Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Food for Thought: A Two-Course Meal

Course 1

Course 2

Bon apettit!


  1. I found the entrees a little hard to chew, and while the tasted true to their origin, they inevitably leave a faint bad taste in my mouth...

  2. I take exception to the second link, the part about bullying and suicides. Especially the part about crazy people commit suicide. Bullying is a lot different now, then it was 40 years ago, and it is much more pervasive because of the internet and texting. Bullying is now 24/7; there is no relief for the victim. Pictures are taken when they are most vulnerable, when they are showering in gym class, picking their nose or eating and then they are spread at the speed of light. The pictures are posted on Facebook and sent to all their friends in an instant. Schools look the other way and say, its kids being kids.

    I have researched school violence for the Connecticut Department of Education as apart of the CT School Climate Coalition and what I found is that bullying can be stopped. It can be stopped by a change in school culture, in a Canadian school they went from a 175 bullying incidents a year down to around a dozen incidents by promoting diversity and by teaching everyone to speak out against bullying.

    Studies have shown that children attempt suicide because they feel that they have no place to turn to, no one to listen, no relief from the bullying. When children can turn to their teachers or school administrators for help the rates of suicide drop. The agency that I am interning with is working with two school system where 1st graders have transitioned. In one school the administration is totally supporting her and she is not being bullied, while the other school system will not allow her to transition and does not support her at all, as a result she is being bullied.

  3. I've read both blogs now, and find the points of view interesting and challenging. The writers seem to agree that transsexualism and cross-dressing are either/or conditions. They reject the notion that sexual identity lies on a continuum. I find the motives of self-identified "transsexual women" to distance themselves from "fetishistic cross dressers" understandable but sometimes dubious. The problem I have with both philosophies is that there is very little scientific data to back up either. On the other hand, the abundance of anecdotal evidence ("my stories") lends credence to almost any "label" tossed around.

    I do wholeheartedly agree that people seeking medical treatment and/or social acceptance are often brow-beaten into allowing medical authorities and/or political activists to "assign" them labels.

    I am not a transgender person myself, but I am closely allied with one, and my personal experience has led me accept that gender identities, like gender preferences, do lie on continuums and that our places there are more flexible and fluid than people want to admit.

    And yes, life is not a rose garden for anyone, but it has gotten better and it continues to get better for all of us outside the heteronormative "mainstream."

  4. Read both articles, at once bleak and uplifting. Plenty to ponder

  5. Stana

    You certainly do your research, and keep us entertained.

    Especial thanks for links to these two writers, expressing the contrarian view. And they're right of course. (Just like my Mum, when she said "don't scratch that itch, you'll only make it worse".)

    What's a girl to do?

  6. I find this line of argument extremely dubious, because it seeks to divide gender variant people into two types to the exclusive benefit of one of those types.

    Lynne Conway is the standard bearer of the "two types" argument. As far as I can tell, it boils down to this: if you transitioned early and played with dolls from a young age, you are a "true transsexual" with a medical condition. If you transitioned late, weren't hyper-feminine as a child, and have *any* arousal from crossdressing, then you are a fetishistic pervert with a mental deficiency.

    These etiological claims are typically backed up by a confused mish-mash of biology, psychology and essentialist metaphysics. It's extremely murky interdisciplinary territory, and anyone who claims to have clarity on these issues likely has an agenda.

    I support the transgender political agenda because I think it makes room for more people to be happy. But I don't try to justify that by way of some half-cocked pseudo-scientific theory. I'm just following my bliss.

  7. Correction to my previous comment: J. Michael Bailey is the standard bearer for the "two types" theory.

    Lynn Conway is actually a critic of this theory, and critiques Bailey specifically here: http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/LynnsReviewOfBaileysBook1.html