☆☆☆ "Appropriate & subvert the patriarchal semiotic hegemony of the hetero-normative dyad!" ☆☆☆

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Nominative De-Construction

O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

Romeo & Juliet, Act II Scene ii, l. 46 - 48

Juliet here is distressing about family lineage. The names I wish to distress and discurse are about diagnosis, dysphoria, disorder, and delegitimation. "Trans-invalidation" --

I link here to monograph, Transvestic Fetishism: Psychopathology or Iatrogenic Artifact?


"Iatrogenic" is a Latinate way of designating that the medical protocol caused the disease. When one searches (Google) "paraphilia" one encounters a great deal of focus upon sex offenders, court mandated management/treatment, and the ineluctable statistical reality that "paraphilia" is a male sort of "disorder." Paraphilia fixation/behaviors occur predominately in males. Females seem only to appear in cases of paraphilia relating to sado-masochism.

"Masochism is the only paraphilia in which any noticeable number of women participate— about 5% of masochists are female."

Read more:

Humpty Dumpty understands: “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

AUTHOR:Lewis Carroll (1832–98)
QUOTATION:“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
ATTRIBUTION:LEWIS CARROLL (Charles L. Dodgson), Through the Looking-Glass, chapter 6, p. 205 (1934). First published in 1872.
Now, a few years later, 1916, Ferdinand de Saussure put this same idea into a formal linguistic paradigm. Here's the link to the pdf text:


Course in General Linguistics
Ferdinand de Saussure
Edited by Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye
In collaboration with Albert Riedlinger
Translated, with an introduction
and notes by Wade Baskin

Fundamentally, Saussure affirms for us that the relation of the signifier to the signified is arbitrary and culturally determined. "Signifier" is the word we use to denote the "sign" -- the object, noun, concept, abstraction, (diagnosis) to which we refer. E.g. the French say "chien," Germans "Hundt," and English speakers call that furry domesticated hound with the wagging tail a "dog." 

Chien, Hundt, dog are all signifiers. 

Paraphilia is a signifier. That thing which "paraphilia" denotes, connotes, signifies is ARBITRARY. 

Paraphilia is a Greek -- "para" denoting beside, and "philia" denoting a love -- "Love" being a damned slippery, broad, and hard to pin down sort of signifier itself. 

Being linguistically, lexically agile ourselves, we can signify an archery allusion and assert that the upshot misses the target. Blanchard's "erotic target error" misses the target. We can easily de-construct the nominative, lexical paradigm of the "diagnosis." (And I include "diagnosis" in quotes to denote that it is a provisional use whose legitimacy I challenge.)
But back to the upshot, archery and this target we're considering in the erotic error of it all: 
The literature talks about the "hetero-normative dyad" -- This would be the cisM and cisF sexual congress which is potentially capable of producing progeny. Some would suggest this sexual paradigm is somehow a priori. (Never mind the fleeting images of vine covered cottages and white picket fences . , , )

Blanchard would like to boil diagnoses down to a sort of taxonomic tree: If you're "trans" and attracted to the "sex" of target partners who "sexually [intercourse] mesh" with your post-transitional presentational state (???) then you are essentially "homosexual" and "trans-sexual."

If you are a cisM and wish to transition to "female" -- but you are also erotically attracted to cisF, then Blanchard asserts this orientation/presentation is an "erotic target error" and accordingly diagnostically "pathological."

Tossing another conceptual ball into the air -- Michel Foucault, in "Histoire de la Sexualite" views  "the emergence of "sexuality" as a discursive object and separate sphere of life." "Discursive object" would be a noun, a name, a diagnosis if putting a label on it is part of your agenda.

Judith Butler notes that identity is performance, and our performances consist of "semes" -- linguistic artifacts that construct meaning. Some semes that construct presentation of gender would be skirts, ear-rings, long/short hair, hair bling, make-up, frills/lace . . . Semes for women appear easier to designate because much of how "women" is defined entails objectification and the accouterments of fashion.

But I digress --

"Paraphilia"  Male sexuality is object directed. This seems obvious, and this object directedness is the focus of radical feminists, feminists generally. "Treat me like a person. Don't treat me like a sex toy."

OK, fair enough. Let's add that pornography markets to this object directedness. Google any of the fetishes listed in the DSM 5 (any DSM edition) and you will come upon web sites whose proprietary and exclusive focus is that specific fetish.

Blanchard would argue that when erotic focus becomes fetishistic that this is an "erotic target error" in a diagnostic sense, and according to the DSM it becomes pathologized.  As noted above, "paraphilia" becomes the bailiwick of court mandate, medical/pharmacological management of sex offenders, chemical castration, radical bi-lateral orchiectomy.

Ironically as hell, chemical castration (Finasteride, Dutasteride) and radical bi-lateral orchiectomy are medical interventions offered "trans" whatever M to F as an initial stage of transitioning from cis-M to trans-F. Let me share the irony here --

Let me first include an abstract from a recent scholarly research monograph in the field:


Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2014 Nov;27(6):413-22. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000099.

Assessment methods and management of hypersexuality and paraphilic disorders.



The recent implementation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition introduced some important changes in the conceptualization of hypersexuality and paraphilic disorders. The destigmatization of nonnormative sexual behaviors could be viewed as positive, However, other changes are more controversial. In order to stimulate new research approaches and provide mental healthcare providers with appropriate treatment regimes, validated assessment and treatment methods are needed. The purpose of this article is to review the studies published between January 2013 and July 2014 that aimed at assessing the psychometric properties of the currently applied assessment instruments and treatment approaches for hypersexuality and hypersexual disorders or paraphilias and paraphilic disorder.


Currently existing instruments can validly assess hypersexual behaviors in different populations (e.g. college students, gay and bisexual men, and patients with neurodegenerative disorders) and cultural backgrounds (e.g. Germany, Spain, and USA). Concerning the assessment of paraphilias, it was shown that combining different assessment methods show a better performance in distinguishing between patients with paraphilias and control groups. In addition to psychotherapeutic treatment, pharmacological agents aiming at a reduction of serum testosterone levels are used for hypersexual behaviors as well as paraphilic disorders.


Although the currently applied assessment and treatment methods seem to perform quite well, more research about the assessment and evidence-based treatment is needed. This would help to overcome the existing unresolved issues concerning the conceptualization of hypersexual and paraphilic disorders.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

My docs at the VA have treated my service-connected PTSD with SSRI (Prozac, Paxil, Sertraline). SSRI are first line medication for the management of sexual offenders, as an adjunctive management of "chemical castration." Additionally, the anti-androgens are Rx for sex offenders to suppress testosterone. Ironically, I requested Finasteride (anti-androgen) as an Rx for BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia -- "night peeing"). Granted there are other medications for BPH, but I specifically requested Finasteride because it is first line Rx for suppressing testosterone in gender transition. -- And it seems to be working for me on all fronts.

I pointed out to my prescribers, both medical and psychiatric, that Rx for Finasteride with the intention of testosterone suppression for gender transition is -- in essence -- enabling my putative "transvestic fetishism" and "paraphilia."  Forgive me while I "LMAO."

Humpty Dumpty understands: “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Foucault gets it when he asserts,  "the emergence of "sexuality" as a discursive object and separate sphere of life." Foucault additionally asserts that varieties of sexual expression are infinite.

Judith Butler gets it when she notes that "Identity is performance." Speech Act Theory holds that the spoken word is an act. Some speech acts confer identity/status, e.g. "I now pronounce you husband and wife." If clothing is presentation (it is) and presentation is an act of identity, clothing and presentation are two means to create an identity. Identity and presentation are performative. Performance is Speech Act.

Jacques Derrida --  French Post-Structuralist wrings his literary-critical hands and moans, "All readings are mis-readings." The most readily accessible exegesis of this principle is seen in poetical interpretation. Images, abstractions, metaphor, poetic devices all serve to afford the reader various "readings" or interpretations of the text, the poem, what it means. The text must be "performed" -- i.e. it does not jump off the page and announce its meaning. The text must be read, performed, interpreted to make meaning of it.

The literary term for this multitude of textual interpretation is "poly-semous"

What is polysemous in linguistics?

The word polysemy comes from the Greek words πολυ-, poly-, “many” and σήμα, sêma, “sign”. In other words it is the capacity for a word, phrase, or sign to have multiple meanings i.e., a large semantic field. Polysemy is a pivotal concept within the humanities, such as media studies and linguistics.

 And so, "para-philia" by any of it various diagnostic specifiers, is an arbitrary seme, a culturally derived concept with social baggage, values, diagnostic authority, seeming medical legitimacy. 

Blanchard would like us to believe that gender presentation can be boiled down to sexual orientation in a rigidly dogmatic taxonomic tree. 

Such assertions fly in the face of everything literary critical, metaphysical, linguistic, and diagnostic. 
I am as unique as my genetic biome. Let's not put me -- or any of us -- in a diagnostic box. Let us not decide, as a diagnostic function, which performance is "pathological." 

Let Humpty Dumpty guide us here, 

it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

No comments:

Post a Comment