Tough Questions: It’s Shitty, But Is It Sexual Assault?

While scrolling through my news feed, I came across an article in the Austin Daily Globe that caught my eye for its transphobic wording. The caption under the thumbnail read “A woman who blindfolded herself during sex with her ‘boyfriend’ was shocked to learn that it wasn’t a man at all”.

Aaaarrrrgghhhh. It? Really? I clicked on it, expecting to read and rail against some transphobic garbage about a trans-man waiting a while before revealing his gender identity to his girlfriend.

Instead, I proceeded to read a story that was so bizarre, I made sure to check that it was reported by several other news outlets before talking about it here.

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The “I Don’t Judge” Cop Out

For those of you who are not up to date with Christian traditions, today is the last day of Carnival, and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, i.e. the first day of Lent. Different Christian sects do Lent in different ways. The Orthodox, for example, go vegan for Lent, while the Catholics are supposed to not eat meat on Fridays and give up something else, usually sweets and fatty foods, until Easter arrives.

I mention this because this is how I came to discover the existence of “Father Mike”. An old friend of mine seems to have gone Catholic, as she posted a video by this Father Mike character on her Facebook page talking about what Lent is and what you are supposed to do as a Catholic.

Seeing a handsome man in a collar, I clicked on it hoping that it was going to be an ironic parody of some sort. But no, he is apparently a real priest, chosen to make online videos because of his 1980s-style good looks and friendly manner, who also happens to talk like he’s on speed, and the whole thing was rather boring. What caught my attention, however, were the other videos by Father Mike that popped up as soon as I had clicked play, one being entitled “Father Mike and Transgenderism”.

Oh dear. Oh boy. This seems to be the running theme of the Catholic Church these days, doesn’t it? Don’t change the message, don’t be more accepting, but just keep saying awful things about “the other” with a handsome toothy smile, assuring everyone that it’s not judgement, just love!

Maybe I’m being unfair. I clicked on the video, and forced myself to watch the whole thing this time.

Content note: get ready for some serious transphobia, willful ignorance, all served up smothered to death in condescension.

 

That. Was. Torture.

I knew my suspicions were going to be proven correct from the very first line, when he introduced the video with an anecdote about his nephew pretending to be a puppy, even though some part of me was shocked that he would be so blatant in his putting down of transgendered individuals. No, I thought, he wont, he wont go there….

But he did. He actually equated being transgendered to being a child playing and pretending to be a puppy. He then decided to get a little more “scientific”, and equated being transgendered to being anorexic and having Body Integrity Identity Disorder, which is when healthy people are convinced that they are disabled.

I can’t believe I actually managed to watch the entire thing without barfing, though I came very close indeed. If there is one thing in this world that can really get under my skin, it is condescension. I hated it as a child when people talked down to me, and I care for it no more as an adult. I can handle the scientific ignorance, and the blatant disregard for human decency stemming from that ignorance, because ignorance is something that can be dissipated with education. But this guy is either a smarmy patronizing asshole by default, and therefore cannot help coming off as one when talking about a topic of which he is completely ignorant, or he is pushing his staggering ignorance on his fans knowing full well that he is doing so.

This video is so childishly ridiculous that I don’t want to do it justice by going through it point by point and explaining why being transgendered is not like pretending to be a puppy, or not liking how your genitals look, if anything such an explanation will wind up being condescending in itself. If you want a better understanding of gender identity, how transgenderism is not a mental disease, and the complexity of what the transition entails, there are a number of transgendered bloggers, many of whom are on this network, who discuss the topic in detail and far better than I ever could.

What I am going to say is that this is exactly the kind of thing that I was talking about when I claimed that I want Ratzinger back. This phoney liberal facade is driving me up the wall. That cranky ex-Nazi SOB was honest in his discrimination, and he put the ugly face on hate that hate so justly deserves. The world is changing and society is progressing, and more and more people are recoiling in the face of vehemence and violent, unadulterated hatred. So, of course, hate has to adapt, or risk being lost altogether, and what will an institution like the Vatican be if it can’t other people anymore?

So, everybody! Do you want to still discriminate against people without looking like a tool? Just smile, and say things like love the sinner, hate the sin! Remind everyone that you’re not judging them, you’re just smothering them in your love for them while telling them they are diseased! Talk down to them, and no one will notice, because we all know that SJWs have the intellectual capacity of a toddler. Let’s not ensure the survival of our religion by actually progressing with society, but rather by changing the way we spew our disgusting ideas.

I am so sick of it. If you’re going to be an intolerant douchebag, just be upfront about it. That way, I can at least give you 1 point for honesty, which will bring your entire score to 1, I suppose. Still, there is integrity in honesty, and everyone can see your message for what it is, and dismiss it. Or, at least, Catholics will know exactly what it is they’re signing up for.

Having to State the Obvious

Most of us live in a bubble of one kind or the other. Sometimes it is a cultural bubble, if the people that we interact with on a day-to-day basis were all born and raised in the same culture. Sometimes it is a class bubble, if we do not know anyone who makes significantly more or less money than we or our parents did. Sometimes it is a liberal or a conservative bubble, if all of the people that we speak to happen to generally share the same views.

Regardless of the bubble you live in, it is important to be aware of it as the limited view of the world that it is, and that many if not most people in the world do not share your perspective and experience. Sometimes, this means having to share and state things that seem so obvious to you that at first glance you think they barely deserve a second one, let alone repeating.

It is my liberal bubble that almost made me skate over a blogpost published by the ACLU entitled “No, Seeing a Transgendered Person Is Not a Reason to Call 911“. Yeah no shit, I thought, and kept scrolling for a few seconds before I recognized this for the nearsighted reaction that it was.

No. Most unfortunately, it is not obvious to many people. While that may be an incredibly sad truth, it is still a fact, as one Meagan discovered when someone called 911 and had her arrested for trying to check into a hotel on her way to a funeral while being transgender.

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Being LBGTQ Doesn’t Automatically Give You A Pass

This is another one of my pet peeves, so I’m about to have one of my little rants.

I often find myself surrounded by people who are still trying to figure out the LGBTQ community. While their struggles to comprehend the complexity of gender identity and sexual orientation come from a place of wanting to be accepting and inclusive, I have a lot of patience for them. I get it, gender identity is complicated, non-binary, and our discussions of it and comprehension of its complexity is rapidly evolving in front of our very eyes. Ironically, being cis and straight, I still find myself the object of many of these people’s questions in their attempt to understand, partially because they know that I am a big lefty who regularly reads LGBTQ blogs, and partially because I am a biologist and thus might also be able to comment on gender fluidity from a scientific perspective.

However, I am starting to find my patience waning for self-proclaimed “liberals” who are in constant fear of falling into a “trap” of being “too liberal”.

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