So we had our first lecture on the law of negligence today. Our tutor, who I think deals mostly with first years because he’s one of the few vaguely capable ones, has a way of choosing cases that illustrate a principle while also being memorable, and telling them in an iteresting way. Today, for example, we had the case of a man who helped someone onto a train, who then dropped his luggage, which turned out to be full of fireworks, which went off and dislodged a sign, which then hit a woman over the head. The woman attempted to prove that this was a ‘forseeable consequence’ of the first person’s actions. Laughing at other people’s misery enough that you remember it is an important part of a law degree.
The last case went something like this:
“Now, all the boys in the audience are going to wince at this one, and all the girls will titter… (lots more rambling, this guy rambles a lot)… He had his genitals chopped off in an industrial accident.”
*shocked gasps from the men, laughing from the women. A general feeling that this is the worst thing ever*
Boy behind me: I’d commit suicide!
Tutor (observing people of various colours in his audience- the second time in two lectures today that I’ve felt like a white-haired, white-skinned law professor is subtly othering his coloured students while trying to be P.C.): And notice that’s a multi-cultural reaction- people of two genders in all cultures reacted the same (he didn’t say it this succinctly).
I’m fed up of male = penis. I’m fed up of inability to achieve sex being inability to achieve life-goals, especially when you’re a male-bodied individual (and, at some point, when I’ve done the legal research and considered it from a disability angle, I’m going to look at the legal advocates who will try the ‘sex is fundamental to the life of every man’ card at the drop of a hat- whether to gain disability benifits (imo: generally a positive outcome), or rape allowance (‘he’s a man, you can’t blame him’)). I’ve seen this expressed on Yadaforum in the last few days, and Charles also mentioned it recently, but the prospect of having functioning genitals is not something everyone is bound to. Personally, I’d be perfectly contented with some way to urinate hygenically, some way to have or raise children and, if it ever came to it, access to sex toys.
This annoys me like ‘God, I’d hate to date someone like you!’ annoys me. It’s a reasonable sentiment. “I’d hate to live without a penis” is a powerful thing to self-identify, especially if you’re cis, and a perfectly reasonable thing to identify, just like “I’d hate to live in a sexless relationship/one without mutually enjoyable sex as a key component”. Great. Tell the world.
But don’t insist that everyone is like you. Because what you’re doing there is invalidating your statement. When you make sure that all men insist they’d fall on their sword as soon as they loose sexual function, then you’re invalidating the massive variety of opinions people really have about their genitals, sex, and their relation to these things, and your opinion is one of these. This argument isn’t really for the benifit of asexual or trans people, who are the groups I’ve identified so far as being likely to have complex relationships with their genitals or their sexual activity. Because the people who are most likely to have complex relationships with their genitals or sexual activity are cis sexual people. Wonderfully nuanced, amazingly detailed, fabulously rich opinions and conversations and emotions. And that, really, is what you’re blocking off with your hegemonic opinions.