This post is a person– who may believe either a gender identity or a Blanchard-Bailey theory of transness– doing their best to write what a Blanchardian believes. Confused about what an Intellectual Turing Test is or what “gender identity” and “Blanchard-Bailey” mean? Click here! Please read, then vote at the end of the post.
1. How I Define Men And Women
Let’s start off by conceding a completely irrelevant point: intersex people exist. I mean, yeah, they do exist and deciding whether an intersex person is male or female is complicated and there’s nothing wrong with letting them pick whichever they want so they can put “Mr.” or “Ms.” on forms instead of explaining their complicated medical situation to everyone they meet. There’s no god to tell them what they really are. It’s sort of the parable of bleggs and rubes. When you have a purple cuboid thing with rounded corners that’s furred on one face and smooth on the rest, you admit that you have to make a judgment call. You know what you don’t do? You don’t decide that you’ll never be able to tell whether a blue furred egg is a blegg because of the existence of edge cases… unless you’re politically motivated, that is.
I have to start with this long, irrelevant digression because otherwise the entire transgender community will remind me that intersex people exist—not that they actually care about intersex people who were sterilized against their will and without medical need, intersex people who are taught to be ashamed of their bodies, intersex people who exist in real life in contexts besides transgender arguments—and pretend that’s a knock-down argument that we can’t define men and women at all.
Men are men. They have XY chromosomes, broader shoulders than hips, beards, flat chests, testes, penises, more testosterone and less estrogen. Women are women. They have XX chromosomes, broader hips than shoulders, no beards, breasts, ovaries, vaginas, more estrogen and less testosterone. What about people with XX and SRY translocation? Judgment call. I say they’re men. Better question: does anyone identify as a trans woman due to getting a karyotype and finding out that they have this condition? If not, then why bring it up? It’s irrelevant and it’s a distraction. I’ve never heard anyone say “I am really a woman because I have gynecomastia” or “I am really a woman because I’m shorter than the average height for a man of my race” so it seems to me like this is all irrelevant. Everyone knows a man with SRY translocation is actually a man. No one is actually confused about this.
I’m not going to come up with one single thing that all men have and no women do, but I don’t need to. We all know what makes someone male or female. I’d like the transgender community to stop pretending to be confused now.
2. The Cotton Ceiling
People who want to be seen as women more than anything else, enough to rearrange their entire lives to achieve it, who especially want to be seen as women in a sexual way, feel bad when people just won’t see them that way. They want to be attractive women whom people attracted to women want to have sex with. Not being able to get what you want is disappointing. It’s even more painful when you can’t be what you want to be than when you just can’t have what you want to have. Admitting the problem is inherent in you is extremely disheartening because it means giving up hope. This is why some transgender people look for a way to blame their rejection on other people. It’s true that transgender people are at very high risk for assault; transgender people take this as evidence that they’re an oppressed minority. Once they already believe in “transphobia” as a social ill like racism, they can attribute all sorts of things to it.
Of course trans women are at a massive disadvantage trying to look like attractive women. They’ve had all of adolescence to grow into adult men. Some can still manage to look feminine enough to attract partners who are attracted to women, depending on which aspects of womanhood they’re attracted to and that’s lucky for them.
There’s a reason the cotton ceiling is mostly about lesbians and that’s because it’s later-transitioning, more masculine autogynephiles who want to be seen as women and desired as women and want female partners. Earlier-transitioning, more feminine homosexual transsexuals are able to pass better and don’t have this concern to the same degree, which is why there aren’t similar complaints about straight men. Further, more feminine homosexual trans women are more feminine (and tautologies are tautological) and more accommodating. Autogynephiles, who are very masculine, are more willing to demand that other people make them happy.
It’s not PC to say it that way. It’s not even nice. I do agree, in general, with the idea of talking to the person in front of you rather than a statistically average member of the same group as the person in front of you, but when you’re actually asking about the reason for general trends in group behavior, then you’re just going to have to talk about statistical tendencies and not that one autogynephile you know who’s a total teddy bear and would never hurt a fly.
3. Trans Women Programmers
Most trans women are actually more masculine than the average man. That is, autogynephiles are. Even a normal male sex drive isn’t intense enough to make someone risk losing friends and family and undergo painful and risky surgery just to live out a sexual fantasy; autogynephiles are more sexual than the average man, probably because they have even more testosterone. They’re even more inclined toward traditionally male pursuits like sports and programming than the average man is.
Besides, programmers are pretty autistic and interested in what you do, not who you are. I bet it’s a welcoming field for anyone who can do it.
The statistics are different for homosexual trans women, but they’re a minority of trans women.
4. AFAB Trans People
There’s nothing hard to explain about this. Paraphilias are less common in females than in males, which explains why trans men are more rare, but just because they’re less common doesn’t mean they never happen at all. There are also homosexual trans men who are attracted to women and generally more masculine than women. There are probably about as many of these as there are homosexual trans women who are attracted to men. What’s so inexplicable about that?
5. Transgender People Being Wrong About Their Own Experiences
The questions didn’t include this, but I thought I should mention it. One of the things that really seems like it bothers the transgender community is being told that they’re wrong about their own experiences. A lot of autogynephiles say that their experience isn’t autogynephilia at all. Some of my “side” (I’d really like to think we’re all on the same side, though: Team Help People Live Comfortable Lives) thinks they’re lying but I don’t think so and I think it’s horrible that that’s anyone’s first idea.
Everyone here reads Thing of Things, right? So we all remember Ozy’s post about feeling shame instead of sadness for losing time to depression. I love that post and it helped me a lot. I’m the exact opposite of Ozy! I used to feel guilty for everything. I thought I had a scrupulosity problem because I would feel so guilty all the time. Except, the weird thing is, it didn’t help to realize that I wasn’t doing anything that went against my values! I figured out eventually that I wasn’t guilty. I was scared everyone in the world would hate me! I don’t think I’m bad at introspection and I don’t think Ozy’s bad at introspection, so I don’t think it says anything mean about transgender people to say that they can’t always figure out their own motives. People can’t always figure out their own motives. Ozy thought they were ashamed of their depression. I thought I felt guilty whenever I did something that anyone in the world didn’t approve of. Most transgender people think they’re experiencing “gender dysphoria” when they want to transition.
“Gender dysphoria” isn’t a worthless model for homosexual transsexuals, either. That works with the analogy, too! Some people do have scrupulosity problems. Some people do feel ashamed of their mental illnesses.
Transgender people tell the truth about their beliefs about their experiences and their mistakes aren’t stupid or obvious. It took a lot of research the state of available evidence to a point where I feel comfortable saying that most transgender people are actually experiencing a sexual fetish. If you don’t have multiple studies behind you, it’s probably a bad idea to say you know someone’s experiences better than they do. I agree with that. People know their own experiences better than they know other people’s. I could be more cynical and say people are even more wrong about other people’s experiences than their own. It should take a lot of evidence to decide someone is wrong about their own feelings, but sometimes you have that much evidence. Check out Kay Brown’s blog, sillyolme.wordpress.com, because she understands the science and explains it better than I do. She has some great posts laying out the evidence. People usually can’t do better than just believing other people about their own feelings, but usually isn’t always.
The first item on the poll refers to what side you think the author of this post really believes, while the second item refers to what side you believe. When taking the poll, if you can POSSIBLY round yourself off to Blanchard-Bailey or gender identity, please do so. Please do this even if you have major disagreements with the side you are leaning towards. Only use “neither” if you really really really cannot in good conscience round yourself to either.