I’m interested in what makes these late onset male to female trans folks so appealing to progressives when it seems obvious to me that, say, 80% of them are rightwingers. In contrast, you almost never hear of, say, a liberal NPR anchorman announcing in his unassertive indoor voice that he’s now an anchorwoman.
Granted, almost nobody else has noticed that a very high fraction of older M2Fs are right of center.
iSteve commenter academic gossip writes:
I have been arguing here for that view of the Cluster B low-empathy disorders:
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder with a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Those affected often spend much time thinking about achieving power or success, or on their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them. The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of social situations.
academic gossip sees late onset M2F as closer to Histrionic than Narcissistic:
that they are all one underlying thing, subclinical autism, manifested in superficially different forms according to environment and life history; and that late-onset male trangenderism belongs to this group as male HPD [histrionic personality disorder]. The late onset is a change of manifestation as hormone levels or other sex-related physiology change in middle age.
Trans M2F seems rather “outward” and Histrionic. It is severely concerned with physical appearance and even the physical structure of the body. Secondarily it is about controlling what others can see and say, and getting validation from them. If the inner, self-directed part of trans psychology were akin to anxiety or depression, most who have it would not get around to visible transitions of any kind. Maybe many don’t. In the ones who do cross-dress or “transition” medically, the key trait seems to be the capacity for radical reality-reversing epiphany (are I woman?) that becomes an idee fixe (me woman, dammit!!), a provocation for dramatic righteous universe-encompassing conflict (my liferightsbodyidentity!!!), and an extraordinary heartbreak to family and friends. That is all signature diagnostic HPD stuff.
HPD’s aren’t exactly depressive/anxious, they are cranky, a more outward thing. Depressives are in touch with their negative feelings, cranky people have their negative feelings get in touch with you. The attention-seeking subset of cranky will also get in touch with doctors, hospitals, therapists, quack healers, life coaches, and surgeons. The HPD subset of that, which is a lot of it, will then tell us about it on social media. …
I haven’t seen Plomin’s book, but if inward and outward are different dimensions (polygenic scores) in his account then they are not in contradiction; M2F trans and HPDs could score highly on both scales. A similarity in the distribution of scores would be evidence that the two conditions have a common cause.
Is the appeal of these cranky middle aged self-centered guys who announce that they are women the idea of breaking down borders? Is it the “reality-reversing?” Is it the histrionic side?
I’m also interested in what strikes me as rightwing about these folk. Is it the low empathy? The crankiness? The self-made aspect? The will to power? Or is that, as Nietzsche would say, a universal trait?