Friday, August 02, 2013

Wow, Walt - Generalize Much?

If the latest utterances from Walt Heyer were the first you had ever heard from him, you could easily be forgiven for believing that the man had never had anything to do with the transgender community.  

Women—Simply Men with no Snoopy 
The real war on women today is being waged on the female gender by men who remove their tallywacker (Snoopy) and declare they are full-fledged women. 
These people, transgenders who are just men with no Snoopy, can use your restrooms and change the gender designation on their birth records and other ID to female. They’ll show you birth gender females a swinging thing or two by legally proving that you females are the same as men, just with no Snoopy. 
Transgender women, manufactured from men by surgery, have more protections under the law then you pesky women who were born female. 
Depending on what your view of female is, you may see transgender females (i.e., men who removed their tallywacker) as lovable little fuzzballs who need to be protected from the wacko, transphobic, homophobic, bigoted gender normals who were born male and female. 
Perhaps you see transgender women as men who enjoy what looks like childish play gone psycho with dress-up taken to extreme–copious amounts of makeup, flamboyant mannerisms, surgical breasts, facial work and yes, the removal of the old useless trouser snake known as "Snoopy." 
This post was prompted by talking with a woman I know who is outraged that birth gender women do not march by the thousands against lawmakers. She is appalled that a man without a dangling participle is made legally equivalent to a birth female. She feels that laws that protect surgically-produced replicas of women denigrate and ridicule real women and the female gender. 
In effect, the lawmakers are now saying that women are simply men with no Snoopy. Like it or not, it is the sign of our times.   
Walt Heyer
Apparently in Heyer's fevered mind, trans people are now part of the "war on women".  I'm not sure how he arrives at this, since it is conservative Republicans who are busily passing laws that disproportionately affect women for the worse, making reproductive health care all the harder to access, or forcing unwanted invasive procedures on women.

His characterization of transgender people as a whole sounds like something out of a couple of nights spent getting drunk in a drag bar, on par with the research that Bailey did for his book a few years ago.  It's funny how Heyer comes up with all sorts of generalizations about trans people, and yet I would wager he wouldn't be able to identify half of the trans people he interacts with on a daily basis.  

If recognizing women of transsexual history as women is somehow "denigrating" or "ridiculing" natal women, I'd love to hear just how that works.  I have yet to meet a transsexual whose life and experience could be argued as "denigrating" of women.  The only people that make such arguments are usually Radical Feminists and ultra-conservative religious demagogues who seem to think that womanhood (or manhood) are defined by chromosomes.  I have never seen a coherent argument which supports the contention that a MtF transsexual is somehow co-opting the female experience.

If Heyer was to actually think things through, what he would realize is that in many respects the places where law has engaged with the language of gender, it is no longer useful to do so.  Does it matter if your driver's license stipulates gender?  Probably not.  Last I checked, women can be just as lead-footed as men, and the speeding ticket is the same either way.  Outside of certain statistical applications, gender is utterly irrelevant.

Of course, in areas such as health care, women have specific needs that must be met that a male bodied person will never need.  I know of no transsexuals who stand in opposition to proper medical care for women.

Frankly, I'm beginning to suspect that Heyer is just jealous of the successful transitions that others have made simply because of his own failings.  

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