Discussion (54)¬

  1. DocAtheist says:

    Wow! That is so insightful!

  2. Someone says:

    That’s either a profound statement on self-esteem and anxiety, or another trigger for the irony meter.

  3. YorkieHerder says:

    Being the spouse of a woman transitioning to a man, I had to really read this in terms of the opposite. First-class citizen in second-class body. Mind-boggling in a philosophical sense.

  4. Snuggs says:

    How does Mo drink his pint in that thing ?

  5. Dave says:

    Snuggs, it should be “her pint”.

  6. MarkyWarky says:

    @Snuggs, glass of white wine for the lady, surely?

  7. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Moe, police beat upon him, has a gender
    Issue that offends her?
    The burka is rated
    For the un-castrated
    Or those missing their girly bits too.

  8. Alexis says:

    I found this confusing while growing up. As male to female transgendered, with women considered second class, I still wanted to be female. But in my eyes being female was actually better than being male and I didn’t know how other people could not see that. Or maybe all men could see that and were jealous so that’s why they treated women so poorly.

  9. David Amies says:

    Does this website offer free counseling? My head is spinning: first class, second class, masculine, feminine, not sure which is which, who’s who?

  10. ladyduck says:

    Alexis, I know!As a girl I wanted to be a boy because I thought it was so much easier for them in this world but never understood why boys would want to be girls… (I am happy for you that this consideration did not stop you from being yourself). I think your interpretation is correct. Freud proposed that women envied men’s reproductive organ (penis envy) but I have always thought it was the other way around 🙂
    There was once an egyptian ad (2008) designed to entice women to wear the hijab by comparing them to lollipops, the hijab being the wrapper designed to protect the delicious sweet (woman) from the predatory flies (men). It backfired i think because people saw it as giving a green light to men to attack unwrapped women. To me it was hilarious and revealing because it was comparing men to disgusting flies and, doing so, opened a window onto the true psyche of a lot of women-hating men: they are disgusted by themselves and that is why they want to degrade women. See the ad below. It’s quite fun!

  11. Alexis says:

    Hello ladyduck. Thank you for your response. Though I’ve spent many an hour in group therapy with other m2fs, I’ve really gotten more out of the sessions where there were also f2ms. It was refreshing to hear their take on things…opposite and yet the same. Can that be?

  12. Son of Glenner says:

    Nothing to do with this week’s strip (brilliant as usual!), but, as you may have heard, Billy Graham has finally received the same reward as every living thing. You may have missed it, as the media you access may have “relegated it to page 17”.

    Just saying.

  13. M27Holts says:

    Billy Graham made the mainline news bulletins yesterday in the UK. The clips they showed reminded me of the Nuremberg speeches by herr Hitler!

  14. Jim Baerg says:

    Some questions for trans people that should be addressed on a Trans 101 web page:

    Suppose we take the pink & blue boxes of what are considered acceptable behaviours for women & men, & drop flaming napalm on them. So we set up a society in which nobody gets told ‘You can’t play with dolls because you’re a boy.’ or ‘You can’t play football because you’re a girl.’ etc. Ie: in this society anything that it is fine for a man to do is fine for a woman to do & vice versa.

    To transwomen: Would you be fine with being considered by yourself & others as a man who likes doing a lot of the things that used to be in the pink box?

    To the transmen: Would you be fine with being considered by yourself & others as a woman who likes doing a lot of the things that used to be in the blue box?

    In my hypothetical situation, would trans be a thing?

  15. Alexis says:

    Responding to Jim Baerg: There are people who are as you describe who are not trans. I know a male ballet dancer who considers himself fully male. I know women who can rebuild your engine and transmission with the best of them but consider themselves to be fully women. But no, no, no, I don’t consider myself as a man who likes pink box stuff, I am a woman who likes pink box stuff. I know trans women who love caving, sky diving, wearing pants and many other things in the blue box. But something inside still says “I am a woman”.

  16. Well, this takes Mo in an interesting direction, Author. Brilliant and with another precise punch line.
    My friends in the QUILTBAGS community tell me that Trans is the new Gay, in that they are he group that needs support and acceptance now. It’s good to read more and more discussions of the issues affecting the trans community. Hopefully, discussion leads to tolerance and understanding. Why should it be my business which gender a person wants to present? I can think of no reason why it matters to me.
    I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to feel that you are trapped in the wrong body. I can’t imagine how much pain such people must go through. They can have all the slack I can cut them, eh.

  17. pink squirrel says:

    Is Mo wearing Ayesha’s robe again?

  18. jb says:

    With all due respect, I can think of one rather good reason to be concerned with “which gender a person wants to present.”

  19. Deimos says:

    I’ve had a web free week so only just read this weeks strip, it certainly has raised some interesting things.

    I’ve never tried wearing a burka just the occasional nuns habit and that was most excellent weekend business retreat.

    Still I’m all in favour of individual freedom to pursue happiness.

  20. MarkyWarky says:

    @JB, that’s not a reason to be concerned about gender choices, it’s a reason to be concerned about the honesty of the person you’re with. It applies to all couples, no matter what the gender mix is.

    The bigger underlying issue is how hard we make it for transgender people to BE honest – just listen to the audience reactions in that clip.

  21. jb, that’s a pretty FUBAR reason to be concerned. What MarkyWarky said. Plus, I see that clip as a good reason to remove the stigma around being transgenered, so that it isn’t so hard to admit it to somebody you care about.
    Your inability to empathize with the woman in that clip is rather disturbing. Maybe that’s the real reason to be concerned.

  22. DC Toronto says:

    I don’t understand how difficulty admitting being transgendered gives licence to lie about it to unsuspecting people in an intimate setting. Intimate relationships are one area where it is my business to know both my partners gender at birth and their chosen gender.
    Daily life is another kettle of fish. I don’t care much about a persons gender choices as long as it doesn’t impact me.

  23. Jim Baerg says:

    Alexis: Thank You for demonstrating that for at least some trans people it is not just frustation at rigid gender roles.
    I will quibble at your implication that male ballet dancer = antithesis of macho.
    The male dancer in this clip is quite convincing as a gladiator leading a slave revolt.

  24. Alexis says:

    Jim Baerg: Wow! Make me wet my pants! But given cultural stereotypes, it was a brave lad here in the football obsessed Mon-Yough area south of Pittsburgh who decided to take up ballet and to make it his profession. I could have pulled many other examples: Rosie Greer doing needlepoint on the team plane. Male fashion designers. My female cousin who fixes her own car and her brother who can’t tell a wrench from a screwdriver but is a whiz in the kitchen. And some people think transwomen are just gay men who crossdress to attract other men. They do not get it that transwomen can be lesbians or straight and transmen can be gay or straight. Attraction is a different spectrum from identity.

  25. jb says:

    I am not looking to make anyone’s life more difficult than it already is, and I would be a lot more understanding towards trans-people if they presented themselves this way: “I am a person with a serious mental illness, like depression or schizophrenia, and I simply can’t live my life any other way. I hope you will accommodate me as best you can.” But that’s not what they are saying, is it? Listen to the “woman” in the clip: she’s not saying “I am living as a woman;” she’s saying “I AM a woman!” And if she really is a woman — really, for reals, as real as any other woman! — then why should she have to tell anyone about her past? Isn’t that the logic? Remember, this is a person who already felt compelled to have himself castrated in order to achieve happiness; would you really expect him to let a small, unimportant little white lie stand between him and the man he wants? Aren’t the people who deny his womanhood really the bad guys here? Isn’t that the official line?

    I’m sure most trans-people aren’t that self absorbed, but clearly some are, so this is now something every young person looking for a mate today has to be on guard against. How is this a good thing? I have nothing against empathy, but when a man has himself surgically and hormonal altered to look like a woman, and then demands that I actually believe he is a woman, my reaction is the same as it would be to a schizophrenic who demanded I believe the voices in his head were real: sorry, but just no.

  26. Someone says:

    jb, neither transsexuality or homosexuality are mental illnesses. That line of thinking is part of the reason such people are marginalized by the greater community and being products of their environment, why they find it difficult to come clean about it.
    Although I don’t dispute that honesty in a relationship, or even a sexual encounter is important from the very beginning that doesn’t mean all transsexuals should be regarded with fear and contempt as your post suggests.
    If one doesn’t want to be with a post-op trans individual, regardless of gender, then that is one’s choice. But don’t act as if everyone needs to be paranoid as if their next encounter is going to be with a pod person.
    And not that it matters, but I have been propositioned by a post-op woman/former man who was quite upfront about it. If she still had a penis I would have said no straight away. In this case I thought about it for a bit before deciding I wouldn’t be comfortable and politely declined. No enmity from either end. As it should be.

  27. Someone says:

    Pre-emptive PS (with my right email) – let’s pretend I didn’t know on my last point and had sex but found out later. My reaction might have been similar to the man in that Jerry Springer clip, but only to go so far as to say that her gender change should have been disclosed from the beginning.
    I would not however shout something like “you’re gay and that’s gross/wrong/etc.” but rather I would say I had a right to know from the start and do not appreciate being lied to, in any capacity. Whether I had any enjoyment or not would be immaterial by that stage but I wouldn’t shame her for being who she is – just the approach she took. Might even wish her well on her way.
    But as I said, that’s pretend. I personally do not wish to be with a transsexual but in the extremely unlikely event the above should happen, I will be mature about it.

  28. DC Toronto says:

    someone – what if (s)he told you in front of a live studio audience?

  29. Someone says:

    It wouldn’t get that far – the moment a trash name like Jerry Springer comes up in conjunction with an upcoming event is the moment everything ends.

  30. Laripu says:

    Two questions:
    1. Suppose you had sex, and a satisfying orgasm, with an attractive person whom you later learned was transgender. In what way have you been harmed? (Other than ways you could have been harmed in the non-transgender case.)
    2. Suppose a lesbian woman had sex with a male-to-female post-op transgender person, without knowing that history, thinking that this was a person who was born female. On discovery of the facts does the lesbian woman have any moral right to negative feelings about that incident?

    I ask these, not to make any point, but to learn whether there’s anything I’ve missed.

  31. Jim Baerg says:

    Alexis (& any other trans people reading):
    I should have included in my 1st post-
    Would you consider this elimination of rigid gender roles a major step forward for trans rights even if others still thought of you as male or female based on the genitals you were born with?

  32. jb says:

    @Someone — I have sometimes characterized progressivism as a puritanical secular religion: I can think of no better demonstration of this than the barking mad assertion that a man can feel compelled have his balls cut off and his penis refashioned into a pseudo-vagina, and yet not be suffering from any form of mental illness. Even the Virgin Birth is more plausible than that! Yes, I’m sure you can quote this or that medical authority who will say that you are right and I am wrong. Has it ever occurred to you though that you may simply be quoting your own co-religionists?

    (BTW, transgenderism is not the only mental condition that involves lopping off body parts. Can you explain why one is an illness and the other isn’t?)

  33. Someone says:

    jb, the fact that you are now lumping me into a religious group of your own assumption removes whatever credibility I could glean from your argument.
    I will end with one note: genital mutilation by way of religion/barbaric traditions can be a sign of mental illness or psychopathy when forced upon those without a choice.
    Transsexuality, and those born wired to be that way, are better described as genetically different and can make that physical choice for themselves.

    Laripu, both good questions. On point one, I suppose the shock of deception would be the only real harm. Second point is not for me to say, though I have wondered it myself.

  34. M27Holts says:

    Psychology 101 is being discussed by a majority of bathtub philosophers on the internet every second of every day. The psychology of transgender is possibly the current hot topic. I have worked with a few post/pre op m/f sapiens. None of them were mentally ill. Just following their psychological gender feelings with the aid of 21st century science. No more to be said really. Live and let Live!

  35. HelenaHandbasket says:

    There are plenty more things to be said. However, I can think of few better people than Alice Dreger to say them–so I’ll leave a link to her here.
    Her book (Galileo’s Middle Finger is also well worth a read)

  36. DC Toronto says:

    someone – who said Jerry Springer? Or are you opposed to being involved in any media?
    Laripu – what if I don’t agree with reassignment and still consider them a male after reassignment? To me then I’ve slept with a man. That would be harmful to me. And I know that it would cause significant damage to me if my friends/family or colleagues learned about it (well, some anyway).
    I won’t go so far as to limit their choice to have the surgery or hormones and would even likely call them by their chosen pronoun. But fundamentally I don’t agree that it is appropriate to go through such a process. That causes me psychological harm.

  37. M27Holts says:

    @helenahandbasket. I ordered that book since I have just completed my latest tome. I thought that the lecture was interesting except that Dreger fell into her own logic well when she said that women were far more empathetic than men. After she had just questioned such stereotypes previously…..ho hum….

  38. Someone says:

    DC Toronto – That was my implication, yes.

  39. Alexis says:

    Interesting discussion. Some things are nobody’s business unless and until a significant relationship develops. At what point does a man who is “shooting blanks” tell this to the woman who wants to bear children? When should a woman who has had a mastectomy reveal this? Or the accident victim who has massive scarring? I for one want to limit the number of a**holes who whisper, point and giggle whenever I enter a room.

    As to those who think we want castration, and view it as mutilation, to us it is actually a corrective surgery recreating the genitals we should have been born with. And not every transgendered person wants such surgery. Many people live for years or decades in their new role without surgery. Some have medical reasons. Some cannot afford it. Some do not want to risk losing sensation. Some (particularly f2ms) do not view current surgical techniques as being adequate.

  40. M27Holts says:

    Anybody at 18 can have whatever cosmetic surgery they so wish! What about all the little xx chromosome people who have their genitals mutilated Without their consent. And the infant xy chromosomal people having a useful part of their genitalia removed by religious nutters! Why don’t these kids sue their parents when they get to eighteen? I certainly would have done!

  41. FreeFox says:

    @DC Toronto: What does it matter whether you agree with anything? It’s other people’s bodies and other people’s lives. They don’t exist to make you comfortable. If you’re so terrified about finding a second dick in your bed, just be safe with your own hand. If you want to sleep with someone, it’s your job to accept them the way they are. And if you couldn’t be bothered to get to know them before sticking your dick in don’t complain about getting tricked. Nobody is making these choices for you.

  42. Laripu says:

    @DC Toronto: It isn’t the fact that you had sex with a (person previously appearing to be a) man that harmed you, but rather the _knowledge_ of that. I agree that you would then have some “mental discomfort” due to knowledge of having had a satisfying orgasm with a person who appeared in every way to be a woman, but had in fact had that femininity surgically and hormonally created.

    I sincerely hope that no mental discomfort you ever have is worse than that. If that ever does happen to you, my advice is that you should get over it. Do not join a monastery.

    I actually consider the lesbian question more interesting, especially if it is answered by a straight male.

  43. Laripu says:

    @DC Toronto, FWIW, if someone asked me whether they should have surgery, my advice would be ‘no’, because it’s not reversible. If they do it anyway, I see that as evidence if the seriousness of their convictions.

    It’s a situation that I cannot fully understand, but nevertheless I have empathy for the mental discomfort that would cause someone to do something so wrenching to their life.

  44. HelenaHandbasket says:

    M27Holts. Its always worth considering whether stereotypes are wrong or just upsetting. A lot of them upset people but they persist because they maintain a level of predictive validity. This annoys people even more (just watch some of the reactions to my saying this to see what I mean).
    Dreger thinks that there are real differences between men and women (this is because she can read and do sums and therefore understands the science). She also thinks that the everyday lazy understanding of these differences is worth challenging (this is because she can read and do sums and therefore understands the science)

  45. HelenaHandbasket says:

    By the way author, from the annals of “satire is broken”, comes this gem
    An American church is holding a blessing for AR-15 rifles.

  46. Alexis says:

    HelenaHandbasket – This is no mainstream church but an offshoot of the Unification Church also known as the Moonies. The local elementary school 1/2 mile down the street called off classes for the day.

  47. M27Holts says:

    The constitutional right to bear arms was reasonably dangerous even with flintlock tech. But with modern assault rifles the constitutional right is now lethal on a scale which makes a constitutional change more than logical…..which means it will never happen….The lunatics have long since taken over the asylum!

  48. Alexis says:

    Jim Baerg says:
    February 25, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Alexis (& any other trans people reading):
    I should have included in my 1st post-
    Would you consider this elimination of rigid gender roles a major step forward for trans rights even if others still thought of you as male or female based on the genitals you were born with?

  49. Alexis says:

    Jim Baerg from Feb. 25th: “Would you consider this elimination of rigid gender roles a major step forward for trans rights even if others still thought of you as male or female based on the genitals you were born with?” The elimination of rigid gender roles would be a major step forward for everyone’s rights. And fewer people would be so concerned about what genitals other people were born with.

  50. DC Toronto says:

    Someone – you obviously can’t relate to a situation in the public eye so your opinion lacks validity
    Fox – don’t be ridiculous. The fact that you want to lie to get a “second dick in my bed” is exactly what this is about. It’s pretty simple. Don’t lie, be honest. And respect my right to be myself. YOU need to care how I feel if you wish to have an intimate relationship with me.
    Laripu – So if someone was passed out and they were molested, I guess there’s no harm if they don’t know. Does that sum up your argument?
    I don’t understand the fuss to be honest. Feel free to be your own person. But don’t force your beliefs on me in an intimate setting. It’s pretty simple really.

  51. Someone says:

    This is the last time I respond to this thread.
    DC, my opinion does not lack validity because I do not want to have a (completely hypothetical) relationship and/or encounter turned upside-down on a sensationalist TV show designed for provocation and persecution. Name your own host.
    If you really think that is the only way for a person’s viewpoint to be proven as completely honest then you are truly deluded. Perhaps you should actually think about the anxiety and shock of having hundreds of people staring at you, judging you and mocking you, turning what should be a private conversation into a circus.

    Then again, I don’t see why I should take your opinions seriously, either. You’re free to be transphobic and in disagreement on certain topics. Just don’t be a troll about your opinions. Pretty simple really.

  52. DC Toronto says:

    Someone – of course your opinion is useless. You said it yourself.
    Nice try hoping on the transphobic bus. Not desiring to be intimate with a trans person is not a phobia. That would be like suggesting a gay man has a gynephobia.
    I was quite clear that I support their right to choose. I simply disagree with the idea as a personal choice. That said, my opinion regarding surgery is about as useful as yours wrt being informed of your trans date on national tv

  53. M27Holts says:

    The assault rifle blessing article. The guys surname is Panzer! Is it an early April fools?


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