we must hang up in the belfry, where the bats and moonlight laugh, we must stare into a crystal ball and only see the past

swimmerguy's picture

So, I signed up for the mailing list of this club set up by a Mormon kid in Cali, McKay Hatch, his club being called the "No Cussing Club".
Hehe, I always thought that was an interesting idea, a club dedicated to the idea of not doing something, and I was mildly curious to see what they sent out.

Well, heh, the first thing I got had this title: please keep sexual predators out of the bathrooms and locker rooms please help sign my sisters petition.

Interesting, thought I. It wasn't what I expected, here was the short letter in the email:
My sister Saige Hatch is trying to get 10,000 signatures
to overturn bill AB-1266. which is allowing boys into the
girls locker and bathrooms. Can you please sign this
petition. Please click on the link below, it will take 30
seconds. If this passes in California then your states
will be next. Please email all of your friends and let them
know.

Here's the petition he linked:
http://www.change.org/petitions/governor-jerry-brown-to-overturn-ab-1266...

Hoo... Wow.
And he was relatively more even with his criticism than some of the others who left a comment.

I don't tend to keep up with transgender affairs that much, but I'll admit, I thought, though the times they be a'changin, transgender rights were a long way off. That's why I was honestly pleasantly surprised that California was considering such an enlightened law.

You know, I tend to love Mormons. Not just because they're cute (though they are very cute) but honestly because of some of the things they believe.
I've read a lot of the Mormon sites for teens, and while the no drinking, no drugs, no sex thing might not be something I think is necessarily for me, 100%, I think there's at least something to it and it's a line that hardly ever gets played by anyone else these days.
I appreciate their more community-focused view and their less material-focused view, and all that (Though it's always like why the fuck do I even bother. Many Mormons are rich and live in houses with white picket fences (like McKay himself). Okay, I appreciate that you're not the soulless materialists so many people my age are, but give the people my age their due, at least they're kind of exciting. At least drinking and bitches are fun, even if they're dumb to make the focus of your life.
But instead Mormons use all this great will power and cleanliness they build up through great effort to just buy themselves a huge house with a white picket fence, and it's like instead of just going with the youthful soulless materialism, they just go with old-person, boring soulless materialism. You win some you lose some, I guess.
)

But at the same time, when I see stuff like this, I'm confused and it kinda pisses me off. There's a lot of things I like about Mormons, as I said, but then they do the shit like this, where they put a lot of their Mormon industriousness into hating other people.

I don't think I even need to argue, on this site, why they're being dumb in this case, but I don't know, I consider it even more of a disappointment when a religion I generally like, one that focuses heavily on goodness and not on stupid hedonism, uses such fucking disgusting language to describe other human beings for irrational reasons.

Comments

jeff's picture

Well...

Given how anti-gay the Mormon Church is, it stands to reason they wouldn't be up to speed on trans issues. San Francisco city employees were covered for transgender surgeries and hormones when I lived there... so they do tend to lead on this stuff.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

elph's picture

Into the caverns of tomorrow with just our flashlights and our..

I sign probably 1 out of 4 of the petitions from change.org I receive; I do not recollect, however, having seen this one before.

Anyway… I must admit that as of now I remain conflicted on transgender issues. Hopefully, this situation will soon improve. There's no denying, however, that the issue is in the public's view so much more now than just a few years ago.

I have not signed this one… and I'm really not sure why! :( Maybe just getting rid of stand-up urinals in all public toilets (not just for "physical" females) might make it a tad easier for me. But… assuredly, I'm not proud of my yet-murky thinking.

I think this ambivalence results from the quasi-religious attitudes that were so pervasive in society during my childhood: There are only 2 sexes… and God expected us to be shamed by anything associated with sex. Erasing this puritanical view is not achieved easily… but, eventually, it must!

****

As for your attraction to Mormonism: I hope it can be traced to all of those inviolate youthful beauties you may have encountered. I suspect that their religiously inspired naïveté can only magnify those quite privately indulged libidinal responses you've experienced. :)

But Mormonism as a road that ensures they'll be ever-anxiously waiting for your entry into the "hereafter"… that very thought is probably an improvement over the quite-adequate services now provided by the "Beever"… but… you do know… don't you?… that it's all a smoke-and-mirrors' myth?

Please reconsider the benefits from focusing on the reality of "here-and-now."

So… is there more you wish to say about B? He's more than a figment?

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Hmm

I'd hope you hadn't signed that petition.

Trans rights are a rather good thing, you know. If you'd like to talk about them, I'd love to answer questions. Unless I misunderstood you.

* * *

In conclusion,

I am the Walrus, koo-koo kachoo. Q.E.D., bitches.

jeff's picture

I have a great track record...

I sign 0% of all change.org petitions, since I've yet to find any link between petitions and actual change. It's basically feel-good nonsense, as near as I can tell. Obviously, there are exceptions, like when you need X number of signatures to get something on an actual ballot, or on whitehouse.gov where any petition that gets a certain number of signatures is guaranteed a response from the Obama administration, but most of the time, I see no connective tissue there.

As for trans issues, I find them easy. Someone I know was a biomale tells me her name is Sally? I say, "Hi, Sally." Sally wants to use the ladies room? Go for it. And on and on down the line... I don't need to understand someone's journey to make that journey easier for them. They have enough people in life making them feel less than, so I just do all that I can to never do anything to make their journey more difficult, and anything I can to make it easier. Almost everything sorts itself out that way. I only refuse to use the word cisgender (aside from the sentence I just typed).

You say there are two sexes, but seemingly still have gender coupled to them, as you don't speculate to the number of genders? That seems like step one.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

elph's picture

You've not read for comprehension!

I did not state as fact that there are 2 sexes!.

Note my proper use of the colon.

What the careful reader will have understood is that only 2 sexes (male and female) was the "accepted gospel" that pervaded society during my childhood.

jeff's picture

So...

You only scan my replies for the errors anymore, not for any other point I might have made? When I "misunderstand" someone's replies, it is usually for humorous effect (not that you always find it humorous, but that's a separate issue from intent).

On the comprehension front, I never even challenged your point, only saying the real issue is decoupling sex and gender. So, I was building on what you said, not disputing it. You know, as though this site were about having a conversation and such... Could I have phrased that better? Perhaps. But clarifying that statement, and questioning mine, would play better as part of a discussion of ideas, rather than shutting it down in a huff.

I'll just stop replying to you if the message is lost amid a ongoing quest for perceived slights and misunderstandings.

There is no benefit to commenting on the 2% you think I misunderstood, and assume I didn't understand your point, but then skip what was the larger point that prompted the reply in the first place, where an actual interesting discussion might exist: why you think petitions actually can do good, how you would approach the trans issues socially, what trans issue is the sticking point that we might investigate to get you on board fully, the diffference between sex and gender.. but no, one errant phrase has capsized anything that might have elevated the discussion.

The sad part is that I now can't misunderstand the sentence "Note my proper use of the colon.", which admittedly pains me. ;-)

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

elph's picture

An explanation... hopefully

You're much too sensitive to perceived slights. It would seem that after 4 years you still have no idea of who or what I am...

I did not comment on change.org petitions as this subject, at most, was a very peripheral issue. Originally, I merely stated that I had not seen the petition swimmerguy referenced… I then added my personal opinion of these petitions… stating that I responded to only a few (possibly 1 out of 4).

I was not advocating that others should behave accordingly!

You, then, chose to elevate this practice of mine to greater prominence than warranted by stating that you respond to 0% of received petitions from change.org. You did not stop there… but proceeded to imply that paying them any attention at all was nothing more than a "feel-good" exercise! It was not explicitly stated… but in this characterization there lay an implication that any other action would be foolish.

So… were you labeling me as being foolish for my practice? Could be… but one must assume that your comment did have its purpose! Huh? Of course, dunno! :(

What could be served by pursuing this?

By my not commenting, I just felt that any further discussion of our personal proclivities would have had no purpose… and certainly would have deviated quite afield from the topics covered in swimmerguy's journal! But this omission is viewed as my willfully ignoring an important assertion of yours! Huh?

****

On the two-sex (i.e., quite simplistic M/F) issue: You clearly implied that this was my currently held opinion… then you proceeded to disabuse me of such an antiquated view! I deserve to be criticized… for a misunderstanding (or, at least, a poorly constructed sentence by you) that was solely yours?

I repeat: This simplistic view (i.e., God produced only male/female) was the "Gospel" of my youth. Let there be no doubt… I readily understand now that sex/gender issues are far more complex. Whether your attempt at clarifying the muddle comes close to the truth, I truly do not know… and I'm not inviting criticism for my lack of certainty.

****

On "Note my proper use of the colon." Sorry for the pain this has inflicted. It was used to state that the sentence following the colon was a direct consequence of what preceded… it was not a "stand alone" assertion. In this instance, I intended the reader to understand that the concept of only 2 sexes was society's view during my youth. Were the colon missing, the following sentence would have been easily misconstrued. :(

****

Where is "Tycoondashkid" at this time when his services are so sorely needed?

btw… that was meant to be treated as humor (sorry for feeling it necessary to explicitly state this).

Peace? (Please, but without loss of dignity.)

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Good lord almighty

Do you two always argue like this? Is this like some sort of alpha-male thing?

GOD, men are weird.

* * *

In conclusion,

I am the Walrus, koo-koo kachoo. Q.E.D., bitches.

elph's picture

Not my nature... nor my choosing!

But I know that you have much more personal knowledge of the nature of the protagonists.

In this instance... I would have preferred to let it rest and let the "last word" remain where it must!

Just a bit of self defense: I think you have no difficulty in observing who and what precipitated this exchange by the deft parsing (purpose?) of my hopefully quite uncontroversial original comments to swimmerguy.

What has ensued is not complimentary to either of us...

For my part, I apologize to swimmergiy and to all Oasies™ (originally introduced as Oasisies. :)

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

I think...

That you're both a couple of stubborn weirdoes with an inability to lose.

* * *

In conclusion,

I am the Walrus, koo-koo kachoo. Q.E.D., bitches.

jeff's picture

Technically...

When this happens, everyone loses.

But this is the last time it will ever happen.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

jeff's picture

Eh...

I think I'm going to just stop replying to what you post, since this pattern keeps repeating and to little use. I will go through this and try to highlight what I find troubling, since it always seems to elude you (yet the misunderstanding is always indicated as being only one way, that I don't know you?), but seems obvious to me, and you'll again, cling to the original point, ignore all I say and then ask that we put this behind us... until you do it again, and again:

Right out of the gate: "You're much too sensitive to perceived slights."

I'm not sensitive to them. I find that nearly the only time there is a comment on my stuff from you, it is correcting what you think was wrong about what I said. Often, it is humor you didn't clue in on, but even so, it just seems oddly meta that I comment on the issue the person brought up, and your comment is never advancing my view, or questioning why I said it, etc., but that you disagree with it, or question it, and always in a way that makes it not advance a conversation.

To wit, my bringing up change.org was moving the discussion to a "very peripheral issue" and you then expressed you "personal opinion," err, I mean, your personal opinion of these petitions. Yes, that is how people talk. Swimmerguy mentions online petitions, you say you don't fill out hardly any, and then I say I fill out none.

But then, to turn this into a possible discussion, which other people could weigh in on, or you could reply to, I question the benefit of petitions in general, saying I don't see any connection to them actually affecting change. Perhaps I'm wrong, and there are loads of examples of petitions doing something, and you or someone else on the site can disabuse me of my view. I'd welcome that.

In short, every phrase I wrote on here may have been prompted by what you wrote initially, but it is not all meant to be about or for you. Were that the case, why have comments? We could just go back to the 1995 version of the site, where you could read swimmerguy and e-mail him and have a private discussion, and I could do the same. I thought that version of the site was boring, since we could now have a discussion. And that often does work, just not when I reply to you, since...

"I was not advocating that others should behave accordingly!"

... every word in reply is perceived as being solely about you, not a topic people might comment on in general. You obviously think I am writing only to you, since you said I "chose to elevate this practice of mine to greater prominence than warranted" and "did not stop there."

Remove "of mine" and you're more on track with my goal. And again, deciding to take the conversation in a different direction is... sort of how conversation works.

"It was not explicitly stated… but in this characterization there lay an implication that any other action would be foolish."

Only in a world where a reply to your text is seen as a reply only to you and about what you said, which is not how this site (or nearly any site) tends to function.

"So… were you labeling me as being foolish for my practice? Could be…"

No, I was fully explaining my views, so that someone could understand them and reply as to why I am potentially wrong about them. It was never about you.

It was, "I'm always intrigued by how many people are into online petitions, and I just see no benefit, so what is the deal? What am *I* missing here?" And rather than post a vague inference that I am against them, which might prompt someone to say, "Why don't you like them?" I jump that step, and explain my position, to advance a conversation quicker (which is optimistic on the site presently, since it is less active than it has been historically, but that's a separate issue).

"One must assume that your comment did have its purpose! Huh? What could be served by pursuing this?"

Conversation? Debate? Insight? Community? Me rethinking my views based on other people sharing theirs?

Whether a future conversation, that never happened anyway, would have "deviated quite afield from the topics covered in swimmerguy's journal!" again seems to restrict the notion that if I reply to your post, I only want to hear from you, and that "swimmerguy" or "Perhaps..." or anyone else would feel awkward jumping in with their thoughts, which I don't believe to be true.

"But this omission is viewed as my willfully ignoring an important assertion of yours! Huh?"

No, I try and start conversations on here regularly, some take, most don't. I was merely explaining the point of my reply, since it eludes you.

Then we get to the M/F thing, and you say "I deserve to be criticized… for a misunderstanding (or, at least, a poorly constructed sentence by you) that was solely yours?"

No, I said I could have phrased it better, and I was wrong there. But the point was to open up a discussion of your view on trans issues, to see where the sticking point was, and I was trying to again, move the discussion ahead a pace, by introducing the decoupling of sex and gender.

I wrote that very poorly, but again, there have been enough times in the past where well-written similar replies to advance conversations have been shut down, since they are bringing up things you never said.

So, I recognized this as a part of that ongoing pattern, where everything I write in reply to your reply is perceived as only about you, not advancing what I think would be an interesting conversation.

Had you asked me to clarify rather than jumping right to "You've not read for comprehension! I did not state...!" with all the bold text and exclamation points. So, step one: Go directly to the personal wounding, skipping any window for clarity that a quick "But I didn't say that..." where I could then say "Sorry, I just meant to add that people at that time also didn't consider sex and gender as separate..." but that would be too easy.

Then when I say I wrote it poorly, you still once again bring up and rehash the misunderstanding and reiterate your point again, which was never missed in the first place. If I had made a typo, how many times would that need correcting?

I wrote a bad sentence that made it about what you wrote rather than the bigger picture about the issues you brought up, so one can see why that would cause such an uproar... ;-)

So, I'm just going to stop replying to your posts, as this pattern has repeated too often to be coincidental. We just see the point of the comments differently, and the time I want to be on here writing to the youth of the site is too often spent dissecting your reply to my reply to your reply, and ultimately, no clarity is achieved, so it's not worth it.

No hard feelings, but it seems strange that you think this pattern could repeat so often if only one of us didn't know the other.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Huh

Sometimes I forget how, behind all the sarcasm and cynicism, you're actually a pretty awesome person. Seriously, I appreciate this. Although I'm curious as to your distaste for the term 'cisgender'.

* * *

In conclusion,

I am the Walrus, koo-koo kachoo. Q.E.D., bitches.

jeff's picture

Well...

First and foremost, I wouldn't use it since no one except transgender people (and queer studies majors a.k.a. the future unemployed) would typically know what just came out of my mouth. So, I typically want to communicate effectively, and this is an obstacle. It is a purely academic word to define what doesn't need a label. I have yet to need a term in any aspect of my life where I've been searching for a word and was like, "Umm, you know, like, everyone who's not transgender?!" If trans people need that word, they can have it, but I think it is ultimately the wrong path, which I'll get to later.

Most of the time I've encountered it, its usage is about "cisgender privilege" and such, and I think there is no future where people will need to define as cisgender. Like, if I grab some guy's dick, he can opt to say, "Whoa, fella, I'm straight..." and then I might have to stop, but I don't see any time where I would need to say whether I was trans- or cisgender (which is very different from a transperson making sure a potential sex partner knew what was going on in advance). Even if I were about to have sexual activity with someone transgender, it wouldn't come up, since the discussion would be more about sexuality. If you're a transboy, are you gay, bi or straight? If you're a transgirl, are you gay, bi or straight...etc. Obviously, there might be other sexual hurdles beyond that to discuss later, but it is sexuality, not gender, that needs to be sorted out.

I do think the trans community sadly inspires its members to adopt a hyper gender sensitivity, where the world becomes an endless barrage of anti-trans slights. But for many many people, this stuff isn't even on their radar. Someone being anti-gay at this point can typically identify that their behavior is anti-gay, but anti-trans is pretty new. And, again, that is something that only time solves, and given the small numbers of trans people, it will probably be a while before that awareness happens. Not to excuse it, but most people got good with gay once they knew gay people... so how long will it take for people to have some trans awareness? Much longer...

So, that brings up the last reason for my cisaversion, which is that I think it promotes direction in the wrong way culturally. Given the obstacles, I feel the trans community needs to find its way IN to the larger culture, not a vocabulary that positions it perpetually on the outside, where it already feels it exists. So, therefore, I don't see any value in Spivak pronouns, or cisgender... Stop being the other, start moving back toward a place at the main table and let's sort out how to get you there.

Which isn't to say the trans community, like many communities, can't have its own language to talk amongst itself. But the code switching is going to fall to the trans side of the house, not on the 90+% of cisgenders who don't even know what that word means. ;-)

That is my current thinking about these issues anyway...

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Huh

Fair enough. I don't necessarily agree with you, but you make several valid points, and I respect your opinion. Nice to hear a fresh perspective! Honestly, I pretty much hang out with trans people exclusively (and have not dated anyone but transpeople in a while, which wasn't actually intentional) so I don't generally hear new things about that. Usually I'm the one explaining my weird views (i.e. I don't feel that the transgendered community actually belongs in the LGBT community, as it has relatively little to do with sexuality and its inclusion with sexualities give some people the wrong idea about its nature entirely).

* * *

In conclusion,

I am the Walrus, koo-koo kachoo. Q.E.D., bitches.

jeff's picture

Well...

I tend to be pragmatic above anything else, so to me it usually comes down to "what is the end game?" Like, Occupy Wall Street said interesting things, and made people feel good about what was being said, but it failed the "what is the end game?" test, as it didn't have one. So, I try to apply that to most things, including language.

I do think there are enough reasons for there to be a T in LGBT, as far as issues being fought for, not to mention you get to leverage the political power of much larger organizations than groups that would be solely trans. They are similar enough in a broader sense to work together. With discrimination and workplace rights issues, as one example, why fight on your own when there is enough energy behind the gay groups doing those things?

Also, I am fine with sarcastic, but I don't find myself to be cynical? Of course, I can't say how I am perceived by others. ;-)

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Fair enough.

Yeah, that's a good point on the end-goal thing. I always did find the Occupy movement horribly useless, and tried to disabuse my acquaintances of the idea that it would make some sort of difference.

My problem is that I feel that transpeople are more often used as figures of 'HEY LOOK HOW INCLUSIVE WE ARE' by the gay community and don't actually receive enough help. At least in my sector of the nation, we've actually been specifically told (to my face) that we need to wait for fighting for ourselves, because gay rights are more important at the moment. Perhaps I'm just deeply resentful. We've been widely doing things ourselves around here.

Also, I've experienced plenty of the whole cis-privilege thing for myself- there's a reason a lot of us complain about cis-white-gay folks (largely the one presented above in my locality).

I dunno, you're definitely not an optimist. Perhaps pragmatism combined with sarcasm gives the impression of cynicism. I, myself, pride myself on being a ruthlessly cynical idealistic optimist. Or perhaps a terribly optimistic idealistic cynic.

Either way, I do ever so enjoy walking around with a lantern in broad daylight.

* * *

In conclusion,

I am the Walrus, koo-koo kachoo. Q.E.D., bitches.

elph's picture

That video...

btw… I've just watched the 2009 video promoting the No Cussing Club that McKay Hatch produced.

https://www.lds.org/youth/video/no-cussing-club?lang=eng

I am very impressed… and (at 16?) he was an extremely composed and "with it" young man. I can readily see how one would find him exceedingly attractive… even without his message! And that hair could only be improved were it blond. :)

He must be 20 now… and I wonder what he's currently doing: University?

However… I cannot help but feel a lingering sadness; I am moved by the fact that he was "on a mission" even at 14. But… how much of that was inculcated and motivated by his wish to be an outstanding disciple of LDS?

I hope he can now truly think for himself (this said with no implied criticism of his message at 14/16)… but his cult upbringing does not bode well for a truly happy outcome…

Hopefully, you may be able to disabuse me of that fear?

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Well

I'm rather of the opinion that Mormons are amongst the better of the religions out there, regardless of their position towards gays. I can't recall the reasons why, because I just woke up...

* * *

In conclusion,

I am the Walrus, koo-koo kachoo. Q.E.D., bitches.

elph's picture

For a rather uncomplimentary commentary on LDS

You may want to read this murder mystery: The Blood Doctrine (Ross Poore & Ryan Poore). It's quite recent...

It is a fictional murder mystery that involves LDS missionaries. It contains many "facts" pertaining to Mormonism... Some are quite true... frighteningly so... Some are likely just fiction. Reader beware!

But it remains an interesting "read!"

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture

Well, you know...

I'm pretty sure I could find plenty of horrifying 'facts' pertaining to any religion you give me. It's just remarkably easy to target Mormonism because everyone already hates them. I'm actually pretty well acquainted with their ideas and practices.

The funny thing is, the more one is intent on hating a religion, the easier it is to find something to hate. The more one is intent on finding something good about a religion, the easier it is to do so. Personally, I've found it terribly easy to despise Buddhism. There are many, many reasons, including the amazing violence involved in many sects. And yet you'll find many who will use it as an example of an ideal religion as opposed to, say, Christianity- whose crimes are equal, in my eyes.

Point being, every religion out there has committed enough atrocities to despise them. I've simply found enough redeeming factors in Mormonism to believe them worthy of admiration. Not the least of which being that they don't believe in a hell- while there is a darkness reserved for those who have seen 'God' and denounced 'Him' nonetheless, it's a lack of 'His' presence instead of eternal torture. I found that somewhat benign.

Naturally there are downsides, but frankly, I can think of a downside for every worldview out there. I'm not sure why Mormonism is singled out by so many.

Regardless of whether you were accusing anything, I just thought I'd make a note of all that. Cheers!

* * *

In conclusion,

I am the Walrus, koo-koo kachoo. Q.E.D., bitches.