My page two update on a trans reader, "There's no downside," drew a number of compliments and just one critical email, two days late. Her opening sentence refers to my lede, where I describe going through the Reader classified looking for story ideas. It isn't that she doesn't have a point, somewhere. It's the tone of aggrievement that I object to, the idea that a slice of pie given to A must necessarily steal some pie from B, C and D.
I try to carefully compose my replies, subtly delivering a point that in the past might have been conveyed more forcefully. The reader's name was shielded, as a kindness.
Date: March 22, 2023 at 6:50:48 AM CDT
To: Steinberg Neil <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Today’s Article
Read your article in S-T’s today in which you mention seeking news articles to write about. As my Dad always said “it’s right under your nose” as we missed the obvious. Jill Biden recently gave the International Woman’s Award to a male transgender. What a slap in the face to woman of today (and the past) who have accomplished so much on their own. This has nothing to do with male gender or the gay community as they could never walk in our shoes!
Dear Ms. C.:
Steinberg, Neil email@example.com
I don't pay much attention to awards and honors, and feel people put too much stock in them. Though that might be sour grapes, as I tend not to win many. As far as slaps in the face of women, I'd say with half the country taking away women's rights to conduct their own reproductive health as they see fit, there are bigger problems than the birth gender of someone Joe Biden hung a ribbon on. Though as a subscriber, you have a right to feel offended by anything you please, and I appreciate your reading, and your letting me know what bothers you. I do agree with you that someone who lived most of life as a male could never have the full female experience. Though I've met more than my share of biological women who supposedly had the full female experience yet seem to have missed out on the sympathy and compassion that the public often associate with being a woman. Thanks for writing.