Thursday, 31 July 2008

Try this Quick Quiz

From a newspaper story:
He became angry and hit (victim) with his fist before grabbing a fire extinguisher and hitting her in the head twice, according to the affidavit.

(Killer) explained to police that he thought he "killed it," referring to (victim) but when she made gurgling noises and started to sit up, he hit her with the extinguisher again.
This was said when, where and who by...
  1. 1935 Germany, and by an Aryan who claimed they'd just found out that their date was Jewish
  2. 1950 Deep South, by a KKK member who claimed they'd just found out that their date was "passing for white"
  3. 2008 Colarado, by someone who claimed they'd just found out that their date was transsexual
HINT: From comments at
I don't believe in murder, but if I went on a date with what I believed to be a women and then later found out it was a guy I would beat the s*$t out of them.
Seriously how many guys do you know that if they had found out that their girl was a guy, how many of them would have beat the crap out of that person...........
He/She/It.....let him to think that He/She/It was a woman....then he felt the weenie....

Then he got really mad......Killing It was a bad idea...
If being a transsexual, or being Gay was something out of our control, than God would not have destroyed Saddam and Gamora for those same acts. He does not punish us for being blind, he does not punish us for being deaf. Those are things that most often happen in the womb. He DOES, ALWAYS HAS, AND ALWAYS WILL punish us for sleeping with the same sex. God does not make mistakes and he is a just and fair God. That means that he does not punish us for things we cannot help. Think about it. Don't take the Bible out of context.
For those of us who believe in the Christian God, we believe He does not make mistakes:
His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.”
John 9:2-3
Substitute transgender or transsexual for blind and the Scripture are still valid. Angie was born in the wrong body, and it was evident enough to those who loved her that they referred to her as Angie and she/her. Those who have left comments otherwise are disrespected Angie and her family in this time of grief.
Now another question: did the victim do anything wrong by not telling? How about the "deceitful" victims in the other answers? I'm not asking whether it was wise, I'm asking whether it was wrong.

And today's battle is at Butts about it.


Anonymous said...

Ohh... I just blogged this, too... Along with the recent news of the Larry King case update (seems McInerney won't be tried as a juvenile)...

It's all a bit grim, innit...

Sevesteen said...

From a straight male point of view, the victim was wrong in not telling before a sexual act took place, and probably wrong to not tell before kissing or similar. That doesn't justify violence, but I think it does count towards the crime being manslaughter (assuming I remember the distinctions correctly) rather than murder.

The issue of when to tell must be extremely difficult--It seems that morally you need to tell long before a relationship is established enough to survive the disclosure. It isn't surprising that it isn't always done right.

Zoe Brain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zoe Brain said...

helen g - I prefer to think of the situation as not so much grim as challenging.

Tragic too of course. That just means we have to redouble our efforts though, doesn't it? To show people that we're just human.

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to say that if you're pre-op, failure to tell is deceitful (not to mention foolish and dangerous). And when you do tell, what is this idiocy about "in a crowded place"? Use a phone.
Post op is a bit more ambiguous. However, if there's one thing I've learned about being married in 20 years experience, it's that if you cannot communicate honestly, you WILL have problems. That means if you conceal things (money or sex or anything else major), you will have problems; and if you respond so emotionally that your partner would rather conceal things than deal with the drama, you will have problems.

Anonymous said...

It seems that to some people that we're not human, though, full stop. Peoples' ingrained and irrational fears and phobias come to the fore and the nature of our existence is perceived as a threat, for reasons which I do not even begin to comprehend.

I don't know what the answer is, or even if there is one. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other; I am open and honest about my transsexuality and am willing to discuss it with any non-trans person who is prepared to engage. I don't know what else I can do.

Just sometimes - such as when faced with news like this - it's really difficult.

But then, nobody said it would be easy - and they weren't kidding!

laserlight: why do you think our genital configuration (whether or not we have undergone surgery) is a meaningful benchmark? Where does that leave trans people who do not medically transition? My admittedly limited experience is that it's not trans people who have the problem. I'm sorry, but your comment smacks of victim blaming, and I am deeply uncomfortable with that.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing is sickening. How dare those American fundie swines condone this heinous act?! If I heard someone say that, I would want to deck them. But I wouldn't, because I don't believe in violence (unlike them).

Sevesteen said...

I'd guess that most men would rather not date a transsexual if they knew. That doesn't justify violence, but it also doesn't justify deception on the part of the woman. We should be allowed to be irrational in intimate relationships at least, as long as we don't use it as an excuse to harm others.

I can't analyze why there's a difference to me between pre- and post-op, but there is. I think curiosity would compensate for the slight insecurity about a date with someone post-op. I'm near certain I'd be uncomfortable with any intimacy with someone who was pre-op. (It is all irrelevant for me for now, I'm married and monogamous)

I don't see LaserLight's comments as being blaming--it is tactical, based on common but unfortunate real world responses.

(I apologize if my phrasing is offensive--If so, please correct me, I'm new here)

Zoe Brain said...

Sevesteen - treading on eggshells is NOT required here. If mistakes in terminology are made, they'll be firmly but politely corrected. As long as goodwill is shown, no-one's going to get upset by trivia!

Your concern does you credit, and my thanks for it. I try not to be quite so precious about minor details, the small stuff. There's enough big stuff to worry about.

Intellectually, I know being pre- or post- op should make no difference. It certainly did to me though, I cannot imagine engaging in any form of intimacy with anyone while pre-op.

Oh heck, and before I forget - welcome! Feel free to e-mail me with any questions. There aren't many women who naturally changed apparent sex, and from your blog, your GCI (Geeky Curiousity Index) is quite high.

I'm not proud, I'm not ashamed, I'm rather embarrassed, but most of all I'm fascinated by what happened to me. I don't advertise, but I don't conceal and try to educate.

Zoe Brain said...

Laserlight - experience has shown that phone is a bad idea.

They often want to have a physical confrontation. Best do that in public, when you tell. Otherwise they'll have the confrontation long after you tell, on their terms, not yours. Usually involving weaponry, and always in a place where no-one can hear you scream.

Zoe Brain said...

For all straight guys reading this - and who act with understandable and instinctive revulsion - try to see it from her situation.

She's the one who has to live with the situation every second of her life. Feeling deformed in a nauseating and horribly perverse way, with no escape.

The feelings of revulsion and horror you have are exactly the feelings that we call "Gender Dysphoria". You get a faint echo from the outside, which you can avoid by not seeing her again, forgetting she ever existed. She has no such means of escape, except personal oblivion.

These girls have to live with it, inside it. Or kill themselves, as so many do. Many engage in substance abuse or other self-destructive behaviour, to try to forget, for a little while. Or forget everything forever.

I went slightly insane instead, as a survival mechanism. Some seeped through though, which is why I'm crying.

I hope this aids your understanding of what it's like. What you feel is what they feel, all the time. No let-up, no respite, no hope, forever - if they're unable to afford treatment.

What I can't communicate is how wonderful the relief is when it stops, and the body, while not perfect, is no longer a cause of utter horror and despair. It is a mixed curse.

Anonymous said...


Love the way you describe it.

May I plagiarize at will with it?

Anonymous said...

Helen, I don't know your story and I'm not trying to be harsh, but it may sound that way:

helen g said: why do you think our genital configuration (whether or not we have undergone surgery) is a meaningful benchmark? could you possibly imagine that your date would NOT consider it a meaningful benchmark? Don't you consider it meaningful? Or would you have told Zoe "Hey, you have male peripherals with female drivers, but you shouldn't spend the time, money, and pain for surgery, because those peripherals are not a meaningful benchmark" ?

Where does that leave trans people who do not medically transition?

Out of luck.

I'm sorry, but your comment smacks of victim blaming, and I am deeply uncomfortable with that.

If we're talking about "who commited a crime" or "who sinned", then obviously it was the attacker, not the victim. But to the extent that the victim failed to exercise foresight, prudence, or wisdom, that makes it the victim's fault.
Saying "that's not fair, the guy shouldn't have beaten her no matter what" is absolutely true, but it is also absolutely useless. The victim is still just as dead.

Anonymous said...

re: phone....I bow to experience.
Although I'm inclined to think one date, then a phone call, then if the call went well have a date in a public place, and only later do you tell him your address. Of course, if the guy is the sort who will bottle it up and then explode six weeks later, this won't help you, but hopefully you could detect some signs of that before your first private date. I'd also say to pray about it, and listen to that still small voice.
And when you go on a date, let a trusted friend know who you're going with and when you expect to be back.
This is leaving aside the whole discussion of "if you're pre-op, are you really sure that dating is a good idea? Such a good idea that you can't live without it?"

Hazumu Osaragi said...

Let's look at this another way.

Electric boxes are dangerous. There are live conductors inside. Touching one, even inadvertently, you are highly likely (but not certain,) to receive injury or even death. Most people know this, and stay the hell away from energised circuits.

There are ways, though to work on energised circuits. Professionals do it for a living, clculating the risk, and having a backup in case the worst occurs.

Talented amateurs can get away with it, too -- a little knowledge goes a long way. But some times they forget the hand-in-pocket rule and the backup-buddy rule, and hey inadvertently become a conductor...

Then there are the people who don't fully understand the danger -- the innocents or the ignore-ants.

There are people who intensely feel a need to 'scratch an itch', who will proceed under less-than-optimum conditions. With all the evidence of the harm of smoking, there are still people for whom the pleasures of nicotine and the ritual of smoking outweigh the dangers that should, in a perfect world, motivate them to quit.

Sevesteen is right, though. The chance for human intimacy is greatly reduced by the catch-22 of being transgendered.


Anonymous said...

laserlight, I'm not quite sure how to answer your three questions without first discussing other separate but related topics - like, for example, my sexual orientation. And I'm not prepared to do that, not in this space.

So I'm just going to bow out now.

Apologies for the inconvenience.


Battybattybats said...

We can say she was unwise, we can say she made a mistake, we can say she wasn't sufficiently cautious...

But at what point is restricting your behaviour because of threats of violence then capitulating to terrorism?

See the way I see it, hate-crime is nothing short of terrorism. Acts instilled to deliberately repress and marginalise a community.

Actions intended to force tg folk back into the closet, back underground. To 'put them in their place' to instill fear, make them hide, make them invisible, make them less effective.

Not that I'm saying this is some orchestrated campain or anything, just that this is how violent culture works. The purpose of physical violence is to destroy and oppress, to beat down, to crush, to impose on the victim and all like them.

The idea of punishment, from that of a child to that of a criminal, is to gain compliance and obediance by destroying crushing and oppressing. To force.

It is in my view a culture of terrorism. And those subjected to it, to not feel subjugated, then use similar force on something lower than they, younger siblings, other prisoners, other kids in the schoolyard, employees under their management.

A cascade, a hierarchy of bullying, of force, of terrorism.

Some will even try to push back upwards against those they consider at or near the top.. the biggest bully, management, a foregin government...

Male culture is in my view a culture of terrorism where the terrorised then react in kind on those below them. Anything different must be crushed and eliminated. You conform to the threat of violence to get along and pass on that violence around you. A self-perpetuating psychological trauma.

And so the transgender person is the ultimate rebel against this system, their simple existence is in utter defiance of the most basic law, an act worse than violence... being visible trans is ultra-violence to that perspective, something that must be crushed before others get the same idea. A heretical threat of the highest possible order.

So the question is, how far do we bend to the threat of terrorism?

Do we try and be a little more secure at the cost of a little freedom?

Do we put up all the walls entirely only to become invisible and forgotten, safe but trapped, alive but conceding utter defeat as they get exactly what they wanted more than your death, your cancellation of impact on the world?

Do we ignore all the risks and defiantly flaunt our refusal to bend to their will even at great possible cost to ourselves to instead heroicly maximise our impact on the world?

Or do we try and be more safe at the cost of some freedom and yet try and maximise the one thing they fear most by speaking out loud, by showing ourselves to the world just behind what bodyguards and shields we can afford and construct?

Is there a danger that by even admitting publicly that the person could have been safer if they made different choices that we then help the terrorists in their cause of minimising our role in public life? Certainly if we afford any responsibility to the victim for not making the safer choice are we not, unintentionally, arguing for the capitulation to the terrorists wishes?

Or in other words, was her choices not the same as a newspaper printing cartoons of Mohammed?

Safer certainly to capitulate, but is the freedom lost worth the price of giving in to violence and threats of violence?

Anonymous said...

If you are making decisions based on the way the world should be rather than the way it is, then your decision making process is flawed. Once you know what's really happening, you can be bold or prudent as you wish.

If a soldier doesn't know he's in a dangerous area, he's likely to be killed for nothing. If he does know, he may well decide to go out on patrol anyway, but he can take precautions; and he acquires honor because he knows what he is doing and chooses that path.

Battybattybats said...

I just wrote a really good long response but a gremlin (pc crash) ate it.

Short version: I'm not being idealistic but instead pragmatic based on an understanding of the underlying mechanism.

It's like quiksand or a chinese finger trap. It requires a Yin response not a Yang one. the Yang one gives the enemy the victory they truly achieve.

Terrorism is an inefficient way to kill people, it is a very efficient way to tie up the enemies resources and to change their behaviour into a form that works to the advantage of others.

So too with hate crime.

By saying 'she should have' you give your enemy victory. By saying 'she shouldn't have had to but could have' you rob the enemy of victory. The difference in language is subtle with a collossal change in meaning and result.

The first makes it her responsibility, the second makes it not her fault but gives others greater power to not be similar victims.

We must never allow the enemy to control our actions or push us to adding weight to their ideology.

By saying even for a moment she 'should' have acted differently we give added power to the enemy, added weight and inertia to the problem. By saying that ways to avoid the same fate are x, y and z we do not accept responsibility for our victimisation but give ourselves ways to avoid it. It's verbal and mental judo.

It's crucial to understand to defeat the problem. The problem is not violence, thats the symptom. The problem is words and ideas that result in violence. We must treat the cause more than the symptom.

So let us indeed discuss ways to be physically safer, especially ones that result in more community visibility and interaction not less (less is a good way to slowly be trapped into an ever shrinking defensive box). Lets belittle the manhood of anyone who cant control their temper. Lets spread the meme that the only people whod be upset in a case like this is one whose not confortable with their own sexuality and has something to hide.

But let us never ever ever add weight to the argument that the victim in any way contributes to their fate. That way lies burkas, closets and victory for the oppressors.

It's verbal and mental judo, no less true pragmatic or realistic, just not adding our own weight to the enemies force.

Let us not do the enemies work for them by withdrawing from view, by adding weight to their own arguments, adding inertia to the status quo. Giving ground is giving ground.

Instead lets work out ways to be safer while being more visible. Spreading self protection and self defense techniques while emphasising the enemies total and utter undiluted responsibility. Let us turn their own bias against them. Let us rob their attitudes and tactics of their power.

Thats the true pragmatic approach. Recognising that reality includes the power of words and the way in which they are used.

Anonymous said...

Words have power, if you happen to be talking to someone who's willing to listen.

Battybattybats said...

Willingness isn't needed, just a lack of unwillingness. The power of the subtextual meanings of our word choices and sentence structures will work on those who are apathetic or only moderately interested too. It also works on ourselves.

Sure it won't work on a tiny minority, after all there are still some who don't accept that bacteria and viruses cause disease.

Many just go along with whatever seems the predominant view. Some go along with the predominant view only once it has remained so for a significant time.

But we can't remark on the tragedy of someone failing their responsibility to physically protect themselves by not being sufficiently aware of the physical dangers she was in and then fail to accept our own responmsibility for failing to politically, linguisticly and intellectually protect ourselves by being aware of the political linguistic and intellectual dangers of falling into that cognitive trap in the first place!

Just a few words makes all the difference in the world, is more true and takes a step towards victory rather than a defensive step towards the precipice.

Anonymous said...

Batty, just so you know where I'm coming from: BA English, met my wife while we were working on MA Communications, I'm successful in sales and she's been a professional actress. So I agree, yes, words can be effective. On some people. Sometimes.
However, when a person already has a position--and on a subject like sex and gender, you'd be prudent to assume they do have a position and it's not in favor of you--a lot of people simply will not believe anything that contradicts their position. The usual example is religious people like me, but you see the same thing in politics, sports fans, academic disputes, arguments between couples, whatever. Look up "confirmation bias" if you're not already aware of this tendency.
Or ask Zoe what percentage of people she's converted, not counting those like myself who'd already known Alan.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try to change the world, though.

Battybattybats said...

My disability has prevented my gettign formal qualifications thus far but my background relevant to this discussion is philosophy, art and a little of linguistics.

And I agree that in changing peoples minds only a small number are possibly swayed by either reason or rhetoric, though often that small number is enough to reach a level of critical mass to cause dramatic social change.

The importance in this regard with this particular issue though is the way this kind of criticism results in internalisation of false guilt and shame and blame and in disscussing it on terms that validate the way the opposition is discussing it.

Studies where Asian women did worse on maths scores after first hearing a speech emphasising their womanhood than Asian women who first heard a speech emphasising their Asian-ness (Sorry I can't cite the details, heard it discussed on the radio) certainly does seem to support the notion of the danger of internalised stereotypes.

"I'm not saying you shouldn't try to change the world, though."

Plenty of others have managed to do so on human/civil rights issues.. it's just a matter of finding out how they succeeded.

Zoe Brain said...

Now would be a good time to thank my commentariat.

At least half this blog's value is the discussion that's generated.

The quality of the commentary is outstanding. I don't know how I'm doing it, but I'm attracting thoughtful people of goodwill, even though they may differ radically on some issues.

They all respect one another. I've learnt a lot from you all. So it's time I said thanks, and I'll keep on doing what I'm doing.

Anonymous said...

Was just wondering if anyone here was aware that Transexualism has undergone a change in the medical sector. Due to recent research the condition is caused by what is called 'repeat length polymorphism' in the adrogene receptor or CYP17 gene which causes a physical anomaly in the brain. this is over masculinization or under masculinization of a part of the brain called the BST in the hypothalamus. That basically means that someone born with male genitalia actually has a female brain and the basic instinctual behavior and hormone managment centres are physically female. The patient is not a man but a woman and the only course of treatment available to them is the surgical correction of the body. the same goes for male identified patients although it is more rare. There is also a possible link between this disorder and 'Adrenal Hyperplasia' being that AH Causes other abnormalities in sexual diferenciation and a number of patients complain of chronic fatigue. Many people fob off CF as being psychological but others who have researched the disorder find it has links to the adrenal gland and call the disorder adrenal fatigue. so all three disorders have links.

This is a birth disorder that is beyond the patients control. yes it would be better to find a partner who understands their predicament but such to the complete ignorance of some people it is totally unacceptable to become angry or violent towards someone who "didn't tell they used to be a man" because the medical evidence suggests that they were in fact women from the start. Why tell someone you used to be a man when you were never a man. Male genitalia doesn't determine gender. Chromosones don't even determine gender. Gender identity determines gender and it is governed by a small part of the brain that cannot be changed by medication or hormones. Just look up research on Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and it's relation to gender and it is all spelled out before you. The only reason these patients hide in the pride community is for safety because of the unfounded stigma attached to the condition. Can you even imagine what it is like for a young woman to grow up into puberty and have her body ravaged by testosterone. Women are big into their appearence in general and I can see why the pain and depression of this condition can lead to so many suicides. I read somewhere that 7 out of 10 patients commit suicide before they even find a doctor who can help them... and the sad thing is that most of those are between the age of 10 and 20. They need support, understanding and better treatment by the law and medical communities.


Zoe Brain said...

It's not 7 out of 10 - the best data we have indicates 5 out of 10 self-harm before age 20. Perhaps 1 in 3 suicide before then.

May I suggest you have a look through the archives, there's quite a lot on CAH and other Intersex conditions. The "BiGender and the Brain" post may be particularly helpful here.