November 3, 2010

Transgender Man Is On Women's Basketball Team, Sort Of

ceci n'est pas une personne transgenderee

From the NYT:

But Monday was anything but ordinary because it was the day the world would learn about the decision Allums had embarked on one year earlier: to come out as a transgender man playing on a women's basketball team.

Advocates for transgender athletes said they believed Allums was the first Division I college basketball player to compete publicly as a transgender person... a George Washington official said Allums would remain on the women's basketball team.

Got it? Transgender man on women's basketball team.

"I didn't choose to be born in this body and feel the way I do. I decided to transition ... I am trying to help myself and others to be who they are."


In case you miss the nuance, here's the title: "Transgender Man Is on Women's Team."  So in a progressive society, what are we to do with this?  Should a transgender man be on a man's team, or a women's team?

But the more urgent question is, who decides what words mean? 


I defy you to read that article and figure out what the hell is going on.  I know I'm not the only one confused, as evidenced by the comments on The Huffington Post, which I read when I have to go to the dentist.

And here is the first paragraph of Salon:

A transgender female-to-male basketball player at George Washington University is about to put the NCAA to the test. Kye Allums has been on the school's women's basketball team since 2008, but when the season starts later this month, the 20-year-old is premiering as a man. It will be the first time an openly transgender player has played Division 1 basketball
It is almost perfectly clear that what is happening is a woman who is now "premiering as a man" is on the women's basketball team.  That this will still not generate any interest in women's basketball is besides the point.

The point is that what's actually happening is very different than the report.  Let me summarize: nothing.  A person born as a female is playing women's basketball.  Also, she is still a female.  She's never had surgery, never taken hormones, has no genetic ambiguity.  At autopsy even the most radical activist is going to mark "F."

However, she prefers to identify herself as a he.  That's it. 

There is no controversy here, at all.  It's just names.  "From now on, I want you to refer to me as 'The Situation.'"  Whatever. 

This is a regular old female who is playing on the correct team (women's) and wants other people to call her what she thinks she is.  But there are plenty of idiots who are applauding the college for... letting her play.  As a woman. On the woman's basketball team.


Note that I have referred to her as "she," while she prefers to be called "he."  The team has decided to call her "he" as well.

The real issue-- and why it's in the NYT and why you should care very much-- is who decides what words mean.  I'll admit that how I define "he" is based on one set of principles, and how she defines it is based on another, and we differ on how those words should be used. 

He is looking forward to Nov. 13, when Allums and the team will compete at the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis. The game will be his public debut as a transgender man playing on a women's team

But the NYT is setting itself up as the arbiter, it is deciding for both of us what will be true.  It's not taking up a scientific analysis of the question, it isn't even delving into the massive volume of mostly unreadable articles about gender issues.  It is simply deciding.

It doesn't announce what it's done, it pretends it is already established to think like this.  "We're writing it this way because of course everyone knows..."    Are you telling me that one of the most prestigious papers in the world did not know that the article it was writing was misleading?  Confusing?  It did it on purpose.  And so did the AP.  And every other media outlet that "reported" the "story."  There's no story!  Nothing happened!

But it has placed you-- the 100% of the world that thought they already knew what words meant-- on the defensive.  "Oh, have I been doing this wrong all this time?"

They didn't do it because they care about the transgendered, they did it because they want to make it ordinary that the media decides what words mean.

That's the reason for the report, that's the reason the story is everywhere.


Speaking of The Situation, you may have heard that on the show Jersey Shore, Mike "The Situation" may have made out with.... a "trannie."  

The "cast" is repeatedly heard saying, "if you have to think about it... it's a trannie."  Point is, The Situation wasn't sure it was a "trannie," but it was.

Or was it?  GLAD got upset, and MTV apologized.  I'm not sure what term they would have preferred, but I am sure of the purpose of the complaint-- and no, it had nothing to do with the "offensive nature" of the word "trannie."

What's obvious once I say it is that the "trannie" deliberately fooled Mike.  He tricked him into thinking he was a woman.  I'll state the obvious: if a man tricked a lesbian and blah blah blah.

There's no outrage at all that the "trannie" fooled Mike, and, according to GLAD, you're not even allowed to laugh about it.  Partly its because the outrage has been usurped by GLAD, Cognitive Kill Switch style, and putting everyone on the defensive. 

But that was the plan: obliterate a word ("trannie") that is derogatory but that has an actual definition. And that definition is: a man pretending to be a woman.   Get rid of that word, and whatever word you use to replace it won't have that definition, it will be its own thing.  So it couldn't have fooled Mike, it is what it is.  It's the legitimization of a 3rd sex.  Something that "is" what it says it is-- "a transgendered individual"-- can't ever be accused of pretending to be a woman.

And if that made no sense to you, thank God.


You can go back to the distraction of gender politics and semantics, go ahead and be hypnotized into thinking you must take a side, like the NCAA had to do ("planning a review of its policies.")  Go ahead and believe your President is a socialist, or your former President s a racist, Kanye West has inside information.  The game is over for me, I have enough rum to wait out the rest of my life.  But the rest of you, especially the rest of you under 30, wake up.  The day is approaching where the media will redefine what is right or meaningful, redefine you as meaningless.

And you'll believe it.