You see, when you appear to be female, and sound female, and are objectively female, and you visit a restaurant with a group of women, and the stranger taking your order fails to pre-emptively ask, as one does, whether anyone present has serious mental health issues, and instead simply says, “Hi, ladies”… Well, clearly, this is an outrage.
Update, via the comments:
I am not responsible for the state of someone else’s mental health. This is not because I lack compassion, but because anyone who makes the state of their confidence and sanity dependent on random strangers is going to be forever disappointed. It would be like bursting into tears every time you buy a lottery ticket and find your numbers didn’t come up.
It does seem an unpromising path to contentment. As noted here recently,
This, I think, is what makes trans activism different from that of other groups with which transgender people are often equated. Someone being gay, for instance, doesn’t generally entail a demand that everyone else either hallucinate or pretend to hallucinate. Which is to say, trans activism often includes a belief that the rest of us should pretend that the physical reality we can see is somehow not the case. And unsurprisingly, people may object to being told that they should lie on demand.
A concession that would leave those so inclined at the mercy of any poseur, or prankster, or unpleasable neurotic.
Some will likewise not welcome being told to indulge, wholesale, a bundle of phenomena that includes not only actual gender dysphoria, whether the result of neurological anomalies or childhood molestation, but also autogynephilia, serious personality disorders, and assorted exhibitionist and unsavoury compulsions. The expectation seems to be that we should take these different phenomena, with very different moral connotations, as being one and the same thing, and then defer to them. Which is asking rather more than can readily be agreed to.
Our Queen of Sorrow says,
Every time I go to the grocery store and ignore being called ‘miss’ or ‘ma’am’… it’s not okay.
And so, one has to wonder what the imagined solution is, the one to which we aren’t made privy. Are checkout staff everywhere supposed to ignore the obvious fact that Arthur is female, and presents herself as female, with female clothing and hair? Should checkout staff and waitresses, and everyone working in retail, everywhere, somehow just know to pretend that Arthur is something she isn’t? Do checkout staff and waitresses really have the time and wherewithal to fathom and indulge every single customer’s psychological quirks in advance of any interaction, even a routine greeting? Exactly how much of this lady’s psychological dissonance should be foisted on everyone else?
And would such an accommodation set us on a path we want to be travelling down? Pretending can lead to some strange terrain.
In person, I’m generally polite by default and don’t go out of my way to needlessly put a kink in someone else’s day. I’ve had perfectly civil chats with people who regard themselves as trans or gender-non-conforming or whatever. Nobody got upset. But what is being asked – or demanded – is not a small thing, not in its implications. Some insist that not indulging psychodrama is a violation of human rights and a basis for severe legal consequences. One might think that coercively eroding the probity of other people, demanding that they lie and pretend to hallucinate, is a pretty bad thing too. At best, a recipe for grim farce.
But there we are.
Update 3, via the comments, more fits of unrealism:
Being precocious, we’re told, is just “white supremacy” and therefore something to atone for.
Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.