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John Byrne
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Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 February 2024 at 4:19pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

There is a certain presumption in movements like this. Almost a claim to psychic powers. “I know what it feels like to be other than what I am.”

This is especially true in the transgender community. If a cisgender man claimed to fully understand what it means to be a woman he would likely be pilloried for it. If the same man said he believed he was a woman support would spring up all around.

A part of the problem lies in classification. Altho society has at least begun to accept that gender is a “spectrum” many still insist that there are only two boxes on the form, M and F. So if someone doesn’t feel at home in one, then they must belong in the other.

But there’s so much more to it than that.

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 11 February 2024 at 5:22pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

JB: There is a certain presumption in movements like this. Almost a claim to
psychic powers. “I know what it feels like to be other than what I am.”

***

Perhaps, but it is the presumption that anyone and everyone should know
“what I am” which begins the trouble. Like the gosling among ducks, a
person can know “I am not what they think I am” and begin the painful
journey of trying to know why.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 11 February 2024 at 7:38pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Generally I'm most willing to take people at their word about something personal, but the race thing seems like it could be particularly difficult. Skin and hair color and eye features being altered does seem sort of only skin deep, like seeing an obvious man in a dress... superficially looking a bit like what they are trying to be. Mostly I feel sad though if I'm honest, like if a black person was trying to be white, it speaks of a rejection of some kind to an extreme. I feel the same sadness seeing a very overweight person in clothes too small for them.

We had a mini riot at some speaking event nearby of trans protesters. It was a bit like that Stephen Stills lyric "nobody's right if everybody's wrong", and I think most people on either side fit that. It centered on pronoun choices in school down to Kindergarten, very dicey, no real dialog occurred by all accounts and the speaker was unable to speak for being shouted down. From what I can tell the speaker had very negative motives. The vast majority in the middle get it from both sides and just want to stay out of things. I don't care what kind of 'warrior' someone claims to be, or whom all they say they represent, ultimately they represent war even if lower-cased. Start with that and where does it go? We seem to have a lot of emboldened 'warriors' of every kind these days... I preferred the ones in that kooky '80s movie centering on the NYC subway system (with a great soundtrack though).

Just the other day some anti-vacc 'warriors' tried to stop a film about a provincial Dr. Fauci type of figure from being shown or enjoyed. The police were more ready after the anti-trans speaker 'event'. The fact that one of the most outspoken revolutionaries about the 'big covid lie' died from covid after posting a youtube vid saying how he was about to prove, having made sure to get exposed, that it was nothing at all. I'm sure he truly truly believed he would live and show us all, but of course the reality is that orange man himself needed many millions in treatment to save his so-healthy butt, and no hydrochloroquine whatsis either. Many of these stop the film and harass any attendees people came over here from where that videographer lived.

Another lyric, "If it makes you happy... then why the h*ll are you so sad". You rarely see a smile and a sign with a message together.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 11 February 2024 at 7:56pm
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John Byrne
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Grumpy Old Guy

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Posted: 25 February 2024 at 3:13pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Like the gosling among ducks, aperson can know “I am not what they think I am” and begin the painfuljourney of trying to know why.

•••

Poor analogy. The gosling IS a gosling, not a duck who THINKS he’s a gosling.

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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 25 February 2024 at 3:34pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Maybe some of it lies in the space of "there are things about myself I can change and things I cannot change." 

Medical technology makes it possible for a person to alter their genitalia and take on characteristics of the sex into which they were not born. This doesn't mean that they have the background of experiencing life as a woman or a man, only that they now have changed to switch from one to the other and--from that point on--will live their lives as the other sex. It is a transition, physically and psychologically, and it's going to be difficult if not traumatic at times, even without misunderstandings and hostility in our society.

While it is conceivable that a white person could darken their skin or get cosmetic surgery to resemble a person of color (and vice versa), I don't know that "transracial" can be considered in quite the same way as "I'm a woman in a man's body." I don't understand how you get from here to there, psychologically, given that the racial identity they claim to identify with is one that the person cannot have experienced from the inside.

None of this opinion is meant to be definitive "that group is right, that group is wrong" or anything like that. It's more that I think I can understand the former more than the latter.


Edited by Andrew Bitner on 25 February 2024 at 3:35pm
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 25 February 2024 at 5:35pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Somewhere between a hard to categorize fluid variety, including biological diversity, and a simplistic rigid two choice binary is probably the truth. On gender I tend toward a binary idea, my limitation I accept... on race though the whole 'one drop' of African blood makes one 'black', or one Jewish drop or one whatever (usually not 'white') has never fit. We can see how variety in nature is a strength.

So... why don't they just get tanned and be who they are and associate with who they want and leave their identity as none of anybody else's business? Are you 'a black'? Well, many people's skin is tan as you can see, and far enough back we all trace to some gorge in Africa, past that is your limitation or hangup. People are no more 'black' than they are 'white'... although there may well be someone with truly black skin in Equatorial Africa and an Albino living in Norway almost literally white, trying to organize the vast middle toward such two ends strikes me as insanely pointless. Not to deny there are communities and that many have a central racial basis though of course.

As it became rare to see race assigned on identity paperwork perhaps it will become rare to put an F or M on everything. I'm in favor more of not pushing it upon everyone not having even met a person to 'accept' and acknowledge something personal about them, but that people be free to simply be who they are. It's not 'thinking' then, it's doing, and they neither need nor can be affected by somebody 'accepting' that except at a direct individual level. I don't care if you think ______ people don't exist (and always have) anymore than I care if you 'accept' the world is a globe, that is all your hangup and effects you first of all. Ultimately I'm glad people are of such a variety because it would be dead boring otherwise and we couldn't get different viewpoints and perspectives. Close yourself off to that and it's your loss.

Just like a good relationship, it's people being their fullest self. Mine might seem limited to others but I found and find over time what works for me as hopefully others can. Now, it is defying objective reality if you have no known Indigenous American ancestry or whatever broad racial category you wish to claim association with, so you can only ever be an associate. But who cares? Who splits those hairs rhetorical? Anybody that matters? Probably not. Don't set them off by explicitly saying something that technically can't be real. The 'can't be' is a small technicality against being, to summon Mister Rogers, the only you there is.

Or to bring Bob Marley into things, only you can free yourself from mental slavery. Who wants to impose their limitations and hangups of the past onto others? Does that make them happy? The answer to that last one is almost always no.

I've seen people with red hair wearing dreadlocks, people in skirts and carrying purses, and one person shirtless with a snake around their shoulders... I survived the seeing somehow without dramatic confrontations or judgements. They are not me, don't have to be me, don't even have to like me, or I them, and one of them I didn't like as they genuinely alarmed an older woman with a fear of snakes. I just don't want to force all people back into uniforms with rigid barriers based on broad stereotypes. Look and do and be as you want and that's all anyone has a right to go by, and if something confuses or even alarms them then that is theirs to do what they need to do, but not to put it all on some other to do something or to accept completely. That's just life, as it's always been.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 25 February 2024 at 5:38pm
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