Subject: Re: Unabomber
Date: Mon 14 Sep 1998 - 13:50:36 BST
In a message dated 98-09-13 22:44:30 EDT, Christopher_Frazer@brown.edu writes:
> I am quite certain that the issue of Catholicism would not receive the same
> spin as transsexuality, but rather the focus would be on how his mental
> instability reflected itself in all aspects of his life, even his religious
> views. I have to wonder why the issue of transsexuality deserves different
> treatment (although, sadly, I am afraid I already know the answer to the
Ahhhhh.. last I looked, Roman Catholicism wasn't in the DSM.
Gender dysphoria, however, is.
>From the story:
>Kaczynski wrote that his 1966 visit to a psychiatrist
>to discuss his desire to become a woman
>was a major turning point in his life.
>He left the doctor's office without speaking of his fantasies,
>consumed with a visionary new hatred,
>according to psychiatrist Dr. Sally Johnson.
If we want a reading that we can live with, it's right here. His "fantasies"
(and I do believe that is a prejorative word) of being a woman were stifled
In short, he was driven into a closet, full of rage at himself and the world
he percieved couldn't accept him and that closet got smaller and smaller while
rage got bigger and bigger.
When the Unabomb manifesto came out a woman I was seeing at the time asked me
to pose in sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt. She said it sounded like me.
It's true. I see common roots between myself and Mr. Kacynski. But then
again, humans are humans, even the ones who commit despicable and anti-social
Life changes. There was a story in the NY Times Magazine yesterday about a
concert pianist who has transitioned, with quotes from James Green and Riki
Ann (doing her usual fearmongering -- "RuPaul is funny on TV, but let her walk
home and she would be a grease spot on the pavement.") TS 101, sure, but in
the Times magazine, after a blurb in Time this year.
But in 1966, when Mr. Kacynski went to that doctor, the choices were limited
and the stigma was immense. And he probably has some predispositions to
mental problems, which are not always connected with transgender.
Do I get the rage? Sure. But even this article notes that his frustration at
not even feeling safe enough to speak of his transsexual desires was something
that pushed him farther into destruction. It's very easy to say that there is
a good chance that if he had been able to speak the truth of his heart he
could have worked on the issues rather than focing them back into his cauldron
Do I know what the diagnosis would haven been in 1966? Nope. But I do know
that by now there are so many layers of fear and shame and adaptive behavior
over those feelings that they are almost impossible to deal with. The longer
we keep our hearts hidden, the more the crud builds up around them, crud that
must be torn away in the process of remembering our heart.
I don't feel any urge to protest this story. I think it shows signs of
compassion, if only because the question "why did he do these horrible acts"
weighs heavily on the public mind.
The answer may well be that he was transgender. The only question is if that
was the problem or the trigger for the real problem -- the demand for
repression, compartmentalization and twisted thinking to rationalize. Is it
the truth of his heart that is the problem, or the demand he percieved to
destroy that heart?
(who wonders if diatribes against technology were a reistance to having the
body technologically changed ..... though he didn't focus on medical
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