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heart + stomach
Innerbrat
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Delicious LiveJournal Links for 4-4-2008 
4th-Apr-2008 11:36 pm
heart + stomach
Opinions 
5th-Apr-2008 07:49 am (UTC)
Mm - link not working???
5th-Apr-2008 11:59 am (UTC)
(that looked wrong - messed up the HTML tags)

My big observation on this whole thing is that, despite what people are saying, it's not really a pregnant man.

It's a pregnant woman.

She may be a woman who has had various treatments to make her look more like a male; she may choose to refer to herself as a male, and apparently has gotten the government to declare her to be a male; but that doesn't change the fact that she was born female and is still biologically female.

Don't get me wrong, if she wants to live her life as a male I have no problem with that, but I think it's misleading how everybody's refering to her as a pregnant "man".
5th-Apr-2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
I guess it depends on how you define sex and gender. As far as Thomas Beattie - as far as thousands of people are concerned, and in most cases it's their viewpoint that really matters - gender is about how you define yourself and how you find your place in society.

This is key in archaeology as well - gender is a social, not a biological construct.

Thomas Beattie chooses to live as a man as much as you do. As much as I choose to live as a female. It was just harder for him to reach the conclusion to make the choice. The discrimination and abuse he has suffered since becoming pregnant is because he's a man and he fills a male gender role. His place in society is a male one.

So yes, in every aspect that matters, he's a pregnant man.
5th-Apr-2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
But what does that mean, "in every aspect that matters"? You're speaking in terms of social roles, and I'm referring to physiology. Does one matter and the other not?

In terms of sociology and psychology, you have a very valid point. As you say, he fills the gender roles of a male in society. If that's how he wants to live, then I agree that he should be treated as a male by society, and that to insist that he be treated as a female would be an infringement on his right to live his life as he pleases.

In terms of physiology, on the other hand, she still has ovaries, a womb, and is otherwise biologically female (except to the extent that she's used medical processes to alter herself). If she were not born a female, it would not be possible for her to be pregnant, which was my point.

Social roles are of course extremely important, but physiology is important also. Our body affects both our social interactions and our personal behavior. On a social level, anyone who knows that M. Beattie is a biological female acting in male gender roles is going to react differently to him than they would react to either a "man" or a "woman". I don't necessarily mean react negatively to him – I'm sure you wouldn't, and I like to think I wouldn't – but nonetheless differently. On a behavioral level, you spoke of Thomas Beattie's "choice" to live as a man, my "choice" to live as a man, and your "choice" to live as a woman. But were any of those decisions a real "choice"? Or are "choices" like that determined by the physical & chemical make-up of our brains? Could you live happily as a man, or could I live happily as a woman? How many of the decisions we make are pure mental choice, and how many are determined by our brain chemistry and other physical factors?

Perhaps the problem here is the binary nature of our language / society; we lack good terminology for those rare individuals who have a mind (or physical brain) that truly identifies as one gender but the body of the other gender.
6th-Apr-2008 01:35 am (UTC)
It's actually pretty standard practice to use the part of the binary terminology that a transgendered presents as. It may help the outside observer to note that Mr. Beattie is a transgendered individual, but insisting that the distinction be made is a way of "reacting differently."
5th-Apr-2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
While I think it's amazing that he is continuing to be referred to as a man, per his wishes for place in society, I also look at it from a purely medical standpoint and go "but won't all that hormone therapy I'm sure he took mess with the baby?"
5th-Apr-2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Well, he did stop hormone therapy, menstruated and conceived entirely normally. No medical report has said anything about a medical risk to the baby.
5th-Apr-2008 04:39 pm (UTC)
Ah. Well. Given that I've heard nothing of this whole matter until reading your post and attatched article, I didn't know.

Then I think it's great! Silly and shameful of the doctors to refuse treatment. Then again, there are plenty of doctors who are, technically, within their rights to refuse treatment to people. Like there's a gal at the family clinic where my grandparents live who strongly believes in 2-kids-only. Y'know, "replacing yourself." And will NOT give prenatal treatment or deliver for a family who is on their 3rd+ kid.
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