By Selwyn Duke
After writing my piece about the man who won the women's long drive contest, I received a lot of criticism from altered-men apologists. One of these critiques was just posted at my site, and here it is as it was sent to me (my response follows):
Jena Lewis wrote:
Selwyn, I am sorry but your article here is A)Majorly disresectful/offensive to the woman that won this tournament. B) Based on backward prejudice. C) Thologically inaccurate. D) Is in disagreement with many of our most trusted athletic organizations.
First off to call a woman a man, just because you disregard her
diagnosis as a valid one shows the level of insensitivity equal to
someone that would say that heart disease, or breat cancer do not truly
exist. Gender Dysphoria has been medically proven as the brain of a
transexual person more resembles that of the brain of the gender roll
that person presents as. Secondly (not to say that miss Lawless is in
this group of people) yet still there is an ever growing population of
people in this world with ambiguous sexual characteristics, I am not
talking just genitalia but ambiguous chromisomes (XY,XX, XXY etc...).
To assign gender based solely on chromisomes, is not a valid form of
assignment at all.
Regarding the theological assignment of gender/sex. It seems you have been skimming through your bible. The bible has many Trangendered people in it, and often God used them to insure his plan. First one that comes to mind is the story of Philip and the Ethopian in the book of Acts. This Transgendered person was THE FIRST person in the bible converted to Christianity! Next comes to mind the entire story of Ruth, Ruth would not have servived long in the courts of her husband had it not been through the aid of the transgendered people. In the book of Isaiah he profisizes the salvation of transgendered believers in his covenants. Christ himself speaks of transgendered people saying that Some Are BORN that way some are made that way by man and some are so for the glory of God.
Finally the IOC, LPGA, pro-tennis organization and many many more professional sports organizations around the world have recognized the need to include rules that state what gender is what. Thanks what the bodies endocrine system does to us majorly effects our bodies abilities it is possible for a person who was formerly female to have the abilities of a man (athleticly), and vice versa. You alluded to this when talking about a boy prior to puberty. However your were off base. After several years of HRT what ever "male advantage" Miss Lawless or anyother transexual person might have had would be gone. Muscle mass and body shape are strongly influenced by hormones, Any "Man" that has removed the majority of his testosterone and in turn increased his estrogen in time would have not "advantage" over any woman in his physical activity. Also what of those many people of the world that don't fit into your Two gender rule, do they not have the right to play professional sports? So meone with typical Klinefelter's Syndrome features would be more than ideal for the NBA, would we exclude these people because they have a chromisomal advantage over "real men?"
Dear Miss/Mrs. Lewis:
Seldom have I encountered a criticism so replete with mistakes, logical fallacies and rationalizations. Were your little critique published at The Onion, I would congratulate you; however, it's quite obvious that you stumbled upon your errancy.
I've noticed that when one writes a piece critical of altered men (note: I use this term to refer to women, too), the few of them who exist and their apologists will often crawl out of the woodwork and comment on it. It's interesting because the articles in question -- and this includes mine -- aren't widely disseminated by the rest of the media, which means that you folks are very often looking for them. Don't you think this is indicative of just a bit of a hang-up? It's also interesting that every criticism such as yours that has been leveled at me has come from women. Why would this be? All I'll say is that it's for the same reason why women are far more likely to study the "social sciences." Now I'll respond to most of your points one at a time.
"D) Is in disagreement with many of our most trusted athletic organizations."
You'll have to forgive me if I don't take my lead on theological, philosophical and scientific matters from the International Olympic Committee and the Ladies European Tour (golf). Oh, I'm sure the esteemed officers of those organizations are the deepest of thinkers and fonts of wisdom and would never be influenced by political factors and the spirit of the age, but, hey, you know that "backward prejudice" you mentioned (please explain what forward-looking prejudice would be)? Well, it's mighty hard to shake.
"Gender Dysphoria has been medically proven as the brain of a transexual person more resembles that of the brain of the gender roll that person presents as."
I'm well-aware of what the "experts" have been saying about brain research. But I have to wonder how old you are. My guess is that at most you're in your early 30s. Regardless, do you know what the same kinds of experts were saying 20 years ago? Their line was that boys and girls are the same except for superficial physical differences and, therefore, if you raise them indentically, they will turn out exactly the same. I'm talking about cutting-edge characters such as Dr. John Money, who originated this idea of "gender neutrality."
By the way, did you hear about the hapless parents whose son's penis was badly damaged during a botched circumcision and who sought his advice? Well, following this very learned man's counsel, they had the boy surgically altered and raised him as a girl. The good doctor assured them that if they reared the lad in a sex-neutral fashion, he would live happily ever after. To make a long story short, it didn't exactly work out. You ought to read about it. It is found here.
Oh, I should also mention that the boy, David Reimer, ended up committing suicide.
Now, this notion of sex neutrality was the prevailing wisdom for about two and a half decades. Women such as you, Jena Lewis, subscribed to it completely. I know, I know, you'll say that you would never have believed such nonsense, except that I also know better. You are a sheeple; your type is always very impressed with the findings of the "experts."
People such as me always recognized sex-neutrality theory to be folderol. We hewed to tradition, had a feel for man's nature and applied common sense, yet we were said to be guilty of "backward prejudice." We were ignorant of modern science, you see, and just couldn't accept the obvious fact that behavioral differences between the sexes were solely attributable to socialization. I know this may come as a shock to you, since your historical perspective probably starts with the time you achieved awareness. But, really, that's what the psychological establishment was saying.
Of course, by the time the 1990s rolled around, these "new" ideas were starting to seem a little stale. Then some new technologies gave us more insight into the workings of the brain, and guess what the very same psychological establishment started saying? "Newsflash: The sexes really are different!" Wow, thanks for the revelation.
This "new" finding was delivered as if it never contradicted the social scientists' old new findings. There was no eating of crow, no collective apology, no sign of humility. It was just science forging on ahead, discovering new things and further educating us laymen, who would be lost without its guiding hand. Of course, now I'm ignorant again because the science has once more transcended me. Perhaps I was wise during that brief period between sex-neutrality-theory dominance and brain-is-destiny theory dominance.
"I am not talking just genitalia but ambiguous chromisomes (XY,XX, XXY etc...). To assign gender based solely on chromisomes, is not a valid form of assignment at all."
Although maybe you just phrased it sloppily, I should point out that there's nothing ambiguous about "XY" and "XX" chromosome configurations; they are, respectively, the normal male and female ones. Moreover, perhaps you didn't read my piece carefully; I pointed out that I wouldn't "boil people down to genetics." My belief is that God intended for there to be two sexes and that your sex is a quality present down to the soul. You may scoff at this, but note that during the sex-neutrality days the enlightened secularists said that sex was purely a matter of the body. Now, with our newer research, they say it's purely a matter of the brain. I wonder what they'll say if science can ever discover the soul.
"Regarding the theological assignment of gender/sex. It seems you have been skimming through your bible. The bible has many Trangendered people in it, and often God used them to insure his plan. First one that comes to mind is the story of Philip and the Ethopian in the book of Acts."
This is interesting spin. Did you think of it all by your little old self? I doubt it.
The biblical characters you're citing are eunuchs, or castrated men. This means you're contradicting yourself. On the one hand you fully embrace the idea that genitalia don't determine "gender," but then you will call these men, emasculated against their will, "transgendered." Just so you know, madam, this kind of flawed reasoning is what prevents you from discovering Truth -- it is what enables you to fool yourself.
As for eunuchs, you do understand why these poor men were mutilated, don't you? Do you know that Moslems in North Africa would capture young European boys and often castrate them before selling them into slavery? It made them more compliant when serving in that capacity, I suppose. Regardless, you have taken their reputations and mutilated them in just the way that their oppressors mutilated their bodies.
"Christ himself speaks of transgendered people saying that Some Are BORN that way some are made that way by man and some are so for the glory of God."
Here you also stumble badly. Again, though, good Kool-Aid-drinker spin. What Jesus actually said was ". . . and some make themselves eunuchs for the glory of God." Now, Jena Lewis, can you point to one individual in the Bible who chose to castrate himself? There is no such person; thus, it's quite obvious that Jesus wasn't speaking literally but metaphorically.
Jesus was referring to the practice of celibacy, which, mind you, has been part of most religious traditions. For instance, eastern monks will often practice it as part of a regimen of asceticism. Note that Paul the Apostle also alluded to it when he said about marriage (I'm paraphrasing), "If you're burning with desire, then do it. But if you can avoid it, you're better off."
Again, you're basing your theories on mythical individuals, people who don't actually exist. Can you please point to a woman who has undergone the mutilative procedure in question and possesses the athletic abilities of a man? There is no such person, and there never will be.
On the other hand, Lana Lawless, despite being an altered man, captured the women's division of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship. You will probably say that if he had been born a she, she would have won it anyway, but then maybe you should ponder some questions. Lawless is lean, with wide shoulders and a large frame but weighs 175 pounds. How many women do you know who are not overweight who fit that description? Most significantly, Lawless is 55 years old and competed against young women; the second place finisher was only 21. Do you know of any 55-year-old women who have won such an event? Remember, this person qualified for membership in the AARP five years ago.
You are correct when saying that a man who undergoes hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) will lose much strength. It's much like doing "reverse-steroids." Yet that analogy indicates a truth. After all, female athletes can do steroids as much as they would like, but they nevertheless cannot compete on par with men. Even the highly-masculinized East German women of a generation ago -- and the communists stopped at nothing to achieve victory -- could only compete with their own sex.
The point is that your knowledge of biology and physiology is lacking. While it's true that eliminating manly strength probably robs a man of the majority of the advantage he would enjoy in the athletic arena, it's ridiculous to think that HRT will eliminate all the manifold effects of having been exposed to male hormones over the course of a lifetime. To begin with, an altered man would still have male bone structure, which itself makes a difference. For example, men's pelvises are narrower, which is one of the reasons they can run faster. Moreover, it's logical to assume that there are also intangible differences, ones our "experts" haven't defined well but that nevertheless are real.
Lastly, when you say that such a man would not have an "advantage" athletically over women, putting that word in quotation marks, your feminist stripes show. It indicates that you think such advantages are illusory or negligible. As to this, I will point out that the boys' American high school record for the mile is considerably faster than the women's world record (approx. 3:52 vs. approx. 4:13). Thus, the advantages are real and profound, and it isn't logical to think that some HRT will eliminate all of them.
"So meone with typical Klinefelter's Syndrome features would be more than ideal for the NBA, would we exclude these people because they have a chromisomal advantage over 'real men?'"
This is a ridiculous comparison. The division between the sexes is a basic one that manifests itself throughout most of nature and has been recognized by man since time immemorial. Because it is so significant, we have different locker rooms, tours, leagues, teams, and standards for men and women. Note that this is a distinction based on the foundational characteristics of maleness and femaleness, and that there are no such distinctions based on extremely rare genetic anomalies.
In other words, we have two basic athletic arenas: the male and female. If a person has Klinefelter's syndrome, he still possesses the same basic quality -- maleness or femaleness -- that qualifies him to be in one arena or the other; his condition doesn't alter that quality one iota. However, here we're speaking of an issue that involves a debate solely about that all-important criterion. Put differently, to enter the realm in question you must be female, and femaleness is what is in question. When we decide that those with Klinefelter's syndrome enjoy an unfair advantage over normal people and create a separate athletic arena for them, then what you raise will be an issue.
G.K. Chesterton once said that psychology had a forgotten branch: Common sense. It occurs to me that this important quality's absence might explain why the field appeals so much to the type of people who embrace it.
© 2008 Selwyn Duke -- All Rights Reserved