The immigration supporters who could not answer questions: The question transgender people do not answer

One day, Joe asked wannabe immigrants: What does Mexico represent to you, and what does the US represent? Why do you want to live in the USA? Before they could answer, others did. They dragged Joe to lectures about the border, and how there are places where you are not even sure if you are on USA or Mexican soil, so it is very hard to define Mexico.

Joe said that is not an answer, he wants to know what being Mexican and being a US citizen mean to the wannabe emmigrants.

Others said Joe is mean: Does he not care that some Mexicans very much want to be US citizens? His patriotic upbringing makes him unwilling to accept anyone who is not a born citizen like him. He is really hurting wannabe immigrants.

Still others chirped in that a US citizen does not mean someone whose citizenship is granted by the US goverment. The best way to know if someone is a US citizen is to ask – nobody will lie about it.

Joe said he still don’t know what they claim to be if they call themselves US citizens: “Define a US citizen.” They: “Anyone who say they are a US citizen.” Joe: “Anyone who say they are what?” They: “A US citizen.” Joe: “Define a US citizen.”

They told Joe Mexico and the USA are more than 2 countries, because of those places on the border and because you can get Mexican food in the USA. Joe should stop thinking of it as a binary.

Dammit, said Joe, stop feeding me poop and answer my question!

Look what a bigot Joe is, said his opponents! Now he even swears at immigration supporters! What is so horrible about immigration, what does he have against it?

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I had more than one nonversation1 (not a spelling mistake) like that recently. I was Joe, and the question was: When transgender people say they are (fe)male, what do they mean? When they say they are not (fe)male, despite being born with the body of one, what do they mean?

Anyone who say they are (fe)male is (fe)male” is not a definition. (What does “fdjegwr” mean? – Anyone who say they are a fdjegwr is a fdjegwr. That doesn’t clear up the meaning of “fdjegwr”.)

This questioning is not aggression: I don’t care if you wear lipstick and nail polish or not, whether you have a job that society traditionally called masculine or feminine, how you style your hair or the clothes you wear. Regardless of your biology, you should be free to do or not do these things, without discrimination. Nobody should be hated, discriminated against or purposefully hurt for not acting within an artificial role imposed by society. But driving a truck does not make anyone a man, and lipstick does not make anyone a woman. tg2

Here are the questions I would have liked to ask trans people, but have given up on because of diversions and personal attacks:

1) I realize you, like many people who are not transgender, feel strongly about being (fe)male. How do you define “male” and “female”? People usually are able to define the things they feel strongly about: Devoutly religious churchgoers know what they think of God, feminists know what kinds of oppression they see as a problem, etc. So transgender people will know what they think is male and female.

2) I have heard some of you say, for example: “Having a uterus does not make you a woman.” If I and the majority of women call ourselves female based on having all the body parts that goes along with a uterus, do you want us to stop seeing ourselves as female, if we do not match the definition you gave in point 1? Are we female as is, even if we do not comply?

3) Optional: There have always been perfectly useful words for people with certain genitalia: The words woman/ female/ girl and man/ male/ boy. Why should we rather use them for the definition you gave?

3.1) Optional: If you feel we should let go of these terms because some people feel bad to be excluded: Should we let go of all descriptive words which does not describe every human on earth, because someone may feel excluded? Is nobody old or young any more, when someone wish to be younger or older? Is nobody long-haired any more, when someone wish he was not bald? Is nobody white or black any more, when Rachel Dolezal wishes she was black? (Of course, this one could be answered, depending on your answer in point 3, with “I don’t believe that feeling excluded is a reason to let go of terms.”)

4) Optional: I’ve heard some of you say that you have been born (fe)male, that you have male vaginas or female penises. If you are already completely (fe)male, why would any of you want extensive surgery to change your bodies?

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1Nonversation: My own word for talking past each other

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Note: Several off-topic comments was left unpublished recently. The topic here is what male and female means to transgender people.

If you answer question 1 – what male and female means to transgender people – I will certainly publish your answer, whether I agree with the definition or not. If you want to, you can answer the later questions too, but without answering question 1 they are meaningless. You are welcome to speak for yourself too: “Others may think differently, but I say (fe)maleness is [x], which is why I (do not) identify with it.”

There is no use in talking around a topic without tackling it. Honest people say what they mean and mean what they say.

The most ironic unpublished comment said I must get to know someone with gender dysphoria. Asking what this (fe)maleness means to you <i><b>is</b></i> trying to know you, wanting to listen to your hearts.

“Women don’t sleep with nice guys” – how I think that rumour got started

I think the way some men came to that conclusion is like this:

Their Premise 1: “I am a nice guy”

The majority of people on this planet thinks of themself as decent people. Murderers think of themselves that way, and philanthropists do too. People who work at rape crisis centres think of themselves as good people, and rapists do too.

Their Premise 2: “Some guys get more sexual action than me – and they are not as nice as I am”

That may or may not be true. Other possible truths about some of these situations could be:

> The guy who claims to get all the attention could be lying about their success with women, with the unsuccessful guys believing him.

> The “nice guy” with that perception could be less nice than the one who gets the action – but he overvalues himself.

Their Conclusion: Women prefer guys who are not so nice, and hate good guys

Firstly, both premises may or may not be true. But if the premises are both true, it could also lead to other conclusions.

> The not-nice guy who gets the girl could be one who ignored the woman’s “no” – and women are afraid to go to the police, as the message will tend to be that it is hard to prove rape if she actually went on a date with him.

> Some not-nice guys are liars. Women sleep with them because they think these guys are good guys, who accept responsibility/ want to marry them/ are financially capable of doing their part/ will stop hitting them/ love them/  do not have a criminal record/ whatever. In this case, the woman does not want to date a bad guy, but she believes untrue things about this guy’s goodness.

> Women do not hate men they do not sleep with – they often deeply respect and appreciate many men whom they do not sleep with, the same way many men have respect and appreciation for some men they do not sleep with.

> Men who sleep around less are actually, statistically more likely to get and stay married – if women really hated them, the opposite would have been true.

My conclusion:

All of the above leads me to a different conclusion about men who complain of being “too nice” to be wanted by women: If a man complains that treating women “nice” is wrong because he don’t get women to use and throw away that way, he is not nice enough at heart. In his heart, he is an exploiter who idolize successful exploiters.

Lower your (dating) standards? Only to a certain point

This is a common bit of advice on dating sites:

Lower your standards, you are far from perfect yourself.

This is partly true – None of us could expect a beautiful/ handsome film star with lots of money and 100% devotion who will never cheat on us. If you expect too much, there is a time to lower your standards.

But it seems to be true only superficially. Think of a woman who is not very attractive to men, one whom men will superficially call a “three.” Now, I hate that system of valuing people – a truly attractive woman, a woman with lesser looks, and an aged woman who lost the good looks she had, are all equally valuable as people. But for the sake of argument, I will call this woman a three now. Suppose Miss Three wants a man who can give her conversation on her level, and who is at least capable to do his share in providing. She should not date a man who is a three (less than average) in conversation on her level, or a three in provision (while her capacity to provide for herself is a five).

In such a relationships based on low standards, Mr. Three will feel he accepted an unworthy woman because he is unworthy, and Miss Three will feel the same about her man. Such a relationship, for anyone who is less than perfect, is based on shortcomings. Such a focus tends to break a relationship down, not build it up.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Three and Miss Three instead went out to make a list of their good qualities, and tried to find partners who will appreciate that and have a need for that, they could have done much better. There could be men willing to look at Miss Three’s less-than-plain face and love her kindness and sense of humor, despite her face with the big nose and long jaw. There may even be a man who loves her face because he looks at the gentle eyes and pleasant smile, not the ugly nose and jaw. And that man may have some of the qualities Miss Three would want in a man.

Similarly, there could be women who don’t care about money or intelligent conversation, and mostly enjoy that Mr. Three is a glib and charming talker, whom they could move on from when they get tired of him.

Many people will be better off if they don’t judge themselves by how datable they are to the average member of the opposite sex, but look out for partners who will appreciate the good qualities they do have. It doesn’t matter what the average guy/ gal thinks of you – as long as the one you are with is above average enough to appreciate your special qualities.

UNsafe and HARDLY consensual: Arguments not to defend BDSM with

(Warning: Some links and the picture on this blog entry is NSFW. Trigger warnings for rape and other forms of sexual violence also apply to the contents of this blog post, and the links.)

You may have heard of people defending BDSM. Perhaps you have a friend who is into being a sub, and her words make you think she is okay. Perhaps you yourself consider getting involved. But she is most likely not as okay as she claims, and it a dangerous world to be involved in. Please remember that with this article, I do not want to shame bottom partners. I want their friends, and the police, to be willing to help them.

Arguments that are not adequate to defend BDSM

1) “It is consensual”:

a) In a study of the BDSM community, 1 in 3 kinksters reported to having had their consent violated. If that doesn’t sound very high, remember that this sample includes both dominants and submissives, of both sexes. The amount of consent violations among submissive women is in all likelihood a lot higher. Read, for example this testimony from Kitty Stryker: (Bold added, italics hers)

When I start to think of the number of times I have been cajoled, pressured, or forced into sex that I did not want when I came into “the BDSM community”, I can’t actually count them. And I never came out about it before, not publicly, for a variety of reasons- I blamed myself for not negotiating enough, or clearly, or for not sticking to my guns, or I didn’t want to be seen as being a drama queen or kicking up a fuss. Plus, …I didn’t feel traumatized because it happened so bloody often that it was just a fact of being a submissive female

As I reflected on the number of times I’ve had fingers in my cunt that I hadn’t consented to, or been pressured into a situation where saying “no” was either not respected or not an option, or said that I did not want a certain kind of toy used on me which was then used, I’m kind of horrified. When I identified as a submissive female, I was told that using a safeword indicated a lack of trust, or that if I was a “real” submissive I wouldn’t need to have limits… I had multiple times when I took more pain that I could handle because I developed a fear of safewording, since it was so rarely treated with respect.

I never thought of any of it as sexual assault, even though it was all non-consensual, because I blamed myself for attracting the wrong sort of Dominant, for not being good enough at negotiating. Speaking to other women, I discovered how many of them had similar stories that they laughed off, because if we stopped and really took it seriously the community we clung to would no longer feel safe, and we didn’t know where else to go…

How on earth can we possibly say to society at large that BDSM is not abuse when we so carefully hide our abusers and shame our abused into silence?… I can only speak for myself, but as a fat, insecure girl coming into the BDSM scene, whatever rhetoric I was told, actions taught me that my value was in my sexuality and my willingness to give it up. A good submissive, you see, is quiet, passive, and obedient…

Of course [sociopaths walk among us]- we treat that kind of sociopathic behaviour as dangerously sexycool. This creates a situation where predators are allowed to continue to be a part of the community, often an honored part, while past victims keep their mouths shut and hope that it doesn’t happen again to someone else…

… I have yet to meet a female submissive who hasn’t had some sort of sexual assault happen to her.

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