Tag Archive | contradiction

Identity & Conflict

Through most of my life, I considered myself a boy. I was such a dude that it still bothers me to see men wearing pink, and I’ve said countless times that the shirt that says “Real men wear pink” is stupid–real men avoid wearing pink at all costs. I wore boxers, shaved my head, and had a bad ass goatee. No one in their right mind would have looked at me and suspected that I was anything but ordinary heterosexual male.

I drank beer, ate steaks, had a wife, knew how to work on automobiles, knew how to repair washing machines, and all the usual stuff. Yet the person there in that pic–that’s me. That person in that pic who five minutes before or after would have laughed at a guy for wearing a pink shirt–that’s me. That person who would have sneered if someone offered him a wine cooler over a Bud Light–that’s me.

Recently, Caryn Harlos has called me a revisionist making the party look silly because I say that Nolan was, and always was, an anarchist, even if he identified in the past as a minarchist. Speaking as a transgender person, I know exactly how this goes, and that’s why I bring all of this up. There is a lot of truth to the idea that a M2F trans person will embrace the most masculine aspects of being a male. It’s not an accident that I shaved my head, had a goatee, lifted weights, wore muscle shirts, and all the other shit. One might say I was overcompensating.

Yet the truth always bled through, often unbidden and without conscious intent, and I wondered about it for years. I remember remarking to a friend several years ago that I am, and always have been, an enthusiastic supporter of LGBT rights, but that I wasn’t sure why. I’m not gay or bisexual, so why should I be such an Ally that it consumed probably 10% of my political discussion? It didn’t make much sense. This was the transgenderism bleeding through subconsciously, without my knowing it or realizing it.

Of course, you could ask my ex-wife (from whom I divorced for reasons entirely unrelated to any of this) about other ways my transgenderism bled through. I mentioned in Dancing in Hellfire that my cousin enjoyed wearing makeup when we played various games, but as early as kindergarten I loathed makeup. Our kindergarten teacher forced us all to put on lipstick to kiss a paperplate (making a thing for our parents), and I resented her from that day forward. Makeup was for girls, and I wasn’t a goddamned girl. Only because I was a freak (what people today would call “goth”) did eyeliner get a pass, and only then because it looked so freaking awesome, and that was much later.

There were always periods, though, no matter how masculine I presented myself, and no matter how generally conformist I was to sexual stereotypes of heterosexuality, it always bled through. I’ve described being transgender and having to repress it as desperately needing to breathe, but being able to breathe only in short, very sporadic gasps. But no matter what I did, no matter how I attempted to hide it–often from myself–it always bled through. My grandmother would find women’s clothing hidden between my mattresses. I wore them when I could, while at the same time hating myself for wearing them, knowing that I was betraying some other part of me.

It was conflict, pure and simple.

Conflict between who I was and the identity that I proclaimed–the identity that I believed in.

And now look at me.

Who would ever have guessed that the person in the above pic was not truly the person he identified as? Who would have guessed that the goatee, the shaved head, the muscles, the Bud Light, the steaks, and all the other things… were just ways of masking the true behavior that underwrote so much of what I said and did?

Because it’s true. I wore my girlfriend’s prom dress before she did–and she thought it was hot. I had long hair through most of high school, too. At one point, my hair fell below my breasts. This same girlfriend gave me tons of panties, yet at every given moment I’d have insisted that I was not even a cross-dresser, that I was adamantly against the notion of transgenderism. I’m sure that I’ve in the past said “Boys are boys and girls are girls, and that’s that.”

When the True Self conflicts with the Expressed Self, there are contradictions–often glaring contradictions.

It would be the height of transphobic ignorance to look back at that first pic, of me with a goatee, and say that I was clearly just a male, that I was only a male, and that I was not, even then, transgender. I most certainly was. I was even female then. I simply repressed it because, for various reasons that are often unique to the individual, I could not accept it, and I was not ready to accept it.

Several, several years ago, I mentioned to a friend that if my ex-wife and I ever divorced, I would move to California and get a sex change operation. I told this to another friend, too–one that you could almost call a boyfriend, except that it wasn’t like that for me. When he brought this up again a year later, I adamantly denied it. Even though I had told him to his face that I felt like a girl and wanted to pursue that, when he mentioned it later, I abjectly refused to admit that I’d said that. I told him he was taking it out of context and making it to be a much bigger deal than it was. Readiness often comes in phases, rarely does it come all at once.

Nolan’s early writings, particularly his written declaration of the case for a Libertarian Party, have anarchism bleeding through it in exactly the same way that transgenderism bled through so much of my life, even as I identified as a male and sought desperately to hide any indication that I wasn’t quite normal. We see in Nolan’s other writings exactly the same conflict that we saw in me when I said “real men don’t wear pink.” Coming to term with oneself and making that final leap is often extremely difficult, but it shines through, and nothing can dim the inner light of the true self.

When such a conflict arises, how shall we form an understanding of the person? Through their often-confused and often-contradictory expressions and positions, or through the inner light that bleeds through no matter how adamantly it is denied, and is only embraced much later in life? Should we embrace the identity of the person as they express themselves while clearly embroiled in internal conflict, or should we be more understanding and accept their internal conflict as just that–internal conflict that was only resolved much later in life? Nolan denied being an anarchist and expressly stated that he was a minarchist with exactly the same fervor and tenacity with which I stated that I was a normal heterosexual male.

But I was never a normal heterosexual male, and Nolan was never a minarchist.

So, no. Caryn Harlos is wrong. Nolan was an anarchist, even back then, and it clearly bleeds through in his early writings in exactly the same way that female clothing bled through my otherwise-normal male adolescence. That I claimed to be a normal male didn’t make me one; that Nolan claimed not to be an anarchist didn’t prevent him from being one. It merely prevented him from coming to terms with what was already then shining through.

But apparently I’m a revisionist for saying that, clearly, Nolan was always an anarchist. If so, then I’m a revisionist for saying that I was always transgender.

Moreover, I can claim right now to be a minarchist. That won’t make me one. I could just as easily call this site “The Minarchist Shemale” and write pretty much the same things, though occasionally throwing out contradictory articles about how we need a state to protect us from a state. None of that would make me a minarchist, though–it would only make me confused about who I am and what I believe.

I’d rather take the word of the person who has worked through that confusion and expressed an identity that is in accord with their inner identity than to arbitrarily cling to the confused contradictions of someone struggling to come to terms with their identity.

But that’s just me…

Austin Petersen Debates the Anarchist Shemale on Twitter

Now, look. I don’t have anything against this guy. I think he’s probably a fine (albeit misguided) human being, and he’s certainly a lot better than many other candidates, but “being better than people like John McCain and Mitt Romney” doesn’t really count for much with me. I won’t support someone just because they suck less than someone else–I’ll only support someone who doesn’t suck at all. Obviously, that person is the Libertarian Presidential candidate John McAfee.

But today I posed the question on Twitter:

I’d really love it if someone could explain how and are and not just very conservative. Any takers?

I tagged Austin Petersen because I want to give his supporters the chance to defend him and to explain how I’m mistaken and how he really is a Libertarian, and I’ve simply misunderstood his positions. But I got the man himself. Yep. Austin Petersen, presidential candidate, came at me personally.

Well first of all, I’m personally socially liberal. Being pro-life doesn’t mean you’re conservative. It means you respect life

I’m simply going to report here what was said, and I’m not going to criticize him for his position or his tweets–at least, not very much. There’s no point in doing that. I will, however, explain some of my positions, because Twitter isn’t a great place to be making well-reasoned arguments. I am going to edit nothing. To that, I replied directly:

And that doesn’t answer the question. How is controlling what >50% of the population can do with their bodies libertarian?

Taken by itself, a fair point, but obviously it invites further discussion and can’t just be left at that. Before we can say that’s a fair question, we have to analyze its details–right? No, not really. It’s a simple, direct question, and requires a simple, direct answer. I did not get one, which provides further credibility to my previous claims that Austin Petersen is more or less a Republican in a Libertarian hat. I added:

Surely you realize that your personal belief that the fetus is “a living person” is just that: Your personal belief?

This put me on shaky ground, but the issue is murky enough that I’m comfortable being on shaky ground here. He replied:

We can discuss the issue, but please admit you incorrectly labeled me as a conservative. Please read:

And provided a link that I’m not going to bother with. I’m not going to bother, because I don’t believe he would bother with mine. Plus, as I replied:

Policies speak louder than words. You’re also against the , right? I judge on your policy, not your expressed associations

Yes, exactly that. I don’t care that he says he isn’t a Conservative, and I don’t care that he says he is a Libertarian. I care about his policies, and where his policies fall on the political spectra. He can openly reject conservatism all day long, but if his policies are distinctly those of typical conservatives (small government, pro-life), then I’m going to call him on it, regardless of what he says. I also added:

While my facts may be wrong, I stand by my conclusion based on what I know. If I’m mistaken about your policy, I’ll gladly recant.

A beautiful statement, yes? If my facts are incorrect, I will gladly adjust my position so that my conclusion is in line with the facts. I will let the evidence dictate my conclusion, not allow my conclusion to dictate the evidence. We should all be so humble to say such things. Austin Petersen, unfortunately, totally missed the point:

If your facts are incorrect, how can your conclusion be right?

This inane dribble received 3 likes–indeed, it’s the “most liked” reply in the conversation. This bullshit he spouted at me because he failed to understand what I said is the most liked tweet of the thread. That’s sad, isn’t it? It’s sad that Petersen’s reading comprehension is so bad that he couldn’t discern the meaning of what I said, but it’s also sad that at least three people didn’t bother to see if he was talking nonsense or not–and he was. Anyone who read my comment would immediately conclude that I was simply allowing the possibility that I was wrong, and allowing him the opportunity to clear the air. I was most certainly not asserting that I was right while simultaneously saying that I was wrong, and a presidential candidate should have the self-awareness and literacy comprehension to have understood what I meant. I would almost say that he did understand, and merely stooped to the lowest possible route by attempting to convince people I had admitted that I was wrong, when he knew damned well what I meant. I say that because it’s pretty obvious what I meant, isn’t it? “Based on what I know, that is my conclusion, but I might not know enough about your position for my conclusion to be accurate. If you would explain your position and if I am mistaken, I will gladly recant.” I mean, c’mon. That’s what I said–only within Twitter’s character limit. There’s no way he thought I was saying something so asinine as “My facts are wrong but my conclusion based on those facts is right.” That’s silly.

you seem to not understand. If my facts are wrong, I will change my conclusion to fit them. Are my facts wrong? 1/2

I’m allowing the possibility that my information, and therefore the conclusion derived from it, is wrong. That’s not saying I’m wrong

Yes, I actually had to explain to him what I meant, because the lightbulb didn’t go off in his head and he didn’t say “Oh! My bad. You were simply allowing for the possibility that you’re mistaken–you were being humble. My bad.”

When he said that, I began to sense something was amiss. Because, no, there’s really no way that he misconstrued what I said. It’s possible that he read it quickly and typed out his quick response, but he must have surely immediately realized that he’d just came to the silliest possible conclusion about what I’d meant. But that asinine reply got three likes.

Getting things back on track, I added:

Are you not pro-life and anti-nap? Very close to the policies of Rand Paul? These are fundamental questions of liberty.

For those unaware, the NAP is the Non-Aggression Pact and is the agreement that it is never justified to initiate the use of force, violence, and coercion. It is not a vow to pacifism; it is a vow to not be aggressive, and it is a fundamental pillar of the Libertarian Party. From Wikipedia on the matter:

The Libertarian pledge, a statement individuals must sign in order to join the Libertarian Party of the United States, declares, “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.”

So being against the Non-Aggression Pact, as I’ve heard that Petersen is (a claim he never denied, by the way, leaving me to conclude that I’ve heard correctly) outspoken against the NAP. He’s outspoken against the pledge that one must sign in order to join the Libertarian Party. So I repeat: How, exactly, is he a Libertarian? He is against one of the most sacred tenets of Libertarianism.

Petersen replied with:

I’m an agnostic, pro-science libertarian. The child has separate DNA, therefore it’s a separate human body. This is logic

Oi vey.

I ignored that unrelated, irrelevant remark, and said:

So if a woman could donate a kidney to save a child and she refused to, we’d be justified in forcing her to?

Since we have the right to make woman make sacrifices of their literal flesh for the sake of others.

Petersen replied:

If you’re familiar with DNA, you’d understand that if you are pregnant, the child is a separate person.

It was here that Petersen began tagging several of his tweets as #prolife. We all know why he did this. He did this because he wanted to bring in people who were pro-life; he wanted to bring in backup to help him out. There’s literally no other reason he would have added that to the end of his tweet. That’s what tags are for, after all.

So I replied:

No one is disputing that. That’s not at all what I’ve claimed, though that’s still your belief, and many disagree. Not the issue, tho

…which isn’t actually true. I do dispute that, because I think deciding that x number of cells that have the potential to grow into a living, separate being is not quite the same thing as a living, separate being. A fetus in the womb is clearly not a separate being–it is attached to the mother via an umbilical cord and resides in the womb. If removed from the womb and severed from the umbilical cord, the fetus would die. This is not indicative of a living, separate being. It is indicative of a parasite. That’s a term that a lot of people don’t like, but that changes nothing: until birth, a fetus absolutely is a parasite on the pregnant woman. The only way people escape this scientific classification is by saying that the parasite is the same species as the host. Yeah, that’s true, but my dad is still a fucking parasite on my grandmother.

What’s right isn’t always what’s popular. What’s popular isn’t always what’s right.

This riled me quite a bit, and I didn’t hesitate to show it. Plus, another pro-life tag. That’s really transparent, especially for a tweet that didn’t really have anything to do with pro-life things specifically. Besides, the pro-life position is extremely popular… among other conservatives. I dropped the hammer on that asinine statement:

You haven’t addressed the point. Don’t throw weak platitudes at me while dancing around the contention.

There’s nothing for me to add to that. It stands on its own. A weak platitude isn’t an argument. It’s a weak platitude. So I returned to my parallel:

By that reasoning, it must be okay to force a woman to donate a kidney. Abortion doesn’t kill a fetus; it terminates a pregnancy.

This is a critical point, and one that I expanded in subsequent tweets. As Petersen so gleefully points out, the fetus and the mother are separate beings. Ergo, the fetus has no claim whatsoever to the woman’s body; the woman and the woman alone has the claim to her body, to her womb, to her time, and to her umbilical cord. The fetus, as a living and separate being, has no right to claim these things that are part of the woman’s body.

No it’s not OK to force a woman to donate a kidney, since a kidney is not a separate human life. Logic evades you

Let it be known. Let it be inescapably clear. Austin Petersen, presidential candidate, threw the first insult here. And not only did he insult me, he completely missed the point.

Child needs kidney. Woman has kidney. Woman says no. Child dies. Petersen agrees: society can’t force the woman to give the kidney, and that refusing to give the kidney is not murder.

Child needs womb. Woman has womb. Woman says no. Child dies. Petersen disagrees: society can force the woman to give the womb, and that refusing to give the womb is murder.

The parallel is obvious, and it only gets stronger if we assert that the child is the woman’s son or daughter. It becomes:

Child needs mother’s kidney. Mother says no. Child dies. Petersen agrees: society can’t force the woman to give the kidney, and that refusing to give the kidney is not murder. But child’s need of a kidney is a direct result of the woman’s decision years earlier to get pregnant and have that child; the child’s need for the kidney today is absolutely a consequence of the woman deciding to have the child in the first place. Ergo, according to Petersen, she must accept her responsibility, and if she doesn’t, then we must force her to. That’s the only way for Petersen to be consistent. It doesn’t matter if the child is 5 months old or 5 years old when it needs part of the woman’s body–she is responsible for that need because she is responsible for getting pregnant and having the child.

How Petersen missed the parallel by such a wide berth that he concluded I was comparing a kidney (the organ needed) to a child (the entity in need) is something I can’t grasp. Again, I think he purposefully misunderstood in a weak attempt to wriggle away from the hammers bearing down on him. My parallel contains a woman, a child in need, and an organ the child needs that the woman can give. Petersen’s reply is blatant intellectual dishonesty or foolishness of such scale that he cannot possibly be qualified to be President.

The person who would receive that kidney IS, dude. The point has eluded you.

The umbilical cord and womb aren’t real people either. The logical parallel clearly escapes you. It begins with a simple statement,

and proceeds with a mightiness of reason you evidently cannot keep pace with.

I absolutely threw a condescending remark back, and did so by paraphrasing the master of such insults: Thomas Paine. Not only that, but the parallel did clearly escape him, and he came to the most outlandish conclusion about what I meant that he possibly could have.

Killing a child is murder, whether that child is born or unborn. Not your body. Not your choice.

More tags, eh? Really hurting for some support? Needing a pat on the back and a “Well done, Petersen”? Other than a few likes here and there, no one came to Petersen’s defense. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to argue with me, either. So far I have trounced him at every turn, and now he’s back to simply stating his position because he’s been unable to justify his position. More to the point:

Do you not see the obvious contradiction there?

To clarify: the woman’s body is not the fetus’s body, either. To use the woman’s body is not the fetus’s choice, either. I mean, really. Did I have to point that out? This is why my point about “abortion is terminating a pregnancy, not killing a fetus” is critical. Unfortunate though it is–and it is unfortunate–the fetus cannot survive without the womb (see the kidney point above). But that womb belongs to the woman–it is part of her body, not the “separate” fetus’s. The woman and the woman alone owns her womb. The fetus does not. If the woman does not wish to share her womb, then that is her right, since it is her womb. It is unfortunate that she does not want to give her time and womb to a fetus/child/living molecule, but that is her right, just as it is her right to not give a kidney. The kidney and the womb, after all, belong to her.

The woman’s body–not your body, not your choice.

So, again, we’re discussing terminating a pregnancy, not killing a child. Unfortunate though it is, the child does general die. Still

it’s obviously the woman’s body and obviously her choice whether to give of her flesh to another.

Rock solid argument.

No, it’s not actually. It’s a separate body. Separate DNA.

Yet another pro-life tag??? Really, Petersen? Are you that desperate for support against the lone Anarchist Shemale? God, I honestly didn’t realize how many times he used that tag… It’s kinda funny, really. Anyway, who the hell knows what he’s talking about. The reply is to my last tweet above, which, you know… is rock solid. It is the woman’s body, the woman’s womb, and the woman’s umbilical cord. So what “No, it’s not actually. It’s a separate body.” is talking about is, again, anyone’s guess. Is he saying that the womb is part of the fetus’s body? Because that’s obviously and scientifically false. The womb is part of the woman’s body. That’s seventh grade biology. The umbilical cord, to be fair, could go either way–I’ll concede that. However, the bulk of the umbilical cord remains with the woman, not the fetus and birthed baby, so… it has to belong to the woman, as well. The womb, however, is certainly the woman’s independent of the existence of a fetus. So… No, Petersen. You’re simply wrong. The womb is part of the woman’s body, and therefore the woman has say-so in what happens with it.

That has literally nothing to do with what I said.


unfortunate, but it is morally wrong to FORCE a woman to give of her body for someone else’s benefit, even when the cost is death.

He replied:

No one forces a woman to get pregnant except in cases of violent crime.

I retorted:

You talk of it as though it never accidentally happens. It most certainly does. Not the point anyway.

To this, Petersen said the most banal, inconsequential, and irrelevant thing yet by quoting Michael Crichton at me:

“I don’t blame people for their mistakes. But I do ask that they pay for them.” -John Hammond

I finished the discussion with:

More banal platitudes. I expected better of you. Honestly, I did.

At any rate, thanks for the conversation. I’m still betting that you join the GOP by 2030, though. 😉

And so that’s the second Libertarian presidential candidate with whom I have had some sort of discussion, though this one was more of a disagreement than a discussion. Of course, I follow John McAfee on Twitter, and John McAfee follows me on Twitter. Man, when I got the email that said @eTheRealMcAfee had followed me… I was stunned, and extremely happy. It appears to be the real John McAfee, going off the tweets, how they’re written and expressed, and the positions expressed. It might not be, but, if it isn’t, then it’s a damned good fake.

In the greatest tragedy of this election, McAfee is polling only at 4% among Libertarians, which is exactly what we would expect to find, if the Libertarian Party had been taken over by liberty-leaning republicans. I mean, just think about it. How well would an actual Libertarian do in the party if it had been taken over by liberty-leaning conservatives?

Poorly is the answer.

And that’s exactly why McAfee, despite being the only Libertarian on stage in the Fox Business debates, is polling at 4%. I’m only thankful that I watched the debate and saw how bad Johnson’s policies actually are, and how horrendously bad Petersen’s policies are. I’m writing in McAfee’s name no matter who gets the nomination, unless there is a very strong chance that the LP nominee will win the White House. And even then, I’ll never vote for Petersen, because he’s the lesser of evils, at best. Johnson merely has one bad policy, and I’ve urged him to reconsider that position. A Johnson supporter did challenge me on that, and I tore him apart, too. Johnson himself, though, has been silent thus far. In seeing what happened to Petersen when he took on the Anarchist Shemale, I can hardly blame him for his silence.

But his position should be defensible if he wants my support, and it isn’t. Neither is Petersen’s. And, in the end, Petersen didn’t defend his position. He merely stated his position while I pointed out the flaws in it. He pulled a great deal of foolishness or intellectual dishonesty, and he repeatedly tagged his posts in order to bring in back up. If there was a slim chance before that I would one day support Petersen, that chance has since evaporated. If there was any possibility that I could have looked past his pro-life position–as I once did for Ron Paul–that possibility has been wholly undermined by the insults, intellectual dishonesty, and weak attempts to call in backup to gang up on the Anarchist Shemale.

I don’t mind Petersen as a person. He seems decent enough, despite his insults, his underhanded argument tactics, and his attempts to bring in backup. But I adamantly disagree on his policies, and his intransigence in the face of well-reasoned arguments, his unwillingness to address counter points, and his strong similarities to republican Rand Paul mean that I cannot support him. And neither should you, dear reader. When I post this, it will go to Twitter, and it’s possible Petersen will see it and attempt to come here and challenge me further. That is not my goal. My goal here has just been to present my side of things, and he is more than welcome to create his own fleshed-out, 3500 word response.

And I’ll rip it apart, too.

Because the fact that there is a glaring contradiction in his position means that there is hypocrisy in his position. And what did I say about hypocrisy? That it is the duty of the rational person to challenge hypocrisy wherever it is found. And I will continue to do that whether the hypocrisy comes from a multinational corporation or a bloody candidate for President of the United States.

need I say more

lol, what?

Really, Petersen? These are the kinds of people who support you. Typical conservative pro-lifers. And you dare challenge my contention that you’re just a conservative? For fuck’s sake, that’s a Rubio supporter. A Rubio supporter.

Think about that.

In the interest of history, a few (presumably) Petersen supporters have carried on the debate. Here’s the best thing I’ve seen in the thread. For some context, he was specifically trying to tag in Gavin Whoever. Just like Petersen’s tags, I think it’s hilarious when people can’t take me on alone, without trying to call in help. And by his own admission, that’s what he was doing.