I will suspend better judgment and the advise of generations to never discuss religion or politics with family for this occasion. Why? Because we should all examine our behavior from time to time, especially if our behavior might cause another harm and also because I am sure to be tested in the same way as those who I seem to be critical of in the following. I need to think hard about this too; so here we go.
In her blog, Leona presents the situation of trans-women in Singapore being referred to in the media using male pronouns This practice is insensitive enough, but it seems this is a result of a religious teaching, not simple lack of respect by one individual for another individual.
This got me thinking. We all have our opinions; I definitely have mine ;) and expressing an idea as your own opinion is an honorable thing to do. You are all free to accept my opinion (or not). If I have a need to make my opinion really powerful however, it is always tempting to quote some authority on the subject. It then becomes really hard for others to disagree without disagreeing with my authority. When the authority happens to be somebody's deity, things get very difficult.
How often have we heard criticisms for one thing or another being leveled on behalf of an ‘all-powerful’ deity that, it would seem, cannot be trusted to act on it’s own behalf. It is as if the passage “let one who is without sin cast the first stone”, or “judge not ‘lest ye be judged” didn’t make it into any other religious context other than Christianity. Of course, some Christians who can quote Leviticus with ease seem to have missed those too.
I fear a time will come when, while maintaining this façade of mine, I am part of a gathering of less enlightened creatures than yourselves, and am tempted to try to pass as a male by agreeing (even tacitly) to pass judgment on some group or another. I will think hard about how to avoid that, or, better still, how to turn whatever situation has caused this around on the group and help them to grow a bit.
In the meantime, friends and family, let’s remember to have love for one another, and let higher powers take care of themselves, while you and I try to be true to ourselves.
p.s. May 5, 2010
I will try not to add something every time a new example comes.
This morning on Trans Talk we see religion at work trying to help us out, from their exulted position as experts in gender, as taught by those who interpret the writings of the prophet.
This is so sad, especially as it is only one example of what sisters all over the planet face daily.