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|Spectra and binaries|
“”[The] purpose is to see you able to understand yourself, to determine what to do, to know the basic plan to actually do it and what it will involve, and to survive and succeed.
|—Jennifer Diane Reitz, transsexual.org|
Transsexual.org is a blog by American transgender writer Jennifer Diane Reitz which purports to host "both basic and advanced information about transsexuality, provided in a gentle and compassionate manner." Actually, the blog provides swaths of misleading and misdirected information and advice, cushioned only by the tasteless web design of the late 1990s and green ink.
The site gives a copacetic if ugly first impression; digging slightly deeper reveals the meaty insides: full of gender stereotypes, hatred of men, creepy idealization and outright objectification of women; information that is, at the very best, outdated. It even gives tips on how to cheat on psychology tests for sex reassignment surgery, something no sane person, transgender or otherwise, would ever recommend or seriously consider. The site is also highly cisphobic, with many (unfounded) claims which paint transgender people as special and generally better than non-trans people. A consequence, intentional or otherwise, is that the site's name may end up luring in people with gender dysphoria or those with uneasy feelings about their gender identity, thus feeding this misinformation to them at their most vulnerable. Critics speculate this may be the page's actual purpose.(Warning: Possible Poe's Law in action!)
Jennifer Diane Reitz
Reitz's own mini autobiography describes her as an artist, game designer, writer, webmaster, hetaera, and post-op transsexual woman. Reitz repeatedly denounces religion as "unproven" and "baseless," appearing to be an agnostic. In 1973, when she was 13 and "urban camping" in a friend's backyard in Blackfoot, Idaho, she claims to have seen a "perfectly triangular" UFO.
The site has a quiz (COGIATI: Combined Gender Identity And Transsexuality Inventory) attempting to diagnose gender dysphoria but which relies instead on gender norms and gender- and sex-independent traits, such as:
- Mathematical affinity
- Liking hugs and physical affection
- Probable ability to discern emotion on photographs
- Writing skill
- How one feels about their own sexual arousal
- Various social skills
the COGIATI is a prototype [...] In conclusion, the COGIATI is based on real world science, and the discoveries of that real world science do NOT diminish OR elevate any sex above, or below, any other. All any of this means is that the sexes are different, but really, that should NOT be a surprise to anyone. Any judgment about the merit of any one set of differences, beyond that, is bigotry, and I refuse to indulge, if I can avoid it. The COGIATI is a [sic] valid and accurate as I could possibly make it, and I hope many people in the future try to improve upon it. Unlike the BEM, and other tests, I do not charge money for the COGIATI, and I never will. It is for all humankind to use, and to build upon. And finally, for love of the gods, please, please READ THE INSTRUCTIONS on things -such as tests- FIRST.
Wait a second.
Several interesting physical and mental indications have been statistically shown to occur in relation to transsexuality. One factor is intelligence, the transsexual is on average two standard deviations in intellect greater than the base population, and one standard deviation higher than those defined as homosexual. This probability of high intelligence is currently not explained, though there are suggestions that it may be the result of the unique and somewhat mixed brain 'wiring' of the transsexual, who may benefit from a combination of male and female structures or functions. Another curious correlation is creativity, transsexuals tend to possess a high degree of artistic and general creative ability.
Way to make sense.
WordsThe website repeatedly misdefines many core terms. On "transgenderism":
This definition is highly misleading: transgender is the proper term for any person who suffers, or has suffered in the past, from gender dysphoria.
essentially an empty word […] as a neutral label for any individual not conforming to common social rules […] created to help unite […] disparate individuals under [an] interest in gender [which] refers to those who crossdress, are intersexed, live in the opposite societal role of their physical sex, those who play with gender expression for any purpose whatsoever, and transsexuals as well […] there is potential survival benefit in this mutual association labeled as 'transgenderism;' the primary function is social and political, and not clinical, despite efforts to legitimize the essentially meaningless term.
The site also misdefines or misuses the following terms:
- hermaphrodite: in the modern day this is a slur against intersex people.
- This entire page not only contradicts itself, but reality, too.
- Calls "transsexuality" [sic] a "birth defect," like some sort of mental disability, rather than a neurological peculiarity.
- A primer on transsexuality "This primer, written for the late grade school - early high school level, should provide a basic understanding of what transsexuality is all about."
- Reasons To Cherish Being Transsexual
- Jennifer Diane Reitz, Jennifer Diane Reitz's mini autobiography.
- The Combined Gender Identity And Transsexuality Inventory Gender Test Center
- The Last Word On The COGIATI Test
- Implying that gays and lesbians are smarter than straight people, but not as much smarter as transsexuals.
- What Transsexuality is Definition, Cause, and History
- INFORMAL GENDER IDENTITY SELF DISCOVERY PROVOCATEUR Essay style thought experiments designed to facilitate self analysis
- Dialogue With Jennifer Letters27 - Transsexuality
- Dialogue With Jennifer Letters8 - Transsexuality
- Don't Call Them Hermaphrodites They prefer the term "intersex." And now that a South African track star has thrust them into the spotlight, this surprisingly large minority group thinks their Stonewall moment just may have arrived.
- media advisory on sex verification in sports This issue appears to be perennial, so here are some FAQs to help reporters get the basic facts right. (I wrote this a while ago, but it still is relevant and helpful.)