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Being real vs Seeming to be real

Long term sandpit readers will probably have caught on to my generally unqualified commitment to personal autonomy. I hold to the classical libertarian ideal that an adult individual should not be prevented from doing anything as long as the realizing those desires does not impinge upon the liberties of any other individual. Thus when it comes to individuals who want to reconstruct or modify their body in novel ways it boils down to the usual question of any harm that they may be doing to others.

So this means that although I tend to think that those who want to change their appearance so that they have the appearance of a person not of their biological gender are addressing the wrong side of their gender dysphoria equation with permanent physical  mutilations rather than attempting to reform their mindsets individuals are of course entitled to do as they please with their bodies. What I don’t think  that they have though is a right to expect that their vanities must be respected.

“There are a lot of roadblocks, particularly when working with cosmetic brands or perfumes or those sort of commercial, corporate things. It’s been more difficult to break into that world than ‘fashion’ because it hasn’t been done before. They don’t have any market research, and people in that world aren’t risk-takers," she said. "You have to prove to them over and over that you are liked by people, you have a skill, and you can sell a product.” Pejic joins the list of a growing number of notable transgender women, including Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox and Lieutenant-Colonel Catherine McGregor, senior adviser to the Chief of Army, who have spoken publicly about transgender issues. "Congrats on publicly claiming your truth as a trans woman. You're now part of a resilient, beautiful & mighty sisterhood," Cox tweeted. It took the Australian model three-months to recover from the surgery and she now plans to continue supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community through activism and advocacy work. “My goal is to give a human face to this struggle, and I feel like I have a responsibility,” she said. “What's in between anyone's legs is not who they are.” Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/androgynous-model-andrej-pejic-is-now-a-woman-20140725-zwuu5.html#ixzz38aDJagnP

“There are a lot of roadblocks, particularly when working with cosmetic brands or perfumes or those sort of commercial, corporate things. It’s been more difficult to break into that world than ‘fashion’ because it hasn’t been done before. They don’t have any market research, and people in that world aren’t risk-takers,” she said.
“You have to prove to them over and over that you are liked by people, you have a skill, and you can sell a product.”
Pejic joins the list of a growing number of notable transgender women, including Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox and Lieutenant-Colonel Catherine McGregor, senior adviser to the Chief of Army, who have spoken publicly about transgender issues.
“Congrats on publicly claiming your truth as a trans woman. You’re now part of a resilient, beautiful & mighty sisterhood,” Cox tweeted.
It took the Australian model three-months to recover from the surgery and she now plans to continue supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community through activism and advocacy work.
“My goal is to give a human face to this struggle, and I feel like I have a responsibility,” she said.
“What’s in between anyone’s legs is not who they are.”

“I think from my teenage years, when I decided I needed to express my femininity, I was happy with the way I looked. But SRS [sex reassignment surgery] is kind of the last part – it’s sort of the icing on the cake,” she told Style.com.

Andrej Pejic has been chosen by Jean-Paul Gaultier to star in both his womenswear and menswear shows in Paris.

“It makes me feel freer than ever. Now I can stand naked in front of a mirror and really enjoy my reflection. And those personal moments are important.”

The model, who has been cast to star in Sofia Coppola’s remake of The Little Mermaid, is now listed as a female model with all of her agencies around the world. Her agents at Chadwick were among the first to list her solely in the women’s division.

The problem is though that the social aspects of gender are not the reason that humanity exists in the male and female aspect. We have male and female because that is what is  necessary to reproduce our species> We need both in full working order to make children. No surgical procedure can make a man into a woman, or a woman into a man . At best all that a surgeon can do is create  the illusion that an individual who was born one gender is the other. Frankly I think that it must take determined self-delusion for individuals like Pejic to believe they are a “real” woman.

There is also the question of the so called “fashion” industry and the way that it influences he way that our young people view and understand themselves. Its bad enough that young women’s self images are in the thrall of male  homosexual sensibilities and notions of body image and beauty but now they are going to be exposed to the example of Pejic pretending to be  a woman (which he can never be) and on top of the already unhealthy body images that young people are constantly bombarded with from the fashion Industry they now have  idea that being a woman is a manufactured  reality  to contend with and I for one don’t think that this is a positive development for society.

Cheers Comrades

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6 Comments

  1. Matt Patchon says:

    As to the fact that the sculpting, or carking, is superficial, as you say, all it can really do is simply cause more psychological harm. There’s a tragic story from the US back in the early 70s where a professor of Psychology convinced the parents of a confused boy to have a gender change. He became a she at 13, or thereabouts and for the next three years continued to have treatment with the professor. Then the girl fled the sessions, and started a life of her own, and still felt confused about gender again. Then she started to function as a male, fell in love with a girl who had a couple of kids started a life together and got married.

    Then, after things didn’t get better, at the age of 38 he drove to a car park and blew his own brains out. I can’t remember if he killed the woman or kids, but it was a tragic life none-the-less.

    Sculpting the body does nothing but cause more psychological trauma. I strongly suspect these people need a different type of help than that which a plastic surgeon offers.

    If I remember or can find the guy’s name from the story above, I’ll let you know.

  2. Matt Patchon says:

    While a re-read of the article shows I got some of the details wrong, it is the tragic story of Bruce Reimer. Here is the link to his story, if interested:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/dr_money_prog_summary.shtml

  3. Paul C. says:

    Iain, you have completely misunderstood. You cannot force a transgender individual’s brain to accept a body which it perceives as wrong any more than you can cure left-handedness, homosexuality or the unfortunate propensity to vote Liberal.

    There are many millions of people who been born into the wrong body or, if you prefer, with the wrong brain – they honestly perceive themselves to be of a certain gender yet their body is of another. What to do? Lie to themselves and live with it? Lie to everybody around them and live with it? Both of these responses are not gong to end well as they require levels of self-loathing and deceit which cannot be sustained and so will, at some stage, be vented at great cost to everyone involved.

    Or should they attempt to rectify the issue? You appear to believe that this can be achieved through some sort of psychological or psychiatric hoopla, a most patronising attitude if Ian say so, but the tragic case of Bruce/Brenda/David Reimer Matt cites as ‘proof’ that gender reassignment surgery is ‘dangerous’ really rather disproves both of yours case. I love it when that happens!

    It seems that the Reimers fell into the hands of a man who believed that gender roles are merely the result of environmental conditioning with no prevailing physiological factors, but this was clearly proved wrong as Brenda knew she was a girl – she had, as far as she could tell, the wrong body, and no amount of ‘reforming her mindset’ could convince her otherwise.

    As it happens she/he was right, but to accept this argument is to accept that male and female brains are physiologically different, which then begs the question: does nature get it right 100% of the time? Is it not possible for the wiring to get crossed every now and then? People like all sorts of stuff. Why? Who knows. But who are we to tell them not to? That they should reform their mindsets?

    I am not gay, yet I do not remember making a conscious decision to be heterosexual; indeed, I had quite a few offers to ‘choose’ the gay lifestyle when a callow youth, but I just didn’t want to know – it felt totally wrong. I like women, and nothing or no one could talk me out of this ‘mindset’ but as this is the one approved of by society it needed no ‘reforming’ – lucky for me, because it wouldn’t have worked.

    Transgenderism is nothing new; it has been happening for millennia, and has been more accepted in some societies than others. In ours it hasn’t, but those that have to deal with it hope it will be. And if that’s what gets them through, who the hell are we not to respect their choices? Hundreds of thousands who have redefined their gender at various levels report great satisfaction, relief, salvation – for them it is not a matter of vanity but life or death.

    You don’t believe these people know their own minds – but you do? How does that work? Perception is reality – if someone perceives themselves to be a woman, they’re a woman, and I have enormous respect for someone with guts to stand up to attitudes such as yours, confound your smug illusions and reach for some sort of self-actualisation.

    Respect costs you nothing. But it could save a life. Is it really so hard to be gracious and allow someone the space to be who they want to be?

  4. Paul Murray says:

    I’m sorry, peoples, but my bag of fucks is empty and I just don’t have one to give. Must be the male menopause.

  5. SockPuppet says:

    Its only $15 a bottle now Paulsy:

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