April 15, 2017

FROM ANN ALTHOUSE, thoughts on Elizabeth Warren and testosterone.

Is it just me, or has testosterone been in the news more lately? I blame Donald Trump!

Or maybe Rush Limbaugh. Althouse links to this recently rebroadcast episode of This American Life about testosterone, where there’s an interview with a woman who “transitioned” into being a man with the help of colossal doses of testosterone:

Griffin Hansbury: And I’ve gotten into a lot of arguments with women friends, coworkers who did not know about my past as a female. I call myself a post-feminist. And I had a woman say, you’re not a post-feminist. You’re a misogynist. And I said, that’s impossible. I can’t be a misogynist. I couldn’t explain to her how I had come to this point in my life. And to her, I was just a misogynist. And that’s unfortunate because it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Alex Blumberg:[LAUGHTER] I’ll say. Wow. Testosterone didn’t just turn you into a man. It turned you into Rush Limbaugh.

Griffin Hansbury: I know. That I was not expecting. That I was not expecting. . . .

Alex Blumberg: Or something. Are there other ways– other than the visual and other than the libidinal, are there other ways that you feel like testosterone has altered the way you feel or perceive?

Griffin Hansbury: Something that happened after I started taking testosterone, I became interested in science. I was never interested in science before.

Alex Blumberg: No way. Come on. Are you serious?

Griffin Hansbury: I’m serious. I’m serious.

Alex Blumberg: You’re just setting us back a hundred years, sir.

It’s funny, I was talking to a friend a while back who was very interested in math and science pre-puberty, but lost nearly all interest afterward, and she said, “when the estrogen came in, the science went out.”

Some other stuff in this interview reminds me of my friend (and former editor) Norah Vincent, who lived as a man for a year and wrote a great book, Self-Made Man. She, too, said that as a “bulldyke” woman, she was very masculine, but as a man — in her case, without hormones — she wasn’t all that masculine for a man. And that it was a lot harder to be a man than women think.

Meanwhile, also from This American Life, the most NPR line ever: “I have rage. Unfortunately, it’s impotent rage.” Also, the highest testosterone level among the NPR males is 274, which I believe is treatably low. . . . .

Plus: “If I can’t be the most manly in public radio, where the hell can I be the most manly?”