Sunday, November 08, 2015


Candy says I've come to hate my body
and all that it requires in this world
Candy says I'd like to know completely
what others so discretely talk about

Candy says I hate the quiet places
that cause the smallest taste of what will be
Candy says I hate the big decisions
that cause endless revisions in my mind

I'm gonna watch the blue birds fly over my shoulder
I'm gonna watch them pass me by
Maybe when I'm older
What do you think I'd see
If I could walk away from me
"I've been up all night alone, wondering about my identity. Trying to look for an explanation for living this strange, stylized sexuality. Realization cuts feeling off. I try to explain my identity as being a male who has assumed the attitudes and somewhat the emotions of a female. I don't know what role to play."

Waters' facade is annoying. He blanks out the tragedy.

continuing. A commenter on Green's post
Even if you were right that “woman” is currently used in a way that these historical attributes are necessary conditions, this may still be a harmful linguistic practice. If our current talk about women indeed excludes trans women, why not adopt a less harmful way of using the term “woman” in which the shared attributes become sufficient? Linguistic practices can be oppressive but this is no reason to justify them. 
 From Green's reply
The first problem is that if I am correct that our concept of ‘woman’ excludes MTF transgendered people, then it is a morally pernicious concept and should be reformed. I think it is clear that I neither denied nor affirmed that. I do assume that there is a fact of the matter about what our concept of woman is (and that it is not ‘in one’s head’) though I say that it is vague (and vaguer than ‘female’–a different concept.) 
The exchange is absurd. Green:
No one thinks we could cure ‘gender discrimination’ in the bar by encouraging male lawyers to transition to MTF.
Scott Aaronson considered medical castration, to cure him of sexism, but he isn't a lawyer.
In the end Green comes to the right conclusion, but he works much too much in order to get there.
I lean towards more boxes. Some TG/TS people feel the same way. They want to be accepted and recognised *as TG/TS*, or *as FTM* etc, and not boxed in to the binary at all. They feel it oppressive that, just because they are unwilling or perhaps unable to see themselves as ‘men’ they must therefore see themselves as ‘women’. I see merit in their argument. And also merit in the argument that we should always use the pronouns, predicates etc that people would like us to use when speaking of them. That is not just required by courtesy, but by respect. 
Dan Savage
During this part of the talk a student interrupted and asked me to stop using "the t-slur." (I guess it's not the t-word anymore. I missed the memo.) My use of it—even while talking about why I don't use the word anymore, even while speaking of the queer community's history of reclaiming hate words, even as I used other hate words—was potentially traumatizing. I stated that I didn't see a difference between saying "tranny" in this context and saying "t-slur." Were I to say "t-slur" instead of "tranny," everyone in the room would auto-translate "t-slur" to "tranny" in their own heads. Was there really much difference between me saying it and me forcing everyone in the room to say it quietly to themselves? That would be patronizing, infantilizing, and condescending. Cox gamely jumped in and offered that she had used "tranny" in the past but that she now recognizes its harm and has stopped using it. The student who objected interrupted: as neither Cox nor I were trans, "tranny" was not our word to use—not even in the context of a college seminar, not even when talking about why we don't use the word anymore. I asked the student who objected if it was okay for me to use the words "dyke" and "sissy." After a moment's thought the student said I could use those words—permission granted—and that struck me a funny because I am not a lesbian nor am I particularly effeminate. (And, really, this is college now? Professors, fellows, and guest lecturers need to clear their vocabulary with first-year students?) By the not-your-word-to-use standard, I shouldn't be able to use dyke or sissy either—or breeder, for that matter, as that's a hate term for straight people. (Or maybe it's an acknowledgment of their utility? Anyway...)

This student became so incensed by our refusal to say "How high?" when this student said "Jump!" that this student stormed out of the seminar. In tears. As one does when one doesn't get one's way. In college.

Okay, gang, remember our let's pretend game at the top of the post? What's one of the worst things you can call a trans person? What's arguably worse than the "t-slur" itself? It. After the student who challenged, interrupted, and yelled at me and Cox stormed out of the room, a friend of this student informed Cox, who had used a standard pronoun to refer to this person after this person left the room (while Cox observed, with great sensitivity and tact, that some feel very strongly about this issue), that this person's preferred pronoun was "it."

And... scene.

Ridiculous... fucking... scene.
Jayne County
I know that my alter ego, Wayne/Jayne County, is known for offending many people, but really, death threats? All because I have fiercely defended the use of the word “tranny.” Hey, that dreaded word belongs to me. And as I see it, no one has any right to take away a word that has been a part of my vocabulary for many years! And a lot of other people feel the same as I do.
Green studied with Joseph Raz. His field is jurisprudence, the analytical philosophy of law. He's interested in law as truth, not as collective decision-making. He needs all arguments to resolve to an objectively justified authority, neither time nor context dependent. But as a liberal he gives credence to individual desires and this conflicts with his interest in -his preference[!] for- truths.

Words are not subatomic particles. They change their meaning and changing their meaning change their function. Debates over the use of "female" or "woman" as modifiers are debates over the present. The best argument for the biological definition of woman and man, and the only argument not founded in bigotry, is that biological definitions limit subjectivism in law, keeping desires and emotions as far away as possible from the public realm. The ambiguities Caster Semeya presents are not a matter of how she feels but what she is. They have little relation to the ambiguities presented by a biological male who identifies as female.

Law is a blunt instrument; a necessary crudity. Founding gender in desire as a matter of law ties the law in knots. How is the law supposed to respond to a biological male who identifies as female and wants to compete in high school basketball? If her teammates approve how about opposing teams? That's a very different issue than an election for homecoming queen, of who gets to wear a tuxedo or who a dress. It's simple enough to say school administrators should have no say. The only important matter as a question of law is that students, or anyone, regardless of how they identify should by physically safe and free from harassment. But micro-aggressions are a given, a part of life, and concern for them is thinking small in every way, the luxury of the safely cloistered in an age of global war.

[The ghost of Panofsky: "Whichever book you open, you will find precisely the passage you need"
"What's the se…?" "Timing."]

"Jurisprudence: Beyond Extinction?"
Abstract
Of the various subjects of legal study, jurisprudence is the one in which the most momentous and profound questions about law are addressed, or in which, as Holmes put it, we might hope to "connect . . . with the universe and catch an echo of the infinite." Or so we might suppose . . . but it seems we would be wrong. In recent years, at least, the questions addressed under the headings of "jurisprudence" or "philosophy of law" hold little interest for any but the purest (i.e., the most incorrigibly academic) of theorists. It is hard to resist the impression that the questions are merely semantic, and that some of the most powerful minds in the profession are amusing themselves with word play.

How to account for this peculiar state of affairs? Is jurisprudence a dinosaur that has outlived its time? This essay, written for a general-audience symposium collecting short interpretations of the state of jurisprudence today, reflects on those questions, and suggests that classic jurisprudential claims and questions have been translated into a secular vocabulary and framework that deprive them of their meaning and significance.
 via Tamanaha at Balkin

No comments: