Monday, July 31, 2017

"What It's Like To Chestfeed?"

The real issue is rather straightforward: can a woman who has had her breasts largely removed and reshaped to look like a man's chest, and who has undergone treatment with male hormones, still breastfeed?
   The answer is, apparently: sometimes.
   The tactical ambiguity at the core of "trans" theory tries to make it sound as if men breastfeeding is what's in question. But it isn't. The only thing that's really up here is an insistence that we all misuse certain familiar words, e.g. 'woman' and 'man.'
   Here are some particularly cringeworthy passages:
    So what can be done? Kribbe feels that one of the most important points of this research is urging care providers to be especially attentive to the terms they use. Part of that, she says, starts with the kind of education that obstetricians, midwives, and lactation counselors receive, but another part involves providers being willing to educate themselves about terminology that is gender neutral, as opposed to the gendered-female language that currently dominates lactation support. Even acknowledging that the need for change exists in the first place is an important step, the researchers contend.
    In response to whether or not there were any questions about providing lactation support to transmasculine or non-binary individuals on the exam to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Sara Blair Lake, the executive director of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, offered a content outline, which shows that the gendered language “maternal” and “mother” is still common, as opposed to the neutral terminology like “parent.” Meanwhile, Melissa Cole, an Oregon-based International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, said in an email that, to her knowledge, there aren’t educational requirements for IBCLCs about how to support transmasculine folks who want to nurse their babies, and that she has received no such training. Cole, who has not yet provided lactation support to a trans person in her practice, wishes she could receive more formal education around inclusive language so she can provide better care.
Painfully cringe-filled as that all is, it's actually kinda right: there's really little at issue here that isn't about words. The neologism "tans man" denotes a certain kind of woman. Female parents are mothers. Some few people might want to be called 'parent' instead of 'mother'--but that isn't substantial. It's mere preference--and a verbal one at that--and nothing more. A linguistic preference, however, based in a denial of plain fact. There seems to be exactly one actual, non-verbal question here, and that's the one described above ("The real issue...).  Aside from that, there's nothing here other than a bunch of language-policing aimed at hectoring people into speaking in silly, politically correct, and less-accurate ways. Really, this all comes down to little more than: we demand that you speak as we want you to speak.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Critical Spirits said...

'Male'- a biological that refers to a particular physiology, e.g. one with a penis, XY chromosomes,heightened levels of testosterone when compared with estrogen, etc.

'Female'- a biological term that refers to a particular physiology, e.g. one with a vagina, XX chromosomes, heightened levels of estrogen when compared to testosterone, etc.

'Intersex'- Intermediate physiological cases between males and females.

'Man'- adult human male

'Woman'- adult human female

'Boy'- non-adult or adolescent human male

'Girl'- non-adult or adolescent human female

'Masculine'- refers to behaviors that are associated with traits such as aggressiveness, impulsiveness, competition, etc. These behaviors are typically associated with men, though they need not be associated with men.

'Feminine'- refers to behaviors that are associated with traits such as nurture, emotional awareness, etc. These behaviors are typically associated with women, but they need not be.

Okay, there are the terms. Now wtf does 'transmasculine' mean if the definitions above are correct? It sounds like it cannot mean anything other than "someone who used to be feminine (typically a woman) who changed her behavioral presentation(s) to masculine; where 'trans' simply denotes a change in behavioral habits. But the transgender theorist wouldn't be happy with that.

Of course, as you have mentioned, these people don't know exactly how they're using the terms-- or rather, they know how they are using them tactically, but they don't *utlimately* care to find out (within the discourse of a collective, objective effort) if the terms pick out any real phenomena; thus they don't *know* how to distinguish the phenomena.

Maybe this is more a feature of the theory, than it is a feature of the people propounding it. That is, transgenderism has a weakness in distinguishing between the objects it purports to study. I typically only hear people making such confusions when they talk about it in terms of transgender theory. I think that most everyone uses 'man,' 'woman,' 'male,' etc. in the ordinary way(s) when they are not aware of their commitments to transgender theory. Just a hypothesis, though.

What I do know-- and I have been saying this for a couple of years-- if transgender theorists (or perhaps more broadly, PCs and SJWs) are not the 21st century iterations of platonic poets, then I do not know who is. They know very well how the terms make people feel, but they don't stand a chance when asked to clarify their positions/terms.

Meh, maybe transgender theory attracts people who are just prone to making those kind of mistakes. I dunno.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah man, I'd forgotten your Platonic poets line--that's an excellent observation, IMO.

11:13 AM  

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