Boiled in Oil
Part Two: Broken Promises
May 20, 1993
And in fact, it is the stray intrusion of the random cosmic ray, the errant biochemical, or the affinity of a magnetic flux that injects spontaneity into an otherwise mechanical brain. As such, it can be clearly seen that the serendipitous nature of free will exists only because the soul, in truth, is nothing more than chaos.
-- Melanie, Sex With God: Essays on the Human Condition
July 19, 1993
Our bodies are not our "selves". To be sure, part of what we are is created and controlled by the biologic mechanism to which we are attached, just as we are made from dirt, yet are not dirt. It is a misconception that the body houses the soul. Rather, the soul "rides" the body, as if it were some domesticated animal, to steer and spur and train.
The body is the vehicle of the soul, it's mode of transportation. What happens in the belly of the beast is oft unknown to us, and frequently of no consequence. Only when the engine misses or the fuel runs low are we obliged to make a pit stop and care for the mechanism.
One might think that this point of view would reduce the wonder of the body to a mere fondness for a favorite one or jealousy of one better. Yet our ignorance of the workings of our vehicle rather engenders awe. The "miracle" of pregnancy is one such appreciation. I cannot conceive a baby within myself. As a father, I have sired two wonderful children. As a transsexual, I will never feel a new life growing inside. However, I know what that would have felt like. Just as sure as I knew what breasts and vagina would feel like before I had them: some instinctual body map confers to me the pre-conscious memories of generations of women before me who comprise my matriarchal line.
I KNOW what pregnancy feels like. And I like that feeling. There is no understanding of the complexity gestation, no step by step progression that describes the sequence. Instead, there is an emotion so holistic as to be unutterable that wholly encompasses all that there is to feel when one carries a child. To make a new life without knowing how; to fashion a new soul from the void; these things I do in my genetic memory. I know that my body, my steed, knows the way and will safely guide both child and myself home.
I went to the movies with my boyfriend one recent evening. On screen a young couple welcomed their first child. I thought, I wonder if Andy and I will ever get married and have a baby together. And then I remembered. I cried. Everyone thought I was touched by the movie, but I cried because I had forgotten I had surgery. I was a woman now, but could not conceive. And I wanted to so desperately.
That is when I sought out my genetic memories. I hoped that I could experience the joy of this unseen miracle that I can never know. Yes. It was there, deep inside, tucked safely in the intuitive sense that all women share. I focused my heart and tuned into its message of emotional meaning and knew what it was to give birth to a child. So today, it is as if I have given birth. I know the pain; I know the joy. But most of all, I know the mystery that is life formed out of nowhere, a gift I give yet do not control.
And from this surety of spirit a new awareness has grown within. An awareness of what it is to be a woman. That awareness holds my two children up to my soul and binds me to them as if I had carried them both inside me. I feel their first kick. I feel them turning. I feel them pass through to the world of air. I do not usurp their mother's place, I respect it with empathy. An empathy that fills the void of an empty womb with the laughter of children.
July 20, 1993
Every transsexual gets caught up in the "Cinderella Syndrome", picturing a prince on a white steed sweeping her off her feet. Unfortunately, fantasies don't happen as often as realities, so it is always a thrill when a guy comes onto you, especially the first few times. The problem is, you have the body of a woman and the experience level of a little girl. It doesn't matter how sophisticated you were in the old role, none of that applies now. So as a new woman you are extremely vulnerable to male attentions.
My first encounter with a pick-up artist was before surgery as I was shopping in the shoe department at K-Mart. I was wholly focused on which heels to wear with my new white dress for my 20th High School Reunion, when an accented voice broke my concentration.
"Too many different styles", the voice said. I looked up to meet the eyes of a rather handsome man of middle-eastern decent, his thick mustache curled up in a smile.
"I know", I replied. "It makes it too hard to choose." I smiled back.
Now if I had any sense at all, I would have realized that this fellow was not hanging around the women's shoe department looking for a pair of penny loafers. But, no, innocent me just appreciated the attention. I was nervous, to be sure, as I was still not confident in my presentation, but he picked up the thread of conversation, and before I knew it, we were talking as we walked through the store.I headed toward the checkout line with two pairs of shoes, wondering what was going to happen next. While we stood in line, he asked if he could buy me a cup of coffee. I figured, what the heck, and agreed cheerfully (it was GREAT to get this kind of attention! I had never experienced anything like this before.)
As we waited for those ahead of us, he asked how much the shoes were. Being cheap (after all, this WAS K-Mart!) I had purchased inexpensive shoes at $10 a pair, and told him so. He offered to buy them for me. Well.... I may be naive, but I'm not stupid. I respectfully declined, saying I didn't want to impose, but in fact did not want to be obligated in any way - this guy was moving fast!
Eventually, I got through the checkout line (although not without being thoroughly checked out by this guy) and - as I had truly enjoyed his once over - I asked him where he wanted to get coffee. Actually, I was kind of looking forward to having coffee bought for me. Somehow it made me feel like I had some value. But he had other plans.
"It's too crowded in a coffee shop to get to know each other", he began. "How about if we just sit in m car for a while and talk?"
Well, even I could see where this was leading, but still I felt flattered by the attention, reasoned I could get out of the car if I needed to, and as long as I did not let him drive me anywhere I would be okay.
"Okay", I said.
He had a middle-of-the-road car: no great shakes, but quickly explained, "My car is in the shop... this is a loaner." Then, he riveted those steely black eyes on mine, never looking away from my face, and began to tell me how he had been so attracted to me in the store that he just had to spend some time with me.
He told me I was sexy and began to stroke my shoulder. Moving his hand slowly toward my breast, he described how "men are not like women: They first get the physical attraction, then they fall in love." Of course, I knew this was all bull, even though I had never tried such a thing as a male. Yet, the attention was so intoxicating, his hand massaging my nipple, so heady. If I had not been male, he would have had me right then and there! But I had been male, and so could call up just enough objectivity not to succumb.
He told me that he wanted to make love to me and that we should go to a motel right then and there. I kept hedging, trying to get as much of this as I could without going any farther. He kissed me and said we should go. Still, I did not give in. He said, "Are you worried about getting pregnant?" I replied, "I don't think I have to worry about that."
Finally, I told him I would not go to a motel right then, because I had to think about it with a clear head. He asked for my number; I refused. I said he should give me his number and I would call if I decided to go. That's when he got really nervous, but seeing that the fish was about to steal the bait and run, he went ahead and gave me his number. But it came with the instructions: "Don't call except on Tuesday or Wednesday nights, and if a woman answers, say you are a customer at my upholstery business." Right.
Well, I escaped with my virginity that time, though if I had been post-op at the time, I rather think I wouldn't have. But did I learn how to stave off male attention? NOT!
Some months later, I was working as editor of a feature film. One of the actors came in to see the dailies. Later, he found a moment with me alone and told me he recognized me from my support group meeting. I had not recognized him, as he was not there very often, and was not transgendered, but a "TS Shark" - one of those guys who has a special place in his <heart> for people in or after transition.
He wanted to have lunch, and I thought, "Okay, it'll be fun to have a guy buy me lunch." That went fine, and he was very gentlemanly. However, each time he came in after that, he got more and more "friendly", eventually telling me he wanted to start a relationship with me.
I was (and am) still married, but at the time, did not want to jeopardize my marriage, so I thanked him for the flattering offer, but declined. Several days later, we were recording sound at Universal Studios, and he came in to loop his lines. He sat next to me and kept putting his hand on my knee.
That evening, the director, the producer, a friend of theirs and myself went to dinner near the studio. The fellow in question approached the director and invited himself along. I realized he just wanted to close in on me and so I found a moment to tell the director what the problem was and that I would appreciate it if after dinner he would keep the guy busy while I went to my car. He agreed.
Sure enough, after dinner, I left in a hurry, and he was going to follow, but the director snared him. That didn't work for long, however, as I had not quite gotten to my car when he caught up to me anyway. It was in a dark alley behind the restaurant, and there were no other people in sight.
We started talking and he made a number of suggestions about how we might be involved. After several minutes he began to come on to me very strongly. He gripped my derriere tightly and pulled me to him. He tried to put his tongue in my mouth.
Now, I know what you are thinking: why didn't I just tell him to bug off? Well, part of the whole thing was my fault. The ol' Cinderella Syndrome kicked in and made me feel special that he was interested. I didn't want it to go any farther than talk, but I didn't want it to stop completely either. I liked where it was. Problem is: guys just can't leave it at that. I now know that they just keep charging ahead until they get resistance and even then they keep trying until they are sure the resistance can't be broken down.
Well, I was standing there clamping my lips together but even still, his slimy little tongue kept weaseling in and lapping up against mine. Why didn't I just push him away? For the same reason women everywhere are afraid to fight back: they are afraid if they resist they will get beaten up. Suddenly I understood the nature of female fear. Here I was in a dark alley, alone with a determined horny admirer whom I was sure was a lot stronger than I was. I just held out and didn't respond until some people finally came by and I had the opportunity to break away and tell him I had to run.
I shakily opened my car door, got inside, and was just about to close the door when he stepped in front of it, blocking it open. He told me he wanted me to know how much he was excited by me, took my hand and placed it against the bulge in his pants. I replied, yes, I could see he was interested. I can still feel him running his fingers across my lips when another group of people came by. I used the opportunity to close the door, waved good-bye and took off into the night.
Now, I'm sure he remembers it a different way. I'm sure he was convinced I wanted him as much as he wanted me. But that is because men and women don't evaluate things the same way. This kind of miscommunication is just what we have to learn to avoid as new women.
As a final example, there are two "7-11" stores equidistant from my home. One to the East, the other to the West. When I go to work in the morning, the West one is right on the way. I like to stop there for coffee on my way in from time to time. At least I used to until the counter guy got the hots for me.
The first time I met him, he riveted his eyes on me and started a conversation. The next couple of times he would always hold my hand when giving me my change. Finally, I went in and while getting my coffee was startled to feel an arm go around my waist. I looked up to see him smiling and asking me how my day was. I just rolled with the situation and said it was just fine, thanks and then paid and left. I could feel his eyes on me all the way to the car.
All the way to work I hated the way he had taken liberties and loved the way he found me attractive. Nonetheless, I determined not to go back for awhile so things would cool down. A couple weeks later, I went back and didn't even get to the coffee before his arm was around me. This time I was really beginning to feel harassed.
Still, the fantasy of having some guy so turned on by you that he makes those kinds of advances was narcotic. But I kept from swooning with it, paid my bill and left. I vowed never to return again.
Several weeks passed and I had occasion to stop home for lunch. Afterward I decided to buy a candy bar at the other 7-11 which I had gone to exclusively since the last incident. This time, however, I was running late and knew I had to stop at the trouble spot or go without a candy bar.
Suddenly I got enraged. How DARE he make me feel ill at ease in going into the most convenient store. How DARE he encroach upon my freedom like that!!! So, I girded what loins I have left and pulled into the parking lot. I looked through the window and was relieved to see that there was someone new at the counter: maybe he quit!
I went inside, feeling comfortable there for the first time in months, and looked over the candy bars. No sooner had I picked one, but the guy at the counter yells to someone I couldn't see, "Okay then, I'll see you later!" He walks out of the store and MY guy takes his place!!! I couldn't believe the luck!
Of course he saw me immediately, riveted in on his prey and kept me in his sights as I came to the counter. My skin crawled in anticipation of what might come next. But he surprised me. He just made pleasant conversation! Things are looking up, I thought. He's gotten the message! After he gave me my change, he even offered me his hand to shake. Well, I thought, he's a gentleman after all!
I reached out and took his hand... and he grabbed mine and pulled me across the counter and into a kiss! And then another one! Right there in the damned 7-11!!!
He released his grip, I smiled and left and haven't been back since.
Now, why did these things happen to me? Because I didn't understand men, that's why! Men are more aggressive than women. To them, the only time to quit is when they are convinced they can't make any progress at all. But I don't like to offend. And by nature am flattered by attention. As a transsexual, the whole concept of being desirable is better than sex - maybe even preferable to sex!
The combination of the two different points of view led to me being "violated" by these three men in ways I preferred not to be. But even as I was being kissed between the Lotto tickets and the $1.99 roses, I had the strongest surge of sexual desire I've ever experienced without foreplay! Even while I was being violated, I was being turned on!
What does all this mean? That when fantasy and reality collide, its easy to be of two minds. I know I am. And until I make up my mind, this sort of thing is likely to happen again.
Cinderella Liberties aren't just taken by the man, but given by the women. We are both participants in the act. Until you can sort out how you really feel and learn how to communicate if your shiny new baubles are for touching or just for looking its a good idea to err on the side of caution.
July 20, 1993
When I was a child I often got in trouble for trying to explain. It wasn't that I was denying I had done wrong, but I just wanted whichever authority figure that was on my case to realize it was an honest mistake: that I had not transgressed intentionally.
This never worked for me. I would be confronted with, "Did you ....?" to which I would reply, "Yes, but...." I was never allowed to go beyond that. "No excuses!", I would be told with harsh and shameful voice, as if I was trying to get out of my impending punishment, or at least mitigate its severity.
"But I just want to explain!", I would plead, only to be slapped back with an even harsher rendition of "I said, No Excuses!!", and, "Now go back to your (desk, or bed, or room or wherever I had been when the violation had been discovered)".
Depending on who it was and what I was blamed for I would sulk or cry or throw my mental hands up to thought heaven in frustration, exasperation, sadness. I knew I had done wrong. I was more that willing to accept whatever penalty lay in store. But explaining why the evil deed had happened was very important to me; essentially important. I wanted the person in charge to know that I meant them no ill will; that I was their friend. I wanted them to know that I was wholly unaware I had done them harm, and would have spared no effort to correct the problem or compensate for it on my own, had I discovered it. In fact, that is what I often did. I would fess up to things no one could EVER discover and do so with an offer to make amends.
But the authority figures did not want to hear any of that. Their focus was on the negative addition to their life of which I had been the instrument of perpetration. Knowingly or unknowingly made no difference to them. I learned, over the years, just to accept the retribution silently. To simply admit to the deed and accept the consequences. Still, I always felt that the authority figure was losing out on this deal: that they were only getting part of the story - a half truth, and would suffer from misconceptions.
Naturally, when I became involved in developing Mental Relativity, this decades old inequity would resurface, begging an explanation. Fortunately, there is one. The discrepancy between my desire to explain myself and the wronged party's desire to hear it stems (as a surprising number of things) from the essential differences between the way men and women think.
There are a plethora of aspects to that difference, so no one facet explains more than but a fraction of the effects. Nonetheless, for a given purpose, a specific facet can always be found that best explains it. In this case, the nature of the problem is the linear way men think Vs the holistic way women think.
Linear is mistakenly equated with logic. This is not true. A random chain of thought is certainly linear, because it progresses in a sequence, but it is often far from logical, as one step is not inexorably bound to follow another. A non-causal linearity is not logical.
In contrast, a holistic view is held to be intuitive. This is how men think of the way women think: that somehow all of the data is taken in at once, averaged out, and some cockamamie, unexpected summation pops out of the other end. If men give it any credence at all, it is to think of the process as the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. This is the area women are trained to think in (or, to do their best to accommodate linear logic, male fashion). The problem is, there is a THIRD kind of thinking that is open only to women with any clarity. In fact, the world has been so trained to perceive things through male eyes that this third option has become completely invisible to men. Even women, as a result of being educated in a male-image school system where only linear logic is rewarded, have difficulty in seeing this third kind of thinking. Still, this other perspective is at the heart of women's souls.I call this third manner of thought, the ANALOGOUS mode.
Unlike Holism, the Analogous mode examines or observes a situation, then seeks the best past experience that corresponds as a point by point analogy. It does not matter if the subject matter is the same, as long as the relationship of the items in their own contextual matrix is identical. That is to say, that if black and white are opposites, we might analogize that to apply to hot and cold. Certainly black and white have little or nothing intrinsically to do with hot and cold, yet the analogy works in comparing the relationship between the two.
When one employs the Analogous mode, one is trying to put things in context; trying to get a sense of the patterns at work so that pre-existing meaning might be applied to a new situation, clarifying what is really going on. That is about as far from causal linear logic as you can get. And that is why it is not taught, nor respected, nor even acknowledged. "Women's intuition", they smile, and knowingly say, as if casting female thought patterns into the realm of magic denecessitates an effort to understand.
What a bloody cop out! Rather than joining us in mapping out the fabric of our beings so that we too might seek greater fulfillment (as we have done for them for years) they either force us to accept their way, or cast ours into the ethereal plane. Not intentionally, mind you. Its just because intrinsically, they cannot see it so it has no value. But that's an excuse, isn't it? No, just like my feeble attempts to put things in context as a child, it is an explanation. You see, only causal linearity can discover a breaking of the rules, mete out a punishment and leave it at that. But this kind of thinking is just what is responsible for overcrowded prisons, ghetto riots and eye for an eye wars.
Now, do you see what I did in that last paragraph? I took the concept of a linear Vs analogous approach in punishing children and JUMPED to the analogous mode of applying the same contextual relationships to crime, poverty, and military jihads. This is a clear example of how the analogous mode works, and why that argument would never be acceptable in a male-oriented culture.
We all have blind spots. At a biomental level, men have one, women have another. The problem is, men, by nature, are more externally motivated. As such, religion, education, science - the entire culture has been cast in their image incorporating their blind spot. We, as women, are brought up not only afflicted with our own built-in blind spot, but are fed flawed data that already incorporates theirs. Obviously, if we are to see the world for what it is, thereby providing TWO points of view to the human species, we must build additions on the infrastructure of culture: additions of no value to men, but inherent value to women. Only then will our daughters be able to grow up with a fresh slate of information that doesn't hobble their minds like ancient cultures hobbled their bodies.
Which brings us back to THIS child and her attempts to explain. If I had been born anatomically female, rather than just mentally female, I would not have gotten any farther in communicating to the male-image authority figures. But, at least they would have had more tolerance for my approach, viewing it as "just one of those girl things" that had to be trained out of me. But as a little boy who thought like a girl, all they saw was another linear thinking delinquent, who was trying to weasel out of atonement.
I thank God, that I was born transsexual. Because rather than succumbing to years of brainwashing that would have worked if they treated me like a girl, I was able to hold on to an awareness of the injustice of it all because they treated me like a boy. They used the wrong tools of brainwashing and left this lucky mind a little bit freer to see what was really going on. Granted, it took me 36 years to understand the truth before I knew who I was and why. But it has taken women 36 millennia to do the same. Women have had the right to vote for three quarters of a century, but we still do not have the right to think. As the Roman Empire discovered, the best way to overcome an enemy is to absorb them. The Primary Culture alters its nature but a little, as it is so comparatively large. But the subculture is lost entirely as its identity is absorbed. That's what happened to the beatniks, the hippies, and the Native Americans. Its what is happening now to the blacks, the Mexican Americans and the gays. It happened to women before recorded history, and now its time for change.
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