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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Steve Stanton's Name Change

I wrote before about Steve Stanton. Until recently, he was the City Manager for the City of Largo in the Tampa Bay Area. Now, Largo is one of those "bedroom communities" - people live there, but little else goes on. It's basically a suburb of some of the larger cities it's sandwiched between. So Largo received it's rare shot at the spotlight when Steve announced he wanted to become Susan. He was promptly fired.

Since then, Steve made the choice to start walking about in drag, is taking female hormones, and has interviewed for the position of City Manager in Sarasota (no one is taking his chances seriously). To see Steve in drag, you can go here.

Today, Steve is going to apply for a legal name change to Susan. It is assumed that he will get it easily and quickly. And even though he has not changed his sex legally (he has not had his genitalia mutilated and reshaped into a semblance of female genitalia) and although he will never own a uterus (unless it's in a jar submersed in formaldehyde), he is now requesting that people address him in the feminine gender. Our local newspaper, the St. Pete Times, is complying.

How ridiculous! I realize that there ARE instances of people who have undergone sex change operations and re-apply for a legal acknowlegement of their new "sex". They are almost always granted it, I believe. However, in Steve's case, he doesn't even have the carpet to match the drapes! Until he truly changes his genitalia, why should anyone even THINK of calling him a "her"? *

Let's put this in perspective, shall we? I have a crystal ball and I can see 10 years into the future:

Richard Baier thinks he's a St. Bernard trapped in a man's body. His favorite movie is The Shaggy Dog. He has always resented his lot in life and secretly dressed in a dog costume at night, despite his wife's tearful protests and, finally, resigned acceptance.

As time went on, Richard grew to feel that he should make his real nature known to his colleagues. He started packing dogfood for lunch, thus shocking some of the less "educated" members of his team. He prepared literature to introduce them to the concept of DogMen (a.k.a Were Dogs) in order to gain further acceptance. At first, Richard started wearing shirts with the Virginia state logo significantly altered. Finally, he began wearing a coat, even in the warmth of the summers. He would talk with forced gaiety about dog day afternoons.

When news of his behavior leaked out, his superiors fired him, feeling that such behavior was not acceptable in a supervisor. He immediately fought back in righteous indignation, going to the press in full costume, giving interviews interspersed with an occasional bark or yap. He no longer was content with being addressed as Richard, Mr. Baier, or even Dick. He now insisted that everyone refer to him simply as "Rover". So, fawning members of the press referred to him as Rover, and reported ecstatically on his every move, including his interview for Vice President of Kibbles N' Bits.


In turn, Kibbles N' Bits (not wishing to appear discriminatory) allowed the entire dog-and-pony show, promising that Rover was a candidate in good standing who was being considered for the job (among many other fine applicants who were, coincidentally, sane).

Is this what we're coming to, next? It surely is, unless we get a good old-fashioned dose of common sense. Where will it all stop? It won't - unless we apply the brakes.

*(And personally, I would argue that no matter what sort of mutilation you subject your genitalia to, you can't change the fact that if you were male you were born without the same plumbing and you will die without it, too. In my humble opinion, Steve should always be referred to as a "he" even if he goes through with the sex change operation.)

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I stand by my opinion that this is a clear sign that someone has a serious mental illness and needs treatment, not for society to embrace this type of behavior.

Ange

Saur said...

Ange, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Scott said...

I think that there are so many other things in this world to worry about, who cares what someone chooses to do with their own body?? Who is he hurting by doing this?

Scott

Hans said...

I have a couple thoughts on this one.

1 - What is with all of the publicity seeking? If he wants to live like a woman I don't give a rip. He can go ahead and knock himself out. Although I am sympathetic for his wife and kid but everyday there is some new twist on the story. Every little detail. It can't be making it any easier for his family. Go away. Get on and live your life.

2 - He is one homely woman. Hard on the eyes.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Scott, he is hurting society. By pushing this envelope, we end up with a ludicrous situation that could potentially bog down every situation. If we are allowed to demand that we be addressed and accepted in any way that we choose, where does it end? Why do we need to have his freakish lifestyle choice pushed on us? After all, sex change operations are not covered by insurance because they are deemed cosmetic surgery, and people who want such things are still remanded for psychiatric treatment.

Hans, he seeks publicity because he seeks acceptance for his peculiar choice. Yeah, he's not purty.... ;o) What's even more comical is the deep voice that accompanies the image.

daveawayfromhome said...

Saur, he is only hurting society if you assume that you need certain plumbing to do certain jobs. Most of the time, this simply is not true, certainly in the case of government it isnt (look at the the totally ball-less Democrats in congress).
Any pain here is self-inflicted via giving a rat's ass about how someone else lives their life.
Your Dog Analogy is amusing, but ultimately only that, unless you feel that women cannot do the same job of leading as men can (yes, I know he's not a woman, nor ever will really be, but let's just call it an exaggerated sense of dress and get on with it).

For a position in government, gender ought to be considered no more important than hair color or where you bought your clothes.

Conservatives love to make the claim that this sort of thing is what is "destroying" the country, but the only real damage I see comes from those who make a big deal out of it. Surely there are plenty of things more damaging to the country than whether some guy (who appears to be competent otherwise?) wants to cut off his schmeckle and wear a dress? It's not my bag, personally, but then nobody's making me (or you) do anything similar, are they?

Hans said...

Saur- Is it acceptance or affirmation? I haven't heard him speak only pictures in the paper.

Hans said...

daveawayfromhome-

I believe Conservatives have been hijacked by Evangelicals. I grew up in a Midwestern Conservative Christian family, which is the way we approach our lives not what we would expect of everyone. My parents and I were and still are very compassionate and accepting people. God loves variety.

What I find amusing is the Evangelicals are the folks wondering WWJD. In this case we have a clear answer. Check John 8:1-12

Anonymous said...

In terms of religious beliefs you can accept a person for who they are but you do not need to accept their lifestyle. You can say, I am ok with this person but I do not agree nor do I condone their lifestyle. God may love me, but there are plenty of things about my lifestyle that are still not acceptable and I work towards correcting those. The thing is, this is a situation where their lifestyle is clearly wrong and they are embracing it, instead of fighting it and trying to live the way in which God desires us to live.

Ange

The Lazy Iguana said...

Who cares? Was the "it" doing a bad job as Largo City Manager? If so that is an issue. Other than that, as long as it can continue to do a good job then who cares about all this other crap?

Lets say you get on an airplane. The pilot and flight crew announce 2 hours into a 10 hour non-stop long haul flight that they have all decided to change genders. Someone in the plane stands up and says "I can fly a single engine Cessna" or "I play a lot of computer flight simulators at home!". Would you want that person to fly the rest of the 8 hours, or allow the trained pilot with years of experience stay in its seat?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Ange, thank you. You fielded it well.

Everyone Else, I stand by what I said. Most of you know by now that I'm hardly a bigot, and this isn't a "gay" issue, either. This is an issue that is still seen as being crazy by the majority of the populace AND counselors/psychiatrists/psychologists. It's the same as someone who feels that they must chop off their arm - we just sanction it because it involves genitalia and we, as a society, are afraid to blow the whistle on any sexual perversions unless it's extremely deviant. But, since the standards are being lowered every year, how long will it be before we end up in debates about sex with animals? Not long, I assure you.

Lazy, but it's not a question of how well Steve Stanton did his job. It's a question of what we are expected to put up with, and at what point it becomes a ludicrous attempt at seeing the emperor's new clothes.

kathleen said...

Saur,

He lived in Brookside, a bunch of Kent Place want-to-bes.

It hurts me that he's a Gator. An Alberta want-to-be.

I don't have words to describe how sick this Dude is.

I thought for sure that Homie mayor in Sarasota would take embracing diversity to an extreme.

Excellent post.

By the way I was on Clearwater Beach today, what on earth did they do to the parking lot? What are they building I'm out of touch?

michelle said...

Agree.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Michelle, thought you would. ;o)

Gator-Impersonating-Kathleen, The morons in Clearwater have decided that, at the height of tourist season, it's time to tear up all the parking spaces except for about 20 located south of the beach parking area. It's impacting businesses, snarling up traffic, and has destroyed the "Sunsets at Pier 60" program, whose vendors are probably gathering what little money that they have left to put a hit out on the city council.

daveawayfromhome said...

Saur, like the Marriage with Animals question, your Sex With Animals question is a red herring. That's not what we're talking about here, and you know it. People eat meat, but as far as I know, there's no danger of them turning to cannibalism.
Sure it's self-mutilation, but personally I'd say that's true of tattoos, also (though on a much smaller scale). And I'm willing to bet he's put a lot more thought into his decision than 90% of the tats you see (or dont).
Hell, forget tattoos, what about plastic surgury. Maybe breast implants were the start of the slippery slope to sex change, so thence to sex-with-animals. Let's shun all women with breast implants, okay, 'cause they're destroying the Nation (this may actually be true). Except that women have been stuffing their bras and people have been crossing-dressing since clothes were invented. The surgury just makes it a little more "real".
If you dont want to hang out with him, fine. If you want to tell Saurkid that he/she is a total wacko, that's fine, too. But it's got nothing to do with doing the job, even if he was a dog-boy.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daveawayfromhome, there is never a perfect analogy to give. Truthfully, this one needs none! It only takes common sense to know that genital mutilation is not a good solution to a mental problem.

If you didn't like MY analogy, you certainly substituted a poor one: Breast implants? Puh-leeze. *I* don't have any... However, I can certainly comment on them: They are an ADDITION to the body, like muscle implants in men. In other words, it's simple cosmetic surgery without mutilation. They are enhancing someone's image of what they already ARE. And, truthfully, I don't see the need for them either but it's hardly in the same league. And how do you back up your assertion that breast implants could destroy a nation? Please do share.

Tattoos: Again, I don't have them and don't like them. But it's an enhancement - nothing is being chopped off.

The problem, just as the post before this, is that we are not a societal anarchy. As you know, I am VERY pro-individual rights. But, we are talking about mental illness being sanctioned instead of treated.

It would be the same as a woman who says "God has told me to remove my arm, but I'm having the darndest time getting a surgeon to go along with it!" She could go to the papers, trumpet her cause, and... would hopefully get the mental help she needed instead of a surgeon stupid enough to chop her arm off. There are MANY cosmetic surgeons that refuse to do sex change operations and it's not because they're afraid they'll fail - they think it's a bad solution to a mental problem.

Now, let's talk about simple cross dressing: Outside of it being simply ludicrous, the real question is how much should we tolerate and/or sanction it? The answer is, the minority doesn't always rule! We still aren't an anarchy, and despite the last 30 years or so, we are governed by the MAJORITY. Since when do minorities get to demand that we kowtow to them all the time? Why does an individual get to demand "I am now a (insert choice here), you must address me accordingly"?! And why must we go along with it? How much is simple pandering to mental illness which should be treated instead of encouraged?

Hans said...

You are corret, the minority does not rule but it is the responsiblility of everyone to protect the right of the individual to lead their lifes in the way that they best see fit as long as it does not interfere with the rights of the person next to them. If a person wants to be called mister or misses or sack of potatoes that is their decision. It is our right to call them mister or misses or sack of potatoes or not at all.

It is not our right to make a moral judgement of him/her/it. Moral judgements are the domain of God and I know that I am not him.

daveawayfromhome said...

Thank you, hans, that sums it up nicely, actually.

The breast implant analogy was mostly flippancy on my part, though the plastic surgury techniques for gender change change did not appear out of thin air. As for breast implants destroying a nation, it could be argued that they feed our need to live a fantasy life rather than deal with life as it is, something that could be said to have led us to our present predicament of having leaders judged by their words rather than their actions. Or not.
Personally, I have nothing against breasts in any form, but, like hair-color bleach/dye, find it annoying that people cant simply accept themselves as themselves. In fact, that could be said to be the root of this man wanting to mutilate himself in order to "be a woman". Why cant he (and everyone else) just accept the fact that some people have blond hair, some people have brown eyes, some people like their own gender, and some men like "feminine" things rather than "masculine" things (and vice-versa for some women), and just get on with their lives?

Grog said...

Let me ask a pointy question - one that is closer to the heart of the matter:

If we do not have a problem with arbitrarily assigning a gender to someone surgically because they are born with an ambiguous set of genitalia, why is it that you speak so harshly of those whose psychological make-up is at odds with their physical gender?

Anonymous said...

daveawayfromhome: I am just going to jump right in here in regard to the breast implant comment(s). I am a woman and have always been and always will be a woman. I am also a woman with breast cancer who had to have one of her breasts removed. You made the comment that you could not understand why people could not just be themselves. Does this mean that I should not have had reconstructive surgery and had breast implants? Would you suggest that I accept my lot in life and simply go on with one side of my chest missing and flat with an ugly scar the reminder of why my breast is gone? I wouldn't even let my husband see me because I was so ashamed of the way I looked and it took away something that made me feel like a woman. I nursed both my children with that breast! Think about it as a man, how would you feel if someone chopped off your testicles or your penis. Would you feel any less of a man? Not only was I traumatized by the diagnosis of cancer which came out of left field, but when I saw what was done to my body, I was shattered and knew that if left the way it was, I would have had a breakdown. Unless it is done to you, you will never understand. I might add that for women that have extremely small breasts or in my case, have a mastectomy, why not have implants if it makes you feel better? I will add as a final note that I find the rash of implants being done now distasteful, especially the complete obsurdity of the size of some of the implants that are being performed for the adult entertainment industry (of which I do NOT participate in or keep up with or watch).

Well, there you have my take on it. Maybe next time, you should think a little more before you make such a generalized comment.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Anon, Thanks for the weigh-in! ;o) I appreciate your candor.

Grog, I just saw there were additional comments so now I'll address them. Sorry it took so long. Here's your question:

If we do not have a problem with arbitrarily assigning a gender to someone surgically because they are born with an ambiguous set of genitalia, why is it that you speak so harshly of those whose psychological make-up is at odds with their physical gender?

First, we no longer "arbitrarily assign a gender" to such an unfortunate individual. They were usually born with one set of plumbing or the other, and it's easy to know if they're sporting female internal organs or not. If they're truly hermaphrodites, then it's up to the parents to pick a name (I'd recommend something neutral like Chris) and leave it up to the child to figure it out when he/she grows up. Usually hormonal tests will show what they are, incidentally.

And I don't speak harshly of people who's psychological makeup is at odds with their gender. I merely point out that they're mentally ill if they wish to self mutilate in order to uphold the delusion. Understand that this isn't a GAY issue as such people would like it to be.

Daveawayfromhome, thanks for the weigh-in.

Hans, You wrote: It is not our right to make a moral judgement of him/her/it. Why isn't it? Are we to say the same thing when the first man applies to be married legally to a goat?

Hans said...

I thought I made my reasoning clear on "moral" judgements in my response to daveawayfromhome.

Legal judgements as in goat marrying are different from "moral" judgements. Those are matters for our legal courts.

Grog said...

I merely point out that they're mentally ill if they wish to self mutilate in order to uphold the delusion.

Unfortunately, in using the term 'delusion', you have run smack into the irony of transsexualism. In the most fundamental sense, most transsexuals do not fit the clinical definitions that apply to delusion.

A transsexual is all too aware of the reality of their situation. Nor are they otherwise "mentally ill" in any recognizable, clinical sense of the term. Additionally, the usual forms of therapy used to treat delusional cases are demonstrably ineffective, if not outright harmful, when applied to transsexuals.

In regards to the more recent changes to the treatment of intersex individuals, the great irony of it is that much of that change has only come about in the last 20 years as intersex people who were arbitrarily, and surgically, assigned to a specific gender found themselves having to follow the same regime of treatment that applied to transsexuals, and began to lobby for a more refined management of their cases.

In short, that treatment option would not have existed if it wasn't for the recognition of transsexuals as a legitimate subgroup of the population, and one that treatment does exist for.

...and yes, referring to someone who is otherwise obviously presenting as a woman as "mister" (or vice versa) - regardless of their past - is unduly rude.