Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Function And Terminology

     Once again I’m “under the gun” – sheesh, I had more free time (and got more and better sleep) when I was still solving other people’s problems for a living – and must shortly be away from the keyboard, so please bear with me if this rant is shorter (or rantier) than most.

     Some species of aberration are more difficult to confront than others. The one I have in mind this fine July morning concerns that hoary old Leftist tradition, the promiscuous spouting of utter nonsense in a frenzied attempt to compel others to accept it:

     Zachary Antolak, a/k/a “Zinnia Jones,” a/k/a “Satana Kennedy,” a/k/a “Lauren McNamara” is a person familiar to regular readers here. An atheist transgender activist and Internet pornographer, Antolak/“Jones” has tattooed himself/“herself” with a symbol used on the cover of Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible modified with transgender symbols.

     The bizarre semantics by which Antolak/“Jones” claims that the penis is not “male genitals” is a perfect example of the lunatic ideology of the transgender cult. As I noted in the case of Eyrne Daymont a/k/a “Aryn Maitland,” crazy is a pre-existing condition. When confronted by the rhetoric of transgender activists, we must recognize that we are dealing with seriously disturbed people. Their efforts to distort language, to change the meanings of words, and to force the rest of to accept their revised definitions, represent a dishonest attempt to obtain validation by compelling others to ratify their delusions.

     This is getting to be “par for the course” for the more “out there” transgender activists. While I certainly won’t claim that “they’re all like that,” there are enough seriously disturbed TG activists to make big trouble for the ones who merely want to live quietly as they choose.

     For those who are interested in dealing seriously with such lunacy, I present the following:

Terms arise to fulfill specific functions;
They cannot be meaningfully separated.

     That “really” ought to be “obvious,” but there’s that word again.

     We don’t call the penis and testicles “male genitalia” for purely arbitrary reasons. We call them that because they fulfill a function that, very long ago, we deemed “male,” just as we deem the vagina, ovaries, and uterus “female.” The terms male and female are functional designators above all else. They designate the distinguishing properties and functions of male and female bodies that preceded everything else about Mankind and our societies.

     More concisely, male and female are about the function we call reproduction. If your body can fertilize a human ovum, you are functionally male; if your body produces and stores such ova, and is at least potentially capable of sheltering a developing human zygote, you are functionally female.

     To disassociate the terms from their functional origins is to render them meaningless. We cannot use meaningless words: a statement that approaches tautology. But the Left would be delighted to render all our words meaningless. It would make deceiving us far easier.

     Now that I’ve disposed of the word-mincing of this “Zinnia Jones” person, please allow me a few million words about transgenderism generally.

     Blaire White, a highly intelligent and well spoken young transwoman, has stated that transgenderism is a mental disorder. If we proceed from the function-determines-terminology perspective, she is unassailably correct. He who was “born a man” cannot be functionally a woman; she who was born a woman cannot be functionally a man. Yet the disorder has no cure, and if ignored can lead to much worse problems, both for the sufferer and for those who love him.

     That having been said, contemporary medical and surgical techniques make it possible for one born male to “present and live” as a woman, and for one born female to “present and live” as a man. Some self-designated transgenders make use of the full range of medical and surgical options. Some “stop short” of the complete resculpting of their externals. I know transgenders of both kinds.

     And...girls, hold onto your boyfriends...given a willingness among such transgenders to conform to the appearance and behavioral norms of their preferred genders, there is no harm to the rest of us in it. The entirety of the burden falls upon the transgender.

     Yes, you read that correctly.

     The italicized phrase is the key. A sufficient degree of conformance to gender norms, even though contemporary medicine cannot affect the body's reproductive functions, allows the transgender to “pass.” Problems arise when “transgenders” dismiss or defy those norms: for example, the bearded guy in a dress who insists on using the ladies’ room. It’s entirely justifiable for the rest of us to be upset by that.

     Is there a gray zone? Of course, and such gray zones will undoubtedly become grist for the Left’s mill. In particular, gray-zone cases will be used to attack longstanding arrangements through the law, disturbing the comfort and peace of mind of the rest of us. I don’t know what can be done about that; I’m not a lawyer and haven’t even been asked to play one on TV. But the outriders of the gender-fluidity campaign make it plain that we should be braced for it, especially as regards so-called “public accommodations” law.

     My point is largely that, in observance of The Curmudgeon’s Carbohydrate Aphorism:

Keep thine eye fixed upon the doughnut, lest thou pass unaware through the hole.

     ...we should dismiss cosmetic matters, but take care to preserve the truly important things – and one of the most important things is the reliability of the meanings of the words we use.

     And with that, I’m off to my duties. Until later, Gentle Reader.


Amy Bowersox said...

As I am now legally a woman, in the eyes of the Federal and State governments, my body is a woman's body...and any genitals attached to it, whatever shape they are, are a woman's genitals. However, like any proper lady, I never call attention to them. :)

"Conform to the appearance and behavioral norms of their preferred genders" exactly describes what I am doing. In fact, one of my friends recently commented to me that I've spent a good deal more effort on my appearance early on than most trans women. And it shows; at my office, where I've now been presenting as Amy for three days, I am routinely referred to with the right name and pronouns, and female coworkers greet me in the ladies' room without incident.

Am I harming anyone other than myself? Of course not. Heavens, am I even harming myself? The sheer happiness I've felt over the past few days would seem to indicate otherwise. Call it "gender euphoria" to replace the "gender dysphoria" I've previously felt...

Francis W. Porretto said...

Well, Amy -- previously Amy Tapie, I believe? -- government in our age has many powers, but I'm sure you'll agree that while it can decree that black is white, it can't make others believe that if they're disinclined. The critical thing is to be capable of presenting and living as you prefer. If you've managed that -- without creating a significant disruption in others' lives and arrangements -- you've achieved the most that's possible in this era.

Perhaps medicine will someday be able to give a man the reproductive functions of a woman (and vice versa), just as today it can give him the appearance of a woman. But we're not there yet. Should we get there, there will be all manner of changes, and the terminological will be among the least of them. I wish you all the happiness life has to offer.

Amy Bowersox said...

Yes, I was Amy Tapie before. I decided to retain my original last name when I changed my name legally. So "Tapie" is my "maiden name," in a manner of speaking. :)

Some sources claim that there will one day be uterine transplants available for trans women who wish to become mothers. I'm dubious that it will show up in my lifetime; an attempt at a uterine transplant was actually what caused Lili Elbe's death, as her body rejected the organ.

In any event, I am well satisfied with what I have accomplished so far. People who knew me in my male guise are commenting how much happier I look, too. I'm undecided about "the surgery"; part of me is squeamish about it, much the same way as I'd be squeamish about having LASIK on my eyes. For now, though, I plan to enjoy life to the best of my ability.