Sunday, April 13, 2008

Jeff Jacoby is a dick, but we all knew that, right?

See his latest column, on Thomas Beatie (the pregnant man), whom he--in typical transphobic, asshole style--insists on referring to as Tracy LaGondino.
This story of the pregnant "man" hasn't materialized in a vacuum.

The news out of Texas last week was of the police raid on a polygamist compound in which underage girls have been forcibly "married" to abusive older men. From Australia came word of John and Jennifer Deaves, the 61-year-old father and his 39-year-old daughter who have had two children together and pleaded guilty to incest, but say they just want "a little bit of respect and understanding" for their illicit relationship. These are only the latest in an endless series of reminders that sexual urges and appetites can be powerful and perverse and lead to harmful consequences. That is why human societies have always constrained sexual behavior with equally powerful taboos and moral standards.

Increasingly, though, anyone who upholds those taboos and standards is denounced as a narrow-minded bigot, while those who defy them are celebrated for their nonjudgmentalism and tolerance.

Gee, how could we possibly think you're a narrow-minded bigot for comparing transgender people to a cult of child-raping fundies? I mean, you didn't provide any evidence whatsoever that the relationships you're so damn afraid of actually "lead to harmful consequences", nor is there any evidence in fact that that's why human societies have constrained them.

And you know, it's pretty ironic that you're talking about how societies have "always" had these sexual taboos to prevent older men from forcibly marrying younger women when, say, polygamy is far more traditional and popular than monogamy, the marriageable age in the past was much younger than it is now, and arranged marriages were (and in some places still are) the rule rather than the newsworthy exception.

6 comments:

Les said...

Hey, can you change your text to say, "whom he -- in typical transphobic asshole style -- insists on using the wrong name for" or some other.

I know you don't want to inadvertantly participate in transphobic name-shaming, but you kinda just did.

Skemono said...

I know you don't want to inadvertantly participate in transphobic name-shaming, but you kinda just did.
Eh? I'm not sure I understand. What part of what I did has caused, or would cause, offense?

Les said...

One way that cisgender people attempt to assert power over trans people is by using their birth name. It's like saying, oh sure, you can change your name, but we know you're REALLY still your birth name and birth gender. So using the wrong name is a shorthand for denying the possibility or legitimacy of transition.

Understandably, some trans people are really tweaked out by seeing their birth name around or in print or whatever. I mean, look at the baggage.

So it's usually impolite (at best) to use the wrong name for somebody or other wise publicize it. Somebody like Wendy Carlos is a special case because she was a huge celebrity before she transitioned. But spreading around somebody's wrong name, just for the hell of it, is spiteful.

I don't know how the pregnant guy feels about it. He's got to be pretty tough to be preggers and out about it. Some people are fine and don't care. But some care a lot.

When you repeat Jacoby's use of "Tracy," you're accidentally spreading his spite.

For myself, I don't even know if I'm going to change my name. But I've read the words of other transfolks and they're really really clear how they feel about this stuff. It's really a shitty situation when the name your parents gave you and that you went by for years turns into a terrible insult, but this is what happens.

Skemono said...

One way that cisgender people attempt to assert power over trans people is by using their birth name. It's like saying, oh sure, you can change your name, but we know you're REALLY still your birth name and birth gender. So using the wrong name is a shorthand for denying the possibility or legitimacy of transition.
Right. That's pretty much what I meant when I said Jacoby was being a transphobic asshole for insisting on referring to Mr. Beatie by his birth name.

When you repeat Jacoby's use of "Tracy," you're accidentally spreading his spite.
I was? Well, I will endeavor not to in the future.

Michael Ejercito said...

Thomas Beatie is no more a man than anorexics are obese.

Skemono said...

Asserting your bigotry, even with the slight modicum of wit you have attempted, does not make it true, I'm afraid.