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IEET > Rights > PostGender > Contributors > P. Tittle

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#4 Transgendered Courage?

P. Tittle
By P. Tittle

Posted: Dec 28, 2012

Transgendered people are often seen as courageous; they have the guts to take radical steps to become the people they really are.  But I don’t see them as any different from people, mostly women, who get nip-and-tuck surgeries, botox, and breast enlargements.  After all, they too take radical steps to become the people they feel they really are – youthful and sexually attractive.

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2012? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 16 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 600 in all), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on Mar 2, 2012 and is the 45 most viewed of the year.

I understand the mismatch between what’s inside and what’s outside. Really I do. 

I look like a middle-aged woman.  But I don’t feel like a middle-aged woman.  At all.  I feel like a young gun, still burning at both ends.  Mixed metaphor and all. 

Transgendered people aren’t snubbing sex stereotypes; they’re reinforcing them.  You’re in a woman’s body but you don’t feel like a woman?  You don’t want to wear make-up, high heels, and a dress?  You’re not into gossip and giggles?  You’d rather play football and fix the car?  So do it.  You don’t need to get a male body.  

You’re in a male body but you’d really like to wear lavender chiffon and spend the day baking cupcakes and arranging flowers?  So do it.

If we had more people with the courage to just do what they wanted to do, regardless of what others think they should do based on their indefensible notion of a sexual dichotomy based, in turn, on physical appearance, if we had more people who were willing to stand up to the consequent taunts and ostracization, maybe eventually the taunts and ostracization would disappear.

Additional information:

Blog:  From Transgender to Transhuman 

“The blending of gender and marking of skin are revolutionary on-ramps to the transcendence of fleshism. People who refuse to be labled as male or female are the pioneers of seeing humanity as not being limited by any particular substrate, such as flesh. There is a queer line of development from transgender to transhuman.” - Martine Rothblatt

From Transgender to Transhuman, A Manifesto on the Freedom of Form  Kindle book by Martine Rothblatt

Transgender, Transhuman, Transbeman: Uploading with Martine Rothblatt   Interview of Martine Rothblatt, by Roz Kaveney

P. Tittle is the author of Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason (Routledge, 2011), Sh*t that Pisses Me Off (Magenta, 2011), Ethical Issues in Business: Inquiries, Cases, and Readings (Broadview, 2000), and What If...Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy (Longman, 2005). She lives in Canada, and she blogs at
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“So do it.  You don’t need to get a male body.”
Those people exist.  We call them tomboys.  I fear you’re conflating two different issues here, which I can describe inadequately as “what I am” and “what I do”.  Some who pursue sex changes could perhaps be happy with tomboyism or tomgirlism - but with the incredibly shitty results modern sex changes can produce I suspect that on average, more people are putting off sex changes they’d rather have while waiting for technology to improve.

All I will say about this article is that:
1. science is proving the gender binary system we have grown up with wrong
2. In the future we probably won’t even have a society influenced by sexual social constructs
3. In the future we will probably live in a sexless society. We will also probably have the ability to tun on and off sex drive, etc.

I am a trans .woman (assigned male at birth) and I have no interest in wearing lavender chiffon or in flower arranging. I don’t even like makeup. I think you are oversimplifying women,not just trans women. Most of us can’t afford surgeries, in the USA all transition relared health care is excluded from insurance, but we live our lives as ordinary women. I transitioned in place, meaning I stayed in the same job with the same employer (a school district) and people initially told me I was brave - but I didn’t feel brave. As my partner of 38 years said. “They say we’re brave, but what choice do we have? You just live your life”.

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