Solving our problems

Is trans in teenage girls a social contagion? Should their parents and the doctors save them from themselves? I thought I would ask an expert who has thought deeply about this. I read that Bulimia was a social contagion, that people started to suffer from the disease of bulimia when they read about it.

-Well, we are a social species. Everything people do is a social contagion.

It is so obvious when she puts it that way. Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” to mean an idea which people adopt not necessarily to their benefit. There might be aspects to the idea which make it long-lived. People find solutions to their problems. Eating disorders fulfil an emotional need, as cutting does.

There are clearly bad contagious ideas, such as the Bridgend suicide outbreak. That people in your town- you may know them, or have common acquaintances- kill themselves makes the idea more possible. It gets rid of the problems of being a young person, but also gets rid of all the possible solutions, the creativity of the individual.

There are solutions from medical experts. Should a very large person have bariatric surgery, reducing the size of their stomachs? Some people think it wonderful, some think it “mutilation”. It means you can never eat a full meal again, so have to eat several times a day. It cannot be reversed. People have difficulty absorbing vitamins, and may have severe pain.

So bariatric surgery replaces your problems with a whole new set- just like my trans surgery has sorted my discomfort, at a cost.

Yes. And what if the research on gut flora yields results? Some people put on weight because of the way they absorb food or hormonal feedback to the brain not properly telling them they are satiated. If such problems were solved medically, people would still comfort-eat, but would not put on weight the same way.

Should the deaf child of deaf parents have cochlear implants? she asks. Well, I think in sound. I have no mind’s eye, but a subtle mind’s ear, able to hear an orchestra in my head. I take in information through sound. I think, of course the child should, but recognise some such parents object. So the medical establishment says the child should have the operation, and the parents refuse because Deaf culture is a beautiful thing, and this will remove the child from Deaf culture. The child may still be part of Deaf culture, loving their parents and learning Sign, but if the parents refuse the surgery the child may come to resent that; but if there are not enough deaf children, the subgroup may cease to exist.

Solutions to our problems are chosen by the individual, and suggested or opposed by the family or the wider society. Being a teenage girl is difficult. How much easier to be a man! Well, there is misogyny. Bariatric surgery is mutilation, she says, but it might stop you getting spat at in the street. The hatred and mockery is wrong, and an ideal society would not fat-shame, or slut-shame, but in this world they do and finding a way to avoid that is a good thing. Transition takes away certain problems and replaces them with others. Some people regret it. Parents and carers oppose it, valuing what the teenager does not- fertility damaged by testosterone, the natural body.

“Natural body”- Ha! Impossible! Every action and choice changes our bodies. Chest masculinisation surgery changes it more quickly and radically.

The problems we face exhibit our creativity and determination. Once I saw a man roll up to his car, get himself and his wheelchair into it, and drive off- swinging about like a gymnast, quickly and efficiently. I was impressed, and he might prefer fully functioning limbs. Alison Lapper gets around independently in an adapted car. Technology gets her wheelchair in and out. That’s more expensive, but it works for her.

I want to gather everyone like a hen gathers her chicks. I want those who regret saved from transition, and those who strongly believe medical transition is necessary to access that. I want reconciliation between trans and terfs, though the positions are so extreme. And if this desire came from giving emotional support and care to my mother, from before I could remember-

surely a bad thing, a demand on me before I was ready for it, which has hurt me life long-

is that care, compassion and desire for their good and their happiness not still Beautiful?

Not necessarily- or, Yes, and No; but that is quite a long argument in itself.

Lucy wants to get beyond binaries. Negative and positive thinking, male and female, trans and cis. Even “Non-binary” is a failure, because it differentiates itself from Binary. What transcends this? The Tao, perhaps. Flow.

Rule of Three


Have you heard of the rule of three?

The woman had not, though after she apologised for her dog shaking over me, she told me about the photos which had got away: she had seen a kite only 10′ in the air, bullied by two buzzards into dropping its prey; and in the back-brook where her dogs swim she had seen a carp, all the beautiful colours of it; maybe she should get a camera. Then, the picture which got away eluded me: that splash of colour from the red van, driving past too quickly to snap at, would have complemented the poppies beautifully. “Back-brook”- a phrase I have not heard before, but get the meaning immediately.


Isecurityf I could get the exposure right: I am not happy with the colour. I need a better tool for adjusting, and practice with it. So my poppy photo to illustrate the Rule of Three is not the one with strict one third to sky with the poppies one third in, one third up, because it looks washed out. My poppy photo shows the splash of red by the lower left magical point, one third in, one third up, but the yellow of the rape is still washed out.

The rule of three is so important that my camera screen can be set to display a grid as if for noughts and crosses, helpfully to show where the significant points of the subject(s) should be, and yet I had not heard of it, and am not sure it works. The test is my own response to the photo. I think it works with the swan, its body a third up, its neck a third in, and I particularly like the way the reflection of the beak becomes an abstract squiggle; and I am unsure with the poppies. I do need more practice. I came upon the rule in a page I cannot find, now.

My next encounter was not so pleasant. The man stood with his dog in its harness, telling it to sit, though it was desperate to get at me as I walked along the path. His voice would be gentle, if you can imagine gentleness completely devoid of sweetness. I do not like what the man is doing to that dog, preparing it for war with the Bad People. It seems security too far. A photo from the front might have pushed the dog beyond control. Roll on Googleglasses, when one will be always ready to take any picture: though that readiness can stop me seeing what is there.

I wander on, thinking how a photograph could never convey the ever-changing quality of being here; blogging, turning phrases over in my mind; and planning my new meme.

hut meme

Amazing how far left I have moved this past year. I have started a memes page, as writing on photos is such fun. I get to enjoy the goslings, here straining towards Mum. Have I got the framing right? Hmmm…



Meme 1

A friend posted this meme on facebook:


She did not read to the end, thinking it was about Austerity, rather than about immigration and foreign aid. I searched for British austerity memes, without great success (or great application) and decided to make my own.

Two political ones:



And- any excuse to publish these pictures again:

Sun shine memeshopping in Asda
And a new-agey sort of one:

dog sled

What I need now are a few jokes.

I love my blog. What other site would be reached in the same day by searches for “Photos of tucked and folded penises” and “guide of childhood by George Elgar Hicks“?