'luci Reports to Ms Persson's Office for Scolding and Correction

Bit of a sticky widget. Pitting without “pitting”. Una Persson raises an issue here:

regarding my use of the term “transgendered” in reference to the delightfully equine Ann Coulter, “Anne of Green Goebbels”. Do I mean the term in contempt and derision? Hugh Bethca. You may rest assured that anything I say about Ms. Coulter simply drips with contempt and derision. But Ms. Persson has a larger point and wonders, reasonably enough, whether the use of the term presents some dark prejudice or some variant of homophobia (possibly one of the least useful neologisms ever…)

In a word, no. In a whole bunch more words….

We progressives make dumb mistakes rather than malicious ones. “Transgendered” is one of these. Words without useful definitions are logorrhea. I would almost be willing to move to Massachusetts to vote for Barney Frank, because the man has a set of stones such that I suspect he clanks when he walks. I don’t admire him because he’s gay, I admire the way he wears it. Ellen DeGeneres cracked my ass up long before I found out about her sexuality, and I find her “so what?” approach refreshing and loaded with healing candor. An alliance for human rights by my bent brethren and sistren makes all the sense in the world, and my support is unflagging.

But this “transgendered” thingy is dumb. Whatever are we talking about? Is a het man who likes to dress up as a woman “transgendered”? Is his predeliction important, need I be concerned about protecting his civil rights with the same intensity that I worry about the spotted grey salamander? (“Why do bikers wear leather? Because chiffon wrinkles so easily”). Will I storm the barricades so that he might wear panty hose to work? Nah. Bigger fish to fry.

Does it include such persons who claim to be souls of one gender trapped in the body of another? Can’t buy it, don’t believe it, doesn’t make sense. ImhO, the only result for a surgical alteration of gender is mutilation.

I also don’t agree that a cross-dresser is anything near a victim like a gay man or lesbian woman. They are clothes, take them off, put them on, whatever. Victims cannot choose, that’s what makes them victims. Gayitude is a fact of birth, ImhO, and is no more indicative of character than being freckled.

I don’t respect the term “transgendered” as having any real validity, I don’t feel compelled to offer respect. I think my bent brethren and sistren made a big mistake when they include the term on an equal footing, i.e., Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered Alliance. It’s the kind of mistake the angels make, from a surfeit of sincerity, but a mistake nonetheless. It weakens “our” case.

I hope this is sufficient clarification for anyone who actually might give a rat’s about what I think. If any further is required, I stand ready to bore you to tears with relentless self-revelation and explication. Goddess alone knows why you might want such, but if it be so, I’m your huckleberry.

None, repeat, none, of this should be taken to imply any lack of respect for the esteemed Ms. Persson. If I have any questions about coal, should I ever need more information about the subtleties and varieties contained in the words “bituminous” or “anthracite”, I have no doubt who to go to!

This is gonna get nasty. Fast.

Word of advice, 'Luci… when you discover you’ve just dissed a much-beloved transgender woman who writes like Dorothy Parker on speed, plus two other women who started life as boys and who are quite capable of mopping the sidewalk with you … well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

What’re you, new?

Wouldn’t it be better if you had just said “sorry”?


In the red corner, transgendered people with intimate understanding of their own condition, plus medical doctors, psychiatrists, anthropologists and other learned people who have studied the issue in exhaustive detail, and the resultant piles of personal accounts and peer-reviewed scientific papers.

In the blue corner, elucidator’s unsupported personal opinion.

Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen, please, on whichever one you think will win.

Yes, understanding the problems of today’s world is a bit like having bees live in your head; but, there they are!

What doesn’t make sense about it? How is it different from any other psychological/physological departure from the norm? Does being born with a malformed heart make sense? Auto-immune diseases? Left-handedness?

Well, here you’re talking about transsexuals, and I think the scientific evidence for gender being more than simply XX or XY is pretty conclusive. At any rate, why would you celebrate the fact that you just insulted quite a few individuals rather than simply apologize and move on? Whether you accept transgenderness or not is besides the point. People self identify as transgendered and using that term as a pejorative isn’t cool. Besides, it makes every bit as much “sense” as being gay does.

Well, as someone who does give a rat’s about what you think, and who agrees with you on most issues, i have to say that i disagree with you quite strongly on this particular question, and am rather surprised by what seems a rather atypical lack of empathy on your part.

I don’t believe the term “transgendered” is dumb, and i do believe that there is plenty of sense to be found in the psychological and physiological conditions that lead a person to feel the need for gender reassignment. Do these people constitute a small minority? Sure. But i’m not interested in dismissing their claims just because i can’t comprehend the particular workings of their minds and bodies.

Anyway, that’s my take on the matter, for what it’s worth.

’luci in denial?

Sings Jean Genie to the tune of Scotland the Brave.

Such loquacious ignorance is a marvel. I wonder what goes on in the heads of those who are able to confidently dissertate about things they know they know nothing about. Is it just that they don’t know the extent of their ignorance? That’s fathomable, and common, but a knowlege level of nearly zero would have to be obvious to oneself.

You don’t believe it? I mean, I’ve said several times that I don’t understand it and probably never will (it goes in a very big box marked “Things I Do Not Understand”), but you don’t believe it? You think they’re all lying about their experience? You think they go through complicated expensive treatments and surgical procedures on a lark? You think they all suffer like shit after having been “mutilated”, rather than enjoy their lives a whole lot more as they claim they do?

Wow. This makes even less sense than the “homosexuality is a choice” thing. That’s a very rare distinction.

I’m with Priceguy. What you’re essentially saying there, elucidator, is that feelings and experiences that don’t jibe with your own are automatically invalid. I’m sure that’s not what you actually mean, because that would be stupid, and beneath you, and clearly cross that line you mentioned between “dumb” mistakes and “malicious” ones.

So, to give you the benefit of the doubt, which I’m certainly inclined to do, I’d like to understand why you differentiate between identities and experiences which fall outside of the norm, but which you expect others to understand and respect, and identities and experiences which fall outside of the norm, which you feel are “false” identities NOT worthy of understanding and respect.

Before we go further, who here has the expertise to offer a concise and definitive meaning of the word “transgendered”? Does it include such persons who dress up in gender-specific clothing for reasons other than their inherent sexuality?

I intend to answer any reasonable question and/or accusation, but would first like this answered so that we have a common basis for discussion. Perhaps from those posters who claim a vast compendium of knowledge beyond by feeble grasp, but have not felt any need to substantiate that claim. At any rate, first things first?

With diamonds!

You’re right in that the term is not well defined. Here’s what wikipedia says.

But you went beyond that in your OP. Note how many people are focused on the part about transsexuals and you’re refusal to believe that such a condition exists.

I’ve gotta go with Elucidator on this one. I don’t have anything against transgendered people, and I’ve dropped the “That’s a man, Baby!” line with Ann Coulter more than once. I mean, she does look kind of mannish . . .

And as for that thread, I have to say that betwen agreeing with DtC for the second time this year and seeing lissener described by an admin as someone with a “good sense of right” . . .

Maybe I’m tripping balls and someone needs to talk me down.

Actually let me qualify that last. I’m with Elucidator in not seeing the problem calling Ann Coulter transgendered. I’m perfectly willing to admit that his definition of transgendered or lack thereof might be totally off.

Here’s the thing. We know she’s not a transsexual, so calling her that is no different than calling somone “gay” because you think he doesn’t act masculine. The problem is not saying AC looks like a man, but using the term “transgendered” as an insult.

Ah, it’s a problem of semantic confusion among other issues.

Try this:

Transvestism is the condition of deriving enjoyment from wearing the clothing of the opposite sex. It has virtually nothing to do with sexual orientation, and very, very little to do with transgenderedness.

Transsexualism (Sometimes with only a single -s-) is the condition of being born with ambiguous genitalia or a phenotypic gender that does not match one’s genotypic gender. It’s a portmanteau term for a wide range of more-or-less pathologic syndromes resulting in the defined conditions.

Transgenderedness is the state of having a clear, definite, continual interior perception of self that is at odds with one’s phenotypic gender. “I may look like a man but I know inside that I’m really a woman” is a pretty typical assertion of MTF transgenderedness. A quite small percentage of transgendered individuals are that way owing to the second form of transsexualism given above.

There are also variations on a theme involving self-perception as a man/woman but not within the standard social expectations for that gender role. Various terms are used here, including genderqueer.

::: Flashes map of Metro System off clouds with searchlight to summon Matt_mcl for clarification :::

I’m afraid I’m still not seeing the difference. Here’s the original quote:

Yes, he calls her transgendered, but that’s not the focus of the insult. It doesn’t sound to me as if he’s calling all transgendered people harridans. Sounds to me like he’s calling her mannish-looking–which several of us have done in the past–and then gone on to mock her attitude.

Hell, when people IRL ask me what I think of Ann Coulter, I reply that he makes me laugh sometimes, but I’m not into drag queen humor. That doesn’t mean I hate all drag queens or even have a problem with the lifestyle itself. Yes, I know there’s a difference between transvestitism and transgender, but it amounts to the same thing, yes?