Friday, November 14, 2008

Name Changes

"Thomas" Beatie is back in the news -- announced to Barbara Walters Thursday he was pregnant again. This was what I had to say about it in July, when he was busy having his first baby.


There's that pregnant man in the news. Sure, you must have heard. His name is Thomas Beatie, nee Tracy before he exchanged his natural hormonal profile or his unmutilated vagina for a sort of leathery chawbone bit of Halloween skin kind of like what all men have, even if it has to be manufactured out of ear cartilage and armpit tissue. See? A sex change is just as easy as that -- changing your name. Tracy transmogrified into Thomas, and the metamorphosis is complete, without even a need to change monograms. His and hers. And we can always prick out the extra threads. He he. Har har.

Years ago you see, long long ago and once upon a time, he, Thomas, underwent a "partial sex" "change oper" "ation". You'll have to pardon my uncertain use of the quotation marks. It all just confuses me, hidebound as I am to so many parts of my own hide. The thought of changing them, exchanging them, if even partially ... I'm thrown into a tizzy. Anyways, Thomas grew a beard ... same as me! And he married a woman -- I did that once! But, woman. Pardon the anachronism. "Women" -- an obsolete concept. What would happen if the woman changed her sex? I mean the wife woman, the beardless one. Oregon doesn't have same sex marriage yet, does it? Would it become a gay marriage? Or is it gay already? It's just too confusing for me. I'll need a Venn diagram.

Thomas opted to keep his uterus and ovaries. The news is unspecific, regarding his birth canal. But lots of men have cesareans. Or would if they needed them. And he was artificially inseminated. Someone else would have provided the semen, testicles not being requisite to pregnant manhood. After all, some men are born with out ... without testicles. Nature is highly ambiguous in this regard. Many lizards and fish can change their gender. Read a book.

But while Tom opted to keep his womb, he did get rid of those pesky bosoms.

Yeah, I'd do him.


You can't even see the scars, hardly. That helped him a lot, in becoming a man. For what is a man, really? And who after all are wee blah, blah blah? Yammer yammer! Oprah, yada ya dada. Surely Oprah cannot be in error? As Tom so eloquently states, he wishes we all could open ourselves up "to the gamut of human possibility." But why just human? Surely species is no more fixed a concept than gender? As long as there are skilled surgeons, the possibility of being opened to such gamuts is always an option. Gender, like all such issues and tissues related to the reproductive function, is nothing more than medical waste.

Change change change. The times they are a-changing. What are we to do? Ignore it? Embrace it? Shave our beards or change our names? How could people tell who we were? Because if society has taught us anything, it is that we are only labels, and that words are magic. Change the name, and reality follows. Nothing lies beneath the surface. There are no graves.


So there it is. Thomas the pregnant dude. Kept his old junk, if that's what chicks call it, but by virtue of testosterone injections, her -- yes, her -- clitoris took on a semblance of a very small penis, with which she has intercourse with her female paramour. One wonders how this is anything other than a lesbian couple, or a couple of lesbians. Children's dress-up games do not adults make, any more than mudpies are nutritious. But gender, apparently, is a matter of declaration.

I was coincidentally thinking just the other night about this person, with regard to race. If someone feels black, are they? If they darken their skin and adopt certain mannerisms, are they eligible for affirmative action? Did God make a mistake, and put them into the wrong body, and they know it's true because they've always felt black? Is the analogy false? If so, what, pray, is the difference?

Madness. But such are the times we live in. The gays are attacking the Mormons, but not the black churches, many of which teach the same man-woman doctrine regarding "gay" "marriage". Mormons are safe to attack, you see. Cowardice. Inconsistency.

But there's nothing to be done about it. It will take a plague. High cost for reformation, but that's what it takes. Ah well. No matter. There's nothing to be done about the tide. It comes in, it goes out, and all we can do is try to stay afloat.



Anonymous said...

There are no graves. But there are plenty of grave diggers.

It's called Panta Rhei, Jack. Welcome to Heraclitus and Nietzsche's universe. It's an E-ticket ride. If you wanna stop and get off, you simply need to pick a pretty spot, grab a shovel and start digging.

Jack H said...

Ah, another Classicist. But why the caps, T? Is it that important? In any case, I do have a problem with inherently self-refuting philosophical formulae. Everything changes? Everything? Never twice in the same river? Never? If memory serves, it was Cratylus who said you cannot step into the same river even once. The student surpassed the master. Absolutes, and their negation, will do that.

But thanks for the expressions of sympathy. I am bolstered, in my distress.


Anonymous said...

My best girlfriend (since 1975) married a guy that later "became" a girl (about a decade ago). I just was visiting over at their house a few days ago. They've since gotten divorced, but still live together. While it's troubling to see this older very tall large-built guy (he's almost 60) dressed and living I guess like a woman, it's more distressing to witness that with all his surgery, hormones, and what not, he's still the extreme controller he's ever been, monopolizing conversation and not letting you get in a word, not even one single word, edgewise. I left the house exhausted. I'll only visit in the future if he is not there. The fact this gal-living-as-guy in your article was an attractive woman allows her to make a bit of a living off this/get press coverage, etc. and that is annoying to me. She's no less confused than my friend's ex.

There, however, is always "hope" in this life, Jack. Do you know that through your comments on your posts, I've actually made some dietary "change"s? 'Hope' and 'change' ... hhhmmm, where have I heard that before?


Anonymous said...

And ... Jack ... I've meant to leave this link before and have forgotten, but after reading much of what you say and much of what "Terry" says, it seems you might like some of his work.

Terry Nelson


Jack H said...

I sort of vaguely knew a guy with hard pointed toilet roll breasts. He dropped dead a few months ago, the door wide open to his place. Every few days strange men would visit him for the night. Mid-fifties, six and a half feet tall. He had a young son that he'd visit. Not sure as to the completeness of his operation. Not complete though. It's probably an easier job for the surgeons, castration being such a common procedure. And what fool would think a knife makes a man?


Jack H said...

Bumped this up from July, since "Thomas" is in the news again. What's with this dude -- just loves the publicity. For the sake of posterity, this was the opening sentence. Can't make heads or tails of it:

Starting last night I felt the darkness creeping in. It's with me now. The temptation to arrange a permanent accident ... well, it's not a temptation. An option? Not even that. Too many responsibilities. Duty and its twin, betrayal. We are bound to earth by gravity, then embraced in earth by entropy. Newton, the existential theologian. It's all about remembering to breathe. Everything else should be ignored.