When I was listening to Today, We Define Ourselves by Our Desires: Gino Geraci with Carl Trueman (christianoutlook.com), I thought it might be interesting to write a post on a variant of the thought experiment Trueman uses to begin his book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution: Carl R. Trueman: 9781433556333 – Christianbook.com. Trueman thought experiment begins with this sentence.
I am a woman trapped in a man’s body.
My natural inclination, because it seemed so obvious, was to speculate.
Am I am a man trapped in a man’s body?
Seems to make sense, right. Since I have been foolish, I have learned the hard way that fools go where angel fear to tread. So, I wondered what Google would turn up. What fools have gone ahead of me?
- “woman trapped in a man’s body” turns up about 77,900 results (0.37 seconds)
- ” man trapped in a man’s body” turns up about 4,750 results (0.27 seconds).
- “woman trapped in a woman’s body” turns up about 6,970 results (0.83 seconds).
- “man trapped in a woman’s body” turns up about 56,600 results (0.46 seconds).
In one sense this was reassuring. Apparently, there are not that many guys who think they are a man who worry about being trapped in a man’s body. In addition, there doesn’t seem to be that many gals who think they are a woman who worry about being trapped in a woman’s body. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop people from writing about those who do. Someone has even concocted a new word. It doesn’t seem to have made it into too many dictionaries, but you can Google it.
Autogynephilia (derived from Greek for ‘love of oneself as a woman’) is the term Blanchard coined for “a male’s propensity to be sexually aroused by the thought of himself as a female”, intending for the term to refer to “the full gamut of erotically arousing cross-gender behaviors and fantasies”.
Amazingly, Googling “autogynephilia” gets about 144,000 results (0.61 seconds).
Where did Trueman’s thought experiment lead him?
- There is an important difference between our feelings and desires and what is real. It makes much more sense to adjust our feelings and our desires to the reality of our sex than it does to alter our bodies to suit some temporary whim of the imagination.
- Our society has gotten to the point where people think their feelings are ridiculously important. This puts those who think the truth matters, including for religious reasons, in conflict with people determined to have their own way with their feelings.
I think Trueman’s book will be an interesting read.