You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Men in Frocks...

Strange, err, bedfellows... That bible of capitalism the Wall Street Journal today (29 September) runs an op-ed entitled “What Would Jesus Spend? Christian virtues won't hurt the economy”. All standard Michael Novak-style doctrine, except for one intriguing detail -- the writer, Professor Deirdre McCloskey, used to be Donald McCloskey, until she né[e] he underwent a surgical transformation:

In October 1995, Gary Fethke, the dean of the College of
Business at the University of Iowa, ran into a colleague, Donald McCloskey, in the hallway of the business school. McCloskey, Fethke noticed, was wearing gold ear studs – small, but on both ears. “What’s this, Don?” Fethke asked jovially. “The earrings! Have you turned gay?”

“You want to know, Gary?” McCloskey asked. When Fethke nodded yes, McCloskey, a renowned free-market economist and married father of two, motioned him into his office and shut the door. He then unburdened himself of a startling secret: At age fifty-two, after years of closeted cross-dressing, he had come to the conclusion that he needed to become a woman. And so, the economics professor explained to his astounded dean, he had embarked on a course of hormone therapy, designed to swell his breasts and alter his voice. Over the course of the next year, he intended to become a physical woman: full beard electrolysis, eyebrow bones ground down, gender reassignment surgery. At that very moment, McCloskey confessed, underneath his sensible brown oxfords and argyle socks, his toenails gleamed candy-apple red.

Dean Fethke sat stunned for a moment, then rushed to put McCloskey at ease. “Thank God”, he exclaimed. “I thought for a moment you were going to confess to converting to socialism”...

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