DC Trawler

What Makes Bradley Manning A Woman?

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Yesterday, America learned that our tax dollars will go toward hormone treatments for Bradley Manning, who now claims to be a woman named “Chelsea.” And we’re being reminded by our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters that we must, must, must call him “her.” We need to stop calling Bradley “Bradley.” Because this traitor has decided he is a “she,” and we should respect his wishes. Otherwise, we’re transphobic bigots and insensitive teabaggers and probably lots of other bad things too.

I’m reminded of the following story from last June, which tests the limits of this whole worldview. Don Kaplan, NYDN:

Dawn Ennis, an ABC producer who has identified as both a man and a woman during her long tenure at the network, was axed in May for “performance-related issues” — weeks after her latest transition from her male persona, Don Ennis…

The story dates back to May 2013, when Don Ennis showed up at work wearing a little black dress and a wig and told co-workers to call him Dawn…

Soon after becoming Dawn, Ennis and his wife of 17 years separated — but three months later, Dawn showed up at work as Don again. He claimed that he had suffered from amnesia and accused his wife of dressing him in a wig and creating a fake ID card with the name “Dawn” on it…

Then Ennis returned to work as Dawn in May [2014] — and was fired shortly afterward.

So: How do the pronouns work here? Even the NYDN has trouble. Ennis is a “her” when he puts on his wig, because that magically changes him into a lady. Yet Ennis is a “him” even after he announces his transformation to his co-workers. It would save a lot of time and effort just to call him “him,” which is what he was the whole time.

I mean… which restroom did he use? If he went back to being a guy, but changed his mind on his coffee break and pulled his wig out of his desk drawer, did that give him access to the ladies’ room that day? Did any of the other dudes in that office buy wigs of their own, so he’d have somebody to go in there with him?

This man flipped a coin every morning to decide between Don and Dawn. And I’m the one with the problem?

I sure hope Manning never changes his mind. What will all the scolds say then? “We must respect Bradley’s decision to change back from a chick to a dude. Everybody tiptoe around this traitor so we don’t hurt his precious feelings. And when he decides to be a girl again, we must all watch our language accordingly. Conform to his reality, or else.”

Nah. He’s a man. Not much of one, but a man nonetheless. And all the hormones and wigs and makeup and surgery in the world isn’t going to change that. He can call himself whatever he wants, but I’m under absolutely no obligation to go along with it.

I’m with Hollywood legend Adam Baldwin on this one: