Monday, September 15, 2008

JMO - Useless arguments

In addition to reading the newspapers 3-4 days a week I also view and read several on-line newspapers, search the news for specific subjects and topics, and read forums and newsgroups. I always like to scan the opinions and editorials and look at the blogs. Not a lot of blogs, there's far too many and I think God is wondering now why he gave someone the idea to invent the blog, but enought to see different perspective or see like perspectives differently.

One thing I've learned that isn't new and always known, but blogs have changed the approach and response, and that is the zealot. Those people who unflinchingly espouse a point of view so extreme and so loudly you can't argue with them in any form, manner or way because they'll find a way to turn the argument around to their view. It's common that zealots are blind to the flaws and logic in their arguments, but blogs now allow them to shout it to the world and demand it's right and true.

And in many cases or most of the time, it couldn't be farther from the truth. It may have bits and pieces of truth, even some fact, and see some facet of reality, but for the most part they and their arguments are clueless. And how did I see this obviousness?

Well, there's always the common argument about the war in Iraq, both sides express their view is right when the truth and reality is in the middle elements and facets of both sides. It just depends on what information you use, which I also do, and how you spin it, which I also do. I'm not immune here. The war was wrong and we as a nation were and still are wrong. I won't bend on that view but I will listen and agree to the reality we need to do something for the Iraqis, the US and the world, but we're failing miserably and also doing well.

And there's the corollary argument about terrorism and the balance between national security and civil rights and liberties. I won't go into this one except being a 1960-70's Vietnam-era vet and hippie (never got to becoming a former on the latter) and a often liberal libertarian (try that one) I don't buy the issue of 9/11 changing much except our own fear. We need to stand up to that than our enemies and show them we're for freedom and people, not autocracy and militarism.

And there's women's rights, especially reproductive rights. I won't budge on my view and am adament against the conservative and religious right who want to control women's right to reproductive information and medical help and to abortion. To me there is no compromise that women have the full right to control their bodies including their reproductive rights. Period. No men, no clergy, no one else. Just the woman and her physician.

But I'll listen, negotiate and compromise when I see it's gets more for women that is currently being done. Sometimes you have to surrender something to gain a little or gain in the longterm. Life and reality are like that. But I won't budge on my fundamental view.

And there's something I don't understand. I won't argue I'm probably as much a feminist as many women. It's not about women's rights, but equal rights. And the additional rights women need because they're women, physically different than men. The reality of our world.

And what don't I want to understand?

Well, I like Julia Serano's work. You see, I know some in-transistion and post-transistion women. And I have to say, this is probably the most discriminated class of people in this country. They have been getting better treatment in the media and society, but overall they're stil far behind even lesbian and gay people, some of whom also discriminate against transpeople.

And the useless argument idea, or have a wandered off the logic trail?

No, I haven't because I don't understand what people don't get that post-transistion men and women aren't a threat to anyone or any sense of their values. They're not transgendered, they're as any medical professional would say, "cured" of any gender conflicts or conditions by becoming who they are. So why do feminists, who are the most outspoken advocates for rights, discriminate against this class of people?

That's what I don't get. The feminists are the zealot(s) on the street corner shouting the fears of post-transistion women in the world of women. But they don't see that there are those among women who are and no knows or cares, and they're not instilling or inciting fear in anyone or any group of women. So what's their fear? I don't know, but what bothers me the most in their arugments is the hypocrisy.

Huh? Yeah. While they decide post-transistion women aren't women, they allow butch lesbians, masculine women, and even post-transistion men (transmen) into their world and groups as women. Most of these "women" don't think or behave like women and many don't want to be called women as they live or even transistioned into being and living as men.

So, what's up? Genetics define men and women? While they argue for the gender spectrum and argue against the gender binary, they reinforce it with stereotyping post-transistion women and claiming (trans)men as women? They demand the right to the full expression of being, even to being men but then exclude post-transistion women in that definition.

And so, what's wrong with a post-transistion woman just living as a woman we normally expect and see everyday. They're not reinforcing any gender binary or stereotype. They're just getting through life as they are and know themselves to be, no different than anyone else, including feminists. Do the feminists understand what it takes to go through a transistion? Obviously not.

My only response to the feminists and their inane logic and argument is lighten up. It's about being human. No one is trying to steal or redefine your womanhood. And if you got down off your soapbox and sat in a cafe having a conversation with a post-transistion woman, you just might find a friend and see another woman in the world, just like all the other women.

Anyway, that's my rant against zealots. I'll take up my soapbox and mosey down street quietly.

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