Succeeding Part 6.
Looks are clearly the deciding factor here. It's easy to make fun of Mrs. Garrison, or the guy peeing in the cartoon above, because they're so ugly, but conversely, should a three-year-old boy have to be in the bathroom near that gross cartoon dude? Should a male preschooler have to be alone around someone ugly and creepy (but who is using the correct bathroom), instead of that person using the same facilities as a fully-grown woman who carries her own pepper spray and cell phone? Everyone who can't afford bodyguards suffers these kinds of spooky public-facilities issues. The size, odor, and aggressive/unwanted presence of all (born-female) women isn't the same. So too is it one of the "men are unimportant, man up" issues that society expects 40lb. little boys to pee around 300lb. exhibitionist gorillas.
If you know someone who passes, you know how funny it is that some people think they can eyeball birth identity; by the same token, if you know a lot of people who cross or go trans, you may have observed that very eerie behaviors seem to correlate with them more often than with the general population (Of course, if you're in the western world, that may be observer's bias. But if you know what I'm talking about because you know a lot, then you know what I'm talking about).
We've talked about the theft of identity before, partly in Rhino Love, and we've talked about the as-yet-unanswered immorality of homosexuality in Sexual and Non-Sexual Moralities and Mandates. In this post, we'll look briefly at a few of the issues raised by the cartoon:
1) As mentioned before, there are plenty of people who can pass well, even if they're not sexy. This cartoon is probably based around the idea that someone thinks they can spot everyone who cross-dresses...which, as mentioned before, is silly.
2) And yet, the cartoon (perhaps inadvertently) raises an important point: the belligerent forced-acceptance attitudes of some transsexuals that get so much corporate attention. It's foolish, and perhaps rude, to assume that you can spot everyone. But it's equally foolish and rude to pretend that a sizable portion of the transsexual community is not out there being rude on purpose in order to try to force others to choke down their ideology.
3) In plenty of locker-room or bathroom situations, there are decent people and there are jerks. In the locker room, there may be the person who doesn't modestly cover her/himself on the way to or from the shower; who flagrantly exposes parts others don't want to see; who makes noise or draws attention to her/himself. Similarly, there are plenty of people who do the opposite--who do their business and get out. Now, when someone is a big, rude, asshole, you can go and complain, and usually they get a talking to...unless they're trans, in which case, they have a ready defense.
We're never going to stop people from being assholes, but in some situations, assholes can't get away with it because they've gone just a little too far. For example, the guy who strolls around the locker room nude, talking loudly, brushing up against other people, and taking a sink-shower when all the showers are full. He's gross; nobody likes him. He should be tossed out of there. And yet, he can get away with it--unless he happens to have gang tattoos, or an open wound, or a skin condition, or a communicable disease, or some other bullshit excuse that allows management to come down on his behavior.
4) To what extent, then, do trans people have the right to be assholes? If they're jerky-armed changers, dropping their towel and stripping naked and splashing water over people, flopping all around, that's behavior they'd be able to force others to endure in a normal situation. And if someone's being an asshole, and scaring you or grossing you out, you want any excuse you can to make them stop dripping armpit sweat on the bench in front of your locker.
Obviously, trans people "should" have the right to be assholes just as much as everyone else. And they do--but, to be assholes without being asked to leave? If they're a genuine asshole, and they should ethically or morally be required to leave, but the only complainable excuse some terrified little woman has is "he's not really a woman!" should she be barred from making that complaint?
5) A passable post-op, or a gorgeous pre-op, isn't going to get these complaints. Even a non-passable, yet 5'1" and 90lbs. MTF with an unobtrusively shaved member is going to get complained about way less than a 6'1" 250 lbs. one pushing 13". And trans people know that, and have known it for decades. But then again, so have cisgender people. Guys with gland problems, a lot of shoulder hair that sheds frequently, and/or excessive body acne know that they have to act a certain way in those situations to avoid offending others who call management or the police to talk about respecting personal space and club policies--even if everyone else does just what they're doing.
When it comes to transsexuals, just like refusing service to someone, you only get in trouble if you're so honest/stupid as to truthfully say what it was that bothered you. Children know they have to defer to adults, and adults know they have to defer to elders. There's no formal codification of that kind of behavior, but it's imposed on everyone.
6) Is the queer community going to embrace a crusade against ugliness to redress these oversights? Against excessive height or shortness, baldness, or the biggest elephant in the room, raw ugliness? The finest ts performers won't be thrown out of changing rooms anywhere unless they start flashing their assets in people's faces, which should be a throw-outable offense anyway. Unattractive people, though, deal with that so constantly that no one gives a crap, and not only is there not a movement for them, there's not even the faintest whiff of one. (No, "Fat acceptance" doesn't count. Nor would "Asymmetrical is beautiful." It has to be "Admittedly Ugly Acceptance" to qualify.)
7) Despite the rank hypocrisy of it all, the transsexual community, by whatever name, should be honest about these kinds of scenarios, and question whether or not the person was getting noticed for being an asshole. If it's Larry Craig in the locker room, skulking around with cameras and trying to see up pants, that's one thing--but if it's a pre-op MTF taking up a lot of space and stripping in front of everyone, in a situation where everyone else changes in the shower stalls and towels it the rest of the way, that's rudeness.
Grounds for kicking the person out? Not necessarily. But it should be even more offensive to trans people (in theory) when other trans people use their trans-ness to discomfit, rather than just being normal. That validates everything that the assholes on the other side expect.
Remember: the bankers always put the assholes on the internet to make the whole thing seem like a fight between the worst elements on either make-believe side. Freddie Gray gets a riot, while the little boy shot with the toy gun gets a reluctant mention that swiftly fades. If you think you don't like transsexuals, that's because you don't know the ones you know--which is, in theory, the way it was supposed to be. If you think you don't like people who are bigoted against transsexuals, that's because those people got TMI. They'd react the same way to a group who wanted to regularly and vocally inform others about the details of their bowel movements--even though their bowel movements are natural, and healthy, and should exist.
The original theme to this Come Together series was to focus on the vast commonalities existing between most of the people arrayed across "sides" of whatever the latest bankers' social war is about. Those who are desirous of the conflict itself--the rude, bigoted progressives and neoreactionaries--won't care about that, and will want to promote the idea that society has to be radically restructured to punish/enforce their respective worldviews. If you're not in that camp, you should open yourself to the idea that the bankers' media perspective is not the majority one until you adopt it yourself.
The internet allows us to look at hundreds of millions of people acting as though the bankers' perspective is the majority perspective. But take hope: all of those twitters, tumblrs, facebooks, and blogs, are full of people who aren't really saying things that they understand or believe in. They're just trying to belong, and to belong in the only way they know how. So don't let it get to you. Sure, it's sad, but it's part of the process. By and large, they're not bright enough to fully understand what it is they're advocating on behalf of some corporate scion. In their iddle-widdle hearts, they're much more sensible. They have to be so vigorously marketed to because, absent a few months of race realist and/or SJW bombardment, most of them would revert back to decent templates.