Saturday, July 24, 2010

Accuracy in Media-- Dog Wants Species Change to Cat-- Call Me Politically Incorrect.

I opened my big mouth. In a conversation last night, after coming home from dinner with my wife, daughter, and son-in-law, I brought up the subject of accuracy in media. Actually, I expect I sounded homophobic. I am not.
Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are subject to a lot of "different" ideas. Words are charged. Say "Marriage" and one might need to defend an opinion about gay marriage. The prevailing opinion in this area is that gay marriage is a moral right. Forget that. It's not the discussion. I object to the words used to describe certain people.

In an article about a year ago, I read that a somewhat famous male actor had arrived in San Francisco with his "husband" to give a lecture. I find this a dicey use of language. It is the tail wagging the dog in my opinion. First off, are these people actually married in any state? If not, then husband is a term that is inaccurate. If a heterosexual couple live together without benefit of marriage, in California they are not legally husband and wife. That's the law. I don't think anyone would object to avoiding the words "husband" or "wife" in this context. Secondly, in the relationship of the homosexual actor and his "mate," I'm not sure who is the husband. What if one of the two wants to be called the "wife?" Are we subject to acknowledging this? It is so confusing. If they are actually married, the actor and his mate, then really, I acknowledge that they should be accorded the terms generally given to married couples. But husband? I don't know. I'm wondering how accurate this is. Are they husband and husband? Okay, perhaps, I suppose as confusing as it is, and it is somewhat confusing, that it's a accurate portrayal of their relationship.

But, in broadcast media, and newspapers in the Bay Area someone is termed a "she" if they want to live as a woman. I strongly object to the arbitrariness of this. In a recent TV news story, an individual who was transgender, not physically, but emotionally, was called a she though she was born a he. Now, if this person lived as a woman all the time, and was known as a woman to all but a select few, I have no desire that this person should be "outed" for the benefit of our prurient interests. In this case though, this she/he or he/she was acting as an advocate for transgender persons. In other words, precisely because this person was a he acting like a she, we are expected to call him a she. Confusing? I think it is.
What if this person wanted to be an dog. Do we accord them the benefit of being called a "bitch?" I'm not trying to be funny. Really. But I don't think one can just choose what to call their sex based upon their desires. I don't deny that there are gender confusion issues in humankind. I feel compassion for persons who want to live as a sex they are not. I'm not trying to say I feel sorry for them or that they are abnormal. Jeez, see the problem? When an advocate for transgender issues, who was born a male, and who would like to be a woman (without benefit of a procedure which would accomplish that) I still see that person as a male. Sorry. I don't think an individual gets to make that call. And the media is just adding to the confusion deciding who is what because of the subject's desires.
Perhaps this has nothing to do with it, but certain individuals in the world have problems accepting that their arms and legs actually belong to them. These individuals have been known to remove healthy limbs because they just don't feel right. This is tragic. No surgeon will remove their limbs, so they resort to self-help. Are we to call one of these pre-surgical persons an amputee because they wish they were?

I know, a lot of you probably think I should stick to writing about dogs. So here goes.

Missy, a pre-surgical dog-to-cat trans-species wants to be called a cat. The dog, I mean the cat, I mean the cat/dog, once known as Rover lives as a cat in a converted dog house that has been turned into a cat house. Help!

Thanks for the photo Flickr and NumeralSix.

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