Here’s a controversial piece from Zoe Dolan, lawyer, author, and friend, in a smart piece about why, when it cones to dating – amongst other things – talking about genital surgery is important. I have always reserved the right to talk about these things with trans people and with trans partners because I do a lot of work around sex and relationships, but I stopped a few years ago in any public forums because of the ridiculous obsession – especially with penises – when trans stuff comes up. (I’ll be posting something a bit later about the term “political correctness” because I really, really can’t stand it.)
The conversation goes like this:
Him: Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?
Me: Yes, I have a vagina. Yes, I have a clitoris, and also labia majora and labia minora. Yes, I feel sensation and I can have orgasms — both vaginal and clitoral. And yes, I self-lubricate; but who ever said no to a little coconut oil?
Him: Wow. That’s amazing. Thank you for being so open. I’ve been curious but afraid to ask.
I’ve written before, and I maintain: my view is that there’s no shame in the human body. We all have one.
Nevertheless, a politically correct script of deflection dominates public discourse when it comes to sex change surgery. This condescension shames people into believing that questions arising out of natural curiosity are somehow overly intrusive, and that inquiring about the medical aspects of being transgender is wrong.
Take, for example, John Oliver’s Transgender 101 that recently went viral.
The monologue began with a discussion of “dumb mistakes” that the media make. His point was, apparently, that “[i]t is no more okay to ask transgender people about their sex organs than it would be to ask Jimmy Carter whether or not he’s circumcised.”
He concluded, “[T]heir decision on this matter is, medically speaking, none of your [bleep]ing business.”
While the privacy that others may choose deserves respect, there is fallacy in the proposition that everyone should know better than to pursue understanding of a subject to which they have yet to be exposed. Continue Reading