The Radical Feminist student group Stop Kyriarchy (SKY) held a Transgender Policy Panel last week which included such notables as IU-Bloomington Associate Dean of Students Carol McCord. Event coordinator Morgan Mohr’s event page described it as a way to facilitate a panel discussion about, “legal names on class rosters, pictures on student IDs, and gender divided restrooms…” because those issues might, “…serve as a mechanism of disenfranchisement.”
If SKY sounds familiar, it’s because of how famously their fag demonstration went awry forcing the event organizer to later commit ritual seppuku in front of the university Union Board. The Transgender Policy Panel went awry, too, but the funniest part is that none of the event organizers or panel participants are aware of this.
The panel could have discussed any number of issues relating to the transgender policy, but the number one concern for the transgender panelists was knowing where they could defecate and feel comfortable with their gender identity. The panel devolved into a shit joke. That is what the funniest part of the event was.
Which brings us to the second best joke of the night. The number one most used word was “feel,” and coming in at a close second was “real.” Identity crisis much? This is beginning to feel like a /b/ tier thread over at 8Chan.
Panelist Ethan Jackson is an IU-Bloomington senior and female-to-male transgendered person majoring in legal studies and gender studies. Jackson describes herself as a “trans-man” who enjoys “messing around with the binary as much as possible.” I say she because Jackson will forever be a woman. It does not matter how much she mutilates her bodily organs, alters her legal identity, or dopes her chromosomes. I don’t know if Jackson has done any those kinds of sex reassignment therapies, but it wouldn’t matter even if she had. She will always be a female despite what she feels like in her own mind, which is something she says has been a problem through her college career.
“Throughout the course of being a student at IU I’ve had a lot of instances where when I was in the very early stages of transitioning physically, there was definitely a period of time where I didn’t feel comfortable using men’s or women’s bathrooms because they were very gendered spaces, and I really didn’t feel comfortable,” Jackson said. “Because in one I didn’t feel safe, and in another I felt like I might be making other people feel unsafe.”
The problem with panel discussions like this is that the participants played fast and loose with the words sex and gender. It used to be that gender indicated biological expression and reproductive function. Now it seems to designate what any person self-identifies as in his or her mind. Seems to be that there is now only a semantic difference between the words sex and gender, but the two cannot be used interchangeably.
Assuming that sex is used to determine a person’s biological status as a male or female, it is truly ludicrous to ask for a “transgender bathroom” or “all gender bathroom.” Gender is something that you feel. Gender is completely intangible. In light of this distinction it would be more appropriate to say the panelists were demanding a “feels room,” a place where they can feel comfortable while defecating. It is not the case that the panelists were arguing about nothing, because they were arguing over something. The funny thing is that something turned out to be a pile of shit.
The 14 most common words in my notes and transcriptions, in order from most to least, were: feel, real, because, one, that, tran, know, it, want, bathroom, thing, student, say and how.
Keeping the words in order and strategically adding punctuation weirdly sums up the evening: “Feel real. Because, one, that tran know it want bathroom thing. Student say how.” Of course, that sentence is grammatically incorrect and would only make sense given in context of the discussion.
However, panelist Josie (refused to give last name) isn’t worried by such things as grammar. Josie is an IU sophomore studying law, public affairs and gender studies. For all the technical language requirements of studying law and public relations, grammar is not something she worries about. For Josie, it is more important to focus on a person’s humanity. In light of Josie’s desire to respect humanity without worrying about pronouns and grammar, I am sharing his sentiment on the matter exactly as it was spoken with each and every “uh” and “uhm.”
“Uhm, as for the first question, the most annoying thing, probably what I receive the most is that, you know, because I use ‘they’ pronouns most of the time, people’s reaction is that that’s not grammatically correct, so I can’t say that,” Josie said. “Uhm, which is really just an excuse for them not to, like, respect what I am asking for. Uhm, and I think, you know, grammar is so much less important than, uh, respecting someone’s humanity.”
Associate Dean of Students Carol McCord participated in the panel so that she could hear the students’ demands while also speaking directly to those concerns. She listened to the students, responded to their concerns and reassured them that her commitment is to protecting their experience at IU-Bloomington.
“I don’t even want anyone even to be at greater risk for an emotional trauma or discomfort. You know, the reality of life is life’s hard enough,” McCord said. “We want students to be able to be here to study and to focus on what it is they’re trying to do to succeed, and I don’t want people to have to deal with those kinds of embarrassments, discomforts that we could help by changing how we manage things.”
That’s about as clear as it gets. The institution has come “out of the closet” and declared that sodomites’ feelings are so fragile, delicate, and worthy of protection that they shouldn’t have to suffer even the risk of emotional trauma or discomfort. Of course, I hope it won’t be too traumatizing for the panelists when they find out that SKY just pulled an elaborate shit joke at their expense.