Tag Archives: afghanistan

The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys

Afghan Girls as Boys

This is a very well-written article by the Atlantic (said magazine focusing increasingly on gender-related issues of late) which discusses not really transgender issues, but rather issues dealing with gender discrimination. Women are treated like second-class citizens at best under many countries which have either a fundamentalist Islamic culture, or an old tribal culture which has somehow not yet realized that this is no longer the Middle Ages.

This is very similar to a story I reported on last year, about Albanian women who chose to live as men to they could enjoy gender-based socio-economic advantages. While one can only hope that as time passes women will finally gain equality around the world, we must remember that women do not actually have equality even here in this “enlightened” United States. Not only do women here face legal and institutional inequality (such as the way they are treated in the armed forces), but socially and economically American women still have decades to go, or more, before they are paid the same and promoted the same as men are in the workplace. And one wonders whether sexual harassment will actually ever end, or if it will require centuries to do so.

The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys – The Atlantic.

NY Times: The Courage of Transgender Soldiers, Plus Una Rants

CateMcGregorLieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor – a real heroine.

There’s really no sugar-coating it – the treatment of our transgender fighting men and women is an utter disgrace…and yet, here we are. In this article there is one section which really should be called out for reading.

This isn’t the case in other countries. At least 12 now officially allow transgender individuals to serve openly in their defense forces. Britain has allowed transgender people to serve openly since 1999, and Australia since 2010.

The flags of these countries had hung above Ryan’s control station in Afghanistan. “I wear an American uniform and I represent a country supposedly defined by liberty and equality,” he told me. But “my allies are welcome to serve in a way that has most certainly just cost me my livelihood. If these countries’ soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines can serve openly and authentically as transgender women and men, why can’t I?”

Understanding the hatred of homophobic and transphobic red-blooded Americans on a general level doesn’t require much of a stretch. The average American is somewhat of a xenophobic ignoramus who fears anything which might disturb them in their gated subdivisions of self-imposed apartheid. Their dreams are simple ones – football games, mowing the lawn, raising the kids, and alcohol. They sulk and fume and titter like Gladys Kravitz because Mr. Green doesn’t mow his lawn on the same day as they do, and Ms. Violet parks her car in clear violation of the HOA-mandated method.

Suburban SprawlUniformity is bliss…

Their lives are simple and dull, and at some point while the commercials are running they grasp for meaning in life, because theirs has none. This has them turn to authoritarian religions and political groups, where the same lockstep narrow-minded conformity is the rule of law. So they gleefully adopt the misreadings of books which were originally largely filled with love and acceptance, to develop a hysterical homophobia and a societal uncanny valley which is both deep and wide.

Ironically, these folks also tend to be the ones pounding the drum for war, safe in their jobs and homes and living a life of luxury not conceptualized by any society before ours. It’s an extension of their xenophobia – “kill those towelheads!” they think, as they put 30 gallons of gasoline from the Middle East into their Ford F-350 Crew Cab “commuter car.” All the while acting like chickenhawks – “get our troops over there so we can get more cheap gas! I’m a big-assed American and I need a big assed car! Jesus wants this!”

fillingupI don’t want no gay gasoline…or gasoline that thinks it’s diesel…

And yet these same people have the unmitigated gall to mock, deride, demean, and even assault our brave transgender sisters and brothers who step forward to volunteer to serve in the military and put their lives on the line? And they have the audacity to pronounce like Solomon, while balancing a bowl of nachos on their gut, “whudahell, we gonna have a bunch of Corporal Klingers in the Army? That ain’t right.”

No, my idiotic imaginary hobgoblin, what “ain’t right” is the disrespect shown towards my sisters and brothers who are serving or who want to serve. Pretty please, with sugar on it – let them do their freaking jobs.

Someone I know often says “the world isn’t fair, it’s round” to which I answered once “no, it’s an oblate spheroid. The difference is we as a people can make the world fair. We cannot make it round.”

The Courage of Transgender Soldiers – NYTimes.com.