Archive for the 'Reponses' Category

08
Aug
14

Lap Dogs

I know it’s been awhile, but a Huffington Post blog brought up this tangent (see link below).

Why are men stuck in the tiny little pigeon hole of what it is to be “a man?” The blog in question was addressing the positives of daily sex. Aside from the author’s obvious heteronormative views on relationships, she stated that men only need “Food, appreciation, and sex. That’s it.”

Really, lady? If that is all your significant other needs, I weep for you. If your mate is only a lap dog who needs a bowl of chow, the occasional pat on the head, and a leg to hump, perhaps you should both broaden your horizons. While I can accept that you feel that your womanhood lies in your drive to reproduce, to lump all men in this sad group of puppy land and to use that generalization to offer advice to millions of women is misguided at best. So, I offer my own suggestion on how to “make your man feel like a man.”

Treat him as an individual and as a person, not a dog. Make him feel like he is more than your meal ticket, that he has intellectual contributions to your relationship far beyond what he can add monetarily. Give him appreciation for doing more than working out of the house, acknowledge his contribution to your household and your children (if you have them, because I do not measure a woman’s worth as a human being by the number of times her uterus has housed anyone). Offer him love, but understand that men too enjoy a good cuddle, a soft touch, and moments of quiet conversation. Last but not least, understand and show him that men are just as complicated as women, that you understand he has emotions but that society makes him bottle most of them, and that he is a person of value and not just a sex crazed garbage disposal seeking your approval.

Link to original blog post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meg-conley/five-reasons-you-should-h_b_5647291.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

27
Feb
14

This post started with a post on Facebook of a picture of men. Which led to a Google search of “real women have curves”. Let me just say, it was generally nauseating. That being stated, said search linked me to this (http://recognizablefruits.blogspot.com/) blog. Same blog then led to this post. Back story now complete, let the games begin…

This young woman has a fabulous point; a point I once thought Feminism had gotten beyond. I like to pretend in my head that the bulk of Feminism is truly and honestly rooted in a desire for equality; the movement of women and men to place all people, regardless of sex, gender, race, socioeconomic status, disability, or age on the same equal footing. I sometimes have this delusion that the bulk of Feminism (both within and outside of academia) is capable of celebrating our similarities, while still recognizing our differences. I did state that these are delusions though, didn’t I?

In reality, there are young women who are degraded because obese is the new beautiful. Of course, this isn’t actually new. There have been times throughout history where thin is celebrated and times when heavy is desirable, but with mass media being what it is, there is a stark division between the ‘skinny chicks’ and the ‘fat girls’. In reality, women want more rights in birth control, but to the removal of men’s (not taking sides, simply stating fact). In reality, first world problems of body image overshadow the problems of women that are unable to feed their families or provide even the most basic medical care for their children. In reality, women are being degraded for staying home with their children; and so are men. Where is Feminism on these issues?
Many Feminists are doing the degrading of the ‘skinny chicks’ while popular media continues to show the very thin as an ideal. Truth? There is a spectrum of what constitutes beautiful. To each his own, and if someone is healthy, their body shape is nobody else’s business.
The term ‘reproductive rights’ in Feminism (on the whole) refers only to women. I get that this is a touchy subject. I get that by giving men choice, it reduces the choice of women. I completely understand that women are not incubators for the singular purpose of carrying children. BUT. If Feminism is truly about equality, we must, MUST recognize that expanding women’s reproductive rights diminishes those of men. We must also recognize that men have VERY limited options in birth control. Men have very few choices, while they abound for women. Don’t get me wrong, it is WONDERFUL that women have these choices, but what about men? Condoms, sterilization, abstinence. That’s it, folks. That’s all they have. This is not equality.

While there are many Feminists who acknowledge the problems facing women over seas, suggesting that women in India, the Middle East, and other conservative cultures just demand that men use condoms to prevent disease is, well, stupid. Yeah. I said it. A bunch of middle class white girls telling grown women to threaten their own lives, when same white girls have no real understanding of the implications that request holds, infuriates me. Really.

Last but not least in this rant, why must Feminists degrade women who choose to stay home with their children? Granted, there are many Feminists who support men staying home, but others who (while they may support it ideologically) will make fun of or degrade the ACTUAL men they know that stay home. Really, though, while I think we need to shift away from this ridiculous essentialism that only women can nurture, at this exact second, it is the first of these two that bothers me the most. ‘The Problem with No Name’ was supposed to be about choice. The second wave was supposed to be about opportunity. Why must Feminism step back to the 80’s ‘mommy wars’? If a woman wants to take advantage of her birth control options, have sex, not get married, and have a career; GREAT FOR HER! If a woman wants to remain abstinent until marriage (or at least monogamous), then have multiple children, and stay at home with those children; GREAT FOR HER! Of course, there is a great deal of variation between the two, but none of those variants are attacked by Feminism (and Feminists, themselves) with the same vehemence that is aimed toward chastity, and the nuclear family. If that is a woman’s choice, that choice should be equally supported and celebrated.

02
May
13

the elephant in the room

So this will be a rare glimpse into the personal me, with a bit of the social/political/feminist thrown in.

A friend of mine posted a TED talk on Facebook (And I am adding here that if you are not already familiar with TED talks, you should be. They are pure awesomeness.), adding in the comments that the Dr. in the talk reminds her of me in voice, non-verbal cues, and (I really like this part and it makes me smile) her “passion for love”. As is often the case, I then made a somewhat sarcastic (although not mean spirited) comment about the chance to view myself through another person’s eyes.

I honestly was interested in the change of perspective, being able to view someone else who others felt were somehow representative of me. Pretty cool, right? The truth? I found it very difficult to do so. It took me half the video to stop pointing out (in my inner speech) her flaws in speech and mannerisms, thinking to myself “Am I really that overly theatrical with my movements?” or “Do I really use those inflections and throw in snark at strange moments?” The obvious answer to those questions (if you have ever had more than a passing hello with me) would be, yes. Yes I do. It took some time for me to get past the over analyzing of her movement and speech patterns and allow myself to actually absorb her words, to actually listen to what she was saying.

When the clip ended, I posted a comment that was rather light, but also (as per usual) somewhat sarcastic (again, not in a mean spirited way). I posted this for two reasons. First, it was actually true. I suffer from a rather fascinating sort of migraine. They are both ocular and hemiplegic. Like, at the same time. Point being, her stroke description was VERY familiar, but I never hit what she refers to as “Nirvana” (the peace that comes with being pure energy and fully in the now). Secondly (and the point of this whole mess), because I couldn’t quite put my other thoughts into words at that exact moment. Now I am going to try.
What I did was exactly, EXACTLY what I do to myself. I over analyze. I criticize. I fail to recognize the positive unless I am so engrossed that I forget to do so. I have to be so interested in that moment that I can ignore the negative part screaming how awful I am. It was not until I really was able to forget that I was comparing myself to her (or in my usual day to day, everyone else) that I was able to really focus, understand, and even laugh with her.

So, my foray into the perceptions of others didn’t go so well but was interesting all the same. I learned that, at least at this point in time, I CAN’T view myself as others do. That being said, at least now I know that, if I make the effort to ignore the damned elephant, I can see and appreciate the rest of the room for what it is.

02
Jul
12

Response to “intersex is NOT a disease”

http://xxytalks.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/the-f-word/

A response from a reader

22
Jun
12

Identifying with the other

So, recent comments on my intersex post have led me to feel the need to write another post. Hooray for you! (sarcasm)

The discussion (for those who don’t want to read all the comments) is about identifying with the other. Wanting to be the other to justify why a person feels the way they do, the other not understanding why anyone would desire to be that other, feeling they don’t understand what being other entails. Thus, I’m going to lay it all out there…

It seems many trans individuals want to have a label so that they understand WHY they feel like their parts don’t match what they feel in their hearts and minds. Having a diagnosis that explains why stuff doesn’t match up. OK. I get that. I get that it is difficult to deal with the internal cognitive dissonance that comes with the external incongruence. It makes complete sense.

The reality, though, is that for all the similarities between trans and intersex (having to deal with stupid doctors, a medical community who rarely understands the needs of the individual when it comes to both the internal and external organs, etc) the differences are ignored. Intersex people do not WANT their genitals to match the dichotomy. They do not wish to be shoved in a pigeon holed description of what sex and gender are to the majority of non-intersex people. They want to live as they are (or were before being hacked upon by some self important asshole).

Like trans people, intersex people want to be able to use the public restroom without fear of retribution. But that fear is based solely on the structure which dictates what is too small or too big. They want to go through their day and not have to hear a joke about how much size matters, that someone needs to ‘grow a pair,’ or that a man isn’t a man if his penis is ‘too small.’ They want to have their clitoris be loved as it is. Not have a mate turned off because she is too big to be a woman. They want to live life, not having to wonder how things might have been, had they not been reassigned without their permission and without their parents being pushed to have it done (if they were consulted at all). They want to hear someone speak of female genital mutilation, knowing it wasn’t done to themselves, ripped apart because some stupid doctor with a tape measure could see her parts when the doctor felt it shouldn’t be seen. They want to know that their size really doesn’t matter, despite what the jokes and snide comments say.

I want it understood…I am NOT saying that the intersex road is harder than the trans. They are both two very difficult rows to hoe. But I think trans people sometimes underestimate the daily struggles of living in a world where, the only way a person can be judged of their full worth, is by what is or is not in their pants.

20
Jun
12

intersex is NOT a disease

Claim: That is an opinion and I can accept that is where you stand and you have the choice to hold that view if you wish.

The words sex and gender have often been skewed to indicate that these are entirely determined by culture. They are not. They are however a combination of cultural and individual experience and the genetics with which a person was born. Such fallacies are implemented due to the poor research and misleading publications, not of a social psychologist, as this photo suggests, but rather by those of a psychoendocrinologist who developed these theories (Dr. John Money).

We, as animals, do not have a gender, but as social creatures we do. This statement in the picture, however is contradictory to the statement above it which states that gender is biological in nature.
Nouns do have gender, as do pronouns (for the most part), however it is very ethnocentric to make said statement about all languages, as many have gender in items such as desks, pencils, chairs, etc. Secondly, this statement is also stated quite poorly as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are not in fact nouns, but adjectives.

To say that XX, XXY, XYY, and the myriad of other variations are ‘deformations’ is both condescending and purposefully inflammatory. Green eyes are a ‘deformation’, as are many other characteristics that are easily seen about any individual’s appearance. The assumption that any of these variations are believed to be newly discovered is, at best, misguided. XX and XY, while being the most commonly occurring genetic variations, however the explanation that follows is incorrect. The XXX, XXY, and XYY variations do not occur due to random mutation of a normal gene. They are, in fact, genes of their own consistency, that is to say they are heritable. Also, to equate said variations of intersex with Down’s Syndrome is incorrect. Those individual with Down’s are most often infertile, and when not, Down’s is not heritable. Additionally, there are many other types of intersex variation that do not include the genetic variations listed above. Some of those are random mutations, yes, but mutation does not equal deformity, only difference.

‘Hermaphrodite’ is a medical term that describes none of the three intersex variations listed above in the picture. The terminology here is very off, which would indicate that the individual who created it is not informed on the correct terminology. Hermaphrodism refers only to individuals who have BOTH male and female primary or secondary sex characteristics and does NOT include those of the ambiguous variations.

99% of XY women do not reach puberty? That statistic is blatently false. I’m not exactly sure how many of them do, as that would actually be a suicide or accident statistic, but the vast majority do in fact reach puberty, but because pubertal onset means an increase in both estrogen and testosterone production, the secondary sex characteristics can be either male, female, or both, depending on the individual. Secondly, the bad grammar here again diminishes the accuracy of this picture (more taller).

“Take the brain that occurs the most” doesn’t even make sense, see comment above. The male brain has no different ‘parts’ than the female brain. This entire section makes no sense whatsoever if anyone is even remotely educated in brain structures. There are relatively few sex differences between male and female brains. The ones that do exist occur after pubertal onset, when there is a major change in growth and a pruning of unused neural pathways. Some suggest that the cultural norms of what females are expected to do vs males may be responsible for these differences, other evidence suggests that it may be hormonal. The reality is that they just aren’t sure. The only significant difference between the two is size. Women’s brains tend to be somewhat smaller, but have an increased number of gyri, thus increasing the overall surface area.

There is not a legitimate scientist (endocrine, geneticist, neural, or otherwise) who would use brain structure as a determining factor of sex. That is another blatantly false claim. Again, male and female brains do NOT have different parts.

Well, for all the arguing against any rights for intersex individuals, at least it makes a good argument for transsexuals. False, but convincing, nonetheless. In reality, what the photo to the left fails to indicate (as does the text to the right) is that the hypothalamic activity (and yes, that is what the photo to the left is actually showing) is changed with high levels of chronic stress. MTF transsexuals have an incredibly high level of chronic stress and, thus, would have the levels concurrent with those of females. A good example of this contractual error is the SIDS research of the early 20th century. Hundreds of thousands of children’s brains were irradiated to reduce the size of the hypothalamus because they thought that large ones caused SIDS to occur. In reality, they were only comparing upper class SIDS deaths to those of poor (and highly stressed) infants lost to other causes (such as starvation). Bad sample, much? Point being, this is being misattributed to sex differences when it is in fact a stress difference.

Cisgendered is an act of choosing not to PERFORM gender, not to identify that one is not present. Again, false. And why, exactly does this photo repeatedly compare intersex to physical illness or life threatening differences? Intersex is not life threatening (unless someone who is ignorant or misinformed beats someone to death).

And now, we get personal. Call it logical fallacy if you wish, but as I have offered fact alone up to this point, I really don’t give a shit. The last comment on the right would indicate that A. intersex individuals are sterile (which is true in the minority, but most are fertile) and that B. fertility should be somehow controlled, or intersex individuals should be somehow contained so as not to spread their ‘disease’. There is a reason that there is no source information on this photo. It promotes genocide, is inflammatory, and uses (at best) half truths to make a point for hurting people who deserve nothing but the same humane treatment every other person receives. How dare you, or anyone else imply that intersex people are any less people than you are. It is exactly this type of ignorance and half education that cause people to die at the hands of doctors who think they know how to hack a person’s genitals to pieces, or at the hands of ignorant bastards who believe that a person’s worth lies in his/her pants.

But I ask you now, what is it exactly that gives you the knowledge to back any of the statements made in this graphic? Is it a degree? Is it hours of research on intersex variations, articles about those variations, history of those? Weeks, months, and even years of talking to experts in the field or the individuals who are affected daily by the ignorance this graphic displays? Perhaps it is the daily experience of facing the challenges often associated with the intersex? Or maybe it is grant writing to the NIH to advance study of the consequences of this type of ignorance on the individuals who suffer it’s wrath? You see, it isn’t culture, biology, or society that cause intersex individuals problems. It isn’t their health, or their fertility, or their brain activity. It is the ignorance of people who refuse to do the work necessary to actually learn something other than the regurgitated (and false) shit that gets thrown at them by a grossly falsified graphic. THAT, is what needs to be fixed.

24
May
12

Did you really just say that?

I have had a great deal running around in my little head as of late but I am just now taking the time to put it down here.

Anywho…Here goes…

Why on Earth must people be more concerned with specific details of an individual’s genitals than they are about the consequences of actions? I am sure you probably, at the very least, just raised your eyebrows and uttered a mental “I’m sorry…What!?”

Seriously. This gets VERY old. When people hear of intersex variations, they want details. What makes a person intersex? Exactly what do you mean by atypical? Why don’t they just fix it? Aren’t there counselors for that? I’m going to address this as though I am actually talking to YOU, so please do not take offense if you are a person knowledgeable enough not to say stupid shit. OK, first I’m going to actually answer the questions, then I’m going to tell you what’s wrong with it, and lastly offer some better alternative responses.

1. “What makes a person intersex?”

Definition-Intersex is when a person’s genital development is atypical. In other words, their genetic makeup, their primary sex characteristics, or their secondary sex characteristics don’t line up, or are outside of two standard deviations from the average (note that I did not say “norm”).

What’s wrong-If someone is sitting there telling you that their child’s foot (which you can’t see) is different, but it is not a medical problem, do people say…”What makes is a foot different?”

Better option-Mind your own damned business and focus on the issue at hand.

2. “What exactly do you mean by atypical?”

Definition-Not typical.

What’s wrong-You are asking for specific details that are irrelevant and none of your business.

Better option-Mind your own damned business and focus on the issue at hand.

3. “Why don’t they just fix it?”

Answer-There are actually no firm answers for this one, but I’ll give it a try. Well, surgery implies that there is in fact something wrong, when there really is no medical issue present (in most cases).

What’s wrong- How dare ANYBODY have the nerve to suggest to a parent that they allow surgery on a child when said person had not heard of the variations until 5 minutes earlier? Secondly, most ‘corrective’ surgeries end up causing more harm and need for future surgeries. Third, would you give an infant rhinoplasty because you think their nose is too big or too small? I think not.

Better option-Mind your own damned business and focus on the issue at hand.

4. “Aren’t there counselors for that?”

Answer-No. Not really. While there may be some services provided for those who have received (or been victims of) surgical intervention, there is little to nothing for those who have not been butchered.

What’s wrong-Um…You just implied that intersex equates to mentally ill or in some other way disturbed. HELLO!? Do they have counselors for really small feet?

Better option-If you honestly feel that there may be a problem, offer your help to assist in finding a counselor who may be sensitive to the issue. Do not question the sanity of the endocrinologist (as a psychoendocrinologist is not a crazy endocrinologist), do not suggest that someone ask their PCP (because SURELY that hadn’t occurred to them yet), and please, please, PLEASE do not explain that your complete and utter lack of knowledge will somehow be a good use of your unlicensed, unqualified, and uninformed skills.

So, in short, consider yourself (although sarcastically) informed either on an issue of which you were previously unaware, or on the crap that comes out of people’s mouths.