Rejecting the unreality of SRS

Let us start this post off with a certain well-known trans-delusion, and that premise is:

Woman=frakhole

Apparently, at least according to some TeeGeez, the essence of a woman is her vagina and penetrability. This is the mantra of Harry Benjamin Cultists and neovagina essentialists.

Purely by chance I recently found one of these to-be-penetrated-is-to-be-gender-woman essentialists blogging bragging online about her blatant vagina-essentialist cult-think, by the name of Lori McNeil.

Now Lori had her frakhole installed a few years ago, according to her testimony on her myspace journal. And life, for her, has been perfect, ever since. After all, having a fraksocket is WHAT MAKES HER A GIRL (finally)!

It’s amazing in that moment when it hits you that you are finally a girl. I’ll never forget what it was like to feel and then see the bandages between my legs confirming my womanhood. Be prepared to cry tears of joy.

Lori was not done with Tearz of omg! Joy though.

One of her acquaintances has recently submitted to srs and she too now understands, all the way to the back of her cul de sac fuckslot, exactly WHAT IT MEANS TO BE (a real™) WOMAN (finally!!1)

Over the weekend I heard from a long time friend whose SRS was the week before. She was dilated for the first time last Friday and was blown away by the experience. She describd having tears welling up in her eyes as the packing was being removed, tears of joy at being a woman. After a short pause, she then felt a sensation like none before…a stent had been inserted inside her and had reached full depth.

No notice, just filling the void which had never been there before. That’s the moment it hit her like it does so many of us…like a ton of bricks…OMG, it’s real…I’m a female.

Like, O M G!

At this time I’d like to reiterate something I posted in my “more on transition regret” post.

If you think when you are being wheeled into the operation theatre for srs while listening to, “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon” on your Ipod, that in eight hours you will wake up and finally be female, then you are doing it wrong.

Surgery to your crotch, does nothing to your brain, which is the real place where your gender dysphoria lives.

To be fair, having also undergone this procedure myself, some years before Lori or her Tearful post-o friends did, let me say this:

I understand the gratitude and relief and joy that comes with getting your dangling bits cut away from you for good. I understand the new and profound awakening and awareness of your altered body as soon as you arrive, post-o, at Dilation Station.

So. I am not ignorant of the total relaxation and profound relief that this surgical *correction,* this *adjustment,* can induce in a male to female transwoman (very tearful, I know). But the reason I am mocking Lori and her friends a little bit is because of her neovagina essentialism.

The reality is, gender is Lived Experience. Sex is your penile inversion frakhole (m2t), or your goddess-given, naturally created and grown vagina, (wbw).

(GUESS WHICH ONE YOU HAVE LORI!)

This kind of wanton, self-deluding and frankly grandiose mindfrakkery is why some clueless TeeGeez end up with SRS!regret. At the exact second they realize that having their talleywhacker inverted did not REMOVE their lived male life and replace the entire operating system and lived experience data bank with a FAAB one. And that my friends, is just common sense. Or is it?

Lori and her penpal (and myself) are VERY FORTUNATE that srs made us feel better inside our bodies. No question about that here. No disagreement or invalidation from me. Trust me, I get it:)

However.

My having empathy and understanding for some shared history with Lori and Co does not diminish my personal irritation at her brazen (neo) vagina essential-ism.

Speaking only for myself, part of Teh Joy and Specialness and Magick of SRS is due to no longer being anatomically doodly! No pecker (ty!) and having no dangling bits (ty!). Being able to caress my own faux-labia immediately brings my attention to my lack of Sex: DUDE.

THIS IS WHAT CREATES THE RELIEF OF DYSPHORIA THAT IS SRS

And also, why this elective medical procedure is SEX reassignment and not GENDER reassignment.

Conflating lived SEX-experience with the lived experience of being gender: woman is a typically transtastic thing to do

It’s been said before in other places and it bears repeating (again!).

Vagina as the essence of a woman is soooo very cliche!

Where do tranz go to get programmed with this crap?

About plasticgirl

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19 Responses to Rejecting the unreality of SRS

  1. plasticgirl says:

    Post looks cleaned up. Feel free to comment at will. Readers may note that some of my older posts that I had either locked down or deleted, were restored recently. So if you wondered where some of my transtastic fail posts went, well, they have been untrashed, sans any NO U that may have been present earlier. I have no bone to pick with radical feminists (not anymore at any rate). I know my…position…in these matters now. One comment moderation has been restored, so, your thoughts will not get *hung* in limbo until I *authorize* them.
    ;)

  2. Jane Hall says:

    “And also, why this elective medical procedure is SEX reassignment and not GENDER reassignment.”

    Ha! While I don’t like SRS, GRS is even worse, and some in an attempt to become more PC and bullshit, there’s also GCS (Gender CONFIRMATION surgery…. WTF???)!!! This video, while now private, once showed another one of those post-ops who decided they were now a WOMAN and was filming WHILE THEY WERE GETTING THEIR FIRST “DILATION”! As if to say I’m getting PENETRATED, it feels right, and that has welcomed me to womanhood!! Of course I assume that now that this person decided to take all it down (well, it’s private, maybe it’ll be public again?), they’re a WOMAN and now they need to “erase their trans history”! If only you could’ve seen it… it made me sick to my stomach!!

    As for LORI, holy shit, what the FUCK is wrong with transsexuals!! You can have the money afforded to you by male privilege but you can’t afford to have the sense of a woman and see that women are BEYOND sex and sexual favors?! Disgusting!! And her cheerleader friends… OMG, the very first commenter, ‘natalie Simpson’??? Top notch vagina essentialist and straight out RACIST. This MAN once said that you MUST have the op to be a woman, and even at another point said how he wanted his country free of immigrants… also known as NON-WHITES! I don’t know how you found that blog, but if that is one of Lori’s friends, she will be certain to become another worthless MAAB scum!

    • plasticgirl says:

      If only you could’ve seen it… it made me sick to my stomach!!

      I am sick to my stomach just imagining it. My mind hurts me like that sometimes. I couldn’t stop myself from forming the visual. ty! :P but, it makes me feel like dilation=pron (?!) I guess to some it is. Different strokes and all that…but, umm, moving on…

      ‘natalie Simpson’??? Top notch vagina essentialist and straight out RACIST.

      I feel helpless to even try my hand at Devil’s Advocacy here. These are not *my* peeps. I feel like I transitioned in a void, or something. In all honesty, I sorta, kinda get it. When I was transitioning the quest for membership into the Divine NeoVagina Sisterhood was immensely strong. For myself, I did not have the money right away for the procedure, and it left me pulsing with anxiety and helpless feelings of inadequacyy all while being made to feel *less than woman* by those in *The Club* for every single second I was *stuck* being pre-o.

      It was just awful and unneeded pressure. It’s no wonder why we get so omg tearful! when it’s FINALLY (!) over. My dream of same was realized a little later than originally projected yes, but, it truly was not the big deal everyone made it out to be. And having to wait a little longer than I had intended made me feel the full weight of the *privilege* of self-mutilation. (!) yes?

  3. Jane Hall says:

    I suppose some amount of privilege and feelings of joy can be afforded after having the surgery you’ve waited for so long, but being an essentialist about it on top of being a straight out RACIST is unacceptable!! So yes, they’re definitely not your crowd, especially if, even after years of being “women” they are the same sort of folks that you would gag just being around! The same shoddy hardware and operating system with a new outer shell (please tell me if I did that right :P)!

    Another way to think about it I think, is how many people would go around saying they got a new organ of some sort!! You never run into a person who will go “My name is Catherine, I am a post-op arm-transplanted” or something ridiculous like that, so who is to say you become a woman through a SURGERY!! These people need to WAKE UP and stop thinking, I quote you, “Vagina as the essence of a woman”!!

    • plasticgirl says:

      The same shoddy hardware and operating system with a new outer shell

      Just so! :)

      You never run into a person who will go “My name is Catherine, I am a post-op arm-transplanted”

      What can I say to this but… YES! (x10000) !

      Nice to read you btw! Please feel welcome to comment whenevas! :)

    • plasticgirl says:

      Ohhhh we have a winner Jane. I noticed I was getting inbound traffic from Snowflake’s Place and I found Natasha the moderator and news contributor, posting some of my blog posts for speshul (spatial) snowfwakes to wail and No Real Argument Then (and certainly no attempt to step up and represent or articulate on her on own blog).

      From Natasha’s intro to Snowflakes Place™.

      Nice to meet you
      « on: December 22, 2007, 02:26:52 am Hi everyone: I’m Natasha. I’m only 4 months old since my re-birth. I’m a Bowers’ girl.

      Turns out Natasha is also a “Catherine the post-o penis inverter survivor” (and proud of it) like omg! My mutilated crotchnessness IS my identity. It’s my bizness card and it tells all mtfs that I am safely ensconced in the Divine NeoVagina Sisterhood. Another vagina-essentialist, obviously.

      Despite (allegedly) getting her nuts and dick removed, she can’t quell her mab-entitlement privilege to be a dick on the forums.

      Natasha has been suspended from the news staff
      « on: December 20, 2008, 03:03:04 am »
      Due to actions which would not be acceptable from a user Natasha has temporarily been suspended from the site staff. We hold our staff members to a higher standard.

      And now, apparently no doubt after some kind of favor exchange or forgiveness, she’s back to being a mod (!) wtf

      Did I ever mention that I dislike most (mtf) trannies for their predictable maabtasticism? People like N, H, CS, they are like, mab’o’botic in their desire to push boundaries until they expire their welcome in places. Like H at Khaos Komix (not mabish at all! srsly)

      Oh and, to the mtf wannabe spatiul snowfwake who posted this:

      There must never be any hint of anything even resembiling coercion.

      Sorry, but the rest is badly written, rambling, hysterical nonsense.

      If you can do better, mr. mtfwannabe, you are more than welcome to start a blog or come mansplain to me how I could do a better job at trans-political and feminist writing. I think it would be fun to effortlessly deconstruct your MAABtastic thinking, for all to see. (also, when you can’t even spell “resembling” correctly, you should be very careful when throwing stones at other people’s houses, mmk?)

      pointing that out is a red herring and a derail, I know

  4. After a short pause, she then felt a sensation like none before…a stent had been inserted inside her and had reached full depth.

    No notice, just filling the void which had never been there before. That’s the moment it hit her like it does so many of us…like a ton of bricks…OMG, it’s real…I’m a female.

    It almost sounds like Lori isn’t just saying true “womanhood” is about penetration, but about experiencing rape. That’s how this description pings to me – as a stereotypically described rape scene. The way that the “woman” is focused internally, the guy who is doing it is absent almost as if it’s a force of nature at work, and the “full depth” comment…. Authors use these same tropes to describe the experience of rape on a routine basis, and I wonder if Lori has internalized that to believe that is how women experience penetration.

    In regards to simply not wanting a penis/testicles…. I pointed out a while back on my own blog that most males experience dysmorphia related to their genitalia, and I armchair-psychologized a possible reason (http://evebitfirst.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/this-is-not-me-dysmorphia/). The reasons for that need to be more seriously discussed, since most people who go in for surgical alterations of their body due to dysmorphia will continue to suffer in some form or fashion, or will relapse at a later point. It’s cruel to push surgery on people if it won’t fix the problems they face, and it’s particularly damaging right now to the lesbian community.

    • plasticgirl says:

      The reasons for that need to be more seriously discussed, since most people who go in for surgical alterations of their body due to dysmorphia will continue to suffer in some form or fashion, or will relapse at a later point. It’s cruel to push surgery on people if it won’t fix the problems they face,

      I find myself in total agreement here. I read the post you linked and offered a few thoughts on it at your space. I hope I was not out of line in doing so. But, your post was quite a brainful to digest. I find myself still mulling it over and I think that you are right. We do need a larger and ongoing discussion of these issues.

      Sorry I didn’t reply earlier. ‘Twas a busy day.

      Thanks so much for commenting!

  5. K. Whittaker says:

    Hmmm. That’s really the best starting point I can muster. I would say it’s rather obvious that SRS only creates a partial replica of the female reproductive system (though it is actually a “full” replica of a vaginal canal, labia minora/majora, clitoris), so I find the op-essentialists (HBS/TS-Si) very off-putting, and I say that as someone who does plan on getting (insert acronym here) surgery. I personally find the prospect of dilation pretty tiresome, basically a massive wrench thrown into one’s schedule for 6 months or a year, and a lot of pain ONLY for a desired pragmatic outcome. I say that as someone who is attracted to men and will (if sex is had) be penetrated neovaginally after surgery. It is what it is. Tautology is tautology.

    But, I find the fundamentalist critiques of SRS to be based solely on the imperfections of medical science. I would love to have the capacity to have kids, but that’s just not possible right now. Hell, I find it my inability to honestly converse with the other women in my office (I do fellowship work at school) when they bring up gynecological issues… pretty depressing. And, sure, the few girls I’ve “outed” myself too say that they’d kill not to have a period, but it’s a commonality that I can’t even “solidarity bitch” about, though XY CAIS girls also have that issue. It took me a long time to resign myself to the fact that I’ve been screwed by fate and that being a perfectionist is self-defeating, especially regarding the whole gender/sex issue. I look back when I was 7 or 8 and doing the whole “crying myself to sleep praying to God to make me a normal girl” thing, and realized how “aware” of lost time and socialization I already was, because I nearly “gave up” on it (except for still praying vainly) by the age of 11 or 12 as I felt I’d already missed out on too much life experience to be a “normal” woman growing up. I was especially cognizant of the lack of semi-common socialization due to the hawk-eyed repression meted out by my hyper-religious (holy water dispensers IN THE HOUSE!), shockingly phobic (gay/trans/liberals/women/gov’t) father. Hanging out with girls too much? Called out. Saying a word in an effeminate manner? Called out. Watching a show sympathetic to gays or trans people or anything? Called out. I later found that he carefully monitored every website I ever visited in order to question me whenever something “strange” was on.

    And that was my outlook despite missing out on a lot of male socialization due to being beaten up constantly, forced to transfer from bullying, going to therapy, and cast-out of the male ingroup. The failure to get the “male experience” was no substitute for the “female experience”, even if some girls were outcast just as thoroughly from their bio-group as I was from mine. I got even more depressed at 13-14 when I started reading crap online about TS issues at the dawn of the internet age, mainly because I had initially gotten so excited again and then realized how imperfect the treatments were. I immediately realized the superficiality and expense of SRS, and became extremely angry at God, whom I still believed in then. I had diligently prayed, attempted to flip it inside out through drinking concoctions I believed God had told me to drink (soap and pickle juice was the “best”), and still was now in the throes of male puberty – a strange puberty (had a mammogram at age 13 due to notable gynecomastia and ended up with enormous areolas, other evidence of MAIS, but oh well, minor in the grand scheme of things…) and one that spit me out the other side naked and alone with nothing but the social lego blocks of masculinity to prevent me from spiralling into total incoherence and social illegitimacy. And, yeah, I built a shitty, thin hovel with a wild-west facade out of those building blocks in order to shield myself during high school in a rural town of 1900.

    It took me years of writing,reading, internalizing, and plotting an escape – until I was 18 – to come back out and accept I’d be an imperfect woman with some social, physical, and environmental deficiencies. But I also know (in looking back) that, because I self-identified as a girl to begin with, I absorbed a lot more female socialization than I realized. I couldn’t help it. Things that addressed the “me” behind my eyes… stuck. I’d say I didn’t get much of the oppressor-training in, either, but that’s one of those “unfalsifiable” aspects of the trans-disparaging radfem philosophy.

    Simple put, it’s hard for me to get too caught up in trying to sabotage my life further. I live as a woman and I get cis privilege (I’m sorry, but !regardless of justification!, you can’t look at the recent trans employment and poverty study and NOT recognize said privilege). I feel mighty uncomfortable with the birth bits, and I’m not going to kill myself over the imperfections of the SRS end-result (which IS made from largely analogous tissue of course – blood, veins, flesh) because its better than holding myself to an impossible standard. But I’m not going to wake up from SRS surgery enraptured, waiting for the first moment when I can stick a plastic dildo in there. And I’m definitely not worried about missing something that I never used for self-play or any kind of gratification. Well, perhaps there’s one piece of male privilege I’ll miss: peeing standing up while hiking or camping.

    And, for me, SRS isn’t a benefit from male financial privilege, what with starting “transition” after having only two jobs… that paid me $8 an hour… both as housekeeping. I’m just lucky that I got a SSI settlement due to stepfather’s disability, and had some money granted to me by grandparents to pay for a state college. Then, because I perform very well on standardized tests (my one real skill), I got into a good grad school whose insurance pays for SRS. Bam.

    But, really, if I live as a woman and nobody knows otherwise, why would I internalize a different identity that the one I’ve always had? Why would I externalize a fading personal struggle that’s rarely relevant to my day-to-day life and becoming more irrelevant as time goes on? My life isn’t really ABOUT being trans, its about being a left-radical and a friend and a student and a lover and whatnot, and those things will be ascribed to a woman, both internally and externally.

    Sure, I clearly disagree with the notion that gender is 100% socialized. Rather it is a combination of physical or genetic predisposition, propaganda, and repression/oppression, and so I think one’s expression of gender can’t be cleanly cleaved from one’s biology. And, yes, I’ve read your Bstc post, and think it interesting, but nothing else. Since that seminal study, there have been several other studies that have much better methodologies and larger sample sizes, but testing other attributes… and which also indicate at least something off. And, yeah, I can’t figure out my own experiences otherwise either. There had to be something there that either functioned as near-destiny neurologically, OR allowed my physical brain to compile my earliest social experiences in such a way that what emerged was a concrete expression of the unexpected.

    Of course, I’ve written this long diatribe, and perhaps don’t even know why I should care. But clearly I do. On just this topic of SRS, I agree, the vagina doesn’t make the woman. GRS makes no sense as a label except from the tiny percentage of social interaction in which gender and sex become inextricably linked. Of course, SRS is an overstatement, since secondary sexual are representations of one’s physical sex as well, and hormones do a fair amount in that regard. It’s more like VCS – vaginal construction surgery. No shame in that at all. GCS is a bit weird, because it assumes that one needs VCS to confirm one’s gender. If you need a vagina to prove to yourself you are a woman, you are in the wrong boat. I say that even though I do understand how hard it is to look at oneself in the mirror with peentestes and how awkward they can make the prospect of sex or sexual gratification (as those things are fairly important to most people). But, obviously, “having sex” =/= sex.

    Again, my life is great and largely what I would always have hoped it would be, from the perspective of the ambitious little girl I conceived myself to be or from whatever perspective you’d wish to foist upon childhood me. And I won’t call myself anything but a woman at any point. Not transwoman, not anything else. I just can’t understand it any other way MYSELF.

    • plasticgirl says:

      (though it is actually a “full” replica of a… >–*snip*!)

      I know this. It’s really neither here, nor there. You want one yourself, and you want it to be really real yo!, so you defend the current state of srs by associating construction techniques of neovaginas to real vaginas. Sorry, but, it ain’t a real vagina, no matter how many ways you rationalize it, or look at the clit, labia, urethra photos at A. Lawrence’s site. I knew that when I bought mine. If I could could go back to pre srs and put myself in cryostasis and be woken up and srs’d when I could have a real female repro system in some future century, I would.

      I say that as someone who is attracted to men and will (if sex is had) be penetrated neovaginally after surgery.

      There is nothing wrong with liking or wanting piv with dudes. It seems like validation to feel a man’s penis push into you, and underneath your pubic bone the first time. You will feel reborn. It’s romantic and emo but, it’s true. It just feels, right.

      I would love to have the capacity to have kids, but that’s just not possible right now. Hell, I find it my inability to honestly converse with the other women in my office (I do fellowship work at school) when they bring up gynecological issues… pretty depressing

      Interesting. What I would give to have this woman’s lived experience with children. So wistful to me. Perhaps next life.

      It took me a long time to resign myself to the fact that I’ve been screwed by fate

      Yeah nothing like being born and raised into total male entitlement and privilege. Much better to enjoy “cis” privilege and get raped by your dad, brother or uncle as a preteen and then sold into slavery or marriage as a young adult. You were screwed alright. Yeah. Like any wbw on earth is going to feel sorry for you. Not.

      Can you not see your arrogance, your hubris, and fantasy in this kind of thinking? It’s selfish and immature. Period. End of story. To say this to me with a straight face tells me you don’t live full-time yet, or, you are living as an out trans and don’t enjoy the privilege of stealth, nor the shite you deal with when people really do think you are FAAB. Like lower wages, being talked over, interrupted, followed, propositioned and living with Schroedinger’s Rapist.

      It makes me angry and sick to my stomach when a trans cops to lolcis privilege. It means you’ve never really struggled and striven and been held down in a fauxfab life, and you have no idea what you are talking about, at all. It’s shameless trans-narcissism and it strikes nearly every m2f. But oddly enough, rarely (or not as often) do ftms seem to be confused on the issue of wbw “cis” priv. Really. Clueless maab overload here.

      I look back when I was 7 or 8 and doing the whole “crying myself to sleep praying to God to make me a normal girl” thing, and realized how “aware” of lost time and socialization I already was, because I nearly “gave up” on it (except for still praying vainly) by the age of 11 or 12

      You just gained (some) rep back with that. That was similar to my experience, as well, thank you for being open

      And that was my outlook despite missing out on a lot of male socialization due to being beaten up constantly, forced to transfer from bullying, going to therapy, and cast-out of the male ingroup. The failure to get the “male experience” was no substitute for the “female experience”,

      I am beginning to think that 100% of all mtfs who transition were beat up for some kind of intangible girl-vibe that guys got off of us that led them to gang up on and beat us after school so often. I am glad you have no illusions about male on male bullying for being perceived gay or weak is NOT the same as FAAB oppression. There is hope for you. :)

      and still was now in the throes of male puberty – a strange puberty (had a mammogram at age 13 due to notable gynecomastia and ended up with enormous areolas, other evidence of MAIS, but oh well, minor in the grand scheme of things…)

      As much as I like to keep it real by deconstructing the real facts about genetics and twanz, there is still so much to learn about genes. I don’t know how much of my stuff you’ve read, but I had my own genetic mutation signs from the goddess with delayed and non-masculinizing puberty, followed by psychiatric drugging which messed with my thyroid, testes and hormones, and then early hormonal transition and finding my (left first) breasts starting to grow in less than three weeks after starting very mild low-dose self-administered HRT and having postop testo levels in one year on spiro…..burning finger on the wall, right?

      That is what we tell ourselves when we add up all the unlikely coincidences. As far as I know, my genes are not the slightest bit intersexed or mosaic. Does it mean my genes are not (even slightly)? No, not necessarily. It just means I don’t know, and science cant know, quite yet. I am cool with that, and do not need to appropriate intersexed identity to transplain my speshul inner fweelings, and then invade wbw spaces as a faux trans woman, like Zoe Brain does, for example. I was never that insecure with my lack of evidence-based *proof* of my twanznessness.

      ..and one that spit me out the other side naked and alone with nothing but the social lego blocks of masculinity to prevent me from spiralling into total incoherence and social illegitimacy. And, yeah, I built a shitty, thin hovel with a wild-west facade out of those building blocks in order to shield myself during high school in a rural town of 1900.

      this….

      I’d say I didn’t get much of the oppressor-training in, either, but that’s one of those “unfalsifiable” aspects of the trans-disparaging radfem philosophy.

      I’d say I’d be able to tell how much you have by maintaining complete eye contact with you and subtly asking off-the-cuff questions about FAAB life feminist politics and male-entitlement; meanwhile, my stopwatch would be ticking in expectation of you outing yourself as maabtastic, sooner or later. Your insistence on “cis” is proof in itself.”Cis” is a construct and a delusion. Really, it is.

      I long for the day when I will get a mtf ts/tg visitor who will simply agree with me from heartfelt understanding of that truth, and not work some kind of transplain into the chat as to why “cis” is legit. There is no such thing as wbw “cis” privilege. Like I told Sarah from UK in my MWMF thread, that is Serano transjactivist programming, and if you want to be taken seriously (by RFs) you should see that it is bunk programming, and abandon it. I have. But you need the lived experience to understand, otherwise, to invoke “lolcis” is frankly mental masturbation. It’s mansplaining FAAB life. It really is.

      Simple put, it’s hard for me to get too caught up in trying to sabotage my life further. I live as a woman and I get cis privilege (I’m sorry, but !regardless of justification!, you can’t look at the recent trans employment and poverty study and NOT recognize said privilege).

      Cis=fail. Period. Really. May I suggest, in all sincerity, that you take the time to read some of the rad fem blogs on my blogroll, and do the math. If the math is not adding up, and you still can’t get it, you are coming from a place of a trans-woman’s lived experience, and not (imo) a fauxFAB woman’s lived experience.

      Can’t you see from my pro rad fem posts, and my own lived experience posts as twans, that I have just barely enough fauxFAB lived life that I TOTALLY GET why there is no such thing as “cis”-female privilege? To even speak of it means you are either a funfem or XY, really. Sorry if that hurts, but that is my heartfelt and sincere opinion. After recovering from Catholicism and doing a tour through atheism (boring and unimaginative and unfun, if not realistic) I rebuilt my private interior religion to be based on the Goddess.

      I asked for the experience of fauxFAB, I got a glimpse. I think I do understand wbw, a little better for it. I have tried to understand the mindset of trans-skepticism, trans-exclusion and trans-prejudice, and I think I get it. Hence this blog. I am pro fem and pro rad fem and I do not believe in “cis” (lolz). Please, think about that for a time. What must Plastic Girl’s life have been like to reject *cis* so completely. The answer is, lived life experience of oppression. See, Schroedinger’s Rapist as a starting point.

      But I’m not going to wake up from SRS surgery enraptured, waiting for the first moment when I can stick a plastic dildo in there. And I’m definitely not worried about missing something that I never used for self-play or any kind of gratification. Well, perhaps there’s one piece of male privilege I’ll miss: peeing standing up while hiking or camping.

      But then you have to try to warm my heart towards you by being both realistic and having a sense of humour.

      I got into a good grad school whose insurance pays for SRS. Bam.

      Wow…..pretty nice. Grats4u. Sure beats saving up fifteen thousand dollars over the course of four years, doesn’t it?

      But, really, if I live as a woman and nobody knows otherwise, why would I internalize a different identity that the one I’ve always had? Why would I externalize a fading personal struggle that’s rarely relevant to my day-to-day life and becoming more irrelevant as time goes on? My life isn’t really ABOUT being trans, its about being a left-radical and a friend and a student and a lover and whatnot, and those things will be ascribed to a woman, both internally and externally.

      This sounds eminently reasonable. And so I will let you in on a secret to understanding where I am coming from. I identify myself as female, as woman. It’s as simple as that. But part of my confidence in myself comes from total love of myself and my actualization and fulfillment in my physical feminisation, my trans-gendered fashion choices, my studious gender mimicry and voice training, my real and personally chosen female name, and yes, not insignificantly, knowing I am not genitally dudely, helps. It all buffets and supports my ongoing psychosocial assimilation into FAAB life (experienced as fauxFAB inside my xy body).

      In case you are wondering, this whole Plastic Girl theme of constantly admitting to my XY chromosomal assignment, owning up to my MAAB past, none of this dents my IRL confidence or mental stability. I can be a student and online proponent of radical feminism and enjoy the self-mockery of transcriticism, and I don’t feel like a “wittle wounded snowfwake™”, know what I mean? Anybody that feels poisoned by my blog words is not stable inside themselves, and it means (and tells me) that they are still battling GID and re-sculpting their new gender and social presentation, and I can sense that ego-fragility. It amuses me that twans must always be Y So SRS! It get’s better!

      Sure, I clearly disagree with the notion that gender is 100% socialized. Rather it is a combination of physical or genetic predisposition, propaganda, and repression/oppression, and so I think one’s expression of gender can’t be cleanly cleaved from one’s biology. And, yes, I’ve read your Bstc post, and think it interesting, but nothing else. Since that seminal study, there have been several other studies that have much better methodologies and larger sample sizes, but testing other attributes… and which also indicate at least something off.

      HEADDESK. Until you can show me your twans genetic assay test results and post them on the tubes for all to see, TS is still in your head. Bio-reductionism is sooo tantalizing! But it ain’t in the genes, sister, it’s in the mind! It’s all in YOUR mind, and MY mind, and how OUR minds cope with growing up and dealing with strangely dysphoric feelings about our gender roles or body sex.

      Here is a tip: Body dysmorphia and gender role frustration is not a mtf twanssnowflake unique experience. FAABS deal with hating their body, their sex, their female-ness, their XX, and their gendered socialization and by bioreductionism or GID logic, this makes ALL WBW REALLY TWANS. Somehow they (the vast majority who deal with *GID* as a FAAB) get over it, and make the best of it without keeling over from suicide and leaving behind plaintive suicide notes about how UNFAIR it is to be born with the lolcis *privilege* of being female, and due to not being able to magically or medically or surgically transition to be dudely, death was a better option than life.

      This crap does not happen! We have the internet and the Iphone linking everybody and everything and the truth is, FAABs (and MAABs) tipping over due to suicide over the FATE of being born into, well into a genetically selected and random sex and the resultant expected binary gender performance that must be rooted in XX or XY JUST AINT HAPPENING LIKE TEH TSSI PEEPS CLAIM IT IS. Otherwise, let me see the suicide note! The cake really is a lie. Trans are in love with their special specialness. It’s obvious.

      I strongly dislike Trans Theory. It is so DESPERATE and so WEAK. And SO MANY TRANS CLING TO IT. Its pathetic, imo. JUST BE YOURSELF. No need for a gene test or a disease diagnosis to validate being alive and having a predisposition or inner orientation or a desire for extreme body modding.

      It is because society punishes non binary-gender conformity, that we think (and dearly HOPE) that we must have an actual birth defect. That is insane! It’s mentally unhealthy, and this trans-trending crap, the HBS-TS-SI people, the UK child castration study, it’s all MAD SCIENCE yo, and totally Cyberpunk DYSTOPIA. It’s scary that modern scientists who can build space shuttles and orbital telescopes and robots and Iphones and cancer-fighting stem cells, have NO FRAKKING CLUE HOW THE MIND (or even jendah!) REALLY WORKS.

      Fwiw, once I became a legal adult at the age of 18, I never ever saw a counselor or therapist, ever again. I worked out all my issues when I was doing kundulini and daily meditation. I found myself by exploring my interior galaxy and discovering ME. That was spiritual, mental and emotional enlightenment. That actualization gives me a huge passing and confidence advantage that I rarely see in mtf transwomen, pre, post, or nonop. Therapy is also a privilege, and my path gave me a less self-deluding, less self-compromising (and far cheaper) notion of my own interior identity that allows me to sympathize with wbw over twans, ANY DAY, easily.

      And, yeah, I can’t figure out my own experiences otherwise either. There had to be something there that either functioned as near-destiny neurologically, OR allowed my physical brain to compile my earliest social experiences in such a way that what emerged was a concrete expression of the unexpected.

      This tells me you (most likely) don’t (fully) know your *self* yet. That you have not done the hard interior spiritual work, because you are transplaining being trans, to me, a fellow trans. I don’t believe any of that stuff, ANYMORE, but, like you, I did, once.

      No shame in that at all. GCS is a bit weird, because it assumes that one needs VCS to confirm one’s gender. If you need a vagina to prove to yourself you are a woman, you are in the wrong boat. I say that even though I do understand how hard it is to look at oneself in the mirror with peentestes and how awkward they can make the prospect of sex or sexual gratification (as those things are fairly important to most people). But, obviously, “having sex” =/= sex.

      Every time you step on your MAB thinking and out yourself as maabtastic, you turn around and (almost) save yourself with your honesty, and what appears to be to me, sincere attempts at communicating and sharing. Your words show me you do think about this stuff, it seems to me that you want to be sensitive and you can open up a little, and at least be partially honest with yourself.

      And I won’t call myself anything but a woman at any point. Not transwoman, not anything else. I just can’t understand it any other way MYSELF.

      I don’t know whether to judge that as pass or fail. I guess, I’d have to be an invisible camera hovering over you and watch your facial and body language reactions if a wbw clocked you and subsequently asked you to remove yourself from a WBW-defined space like a rape shelter, the MWMF, wbw-only pharmacy, that sort of thing. If you accept exclusion and rejection with wordless grace and humble tact, you pass in my book. If you stamp your feet, wring your hands and start getting soooo offended!!!! and commence with the expected and unoriginal wounded maab-pride omgTranzPlainz’o’doomz!!!11 then you are tripping over the remains of your MAAB socialization.

      Given what you’ve told me here, (and I am very glad you took the time to share thoughts and life with me K. Whittaker), my thinking is, with the shared-experience angle, we could probably get along; enough to have coffee or tea and chat at Some Coffee Shop in Some Random City. But, I fear that if our small talk moved into trans politics and you tried to transplain wbw cisprivilege to me, to my face, you’d get a million watt stare of ice-cold evil eye shortly before I walk away and insist you never try to contact me again.

      Thanks for visiting, and commenting, (knowing how venomous this spider can be to trans, that was brave of you) ;)

      Even though I do not agree with easily half of what you say in regards to bio or social trans stuff, I do feel some shared history and hence, some sisterhood, with you.

      Cheers.

  6. K. Whittaker says:

    Thanks for the in-depth response. I was a bit nervous coming in here, but the one thing I’ve always tried to be is bluntly honest. That isn’t to say that I occasionally fail, but that my failures are, at worst, a failure of internal consistency and that alone.

    Before going on to dicier subjects (and I’m not really trying to debate, but to share, because for too long I’ve seen important subjects as points for debate and ended up alienating people that I desired not to alienate…), I’d like to point out a few extra shared experiences. Though you may have guessed from the holy water, I too escaped the strictures of Catholicism. It’s hard for me to not conclude that a great deal of my guilt and need for explanation comes from the sociology of being raised ultra-Catholic. Not to mention a huge amount of my strife. Everything HAD to be justified, as you know, and justified on the plane of the purely arbitrary sky-man. I’ve come to the comfortable realism of de-facto atheism (i.e. realistic agnosticism), and really don’t expect to move towards another spiritual plane. Not because I’m not open to it, but because I don’t feel “empty” in my atheism. It’s neat that you have something that’s both spiritual and non-destructive.

    On the “mysterious biology” front, I also had a very quick spike to no T levels. IN fact, despite being active and an athlete, I had low T to begin with, but dropped to 10th percentile for bio-women within only a few months on spiro. Yes, burning finger on the wall… but whose burning finger and what is it writing (Mene Mene Tekel, you have been weighed in the balance and found…), right? I also fully agree that the exact explanation is irrelevant because causation is irrelevant to present reality. Whether some medication I was given at 8 months messed with some glands and altered my brain or I have mosaicism or 6-year old me just immersed too much in Laura Ingalls Wilder and played with my cousin Shana too much, the point is that I’m comfortable identifying as a woman. But, that doesn’t mean the question is irrelevant or should ultimately be dismissed as “untestable/unknowable” for reasons I hope to get to later in this.

    I know you do not desire a defense of the concept of “cis”, since you have rejected it, and I do not have any pretenses of converting you NOR of functioning as a die-hard advocate. But I think that a personal explanation is inevitable and necessary, because the mind doesn’t simply jump from one set of rails to the other, but uses a track switch and takes a shallow angle. So… I have to admit that part of my outlook on things like the concept of cis-privilege derive from my primary philosophical perspective: radical economic/political leftism. So, I tend to look at statistical imperatives first and foremost, and seeing the poverty rates, median income (which nearly stays flat when adjusting for education), rape rates, murder rates, etc… it is hard for me to conclude that there isn’t at least a significant disadvantage when compared to a reasonable control group of FAABs, assuming same country/age/education/race/whatnot. Of course, that study probably only takes into account people who identify as trans first and foremost, transitioned on a job, or are clockable for some reason. Which is the privileged distinction of stealth from a strictly empirical perspective. But the nature of privilege is one of the most peculiar and frustrating aspects of semantics I’ve ever been exposed to, because it has so many “A=B=/=C, but A=C” sort of paradoxes involved. And I’m really, really not trying to diminish an important and seminal concept in studies not just of women but all majority/minority groups, but saying that when it comes to the infighting between groups which are at least MORE disadvantaged than the MOST privileged group (white men in Europe/Canada/Japan/U.S.)… things tend to become dicey and oft-based on first assumptions, history, and even morality.

    But… that sort of logical analysis is probably too bloodless and detached and devoid of individual lived experience, and makes it very difficult to come up with a unified theory across cultures (as, for example, women in most other nations are surely worse off than Western trans). I’m finally beginning to understand that. However, even looking at it from a “lived experience” perspective, I found this inaccurate:

    Yeah nothing like being born and raised into total male entitlement and privilege. Much better to enjoy “cis” privilege and get raped by your dad, brother or uncle as a preteen and then sold into slavery or marriage as a young adult. You were screwed alright. Yeah. Like any wbw on earth is going to feel sorry for you. Not.

    How did I find it inaccurate? Well, the last sentence certainly, as nearly all the women who have known me through transition have expressed a great deal of sorrow that I had it so rough. Even to the point of some specifically saying they are very grateful they didn’t have to deal with something like this. Including my mother. Now, I realize that you may perceive that relativistic sympathy (and I’m quite certain some of those expressing a feeling of gratitude for not having been in my shoes were transparently and deeply genuine) as the byproduct of some false consciousness, but to do so would undermine their lived experience in order to preserve an orderly conclusion.

    Moreover, and I feel queasy trying to break this into stats again, but I see no evidence that cis women are raped at a higher rate than out transfolk. Certainly sold into marriage or slavery, but very rarely in the West (rarity being probabilistic, while each person suffering from those grievous harms is very, very real). Now, I get that this isn’t a “fair fight” comparison. Really, I do. Someone who transitions at 45, maybe has had kids, etc… has absorbed (using the same empirical comparisons) a huge amount of ongoing male privilege. And that’s the struggle in all of this for me. I come into this from my own perspective, and the only thing I can do is ATTEMPT empathy. Because each human absorbs experiences as a single person, and FAABs experience a certain probability of common experience that I can only try to empathize with. Some are nearly universal, some are comparatively rare. My mother was definitely never raped or defiled, excelled in science, and is/has always been extremely independent-minded… but she did have her mother (mother!) withdraw support from her during college on the notion that she should “just find a man and settle down” instead of finishing her vocal major. That’s a huge step back, and one she didn’t overcome until she went back to college when I was in middle school.

    So, on your call-out, I’ve spent the evening looking back to see if, taking probabilities and the nature of my family into account, I was actually “screwed” by being trans or if it was just an arrogant assumption on my part.

    First, I wasn’t raped or sexually abused, and though I highly doubt that anyone in my family would have done that had I been FAAB, the odds say that I benefited. One point for me actually being privileged.

    Second, I excelled in academics, being placed in the gifted program, scoring top in the class in math subjects, and finishing 13th in the state in a math contest in 7th grade. I also finished 36th in another state contest in high school, won a number of regional championships in various math and science subjects, and also finished 7th in the major state English contest. While I ended up majoring in English and Creative Writing in college (which skews heavily female), my success in math and science was greatly atypical for women as a whole, given how heavily discouraged girls are in math. However, given my mom’s history of success in science in an even more backward time, perhaps this isn’t extraordinary within the genetics/sociology of my family. Nonetheless, given that I scored a perfect 800 on the math section even of my GRE (five years after my last math class as a Freshman in college), I’d have to lean towards “benefit” again. So, two points for having experienced male privilege.

    Third, I’d like to address the abuse I received. I was constantly harassed. Among the travesties I encountered were having my nose broken by a 10-pound block of ice thrown at my head, being bullied so badly at the bus stop that my grandparents had to drive me to school for years afterwards, having all of the boys pee on the floor in the bathroom and then shove me into the lake of piss and kick me around to roll in it, being beaten up at recess by most of the boys and even a few girls (I never fought back) nearly every day, being disparaged using every expected epithet (pussy, sissy, faggot, dork, geek, etc…), being put into therapy for my depression by age 10 (as I mentioned), and forced to transfer to another school by age 11. In fact, I went to 7 schools from K-12 despite being a good student with few disciplinary infractions. Oh, and yes, I was given serious speech therapy in 1st and 2nd grade to over come my way of pronouncing the letter “s” and the “sh” sound. Heh. I already mentioned my father and his religion. His specific disavowal of all gender-non-normative programming (going so far as to precisely forbid my mom to allow me to see *Bosom Buddies* amongst others!) was quite hilarious in retrospect, though most of my experience wasn’t so cheeky :(. I’m going to chalk this area up to relative disadvantage using the same kind of criteria as the others. So, 2 privilege, 1 detriment. In fact, the abuse was so bad I think I could fairly argue that it is equal to or worse than the preceding sections combined, but that’s a judgment call.

    But, so as not to appear to have contradicted my earlier message, I realize that the “kind” of oppression I faced (and, in the inner city where I went to elementary school before moving to the country, the girls were nearly as merciless as the guys) is entirely different from female socialization. I’m trying to measure the relative level of “screwed” or “privilege” I received, not to say that suffering=learning, because it most certainly does not in many instances, this being one of them.

    I suppose the one common element of the debate over privilege is the unquantifiable mental angst. I do find this curious:

    This crap does not happen! We have the internet and the Iphone linking everybody and everything and the truth is, FAABs (and MAABs) tipping over due to suicide over the FATE of being born into, well into a genetically selected and random sex and the resultant expected binary gender performance that must be rooted in XX or XY JUST AINT HAPPENING LIKE TEH TSSI PEEPS CLAIM IT IS. Otherwise, let me see the suicide note! The cake really is a lie. Trans are in love with their special specialness. It’s obvious.

    It’s not obvious. This is really the only part of your response that I didn’t merely take as a well-written (if slightly condescending) counterpoint, but as genuinely offputting. Are you claiming that the stats indicating the insanely high suicide and attempted suicide rates for transpeople are fabricated or exaggerated? If so, the onus is on you to disprove the stats. People dying is not something to make cavalier and snarky points about “specialness”. I’m sorry, but even if I agreed with every other point you made, this erasure of suicide-propensity is just dehumanizing, assuming I interpreted your meaning correctly. If not, I would welcome an alternate explanation. I’m sorry for being so blunt on this point, but if I’m going to attempt empathy, I’m going to attempt it for suicidal people too.

    But, as to the privilege/no-privilege/MAAB privilege/cis-privilege aspect of mental health, I’d say that using your own criteria that FAABs experience the same thing as trans when it comes to dysphoria, I’d still say that it’s indisputable that trans dysphoria would be worse, simply because of the dangling bits, and exacerbated during puberty by the divergence away from the repressive but anatomically-relevant cultural norms. Oppression Olympics and whatnot, I understand, but still… kind and degree are BOTH important.

    To wit, I never felt suicidal about this. I did once plot a crazy way of making it look like I’d cut off my testes “accidentally” at age 13, but chickened out for the best. Still not suicide of course. I love life and breathing the night air and spraining my ankle in rocky crevices and salisbury steak way too much to commit suicide over my peen or the tiny bit of facial hair that came in when I was 18. It was extremely depressing to the point of making me wretch a couple times, but hardly to the level of suicide. Curiously, I was denied HRT by a gatekeeper at age 18 because I “didn’t feel enough distress” . My flaw was indicating I had an optimistic overall outlook on life DESPITE the conscious repression of self-expression I’d long been forced to harbor.

    But, finally, I’ll admit it. Overall, I experienced privilege as a guy, despite missing out on a huge percentage of the total privilege afforded MAABs who are devoid of my peculiar proclivities. Most of what I did gain came in high school. That awful metaphorical male-hovel I spoke of? It weathered the storms like a champ. In fact, my high school experience was empirically awesome, even if it was devastating emotionally. I ended up playing 3 varsity sports (highly ranked in golf), was Prom King (though I had no date ;)), and had a list of extra-curriculars a mile long. I was even the official school mascot. And I mean me, rather than me in a costume. It was a lot of ridiculous play-acting, and the act broke down senior year, but even if an actor/ess hates the role, they still pick up the roses tossed on stage. Senior year I ended up being the girls Basketball team’s manager, was voted (without my encouragement) into the girls senior night (tiara and roses and all :)), and appear in the yearbook as “Biggest Drama QUEEN” with the capital letters as shown. But still, even then, I was riding on a ton of privilege I admit I wouldn’t have otherwise received.

    And then I came out to family and friends the moment I was away from home and off to university. For a few years there, it was quite difficult with parents and friends, to the point that I transferred to a school where my most supportive friends attended to keep from losing my mind. Most of it was the insanity of my dad’s side of the family, all religious Fox-News worshipping loons, and the guilt they still managed to pour upon my head.

    But, really, I experienced very little of what out-transpeople experience, because I lived quasi-Male-gendered (often failing presenting as a guy but using an exaggerated voice to “get by”) until the day I went full-time and passing in another state. So while you were right to note that I was arrogant in saying I was “screwed” by my transness, I still can’t personally comment on what those not sharing what you call the FauxFAAB experience… experience. Statistically their lot seems awful, and I was lucky in many other regards (white, born in the west, never homeless, only poor for about half of my childhood, one side of the family totally supportive)…. In other words, I don’t see a reason to reject the idea of cissexuality out of hand, but I realize that not all transpeople are as severely burdened as others. Still, its hard for me to go down to the trans clinic I get bloodwork and HRT scrips from, where nearly all the transpeople live on the streets, have scars from street silicone injections, have little to no chance at passing, are universally unemployed, have mind-numbingly high HIV/AIDS rates, and awful problems with self-image… and conclude that they aren’t suffering some kind of monstrous social repression that exceeds what an average black woman experiences. I know that’s not necessarily what privilege means, but its probably what it would mean to a disembodied hologram of Marx, and I think there must be a pragmatism in definitions.

    And, this is absolutely key, perhaps the main thing I mean to share here: I think they are worse off because I really do have a social experience as wbw/FauxFAB/cis/nottryingtoarguethissoImusingalldefinitions. I’m amazed at how stark the differences are. There are some things that are nice, even if they offend me intellectually, like getting doors held open, being treated with extra doses of pleasantry, etc.. And there are other things that are truly gratifying, like the little secret smiles and waves that I exchange with other women – we are safe with each other and we know it.

    And then there is the fact that I’ve never been taken for granted more in my entire life. Before, with my mock professor voice in action, I could hold a room spellbound with oratory or inadvertently cow others into submission (without realizing that’s what it was until now). I swear to science (joke) my perceived IQ dropped from “unmitigated genius” range to simply “she’s bright” the day after I moved. Whereas I was the favorite of my college professors in undergrad, and could reach back for a stellar recommendation 6 ways from Sunday, I’ve found professors in law school are almost dismissive. This despite the fact that I’m vastly more well-read and confident in my knowledge than I was before my two-year break from school and still (tests-wise) among the better students! Even with women making up more than half of our class and having several female professors, I find that we are often wounded by the use of the Socratic method.

    And, after one particularly strong night of drinking not long into living as a woman… I decided to walk home alone in the dark. It wasn’t until a couple girlfriends picked me up in a panic (in their car), wondering what I was doing out there alone singing and whistling alone, that I began to realize the reality of that “Schrodinger’s rapist.” It only intensified when I started going out dancing on weekends and started encountering guys who would only start talking to me 10 minutes before closing time trying to score an easy fuck or easy prey. And, hell, if it weren’t for the “always-there” knowledge of my “corndog-and-hushpuppies” preventing me from even thinking about their propositions, drunken and vulnerable me may have ended up in some bad spots (to put it mildly).

    And, I’ll say something even more blunt – I got clocked, once, by a worldly citykid because I came across as too confident and aggressive in a class about two weeks after I started living fully as a woman. He didn’t clock me because of my face or voice (the latter has never been clocked, phone or drive-thru), but because my behavior when impassioned was so stridently atypical and my tone while being carried away was dripping with male background!

    Very recently, when encountering an administrator and staunch feminist (she leans more third-wave/funfem like me, admittedly, but she’s from the second-wave period, so..) and she said she only knew because she had to deal with a bit of my paperwork at the start of my time attending school, but did point out that I was “more aggressive”. I was again a bit startled to hear that describe me. Confident and fearless? Yes, for sure. But aggressive? I can’t remember that! The kid who gets tortured all the time usually doesn’t think of themself as aggressive! This was the story: I had requested to transfer departments to her wonderful section of the office – for my fellowship work. I did so because I had a poor relationship with my old boss, who was often dismissive of my concerns and wouldn’t budge when I argued back (something else that seems to happen much more often). The admin said that “girls usually just grin and bear it” and that I was the first girl to ever request a transfer, while at least 3 or 4 guys had done so over the years.

    The admin then said, “I think it’s a good thing you didn’t absorb that submissive mentality. We need good, strong women like you fighting for what’s right rather than giving into a hierarchy.” So I took it as a compliment overall, and she said she wouldn’t have suspected my past if she hadn’t already known… but I was still floored. There are still hints of what you’d call MAABtasticism (or somesuch) in my otherwise normal woman’s life. Very few and fading, but shocking to me when they came up.

    So, yes, I understand very much WHERE some (though not all) of the radfems are coming from, much more than I did before even writing this message. But… comparing my loss of privilege (being treated like any other woman) to the lives of those poor, homeless, minority transgirls down in Norfolk… is like comparing a fallen souffle to a firebomb. It’s too big of a leap, and one I can’t make either based on stats, on experience, or on the basis of intellectual consistency.

    Going On:
    I am perplexed about is the genetics/mind thing. Now I know that the genetics/biology/brain studies are not something I can get checked out at my local TranStore, and so appropriating the brain-sex thing is tricky. But the probabilities are very high that *SOMETHING* is up if the studies are anything but fraudulent, so I don’t feel like I’m jumping into a green mystery pool (could be acid, could be jello) either. But, mainly it was this that stumped me:

    But it ain’t in the genes, sister, it’s in the mind! Its all in YOUR mind, and MY mind, and how OUR minds cope with growing up and dealing with strangely dysphoric feelings about our gender roles or body sex.

    Here is a tip: Body dysmorphia and gender role frustration is not a mtf twanssnowflake unique experience. FAABS deal with hating their body, their sex, their female-ness, their XX, and their gendered socialization and by reductionism or GID logic, this makes ALL WBW REALLY TWANS. Somehow, they get over it, and make the best of it without keeling over from suicide and leaving behind plaintive suicide notes about how UNFAIR it is to be born with the lolcis *privilege* of being female, and due to not being able to magically or medically or surgically transition to be dudely, death was a better option than life.

    The first part confuses me because it seems to indicate that the “mind” is different than the physical organ “the brain”. I don’t see it that way. It’s NOT that way. I guess you mean socialization and experience rather than biology? If so, the two are hopelessly entangled, to use some law school terminology. The nature of the entanglement seems to be the issue. The second part just seems to entirely ignore FtM people and their strife. The latter is a big issue with second-wavers in general. These aren’t in-depth critiques, but only because I think that these arguments have gone down hundreds of times on the various radfem blogs. In fact, I’m guessing that they’ve gone down that many times at Dirt’s site.

    Now, I’d like to explain something – I’ve long been a fighter for broad and inclusive universal insurance (well, not that long, I’m too young, but you get the drift) for all persons. Part of the way I look at this is from the perspective of funding transition as a net social utility. I have no reason to doubt the stats on transpeople like you do (at least regarding suicides, possibly others), and see the investment as a net social benefit. I’m rather convinced from the studies that, in the aggregate, most transpeople do really have some sort of genetic/chromosomal/hormonal/brainsex something of somekind. So even if it is both impossible and/or financially imprudent to test each and every potential transitioner, treating the condition as brain-intersex-by-default is both medically supportable (though not a slam-dunk) and politically prudent, as well as (to beat the decomposing equine) of utilitarian good imho. Like with quantum mechanics, you don’t know which specific trans (electrons) are going to end up in a precise spot in the array (atomic orbit), but you do know how many trans (electrons) will end up in that area. The one thing I don’t see is evidence supporting the idea that a lot of people regret this. The surgery provides a net personal benefit but negative repercussions from a bigoted and stupid world on an (infinity-1) number of levels. As I’m about self-actualization, I’d still call it a utilitarian gain.

    Lastly, I don’t think I’d be clocked anywhere except the pharmacy (they’d see spiro and E and figure it out). If they asked me to leave, I honestly don’t know what I’d do. My first instinct was to expect I’d begin to say “But…” then hang my head in sorrow and walk outside to weep on the doorstep for a few before walking to Walgreens. I could argue that due to my “greater” degree of socialization as female (behavioral, friends, books, age at transition), I’m not “like Jamie Lee Hamilton”, but that would be a hideous form of othering that I can’t abide by. Another route I think I would point out that most of the workers at the pharmacy are pro-trans-inclusion, and that this is really the work of a dictatorial head of the pharmacy (yes, I’m just drawing these straight out of the realities of Lu’s) and thus not respecting the wishes of even the women whose input is being sought. That’s more of a political argument and thus more neutral. Then again I might just say “Ok”, and walk away whistling. After all , it’s easy to simply take this as a right to free association, no matter how logically unjustified I think it is for a pharmacy (considering that any trans specific medications will be prescriptions that FAAB will also commonly get). Why bother to make friends where it’s not wanted, right?

    But, most likely, I would look her in the eye and say, “You will go down on the wrong side of history, but I respect your right to make this determination. If your policies change down the road, fine, but I’ll be patronizing CVS for the time being. ” Because transwomen don’t statistically pose the same threat to non-trans women as do men, it’s hard for me to accede the “Schrodinger’s Rapist” argument at this level. That’s basically appealing to illogical fears – like the way people still fear lightning when standing in a downtown made of skyscrapers. Or, like saying that because 70% of all 10-year olds who like a particular shade of blue become rapists, and though only 1% of 10-year olds who like that shade of blue but also like burnt umber become rapists… that all kids who like that shade of blue must be put in protective custody. Careful analysis is important. BUT! I think that the Kimberley Nixon case wasn’t in the same category, because a woman who is reporting a rape shouldn’t have to hear a male-sounding voice, even if that’s unintentional. It’s simply a net social detriment that puts unnecessary fear into a vulnerable woman. I would, however, say the same thing about a wbw who had a “male-sounding voice”!

    Okay, I’m sorry for the length here, it just kept going. I feel like I learned some things about myself by writing this, and I really do hope that you see that I’m in no way devoid of self-reflection on these topics. I will/have admitted that I’m more of a sympathizer with third-wave feminism, but I’m fascinated by second-wave feminism and find that it sometimes makes good points, points which I want to learn more about in order to reach a greater stage of both self-acceptance and intellectual honesty. Really, I wish you good luck in your continued exploration of gender, sexuality, and sex.

    • satinmill says:

      “other evidence of MAIS”

      “On the “mysterious biology” front, I also had a very quick spike to no T levels. IN fact, despite being active and an athlete, I had low T to begin with, but dropped to 10th percentile for bio-women within only a few months on spiro.”

      You can rule out MAIS, typical presentation has a high T level recorded as such for a decent period of time with under-virilization without an abnormal progesterone level (it competes for the receptor so can induce pseudo testosterone insensitivity).

      It really doesn’t matter a damn though, and just stinks of appropriating IS identity like you need it to feel “valid”. Wouldn’t you just not even remotely care if you *completely* felt comfortable with who and what you are?

      • K. Whittaker says:

        I wrote a long response, satinmill, but I think I shouldn’t! I’ve written far too many words already. The IS/TS debate will likely only increase in fervor as more research is done, and whatever I write will have no more than a gallon-jug-in-the-sea effect on it. The only thing I’d point is that you used “typically”. IF typicality of symptoms are justification for ascribing or denying a cause, then my latter arguments are justified by the findings in the “Zoe Brain always links” studies (majority experiencing TS have X, thus if TS then assumed to have X as logical default). And, yeah, I get that these sorts of studies are piling up faster now, so preliminary results are just that at this point.

        Second, I’m comfortable with who I am, and the need to explain is now gone (because I don’t live as TS but just as any other woman), so I suppose I shouldn’t care anymore. Very good point, admittedly. But, it’s not about just me.

        It is a lot easier to justify things for future generations if people can point to a determinative set of physical causes, and if we are going for pareto-optimal outcomes (and I am rather obsessed with going for those in the social sense as well as the economic sense), then I’ll push for making transition easier and more acceptable, with less homelessness and AIDS and less torture on the playground, and more people absorbed into fighting the good fight without much extra baggage. And even better, the whole debate here might not have as much reason to exist because the delineation between very early transitioners and wbw would become much narrower as to privilege and experience and harm. Hopefully the tenor of conversations would be much less fragile.

        Yes, if we really believed in freedom around the world, it probably wouldn’t matter as much, but gargantuan global income and wealth inequality, general public ignorance, theocracy/patriarchy/sectarianism/racism, and, yes, even the ongoing stigmatization of “mental illness”… are all very real things that persist extraordinarily strongly even when no “harm principle” can justify the ignorance. Those things destroy real-world freedoms for real people. To wit: “there are too many empty lives my friend/ and we just can’t let them waste away/for life is a precious thing my friend/ and we can’t wait another day” (Opus Insert). Fighting to break the structure of oppression is wonderful and should be the prime goal, but it must walk hand-in-hand with the undermining of existing oppression by any logically justified means possible.

        Please know that I try, I really do try…. even if our methodologies are different.

    • plasticgirl says:

      oh and one other note:

      biological reductionism utterly dominates the field of psychiatry these days,

      bioreduc LABELING AND DIAGNOSING FOR UNPROVABLE CHEMICAL IMBALANCES THAT THEY ***BELIEVE***IN (but do not have any proof of), is why I was force drugged with major tranqs and moodstabilizers against my will.

      Bioreductionism is psychic and spiritual poison, it is sick stuff and I nearly killed myself on several occasions while I was being forcibly chemical restrained in order to *treat* me for my genetically inherited neuro-physical-chemical-mental disordersyndromeillness.

      It turned out btw, that they (the biopsych MDs) were ALL WRONG ABOUT MY GENETIC PREDISPOSITION TO LIFELONG MENTAL ILLNESS because, I have been happy and free of depression, for over a decade and a half.

      bioreductionism=FAIL

      • K. Whittaker says:

        No arguments here – just wanted to say that I’m sorry that you had to deal with the overmedication. I’ve seen it destroy some people’s personalities and even bodies (massive weight gain and loss accompanies many of them of course).

        We do disagree on the framework of evaluation, but I can understand why your personal experience would bias you in an entirely different way than my experiences have (inevitably) biased me, and that’s the nature the world.

  7. Cizzir says:

    “I would love to have the capacity to have kids, but that’s just not possible right now”

    Only someone with XX chromosomes is able to produce an embryo. It’s even possible for two females to create an embyro the only thing wich is lacking is the placenta. So it’s much more possible in the future that two women reproduce.

    Cizz from europe

  8. Schrei says:

    I used to refer to people who worshipped SRS as the Golden Door Cult. The binary nature of the thinking that leads to the equation of ‘woman’ with ‘neovagina’ was clearly shallow and smacked of a desperate need for self-affirmation. I understood that need, but questioned their choice of tool (thank you, I’ll be here all week). I had surgery a long time ago. I viewed the process with a certain amount of cynicism, but was sufficiently keen to fix my physical issues that I pressed on regardless. Surgery, per se, fill me with horror. Doctors do not and did not inspire confidence. I found the psychological theories of the time (this was pre-internet) to be laughable and largely groundless. I went through the process in spite of all this – I wasn’t blind in the same way that my contemporaries appeared to be.

    Experience has taught me that the reality is more complex than is usually painted. I was basically frigid for nearly 15 years after surgery. It wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t unexpected. I didn’t whine about it, or regret my choice.

    Then I met someone who changed me – a man I met through the goth scene. He made sex kind of crazy and beautiful. He was the first person of any gender with whom I’d slept, with whom sex was almost a religious experience. I cried at times, afterwards, and laughed like a mad thing during. I can date the full manifestation of my female sexuality to the first time I slept with him. I don’t really know how to give this little missive the full force of the conviction I feel while writing it, but he literally changed me from a frigid and mostly disinterested lesbian in vitro to someone gifted with a female and vibrant sexuality. I’m still bi, mostly lesbian. I have slept with other men and on occasion enjoyed the experience (quite a lot). I would argue that I might never have experienced this had I not had surgery. At the same time, I would also argue that surgery isn’t enough, on its own, to accomplish this change.

    I’m not even going to try define the terms I’ve used. I know what female sexuality looks like. I know what it feels like. It *is* an aspect of womanhood. I wouldn’t even try to argue that it constitutes womanhood in its own right.

    The surgery = womanhood crowd still gets on my nerves. But. Life is complex. Truth is often subtle.

    • plasticgirl says:

      I had crying orgasms when I had vaginal sex the first time with a man, as well. My man thought he had popped loose some repressed child sexual abuse memories and was so concerned he lost his focus for awhile. It went from highly tearful, to concerned, to comical, and back to tearful. What a trip!

      I was very touched by your comment, Schrei. Thank you so much for stopping by, sharing, and reading my stuff. Take care.

  9. Lilly says:

    “I can date the full manifestation of my female sexuality to the first time I slept with him.”
    Female sexuality does not depend on men!

    “I know what female sexuality looks like”
    Because you had sex with a man?? You don’t know it.

    “It *is* an aspect of womanhood. I wouldn’t even try to argue that it constitutes womanhood in its own right.”

    I really doubt that you are aware how misogynistic this statement is. Sex with a man does not define womanhood!

    What you have written is typical for a male. You see trough the eyes of a man. You were frigid until a man comes around and than you define that this must be female sexuality. But you are wrong.

    Sorry for my english

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