Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Stop Making Sense

Maybe this is all a manifestation of some April Fool's phenomenon (or just as likely, a case of newborn-induced sleep deprivation.) As of late there appear to be an increasing number of circumstances that occur beyond my abilities of comprehension. In particular, politics provides a smorgasbord of peculiar events that try both my patience and credulity.

I - much like Jackie Mason - strain to understand how a U.S. Senator and presidential candidate can sit under the pulpit of a pastor such as Rev. Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, and hear nothing so controversial as to cause him a moment's hesitation about claiming Wright as a spiritual mentor. (Hell, I attended Wright's church for less than two years and heard comments at least as inflammatory as those keeping YouTube ablaze virtually every Sunday; to paraphrase Mr. Mason, Barack Obama would have to be deaf or stupid not to have noticed similar commentary.)

I am also vexed as to how another Democratic presidential candidate would highlight her management skills to commend her as POTUS, even as she runs her campaign over a cliff. Hillary Clinton has made her expertise - in developing a feasible universal health care plan among other things - a centerpiece of her political resume, all the while her incompetent stewardship of the campaign's finances has caused her to be unable to pay health care premiums for staffers.

But these are yet trifles, mere hors d'oeuvres in the feast of foolishness. Much that bewilders my now baby-besotted mind emanates from beyond the ramparts of politics. My attention was captured by a fairly recent New York Times Magazine article about so-called "transmen" attending women's colleges. We are acquainted with "Rey," a scion(?) of an affluent New York suburb and a not-quite transgendered college student. Rey began his college years at Barnard, a women's college in New York City. His travails with the "very typical feminine girls" (i.e., female students not wanting to share housekeeping with a tranny), left him feeling "extremely other." After these assaults on his sensibilities, Rey now continues "hir" studies at Columbia.

Around the next corner in the gender bender House of Horrors is Thomas Beatie, who comes to us by way of The Advocate. To make a weird story short, Beatie is "transgendered, legally male, and legally married to Nancy." Beatie has also retained his, shall we say, pre-surgery "plumbing." Due to his wife's inability to conceive, Beatie has decided to put his original equipment to use. As we might imagine, the couple has endured all sorts of indignities as Beatie has attempted to conceive and carry their child.

Our situation sparks legal, political, and social unknowns. We have only begun experiencing opposition from people who are upset by our situation. Doctors have discriminated against us, turning us away due to their religious beliefs. Health care professionals have refused to call me by a male pronoun or recognize Nancy as my wife. Receptionists have laughed at us. Friends and family have been unsupportive...

This whole process, from trying to get pregnant to being pregnant, has been a challenge for us. The first doctor we approached was a reproductive endocrinologist. He was shocked by our situation and told me to shave my facial hair. After a $300 consultation, he reluctantly performed my initial checkups. He then required us to see the clinic's psychologist to see if we were fit to bring a child into this world and consulted with the ethics board of his hospital. A few months and a couple thousand dollars later, he told us that he would no longer treat us, saying he and his staff felt uncomfortable working with "someone like me."

Like Rey, Beatie seems genuinely upset that others won't go along with his delusion. Despite his having apparently functional female reproductive organs, Beatie describes himself as being "stable and confident being the man that I am."

As I come at all of this from the perspective of an African American male - my own gender best described by the equally correct and politically incorrect epithet, "mansman" - I find it interesting that many people (especially on the Left) accept a fluidity of gender that speaks to a penchant for pushing envelopes as opposed to drawing clear lines. I also wonder why race was never seen as so much of a sociological construct as opposed to a biological fact. Imagine if, by dint of a change in physiognomy, the power of will or some other expedient, blacks could have avoided the whole host of privations of days long past.

The truth of course is that while Americans of African descent may choose not to identify with their negritude, they cannot force society into accepting any alternate designation. (If anything, those with multiracial bona fides are likely to have blackness draped over them, fitting much like a wet jacket.) So it is with these misguided drag kings. Their attempts to mau-mau us into a stunned submission notwithstanding, their biology - the presence of distinctly female physiology, and the requirement of endocrine reinforcement of their gender "reassignment" - speaks volumes to the untenability of their suggestion that they are men, trans or otherwise.

No comments: