Pregnant for the Last Time

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The oddest commentary I've read about Pregnant Man Thomas Beattie is this Annalee Newitz essay, which asks why the media ignored the parade of pregnant men she knew in San Francisco to focus on this schlub.

Beattie is the first pregnant man most people will ever meet. He's the guy in People magazine right now looking preggers and hunky, and the guy who was on The Oprah Winfrey Show last week. And it makes sense that he's the first wonder of tranny obstetrics medical science to hit the spotlight. He's a nice, small-town Oregon boy, married for five years to a nice, small-town lady, and his full beard and muscles make it quite obvious that he's a dude.

In other words: he's not a freak from a freaky city like San Francisco. He is, as they say in the mainstream media, relatable.

Newitz must be watching different Beattie coverage than I'm watching. This is before she connects Beattie to Barack Obama.

In some ways, those are the same questions people are asking about a possible Obama presidency. Can the majority of people in the United States accept a mixed-race guy in a role previously reserved for white dudes? To return to the issue of Beattie, can the majority accept a man taking on a role (pregnant dad) they'd never contemplated before, except when watching a bad Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi comedy called Junior?

As much as they were when watching Dennis Paymer take the oath in 24, or Morgan Freeman guide us through our crises in Deep Impact. I'd guess.

Beattie is not a political creation like Obama — he's the creation of medical technology, pure and simple. Hormones and surgery made him male. Artificial insemination made him pregnant.

And fear made him a monster!

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  1. I’m sorry, but I kind of don’t get why this is so curious.

    A biological female is pregnant…that’s not really so very shocking. This biological female has taken steps to become phenotypically male, but these steps have not been completed with surgery that would change this person’s genitals to an ostensibly male set of genitals, and this person is still in posession of two X chromosomes and a uterus. Biologically, this is not particularly curious.

    I suppose it’s a bit more curious that this person who wishes to be male is the party who is electing pregnancy (as opposed to his female and wishing to stay femal spouse), but there’s nothing particularly strange about this aside from that decision.

  2. Why did you have to bring Deep Impact into all of this? Awful. Terrible.

  3. Do not google Buck Angel. You will be confused.

  4. I object to the use of the term “hunky.”

  5. This “hunky dude” ( wtf?) is a LADY on hormones. His “full beard” and “muscles” are thin and the result of a feminine woman on hormones. Applying male standards of actual males he looks like a very effeminate man who will try but never manage to grow a beard and has never lifted a weight.

  6. Prebutt to Casey Serin: Yes, we know he’s really a gay woman with a beard and I agree that there isn’t anything wrong with that.

  7. Not buying it either. If I put a red dress on a potato, is it a tomato?
    Not that I would do that.

  8. Agree with Timothy. A hairy woman who had her breasts surgically removed is pregnant. But it doesn’t sell magazines unless you call her a man.

  9. not a pregnant man. You won’t find a single Y chromosome in her body. Just a women on hormones and some surgery. It reminds of the south park after the sex change miss garrison is told she still can have a baby. “So i am not a real female, I just have mutilated genitals.”

  10. can–> can’t

  11. If I put a red dress on a potato, is it a tomato?

    What if you inject a potato plant with tomato hormones until it produced a red fruit with a skin?

  12. I agree – nothing to see here – move along

  13. What if you inject a potato plant with tomato hormones until it produced a red fruit with a skin?

    I guess then it would probably be a pretty ugly tomato, or a funky looking potato, then wouldn’t it?

  14. Junior was awful, just awful. Just because Arnold and DeVito were great together in Twins didn’t mean that they could just do any idiotic screenplay and have it be great.

    It was after the end of Arnold’s Golden Era: Conan to Total Recall.

  15. As much as they were when watching Dennis Paymer take the oath in 24…

    FWIW, I think you mean Dennis Haysbert. Anyway.

  16. is she on hormone replacement? what the hell is that kid going to look like if so..

  17. If you have an x and a y chromosone, you’re a male.

    If you have two x chromosones, you’re female.

    Period. Everything else is just a really horrible imitation no matter how “trans” you are.

  18. he’s not a freak

    I guess I need a new dictionary.

  19. adrian raises a good point. Are there any consequences for the kid if the mother/father/host/whatever is on hormone therapies during pregnancy?

    I can’t imagine that screwing around with sex hormones during pregnancy is the best of ideas, you know?

  20. I just have a really hard time having sympathy for cross dressers on hormones (I REFUSE to use the word “transgender”).

    Choose to be a freak, don’t expect to get special treatment or not be treated like a freak.

  21. Prebutt to Casey Serin: Yes, we know he’s really a gay woman with a beard and I agree that there isn’t anything wrong with that.

    Whew… thanks for saving me some keystrokes. 🙂

  22. I think there may be another milestone here that passed unnoticed. Is this the first time a picture of a biological woman without a top is shown all over network TV?

  23. I want to reiterate that I don’t experiment with cross-dressing vegetables.
    When I’m sober.

  24. This one has been a real pickle for my students to figure out. We spent an entire class today talking about biological male/femaleness. It was pretty interesting. Most of my students agree with the above comments re: gender and hormones.

    The class is Intro to Journalism and Media Studies. I was pleased that they grasped the concept that a pregnant man sells, and that papers are willing to relegate to a mere mention the technicality that Beattie is genetically a female.

    As a side note, one thing was revealed about many of my students: boys and girls had almost ZERO clue as to what goes on with their reproductive systems (they are between 9th and 11th grades). After the Beattie discussion subsided I went on and did something I probably should not have done, but something they all seemed to appreciate and take seriously: we talked about periods and artificial insemination and what it takes to get pregnant and how erections work and whether or not you can get pregnant from pre-ejaculate and what it means to “pop your cherry.” I did not think ignorance of these things was still prevalent amongst teenagers. They all had grave misconceptions about sex. Given how easily so many were reeled in by the Beattie story, it seems like most of America might, also.

  25. “I just have a really hard time having sympathy for cross dressers on hormones (I REFUSE to use the word “transgender”).

    Choose to be a freak, don’t expect to get special treatment or not be treated like a freak.”

    Cesar, are you a libertarian or a freeper? It’s kinda hard to tell here.

  26. Considering that Cesar didn’t advocate for laws/force to be used against “freaks”, it seems he is still libertarian. Libertarians don’t have to go to GLBT meetings, you know.

  27. Loretta: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.

    Reg: But… you can’t have babies.

    Loretta: Don’t you oppress me.

    Reg: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the foetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!

    Judith: I’ve got an idea. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother.

    Err… sister.

    Sorry.

  28. After the Beattie discussion subsided I went on and did something I probably should not have done

    Expect a knock on your door very soon, MadBiker.

  29. …As a side note, one thing was revealed about many of my students: boys and girls had almost ZERO clue as to what goes on with their reproductive systems (they are between 9th and 11th grades)…

    When I was that age, I was just as, if not more, ignorant as your students. Damn, you think we’d learn as a society.

    Yeah, she’s a freak. One who is reveling in her 15 minutes of fame. It makes me think that JoJo, the dog faced boy, may have actually enjoyed his sideshow gig.

  30. Sometimes, one person’s “freak” is another person’s series of choices. We are all different and therefore deal with life differently.

    It’s when the government, system or society start to enforce, encourage and propagandize choices things get ugly. Because of some people’s desire to tell others how to live we are forced to deal with the war on some drugs.

    /I have a lot less problem with this (pregnant XX chom man) than I do with people’s closed mindedness.

  31. chom=chrom

  32. Cesar, are you a libertarian or a freeper? It’s kinda hard to tell here.

    Where did I say there should be a law against it? I guess I forgot the standard disclaimer. They can do WHATEVER THEY WANT. They shouldn’t be beat up, killed, etc for it. But it doesn’t mean I have to clap and say what a GREAT choice!

  33. I guess its the part where they want affirmative action, the part where they demand their health insurance companies foot the bill, etc, is where they loose me.

    A person saying they are born with a homosexual orientation seems very likely to me.

    Saying they are “males born in a female body” or whatever just doesn’t pass my BS detector.

    Your mileage may vary, though.

  34. In some ways, those are the same questions people are asking about a possible Obama presidency. Can the majority of people in the United States accept a mixed-race guy in a role previously reserved for white dudes? To return to the issue of Beattie, can the majority accept a man taking on a role (pregnant dad) they’d never contemplated before, except when watching a bad Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi comedy called Junior?

    Does this person get PAID to think and then write about it? If so there is no justice to be found in this world or the next.

  35. Sometimes, one person’s “freak” is another person’s series of choices. We are all different and therefore deal with life differently.

    In my, and Cesar’s, defense

    freak1 (fr?k)
    n.
    1. A thing or occurrence that is markedly unusual or irregular: A freak of nature produced the midsummer snow.
    2. An abnormally formed organism, especially a person or animal regarded as a curiosity or monstrosity.
    3. A sudden capricious turn of mind; a whim: “The freaks of the psyche can no more be explained than the Devil” (Maurice Collis).
    4. Slang.
    a) A drug user or addict: a speed freak.
    b) An eccentric or nonconformist person, especially a member of a counterculture.
    c) An enthusiast: rock music freaks.

    Referring to definition 1, I reiterate, a freak.

  36. Also, is anyone thinking of the unborn kid here? What if hes born with some serious defection because of the hormones his parent was hopped up on during pregnancy?

    Yeah, let me ruin a kids life and future health so I can be an exhibitionist and have 15 minutes of fame.

  37. If she was really a man, she’d grow some real balls and for the sake of the child, abort the pregnancy.

  38. Mark the day and time – I am speechless.

  39. Beattie is the first pregnant man most people will ever meet.

    Well, no. Beattie is a pregnant woman. She happens to be a pregnant woman who has had extensive cosmetic procedures, but its not like that’s so unusual either.

    This one has been a real pickle . . .

    Actually, the whole point is that there isn’t a real pickle.

    Hell, J sub D, definitions 2 and 4(b) work just as well.

  40. Well, no. Beattie is a pregnant woman. She happens to be a pregnant woman who has had extensive cosmetic procedures, but its not like that’s so unusual either.

    Thank you, RC Dean.

  41. “He’s the guy…hunky, and…his full beard and muscles make it quite obvious that he’s a dude.”

    I thing David Weigel is in love!!! In loooovvvveeeee!!!!!

  42. “After the Beattie discussion subsided I went on and did something I probably should not have done, but something they all seemed to appreciate and take seriously: we talked about periods and artificial insemination and what it takes to get pregnant and how erections work and whether or not you can get pregnant from pre-ejaculate and what it means to “pop your cherry.” I did not think ignorance of these things was still prevalent amongst teenagers. They all had grave misconceptions about sex. Given how easily so many were reeled in by the Beattie story, it seems like most of America might, also.”

    I agree. You did something you probably should not have done in a Journalism and Media Studies class. In the future, please teach Journalism and Media Studies.

  43. Uh, Gus – Annalee Newitz wrote that. That’s what blockquotes are for.

  44. Just because Weigel didn’t write it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love trannies.

  45. “Uh, Gus – Annalee Newitz wrote that. That’s what blockquotes are for.”

    Oh, I understand that. But nonetheless, I still think David is in love and is expressing himself via Newitz’s words.

  46. Yup. What ed said.

  47. Does anyone know for sure if she is still taking male hormones? Just guessing, but it seems like she would have to quit them in order to get pregnant and stay off for the duration of the pregnancy. That’s what I had assumed, and I was wondering what she’s going to look like when her 9 months are up.

    I have no problem with sex reassignment surgery. It is a bit disturbing that she’s chosen to make such a spectacle of herself, and I do wonder what the effect of all this will be on the child. But I think similar thoughts about plenty of people who parade their private bidness on TV talk shows.

  48. “I guess its the part where they want affirmative action, the part where they demand their health insurance companies foot the bill, etc, is where they loose me.”

    Fully agree with you here.

    I just don’t like calling people freaks because they’re markedly different than me.

  49. “Does anyone know for sure if she is still taking male hormones?”

    He’s not.

  50. I only call you a freak if you make a huge spectacle of it. Which is what shes doing.

  51. Saying they are “males born in a female body” or whatever just doesn’t pass my BS detector.

    Amazingly enough, I agree. This is one of the areas that marks me as a sloped-head paleolibertarian instead of a properly enlightened cosmo. While I have no interest in regulating the non-violent activities of homosexuals, I still have to recognize this person as a lesbian female and not a straight male. This story has as much newsworthiness as one that ponders how a silicone augmented mother is going to breast-feed her baby.

  52. Libertarians don’t have to go to GLBT meetings, you know.

    Quick! Everyone shout down Episiarch! Freedom of expression is only allowed to those who use it correctly!!!

  53. While I have no interest in regulating the non-violent activities of homosexuals, I still have to recognize this person as a lesbian female and not a straight male.

    Take the political slant out of it for a second:

    If a guy walked around naked with hair glued to his skin and called himself a llama, would you call him a llama or a very silly human?

  54. Its also worth noting that homosexuals has been around since the beginning of civilization, wheres “transgendered” seems to be an exclusively modern phenomenon.

  55. Cesar-

    Do you know that? Certainly recipients of sex change surgery seem to be a modern phenomenon, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a long history of people who very strongly wish they were the other gender and identify as such.

  56. I’m sure it’s possible to feel like you are one gender trapped in the body of another gender. There are stranger psychological phenomena out there.

    However, it’s pretty rare and the resultant desire to mutilate your body into another form (possible with modern technology) can get you qualified as a “freak”. Big deal. Vince Troyer is a “freak” too and everybody loves him.

  57. Whoops, I mean Verne Troyer.

  58. “I have no problem with sex reassignment surgery.”

    Well I do. Look what happened to Les Fienberg (author of “Stone Butch Blues:).

    My lesbian women studies sister is also opposed to it. She feels there would be no need to reassign if the world wasn’t unduly focused on gender norms and genitalia. Love who you love without drugs or surgery; don’t allow society to force you to alter yourself to fit (vaguely / marginally) their biological stereotyping.

    And I agree with her.

  59. Its also worth noting that homosexuals has been around since the beginning of civilization, wheres “transgendered” seems to be an exclusively modern phenomenon.

    Not really: Emperor Elagabulus

  60. Does anyone know for sure if she is still taking male hormones? Just guessing, but it seems like she would have to quit them in order to get pregnant and stay off for the duration of the pregnancy. That’s what I had assumed, and I was wondering what she’s going to look like when her 9 months are up.

    I have no problem with sex reassignment surgery. It is a bit disturbing that she’s chosen to make such a spectacle of herself, and I do wonder what the effect of all this will be on the child. But I think similar thoughts about plenty of people who parade their private bidness on TV talk shows.

    Damn, that is a good question that won’t be asked on the talk shows. Fetal exposure to maternal hormones is not something we really understand other than it is really friggin’ important.

  61. Again, I’m not a psychologist nor do I play one on the internet. It just seems fishy to me, in a way that being born with another sexual orientation does not.

  62. “Its also worth noting that homosexuals has been around since the beginning of civilization, wheres “transgendered” seems to be an exclusively modern phenomenon.”

    Guess you never heard of the Berdache

    http://wiki.susans.org/index.php/Berdache

    Or similar folk in S. Asia

  63. My lesbian women studies sister is also opposed to it. She feels there would be no need to reassign if the world wasn’t unduly focused on gender norms and genitalia. Love who you love without drugs or surgery; don’t allow society to force you to alter yourself to fit (vaguely / marginally) their biological stereotyping.

    And I agree with her.

    Then it’s a good thing that you don’t have control over their bodies and they do, so they can do what they want with it.

  64. Saying they are “males born in a female body” or whatever just doesn’t pass my BS detector.

    I hear you, Cesar. That was my gut reaction, too, when I first heard about this.

    But the psychiatrists have come down pretty clearly on the side of this being a legitimate concidtion, separate from homosexuality. In fact, there have been cases of people who were transgendered but heterosexual (meaning, men who liked women) and then continued to get wit da women after their reassignment surgery and treatments, thus becoming homosexuals.

    So while you and I might need a scorecard to keep up, that doesn’t mean they’re just gay people looking for a kick.

  65. It just seems fishy to me, in a way that being born with another sexual orientation does not.

    What exactly seems fishy to you?? You think that they are lying or what? You dont beleive that these people feel/think that they are one gender trapped in the body of another gender? What exactly can you base your opinion of their emotional state and psychological condition on? You think that all transgener surgery is done on a bet? Im sorry that is just non-sensical to me. Sounds more like you got a case of the ‘Eeeeek factor’.

    There is a pretty rare disorder out psychological out there, where a person beleives that one of their appandages is not really theirs and wants it removed. It was discussed here not too long ago. Does that seem ‘fishy’ to you.

  66. In fact, there have been cases of people who were transgendered but heterosexual (meaning, men who liked women) and then continued to get wit da women after their reassignment surgery and treatments, thus becoming homosexuals.

    I actually used to work with one. He was married. And the wife supported his choice. The odd question was what bathroom she would use after the surgery, since everyone would know him before and after. In case you are wondering he started using the women’s facilities after becomming a she. I dont know if any women actually had a problem with that, but I didnt hear anything.

  67. I was momentarily frightened and taken aback by this headline, for a number of reasons. First of all, because I thought that a lot had happened scientifically during a relatively brief period of me not following the news closely. Secondly, I thought the articles were about a real man, since that is how this blog post was worded by Weigel.

    Please, it’s fine to acknowledge people’s legitimate psychological disorders/anomalies, but claiming that a man is pregnant is getting to the point of misleading people about human biology and scientific progress. She can be a “man”, but she is not a man. I just find it kind of obnoxious that people’s redefinitions of invented reality are starting to interfere with everyone else’s reality. You are welcome to pay lip service to the transgendered community, but don’t report something that isn’t factually true. Thomas Beattie is still biologically a woman, and it doesn’t make me culturally insensitive for saying so. She needs to deal with that, and I really hope for the baby’s sake that those hormones don’t adversely affect the pregnancy.

  68. “Then it’s a good thing that you don’t have control over their bodies and they do, so they can do what they want with it.”

    I don’t recall saying they couldn’t take drugs and alter themselves surgically, just that it’s a shame they feel they must.

  69. I don’t recall saying they couldn’t take drugs and alter themselves surgically, just that it’s a shame they feel they must.

    Why? They got dealt an unusual hand of cards, which makes them totally uncomfortable in their natural state. These procedures makes them feel better. It’s not like they’re doing it out of insecurity or social pressure, which you seem to think they are–they’re doing it because they feel wrong and after they feel…righter.

    Your opinions on whether alterations are a shame are irrelevant.

  70. Epi,
    And your opinions on his opinions are likewise irrelevant, as are my opinions on your opinions…and so on, and so on…

    Where is that list of libertarian disclaimers, again?

  71. My opinion is totally irrelevant, no question. However, I do enjoy giving it.

  72. I guess I got too comfortable with only having 2 definitions for a man and a woman (one for gender, one for sex). I guess I can just toss all those out the window, since this man seems to be a man in gender, and both a man and a woman in sex. < sigh >

  73. He’s not taking hormones anymore!

  74. Why?

    Because of the very next sentence you wrote:

    They got dealt an unusual hand of cards, which makes them totally uncomfortable in their natural state.

    That’s gotta suck.

  75. oh, so then is he only a woman in sex? If he had been taking hormones and no longer is, what does that qualify as? I give up on classifications, and that’s probably just as well. It just makes discussing it harder.

  76. All we really need to do, for a definitive ruling on the sex of this person, is ask the International Olympic Committee where he/she/it would be allowed to compete.

    The doping issue would have to be resolved separately.

  77. If I were to cut off Reinmoose’s let, would he still be a quadruped?

    If I cut off two of them, would he be a biped?

  78. you’re only confusing me further, joe

  79. That’s gotta suck.

    Exactly. Therefore it’s not a shame when they do something that makes them feel better, even if to others it seems like mutilation.

  80. If a guy walked around naked with hair glued to his skin and called himself a llama, would you call him a llama or a very silly human?

    Leftist/Liberal/Cosmotarian answer: “Of course he is a llama! He had no choice in how he was born. If he wants to be a llama who are we to say otherwise. We should weep with joy now that the has found happiness in his llamahood. Group hug everybody!”

    Rightist/Conservative/Paleolib answer: “He is a man walking around with hair glued to his ass, nothing more. I don’t care how weepy you get over his plight, the reality of his species does not change. His right to his hirsute activities does not trump my right to call him a very silly human. Now let me get back to posting bile at LRC.”

  81. “Why? They got dealt an unusual hand of cards, which makes them totally uncomfortable in their natural state. These procedures makes them feel better. It’s not like they’re doing it out of insecurity or social pressure, which you seem to think they are–they’re doing it because they feel wrong and after they feel…righter.

    Your opinions on whether alterations are a shame are irrelevant.”

    Yes you are right I am wrong. You are now like a god to me. Though I do think for a god, you’re pretty damn ignorant with respect to the side effects (including death) hormones and surgeries often produce. But then again, what do I know?

  82. Yes Mark, it’s up to you to decide the pros and cons of this procedure, and not the people who it actually effects. Good thing you’re so benevolent.

  83. basically this chick is like female cyclist tammy Thomas or a female bodybuilder, without the muscles.

  84. “Yes Mark, it’s up to you to decide the pros and cons of this procedure, and not the people who it actually effects. Good thing you’re so benevolent.”

    Odd that a god would confuse opinion with dictate. Really, very odd.

  85. Full disclosure: I am transgendered. I am a heterosexual male that gender-identifies as a female. Always have. But then as an omnipotent, you would already know that. The disclaimer is for the rest of the group.

  86. Hooray for one of the last acceptable bastions of intolerance, the ever-popular Transgendered People Are Freaks!

    Honestly, I don’t know why it continues to shock me when I read a thread at Reason that involves the transgendered in any way and find it to be full of disturbingly intolerant shenanigans.

    It’s as though biological determinism lurks deep within us all, regardless of political outlook, and just waits for the right outlet to come bursting back to the surface.

    I feel like I’ve made this post a dozen times over the past few years. Maybe I should just accept that even those who are otherwise reasonable and sensible people will become creepy and intolerant when faced with gender dysphoria.

  87. Tragic, really. She was formerly kinda hot.

  88. Hey I have to leave work, but I leave you with this, epi, would a non-transgendered male even know who the heck Les Feinberg is, let alone discussed the pros and cons of sexual reassignment surgery? I would be more than willing to discuss this with you at a later date as it’s clear from your posts that you have little more than a knee-jerk understanding of the issue.

  89. ” let alone discussed the pros and cons of sexual reassignment surgery?”

    That should have read:

    let alone discussed the pros and cons of sexual reassignment surgery with his lesbian sister?

    Time to catch the bus!

  90. Smacky:

    “Please, it’s fine to acknowledge people’s legitimate psychological disorders/anomalies, but claiming that a man is pregnant is getting to the point of misleading people about human biology and scientific progress. She can be a “man”, but she is not a man. I just find it kind of obnoxious that people’s redefinitions of invented reality are starting to interfere with everyone else’s reality.”

    I agree. I had a similar reaction when I first heard about it. I saw a picture of Oprah with her hands on “his” belly, looking as if there were some sort of miracle happening. It’s crazy that no “straight” news stories even pause over the facts of the case.

    PC is nothing if not idealistic.

  91. Hormones and surgery made him male.

    She isn’t male.
    Timothy covers it in first comment.

    When I first saw the headline I thought there had been a cool freaky scientific advance and an actual man was carrying it like an ectopic pregnancy or something.
    Immediately went from a “man bites dog” to “dog bites man” story.

  92. I don’t recall saying they couldn’t take drugs and alter themselves surgically, just that it’s a shame they feel they must.

    Why? They got dealt an unusual hand of cards, which makes them totally uncomfortable in their natural state. These procedures makes them feel better. It’s not like they’re doing it out of insecurity or social pressure, which you seem to think they are–they’re doing it because they feel wrong and after they feel…righter.

    Your opinions on whether alterations are a shame are irrelevant.

    It’s time for Standard Libertarian Disclaimer #11. “People can do whatever they like, but that really creeps me out.”

  93. Episiarch,

    C’mon. Haven’t you ever heard someone use the phrase “It’s a shame…” before?

    It’s a shame the game got rained out. It’s a shame a tree feel on the Civic. It doesn’t actually mean something is shameful.

    If a guy walked around naked with hair glued to his skin and called himself a llama, would you call him a llama or a very silly human? This fella didn’t glue anything to anything. He changed the biological condition of his body, creating (partially, at this point) the effects that would ensue if he’d been born with a Y chromosome. A better comparison would be if a guy had surgery to turn his arms into legs, had hooves attached, and took some course of medicine that caused him to grow a hump and a pelt. I think the answer to “Is a a llama?” has to be, at least, “Sorta.”

  94. If I had surgery that lengthened my tibias, fibias, and femurs so that I was 6’5″, would I still be a short guy who mutilated himself, or would I qualify as tall?

    Anybody going to go with “short guy?”

  95. Mark – all surgery is risky. Taking hormones is risky. When I say I have no problem with sex reassignment surgery, I’m basically saying people should have the right to get it if they want to. I feel the same way about elective cosmetic surgery or any risky surgery that might enhance a person’s quality of life.

    Yes, it is sad that there are people who are so unhappy and out-of-place in their own bodies that they would be driven to undergo these risky procedures and basically live the rest of their lives with mutilated and non-functional genitals. And possibly, psychology & psychiatry should be more selective in terms of who they are willing to sign off on for sex reassignment. I don’t know anything about that. I doubt there are good statistics on satisfaction with the change, especially over time. Camille Paglia has said she’s glad gender reassignment wasn’t available when she was young, or she would have done it. I don’t think I really have much choice but to take a pragmatic attitude about it, to treat people who have had gender reassignment (with MTFs it’s sometimes still apparent) like human beings, which they are, and to withhold judgment on whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

    My issues with this particular case are the media obfuscation of the truth about the pregnancy, and a bit of a bad feeling about this person’s drive to create so much publicity about it, with potential, unnecessary fallout for the child. But my speculation about the latter is meaningless.

  96. J sub D-

    When I was that age, I was just as, if not more, ignorant as your students. Damn, you think we’d learn as a society.

    Really? Go smack your Mom and Dad for me!

    By the time I was in 9th grade, I had already memorized my home’s 1968 “Collier’s Encyclopedia” entries on “puberty”, “anatomy” (with the cool ‘flip-over’ transparencies!), “sexuality”, “birth control”, etc.– and, had also “endured” three of those massively uncomfortable “talks” from both mom and dad.

    No actual experience, mind you- but, still…?

    BTW, if almost half of all “big-city” HS students are unable to pass a 9th grade level achievement test- why does “sex education in schools” really matter?

    IMO, the “smart” kids already know “the facts”- and the rest are probably too dumb to learn anything…

  97. joe-

    If I had surgery that lengthened my tibias, fibias, and femurs so that I was 6’5″, would I still be a short guy who mutilated himself, or would I qualify as tall?

    If I sat my naked ass in a bowl, and poured hot fudge over my hair, then added whipped cream and a cherry- would I be a “hot fudge sundae”?

  98. No, because you would merely be putting foreign materials on yourself, not actually changing your body’s function, organization, and make-up.

    You see that facial hair in the picture? He didn’t glue that on. His body actually does that now.

  99. No, because you would merely be putting foreign materials on yourself, not actually changing your body’s function, organization, and make-up.

    You see that facial hair in the picture? He didn’t glue that on. His body actually does that now.

    I would suggest going with something other than facial hair to make your point, as (unaltered) women can do that too.

  100. “These procedures makes them feel better. ”

    Can you show us that this is always the result? To believe it is, is somewhat (somewhat) analogous to saying that if we only spend more money on education, the schools will be better. Pie in the sky.

    All you have to do is look into it a bit. There are documentaries of people going through the reassignment process and it is clear that often, very often, there post reassignment buyers remorse. Post reassignment people are often no better off that they were pre-reassignment and frequently, are less happy than they were.

    Les Feinberg, if I recall correctly, endured some nasty side affects to taking hormones (I think she died from complications). I mean think about it, there are concerns about WOMEN taking estrogen (sp?). Given that, it would be folly to suggest that bombarding a female body with male hormones produces a positive outcome in a majority of cases.

    Surgery, is even worse. Having one’s breasts or male genitalia removed is major surgery. It often does not turn out well, and again, it would be folly to contend that surgery produces a positive outcome in a majority of cases.

    To reiterate, if people wish to take hormones, opium, or crack, it should be their right to do so. If people wish to remove their breasts, genitalia, arms, or legs via major surgery because they believe it will make them feel complete, again, they have a right to do so. It goes along with that pursuit of happiness thing. However, to think that happiness is the given outcome of major surgery or hormone treatment, then you really have not looked into this too deeply.

  101. BTW, if almost half of all “big-city” HS students are unable to pass a 9th grade level achievement test- why does “sex education in schools” really matter?

    IMO, the “smart” kids already know “the facts”- and the rest are probably too dumb to learn anything…

    Handicapper,

    I didn’t propose the public schools take up this task. Since you quoted me, and you were one of the “smart kids” you should realize that.

  102. “Camille Paglia has said she’s glad gender reassignment wasn’t available when she was young, or she would have done it.”

    I didn’t read your post until now and yes, I agree with what you say, and with Paglia (I am happy with the body I have). I am a huge Camille Paglia fan. Though I’m not sure she’s right about Obama being our best choice for president, but she’s spot-on with most everything else.

    I guess what bothered me most about Episiarch’s posts is that he chose to project his ignorance onto me (I have enough ignorance of my own to contend with) as if I had no idea how a transgendered person feels. I have enough ignorance of my own to contend with.

  103. Odd that a god would confuse opinion with dictate. Really, very odd.

    It’s the cosmotarian way: You are free to do whatever you want, just so long as you don’t make anyone feel bad about themselves.

  104. This pregnant person isn’t a man, despite the fact that every news story says so. This is a woman who has taken some hormones and made other changes to her body in order to look like a man. She might look like a man, but her genes haven’t changed. She can say that she FEELS like a man if she wants. It doesn’t bother me one bit if she wants to indulge in this fantasy. But don’t expect the rest of us to pretend that it’s reality.

    If I take a white dog and dye little black dots all over its body, it doesn’t suddenly become a dalmatian. It’s just a white dog with fake spots. The same is true for this woman. If she wants to live this way, I don’t have any problem with it. I couldn’t care less about her or about how other people live their lives. It’s not my business. But it’s goofy to insist that the rest of the world join in the fantasy by referring to her as a “pregnant man.” She’s not a man and nothing can make her one.

  105. Cesar, one of your comments really stuck out at me:
    “If you have an x and a y chromosone, you’re a male.

    If you have two x chromosones, you’re female.

    Period.”

    While this is true, there is a rare and stunning condition that can occur in males. A gene on the X chromosome called DAX and a gene on the Y chromosome called SRY are antagonistic to each other, and one SRY defeats one DAX. Rarely, the DAX gene is copied twice on the X chromosome which stops the SRY gene from producing testosterone and other “masculinizing” hormones during gestation. So although these people are genetically male, they are phenotypically female. Weird, huh?

  106. I identify as Napoleon Bonaparte, but through a tragic accident of birth, which isn’t my fault in any way, I have the body of an H&R commenter. Who can speak to my pain?

  107. I was born in a male body (my own) but sometime in the 1980s I came to realize that I had powerful feelings that I really should be in the body of a female.

    Specifically, Heather Locklear’s.

    Not all the way in, just a little bit. A few inches.

    And not all the time, just a little while, every now and then.

    I appreciate everyone’s support of my heroic struggle as I strive to realize my true nature.

  108. The dalmatian example doesn’t work, either.

    You would have to give a dog a course of treatments that caused it to start growing its own black spots. Then do you have a dog whose coloring is white-with-black-spots? Yes, you do.

  109. If I had surgery that lengthened my tibias, fibias, and femurs so that I was 6’5″, would I still be a short guy who mutilated himself, or would I qualify as tall?

    You would be a short guy who mutilated himself so he could be tall. Of course, the defiition of tall is pretty straightforward – above a certain height.

    I am aware of no definition of “man” that includes (a) having female chromosomes (b) having female genitalia, and (c) having a womb.

  110. Joe, the thread’s so long, I’ve lost the point you were trying to make about gluing things on.

    Anyway, I was just going to be redundant and add that Timothy had it at the beginning.

    For those who are confused on terminology…

    “sex” refers to one’s chromosomal complement (XY male, XX female). The biological confusion begins with those who wind up with XXY or other sex chromosome duplications.

    “gender” refers to one’s psychological self-identification. This is why medical forms should ask for “sex” not “gender” because “sex” is what’s relevant when it comes to one’s biological/physiological condition.

    The hormones (which TB stopped taking several months prior to conception) do not confer a “sex” change anymore than surgery would. What is altered are merely the secondary sex characteristics (breasts, hair growth patterns, patterns of fat deposition, depth of voice, etc.)

    It is polite to refer to TB using the male pronoun, but as far as science and medicine are concerned TB is female.

    Ergo, appearances and gut reactions notwithstanding, there’s really nothing newsworthy here.

    Making a big deal of it only causes more difficulty for those who have to deal with gender identity issues.

    Also, I’ll point out that there is some data (not all of it good, but the correlations are strong) supporting a genetic basis for both homosexuality and gender identity. Not that all homosexuals would exhibit the genetic variation, but perhaps those that appear to exhibit the stereotypical characteristics (the swish and lisp that some love to mock) are merely the behavioral manifestations of a genetic difference.

  111. I am aware of no definition of “man” that includes (a) having female chromosomes (b) having female genitalia, and (c) having a womb.

    There have been men that have had each and every one of those things.

    Every single man in existence has “female chromosomes,” as the genes for female sex are encoded on the X chromosome, which every single male in existence carries. As a matter of fact, the XXY mutation – XX being the standard chromosome pairing for a female – is not unheard of, and people carrying it often go through their entire life as males, without knowing they have a genetic abnormality.

    As for “womb” and “female genetalia,” there have also been cases of genetic or pre-natal abnormalities that have led to males being born with vestigal lady parts.

    Brownyn,

    My point is a straight-forward one: what you put on, but which is not a part of you, does not change your essential nature. I am the same person whether I wear a shirt, a blouse, or some llama fur.

    But if you change your actual, physical self, those changes are a part of you.

  112. Making a big deal of it only causes more difficulty for those who have to deal with gender identity issues.

    You’re right. People who insist on saying “Nuh-uh” and haveing lengthly discussions about the individual’s anatomy probably do make it more difficult to deal with.

  113. joe, you’re not making sense, but there’s no use in discussing it with you since you’re determined to ignore reality. The only way you can call this person a man is to redefine the word. You can craft your own special definition to make any word mean anything else, which you’re doing here. It still doesn’t change reality. By any reasonable definition, a person who is born a woman remains a woman, despite surgical and other artificial efforts to create another impression. You can join in her fantasy by calling her a man, but it’s goofy to expect others to join in the fantasy.

  114. She is not a man because she doesn’t uriniate through her hormonally enlarged clit.

  115. C’mon — the dude paid good money in a free market economy to become a guy. He’s got the right to do whatever the hell he wants as long as he’s not stepping on anybody’s toes.

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