Thursday, June 01, 2006

Libertarian chicks & "silly stereotypes"

In a post yesterday about Robert "Michelle" Kosilek -- the convicted killer who strangled his wife in 1990 and now wants taxpayers to cover the cost of sex reassignment surgery (SRS) -- I said I would solicit the opinion of Dr. Deidre McCloskey, a free-market economist who underwent SRS several years ago.

Dr. McCloskey responded to my request, and has graciously given me her permission to publish her response:
I think the prisoner's demand for the government to pay for gender reassignment and associated procedures is wrong, on all sorts of counts---including the fundamental libertarian one. It's a free country, but that doesn't mean you get to be subsidized by the state. And the psychiatric claim---that she will commit suicide if her demand is not met---is a miserable argument. It encourages people to believe that someone who wants to change gender is simply crazy. Anyway, gender change has little to do with the genital surgery that gets so much attention. I mean, how many times a day is your plumbing witnessed by strangers? Zero, I hope. But your face and voice tone and demeanor and way of life are witnessed by strangers a hundred times a day. These can be changed without touching the genitals, at low expense. Talk to your local plastic surgeon about that nose job. Get some hormones. Practice your voice. Live a woman's life.

It makes more sense to get away from the medical model entirely. There's no public purpose served in subordinating to doctors a tiny group of people who wish to alter their gender presentation, right? As I said, it's a free country, yes? ...
Exactly. Thus far, you see, we're on solid libertarian turf. But then Dr. McCloskey leads me into disputed terrain:
But then I expect in consistency that people who oppose the prisoner's demand, at any rate if their grounds are libertarian and not simply instinctive fag bashing, will warmly support the rights of gender crossing people. Can I assume that you yourself, for example, warmly support my right to live as a woman, with all that entails? For example, you as a principled libertarian will support my right to marry as a woman. You will oppose fag-bashing regulations preventing gender crossers from getting driver's licences and other state-issued ID in their target gender. You will oppose silly stereotypes of gender crossing people as wannabe gays or madmen who will regret it.

In fact, you will march in the next gay rights parade in Washington, alongside the gender crossers' float, right? You may disagree with my presentation as a woman. . . whatever exactly "disagreeing" with a harmless choice of life may mean. . . but in a free country you will support to the death my right to presentation.

See you at the march!
LOL! If you see me at the march, Dr. McCloskey, please don't tell my wife.

As to "rights": Life, liberty and property -- these are rights. Everything else is up for debate.

Stereotypes: What a drag!

However, just because I'm not wearing Size 12E patent-leather pumps, Dr. McCloskey, does not make me immune to stereotypes and "bashing." Trust me when I say that being a heterosexual Southern white male can be a burden at times, even before you add such modifiers as "Christian" and "conservative."

Being free to act and speak is not the same as being free from criticism for one's words and actions. Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh are equally free to say what they wish, and we are equally free to praise or denounce whatever either of them says.

I am willing to presume that, just because you might make a wisecrack about banjos and "Deliverance" when you see Pat Robertson on TV, doesn't mean you hate Southerners. And I'd hope that you'd be equally willing to presume that, just because I laugh at a "Larry the Cable Guy" joke about drag queens, doesn't mean I hate you or Dr. Conway or Calpernia Adams or anyone else.

"Silly stereotypes"? Well, it would be a "silly stereotype," perhaps, to say that guys are fools for pretty faces, which might explain Dr. Michael Bailey's decision to divide trans-women into two categories: (1) cute youngish chicks he wouldn't mind dating, and (2) sick freaks. It is an injustice that such subjective, aesthetic preferences should be stamped with the imprimatur of "science" at taxpayer expense.

Pretty is as pretty does, and if Dr. Conway's young friend Gabrielle is a supporter of the bureaucratic Welfare State, she would thus be far less attractive than you, Dr. McCloskey. Being pro-market is just so ... sexy. I am a happily married man, of course, but ....

See there? I start out debating libertarian ideology, next thing you know, I'm risking a sexual harassment lawsuit!

No, no, Dr. McCloskey -- please don't lead me on with your talk of marriage and being a woman "with all that entails." You're just toying with my emotions, you minx. I feel like Charles Hamilton offering to fetch Scarlett another plate of barbecue at Twelve Oaks.

I'm a happily married man, I tell you.

Libertarian chicks -- they're all home-wreckers. Or is that just another "silly stereotype"?

-- McCAIN