Human Rights Based on Genetics

I’ve been growing more and more exasperated with people who obsess on either the genetics of transsexualism or their sometimes very dubious claims to science defying forms of intersex.

Lots of those claimed can run to the truly strange and show a remarkable ignorance of basic biology particularly coming from people who have actually fathered children.

But far more important than these claims is the failure to realize what a waste of time it is to base claims to basic civil/human rights on something biological.

Looking for the biology to validate one’s humanity ignores the enslavement of African American people for several hundred years followed by the last hundred and fifty years of Jim Crow discrimination.

Or the unequal treatment of women.

Biology has never beaten faith based bigotry and that is what many forms of bigotry are.

Nor has biology beaten the political forms of bigotry that result in certain groups being scapegoated and even marked for genocide.

In 1973 when gay and lesbian people got homosexuality removed from the DSM they didn’t argue biology.  The organized a grassroots movement and went out and won a political victory.  They let the APA know that as long as they were pathologized the APA would be facing picket lines and protests.

They argued that pathologizing lesbian and gay people was oppressing them.

In 1973 lesbian and gay people had the power of all the 1960s movements if not actually supporting them standing as an example of people standing up and saying, “No justice, No peace.”

Then came thirty years of Reaganism/Thatcherism that poisoned even the liberals and nearly destroyed progressive movements.

I was actually a supporter of the Transgender Movement at first.  In 1995 it seemed like a good idea.  Then I became aware that they were in the process of erasing transsexualism as a unique entity.  I was also bothered by the inherent misogyny involved in turning woman from meaning an adult human female into a “social role”.

None the less the idea of human rights is a sound one.  As is the idea that one shold not be denied certain basic rights based on having a gender presentation that is at odd with the stereotypical gender presentation for a person with that particular set of genitals.

GID as well as numerous other rights WBTs expect and in some cases erroneously believe they have are matters of politics and not genetics.  Those arguing against those rights use the Bible or religion written in terms of pathology to achieve political ends.

Sitting around dwelling on why or why not you aren’t like other transsexuals is an exercise of looking into the mirror in narcissistic rapture.  It may feel good and may help you to self validate but in the words of a Jefferson Airplane song, “It doesn’t mean shit to a tree.”

Meaning it won’t change anything.  Change comes from action.  Action can take many forms from marching to signing petitions to arguing points on line.

Humans should have human rights because that is what equality under the eyes of the law is about.  You shouldn’t have to prove your humanity by arguing genetics or scientific studies.

5 Responses to “Human Rights Based on Genetics”

  1. Evangelina Says:

    Human Right to my way of thinking applies to all humans regardless of geography, regardless of race and regardless of sex. Intelligent people around the world believe the same. Where it all falls down and into conflict is contact with religious belief. All forms of religion are about giving power to privileged few who then control a whole people by using the restrictions contained in the religious doctrine. The whole practise is an exercise in “control by fear” usually the most powerful of all fears and that is the fear of the unknown. You know that Suzan, of course you do.

    To counter the use of fear in this way it is imperative to display knowledge and truth. Laying out facts based on sound science is the best route to any victory over religion based denial of basic human right to dignity.

    These days I do not see myself as an “activist” in any way; I limit my involvement in HBS/Transsexual matters (WBT if you like) to meaningful debate on points raised in intelligent internet blogs and web sites such as this one and TS SI in particular. Transgender dominated forums are a waste of my precious time.

    When Charlie Prince presented the transgender concept to the support group to which I belonged, I rejected the whole concept immediately. I could see where it would lead and was against it from the start. This was 1987 and basically the end of my activist involvement. I narrowly escaped a media profile thanks in part to a conversation with Caroline Cossey. If you read this Caroline, thank you!

    I am not against those who identify as transgender obtaining medical treatment, hormones, surgery etc. Certainly I am not against protection under civil laws for transgender individuals. (By the bye, I don’t believe surgery automatically makes someone HBS) However, I am against and vehemently against HBS/transsexual being dragged into the TG social gender construct. I see that as an issue that can only be won through using science based arguments. Not simply political lobbying and public marches and demonstrations.

    • Suzan Says:

      Evangelina said: “Laying out facts based on sound science is the best route to any victory over religion based denial of basic human right to dignity.”

      Like that one has worked so good for people of color, or women?

      The point is we are human beings and our equality should not be subjected to some medical test.

      Personally if I had my druthers I would be permitted to discriminate against theists but religion is a protected category.

      I don’t have to agree with transgenders or even like them to know discrimination and abuse of them is wrong just as is racism, misogyny and homophobia.

      And science has zip to do with that and our Constitution based mostly on principles laid down in English common law is the basis for equal rights under the law, and that has everything to do with it. Equality under the law does not require someone pass a medical test.

  2. tinagrrl Says:

    I’m a person in recovery. I haven’t had a drink or a drug for over 26 years. Back many years ago, when I wondered WHY I was told that I was an alcoholic because I drank too much. When I asked why I drank too much I was told that it was because I was alcoholic.

    In a similar fashion, I do not care WHY I was transsexual. Very simply, I was — all it took was an operation (SRS) and I was cured of ever again wanting to change my sex.

    I took the appropriate action to cure my dis-ease / condition / syndrome AKA: transsexualism.

    I am no less entitled to civil rights than I was before. I am no less entitled to live where I wish than I was before.

    There is no need for me to provide some sort of scientific / biological proof of my right to be considered human, buy a home, rent an apartment, have a job, or walk down the street in safety (in truth, most women can’t just walk down many streets in safety).

    As a woman, I’m subject to the same unfair attitudes other women are subjected to. That is discrimination, but it’s the same discrimination most women face all their lives — that’s not “transphobia” — it’s misogyny.

  3. erleclaire Says:

    All good points, but I think the word “action” was used somewhere in the blog. Wasn’t it? And “Action” is something I try to bring to the issues of bigotry and discrimination faced everyday. Albeit that I have walked the halls of the legislature and been given the hot eye by many of the assholes who make a living there, and have in meetings exposed them for what they are. There is more we can do. In my travels and sufferings I have faced the unfairness of it, and the assaults, bruises, firings, and general denial of not only equal rights under the law, but also denial of basic health care. Cash does not work in many cases either. So, with all of the phobias and rednecks, conservatives and more righteous than other religious bigots, I have become a law unto myself. Some would paint me a sociopathic, and others a dangerous threat to the safety of others. None of it could be further from the truth. I am kind hearted and usually will surrender the right of way to others. I never want to harm anyone or anything. However, after what I have experienced, I will no longer submit to anything less than what is required by law and moral common sense. They may stand along the side walk carrying banners and yell at me. They may turn their back and refuse to accept me. They may say they hate me, but God help them if they get in my way, or again attempt to harm me. If they throw a rock at me, it will be the last they will ever toss. It has been some time since I was a soldier and the memory of it is a long time buried. Transphobia, homophobia, and any other word is simply that, I do not care. Yet, in the matter of my liberty there is no room for negotiation or denial, I have earned my rights and I am in fact dangerous. Very dangerous! I am now satisfied to be a basis of law for my safety, liberty, and justification. I am a Law unto myself.

  4. Sharon Gaughan Says:

    Human rights are innate and inviolable. TS-Si, of course, does provide serious science coverage (among many other things), but our interest has nothing to do with any self-justification or self-validation traceable to scientific or medical credibility.

    The simple truth is that we (people born transsexual) are interesting. Moreover, the underlying biology of our birth and transformation is especially interesting – with consequences for others.

    We – whether F2M or M2F – owe so much to the natal men and women who came before and along side us. Virtually every surgical procedure used in SRS is an extrapolation from existing (re)constructive procedures. Hormone therapy lags behind but there is a similar precedence.

    What we learn about our origins and the prospects for others born into the same situation can have much wider application than our own healing. SRS has already influenced the reconstruction of accident and disease victims; in time, I believe developmental biology will be similarly informed and enriched by our experience.

    I have seen a lot of misinformed and/or silly commentary about the science and medicine relevant to transsexualism, too much of it from people who claim to be us, but do not act like us.

    We must get this right or the bigots will ramp up their use of disinformation to further their warped rationales for discrimination.


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