Jiminy crackers – I’m trying to A) buy a house, and B) get my transcripts transferred from the community college where I got my Associates to a real college where I intend to get a Bachelors, and both of those projects are a fuckin’ tangle of red tape. Especially the house-buying, which I kinda expected to be a rigamarole. And its bizarre that I’m even doing either of these things because I pretty much assumed that I’d never get an Associates degree and then when I got it, I assumed that I was done with the whole higher education bullshit and there was never a point when I thought I’d be trying to buy a fuckin’ house – until fairly recently when I realized that it was the only way I’d be able to live without roommates, which I’d like to do because I don’t like living with people. It would be cheaper for me, month to month, to buy a 2 bd, 1 ba house than to rent a 1 bd apartment, which is ridiculous. It used to be possible for lower working-class people to afford to live in this town. I blame those assholes in DC, but that doesn’t help the situation much. The reason I never expected to get a Bachelors or buy a house is that I have always assumed that a wretched loser such as meself couldn’t do those things – low self-esteem, fear of trying. Also, I’m kinda lazy. Studies have shown that Protestants have a slightly higher income level than Catholics and that’s generally attributed to the Protestant work ethic, but I didn’t inherit that part of it. I am not what you’d call ambitious. I am also not exactly thrilled that circumstances have put me in a position where I have to apply to a university or scrounge up my tax returns from the past two years so I can move outta my mom’s house and get a glorified piece of paper, but that’s nevertheless where I am. You can bet I’ll be voting for whatever socialists are running in the next election, promising free houses and college degrees. Actually, I voted for that one socialist who was promising free medical care and that didn’t work out. But I’m gonna vote for the socialists anyway.
None of which was what I wanted to write about here today, which was transgendered people. That’s right. Following up on sexuality in general and then gays in church, I’m gonna plow right into the trannies, which is what we called ’em back in the 90’s. I think that term is offensive or some shit now, but let’s not let that stop us. Here’s the thing – I’m not convinced that everybody who claims to be non-gender-conforming really is and I’ll tell ya why.
First, some people just think it’s cool to claim they’re part of the marginalized flavor of the month and right now that’s gender-non-binary or whatever. And it is pretty easy – if you wanna claim to be gay, there’s some expectation that you’ll get involved with somebody who is the same gender as you, but if you say you’re non-conforming-gender, you can continue to date whoever you were before because it ain’t about who you’re attracted to. Saying you’re conforming-binary-non doesn’t obligate you to change anything about yourself, but it does give you the right to tell everybody around you that they have to use different pronouns and if they don’t, they’re bigots. And when you get over it, you just switch back. How much fun is that?
The second thing is more important to me and it’s that the society we live in has some really stupid notions about gender in the first fuckin’ place. Men and women, girls and boys, are expected to fit into some really narrow boxes, the parameters of which are reinforced constantly. I have known grown-ass men who wouldn’t light their Marlboros with pink lighters. I shit you not. The feminist movement has helped some people – females and males – do things that they might not’ve been able to do before, but there is a lotta fuggin’ work left to do. So what I think is, that some young people look at the very confining pigeonholes that they’re supposed to spend their lives in and they think “I don’t fit in that category – I’ma be conforming-non-gender and then I don’t have to watch football or be really interested in buying shoes or whatever.” For some folks, declaring themselves to be transgendered-non-binary is a way of escaping the prison of whatever gender they happened to’ve been born into. And that’s fine as far as that goes, but it could go much further.
See, I’ve never been all that gender-conforming myself. I like some things that are associated with being male and some things that are associated with being female. I’d say I’m a bit more on the feminine side when it comes to my experience of the emotions that are associated with sex, but I’m pretty fuckin’ heterosexual. I mean – I really like pussy. And tits. Some of the problems I’ve had with relationships with women have come from the fact that they expected me to behave the way they thought men were supposed to behave. They assumed that I would be what they had been taught men were. I was with this one woman for several years who was repeatedly baffled by the fact that I wouldn’t conform to her preconceived notion of what men were like – and she was a self-proclaimed feminist who had been in a same-sex relationship before she met me. She’d get all pissed off at me and I’d try to figure out what she was off about and it would turn out that the root of the trouble was that she was acting out of her attachment to stereotypical gender behavior. I’d yell at her that I wasn’t a cookie cutter male, but she never got it. She was never able to see me as an individual. I was a man and she knew how men were. The fact that I said otherwise was just me lying. She really took it to the extreme, but it’s happened in every relationship I’ve been in. The women expected me to be something I wasn’t because I have facial hair and a dick. I still encounter that – women who assume things about me because they see a beard – but I’m not involved with them, so it’s easier to ignore.
Yet I don’t claim to be transgendered or ask other people to use a special set of pronouns and the reason for that is – I am male. I don’t have any issue with my maleness. There’s nothing wrong with being a male who is somewhat sensitive, likes to sew and doesn’t want to watch football or treat women like cum receptacles. There is, however, something very seriously wrong with a society that demands that human beings cram themselves into very tiny boxes and live their lives according to predetermined patterns based on what combination of chromosomes they have. Certainly, there is some logic to dividing labor according to gender in hunter-gatherer societies, but in case you hain’t noticed, the US of A is not one. Shit, many hunter-gatherer peoples were/are more openminded than the average American when it comes to gender.
As one might expect, I am saying that the problem is not with the individual, it’s with the society. That’s right – if the society at large didn’t try to force girls and boys, women and men, into roles, then people wouldn’t have to rebel against or react to those roles. If people didn’t act like boys are “supposed” to do certain things, then boys who don’t wanna do those things wouldn’t feel compelled to say “I wanna be a girl” or “I’m non-binary-conforming-gender”. They would just be boys who like girly things. Which wouldn’t make them gay. The same is true of girls who like boy-y things.
I overheard a coupla old biddies in a thriftstore t’other day, talking about somebody they knew who wasn’t doing what she should be doing. I didn’t hear if the young woman they were talking about was a lesbian or a transgendered boy-in-a-female-body or just a young lady who wanted to drive a bulldozer, but she was definitely not behaving like a young lady should, according to the biddies. One of ’em said something about how young people think they need to be individuals. The other said something like “Well, it’s fine to be an individual, but as Christians, we have to….” and at that point I’d gotten far enough away that I didn’t have to listen to any more of that twaddle. Maybe it’s not very Christlike of me, but I sometimes find comfort in the fact that other people are older than me and will probably die before I do. Those two old hens were exactly what I’m talking about. And to make it worse, they’re dragging God into it, which is a great way to convince someone to leave whatever religious institution they’re part of.
“Honey, God hates it when you don’t act like a stereotype.”
Not that I’m opposed to people leaving some religious institutions. The more people leave certain religious institutions, the better, in my ‘umble opinion. Trouble there is, when people leave one, they tend to quit ’em all. So when the young lady in question leaves the bigoted church to get away from the two old bitches, she’ll prob’ly just quit Christianity altogether. Some people leave Christianity because they’re attracted to something else, but many of ’em, if not most of ’em, leave because some asshole told them they couldn’t stay. Or that they’d have to become something they’re not in order to stay.
Let’s recall that Jesus was sold out by one of His own.
The biggest threat to Christianity is Christians. Specifically, Christians who tell other Christians who/what they have to be in order to be Christians. If somebody says they’re a Christian, that’s that. If that person chooses to have a beard and wear a dress, what difference is that? What does it matter if a person doesn’t fit into a box?
So I know this teenager who was born with two X chromosomes who likes skateboarding and prefers to have short hair. And this teenager felt moved to declare that she was actually a boy and everybody had to get on board with that. Now, that’s fine – I don’t mind calling the kid a different name. And I do know that some people really are born in the wrong body. But what’s wrong with a girl having short hair and a skateboard? Couldn’t such a girl just be a girl who likes the things she likes? What if all the girls who like boy things just demanded to be recognized as girls who like boy things instead of switching genders? Wouldn’t that force the meaning of the word “girl” to open up a bit? What if all the boys who aren’t exactly what the world expects boys to be insisted on being the boys they are? Would that make the definition of “boy” change? Would we all be freer to grow and learn and explore? Would God still love us if we actually became the individuals He made us to be?
Please note, I’m not suggesting that we throw all sexual mores out the window. I’m just saying that it might be okay to relax a bit. Let people be who they are – as God made them. Welcome them in and celebrate the contributions they make.
How fuckin’ hard is that?
I suppose the young people – millennials – who are jumping on the transgender bandwagon are helping the whole thing move forward to a better, less confining place. I generally think millennials are silly, but they’re the best hope we currently have of undoing the damage the baby boomers did. (I’m gen X – we don’t count.) So I play along with all the kids who want to be “they/them” because I think they’ll get over that eventually and the result will be a more egalitarian society – after the baby boomers die off, which I’m looking forward to. I have a tendency to think ahead to a future when nobody will care what kinda underpants ya wear or who you fuck – because I don’t care and I’d be happy to have less discussion about all that tripe in the media. I like to think that when all the manufactured scandals about lesbians and boys who wanna do ballet die down, we’ll be able to have conversations about interesting things like the importance of Danish tailors in Finnegans Wake, which I’m reading for the nth time now. I’m pretty much always reading Finnegans Wake.
Ya know what I don’t think we need to talk about? Christianity. Not that it should be a taboo subject, but what is there to talk about? Christianity is a thing we should do, not a thing we should debate. The reoccurring motif of chickens and eggs in Finnegans Wake is a thing to debate about – because it doesn’t matter. And if we were arguing about that, we’d’ve read Finnegans Wake, which is all about God’s grace poured out for sinners who don’t deserve it. When I get into a university, I’ma figure out how to work Finnegans Wake into all my papers.