Wednesday, September 07, 2016


This baby has anencephaly, possibly caused by Glyphosate.

It’s good for the species but not good for the environment that the default condition for humans is fertility.  This means that unwanted, damaged, substandard babies come into a world that actively refuses to take care of them, or can’t, or simply doesn’t notice babies.  If it weren’t a legal obligation on the rest of society to protect mothers and babies, constantly trying to “save” babies that are teetering on the edge of life, using maternity as a condition of inheritance, ownership, entitlement and all the other peculiar and twisted things we take for granted, there would be many fewer babies.

In the face of this, I'm bouncing off of the essay linked here:

Why would a man want a uterus transplant so he could have a baby when he would actually need a chromosome transplant to be fertile, which would change his deep identity in ways no one can predict?  Or perhaps now that we know about the epigenome, it would only be necessary to “methylate” (ie turn on or off specific genes by adding methylation) to create a new epigenome.  

But what if that’s already happening because of the plethora of often female-hormone-based artificial molecules we are told are everywhere in our environment.  What if this man-who-wants-to-be-a-mother isn’t REALLY wanting to have a uterus transplant but is only acting under the influence of environmental chemicals?  (Like a rat with toxoplasmosis that makes him seek cat pee.)  If his epigenome were studied and faulty accidental methylation were corrected, might he stop wanting a uterus transplant anymore?  Might he want a gun instead?

Some people consider a gay man “effeminate.”  This is not true.  The defining difference is desire directed at the same sex, not whether someone is a "hunk".  It can’t be psychological since most mammal species include a percentage who want to pair-bond and/or mate with the same sex.  In fact, instances are noticed of desire and attachment reflexes directed to a different species, even a carnivore who tries to mother an antelope.  We don’t know whether this is something prompted by something missing or something added; and we have no idea whether it happens during gestation because of the mother or during gestation because of the fetal genome; or at some particular window when something was supposed to happen that didn’t or did, but too much or in the wrong way.

Some people consider any non-conforming evident-male as “gay” when he may simply have different interests and skills (art, poetry), a different culture, or simply show opposition to the status quo — that is, the idea that all radicals must be gay.

I do think that “gay” is a “male” phenomenon and that lesbians are a whole different dynamic.  People with XX chromosomes are less likely to have a missing gene since there are two chances for it to be there.  It is known that a mother’s body will fight her fetus, interpreting it as a foreign invader, unless certain mechanisms kick in.  I don’t know whether the body is more or less likely to resist a female fetus.  We do know that the body will fight harder against an RH negative fetus and often destroy it.

I’m not just thinking about anatomical anomalies.  Once we understand that empathy is a way of feeling something, faintly enacting it in our own bodies, then what people do or see done to another person is “as though” being felt by themselves, but without consequences.  So that the man who beats a boy, either for sexual gratification or for punishment, is doing it to himself but without damage to his own body.  But he doesn’t have deep enough empathy to see that it hurts the boy, possibly destroys him.  What prevents him from giving the boy pleasure instead?  Is it some kind of moral judgment that lets him deflect pleasure but not pain?

The brain centers for pain and pleasure seem to be connected by some kind of toggle switch that tells the brain how to interpret whatever electro-chemical code the nerves are sending.  People are capable of moving that toggle — on purpose or by accident — from pain to pleasure, even when an observer would have a hard time believing anyone could enjoy the event.  People who do that — since the purpose of pain is to prevent physical damage — don’t generally live long if they don't accept their own pain.  If the pain is unavoidable, then probably being able to toggle it into being pleasure would be a great advantage and the procedure would be in wild demand by people dying of cancer.  Or maybe a pocket toggler could be issued to soldiers in combat.

Going back to men, it is pretty well established that the pleasure from an enclosing friction from any source (warm watermelons in a field are said to provide a luscious experience) works well to provoke a climax and since either hole in a woman works, the single hole in a man or either hole in a sheep can work.  At this level sex is only a reflex and nothing uniquely human about it.

The meaning and enhanced real pleasure of sex comes at the level of metaphor that Lakoff explores, which is how I got over onto this line of thought.  If you can convince your brain that being crucified on Easter is an act of devotion, then that pain might be felt as pleasure of a sort.

Care-giving is related to maternal care for children and might play into the desire to have a uterus implant, interpreting it as a kind of cradle instead of a creating organ.  Care-giving can be an impulse of mammals of any sexual identity but some suggest that maternal instincts are somehow related to sexual identity per se, that a glitch during the sixth month makes the same-sex desire.   

Women's sexual response is related to the reception and giving of care. Adult humans of any sexuality might be care-givers.  It is unclear whether this is a function of temperament or a response to a need empathically detected.  

There is an element of knowledge necessary to be a caregiver but also an instinctive reaching out and comforting.  Children build care-receiving into their personalities, but there are kinds of caregiving.  Rough, inappropriate treatment might create a taste for masochistic suffering and humiliation, a contempt for real care.

Is there also a toggling mechanism controlling empathy, so that sometimes it’s off and sometimes it’s on?  Or so that sometimes it triggers sympathy and sometimes triggers contemptuous rejection?  Lakoff would say that it depends on the metaphor structure of the framing by the individual and the larger culture, which is defined by its framing and scenarios.

Maybe because both can include beds and physical contact, we sometimes confuse care-giving and coitus.  People accept coitus hoping that it means caring.  People guard care-giving by imposing criminal penalties on those trusted to give care but who instead impose coitus.  (Doctors, priests, who are usually men with power.)  This is one source of the contempt for pedophiles — that they are supposed to be giving care, not taking orgasms.  

Since gays might be perceived as already breaking the culture-code, they might be given an exemption or they might be perceived as dangerous.  (A toggle.)  In my experience, many gays are care-givers, but sometimes because the stigma of the low-level care-giving coincides with the stigma of being gay.  That is, surgeons are less-likely to disclose their sexual preference than the orderly who cleans up messes.

Nobody cares whom the untouchables fuck.  But does this increase the empathy of the lowly or armor them against feelings for others?  Both.  Either.  The culture doesn’t pay enough attention to have an opinion.  

But then what about someone like Mother Teresa who could have been elite but chooses to serve the most desperate?  And then, when she is given enough money to increase the level of care, declines it on religious grounds?  (Better to die.)  Is this moral or not?  And why didn’t the idea cheer her up and convince her of the existence of God?  None of it computes, which is probably why we keep hanging on to her life.

The answer is in the metaphor structure, the framing of the culture, what acts signify to us, and where our empathy attaches.  She LOOKED like a loving mother, holding those barely living infants.  We do not take an Enlightenment rational point of view in the face of such evocative images.  She was careful not to be photographed in the embrace of a handsome man.  Anyway, maybe it never happened.  

Walt Whitman never represented himself as care-giving for a beautiful woman.  We do not mix caregiving and sex except in war, which is part of the appeal of such situations.  No one accuses a soldier holding his dying brother of perversion.  But then, no infants will ensue anyway. 

This is not idle reflection.  I am thinking hard.

No comments: