May 28, 2020

"I was obsessed with femininity for years after I transitioned in 2001. I reveled in using cosmetics..."

"... and flattering outfits to look both more convincing and attractive as a woman, forms of expression my old gender denied me. But apart from how much time it took to dress up this way, I also grew weary of the awful feeling that my beauty was always on the verge of collapse, that a mere rub of the eyes or bunching of the cloth would ruin the effect. Also, the attention from men that at first felt intoxicating turned oppressive over time.... So I stopped wearing so much makeup.... More comfortable clothes steadily replaced my fussy dresses.... I turned to face my reflection in the mirror... and I suddenly wondered whether I could imagine myself with a man’s face.... I might have let go of the need to be feminine at all times, but I wasn’t sure it would be healthy to actively envision myself as male.... [R]eality is so much more malleable than people make it out to be; that the first step in making something real is believing it could be real.... [O]ver time, I’ve come to realize that every woman — whether transgender or cisgender — evolves a unique perception of herself, one that need not conform to any specific model of what a woman should be.... Making those judgments for myself is at the core of why I transitioned to be a woman in the first place: to express my gender how I want to, regardless of society’s expectations.... [A]s long as gender matters to the world, I will always be a woman to myself."

From "On Being a Trans Woman, and Giving Up Makeup/I have short hair. I don’t wear heels. Because there is no one way to be a trans woman, either" by Meredith Talusan (NYT).

116 comments:

Temujin said...

Our daily trans report from the NY Times?
So much to do in New York.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Oh for the love of God, who cares?

Look at me! Look at me! But don’t judge me, bigot!

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

[A]s long as gender matters to the world, I will always be a woman to myself.

And he will always be a man to the world. Playing dress up in his mind is not the same as reality.

WK said...

She could just throw away Sean’s vote.

Roger Sweeny said...

[A]s long as gender matters to the world, I will always be a woman to myself.

That's what she says, but it sure sounds to me like she really means, "As long as gender matters to ME, I will always be a woman to myself."

Lucid-Ideas said...

"[R]eality is so much more malleable than people make it out to be"

No. It's not. Gravity is real. The Higgs Boson is real. Sex is real.

"...that the first step in making something real is believing it could be real"

No. It's not. Wizards are not real. The closest we can come is manipulating the real world often to create a poor facsimile (aviation, nuclear weapons, computation, etc.)

"...[O]ver time, I’ve come to realize that every woman — whether transgender or cisgender."

No. You're not a woman. You are confused submissive homosexual. You use 'woman' as a way to camouflage your discomfort with being such.

Fail tranny fails hard.

Phidippus said...

The gender dysphoria Freak Of The Day, for our perusal and discussion. Fascinating! There's so much to say about this, and how it affects our not just our lives, but the life of the Entire Nation. I eagerly await insight and edification.

She usually gets them out of the way a bit earlier, but at least it's not lunch time.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Gender dysphoria is a mental illness. One of very few that wants to exhibit their personal pathology for all to see, and be celebrated for their internal struggle, and Althouse is fascinated by this tiny sick segment of society for an inexplicable (to me) reason. Is it the sex angle that sparks interest? Is it the issue of femininity? Is there any other medical “treatment” like reassignment surgery that results in so many suicides yet is immune from malpractice suits?

Owen said...

Always interesting (if only briefly) to read such intensely self-absorbed prattle. The narcissism is strong in this one.

Geoff Matthews said...

" I might have let go of the need to be feminine at all times, but I wasn’t sure it would be healthy to actively envision myself as male".

Just throwing this out there, but maybe it wasn't healthy to actively envision yourself as a female. And if you had stopped yourself from doing that, your life would be much easier to navigate.

SGT Ted said...

"Look at me! Look at me!! You're oppressing me when you look at meeeee!!"

Totally NOT mentally ill!

Only a privileged 1st world Woke CrazyPerson could imagine being looked at because you're attractive is a form of oppression.

Krumhorn said...

When are we finally going to arrive at a better place when we are in a better place?

In better times, these folks were simply mentally ill.

- Krumhorn

I'm Not Sure said...

NYT? All the navel-gazing and Trump bashing that's fit to print. And even more that's not, but we'll print it anyway.

n.n said...

Trans/neo-feminine. Share the Rainbow.

Fernandinande said...

"[R]eality is so much more malleable than people make it out to be"
No. It's not. Gravity is real.


I've never seen any gravity - what color is it? How much does it weigh?

Do teh google on [is gravity real] and you might find that you picked a bad example.

Because there is no one way to be a trans woman, either

I'm glad the New York Tranny News cleared that up.

Sebastian said...

"[R]eality is so much more malleable than people make it out to be"

Sorry, no. Genetics is a bitch.

"that the first step in making something real is believing it could be real"

Works for artists, not so much for "gender."

"evolves a unique perception of herself"

And that's what this is all about: the triumph of subjectivism.

"[A]s long as gender matters to the world, I will always be a woman to myself"

Sorry, lady (?), your gender doesn't matter to us. It does only when you demand that we recognize your "unique perception."

hawkeyedjb said...

Clothes don't make the woman. Makeup doesn't make the woman. Surgery doesn't make the woman. Pretending doesn't make the woman. My neighbor's little girls went through a phase when they pretended to be cats. They weren't cats. The New York Times didn't write about them.

MadisonMan said...

Is anyone behaving the same way they did in 2001? It's not newsworthy or notable that you changed things up.

traditionalguy said...

The quantum physics of gender, she is a wave transporting self awareness energy from one disturbance in the medium to another and back again. Bravo, Encore.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

So does he still have a dick?

One of the things that confuses me is that PA Secty of health. Here is a person who is supposed to be the official SCIENCE!(tm) guru, at least for health, and he's a science denier.

He denies, against all scientific evidence, that he is a man.

Why should we trust him on anything else?

Why should we ever trust anyone who believes, or even claims to believe, that a man can become a woman?

I have no problem with a man pretending to be a woman. Whatever floats their boat. I do have a problem with society pretending to believe it. Even more problem with being asked to believe it myself.

John Henry

Birkel said...

Would it be interesting to write an article about rural life? The majority might appreciate some fawning attention.

But let's save all that for a minuscule subset of America.

Exhausting it would be, if I didn't understand the goal of making me a Green Grocer.
No thank you.

Ralph L said...

reassignment surgery that results in so many suicides yet is immune from malpractice suits?

The survivors probably realize the surgery wasn't the main culprit. How long and ironclad is the consent form, I wonder?

BarrySanders20 said...

Why do I have the urge to hum some Billy Joel?

She hides like a child but she's always a woman to me

Bruce Hayden said...

S/he sure seems brain dead. Wonder if they have bee checked for Syphilis recently. S/he just listed several of the reasons that most men prefer being men, instead of women. It’s just too time consuming and stressful to be a woman. What’s the purpose of being a male to female transsexual, if not to dress up to look pretty, wear makeup, etc? Ok, maybe there is also winning sporting events, when a biological male would have lost to other males. He becomes a she, and his natural muscular, skeletal, etc advantages allow her to win over genetic females who didn’t grow up with his advantages. But the big advantage I see is the looking pretty and wearing makeup.

Talking about “pretty”, I am not completely clear what that means. It is a female term. My partner uses it a bit. She might say that some woman is pretty. It doesn’t mean attractive to men. Something else, but I am not sure what. Many of the women she identifies as pretty, I find merely attractive, but not overwhelmingly so. I ask her why do we have all the fufu pillows around the house. It’s not like I can use them as, well, pillows, because, of course, I can’t. Her response is that they are pretty. As a guy, my view is that pillows that can’t be used as pillows are stupid. There is a saying “happy wife, happy life”, so I carefully replace them just right after having had to remove them to sleep on the sofa. And I rarely complain. Back to my point - why would a normal guy ever want to engage is “pretty” endeavors?

Ann Althouse said...

I thought it was interesting: the pressure to doll yourself up a lot. It might seem inviting at first, but then you see what’s so tedious and annoying about it.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Sounds like if she'd been allowed to dress up when she was a little boy then things wouldn't have taken such a drastic turn before she figured out how tedious being expected to dress up is. Still not NYT worthy IMO.

Ann Althouse said...

I put these posts up because there’s something new. Try to respond to that. If you find your comment to be something you’ve already said in other comments threads, stop and think about how to say something different. So many of these comments seem like knee-jerk conventional “wisdom” that you just say every time there’s a post with the tag “transgender.” You comment as if I’d just posted: Okay, the topic is transgenders again. I don’t want to have to moderate more closely than I am, but please try to do better. Remember that I only post when I’ve got something new to say, so please have the respect to read the post and find what is new. The idea is to think, but some of you take it as a cue NOT to think but just reflexively comment the same thing you always say. If you want to be that boring, you should write on your own blog or on the blog of someone who is just repeating things.

Francisco D said...

I feel pretty
Oh, so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and bright!

Birkel said...

Writing about how hard it is to stay made up could be written about anybody. Southern women never go out without their face on. It's an expectation. I'm sure there is an article about that. Somewhere. But it would be boring, too.

The goal is to have us convince ourselves that we can think 10 impossible things before breakfast.

I would make a terrible Green Grocer.

MadisonMan said...

It might seem inviting at first, but then you see what’s so tedious and annoying about it.
I think the same thing about shaving. So cool when it first happens. Then: Meh.

Pookie Number 2 said...

If you want to be that boring, you should write on your own blog or on the blog of someone who is just repeating things.

What if our comment is about the boring predictability of these attempts to feature something new in transgenderism?

tcrosse said...

I wonder if this person ever really talked to actual women about what being an actual woman entails? Actual women have some real gripes about what they have to put up with. If women are so oppressed in Our Society, why would anyone want to become one?

Yancey Ward said...

Interesting. I looked up images of the author- I can see why she stopped caring so much. This is harsh, I know, but I doubt anyone sober was fooled regardless of how much she "dolled" herself up.

holdfast said...

It’s MA’AM, OK!

https://youtu.be/EtqCgkOOjYc

Drago said...

Ann Althouse: "I thought it was interesting: the pressure to doll yourself up a lot. It might seem inviting at first, but then you see what’s so tedious and annoying about it."

"The pressure to doll yourself up a lot."

What a joke.

Spend more time around chicks packing heat in the military, chicks in flight suits, chick engineers, chick medical doctors, beach chicks, etc and you will see just how few of them ever doll themselves up that much.

This is just another dude who is vying with real women to claim greater victimhood in Identity Politics Wheel Of Fortune! Its all so tedious and boring.

What was supposedly "new" or novel here?

Bob Boyd said...

Better than nothing is a high standard, whether you're talking about make-up or a dick and balls.

Lurker21 said...

Didn't Seventies feminism reject the idea of gender roles? A woman could do anything a man could. You could play sports and love trucks and still be a woman and feminine, because femininity was a much broader concept than it had been. You didn't have to like dresses and hair and make-up. You could cry or dance or giggle and still be a man.

Is transsexuality about reestablishing the authority of the old sex roles that we were supposedly overturning? Do second wave feminists regard it as a betrayal of what they fought for? TERFs (Transphobic Radical Feminists) do, and they are having turf wars about excluding Transwomen from women's music fairs and festivals.

What does it mean to "feel" like a woman or "feel" like a man? And wasn't personhood supposed to supplant such gendered identities? Or did broadening our ideas femininity and masculinity make those concepts shallower and more contentless than they are in reality?

Bob Boyd said...

Now having said that, I like to think my own dick and balls meet that standard.
Full disclosure: I don't wear make-up.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

Feel free to spare us the boring, law-prof lectures. There is nothing new or interesting in the original post or the "news" story that spawned it. Therefore, since there is nothing new or interesting, you get comments that are not new or interesting (by your lights).

The problem isn't the commenters, it's the blog post. Follow your audience, we're giving you feedback.

Lurker21 said...

If women are so oppressed in Our Society, why would anyone want to become one?

One could say the same thing about African-Americans. Groups that are oppressed often have or think they have or are seen as having cultural and emotional riches that the majority and those on top don't have.

"The pressure to doll yourself up a lot."

Is transsexuality a transitional phase? A man who grew up in a world of sharply differentiated sex roles might think that if he doesn't fit well into the masculine stereotype, he might fit the feminine stereotype much better. In a society where women don't "doll themselves up" and differences between men and women are smaller, such feelings may not be as prominent.

Today, male to female transsexuals are overrepresented in groups with well defined ideas of what is masculine or macho. Men who don't come from such groups and those in the younger generation might just settle for being homosexuals. Female to male transsexuals seem to come from subcultures with high ideals about what is feminine that are impossible to live up to - that is to say, they are often actresses' daughters.

If the sexes or genders really are converging, maybe the future isn't drag queens and Chazz Bono, but genderless beings and sexual fluidity.

Sebastian said...

"I thought it was interesting: the pressure to doll yourself up a lot."

As you can tell from the comments, we dudes don't find that interesting: not the dolling up, not the existential anxiety of a tranny agonizing about dolling up, not the "pressure" to doll yourself up a lot and perceive it as some terrible imposition.

I think it's interesting that most men have no problem finding lots of things uninteresting and resist any nagging to verbally doll themselves up a lot.

Male privilege, no doubt. Tranny shoulda thought of that.

Automatic_Wing said...

Is there something new in this post? It's the same old solipsistic viewpoint that's in every transgender article out there. "What about me! My feelings and neuroses are so important!"

jaydub said...

With apologies to Stephen Sondheim:

I feel pretty. Oh so pretty.
I feel pretty and witty and bright.
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight.

I feel charming,
Oh, so charming
It's alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I'm real.

Well, that's probably because you aren't real.
Your first clue that something might be amiss is
When you had to loosen your girdle and move your dick to one side to cross your legs.
It's just not the feminine thing to do.
Not that pretty either.


Todd said...

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

I have no problem with a man pretending to be a woman. Whatever floats their boat. I do have a problem with society pretending to believe it. Even more problem with being asked to believe it myself.

John Henry

5/28/20, 10:26 AM


Ah, but there in lies the rub! You are NOT being asked to believe. It is being demanded of you.

Yancey Ward said...

"If the sexes or genders really are converging, maybe the future isn't drag queens and Chazz Bono, but genderless beings and sexual fluidity."

"1000 years from now there will be no guys and no girls, just wankers."

Kai Akker said...

"I don’t want to have to moderate more closely than I am, but please try to do better. Remember that I only post when I’ve got something new to say, so please have the respect to read the post and find what is new. The idea is to think, but some of you take it as a cue NOT to think but just reflexively comment the same thing you always say. If you want to be that boring, you should write on your own blog or on the blog of someone who is just repeating things." --Ann Althouse

I can only go by the excerpt you provided, Ms. Althouse. Perhaps the full article was more interesting. But, to me, the excerpt was inane and, though relatively brief, managed to be tedious, too. I had no intention of commenting until I came to your own comment, above. I think you should at least consider the possibility that the directional labels on your compass are 180 degrees off on this topic and that the reactions of your loyal readers have some potentially useful information for you in them. I am sitting here debating whether to post this comment as the tone of your instruction to "try to do better" is so unusual, at least to my ears. But to avoid disagreeing on your blog doesn't seem to fit the spirit of it, either.

Mr Wibble said...

He'll always be a mentally ill man who mutilated himself.

Unknown said...

Nothing wrong with a thoughtful piece of writing about one’s own experience. How much of the knee jerk factor that the Professor mentions is caused by seeing “NYT” in the same instant as “trans”?
I admit that, because I see NYT up there at the top of the post, I instantly think about the lib-pro audience that NYT seems to cater to, which makes me feel less generous with my subsequent thoughts about people.
Maybe the reactionaries are actually the target audience! -willie

Leslie Graves said...

Reading this article made me think that the author is getting a version of the experience that many women eventually get to which is, "Yeah. Tired of all that. No more nylons, high heels, long hair or makeup for me, except maybe once in while like when I'm going to a wedding or a funeral."

I thought it was interesting that the author interpreted the whole experience in a completely different framework (the framework of the realization that gender can be expressed in infinitely plastic ways and don't have to relate in any way to societal expectations).

She could have just said, "Cutting my hair short and ditching the make-up....pretty much like 95% of other women at my age. Because really it is so tiresome." That thought doesn't make anyone a gender rebel. It makes them like 95% of other women.

n.n said...

sexes or genders really are converging

Sex: genetic. Gender: physical and mental sex-correlated attributes. Aesthetics: biological and social constructs.

"I do have a problem with society pretending to believe it."
...
It is being demanded of you.


Normalization, a new religion (or its relativistic cousin "ethics"). Everyone has a right to define the universe unto themselves. Pro-Choice... the progressive path.

DarkHelmet said...

You are born male or female (with a very, very tiny number of complicated exceptions.)

You learn to be a man by watching other men, and by facing the challenges life throws at you. Some learn better than others.

I presume that one learns to be a woman by watching other women, and facing the challenges life throws at you.

If a person is painfully unhappy with the biological sex inherent in his genetic code, it is unfortunate. It seems to me that the unhappiness is the issue rather than the genetic code. I would categorize the unhappiness is a mental health problem. Treating the mental health problem by addressing it directly seems like a more reasonable path than attempting to overrule the individual's genetic code through surgery and hormones.

I find it unfortunate and sad that adults are driven to such extremities. I find it criminal when medical professionals (and parents and other supposedly responsible adults) allow and encourage children to pursue such radical interventions.

It is a tragedy for our society that the argument I have just made needs to be written at all. Every adult in America should be on the same side of this question. And yet we find that fashionable opinion is just the opposite.

Unknown said...

The logical conclusion of Prog/Leftist ideology is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, with only small changes in terms of gender differences. If you can engineer females without ovaries and make babies in labs, they will think it an improvement for all. -willie

Mr Wibble said...

Regarding the "I'm a woman even if I don't dress up and look pretty", this strikes me as another variation of "what's on the inside counts" lie that is so destructive.

Aesthetics matter. Your appearance matters. It's not the only thing that matters, but it's also not nothing. An entire generation has been convinced that it isn't so, and the result is a kind of mental break that I truly believe is largely responsible for a lot of the gender insanity that we see.

Fernandinande said...

I thought it was interesting: the pressure to doll yourself up a lot.

Gravity is a lot more interesting than that.

What was supposedly "new" or novel here?

There is no novel ♬ transorona ♫ virus.

Douglas said...

I long for the day when the newspaper of record no longer thinks the neuroticisms of a minuscule fraction of the population are worth recording.

Lurker21 said...

Sontag said that "camp" converts the serious into the frivolous. That fits the history of "drag" and female impersonation. Transsexuality takes that frivolity seriously again. "Camp" was a way of playing the dandy and the aristocrat in a democratic age. Transsexuality brings all that role playing back down to the democratic earth where people actually live.

tim maguire said...

[A]s long as gender matters to the world, I will always be a woman to myself.

Fair enough. Just don't lose sight of the fact that the transgender community emphasizes gender every bit as much as the traditional values community. The truly transgressive are those who don't care much one way or the other.

madAsHell said...

Gravity is real.

Did you know that gravity is just a theory!! /sarc

PM said...

In the '60s, we made a fateful verb transition.
Instead of starting sentences with "I think...", we began saying "I feel..."
Thoughts can be intellectually challenged.
Feelings can't.
Hence, today we get stuff like this all the time.
I was there back then. I did it.
Sorry everyone.

Francisco D said...

Yancey Ward said... I looked up images of the author- I can see why she stopped caring so much. This is harsh, I know, but I doubt anyone sober was fooled regardless of how much she "dolled" herself up.

Wasn't she in ?

tim maguire said...

Drago said...
Ann Althouse: "I thought it was interesting: the pressure to doll yourself up a lot.

...

What a joke.

Spend more time around chicks packing heat in the military, chicks in flight suits, chick engineers, chick medical doctors, beach chicks, etc and you will see just how few of them ever doll themselves up that much.


True, the "pressure to doll yourself up" is entirely internal. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, was pressuring this guy to spend a lot of time putting on make-up and wearing cute dresses. It used to be called vamping--back when the people doing it didn't lie to themselves about what they were up to.

wholelottasplainin' said...

I find it unfortunate and sad that adults are driven to such extremities. I find it criminal when medical professionals (and parents and other supposedly responsible adults) allow and encourage children to pursue such radical interventions.
**************

Indeed. The famed Lahey Clinic outside Boston now includes a "Sex Assigned at Birth" on their new patient applications.

It's "settled science:, doncha know...

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann - I think that you may have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed today. For me, at least, and I think others, this led off in different directions than your other posts on transgendered have.

Sometimes I think that you are too subtle, and maybe too smart, for your own good. It shouldn’t surprise you that we don’t always see where you are going with your posts. You are used to dealing with smart people. Average IQ of attorneys (like most other doctorates) is roughly one std above the mean. Your students may have been even smarter, given your school’s rankings. And the faculty were, mostly, 8nevitably, much smarter than that. Non AA hires, such as you were are likely well above 2 stds above the mean. Notably, as with much graduate education, tenured faculty almost always move down in ranking of schools, and almost never up. (Non AA) Law school faculty strongly tend to be from the tops of their classes at very good to top law schools. As, of course, you were. So don’t hold it against us when we fail to measure up to your standards.

Roger Sweeny said...

We have been told to "get beyond the binary" and I believe that is a good idea. Reality is complex. There are people with male parts who think they are male. There are people with female parts who think they are female. There are people with male parts who think they are female and people with female parts who think they are male. Some of the latter have begun dressing as they feel they should as an actual male or female. Some have taken various hormones and hormone blockers to seem more like the felt sex. Some have even undergone surgery to take away the "wrong" sexual parts and create "right" ones. And some people are born with missing parts or parts from both sexes.

That's at least five types of people there. So let's try to treat all types sensibly and respectfully. That would mean, among other things, that "born with male parts and start to transition at 16" doesn't qualify for the girls track team.

JAORE said...

She was initially attracted to the image of a woman. In other words what she imagined a woman to be. Sugar and spice and everything nice and all that. Then she encountered the reality of the external image as a woman.

Shocker the superficial facets of being a woman wears thin after a bit.

So she lets that slide and (re-)transitions,partially, back towards manhood on a visual basis.

Now how does that play out? She looks less like a woman. She says she feels like a woman and it's important to her.

Now what happens when some clerk barely glances up and mumbles, "Can I help you sir?"

Do I care (beyond the limits of a quick comment)? Should I care? The NYTs sure seems to think I should care.

But... nope.

Tim said...

Mental illness on display. So many narcissists. I'm Napoleon! YOU MUST CALL ME NAPOLEON!

Robert Cook said...

"You are born male or female (with a very, very tiny number of complicated exceptions.)"

What does that mean? We may be born physically male or female, but is that the sole definition/determinant of actual gender? What about how one feels and sees oneself from the inside?

I have to assume that people so convinced they are women--though born as "men"--or men, though born as "women"--that they would seek physical and chemical alteration of their physical attributes to attain harmony between mind and body know more about their situation than anyone else.


"You learn to be a man by watching other men, and by facing the challenges life throws at you. Some learn better than others.I presume that one learns to be a woman by watching other women, and facing the challenges life throws at you."


Really? Is that how it works? I never looked at other boys or men to learn how to be a boy or a man. Such a thought never occurred to me. It seems like such a strange way to think.

"If a person is painfully unhappy with the biological sex inherent in his genetic code, it is unfortunate. It seems to me that the unhappiness is the issue rather than the genetic code. I would categorize the unhappiness is a mental health problem. Treating the mental health problem by addressing it directly seems like a more reasonable path than attempting to overrule the individual's genetic code through surgery and hormones."

That may be true for some, but how can you know this is true for all?

Lee Moore said...

Althouse : I thought it was interesting: the pressure to doll yourself up a lot. It might seem inviting at first, but then you see what’s so tedious and annoying about it.

This is much the same as learning to play the piano, or to lay bricks. You may hear an excellent pianist, or see a top notch bricklayer and think - yeah, it'd be great to be able to do that. As indeed it would.

But it's really hard work learning how to do it. It's tedious and annoying doing all that work, and you need to be pretty committed to, and confident of, reaching the end of the tunnel. And it's absolutely miserable if you try and try and try, and it turns out that you have no talent or aptitude for the task - after all that work, you're still totally useless at it.

And that very sadly is the fate of 99% of male to female transsexuals - they just turn out to suck very badly at what they want to be, which is not merely a woman, but an attractive woman.

And this is also the reason why lots of women - who may look just about OK at age twenty with the advantages of youth (young skin, young hair, a figure slightly closer to the hourglass than the potato, youthful movement etc.) give up the unequal struggle to remain attractive once they have either snagged a guy, or given up hope of doing so.

And it's hardly surprising that men who would like to be women usually suck very badly at dolling themselves up as attractive women. Bathe in testosterone for sixteen years and see how good you look in a bikini. It is a condition to be pitied rather than hooted at.

This, of course, is one of the - not the only, but one of the - reasons why there is such a toll of suicides amongst transsexuals. If you desperately desperately desperately want to pass for a woman and you give it your best shot, and your best shot is Norm Peterson in a dress, what point is there in continuing to live ? It's not simply that you've failed to convince passers-by, you can't even convince yourself.

Yeah I know there are a lot of mountebanks, show ponies, fascists, grifters and sickos riding that wagon, but if you can see past them, you ought to be able to make out a pile of real, unfeigned, misery.

jeremyabrams said...

Transgenders are the people who prove there is an immutable, biological category of woman. If there weren't, then what is it they are taking such extreme lengths to present themselves as?

Ann Althouse said...

What I think is interesting about "the pressure to doll yourself up a lot" is that someone who wanted to be under that pressure saw it not as pressure but a positive thing to be able to do, but once you do the transition, you are — or at least she was — in the positive of needing to do it and it wasn't so good anymore.

I'm also interested in "I’ve come to realize that every woman — whether transgender or cisgender — evolves a unique perception of herself..." Why is she able to realize anything about anybody other than herself? If she's saying something entirely general, that everyone is a individual, why limit it to women? There's this idea that one can feel like a woman, but how does a transgender woman know that the feeling is the same as in a cisgender woman... or how does any woman know that her feeling like a woman is anything other than a unique, individual feeling? If the author is saying something like that, it's hard to see what it can mean to be transgender.

Ann Althouse said...

"Spend more time around chicks packing heat in the military, chicks in flight suits, chick engineers, chick medical doctors, beach chicks, etc and you will see just how few of them ever doll themselves up that much."

I spent a lot of time in law schools and before that Baby Boomers in the 60s and 70s, and in Madison for the last 4 decades, so I think I've done enough. I don't think I've had any close experience with women who wore a lot of makeup, got fussily dressed up replete with high heels, and put a lot of time into hairstyles. If I needed to do more research on the topic, those are the women I'd have to spend time looking for.

Sebastian said...

Lurker21: "Transsexuality takes that frivolity seriously again"

So: transgenderism = decamp.

BarrySanders20 said...

This all goes back to men in shorts doesn't it?

Ann Althouse said...

"I can only go by the excerpt you provided, Ms. Althouse. Perhaps the full article was more interesting. But, to me, the excerpt was inane and, though relatively brief, managed to be tedious, too. I had no intention of commenting until I came to your own comment, above."

Well, that's appropriate. If you think there's nothing interesting here, pass over it. I strongly object to the use of the comments section to repeat the same old things about the general subject. Either find something in what is posted and go somewhere with it, or let it go in silence. I spoke up because of the people who don't give me the respect of reading and understanding the post but use my space and take advantage of my readership to say something they've said before and that's not responsive to anything that, for me, made the post worth writing. I understand if you don't think it was worth writing, but that is not license to hijack the post. People who want to do that ought to write their own blog -- or do their own Facebook post -- and get their own readership. Don't take advantage of me and the work I have done for 16 years, building my readership.

"I think you should at least consider the possibility that the directional labels on your compass are 180 degrees off on this topic and that the reactions of your loyal readers have some potentially useful information for you in them."

I have seen the same knee-jerk reaction to transgender things so many times. There is nothing new in the repeated statements that sex is a "scientific" matter and people with different ideas about gender expression are mentally ill. This isn't "potentially useful information." It's a trite opinion that I've seen in comments a thousand times. And it's trashing up my blog with shallow transphobia that I think deters participation by a wider group of people. As for "loyal readers" — there are many more readers than commenters, and I'm trying to protect the readership as a whole, not coddle the people who are using this forum to speak to a larger audience than they could command on their own. I believe that fewer than 1% of the readers are commenters.

"I am sitting here debating whether to post this comment as the tone of your instruction to "try to do better" is so unusual, at least to my ears. But to avoid disagreeing on your blog doesn't seem to fit the spirit of it, either."

I intend it to be instruction, and I need to be clear about it. Alternatively, I could spend even more time moderating and simply reject comments that don't seem to be the result of reading the post and understanding what it links to.

Christopher J Feola said...

Ann Althouse said: What I think is interesting about "the pressure to doll yourself up a lot" is that someone who wanted to be under that pressure saw it not as pressure but a positive thing to be able to do, but once you do the transition, you are — or at least she was — in the positive of needing to do it and it wasn't so good anymore.

The fly fishing bard John Gierach wrote an interesting piece on how to fall into hate with something you love. In Gierach's case it was fly tying. Gierach is an excellent tyer who tied for all his serious friends...so he thought he could turn pro. The pros told him not to do it. But he insisted, so they got him an order. And instead of tying a couple dozen Blue Winged Olives for one trip and a few dozen Gierach Specials for another trip...he had to spend all winter tying 10,000 dozen. Of the same fly.

Lesson learned the hard way.

Cjf

Todd said...

Ann Althouse said...

What I think is interesting about "the pressure to doll yourself up a lot" is that someone who wanted to be under that pressure saw it not as pressure but a positive thing to be able to do, but once you do the transition, you are — or at least she was — in the positive of needing to do it and it wasn't so good anymore.


And so does your average 12 year old girl. They want to be a "woman" and do the make up, the shaving, the dressing to attract attention. Eventually as others noted, it starts to wear thin.

Same with men. Most boys can NOT wait to start to shave. A right of passage. Then it becomes just another chore you are expected to do.

The thrilling becomes the mundane. The novelty wears off. It is just that most folks grow to understand that before they mutilate their bodies beyond restoration.

gbarto said...

I had started to write a serious and thoughtful comment when a phrase popped into my head:

You know I always wanted to pretend I was an architect.
George Costanza

That's what this is. George is at least honest with himself, sort of. He knows he would never put in the hard work of actually becoming an architect. If a real architect showed him a blueprint and asked him a question, he would quickly talk his way around it and bail. He doesn't want to be an architect. He wants to pretend to be an architect.

It feels like the NYT writer is in the same place: A desire to imagine being something/someone else but without really getting all that's involved. It's funny how some men think the way to escape being who they are is to choose the easier, more fulfilling, more real, more whatever role of being a woman. Maybe not. The interesting bit is this person has realized being a woman isn't that easy after all. The sad bit is that s/he still thinks that by telling him/herself that s/he is a woman, there will be an escape from a self s/he is not happy with.

gbarto said...

A side note: I read here far more often than I post, and I stop scrolling when the same arguments start being traded back and forth by the same people for certain topics. So as a reader, I appreciate a well moderated post even if as an occasional commenter I want to jump into the fray and settle the matter with a trenchant and witty observation.

walter said...

Review menu icon
JOSHUA TITOV
a day ago

Tootsie is my grandmas dog not a movie I demand this is taken down

Jim Gust said...

" I strongly object to the use of the comments section to repeat the same old things about the general subject. "

I am already trying to follow this sound advice, and will redouble my efforts.

Lurker21 said...

I never looked at other boys or men to learn how to be a boy or a man. Such a thought never occurred to me. It seems like such a strange way to think.

Perhaps because you were watching all the time and absorbing without thinking about it. The idea that one has some fixed "self" apart from one's culture and society is a problematic one, isn't it? The idea of boys who never have fathers to "show them how to be a man" is a very established meme. Few of them grow up to be transsexuals. Many have trouble in the adult world. #PeterPanSyndrome.

There are people with male parts who think they are male. There are people with female parts who think they are female. There are people with male parts who think they are female and people with female parts who think they are male.

See Plato for the idea that people once had two halves and seek their "other half," some men seeking a woman, some women seeking a man, some men seeking other men, and some women seeking another man. We don't have to take that literally and maybe Plato didn't mean it literally but we can speculate about just what the "other half" that people originally had was. And please, feel free to think of me as someone who reads Plato. It could help if we ever start rating commenters.

Pookie Number 2 said...

It's a trite opinion that I've seen in comments a thousand times. And it's trashing up my blog with shallow transphobia that I think deters participation by a wider group of people.

Your blog, your rules. But as long as you maintain your truly impressive commitment to free speech, people who view your viewpoint as no less self-deceptive than that of the crowd of peasants ooh-ing and aah-ing over the naked emperor’s new clothes will push back against forcing society to accept that 2+2=5.

I admit that standing up for objective truth isn’t new, or particularly interesting, and it clearly diverges from what you want to discuss. But it’s still important.

Sebastian said...

Althouse: "Remember that I only post when I’ve got something new to say"

OK, you may think that, but in many posts you don't actually "say" anything beyond quoting some piece of text. As in this case. Then it becomes a Rorschach test.

Of course, the reactions here are somewhat predictable, but that does not make them uninteresting: they correctly note that even a transgender statement that appears to say something new, having been published in the MSM, and is viewed by Althouse as offering an interesting twist, is in fact just a minor variation--just one more instance of insane self-misunderstanding--on the drearily familiar, insane solipsism that afflicts all confessions about and justifications of transgenderism. So, collectively, we see a pattern and we #Resist.

Unlike you, most commenters don't feel the pressure to get verbally dolled up, always in fear of being considered boring.

RigelDog said...

I have often wondered why transgender women never want to look like me--middle aged, no-fuss hair, rarely made-up, usually wearing Lee jeans and a cotton knit top from Kohls.

n.n said...

2+2=5

2+2 "=" 5. Transphobia is most commonly exhibited among the politically congruent who have been working hard to socially distance certain preferred bands in the transgender spectrum ("Rainbow"). Anyway, an artifict of the Progressive Church, Pro-Choice religion, and liberal ideology normalized by em-pathetic psychos, judges, etc.

Robert Cook said...

"I admit that standing up for objective truth isn’t new, or particularly interesting...."

What "objective truth" do you mean?

Sebastian said...

Althouse: "I believe that fewer than 1% of the readers are commenters."

That's interesting. I, for one, would welcome more commenters, in particular, well-informed, non-trolling liberals.

Pookie: "Standing up for objective truth isn’t new, or particularly interesting."

I don't mean to suggest that Althouse dismisses "objective truth," but this gets at a difference in preferences between Althouse the artist, with aesthetic aspirations for her "work" as a form of self-expression, and many commenters who like expressing hoary old truths, newness be damned, perhaps to vent, to chew on red meat, or to engage in a modest act of rebellion against prog hegemony.

That causes some creative tension, which I think is a positive and unique feature of this blog: hostess and commenters are often not in sync. For the liveliness of the blog, that Gestalt matters more than any particular sets of posts or comments.

n.n said...

NOBODY, was pressuring this guy to spend a lot of time putting on make-up and wearing cute dresses

The pressure originates in a natural ("evolutionary") imperative to construct a favorable juxtaposition of the sexes. It seems to be the same for trans/homos, but trans/neos seem to be confused by competing orientations.

daskol said...

The rigid and performative version of femininity practiced by most trans women is deeply problematic to most feminism. With this wave of trans femininity, in which trans women are free to wear comfortable shoes, the men who became women finally become as free as the women who started off as women. The author has an advantage, biological, of being pretty feminine or at least androgynous to begin with. Can trans women without this biological assist practice this form of trans femininity? I await the NYT piece from the more masculine appearing trans women who reject this expression of femininity on the basis that they will be confused for men without their heels and makeup. Because ultimately this form of femininity is performative, and it's only a performance in your own head if nobody else gets it.

Pookie Number 2 said...

What "objective truth" do you mean?

I meant the point in a general sense, but in its current instance, that a person with male genitalia that truly believes that they (to adopt the preferred verbiage) are female is a man who thinks he’s a woman, and that this is something different from being a woman.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Sebastian: I don't mean to suggest that Althouse dismisses "objective truth,"

I didn’t either. I was trying to explain why people are overlooking her request to stay on topic. It’s an absolutely legitimate request, and she has every right to try to preserve this forum for her desired ends. But to the extent that it’s a public place, people that believe that society is ill-served by intentional mid-labeling will make their case. And her willingness to tolerate this (should she choose to continue doing so) is very admirable.

Gospace said...

Met my wife in 1978 and married later that year. She didn’t wear makeup before we married and hasn’t since. The sum of her “dolling up” is getting her hair done. All of it still her natural brown. At 62 she’s routinely mistaken for mid to late 40s.

I’ve known quite a few women who get dolled up. Comes from working part time in retail. One young lady I worked with had a profile setup at modelmayhem . Women post their model shoots there in the hopes of getting discovered. When I looked her up several years ago there were several young ladies from the local rural high school with profiles there. All of them dolled up. It’s possible a few may have become paid models from there. Possible.

Today wannabe models go to Instagram. And some make money from it. Like some people make money from YouTube.

Back on 9 May I posted on Facebook a Daily Mail article about a Gold Cpast Influencer Billie Beever who has lost followers on the onlyfans website, and can no longer pay her rent. From the pics, not even all that good looking dolled up, but until covidiocy hit, was making a living solely on her looks. I know a lot of women manage to do that. Not men. There really aren’t many male models. Fewer well known ones. And even fewer heterosexual ones. Men who obsess over their looks really aren’t normal. Whereas for women throughout the ages, beauty, however defined in that era, has always been a meal ticket. Oh, my Facebook headline for the hapless Billie Beever was “Laugh or sympathize? Tough choice.”

Oh, men who obsess over their partner’s looks also aren’t normal, but in a different way. A women obsessing about her looks? Perfectly normal. I got lucky and found one who didn’t.

Joan said...

I have never understood what “feel like a woman” means. I don’t feel like a woman, I AM a woman. Similarly, I don’t feel white or 5 foot 7, I AM white and 5 foot 7. So I’m with Althouse on the question of how does this guy he knows he feels like a woman? Most women I know can’t answer the question, either, because it has the wrong premise: being a woman isn’t based on feelings, so the question makes no sense.

I have been called a TERF which cracks me up... I have close relatives, young people who have flirted with the trans thing by announcing opposite pronouns or asking to be referred to as “they.” In serious conversations with these young women, they could never articulate what they meant by not “feeling line a woman” OTHER THAN saying they always felt uncomfortable in makeup and “girly” clothes, never liked doing their nails or hair, etc. when I told them to look at their own mothers and grandmother and how we all dress and act, they rejected the evidence they had lived with their entire lives, because not one of us ever did those things, and we still don’t. I HATE that the trans movement makes young people think there is only one way to be a woman, or one way to be a man. It’s bullshit.

All that to say, I agree with this unfortunate soul that there is no one way to be a woman, or a man, and it’s very sad that he has come to this realization so late in life and after years of trying to conform to an ideal that exists in only warped minds.

Last, I resent the term “transphobic.” I am not afraid OF people who believe they are trans, I’m afraid FOR them. It is not healthy to spend your life arguing with reality. They are uniquely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. This fad will stop when someone finally gets around all the legalese and wins a lawsuit.

rhhardin said...

Women dolled up don't look good to me. I think women's dolling up is there to assert that they're actresses. It claims that role.

Women are bitchy to each other because there's no point to the role then.

Why not good to me? Probably association with the unpleasant lipstick feeling left after a kiss. "Ugh, don't want to kiss that one."

cubanbob said...

The pressure to doll yourself up a lot"

Not on topic but there is segment of men who are "slaves" to fashion as exemplified by GQ magazine. There is also a growing market for men's makeup. Fortunately I'm too old and ugly to glam up even if was interested in doing so.

As for AA's comment on transphobia: phobia is fear, one thing your commenters do not express about trans-people is fear. What she is saying if I understand her is that the overwhelming population should accept a dysphoria as normal. As if some higher authority has decreed that for all. Perhaps I'm wrong in this observation.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"reassignment surgery that results in so many suicides yet is immune from malpractice suits?

The survivors probably realize the surgery wasn't the main culprit. How long and ironclad is the consent form, I wonder?"

Somewhere, there's a lawyer working on sinking that ironclad and plundering the malpractice insurance of every doctor and institution who ever did a boob job on a man. And when he does,
the whole fantasy is going to crumble.

Robert Cook said...

"I meant the point in a general sense, but in its current instance, that a person with male genitalia that truly believes that they (to adopt the preferred verbiage) are female is a man who thinks he’s a woman, and that this is something different from being a woman."

That's "objectively true" only if it is true that gender has only to do with external physical aspects. But, is that so? In the womb, fetuses are initially asexual, until hormones begin to be produced about two months along that generate the development of the external sexual organs. What about the brain? What hormones cause the brain to "know" what gender it is? Is it something we come to know only as we grow and see our physical selves and how we differ from (or are the same as) other around us? Or is this identity imprinted on us pre-birth, a result of hormonal triggers?

In short, how do you know it's "objectively true" that a human with male genitals is a male, and not a woman with a male's body? How is that any less possible (or likely) than conjoined twins and other "sports of nature," as they were once called?

n.n said...

Somewhere, there's a lawyer working on sinking that ironclad and plundering the malpractice insurance of every doctor and institution

Something similar has happened with the attack on the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts, who were, apparently, early adopters of political congruence ("="). Also, what's notably, peculiarly excluded from the trials by press, by commercial, is proper characterization of the trans/homo males who perpetrated the acts. As if people in the general population will indulge diversity and color every trans/homo for the choices of a minority, but they will project to color every Catholic and Boy Scout of transphobia or something.

Robert Cook said...

Many years ago I met a woman at a house party in Brooklyn who worked as a counselor for pre- and post-op transexuals. She said that every transexual she ever met was incredibly angry. I don't know if that is objectively true in general, but that was her anecdotal experience.

I suppose I would be terribly angry--or depressed, or both--if I thought of myself as a woman but saw a man gazing back when looking in the mirror. I would feel trapped in a prison from which escape was impossible or, at least, which could only be effected through killing the whole of my world as I knew it, and radically reshaping--or ending--my relations to everyone I knew.

Phidippus said...

Keep it interesting, people. You've been warned.

Sebastian @3:10 PM stated it well, I think. A less kind but briefer version might be that boring or repetitive-seeming posts will lead to boring and repetitive-seeming comments. I freely admit to not being subtle, or perhaps patient, enough to often discern the unique quality of yet another post on a subject that I believe amounts to pathology and self-destructive behavior. Honestly, I think that these people are pitiful, clearly in pain, and need support from medical professionals and individuals who love and care for them personally, not a public forum like a magazine or newspaper where their troubles are displayed for the entertainment of the bored and those of prurient curiosity. Not so long ago such an attitude used to go without saying, I believe. "There but for the Grace of God, go I" was how I heard it expressed when I was a child, when I'd point at or mock a crippled or deformed person (what monsters children are). I got the message.

That said, respecting the preferences of Our Hostess, I will refrain from commenting further in this connection.

Ann Althouse said...

gbarto said... "A side note: I read here far more often than I post, and I stop scrolling when the same arguments start being traded back and forth by the same people for certain topics. So as a reader, I appreciate a well moderated post even if as an occasional commenter I want to jump into the fray and settle the matter with a trenchant and witty observation."

Thanks!

I try to read the comments with an eye toward what will be good for someone reading the comments (whether they're considering joining in or not). I'm judgmental about comments that I think are not interesting for readers.

Ann Althouse said...

"As for AA's comment on transphobia: phobia is fear, one thing your commenters do not express about trans-people is fear"

Actually, the "-phobia" combination form is defined as "Forming nouns with the sense ‘fear of ——’, ‘aversion to ——’."

Commenters are certainly expressing aversion.

Plus, the fear idea in words like "homophobia" is an accusation that deep down inside you are afraid, and that would apply even if you outwardly bluster and act like a proud-know-it-all. If they went through therapy and got down to the essence of why they keep commenting like that, you'd discover there is fear.

But it doesn't have to be fear. Aversion is enough.

Here are the OED examples of the use of the "-phobia" form:

1803 A. Seward Lett. (1811) VI. 94 He is a very laconic personage, and has upon him the penphobia.
1824 Life (1849) I. 125 She laboured under a perpetual dustophobia; and a comical disease it was.
1843 Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. 54 245 That powerful..writer..depicts the same regiphobia as raging among the Parisian Charlatanerie.
1896 Westm. Gaz. 6 June 2/2 The cycling craze has produced the antagonistic disease of cyclophobia.
1902 Westm. Gaz. 21 Oct. 2/3 There were symptoms in the City attitude of a certain amount of L.C.C.-phobia [= dread of the London County Council].
1928 A. Huxley Let. 9 Nov. (1969) 304 When my epistolophobia becomes..acute I will apply to you for..aid.
1978 N.Y. Mag. 3 Apr. 85/2 (advt.) Swim-o-phobia? Cure it forever. Our private lessons by professional instructors will have you phobia-free and swimming in no time.
1997 Independent 25 Mar. 119/4 It was immediately obvious that screening isn't very accurate, that an abnormal smear is rarely anything to worry about but we've sown the seeds of Big C-phobia anyway.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Plus, the fear idea in words like "homophobia" is an accusation that deep down inside you are afraid, and that would apply even if you outwardly bluster and act like a proud-know-it-all. If they went through therapy and got down to the essence of why they keep commenting like that, you'd discover there is fear.

No doubt that idea is there. Which reveals an inconsistency in simultaneously insisting that we’re morally obligated to call people by the terms with which they identify themselves.

Pookie Number 2 said...

In short, how do you know it's "objectively true" that a human with male genitals is a male, and not a woman with a male's body?

That’s what the word ‘male’ means. Arguing that gender has nothing to do with external physical attributes, or excised external attributes, is to play the game of asserting that words have no meaning at all.

I see no reason not to call such people “men that believe that they’re women trapped in a man’s body”. It’s cumbersome, but far more accurate than the alternatives. I am opposed to closing off avenues of treatment by shouting down honest discourse, or by asserting that such concern is rooted in fear or aversion rather then than actual empathy. That shouting only asserts that the shouted is more concerned with his or her self-regard than with the sufferers’ well-being.

Nancy Reyes said...

Sad. Because it equates being a woman to having an attractive feminine face. Reminds me of a quote "they don't want to be women: They want to be Prom queens": i.e. miss America where all of life is about superficial beauty.
whereas he ignores that true femininity is about caring for others, especially for one's family, and having children, not about self expression and egotism. But I guess the ancient Asian ying/yang duality or the Jungian concepts of masculinity vs femininity is a taboo subject in today's world.

DavidUW said...

A lot of guys don't like to wear heels or dress up or put on make-up.

He's just another dude like that.

hawkeyedjb said...

Transphobia, like islamophobia, doesn't really exist as a useful concept. Those are terms that are invoked to close off debate by labeling rather than by arguing. They put certain beliefs, certain disagreements outside the boundary of what is acceptable. People who use those words require the acceptance of viewpoints in order to access the circle of discussion; the debate is over.

That's my cue...

n.n said...

Transphobia, like islamophobia, doesn't really exist as a useful concept

They have progressed more as projections with respect to original intent. Trans/homos are notable for appropriating "gay" (i.e. full of joy, merry; light-hearted, carefree) and "lesbian" (from Lesbos, a geographical designation) to socially distance themselves from other bands in the transgender spectrum ("Rainbow") based on modern mores and myths.

Lurker21 said...

It's about identity. Do your sex organs determine your identity? Does your sexual preference? Does your gender? And what exactly is gender? If we exclude liking dresses, make-up and perfume and liking trucks, and football and beer as superficial characteristics, just exactly what's left of gender? Maybe it's something very basic like being aggressive versus being nurturing, but if we encourage men to be nurturing and women to be aggressive then how much of gender is left?

I suppose gender has to do with early relations and identification with parents, and also with one's early relationship with peers. If you obviously don't fit on one team, maybe the other team starts to seem attractive to you in different ways than it seems attractive to others in your birth "assigned" gender. Then there's all the ambiguity and complication in one's relationship to the other gender - the one you weren't "assigned." That can be such a tangle that some people never figure it out.

Lee Moore said...

Robert Cook : That's "objectively true" only if it is true that gender has only to do with external physical aspects. But, is that so? In the womb, fetuses are initially asexual, until hormones begin to be produced about two months along that generate the development of the external sexual organs. What about the brain? What hormones cause the brain to "know" what gender it is? Is it something we come to know only as we grow and see our physical selves and how we differ from (or are the same as) other around us? Or is this identity imprinted on us pre-birth, a result of hormonal triggers?

Just to get the biology straight and assuming you’re talking about sex rather than gender.

Sex is established by gonads – testes or ovaries. This happens pre-fetus.

Genitals – external sex organs - are secondary. And yet further downstream there are further secondary sexually dimorphic characteristics, including skeletal structure, distribution of body fat, body hair, and brains. These downstream characteristics are the result of the effect of different sex hormones – mostly very different testosterone doses - interacting with other aspects of the genome. Because there is a cascade of secondary effects dependent inter alia on testosterone dose, there are many little “mistakes” that can happen along the way, resulting in secondary features being less sexually differentiated than usual.

And secondary characteristics are inherently less binary than gonads, anyway. There is a lot of overlap in male / female hairiness, brains etc , but effectively none in gonads. (I say effectively because a tiny tiny number of humans do have malformed or unformed gonads, or gonadal tissues, that are intermediate between male and female – these are the real intersex people.)

In the womb, fetuses are initially asexual, until hormones begin to be produced about two months along that generate the development of the external sexual organs

Not quite. Yes, hormones in the early fetus stage do generate the differentiated genitals – and other downstream differentiation effects – but sex has already been established during the later stages of the embryonic phase. The divergence of undifferentiated gonadal precursors into male of female gonads has begun some weeks before there is a fetus.

And the hormones that “begin to be produced about two months along” – ie the dosage of testosterone – are the result of the start of testosterone production in the testes that predate the fetus (or where there are ovaries the lack of such extra testosterone production.)

Lovernios said...

What I find interesting is the idea that someone is "trapped" inside a body. If that is so then I am a "man trapped inside a man's body" in the sense that I cannot exit my body for another, male or female. Is it actually the case that we are "in" our bodies? Is the subjective "I' real and separate from the body, or merely an illusion created by the brain as a result of cognition?

Cold hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colors from our sight
Red is gray and yellow white
But we decide which is real
And which is illusion.



JAORE said...

"reassignment surgery that results in so many suicides yet is immune from malpractice suits?

The survivors probably realize the surgery wasn't the main culprit. "

You hear about something similar in serial plastic surgery patients. They believe if they just fixed that nose.... Then it's boobs....and ears,and the tilt of the eyes.

They are pursuing a mental image that, if reaised, would end all their troubles.

Alas.

Kai Akker said...

"I have seen the same knee-jerk reaction to transgender things so many times. There is nothing new in the repeated statements that sex is a "scientific" matter and people with different ideas about gender expression are mentally ill. This isn't "potentially useful information." " --AA

That's not what I meant, exactly. Not the quality of the commenters' arguments.
No, the potentially useful information in the reactions of the readers who commented was, as Phidippus said just above, that the "boring" aspect originated with the source material, not with the comments that you disliked reading.

"It's a trite opinion that I've seen in comments a thousand times. And it's trashing up my blog with shallow transphobia that I think deters participation by a wider group of people. As for "loyal readers" — there are many more readers than commenters, and I'm trying to protect the readership as a whole, not coddle the people who are using this forum to speak to a larger audience than they could command on their own. I believe that fewer than 1% of the readers are commenters." --AA

You seem frustrated by, and angry with, your commenters. But I think they add value to your blog. Just one reader's viewpoint. They provide lively discussion, for the most part.

I notice you yourself are commenting a great deal more in this fully-moderated mode!

Lee Moore said...

AA : I have seen the same knee-jerk reaction to transgender things so many times. There is nothing new in the repeated statements that sex is a "scientific" matter and people with different ideas about gender expression are mentally ill. This isn't "potentially useful information." It's a trite opinion that I've seen in comments a thousand times.

Kid : “Mom, the bottom of my pants is wet.”
Mom : “Yes, honey, that’s because you keep walking through puddles.”
Kid : “But why Mom ? Why are they wet ?”
Mom : “Water is wet, honey, it’ll do that.”
Kid : “But it seems so strange, that when I want my pants to be dry, they’re wet”
Mom : “What can I say, sweetie ? Water is wet, you walk through puddles and the bottom of your pants is going to get wet”
Kid : “But that’s not interesting. It’s boring. It’s same old same old. I want a different new exciting answer ! Now !”
Mom : “A different new exciting answer is going to be a different new exciting wrong answer. The right answer is the same old boring answer – water is wet.”
Kid : “Well if you haven’t got anything new and exciting to say, shaddup.”


pause


Kid : “Mom, my shoes are wet…”

Kai Akker said...

I read it, Lee. : )

Nichevo said...

Ann Althouse said...

I spent a lot of time in law schools and before that Baby Boomers in the 60s and 70s, and in Madison for the last 4 decades, so I think I've done enough. I don't think I've had any close experience with women who wore a lot of makeup, got fussily dressed up replete with high heels, and put a lot of time into hairstyles. If I needed to do more research on the topic, those are the women I'd have to spend time looking for.

5/28/20, 1:13 PM


Aside from your mother, who I assume was appropriate to her station, you worked at Sullivan and Cromwell, if memory serves, in the 70s. Women there didn't dress professionally? Or are you just No True Scotswomaning us with your "lot" and "fussily?"

As for being original, I guess that means you don't want to hear anyone say that transsexualism, even more than homosexuality, is a grievous mental disorder whose sufferers could be expected to write such claptrap as your quoted piece (for which you have been trapped into clapping), so I will not say it, although it is true.