Today I just happened to be approaching the shuttle stop for the bus to UIOWA campus as the bus arrived. It’s been damp and cooler than normal in Iowa City and I was feeling it in my bones this morning, so I flagged the bus and hopped on. Usually I walk the two miles to the art school because a brisk walk early in the morning is the best thing for advanced arthritis. I practice mindfulness walking, being aware of my body in space and deepening my sense perceptions of the world around me. We have all been trained to tune out the natural world, but as an artist I must continually work to deepen my sense perceptions of the living world.
So, I parked my butt in a seat near the door and tried not to look too conspicuous as the only old person on a bus filled with students. At the next stop a person with long hair and no discernible facial hair boarded the bus. They sat in the seat nearest the door and immediately began to talk very loudly about their appearance. Getting into details about mascara at 8 in the morning with a bus driver. This was not a beauty queen, it was a rather nerdy looking person in a jacket and jeans.
I am a survivor of horrific sexual abuse that began in infancy at the hands of my violent pedophile father. The way I survived was by developing hyper-acute sensitivity to non-verbal cues, emotional timbre, tones of voice. I had to know when danger was brewing. These days I have to keep my level of hyper-alertness at a critical level because men are pretending to be women and I HAVE to know when I am in a vulnerable situation with a person who was born with a penis and socialized into male privilege.
Ordinarily when I encounter men who are pretending to be women I can just look the other way, and do what is necessary to avoid any interaction, so that my negative reaction won’t be noticed and out me as gender-critical. But this morning, the trans-identified male on the bus was violating my personal space. He was flirting shamelessly with the bus driver. I could feel the waves of anxiety pouring off of him as he chattered on and my stomach started to turn. I could hear the strain in his voice and he struggled to maintain the appropriate level of babytalk femininity that he thought would let him pass as female. But the facade kept breaking and I heard the testosterone bass breaking through.
I started trembling because of a gut feeling that I was in the presence of an unstable person who was telling a huge lie about objective reality and thinking he was getting away with it. In the past I have had no problem with gender nonconforming people, with men who dress in stereotypical female garb, because I thought it was about being gay and being gay is fine. Now that I have studied the phenomenon of autogynephilia, however, I understand that these men are deliberately violating social norms in order to elicit a shock reaction from others. This causes a feeling of sexual stimulation for these men. It can become an out of control addiction for some men. But we are never supposed to talk about this because to do so violates the rights of the gender nonconforming.
I marveled at how the bus driver went along with this performance. Because it is totally about performance. After a couple of stops I got up and moved to the back of the bus where I wouldn’t have to hear that man’s voice seesawing in and out of falsetto and basso profundo. I did some deep breathing and it came to me that this is what men believe being a woman really is all about. Our entire existence is seen as a performance for men’s benefit. All women are capable of is paying minute attention to every aspect of our appearance and behavior, to be certain we are pleasing men – according the the tranz doctrine. We are empty masks painted on the sky, no soul within that mask. I can’t think of a more alienated state to aspire to. Imagine thinking that what you really are is a fake mask. That’s what an “identity” is.
I wonder if the bus driver and people around these sad individuals who enable their behavior would be as accepting and tolerant of transgenderism if they understood that it really is a psycho-sexual disorder on the same scale as anorexia. It is a distorted image of the self and a denial of the body in exactly the same way as anorexia, with as dire consequences for physical health, since cross sex hormones are just poison and removing healthy body parts is – and should be treated as – criminally insane behavior. That goes for the greedy “doctors” who do this to children. We are taking names. You WILL be held to account for this.