason.

    Which is hilarious in light of Sadie’s request for a new post, because that is indeed the topic of current contemplation. How many different ways can you say “I FEEL happy when I do this thing” without actually bluntly stating that it is your emotional response which is acting as the guiding principle for your morals and ethics?

  181. m Andrea Says:

    Keep in mind, there’s nothing wrong with transitioning “because it makes you happy”. That, it and of itself is not a problem. The problem arises as soon as the biological female says “Oh I’m really a man because I like to ______” (insert any trait or activity currently coded as masculine). Biological females can do anything they want, as females. They don’t need to say they’re a biological male.

  182. Sis Says:

    You are so fine. “Blame” on.

  183. jilla Says:

    (…) genderized behavior is limited only to the physiological response to gestating, and giving birth (vomiting etc).”

    Lol too perfect. Open your damn blog will ya?

  184. jilla Says:

    From the Encyclo*edia Drama*ica pages documenting their (anonymous) hit on on Biting Beaver. The women mentioned in the comment with *asterix* was Daisy Deadhead. AS forum is Something Awful, where anon hang. Anon, Daisy Deadhead, were responsible for all the radical feminist blogs and websites being hacked in 2007.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Biting Beaver is the online handle of a 34 year old cumdumpster from Ohio with strong, fundamentalist beliefs in feminism. When her son Brandon hit puberty, she was disgusted to discover that a lifetime of feminist indoctrination was no match for his libido, as Brandon had no qualms about looking for porn online. BitingBeaver claims that Brandon was the product of marital rape and now regrets the fact that she didn’t abort him. She believes that he will eventually become a rapist, and may be considering other methods of filicide at this very moment.

    As a moderator of the WomensSpace forums, BitingBeaver posted her thoughts on this matter in July 2007.

    **When this insane thread was discovered by a female member of the SA forums,** it sparked a lengthy discussion over there as well, and several trolls from SA visited WomensSpace to reply to BitingBeaver.

  185. FAB Libber Says:

    Hit and run comment to ask, nay beg, for you to start blogging again.
    Your contributions were impeccable over at the recent IBTP Trans thread. Reinforcements were in the wings, but all stuck in mod.
    email me!

  186. CrystalShadow Says:

    Validate my existence huh? Yes, actually, considering the usual behaviour I’ve witnessed, that’s probably true.

    I was always confused about my identity, because it didn’t ever seem to fit anyone’s definition of, well, anything at all.

    And that showed, when I was a child, because I can’t think of any reason to ask a person ‘Are you male or female’ if you could work it out yourself.
    Yet, if you ask them what they are, you, by definition expect their self-identification to hold some meaning.
    If their own opinion of themselves held no weight, you wouldn’t have asked.

    It is from a background of being asked this ALL THE TIME, (and the occasional bout of being physically violated by people that felt entitled to an answer), plus later severe discomfort surrounding what are typically called ‘secondary sexual characteristics’, that finally led me to the discovery of transsexuals, and in particular, the story typically used.

    I accepted this story as ‘fact’ for quite a while, even while not being able to reconcile it in any way with my actual experience of life.

    In trying to fit this narrative, I feel forced into pushing myself into a box. Any box available.
    Yet, what I really want to do, is be myself, accept that for whatever reason I feel the need to make physical changes to my body, and present myself to the world… As myself.
    And if you don’t like it, fuck the hell off.

    But… What I’ve found myself actually doing, is fluctuating back and forth between presenting myself however I feel, and forcing myself to conform to something. Anything.

    Right now, I’ve just changed my name. And I face the prospect of changing my passport to say ‘F’ instead of ‘M’.
    But looking at it objectively, why am I doing this at all?

    My natural inclination with this would be to negate the question altogether.
    Every document, every web form, every person that asks me some variant of ‘Are you a man or a woman?’, I would actually rather not answer the question at all.
    And, I mean, why is it even necessary to ask me that?

    What business does an online shop have forcing me to choose such an option? (and refusing to process a request if I don’t answer)

    If I choose to get upset with someone for calling me a man, or ‘sir’ or ‘dude’ or (ugh) ‘geezer’, when I know full well that it’s a deliberate slight 90% of the time.
    Sometimes, it’s a matter of how I present myself, sometimes it’s because these people remember me from before.
    Sometimes, people are unsure, and come looking for ‘evidence’ that will let make a decision. – And, then attack me for it if I’ve given them an obvious contradiction.

    But as annoying as that is, it’s still not as annoying as being expected to tell everyone else what I am, and then having them object when they disagree with my answer.
    If you disagree with it, why the hell did you even ask?!

    But, forced to answer a question, I answer it however I feel like answering it. If my presentation falls short of matching that answer…
    (What is it with teenage girls and the implication that if you’re not dressed the way they are, that there’s something wrong with you?)

    Egh. Rant. Rant. Rant.

    I’m on a tightrope, being unable to decide if I want to comply with the games involved, or if I want to be myself, or something else altogether.

    After all, every time I give myself away because my voice sounds wrong, that has implications for conforming to stereotypes.

    And yet, what spurs me on to do better isn’t just concern about ‘passing’, but the long-standing fact that I simply hate the sound of my voice anyway, and if I had felt able to do anything about it, would never have allowed myself to end up sounding like that to begin with.

    … OK, nothing particularly insightful here. Just a lot of ranting about my personal experiences.
    I wish I could explain what it is I’m trying to say here.

    • Zoe Brain Says:

      Be yourself. Anything else doesn’t work anyway in the long term.

      Feel free to contact me. I’ve had to deal with some very, very, VERY Intersexed people recently. Some M, some F, but an awful lot to whom neither category applies, not consistently.

      Regardless, I’d like to help. I think mamy here would, we’re all human. That’s what we should do for each other.

  187. m Andrea Says:

    aw rant away and hope other people stop being such fucking assholes. People suck. But see, it is exactly this not feeling like you fit into the gender conformity thing, and also not feeling like you fit into the transgender conformity thing (which is kinda the same thing) which gives you such a unique perspective.

    and being assexual myself, I totally get the whole being too tired and annoyed to explain such a unique and speshul perspective to everyone else.

  188. m Andrea Says:

    I think, if people kept asking me if I was male or female all day long, I’d probably develope a standard boilerplate reply, delivered deadpan: “why is it important to you?”

    wish I’d seen this comment first, before I started nit-picking in the other thread. Apologies. How about something relaxing and fun instead?

  189. thebewilderness Says:

    Happy one year anniversary.

  190. thebewilderness Says:

    Happy Halloween ;(


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