Monday, January 25, 2010

"Transgender" athletes, and other oddities colleges have to deal with

Another step in the decline of Western civilization: colleges must now accommodate "transgender" athletes:
Transgender is a broad term used to describe the experiences of people whose gender identity and expression do not match the sex they were assigned at birth. Some people transition to live as their preferred gender by changing their names and the pronouns they use to refer to themselves. They express their preferred gender through choice of clothes, hairstyles and other manifestations of gender expression and identity. Some transgender people undergo reconstructive surgery or take hormones to make their bodies more congruent with their internal sense of themselves. Others do not.

Since the increased visibility of a transgender rights movement in the 1980s and a school-based LGBT "safe schools" movement in the 1990s, more young people have the language and information they need to identify the gender dissonance they experience between the sex they were assigned at birth and the gender identity that they know to be true for them. They are increasingly identifying themselves as transgender and they are doing it at earlier ages.

...Many of these young people want to play on their schools' or colleges' sports teams. As a result, athletic directors and coaches increasingly find themselves unprepared to make decisions about what team a transgender student is eligible to play for. As the number of transgender students who want to play on school sports teams increases, school athletic leaders must identify effective and fair policies to ensure their right to participate.
Read more here.

So who is it that is mistakenly "assigning" their gender at birth? Nature? In the postmodernist world, we get to simply decide what we are. We are nothing by nature. We can decide whether we're male or female. Can we decide whether we're humans too? I mean if X and Y chromosomes are not determinative of gender, then why should we pay any attention to the DNA that tell us we're human?

Transhuman. I can see it now. Can I be a plant? I can think of some people that are not terribly unlike vegetables.

There's nothing to stop people from denying reality, but are the rest of us really obligated to play along?

4 comments:

Danielle said...

Gender is not as concrete as you seem to think it is.

I have two X chromosomes... I also have a Y. What gender am I in your world? Or, even more important, do you have the right to declare my gender for me?

There is considerable science to back up the current transgender theory.

First, we begin with a deeper understanding of human gestation. The default pattern is female, it is the Y chromosome that tells the developing fetus to release masculinizing hormones at the proper points in Gestation. Sometimes, this doesn't happen as planned, or the fetus is immune to the hormones (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome)and the result is a child with a Y chromosome but feminine traits. For some, it's obvious from birth, for others, the difference is in the formation of the brain itself. The main pathways of the brain are laid down during weeks 8-12 of the gestation period. A fluctuation in hormone levels in this period can lead to a feminized brain in a masculine body, or a masculine brain in feminized body. Both of these lead to what is known as Gender Dysphoria. It can be mild to severe, and in the mild cases people can live what you previously deemed a "Normal" life. You're probably saying.... nice theory, back it up.

http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/85/5/2034

http://www.genderpsychology.org/psychology/BSTc.html

http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/awn276v1

If you chose not to read them, the basic gyst is, they studied the brains of Transsexual Women, and found that the hypothalamus and limbic connections were identical to CisGen Women (which means XX women who were assigned correctly at birth, for those new to the terminology)

Transsexual Women really *do* have female brains. Imagine that!

Also, the study tested Homosexual Male brains, and found that they still have typical male brain structures. This is not an extension of being gay, it's a separate experience.

Now, imagine, as a man who enjoys being a man (based on your blog about Scott Brown) and tomorrow you wake up in the body of a woman. After you got past the novelty of playing with your boobs, and actually found the G-spot.... what would you do? Would you live the rest of your life as a woman? Would you try to present as a man, to return to the world you know? Would you try to kill yourself in despair over losing your malehood?

That's the choice transgender people face every day.

I also get that you don't get it. Gender and Sex are one in the same for you - you are a cis-gen male. Be thankful this internal dissonance is not part of your daily life, but please don't deny the reality of it for someone else.

In the final analysis, does it do you any harm to treat someone dealing with difficult circumstances with some respect?

Keith said...

Dear Martin, Your comment about plants is actually quite appropriate. It's a little like that for me and that is an analogy I use to try to explain to friends just what it is like to be me. I say -Imagine something you could never be... like maybe a space alien... now, imagine wanting to be that every second of every day of your life, so badly that it gets in the way of living your life... ever since you were three, long before you even knew what it meant to be a space alien or a plant. That's what it is like for me. I had to 'learn' how to be a boy during puberty. Male friends woulfd remark at my behaviouir and say' what are you... a girl? So no it is not logical, but my passion for all things feminine certainly defies logic. Yes, other cultures have had places for transgendered or intersex people. Unfortunately we are just beginning to. Fortunately we are beginning to.

Mortimer said...

I'm not seeing how to reply to the OP, if those goes under Danielle's comment, I apologize.

Anyway, this is a very sensitive and complex issue but I tend to side with the logical argument. I understand the emotional aspect of being transgendered, but it seems like it comes at the expense of using logical, so I guess it's really just about what is truly important to that person.

I'm sure most transgendered people are aware of this.

At one point, when I was in my teens and occasionally throughout my life, I wondered if I was trans myself. I am a gay woman, I even have the masculinized 2D:4D ratio that suggests that my brain was exposed to abnormally high levels of male sex hormones in utero, and I do not feel like a woman, I don't relate to most of them, naturally. I've even been "accused' of being a man online, not even for WHAT I say, but for the way I *think*, apparently.

I relate to men much more easily, for the most part, but I'm not interested in most stereotypically *male* interests and I am not butch AT ALL. I don't think I'm excessively feminine, I enjoy dressing like a girl, I wear tight jeans and fitted tee shirts, never dresses or jewelry...no fragrances or anything frilly.

I guess I feel androgynous, mentally. If I woke up as man tomorrow i think it'd actually make my life easier but since I AM a woman, I am comfortable expressing myself as one. I have the anatomy and as far as I'm concerned, that's all I need to to *qualify* as woman, lol. So I think I really can relate to trans people in some ways but not so much to the emotional aspect of having gender incongruence, because I definitely do, but I would never choose to change who I am PHYSICALLY, just to express myself. Being a WOMAN is actually a but like playing dress up to me everyday, I don't feel that the inside of me matches the outside but it honestly doesn't bother me very much. As long as I can be with other women romantically, I am satisfied.

I don't mean to scoff at the trans experience. I think in cases that are truly justified for biological reasons a woman would have a much MORE masculinized brain that I do, and would be repulsed by the idea of being a female, physically. This just isn't me, BUT, I do think that many people fall somewhere in between the spectrum and when they start to have any feelings of gender incongruence they immediately think that they must be trans because they are conditioned to think that those feelings aren't normal. Being trans for biological reasons does happen but is pretty rare, I have to wonder if the surge you see of more trans people in recent years doesn't have more to do with the person's feelings and life experiences.

Mortimer said...

I'm not seeing how to reply to the OP, if those goes under Danielle's comment, I apologize.

Anyway, this is a very sensitive and complex issue but I tend to side with the logical argument. I understand the emotional aspect of being transgendered, but it seems like it comes at the expense of using logical, so I guess it's really just about what is truly important to that person.

I'm sure most transgendered people are aware of this.

At one point, when I was in my teens and occasionally throughout my life, I wondered if I was trans myself. I am a gay woman, I even have the masculinized 2D:4D ratio that suggests that my brain was exposed to abnormally high levels of male sex hormones in utero, and I do not feel like a woman, I don't relate to most of them, naturally. I've even been "accused' of being a man online, not even for WHAT I say, but for the way I *think*, apparently.

I relate to men much more easily, for the most part, but I'm not interested in most stereotypically *male* interests and I am not butch AT ALL. I don't think I'm excessively feminine, I enjoy dressing like a girl, I wear tight jeans and fitted tee shirts, never dresses or jewelry...no fragrances or anything frilly.

I guess I feel androgynous, mentally. If I woke up as man tomorrow i think it'd actually make my life easier but since I AM a woman, I am comfortable expressing myself as one. I have the anatomy and as far as I'm concerned, that's all I need to to *qualify* as woman, lol. So I think I really can relate to trans people in some ways but not so much to the emotional aspect of having gender incongruence, because I definitely do, but I would never choose to change who I am PHYSICALLY, just to express myself. Being a WOMAN is actually a but like playing dress up to me everyday, I don't feel that the inside of me matches the outside but it honestly doesn't bother me very much. As long as I can be with other women romantically, I am satisfied.

I don't mean to scoff at the trans experience. I think in cases that are truly justified for biological reasons a woman would have a much MORE masculinized brain that I do, and would be repulsed by the idea of being a female, physically. This just isn't me, BUT, I do think that many people fall somewhere in between the spectrum and when they start to have any feelings of gender incongruence they immediately think that they must be trans because they are conditioned to think that those feelings aren't normal. Being trans for biological reasons does happen but is pretty rare, I have to wonder if the surge you see of more trans people in recent years doesn't have more to do with the person's feelings and life experiences.