Thursday, 14 August 2014

Back from the Grave 2

Next, a post on a really way-out topic. I'm still not sure why I wrote about this, because it's not part of my world, and never was. Perhaps I wanted to write about something completely new, and this was an item that caught my attention, much as I came across the 'living dolls' chronicled in my post dated 21 February 2014, titled In a different skin.

It's a post called Very unfamiliar territory: eunuchs, published on 15 December 2012.

I've been trying to formulate some ripostes to men who take narrow, blinkered views on trans women. Supposing this imaginary conversation takes place:

Man: 'I just can't agree that you are really a woman.'

Lucy: 'But presumably you'd say that no man would have genital surgery?'

Man: 'Of course I would say that. No man would dream of getting rid of his most defining physical characteristics.'

Lucy: 'My very thinking. We agree. Yes indeed, no man would. But a woman stuck with the wrong genital equipment would most certainly want corrective surgery. She'd be desperate for it, and you can easily see why. I'm saying, that's my situation. My need for corrective surgery proves that I'm a woman, because only a woman would want it.'

Man: 'Ah...well, put that way, I suppose you have a good point.'

Lucy: 'It's unanswerable, isn't it?'

I thought I had a great convincer there. But now I've become aware of something that has blown a big hole in my apparently watertight argument. Over on the GenderTrender blog - see my Blog List off to the right - a regular series of challenging posts has been put before the world. One is about men who desire genital simplification to the point of obsession. Here is a link to that post:

This is the first time I've become aware of what Nullos and Smoothies are, and the meaning of MTE, which is not to be confused with the much more familiar MTF. These are not women who want  female genitalia instead of the bits they were born with, so that they can get on with a female life properly kitted out. These are men who want the partial or complete removal of their genitalia, and nothing substituted. The flawless perfection of a smooth surface. Welcome to the eunuch community.

What do I make of this? Well, it's male stuff, and therefore I feel ill-qualified to venture a strong opinion. It's nothing that I thought about in my old life, let alone ever wanted. I don't think my own genital operation has turned me into a eunuch, even though I've lost all male capability. I do appreciate the smoother outline down there, but I've also acquired a fresh set of distinctively female bits, and given the right opportunities I can and will use them in a completely non-male way.

I don't suppose that the eunuch world is much known to men in general. It's niche. But it does spoil my riposte. So the conversation might instead go:

Man: 'I just can't agree that you are really a woman.'

Lucy: 'But presumably you'd say that no man would have genital surgery?'

Man: 'Wrong! There are lots of men who go off to India and Thailand to be castrated. Some of them go the whole hog, and have everything removed. So I can say that plenty of men do have drastic genital surgery. They become eunuchs. They are however still men. And since your own surgery is broadly the same, it doesn't prove that having it makes you a woman.'

Back to the drawing-board!

By the way, if you are a eunuch, please be assured that I see nothing to criticise in your choice of body form. It's your body, your life: just what I'd say of my own body and life.

Posted by Lucy Melford at 00:41

There were five comments:

1. Shirley Anne 15 December 2012 15:33

Drawing board? You don't need a drawing board Lucy. You should know by now that gender identity isn't defined by what is or is not between the legs but by what is between the ears!

Shirley Anne x

2. Lucy Melford 15 December 2012 16:00

You know it, I know it. But I want some way of convincing the blind men in my life. I'm not inclined to give up, and just write them off.


3. Anonymous 16 December 2012 02:07

How can you convice a blind man that there is a difference between black and white? Would it not be wiser to seek the man with the vision to recognize and accept the difference?

4. Jamiegottagun 17 December 2012 18:34

Some transwomen become eunuchs, too. Especially before SRS, it is a helpful step, because removal of the testes ends male hormone production, meaning an anti-androgen is no longer required. This is important for some, because not all people can take anti-androgens without life-threatening side-effects. It also allows the female hormones to work faster, and unimpeded, as they still would be to a degree even with an anti-androgen.

And you know what? Some transwomen decide to stop there, at just the castration, and find it offers them the peace they were seeking, and go no further. I know a couple of transsexuals who have done just that. And they still can have sex, if they want to. They just go to the doctor and get a testosterone shot if they wish.

See, you do learn something every day.

5. Lucy Melford 17 December 2012 21:24

I think it's amazing what one doesn't know. I'd never have become aware of many things if I'd stayed in the old life.

The thing is, eunuchs still don't impinge on my own life, but being one is important for some, and a serious matter for them. It's best to know something about how it is for them, so that I don't inadvertently cause them pain with a crass word. It's only what I'd want for myself.


Post-mortem in 2014
This was a complete one-off foray into unusual territory. That said, it is a remarkable thing to learn about, and although I haven't felt the slightest urge to discover more, it remains absolutely true that transitioning has opened my eyes as nothing else in my life ever did.

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