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Genitalia as Social Constructs

By       Message Linh Dinh       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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Philadelphia, 2018
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During a recent gay pride parade in Philly, a transgender woman was arrested for attempting to burn a Blue Lives Matter flag. The charges against ReeAnna Segin were arson, causing/risking a catastrophe and other misdemeanors. After Segin was released, however, her case smoldered on, for he/she claimed that his/her human rights and dignity were violated since he/she was locked up for four hours with male inmates, that is, with other humans cursed or gifted with a penis.


Having a dick, though, no longer means that one is male in the Disunited States of Whatever. Segin's beef was amplified by all the Philly news outlets. In front of television crews, Segin demanded that cops be banned at future Pride Parades, "We can protect ourselves from police and violent organizations on our own. We need to create a world where our trans family is safe."

I was sitting in Friendly Lounge, exercising my liver, as usual, when my friend Lisa expressed outrage at the police's treatment of ReeAnna Segin, to which I replied, "If this person has a penis, but is locked up with a woman, how would his or her cellmate feel? I mean, there is no privacy in a jail! Should we start building prisons for transgenders?"

Besides separate facilities for MtFs and FtMs, we should erect brand-new, state-of-the-art gulags for agenders, bigenders, polygenders, neutrois, androgynes, intergenders, demigenders, greygenders, aporagenders, novigenders and maveriques, and please forgive me for leaving out other mutations.

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Until we achieve this prison-industrial complex nirvana, binary jails must suffice, so should Kaitlin Jenner be booked, he/she will be stripped, like everybody else, then subjected to a manual cavity search or forced to sit on a Body Orifice Security Scanner. Naked, Jenner will simply be male or female, according to the usual definition.

With its infinity of facts and unarrestable processes, one's own body is one's most exhaustive and exacting teacher, on just about everything, and like everybody else, I'm not exactly comfortable with my body's uncompromising and often cruel pointers, lessons and allegories, but such is life. Daily, I bow to my first and last sensei.

At Pennsport Pub, Philly's last old school go-go joint, the dancers are quite at ease with being naked, but they're still composing themselves, thus still cultured. Standing on the bar, statuesque Kitty jiggled her ample ass in front of my buddy, Felix.

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"How's that?"

"I'm fine as long as you don't fart in my face!" the never censored 71-year-old cheerfully replied.

When I was a housepainter many moons ago, a co-worker joked, "Why do women wear makeup and perfume?"

"I don't know."

"It's because they're ugly and they stink!"

In that case, then, we're all women, for we're all trying to mask our fug ugliness and funk with all sorts of barely convincing cosmetics or scents, be it an expensive suit, much learning, bravado or this syntactically showy sentence, so carving ourselves up to become a new person certainly belongs to this desperate strategy.

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In East Asia, too many have deformed themselves to appear whiter, but even with blonde hair, rounder eyes and a higher nose bridge, an oriental remains his or her birth self, just as a man wearing a dress is just some guy in rag. (Meaning merely Easterner, "oriental" is much more exact than "Asian," so should never have been displaced.) Though it may be a drag, you are, exactly, your biology.

Like most people, I couldn't care less what kinds of convictions or fantasies you have about what's between your legs, for you're free to add, subtract or transmogrify to your heart's content, it's none of my business, but subjectivity can only go so far. Though I can claim to be Serena Williams, I shouldn't be surprised if the world doesn't quite agree.

The new dogma that you can define your own sex is one of the surest signs that America, and much of the West, has gone mad. I write this while sitting in a Saigon eatery. Although there have always been Vietnamese cross-dressers, people here still equate being female with having a uterus, and not just a dress and makeup.

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Linh Dinh's Postcards from the End of America has just been published by Seven Stories Press. Tracking our deteriorating socialscape, he maintains a photo blog.

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