October 31, 2013

"We use transgender as an umbrella term that includes people who are transsexual, cross-dressers or otherwise gender non-conforming."

A definition in the sidebar of an article titled "The Heart Wants What It Wants" — supertitled "We Are as We Are" and "Dating Trans?," which is teased on the front page of this new website Ozy under the heading "Tricky Topic: Dating a Transgender Person/Have attitudes about the fluidity of gender migrated much on the T in LGBT?"

For a website with a 3-letter name, that's an awful lot of titles, dragging us this way and that. What caught my eye — among the many things clamoring to catch eyes — was that side-bar definition that I used for the post title. That made me think: Who's not under that umbrella? Only people who are gender-conforming, which in my book — who wants to be a conformist, a gender stereotype? — is an insult.
The erstwhile minority could become the majority by repositioning the line.

But the article doesn't get us any further than telling us about some new Jared Leto-Matthew McConaughey ("Oscar buzz"), the price of some "sex reassignment" surgeries ("creating a penis is difficult and costly"), the fact that the Social Security Administration will now record your change of sex without proof of surgery (why not?), and finally — as we reach the last paragraph, still searching for the multiple teased topics — 3 questions, essentially only repeating the question raised in all those titles/supertitles/teasers.

So that's my first encounter with Ozy. Here's a Business Insider article about it: "Former MSNBC Anchor Launches Ozy, A Fresh News Site With Money From Laurene Powell Jobs."
Watson is the kind of person who is so charismatic, an interview about Ozy required a follow-up phone call. 
What? Is the reporter — Alyson Shontell — saying she was so dazzled by the in-person presence of this man who "wore a gray fitted T-shirt and a bright smile" to their in-person meeting that she needed another interview at some distance from this man's powerful force-field?
[Carlos Watson] is a great schmoozer and I admittedly fell for it during our first meeting. He escaped tough business questions the first time around.
Ha ha. I wonder how Laurene Powell Jobs is doing. Does it matter? She has Steve's billions to throw around however she wants, at whatever cute guys remain amongst the living, now that poor Steve has oh-wowed.
"I think most people would say, 'No, we don't need another news site,'" Watson says. "But if you asked them, 'Has there been a change, such that people are hungrier now to see more, be more and do more than before?' I think they'd tell you there has been. That's why Kickstarter exists. That's why Airbnb has such a robust business. There's a reason why there are things called 500 startups, and a reason startup accelerators are in every city. There's a reason why American Idol is still strong 15 years later. There's a hunger people have for both for themselves and in the world for what's next and what's new."
Are you still hungry? Or does this put you off your feed?

16 comments:

rhhardin said...

An umbrella is a penis unless it's open when it becomes a hymen.

Hymens are important because they have no essence, marking only a place. That's how you get females.

MayBee said...

I don't understand what Laurene was trying to say about AirbandB wrt her news site.

Lyssa said...

I always wonder what that's supposed to mean, "gender non-conforming." I'm working a job that, in decades past, was not open to women, although they are common in the field now - does that make me "gender non-conforming"? If I had lived in the early 1900s and somehow managed to get this job regardless of my sex, would I have been?

I'm the breadwinner in the family, and my husband is a SAHD. That's rare enough that I would think it would be clear gender non-conformance. But no one would question that I'm a woman he's a man. He still opens jars and kills spiders and I wear pretty dresses and paint my nails.

Somehow, it always seems like this stuff comes down to what clothes a person wears, or some extremely superficial thing like that. As if that defines a person.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "Tricky Topic: Dating a Transgender Person/Have attitudes about the fluidity of gender migrated much on the T in LGBT?""

This Has Been a Wonderful First Date. By the Way, What Did the "T" Mean in Your Profile?

Really?

You're Not Kidding?

Oh. Sure, I See.

Inner Voice: Sprong Ze in Paniek Op!

YoungHegelian said...

A definition in the sidebar of an article titled "The Heart Wants What It Wants" — supertitled "We Are as We Are"

I wonder how many in the feminist community would be willing to grant the gracious indulgence of "We Are as We Are" to the heterosexual male community.

Oh, and rh, you're better off getting sex advice from The Frisky rather than Derrida.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't understand what Laurene was trying to say about AirbandB wrt her news site."

The quote is from Carlos Watson who doesn't really seem to "say" things. He more dazzles. Perhaps if you saw his tight shirt and his smile you would understand.

As for Laurene, she doesn't really "say" things either. She dispenses money, perhaps to the most dazzling smile atop a tight shirt. You know, it's costly to create a penis.

Henry said...

This post needs a Woody Allen tag. That's the name I associate with "the heart wants what it wants".

I very much doubt author Eugene S. Robinson intended to add that association to his sympathetic squib. He may not have written the headline, of course.

The other tagline at the article is "we are as we are."

So "we are as we are" and "the heart wants what it wants." The disconnect is implicit: "we are not our hearts."

Which reminds me of I am Joe's Heart the cautionary movie they showed us in high school health. The takeaway, 30 years later? Don't take take cold showers. The heart doesn't want that.

William said...

I wonder if sex is best defined as an escape from the vacuity of life or as the best example of the vacuity of life.

YoungHegelian said...

You know, it's costly to create a penis.

But, there are so many penises available for free to good homes, who only want a little love now & then.

Can't you make a place in your, uhhrrr, uhhmm, heart for a penis? It would mean so much.

David said...

"gender nonconforming"

Now there's the nut of the movement.

Look. Look at me! I'm a nonconformist.

Usually conforming nonconformist, but why spoil their fun?

David said...

Lyssa said...
I If I had lived in the early 1900s and somehow managed to get this job regardless of my sex, would I have been?


You would have been poor, in an era when there were lots and lots of poor people. My grandmothers both worked, once of them for all her life and the other until my grandfather grabbed a brass ring and made some money. Both of their mothers worked at jobs for most of their lives, as did the mothers of my grandfathers. Two were the family's primary support.

Their jobs included stenographer, clerk, domestic, boarding house manager, copywriter, factory worker, farmer.

It's a myth that women did not work. Educated wealthy women did not work. Just as now if they so choose.

David said...

"But, there are so many penises available for free to good homes, who only want a little love now & then."

Good one, YH!

Glen Filthie said...

I am just peachy using 'pervert' as my preferred umbrella term.

Glen Filthie said...

I am just peachy using 'pervert' as my preferred umbrella term.

Crunchy Frog said...

"I'm a special snowflake. Adore my gender non-conformity."

jaed said...

Lyssa: "If I had lived in the early 1900s and somehow managed to get this job regardless of my sex, would I have been [gender non-conforming]?"
You would have been poor, in an era when there were lots and lots of poor people.

Lawyers usually weren't poor, even in the early 1900s. I'm not sure what this has to do with the question. Of course many women worked in 1900, but not in the law.