Viva la difference!

First, I have to give you the money quote from the article.  Then, as you try to figure it out, I’ll fill you in on the story:

“You don’t necessarily have to have had gender reassignment surgery, but you could just define yourself as a man, feel very masculine in yourself, feel that in fact being a woman is not who you are.

Confused?  Well, yes, but so are a lot of people.  You see, the University of Manchester, in response to unnumbered complaints from transgendered people, have done away with men’s and women’s rooms and, instead, classified restrooms as “toilets” and “toilets with urinals.”  The quotation above is from a “women’s officer,” explaining precisely why the University thought this change was necessary:

Women’s officer Jennie Killip refused to say how many people had complained, and there are no figures for how many transgender people there are among the university’s 35,000 population.

She said: “If you were born female, still presently quite feminine, but defined as a man you should be able to go into the men’s toilets.

“You don’t necessarily have to have had gender reassignment surgery, but you could just define yourself as a man, feel very masculine in yourself, feel that in fact being a woman is not who you are.

“Transgender people can face violence and abuse when they go into toilets and we wanted to provide a place where they can feel comfortable.

“I have had complaints from people who said we didn’t have any facilities for them.”

I find it suspicious, of course, that Killip refuses to number those complaints.  Be honest:  Just how many transgendered people really are suffering potty confusion over in Manchester?

Not everyone is as thrilled with the change as Killip clearly is, but even the students who complain seem incapable of phrasing their complaints without falling back on their own PC victimhood (that is, raising one victim group against another):

Second-year student Jane McConnell, 19, a news editor on the Student Direct student newspaper, said: “While these signs might be appropriate for people with different sexualities, I also think that many people from different religious and ethnic groups are going to feel uncomfortable using these facilities.

“Even though they’re just two signs, at the end of the day, toilets should be for women and for men specifically, not for both.”

Although it may be hard to believe reading this post, I have sympathy for people who are sexually confused.  I can only imagine that it’s a hell of a life and that it does carry with it certain very real inconveniences.  Nevertheless, the university’s decision to abandon biology entirely and pretend on the basis of “unnumbered” complaints that the differences between the sexes are merely a product of any given individual’s self-perception is a form of intellectual dishonesty that really takes my breath away.

Frankly, even there really is a problem, how about digging into the university budget and springing for a few bathrooms with a single toilet and a sink that can be used by either gender, on a one-at-a-time basis?

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

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  • http://betterangels.typepad.com Ronald Hayden

    In my experience, bathroom issues for transgender people tend not to be from the transgendered person but from others. If it’s a male-to-female transgendered person, then women can get upset and complain about a man using the women’s bathroom.

    This does cause a problem for the transgendered person if they are then required to use the men’s bathroom, when for them that’s the “wrong” bathroom.

    The whole thing can take a bit of getting used to, but at the end of the day we have to accept that there are transgendered people, that such people would not go to such lengths if they didn’t actually self-identify as the other gender (which is quite likely a brain wiring thing), and that unless we are going to reject them from society (I know, many people would like to, but that’s not realistic), then we have to work through issues like this.

    I agree with your conclusion that the answer is to provide generic restrooms that anyone can use without needing to interact with others in the process.

    Full disclosure: I’m gay and went through all the coming out stuff with that, but when I first had to interact with a friend from High School who had undergone a gender change, I was not generous or open-minded about it, at least at first. I had to go through the same acceptance process anyone would.

    Once I spent some time in her presence and got over the initial feelings, I thought about what it must be like to have a brain that tells you you are one thing, but a body that doesn’t match. I can only imagine what that does to a person, and so on the occasions I’ve encountered transgendered people since, I do my best to address them as the gender they identify as and get on with the business at hand.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    I completely agree with your point, Ronald. My problem is the pretense that there are, ultimately, no sexual boundaries except for what people think constitute sexual boundaries. That’s not precisely what that British gal said, but it’s what she and her friends meant when they did away with boundary type bathrooms altogether. That’s why I think a much better plan is to scatter around some one person bathrooms, rather than to sweep gender under the rug entirely.

    As it is, like you, I’ve known several transgendered people. When they finally went ahead and had the surgery, it didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It was apparent that the hormone wash in their brains and the sexual make-up of their bodies were two entirely different things. I was very sympathetic, but nevertheless did not see their plights as a reason to remake society and biology.

    By the way, there’s also a safety factor involved. I’ve known two women who were assaulted when men got into the women’s restroom. It’s a vulnerable place for women to be, and it’s not nice to have men prowling around.

    I understand that transgendered men (the ones who identify as women) are also in danger in men’s rest rooms, which is why I like the idea of stand alone restrooms where they can be safe.

  • Mike Devx

    [ Fade from black ]
    Scene: Long shot of an airport corridor. People scurrying in front the camera. Shot draws in to an individual standing alone in the middle of the corridor. Vexed look on face. Nametag on unisex clothing states in bold marker: “Pat”.

    Individual takes a hesitant step to the forward left, then back. Then a forward right step, then back. Grimaces in frustration. Another step forward left and back. And another step forward right and back.

    Body posture indicates extreme tension. More hesitant steps. Frozen indecision.

    Camera slides behind individual and slowly draws back. Before the struggling individual we see two doors. One marked “Men”, the other, “Women”.

    More hesitant steps back and forth.

    [ Fade to black as we hear a chagrined whispered "Oh, darn". Followed by distant airport announcer voice: "Cleanup in corridor D. Maintenance: Cleanup in corridor D." ]

    Now that would be gender confusion. And I actually have a point: This is not actually about confusion at all. It’s about identity, and I don’t care which restroom such a (very rarely encountered) person actually uses. Idiocy to change the signs.

    ps – If Book pulls this potentially offensive post, no problem at all. I know my sense of the absurd can run risque. Apologies if it crosses anyone’s line.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Offensive, Mike? Nope. Funny and pointed.

    And let me say again that my post (and I can see that the same goes for your comment, Mike) is not meant as a swipe against people who are suffering from a mix-up of hormones and body. That is a personal tragedy.

    The larger tragedy — and the one that deserves strong attention — is the way the Left is using these poor people as a wedge for the destruction of gender differences. Not only is it wrongheaded, I can’t see that it’s even possible.

    As the parent of a boy and girl, and as someone who therefore spends a lot of time around boys and girls, I can tell you that they are absolute and completely different — out of the box. And as someone who grew up around a lot of gays and lesbians, I can tell you that even a more feminine man was still a man, and a masculine woman was still a woman. It’s a very, very, very small group of people that ends up with the wiring and identity completely screwed up.

  • McLaren

    I was at the Bengals/Browns game the other day. After the game, I was feeling kinda female, so instead of going to the men’s room, I did what any female would do and walked into the Bengals cheerleader’s dressing room.

    What?

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    Another minority, another tyranny, another slice of the cultural salami gone.

  • http://betterangels.typepad.com Ronald Hayden

    > After the game, I was feeling kinda female

    Yes, that’s an accurate reflection of the seriousness involved in deciding to undergo surgery to change your gender — surgery that, as I understand it, probably takes a decade off your life. Ask yourself: How much mental torture would you have to be undergoing to do this?

    > Another minority, another tyranny, another slice of the cultural salami gone.

    What should this, or other minorities, do — be silent and pretend they don’t exist? I imagine that seems a realistic solution for people who haven’t had to live their life as a lie, frantic that no one discover the truth about them, unable to participate in any meaningful way in society.

    As Bookworm says, society is under no obligation to overturn everything to accommodate people in this situation, and we should resist efforts to do so — but in the process, there’s no reason we can’t seek to understand and empathize with people different from us.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Your points are well-taken, Ronald, but I think my readers are showing the reductio ad absurdum that has become part of our culture’s approach to people who, for whatever reason, are outside of the norm.

    My view: focus on the norm, and act with humanity to good people outside of the norm. I emphasize the word “good” here. A killer is outside of the norm, too, but I prefer justice to mercy (as Agatha Christie, of all people, would say). Acting with humanity, by the way, means reasonable accommodation and the respect due all human beings — and probably not a whole lot more. It does not mean upending biology.

    It’s this upending biology that brings out the snarkiness in all of us.

  • Ymarsakar

    Didn’t Bush order captured terrorists turned into women so that they could become what they hated and feared?

    I’ve known two women who were assaulted when men got into the women’s restroom.

    A place like that is a great big old killing ground for people. People that know how to use violence, and that don’t always mean criminals.

    Women need to understand that there is no fundamental reason why they must be the prey and their attackers the predators. It can easily be the other way around, if they wish it so and if they put in the work and time to get the goods.

    If people put half the amount of time they put into college and padding their resumes on learning and using violence, they wouldn’t be defenseless sheep that become even more vulnerable in rest rooms.

    Women have two advantages against their attackers, if they are men, in women’s rest rooms. 1. You have the advantage of surprise for many men underestimate women. 2. You have the legal defense that there is a disproportionality of force involved, as well as the fact that the man shouldn’t be in a woman’s restroom. This provides great tactical advantages derived from the terrain. You can kill and maim with great liberty.

    To those that go to the effort to train in the use of violence, open handed or otherwise, it is often harder to not kill than it is to kill. Killing is simple. Injuring someone is simple. Injuring someone more when they are already injured is downright idiot proof. What takes effort is to stop the killing blow after the target is down on the ground and helpless.

    So long as any individual owes their safety to the government, then don’t expect the government to make you free in the process. You aren’t free.

    I agree with your conclusion that the answer is to provide generic restrooms that anyone can use without needing to interact with others in the process.

    My answer is that if anybody tries to touch me without my permission in the rest room, they are going to be very lucky if I am having a good day or very much in pain if I am not.

    Unfortunately, that’s a personal solution that others either can’t access or won’t access.

    “You don’t necessarily have to have had gender reassignment surgery, but you could just define yourself as a man, feel very masculine in yourself, feel that in fact being a woman is not who you are.

    “Transgender people can face violence and abuse when they go into toilets and we wanted to provide a place where they can feel comfortable.

    What’s stopping sexual predators from going into the women’s bathrooms on the pretext that he feels “feminine” when in fact he just wants to cut up some female flesh?

    “Don’t necessarily have to have had gender reassignment surgery” means that there is no doctor’s certificate authorization jack shat. Anybody, if they want to go to the lengths, can fake this “define yourself as a man/woman” thing.

    Transgender people can face violence and abuse when they go into toilets

    Here’s a clue. Transgendered people are naturally vulnerable because they aren’t even certain who they are. Predators pick up the smell of weakness like sharks pick up traces of blood in the ocean.

    If you don’t want to become prey, then learn the skills of the predator and stop acting like sheep. That’s very simple and requires Zero government intervention.

    The soldiers who died in America’s wars may have fought for your liberty but they didn’t fight for your right to make yourself into a victim so the rest of us have to accommodate you. People can become victims if they wish. It has no impact on my life or safety. Until it does. THen there’s a problem.

  • Ymarsakar

    And let me say again that my post (and I can see that the same goes for your comment, Mike) is not meant as a swipe against people who are suffering from a mix-up of hormones and body.

    Do you remember a commenter who once posted something here, Book, about her trans-gender experiences of being a woman trapped in a man’s body? I believe her name was Leslie or Lydia or one variation of.

    From reading her comments and experiences, she seemed very vulnerable and aggressive at the same time. There was no getting past the ideological filter. The need for “safety” was too strong. And the scars of the past precluded trusting in solutions other than the ones that provided immediate results.

    The problem then becomes externalized. Other people are at fault. Other people need to make allowances and changes in their behavior for me.

    I’ve always been the kind of person who when faced with external stimuli or changes have believed that it is I that needs to change my behavior. I’ve told you one such scenario before, Book. I see in most situations that the deficiency is with me. If I get harassed, it is because I lack power and am weak. If I miss an opportunity it is because I failed to acquire enough initiative or pre-planning, not because the “man” was fixing the system against me. Even if the system was fixed against me, there are still things you can do, by yourself and to yourself, that can improve your odds of beating the system and accomplishing your goals. If you make the necessary changes in your behavior, that is.

    When you make the problem external to your own behavior, it is only a temporary fix in my opinion. You can ignore it for only so long. You can only rely upon others to change their behavior for your own benefit for so long. In the end, you must rely upon yourself for the only one responsible for ensuring your happiness is yourself. Your life is in your own hands. To give it unto the care of another implies that you have never believed that your life was yours to live and cherish.

  • Mike Devx

    Ronald Hayden,

    Half your points I understand. One of my points was that if SNL can do it, I can too. I actually wonder if I should have hesitated for two minutes before posting, making sure I wasn’t shaming myself, not for a possible total failure of a joke, but for being offensive? I *love* crass humor taken in doses. I revel in absurdity sometimes.

    You said:
    What should this, or other minorities, do — be silent and pretend they don’t exist? I imagine that seems a realistic solution for people who haven’t had to live their life as a lie, frantic that no one discover the truth about them, unable to participate in any meaningful way in society.

    How do you get from that statement, to changing the signs on restrooms for 300 million people, to “accomodate” a few? Potential transexuals are free to change their sexual identity at any time they wish (as long as they can pay for it or can find someone to pay for them). They can be hired and work. They can live in freedom. Is there prejudice out there? Of course – they’re a relatively new phenomenon, and let me clue you in, humanity isn’t perfect. But again, what does *that* have to do with changing the signs on restrooms?

    I guess I’ll close by saying that a person suffering from “gender confusion” would *not* do what I had poor Pat doing in my sketch. Actually I doubt there’s much confusion involved. By the time they reach adulthood, from my limited knowledge, I think they already know, for certain which sex they identify themselves as. Anyone stuck in confusion on that would indeed be in a strange sort of hell.

  • Mike Devx

    Urp. I meant to say, I actually did hesitate for several minutes, wondering if I was shaming myself, and wondering why I was wondering.

  • http://betterangels.typepad.com Ronald Hayden

    How do you get from that statement, to changing the signs on restrooms for 300 million people, to “accomodate” a few?

    I don’t support changing bathroom signs, as I mentioned — I was responding to what I perceived in some of the comments as a dismissal of the people involved (“another minority”, “feeling kinda female today”).

    My point was simply that we can oppose the policy without trivializing the people involved, and that being transgendered is in no way a “feeling kinda female today” thing.

    My sensitivity on the issue arises from two things:

    – Having been gay in the workforce in a much less tolerant time, I know what it is to have to hide one’s self and spend much of every day lying about your identity. It’s exhausting and dehumanizing.

    – As mentioned, even given my history I found it difficult when initially faced with a transgendered person to treat them as any other person, so I suspect it’s much more difficult for people who haven’t been exposed to this sort of thing. That leads me to want to provide some context for those who might dismiss this as some silly non-existent feminist plot or some such.

    At the same time, I would be horrified to be thought of as some kind of “blank slate/gender is a socially-constructed concept/society should bend over backwards for everyone but the majority” kind of person — I’m not, trust me!

    I don’t want the signs changed, and I don’t want unthinking intolerance.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Y, re your comment at 9, that is a very interesting point: “Transgendered people are naturally vulnerable because they aren’t even certain who they are. Predators pick up the smell of weakness like sharks pick up traces of blood in the ocean.” To the extent I’ve known men who morphed to women, they have been the most hyper-feminine they ever seen. They made Gone With The Wind era Southern belles look butch. So you’re right that they also look extraordinarily vulnerable. They may have the bone density of a man, but they also have the fluttering helplessness of the most overly feminine of women.

    Your point overall about self-defense is well taken. I’m not stupid enough to believe that a couple of years of martial arts more than a decade ago, plus a year of martial arts now makes me invulnerable. I’m not stupid enough to put myself in dangerous situations. But I also don’t feel dependent anymore. My mental state is that I can rescue myself. I can size up a situation, and I have the muscle memory to act defensively. And considering that most predators want easy prey, I’m no longer easy — and that’s despite being small and rather frail looking.

    I know I’ve gotten off topic, but I think you’ve said something very important that bears further consideration.

  • Ymarsakar

    that being transgendered is in no way a “feeling kinda female today” thing.

    Book’s link directly said that bathrooms have been de-segregated because feelings are what matters, not concrete objective evidence.

    That is the context for the debate here and it is the context from which the comment you quoted derived from.This should make it very clear that the quote “feeling kinda female today” cannot be used to justify or argue against the new subject you have brought with the below line.

    That leads me to want to provide some context for those who might dismiss this as some silly non-existent feminist plot or some such.

    That may or may not be useful. Here, I would judge, it isn’t necessary for most of Book’s readers are a cosmopolitan sort. I say most since there is no 100% purity in any sample of humanity.

  • Ymarsakar

    I’m not stupid enough to believe that a couple of years of martial arts more than a decade ago, plus a year of martial arts now makes me invulnerable.

    Nobody is invulnerable. Like they say, anybody can be assassinated and anybody can be injured. To be human is to be mortal.

    I can size up a situation, and I have the muscle memory to act defensively.

    You still haven’t written that post about the “Adrenaline” self-defense gauntlet class you took ; )

    I’m going to nag you about this every time the subject even remotely looks like it can come up Book!!

    I know I’ve gotten off topic, but I think you’ve said something very important that bears further consideration.

    As the same with Neo-Neocon’s blog over the years, often the most interesting things are “off topic”, Book. Especially when speaking with you.

  • Mike Devx

    Ronald (#13), you said,

    Having been gay in the workforce in a much less tolerant time, I know what it is to have to hide one’s self and spend much of every day lying about your identity. It’s exhausting and dehumanizing.

    Lying and hiding is definitely exhausting and dehumanizing, it’s true, and it’s good that these days that is the exception. Every few months or so a topic arises here where my comments reflect that I’m gay. It definitely is not an identity issue for me; it’s just one aspect of “the me”. But I do remember as a teenager all that time I spent trying to program myself to “just think straight!” It’s extraordinarily unpleasant to reflect back on those times.

    My only possible concern is that in any such brief mentions as I make about me being gay, that I have left people free to associate me with stereotypes. But even that, I haven’t actually found worthy of any concern at all.

    In my decades at work since graduating from college (1985), all time spent here in Texas, I have encountered only one difficult coworker, and even that may have simply been an oil-and-water, or better, an oxygen-magnesium kind of thing. I’ve got no proof but it did seem likely to be gay-related. Aside from that one fellow, I have evidence of literally hundreds of great individuals who are kind and understanding and simply do not care. That may be a reflection of the software industry where, at least down here in Texas, competency is the only thing that matters. Well, that and good manners.

    As mentioned, even given my history I found it difficult when initially faced with a transgendered person to treat them as any other person

    Difficult, yes, but when suddenly faced with the very unusual, isn’t that just basic human nature? Again, it’s been my experience that the vast majority of people adapt quickly at all times to all things; and in cases such as these, if they remain uncomfortable or disgusted, they deal with it by simply keeping their distance.

    If you’ve been reading Book for awhile, you’ll note her discussions of being a conservative in a very liberal region of the country. When they get together to discuss their experiences, they find that anecdotal evidence abounds of severe harm to one’s career if you freely and openly discuss your conservatism with all colleagues. You will be frozen out, blackbooked, your career suddenly accelerating into collapse. Political bumper stickers on your car? Expect to be keyed, expect tires to be flattened.

    Real, genuine, deliberate harm, applied with a righteous fervor. (And having successfully ostracized another conservative demon from the workplace, one suspects that the far-left liberal victor sleeps very well and deeply that evening, indeed.)

    I have a suspicion that more conservatives in far-left liberal communities such as Book’s have more to fear than gays have to fear from the general populace. (Outliers of attacks late in the evenings, perhaps especially on weekends, near gay nightclubs embedded in poor neighborhoods, notwithstanding.) Perhaps your experiences and other peoples’ experiences elsewhere are different; I can’t say.

    This discussion reminds me how blessed I am down here in the Dallas area to be living among the kind of people who, generally, exhibit such a greatness of spirit with surprising kindness, graciousness and grace in so many ways.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    I didn’t know you lived near Dallas, Mike. I live Dallas. Although I remember from my time there (mid-1980s) the current joke was “What’s the difference between yogurt and Dallas? Yogurt has an active culture.”

    People in Texas are sooo nice, and Dallas, even though it’s a big City, has that same niceness. As a liberal California Jew during my time there, I was still treated with incredible warmth.

  • Ymarsakar

    The South tends to be more polite. Maybe it has something to do with Southerners being more armed, statistically, with concealed carry permits and what not ; )

    An armed society is a polite society. Not because the guns force people to be, or even because of the fear that you will offend somebody and they’ll shoot you. No, it’s polite because those that can take care of themselves will go out of their way to help others. Politeness, is after all, just going out of your way for another person’s considerations.

  • 11B40

    Greetings: Ronald Haven, et al:

    “What should this, or other minorities, do — be silent and pretend they don’t exist? I imagine that seems a realistic solution for people who haven’t had to live their life as a lie, frantic that no one discover the truth about them, unable to participate in any meaningful way in society.

    As Bookworm says, society is under no obligation to overturn everything to accommodate people in this situation, and we should resist efforts to do so — but in the process, there’s no reason we can’t seek to understand and empathize with people different from us.”

    I don’t get a sense of the “social power” aspect of this subject in this response. Appeals to “oh, how I/we have suffered” rarely are conclusive in my thought processes. Lots of people suffer for lots of reasons for lots of years. I guess I just don’t believe that there isn’t a political agenda driving these issues. And I don’t much believe that once political power is acquired, it will be relinquished when its proffered purpose is achieved. Let me offer, as a ghost of Christmas future, an opportunity to google “Up Your Alley Fair.” I’m willing to read why I should either “be silent” or “pretend they don’t exist.”

    The way I see these current events is that there is an ongoing political effort to legitimatize behaviors that have long been considered deviant for any number of reasons. Having grown up in an era when children were still told: “You’re alright, the army’s out of step,” I don’t have a compulsion to share someone else’s delusions. Having to do so, under threat of legal or employment jeopardy, maybe one of the milder forms of political oppression, but it, nonetheless, exactly that. What you are advocating transfers the requirement “to be silent and pretend” from the deviant to the rest of society. That is neither logical nor just.

    One Saturday morning in the late ’50s, my father and I were driving through the Harlem section of New York City. As we were stopped at a traffic light, my father pointed out a dope addict, nodding on the street corner. He was disheveled, had soiled himself greatly, and was oblivious to the reality about him. That was my first experience of the “wisdom of repugnance” and I knew right then that I would never allow myself to sink to that level or to associate with those who did. What you are arguing for is not freedom, but license.

  • http://betterangels.typepad.com Ronald Hayden

    Mike Devx said:
    I have a suspicion that more conservatives in far-left liberal communities such as Book’s have more to fear than gays have to fear from the general populace.

    As it happens, I live in the same area as Book, and unfortunately I can confirm the general issue. These days I have absolutely no fear of any problem due to being gay, either on the street or at work, but no longer being a serious liberal…that is a big problem. Just recently I’ve had to sit through meetings, including upper management, that started with everyone making extended fun of Sarah Palin — I bit my tongue and eventually brought up a work topic. I’m a bit nervous just getting into that, since I use my real name here.

    While I’m not going to be physically attacked for being liberal, as I have some chance of being for being gay, I have to agree with GayPatriot West that these days it’s no problem being gay in conservative circles, but it’s very difficult being conservative (or libertarian-hawk, as I tend to be) in gay (or, around here, any) circles.

    I have an old column I wrote about the one guy I ever had a real issue with at work.

    Despite all this talk of orientation, believe it or not, I rarely talk or think about this stuff anymore. It no more defines me than my hair color does, now that my partner and I have the rights necessary to lead our lives quietly.

    It does bother me greatly that the Democrats have become, as Penn Jillette describes it, the “Party of Hate”.

    11B40 said:
    What you are arguing for is not freedom, but license.

    I just want to be left alone to live my life, without fear, and with the right to share property and have hospital visitation and such with the person I am living my life with. It doesn’t bother me in the least if you don’t approve of me, as long as I’m not impeded in living my life while not interfering with others.

    If me living my life is considered to, on its own, interfere with others, there’s nothing I can do about that. It is their problem, not mine.

  • http://betterangels.typepad.com Ronald Hayden

    Ergh, I wrote a reasonably long response to the last couple of posts but it looks like it got spam-filtered? Hopefully it can be retrieved from the dustbin, as I have to get to sleep!

  • Mike Devx

    Hello, 11B40, we’ve had this debate before, and I guess I will respond again…

    Appeals to “oh, how I/we have suffered” rarely are conclusive in my thought processes.

    I agree completely. No reparations of any sort for past suffering. If suffering is in the past, leave it there where it belongs and move to the future.

    I guess I just don’t believe that there isn’t a political agenda driving these issues. [...] Let me offer, as a ghost of Christmas future, an opportunity to google “Up Your Alley Fair.” I’m willing to read why I should either “be silent” or “pretend they don’t exist.”

    Here you equate being gay with the actions of a particular group of people who are gay. Then you suggest you are being pressured to be silent or pretend they don’t exist. Certainly not by me! And I doubt by the new guest, Ronald Hayden, though he’ll speak for himself. I detest the “Up Your Alley Fair” attendees. Use Book’s own search on ‘Up Your Alley’ to locate her relevant posts and you’ll see that I am condemnatory and, should they ever show up in my neck of the woods, I’ll be early in on the effort to end their public displays that get worse each year.

    I’m an individual, with my own set of behaviors that I am uncompromising judgmental on. I’m pretty darn sure that any objective observor would find my behavior more acceptable than 99% of the straight unmarried population out there. Yet I see the argumental inference tying me directly to the miscreants at the “Up Your Alley Fair”. It’s frustrating.

    I don’t have a compulsion to share someone else’s delusions. Having to do so, under threat of legal or employment jeopardy, maybe one of the milder forms of political oppression, but it, nonetheless, exactly that. What you are advocating transfers the requirement “to be silent and pretend” from the deviant to the rest of society. That is neither logical nor just.

    Your argument here explicitly uses “delusions” and “deviant” and implicitly links them to gays. Or is the link explicit? The form of your statement, being in the context of an argument about homosexuality, does seem to state clearly that gays are deviant. No one’s forcing you to share another’s delusions, nor again, to be silent and pretend to anything. I saw nothing in the guest’s post that advocated that you be subject to threat of legal or employment jeopardy or political oppression. Again it appears to me that you have linked him to others who do advocate that. Seems more than a bit unfair.

    If the people vote – not the judges but the people – to strike from the law a punishment for an aspect of being gay that was priorly punishable due to deviancy, isn’t that precisely how things work in our system. A regrettable or worse decision by the people, in your perspective, for sure, but absolutely usual nonetheless. In what manner are you harmed moreso than anyone subject to any law’s passage that they strongly disagree with?

    I’ll make a direct comparison here to miscegenation laws that prevented mixed color marriages. (And no, I’m not an advocate of gay marriage either.) But the deviancy claim applies, as does the very strong claim of being oppressed for disagreeing with its legalization.

    I feel free to make that comparison, because in your final paragraph on the subject of homosexuality, you draw in your own comparison to a drug addict in support of the concept of the “wisdom of repugnance” – which is a concept on which I completely agree with you, as well as agreeing, I suspect, on the wisdom of the benefits for civilization of social shame. “Nodding on the street corner.” “Dissheveled.” “Soiled himself greatly.” “Oblivious to the reality around him.”

    This adds up to a wisdom of repugnance that you then immediately tie back to the wisdom of repugnance of gays, as a means of closing your argument. Else you would not have brought it up.

    I knew right then that I would never allow myself to sink to that level or to associate with those who did. What you are arguing for is not freedom, but license.

    The first sentence certainly describes your rights. But were I to happen to be your coworker, it does not free you to banish me; it does free you to leave the job should you be incapable of accepting any association, even that of sharing the same room. In that way it is a question of freedom. As to “not freedom, but license”, license applies to behavior. I didn’t see our guest comment on nor advocate any specific behavior, especially public behavior. Perhaps I didn’t read closely enough?

    I certainly wouldn’t advocate licentious behavior. There are many behaviors I don’t want to see when I walk out my door in the morning to pick up my newspaper, and, to use your “Up Your Alley” reference, that kind of civilization-decaying behavior is certainly way up there at the top of my list.

    Well, that’s the best I can do. The variety of inferences and associations within your argument haven’t changed since the last time, 11B40, and they’re difficult to respond to. I thought I had to try.

  • McLaren

    Ronald:

    My comment of “…feeling kind of female today…” was meant to mock the POLICY of trying to accomodate transgender people, not to mock the people themselves.

    I was demonstrating how easy it is to walk into a private area designated for women for the exclusive prupose of affording women privacy.

    Put your guns back in their holsters and re=read my post.

  • http://betterangels.typepad.com Ronald Hayden

    Mike Devx said:
    And I doubt by the new guest, Ronald Hayden, though he’ll speak for himself.

    If my filtered comment shows up (I think I provided too many links in it), some of this will be a repeat, but:

    I ask for absolutely no special rights or consideration. By which I mean, I want to be left alone, allowed to live my quiet life with my partner of 22+ years, able to engage in shared property and legal contracts with him, able to visit each other in the hospital and such, as necessary. In other words, able to live our lives.

    Living our lives includes the ability, like any other adult, to casually mention what movie I saw with my partner this weekend and otherwise engage in the conversation and social life that any other adult does without being accused of “flaunting my orientation” or “shoving it down our throats”. Everyone’s life comes out at work, through wedding rings, desk photos, etc — unless it’s a workspace where the policy is that no one must ever mention or display anything beyond the four walls of work, then I’m going to act like everyone else there.

    If the process of living my quiet, normal life offends you, as long as you are not impeding my ability to live my life that harms no one, I don’t care. Your feelings are your problem, not mine.

    As for “Up Your Alley Fair”, I don’t attend or participate in that or anything like that, so you’ll have to talk to them. It has nothing to do with me or my life, and there is certainly no basis on which to compare them to me.

    McLaren said:
    My comment of “…feeling kind of female today…” was meant to mock the POLICY of trying to accomodate transgender people, not to mock the people themselves.

    I think the reason I misread your meaning is that I so thoroughly reject the blank slate and “How does Mabel feel about math today?” concepts that my eyes glazed over and I only gave the initial article a cursory read, so I wasn’t reading your response in the proper context.

    My apologies, I was overly sensitive. I think the resulting conversation has been interesting, though.

  • McLaren

    Ronald, no apology is needed, but thanks for the kind words.