The one voted most likely to die a spinster in a tumbledown house of cats and laptops.
Here is where I talk about trans stuff, mainly from a chipper disposition. Also, occasionally, I'll embarrass myself by pontificating on subjects I know nothing about or hitting "Publish" on a regrettable angry post, only because I'm no good at being angry through text.
Appearing on my Facebook news feed for a brief moment this evening, before the renewed insistence on defaulting to “Top Stories” whisked it away, was this story about young women in Iran risking severe draconian punishments by publishing photographs of themselves online sans head scarves. Indeed, in some cases, they were flagrantly waving the scarves above their criminally-exposed hair while smiling. Smiling!
The Iranian government, the story explains, have eased off on a number of strongly-enforced social conventions in recent years shifting their world-famous police state attitude up a notch to , the one regarding women covering their hair remains as important as ever, so much so that women found to be flaunting disregard for the ruling could risk “70 lashes or 60 days in prison”.
This presented miniature problem of it’s own for me. I like to share stories on my own news feed such as this that highlight good news and progressive opinions and movements, but I decided, perhaps wisely, to hold off with this one. I’m not one that can fully go along with the views of Tumblr’s social justice warriors, while at the same time I try, most successfully I think, to keep “Don’t Be a Dick” as my number one life rule, but I honestly believe that as a white, non-Muslim westerner, it is not my place to voice any opinions at all on the presence or not of head scarves, regardless of what my actual position on them is.
The trouble is, in western societies - and particularly the UK but that could only be more visible because I live here - the white, western uproar over how various, non-Christian religions dictate self-presentation with special reference to face and hair censorship connects far too easily to a politically-charged Islamophobia that has foamed at the mouths of the clinically hard-of-thinking.
Forever at the edges of any conversion with someone even vaguely right-wing, ready to pounce, it’s an issue that has been rearing its ugly head once again with recent tabloid outrage at the fact that some places in the UK that serve meat products have, for some time, sourced halal meat without telling people, or at least, without bellowing “HALAL MEAT! RUN!” inches from the face of every customer that walks through the door. Every white customer that is, because as well all know, there are no white Muslims.
It is, of course, dressed up as earnest concern for the welfare of the animal that is being mashed up and served on bread, but it’s a thin disguise for racism at best. So I’ll support these women and quietly hope that their actions move towards a freer, more open society in Iran like what the west pretends to have. Certainly when placed up against selected strands of Land Of Freedom™ western culture, the idea held by many women who wear them that a head scarf is to protect modesty seems genuinely plausible.
Is, for example, and you’ll have to excuse the possibility of creating a thunderstorm where clouds of slut- and prude shaming collide, Miley Cyrus’ public presentation her choice, her actual self-made choice choice, or one that is enforced and perpetuated by an idea that it will sell more records?
Are you a man? Is it your absolute freedom of choice to wear trousers or did you wistfully go through a number of other options before the weight of cultural expectation on you to wear trousers became too much to bear? You see? Choice is a tricky area, you only have to ask the a 5-year-old boy right here in the UK has been dropping terrifying confusion-bombs all over his playgroup by turning up wearing a princess dress that was, actually was, his choice.
I suppose all we can do is recognise that limits to freedom are enforced everywhere and by everyone and before having an opinion on how well other people do it, we could all stand to look a little closer to home.
(image by Bonnie and shared under a Creative Commons license).
Genitals. Eesh. They’re incredibly boring aren’t they? Even the word “genitals” is so filled with stuffy nothing that it’s barely even worth spending any time even thinking about them other than when they make their presence known in the form of being a mild annoyance. Or maybe catching them in a mirror after a shower making me think “Oh, for heaven’s sakes, no-one cares you know!”.
That’s the thing with being trans, or at least it has been for me. The area between my legs has been such a rich source of either mild disappointment or indifference that, as far as anyone else is concerned, all I’ve ever had is a Barbie-like smooth area with an embossed trademark. Of probably Glaxo Industries. Of Pfizer. I’m not sure where I’m going with that.
Not your modern cis-folk though! They’re obsessed with genitals! Obsessed! Every thought, every decision, even every action is filtered through a binary sorting system that is entirely governed by having an innie or an outie.
Especially the men, where being the owner of a functioning penis is akin to owning a needlessly-expensive sports car that stands as both a massive status symbol and also a method of getting from A to B. This must also be the reason why the rule works in the opposite direction for owners of a dysfunctional penis.
And so today came the long-awaited appointment that is seen by all v1.0 cis people to be The Holy Grail And Final Life Achievement Of All Who Are Transgender, that being a consultation with a surgeon about future vaginoplasty. In, I might add, a remarkably plush private hospital that would certainly not be cheap were it not for the fact that I was there entirely… (adopt opera singing voice)… courtesy of the tax-payer. Yes, I love the NHS for that reason and three others.
It was all rather pleasant, the surgeon took the time to talk me through the whole process, complete with highly graphic but nonetheless informative slides, while referring to his completed project as a “neo vagina” which I’m hoping will be able to stop bullets and hack into The Matrix, as well as, obviously, get me from A to B in a stylish and comfortable manner. My main reaction to being talked through the procedure was to offer a lot of respect for what appears to be a very complicated job. It looks very much like stripping a bunch of stuff out of a VCR and re-purposing them as a toaster, but with a lot more blood.
There was a small moment which, with the recent hair removal in that area I’m becoming more accustomed to, involved stripping to the wait in entirely the wrong direction for him to survey the area and, figuratively speaking, put scaffolding up and staple a Planning Permission notice to a nearby lamp-post.
What I did not expect was to get a date for when the work would take place. November 13th. Provisionally titled “V-Day” but we’ll see how that goes. What do I most hope to achieve from having the procedure done and dusted? The ability to wear leggings. There will probably be other advantages but, right now, that’s the best I have. Thank you, the tax payer (which includes me).
I’m thankful for all the different ways I can eat potatoes
Of all the ways there are to eat potatoes, I’ll still always prefer absorbing the nutrients through the pores in my thighs.
The many and varied ways to prepare and serve potatoes is what gets the biggest slice of my Rather Pedantic Thanks Pie though.
- persnickety (it’s real word i promise)
basically there are loads of really cool words out there, (persnickety!!) so you don’t need to appropriate OCD for your own use if you don’t actually have it!
use these, people
please and thank
A painstakingly meticulous and conscientiously scrupulous list. Definite signs of OCD here.