Saturday, April 21, 2012

birth certificates and peni

sigh:

http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120420/120420_transsex_certificate/20120420/?hub=CP24Home

has the mind numbing quote: ""They're requiring you to surgically change some aspect of your body in order to get a letter changed on a piece of paper," Ursel told The Canadian Press."


yep, its true. apparently, in order for your birth certificate to be changed from M to F, you have to get your body changed from M to F. astonishing.  more astonishing is that apparently this isn't a good thing.

i'm getting called 'transphobic' a lot these days. apparently some kind of internalised thing, since i'm unaware of it. i think it stems from me not understanding some really simple things - like the concept that your sex has nothing to do with what's between your legs (otherwise known as, your sex).

i can understand that lots of people think that the labels "male" and "female" are old-fashioned, and really make little difference, so why should it matter if people want a F when they are an M?

i think this is dumb. yup. dumb. its a myopic view built out of too many closeted meetings surrounded by like-mindless people, getting lost in intellectual spaces and losing touch with reality, drowning in the TG bog.

reality is, men have cocks. they use them to impregnate women (who have vaginas) and make them pregnant. this happens a lot, often against the will of the women.

due to the unsymmetrical nature of this impregnation, we've developed a whole bunch of social gender roles, behaviours, ideas and laws. lots of the laws are there to protect women against rape.

now. some of us are born transsexual. we have female identities (souls, even) in male bodies, and vice versa. (i'm not going to talk about F2M since the surgery is currently crap and they have a whole different set of issues, gender being asymmetric.)

so, for a while, we are women in men's bodies. Of the transsexuals i know who are now post-op, none of us pushed to be recognised as 'female' until we started to transition - in other words, until we began to present full time as the women we were, took hormones and prepared for surgery. perhaps some do: i find it that idea hard to understand, since we begin to transition when we stop trying to be guys, stop trying to fit our bodies., when we accept that we are women. some of us do it young, some of us struggle with it for ages. all of us are really happy once we've had surgery (if it worked ok). So, until we stop trying to be guys, we don't try and be called women. at the moment that happens, we are in transition. we are pre-op TS women.

this is the bit where the TS worlds and the TG worlds collide. for a while, pre-op a TS woman has a penis. She's on her way to not having it anymore, but its there. She'll be presenting full time as a woman, be on hormones, have made up her mind.

so it is simple to say "yes, she should have female documentation". of course she should. otherwise she's going to get outed all the time.

birth certificate changed, though? that's a bit different. the birth certificate purportedly shows your sex at birth. it really should match up with your genitalia, since that what was looked at in the first place. its also a very rarely used document. i need to use mine, to gain citizenship or to change my name, but that's it. It is not something that outs you. i'm ok with the idea that you need surgery to get your birth certificate ammended if you are M2F. it keeps things in sync with manifest reality - the fundamental component of life on earth.

to think otherwise seems to be to say that all gender markers are worthless...

what about the gender queer. the men who present as females yet retain their testosterone, who retain their ability to impregnate women? do they get access to female documentation. they seem to want to.

what about those who 'choose not to have surgery because they want children'. do we let prospective dads change their birth certificates to say female, even though they want to impregnate a woman (ie, be a male)?

i think the big problem with discussions is most of us argue from the rational cases - from the places where of course it is ok for that person to get granted female documentation even though they have a penis. so many of us have identified with the TG concept that we forget it is so nebulous that it includes some very dangerous people. in fact, the cases we argue for are quite exceptional. I raise the points i do because it is important that we consider the whole range of people that may have access to any rights granted, to make sure that we keep things safe. Legal Gender is not simply paperwork. it grants access, changes liabilities, removes protections.

i understand how many people want the concept of gender differences to not matter - that seems the basis of these demands. if your sex is just paperwork, then it matters not what you are called, you can decide. 

unfortunately, its not like that. males and testosterone make for them to be different creatures to women, which is why there is a concept of female safe spaces, female refuges. we are the target of sexual predation. face facts. face reality, then make the laws carefully.

this mix of wanting a working penis and wanting to be considered female is extremely problematic. it isn't based in any kind of reality. its based in a mix of gender roles (the female appearance), gender identity (perhaps, a person feeling that they are female) and physical sex (having a cock). 

we've allowed physical sex to be re-labelled as gender. then redefined gender as the gender role you play, the way you appear, and then said that therefore your clothes define your sex. it is the ultimate in denial and double talk.

if you strip away the clothes (which, apparently, is extremely insulting) then you have the problem identified. you've got a guy.

with a person who has been on hormones and testosterone blockers, you've got a half-man half woman, with a shrunken (and mostly useless) penis, breasts and hips. I guess these are the people for whom these laws are really aimed (certainly who are most vocal in defending them) - the not-quite-women who are for whatever reasons not having surgery to become physically female, who are holding onto their penis? (and as ever, i have to add caveats for those people who want but cannot get surgery, and for pre-op TS women who are passing through)

with a post-op TS, you've got a (perhaps masculine) appearing woman.

but i have to stop. i was imaging a room full of naked people, with each person stating their sex, and seeing a male body move like a female and say "i'm a girl". and, maybe, its true. but then, that is what changed ID is about. changed passports, changed driving licences etc. they are a layer of legal ID protection that already exists that allows that person to back up their assertion with documentation. Reality is also maintained, for that person ALSO has a birth certificate that explains their physical form. so we have a paper trail of description and identification that makes sense.

this is the case that gives me the most issues. i was having an argument with one individual who was likening the TS knowledge of always being female with her experience, although she'd chosen to keep her (working) penis and did 'drag' instead (a dichotomy of self-expression i found a little odd. how can you say you are female and then say you do drag (ie, pretend to be female). ) She insisted that she was a woman, even though she functioned as a male (and had a most of the time male persona). To me, this is pretty out of touch with physical reality. 

am i brainwashed by the state in believing that documentation is important? is it actually irrelevant in this day and age? i'm not so sure. before the internet we had the idea of the akashic records - a spiritual copy of every act and deed. these days, we are seeing that concept made into a data reality. even posting this blog adds to it. 

the concept of privacy and rights is an odd one for me. i've never thought i could hide anything from the watching eyes of the universe, from karma, from god. so i've never felt the loss of personal privacy a big one. maybe that would change if people started picking on me publicly? maybe that lack of understanding is behind my lack of comprehension of the TG bog's demand for these legal changes?

does it really MATTER if a sexually active male body gets to have a birth certificate that says 'F'? apart from being irrational?.

i can only call to mind my rape. By a crossdresser. under the proposed changes, he'd be able to get female documentation. he'd be able to stroll into female safe spaces without fear of ejection. he'd be legally able to access women's refuges, women's safe houses. when we took him to court, he'd be able to sue us for mis-gendering him when we accused _him_ of rape.

why? because we are being too loose with our definitions. we are allowing this to be applied to "transgendered women", without looking at what "transgendered" means.

the right to women's ID needs to be restricted to Transsexual women. those of us who ARE women. its a great word, transsexual. it has a medical definition. here is a neat summary: http://ts-si.org/guest-columns/31542-removing-transsexuality-from-the-transgender-umbrella

those of us who are NOT transsexual need to start fighting for a right to a transgendered ID. they are not women, they are something else. even they say it, fighting against, denying and belittling the gender 'binary'. Why on earth would any sane person accept this denial of male and female and then also grant the same deniers access to male or female gendered ID? at the very least, something is not right. most likely, the person is in some deep loop of self-deceptive denial. they need counselling, not ID.

i'm all for the acceptance of genderqueer ideologies. May gender boundaries and roles be swept away! lets break down the inequalities of privilege and expectation. Men should be free to wear whatever they like, speak any way they like and do whatever they like. and vice versa. Why do we even have gender markers on ID (except its a really quick way of checking the validity of the holder)? what does it matter?

here's a cute site about it: http://thefeeloffree.tumblr.com/post/2882286703/stfu-binarists-binary-gender-privilege

That's a different story to the proposed ID changes. The disposal of the gender binary means making new genders, and embracing them. it means releasing people from the strictures of male and female and what all of that means. It must be a voluntary thing, of course, some of us acknowledge and appreciate it, but that does not mean that variance cannot be embraced. If this proposed legislative change brought in a voluntary "trans" identification then great. I'd support it. a few years ago, before i broke free of the TG bog that had so subtly drawn me in, i'd even had embraced it. i managed to have an X on my driving licence for ages, while i was battling with the TG rubbish polluting my mind, post op.

mis-representing sex on fundamental physical ID - the birth certificate - that's a step too far for me. and, i hope, for many.







1 comment:

  1. It's a step too far for me as well. But since so many people I know are part of the group-think that allows them to convince themselves that M is F and F is M, I tend to stay silent except in blog posts and comments.

    I know genderqueers, and I respect their choices. I get a little squicky when they go beyond muddling gender into muddling sex by taking cross-sex hormones, but it's their business.

    The ones that puzzle me are those MAAB who like to claim they are women, have a female name, want to be called by feminine pronouns, but stop well short of actually *being* female. And those, I think, are the ones complaining about ID. And I disagree with them.

    ReplyDelete

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