Re: Interview


In some ways it felt like a demon snuck into my room in the middle of the night and said, "What if you were kind of a guy?"
Very excellent.

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-17-18 11:37 AM
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... and then just left and was like, "No follow-up questions!"

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-17-18 12:17 PM
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The concept makes me nervous on behalf of my balls, but not any more so than the idea of a vasectomy.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-17-18 12:30 PM
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You know, I used to have some of ogged's fogey skepticism, but then it occurred to me that I could take a different attitude, namely, that of not thinking myself required to have an opinion in the first place & it's not like any theories about the nature of identity or gender I might have should or will prevent me from deferring to someone's wishes in practice anyway. (Also once I was talking to someone who I didn't even know until part way through the conversation had transitioned who said that he did so in no small part because he realized it would make lots and lots of things just way easier, apparently correctly. I mean, why not?)

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-17-18 3:25 PM
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That interview has a little bit about his family's reaction, which sounds very supportive. Which I'm surprised and curious about. His parents took their church out of their denomination and started a new denomination when the old one started ordaining gays and lesbians. At great personal financial cost (they had to pay the old denomination a lot of money which they did by having the church sell the parsonage where they lived).

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-17-18 3:39 PM
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The Methodist church near me sold its parsonage. I didn't ask if it was because of homosexuality. I think they just ran out of congregation. Anyway, the person who bought it has a dog that sounds pretty vicious whose owner had to put boards at the bottom of the fence to keep it from digging out and eating people.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-17-18 5:06 PM
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5: I had not known that aspect of things. He certainly hasn't obscured it, e.g. makes occasional light Twitter references to his dad having more Twitter followers (being an author as well). And both dad and mom were noted as in attendance at his bookreading last week.

It also puts in a new light a recent tweet I just remembered, "anytime a church has an LGBT statement longer than two sentences, I'm like, oh just go ahead and say you're not affirming, save us all the time".

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-18-18 9:01 AM
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Does anyone want to put more content into the fogey skepticism? That transition essentializes contingent gender constructs into "who one really is"? Anyway, I thought this discussion on adjacent issues was interesting:

"In a recent piece for n+1, the feminist and trans theorist Andrea Long Chu argued that the trans experience, contrary to how we have become accustomed to think of it, 'expresses not the truth of an identity but the force of a desire'. Being trans, she says, is 'a matter not of who one is, but of what one wants'. She goes on:

I transitioned for gossip and compliments, lipstick and mascara, for crying at the movies, for being someone's girlfriend, for letting her pay the check or carry my bags, for the benevolent chauvinism of bank tellers and cable guys, for the telephonic intimacy of long-distance female friendship, for fixing my make-up in the bathroom flanked like Christ by a sinner on each side, for sex toys, for feeling hot, for getting hit on by butches, for that secret knowledge of which dykes to watch out for, for Daisy Dukes, bikini tops, and all the dresses, and, my god, for the breasts. But now you begin to see the problem with desire: we rarely want the things we should.

This declaration, as Chu is well aware, threatens to bolster the argument made by anti-trans feminists: that trans women equate, and conflate, womanhood with the trappings of traditional femininity, thereby strengthening the hand of patriarchy. Chu's response is not to insist, as many trans women do, that being trans is about identity rather than desire: about already being a woman, rather than wanting to become a woman. (Once one recognises that trans women are women, complaints about their 'excessive femininity' - one doesn't hear so many complaints about the 'excessive femininity' of cis women - begin to look invidious.) Instead, Chu insists that 'nothing good comes of forcing desire to conform to political principle,' including desire for the very things that are the symptoms of women's oppression: Daisy Dukes, bikini tops and 'benevolent chauvinism'. She takes this to be 'the true lesson of political lesbianism as a failed project'. What we need, in other words, is to fully exorcise the radical feminist ambition to develop a political critique of sex.

The argument cuts both ways. If all desire must be immune from political critique, then so must the desires that exclude and marginalise trans women: not just erotic desires for certain kinds of body, but the desire not to share womanhood itself with the 'wrong' kinds of woman. The dichotomy between identity and desire, as Chu suggests, is surely a false one; and in any case the rights of trans people should not rest on it, any more than the rights of gay people should rest on the idea that homosexuality is innate rather than chosen (a matter of who gay people are rather than what they want). But a feminism that totally abjures the political critique of desire is a feminism with little to say about the injustices of exclusion and misrecognition suffered by the women who arguably need feminism the most.


The question, then, is how to dwell in the ambivalent place where we acknowledge that no one is obligated to desire anyone else, that no one has a right to be desired, but also that who is desired and who isn't is a political question, a question usually answered by more general patterns of domination and exclusion. "

Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 03-18-18 10:16 AM
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to be fair, if somebody wants to transition to female for the risk of death in childbirth, they can't really do that.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-18-18 11:52 AM
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7: Publicly they didn't give that as the given reason for why they left, but that was the timing. (And there are a lot of annoyed people on the internet about the churches pretending this wasn't the reason, when it pretty clearly was.)

I spent a long time at some point trying to find out what, if anything, I could find either John or Nancy Ortberg (he's the senior pastor at the church, but she's also a pastor) say about LGBT issues. And the one thing I found was Nancy's answer here.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-18-18 1:31 PM
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8: If I remember correctly, Andrea Long Chu's piece is not available to non-subscribers but it's fantastic. I do recommend it. I liked what you shared too and I'm thinking about it.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-18-18 2:23 PM
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I think it is available:

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-18-18 3:52 PM
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Seeing Chuck Colson's name in the link at 10 makes me wonder if anybody from the Trump administration who goes to prison will find religion?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-18-18 4:52 PM
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12: Thanks! Recommended!!

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-18-18 6:05 PM
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12, 14: Thanks, that was a fascinating article!

Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 6:09 AM
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Posted by: kevin cook | Link to this comment | 06-21-18 2:09 AM
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