I might be trans if I were born in this era

So I was born female in every sense of the word. Well, I haven’t had my brain’s electro-magnetic field checked for a male vibrational aura yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s female too.

My mother really knew how to dress a little girl. Pigtails and socks with pink frills. There was no mistaking which chromosomes I had, in case anyone couldn’t tell otherwise (imagine the trauma!)

As soon as I was old enough to walk, I was playing sports. I was digging in the mud, collection frogs and snails, and climbing trees from which I refused to come down. All my friends were boys. We played with GI Joes and simulated skits of “cowboys and Indians” and “cops and robbers.” I was furious any time I was told to be the damsel in distress. This would sometimes happen when there were three kids: me and two boys. One of each of the boys would take the roles of cowboy and Indian or cop and robber respectively (without me being given a right to choose either). When this happened, they automatically assumed that I’d just be the woman who needs rescuing. I so adamantly refused that I insisted on being either a wild Mustang or the police dog.

I also started playing video games (original Nintendo) from the age of four. By the time I was old enough to regularly run about with other kids, I was a video game addict and could wipe out a good many boys on any system I got my hands on. This is because I had a routine much like your typical young boy: rush in the door, whiz through homework, and then race to the game console. If my mother insisted I needed to stop sitting in front of the television, I bolted outside like a crazed maniac and scaled the first tree I found.

I was a junkie for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man, and the Karate Kid.

I regularly announced that I would only wear a dress if I were going to a wedding or a funeral.

My mother told me that I shouldn’t worry. Even tomboys grow up to be ladies. Also, my little brother, who walked through the house on his toes like a ballerina most of the time, had all the adults worried he’d turn out gay in the end. Before I was old enough to read a book with more words than illustrations, I understood that Ladies don’t climb trees and Men with a capital M don’t walk on their toes.

I wanted to serve in the military when I grew up (because I wanted to learn how to assemble guns and crawl in the mud under barbed wire like in the movies), play in the NFL, or be the President of the United States. I was informed, one dream at a time, that none of these were real options for me because I was a girl.

This all seemed extremely stupid to me. Beyond stupid. Actually, I found it so completely stupid that I thought it was a joke for a few years. It didn’t sink in until much later that the silly adults who had told me this weren’t pulling my leg.

My strongest subject in school was math. I ate that up. I LOVED equations. I loved how there was a rational way to put together numbers to get a concrete answer without any ambiguity to it. In fact, I was so good at math that my teacher brought in a textbook for me from three grades higher, and I worked on it by myself in the corner during math lessons, teaching myself how to calculate interest on loans and memorizing pi. I also heard many times what a shock it was that I was a girl who was so good at math.

As a teenager, I shopped in the boys’ section. I wore baggy pants and t-shirts and joined the football team with the boys (American football, not soccer). I skateboarded to practice, palled around with the other guys, and then went home to play video games again. At football practice, the male coaches made a much bigger deal out of it than my male teammates did. In retrospect, I don’t think they completely understood yet (neither did I) how completely odd it was. I loved chasing after someone to tackle and smashing into things. All the guys liked it too, so why shouldn’t I?

When I turned 16, I bought myself a ’66 Mustang and tore apart and reassembled the engine with a mechanic who showed me the ropes. The whole way through, I insisted on doing the actual wrenching so that I could learn by doing and also because it was so much fun. I also tore apart and reassembled his Mustang Fastback’s engine three times with him standing by in case I needed some guidance.

And all.my.childhood.long and even now, I have never heard the last of, “Wow, you are a girl/woman who…..” Fill in the blank with anything you want. I’ve also  never stopped being informed by everyone and their uncle that I will never get a man like this (as though this should worry me to no end) and that I need to simply knock off all this stuff, as though I do it as a joke. But, really, I think I should just reassure those people that there is a looooong line of sick perverts who cannot wait to fetishize a genuine “tomboy” and on the other side is a looooong line of men who tease me incessantly and accuse me of “acting like a boy” to get male attention.

Okay and here is the thing. Never. Not once. Not even for one split second was I male.

Now I am reading in the news that children showing “signs” of preferring another “gender” that is socially assumed to magically appear in coordination with one’s genitals are transgendered. Are you KIDDING me?

So let me get this straight. Kids aren’t automatically aware that society has very VERY specific expectations of what they should like, do, think, and desire based on their genitals? You mean kids don’t know that pink is for girls and blue is for boys? OMG! How could this happen? Here’s an idea: Why don’t you be an old-fashioned gender-fascist and just train them to perform the right gender by making them feel like shit about themselves for not fitting your idea of what a Girl and a Boy is supposed to be like. Tease them or make chiding comments like “real boys don’t cry” or “girls aren’t supposed to do that.” Please, give me the old-school gender empire over this! Now we’ve got these neo-gender-fascists who take the poor boy or girl and start telling him or her that they are the OTHER SEX for not conforming. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 

Thank HEAVENS this movement didn’t exist when I was growing up. I might have had my name changed by adults (or encouraged to do this) and had to go through my whole young life believing I was male even though I eventually grew breasts and got periods. What a total and complete mind fuck this would have been. I might have even found a doctor who wouldn’t object to making a killing in order to mess with my healthy, fully functioning, beautiful natural body.

Don’t jump in now and tell me that “oh, the kid wants to be male/female.” BULLSHIT. The kid doesn’t have a clue what male or female gender even IS. You, society, made it up! You are projecting your own notion of male/female onto your kid.

And let’s not forget this, too: the gender assigned to females is an ultimately worse deal than the one assigned to males. They both suck, but women are socialized to be the dainty, wilting, pretty little flowers who can either pretend they cannot change their own oil or else be ridiculed/lusted after by pervs/accused of not being a real woman/accused of doing it for attention/told they are actually trans for knowing how to change their own oil. Or for doing anything else fully autonomously and not complying. It’s all part of the same song and dance that has been oppressing women for ages. And I am horrified at what quite truthfully appears to be this new trend of men being so bored and confused that they try out being part of the sex class for kicks. These are our chains. This is our rage, our abuse, and our suffering. It is not a dress-up game.

Please, show me a MtF that had my childhood and oddly still thought he was female. Because I am female. I did everything a boy was supposed to do growing up, but I am female. You are male, no matter how well you did or did not fit into your gender box gifted by the general public to all boys.

I do not blame the actual trans people, either, for this mess. I blame all of us for buying into the gender stereotypes in the first place. It’s NO WONDER that children grow up feeling like they spent their youth trying to cut off a part of themselves. This is precisely what gender does. People who suffer extreme cognitive dissonance often correct this painful experience by finding a way to reconcile the two contradictory apparent truths so that there is no longer an incongruency of apparent realities. An example of this would be when someone tells you they love you and then they hit you. You can believe only one of two things to reconcile this contradiction: They don’t love you or people who love also hit. “They don’t love you” is much harder to believe than “people who love you also hit.” Similarly, when our sex and our gender don’t line up, we can believe two things to reconcile this contradiction: Gender is a lie that society and people, even those who claimed to love us, have hurt us with all our lives or we are actually the other sex.

It’s not the latter.

If a boy is sitting across from a girl playing with Barbie and he wants to play with Barbie too, I imagine it’s a cruel kind of abuse to know he’ll suffer consequences for doing so. It’s also a cruel kind of abuse if a little girl wants to be president and she is told this will never happen because she is a girl.

What we should be doing is breaking DOWN gender stereotypes, not swapping them out and reaffirming their essential relation to a certain sex.

Frankly speaking, there should be no such thing as transgender. Males and females should feel fully comfortable to enjoy whatever they want from childhood forward without anyone ever telling them that this means they are not a real boy or girl. To the boys, you do not have to be a girl to like pink, play with Barbie, enjoy baking cakes, etc. In fact, fuck the whole world for having that list just read GIRLY the instant it hits the page. And to the girls, you do not have to be a boy to climb trees, play video games, belch the ABCs, etc.

Not only do you not *have to* but none of those activities or any other combination of them will make you the other sex. And that’s okay.

This is a real kitten below.

this is a real kittten

41 thoughts on “I might be trans if I were born in this era”

  1. You do realize that being trans* goes beyond gender expression, right? Freeing society from the social construct of “gender” doesn’t change that biological sex exists, and that there are people in this world who absolutely cannot live as the biological sex they were assigned. Also, you speak as though EVERY parent who has a child with a non-conforming gender expression AUTOMATICALLY thinks they’re kid is trans*. I’m 20 now, and I’ll tell you from personal experience, I knew my biological sex wasn’t right from a very young age. It had nothing to do with my parents or gender expression, because I was never constricted to social norms as I was growing.

    Also, this post doesn’t seem to address that there are plenty of trans* individuals who transition later in life, and that these individuals are much more satisfied with themselves and their lives after GRS.

    I don’t know why I’m even trying to explain this to someone who probably has no interest in attempting to understand. I used to have some resources handy, but you aren’t even worth the time it would take for me to dig them up.

  2. “You do realize that being trans* goes beyond gender expression, right? Freeing society from the social construct of “gender” doesn’t change that biological sex exists, and that there are people in this world who absolutely cannot live as the biological sex they were assigned.”

    Biology isn’t assigned by humans. It is physical reality. It cannot be changed. You can change the shape of your body, but this will not change your biology. Female isn’t something I choose to be, nor is it something that someone assigned to me. It is literally the physical reality of the biological organism that I am living within.

  3. I had a very similar experience growing up. I am so glad that articulate women are rising up in the blogosphere to fight for female liberation. I’m not as articulate, but I appreciate your work and will be here to support you. Don’t let the trans-activists and MRAs deter you! Your work is important.

  4. I SO AGREE with all you wrote, and my saving grace was finally coming out as a Butch Dyke, and being affirmed as such within a strong radical feminist and women’s spirituality Dyke community. In a smaller town, but we were activist in our own way. They taught me to have PRIDE in my Female being, in my bloods, in my body, in my strength, in my Warrior attitude. I went for a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and got it in 1981, the same year I came out as a Dyke, a Witch and LeatherDyke….and there weren’t that many women in martial arts back then as there are now. The ones for sure who inspired me were strong and powerful. One of them became a public Lesbian figure, one of the first in my dojo I approached on my newly budding Lesbian feelings, when she came out as a Lesbian Socialist Feminist in the campus newspaper.

    I was the first and only woman in the entire dojo to do full contact karate, but my instructor refused to allow me to compete in full contact because he didn’t believe in it. Meanwhile, other women were doing it, a rare few. I did compete in countless tournaments. I also was the first girl in the ENTIRE ice hockey league in my town. I too eschewed all the feminine roles and girly stuff you mentioned and it was always pulling teeth when my family insisted I wear dresses or skirts out to fancy dinners…I always cried and refused…and was told unless I complied I couldn’t go. I loved climbing trees, playing pick up baseball, exploring, biking and having fun adventures mostly with the boys because I hated the girls’ domestic activities and playing with dolls.

    Finally it wasn’t till I came out I absolutely refused to do that any longer!
    I fought with the boys as I ran the streets in New York, whereas my brother was the one I defended from being picked on whom the other boys thought of as ‘sissy’. There were countless times I defended him as the older sister.

    I completely agree with you. You cannot change sex. It is impossible. And it really doesn’t work in the long run, the surgeries and hormones…the changes are cosmetic, though not superficial. They are often maiming to one’s sexuality, and there are serious health costs to taking either artificial testosterone or estrogen. IF we got rid of the expectations, and girls were allowed ANY opportunity and boys were allowed to show their vulnerabilities and soft sides without being censored or beat up, then I think this whole nonsense of transition would not be needed, except for the very, very few, or for those who want to correct their intersex conditions. Meanwhile selling this swill and the blatant homophobia behind it all damages both female and male bodies, minds and spirits..and CONTINUES TO. It shows our culture has taken a big step backward in boxing both females and males into narrow boxes, instead of EXPANDING THEM, or eliminating those boxes altogether.

    While I’m probably a generation older than you, I faced all the same things, and thank Goddess I have my Butch Dyke body and am Female Proud, and came into a strong, activist Feminist Lesbian community and brought out by the Dyke Witches into a powerful strong Female affirming spirituality….to connect with other Butches also proud to be Female was so life affirming to me, to remind me I’m NOT ALONE, and that other Females are on a similar Path and have shared similar struggles, having been hardcore Tomboys all their lives. It is not merely a cloak one puts on and takes off, like dressing in drag(in either direction). Finding out about the Ancient Amazons and THEIR Female power and defiance and strong Amazon Warrior Spirits and Sisterhood also really empowered me at a young age. Check out http://www.amazonation.com

    In any case, thanks so much for your share and your words.
    -In Sisterhood,
    -FeistyAmazon

  5. Funny, I have had plenty of kitties and NONE of them have had ‘pink cheeks’! Sometimes the females can be as fierce as the males, or more shy! LOL.

  6. ***Hai! I am a transactivist who left a scathing comment here, filled with cuss words!!!!***

  7. Interesting discussion, I’ve been perplexed by why so many young people are suddenly calling themselves ‘trans’ and even going through surgical alterations when their rationale is feeling ‘not quite male, not quite female.’ I love what FeistyAmazon said about how our society is narrowing rather than expanding definitions of gender–I mean wtf is going on? Can’t we just get beyond this gender stuff already and let everyone be a whole human being, however they are?! Fantastic if a woman enjoys sports/engineering/math/video games and fantastic if she enjoys cooking/art/beauty/nurturing and even better if she likes her own unique mix of everything! Same applies for men. We need to be authentic to ourselves, not society. Our bodies are a biological state and nothing to be ashamed of, nor should the state of our body dictate our self expression towards more ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ ways of being.

    I felt ‘not quite male, not quite female’ in childhood and high school too, but have since embraced my female body and the fact that I am quite feminine in many ways (also that I am heterosexual, though I often wish I weren’t…too few good men out there, it’s a nightmare). My body is not at all masculine and that bothered me when I was younger and wanting to ‘be a boy,’ (because the role models for girls were SO limited and annoyed me! I also loved He-Man, Mighty Max, Ninja Turtles, Ronin Warriors, video games, etc) but embracing who I am has opened up the possibility to express myself however I want to and love my beautiful body at the same time. Sometimes I dress up in skirts and dresses and makeup, most of the time I wear jeans and a plaid shirt. I notice the compliments flow when I am ‘performing’ femininity in external ways people are familiar with. I don’t limit myself and I enjoy what I enjoy. It’s like if suddenly I get a manicure and everyone’s like “whoa, I didn’t think you EVER painted your nails!” Sometimes I like colors on my nails because it’s fun? I’m not trying to PERFORM femininity, I just do what I like as I feel like it. And I’m a much more right-brained person, math and science don’t come naturally to me at all. I hate that how I am is automatically assumed to be BECAUSE my body is female. I want to enjoy the feminine side of life not just because I’m female and expected to, but because it’s a part of who I am. And I admire the butch women who put up with all kinds of crap from society day in and day out just for being themselves, and still embracing being female. Rock on. :)
    And FeistyAmazon, that website has a lot of awesome content…I too am on a spiritual path.

  8. Your last paragraph, “optimist”, is typically dismissive of a dissenting opinion. We biological females get that all the time from males, any time we challenge the status quo, or the rigid sex stereotypes used to “keep us in our place”. The fact that you use that exact same tactic is sure-as-hell PROOF that you are still male, even if you wear make-up and frocks, because you “knew your biological sex wasn’t right from a very young age”.

    Balderdash.

  9. I agree with this, even though I’m transsexual. I call myself transsexual, because or me, the problems do not lie in gender roles (of course I didn’t like the gender roles assigned for me, but my parents didn’t really raise me to any gender role and for most of the time I have done pretty much whatever I’ve wanted despite the complaints people have made because of me not acting like I was “supposed to”) but my body’s biological sex, as in, if I didn’t felt dissociance towards my body’s sex characteristics I wouldn’t be trans.

    Also I want to mention that I do not mean hatred by dissociance, because I really don’t hate my body but the disconnection I feel towards it; sure sometimes I (wrongly) direct my hate towards my body because, well, it’s the thing I feel so disconnected from.

    I personally wish I wouldn’t have to resort to hormones because I wouldn’t like to be depended on some drug for the rest of my life, but in last years the disconnection I have felt for my body became too much for me to bear, and I fell in alcoholism and depression. I thought that maybe I could ease the disconnection I feel with hiding my sex characters with clothing, but it didn’t help as I felt it wasn’t enough for me. Because in the end of the day, when i take my clothes of my body is still there. When i wake up my body is there, I’m constantly aware of it, and the more I try to push those thought away the more they invade my mind.

    Of course I realize, that I’m not able to change my sex, just the aestethics of my body, but I view the hormone treatment as an tool to hopefully lessen the disconnection. I know that there will be parts in my body I maybe never will be happy with, for example the size of my hands or feet, since hormones won’t change them. But I view these as realities I just have to face, and I wish that I can go on with as little surgeries as possible.

    I also realize, that I will never truly know what it is like to live as the opposite sex, as my life history of course matches more with those who are of my assigned sex. But then again, I really don’t want these things to bring me down either. For me it really isn’t so important (anymore) to be the same as everyone else of my wished sex, I just want to feel connected with my body full time, just like in some small moments, when I’ve seen a glimpse of my reflection in some window when walking down a street, and didn’t have enough time to spot the “mistakes” in my body, or when the room has been dark and I wear clothes that hide my sex charasteristic, and I look at the mirror with the side of my eye, just to see a little bit of myself but not enough to see the “errors” I see in my body.

    Of course, I am scared that what if these treatments wont help me? I’m not really scared about regretting going on hormones and that I would begin to miss my original body, but I’m more scared that if I still continue to feel the disconnection towards my body, because then I’m not sure if there’s anything that would help me. I’m afraid, that perhaps then the problem I have really isn’t with the sex of my body, but just with my very existence alltogether.

    Who knows, maybe gendered world affects the way I view my body, but I just want to feel with peace with myself, you know, just to survive this life as good as I can. I really, really want to live and enjoy this life, and feel as “whole”.

    But yes, I agree that people shouldn’t have to change their bodies or think that they’re really the other sex because of their behavior and because of the strict gender roles, and I hope it isn’t just some distant future when peope finally get rid of them. And I really can’t understand people who pursue hormone or other treatments even though they’re with ease with their bodies, but perhaps that’s because all I want is to feel connected with my body and I admit I feel envy towards people who have the connection, and because of that can’t understand why would they change their bodies even though they feel “at home” in them. They too are just trying to survive, I guess.

  10. great that you question gender roles — but that is NOT the same thing as gender identity. i am female-bodied trans person and i was / am much less identified with male gender roles as you. (don’t know squat about cars or tools and i’ll squeal at a bug and cry at a movie that is the least little bit sad.)

    but i am NOT a woman.

    it would’ve been so helpful to have had a way for me to understand my gender identity as a youngster. i feel the opposite as you on this — that i wish i could’ve grown up in an environment where transgender was understood and communicated to me — so i didn’t have to wait until i was 37 years old to have a clue.

  11. being dismissive is “PROOF” of being male??? huh? i think that might be a slight improvement on using the penis as definition of male……um….maybe…..but there’s probably dismissive people with vaginas who would disagree.

  12. Class analysis is different. I am not talking about every single one, but generally speaking. Most women can tell the sex of the person behind the keyboard from the way they speak. For example, your communication style strikes me immediately as female. You disagree, but you are not hostile about it. You also do not mansplain at all. I would read you as female from my side of the computer because you are better at discourse than males usually are, and you are far less hostile.

  13. Yes, to everything you said. I just watched the movie “Girlfight” (unfortunate title) and was saying ‘Yes!’ throughout…left a review to the effect that girls can refuse to perform all that femininity shit and NOT be trans, NOT even be lesbian. Sad that it has to be said so loudly today.

  14. “Female isn’t something I choose to be, nor is it something that someone assigned to me. It is literally the physical reality of the biological organism that I am living within.”

    Yes! This!!!

    I am so relieved to have found a place where people speak the plain truth, but I’m terrified because these voices of reason have become increasingly squelched. I’m sick of being told I must participate in the delusions of others. I trust my intuition. If it walks like a duck . . .

  15. OMG! Ok, you’re not trans. You enjoy activities done primarily by men / boys. You’re happy in your own body, and you’re sick of people telling you you can’t do something because of stupid reasons. Doesn’t mean other people are happy in their own bodies, doesn’t mean they don’t feel the need to make changes they see necessary to improve their quality of life. If I suspect someone I know is trans (as I have with a friend of mine for a while), I don’t prompt them into thinking they might be, it’s a realisation they have to come to themselves, and if they confide in me, I will of course help them as much as I can, but ultimately, any decisions HAVE to be made by the individual involved.

    I grew up as a boy, had toy cars, my nana bought me a new car every Saturday it seems. I had Action Man (GI Joe for the Americans), it was “Eagle Eyes” and he had short cropped hair and a switch in the back of his head so you could move his eyes left and right. I had lots of accessories for him too. I played with my toy cars, even having contraflow systems (well, queues of cars really) along the hallway. I also had teddy bears and teddy bear picnics. I didn’t like getting dirty, I “skipped” to school and was eventually told I shouldn’t – I didn’t know why, it was something I enjoyed doing. I wasn’t your typcial boy at the time. When I realised something wasn’t exactly right, I acted the part as best I could, to hide any sign of me being “different”. I didn’t fully know what the hell was going on with me at the time, and the internet wasn’t around to help, and I was too scared that someone would learn my “secret” if I went to a library to try to look things up.

    Now as an adult, (I transitioned in the summer of 1999), I’m a lot happier person in myself, but I do see some of the bullshit you’re complaining of. and I do agree with you that it’s stupid bulllshit, but I’m less surprised when the attitudes comes from older people, than I am from younger people. My 12 year old niece loves me to bits, but is always on at me that “girls don’t do this” or “girls don’t do that”, when what she should be saying or meaning is that MOST girls don’t do this or that, there shouldn’t be anything you can do that you don’t do because of your sex, that’s just stupid (yes, there are some things only men can do and some things only women can do, I’m not talking about those kinds of things). So when I take my niece to race radio control cars, I dunno if she wants to be there because she likes it too, or because she’s with her “fun” aunty. I don’t see her often but I have gotten her her own car to race when I do. But, my point is, at that age, she shouldn’t feel limited by what she can do, the only question she should really be asking anyone, is “why?”. If she’s told she can’t do this – “why?”, “you can’t change the oil in a car!” – “why?” or in your case, “I just did stupid!”

    At the end of the day, we are all different and we are all the same. I know that completely contradicts itself but it’s true. We are not, the “perfect” version of male and female, we come from a mix of sperm and egg for God’s sake. Have you ever made a cup of tea or coffee with the exact same amount of ingredients? They may all look similar, smell similar and taste similar, but they’re all different and unique, and no different to us as humans. I know that analogy may simplify things a bit, but I’d rather simplify things so there’s no confusion, than have everyone paw over a statement looking for the “hidden” or “true” meaning.

  16. However, some people honestly cannot reconcile with the ‘physical reality of the biological organism’ that they are living in. I did not grow up doing ‘male’ prescribed things. I do not believe the neat little boxes that claim one thing to be ‘male’ and the other as ‘female’ either. I liked sitting indoors and reading books. I have no interest in cars and sports, and love telling my friends about their fashion issues. However, I do not feel comfortable in this body. Not in an ‘I’m too fat, too tall, too…’ etc. rather, I feel the breasts should not be there at all and take the time to bind them for now to simulate the the feeling as best as I can. I identify as genderqueer- maybe you exclude this from your opinion above or have a separate philosophy concerning that- and I wish that I could completely remove/add the biological parts of the sex and replace them with those of the ‘opposite’ sex.

    Maybe it is too much information, but when I am male I have trouble becoming sexually aroused due to my lack of correct biological organs.

    Perhaps you do not care what I think but do hope you realize that you cannot speak for people who do feel that their biological sex is incorrect.

  17. To the “other” Sarah Davis: I think you are missing the point. No, she’s not trans, but if she had grown up in this era she might well have become one. Gender isn’t innate or static. It varies across time, cultures and families. What a girl is considered to be today vs 20 years ago is vastly different. I haven’t seen a single boy who’s transitioned to a girl who would fit in with the girls I grew up with.

    I can’t begin to understand how people can think it’s innate; that girls will always “know” they are girls regardless how the word “girl” is used or how other girls in the area are like. That says that people can identify with a word regardless of its meaning and social context. What good is a word if its meaning doesn’t matter?

  18. I think we agree and disagree a bit on this (it’s too complicated to figure out which), but, not everything is black and white, yes or no, 1 or 0. In my own experience, I didn’t always know, it was a slow dawning process. There we’re things I did without thinking, and was “corrected” about not doing them, when there was nothing wrong with me doing them in the first place, just society saying they we’re wrong for my to be doing them.

    I also get what a lot of feminists say about gender not being being “real”, but a social construct, but, that still makes it a reality. I really don’t care if gender is real or not, the first priority I have for me is to be happy and healthy, and I would guess that is the same for most people.

    I was a little confused there when you said “the other Sarah Davis”, I normally post under my username of oopster or oopster74, but for some reason this got posted via my facebook I think.

    As for whether she would have been brought up as trans or not, I think we’ve gone from one extreme to another extreme in that context. It’s confusing enough as it is growing up some times, and pushing someone in the direction you think they should go can do more harm than good, better to help the individuals come to their own conclusions than lead them to the wrong place, whatever that place is, but to keep an open mind and do what’s right for that person.

  19. I keep hearing that being trans* goes beyond gender expression, but I have never yet once heard a trans narrative that does not involve gender stereotypes. I’d love to hear a story about someone who “knew” they were female, but somehow had no interest whatsoever in traditional gender stereotypes. This ought to be possible. In fact, it ought to be common! Please share.

  20. But, people fall into stereotypical behaviour in an effort to “fit in”, I’m guilty of that myself, and so are probably most of us even if we don’t want to admit it. It’s like going against a stereotype is easy enough to start, but you get pulled back into them like you’re on the end of a bungee cord, and it’s not always the fault of the individual, but it can be a more “comfortable” place to be.

    An ex friend of mine (we had a falling out years ago) who’s trans, isn’t your stereotypical transwoman at all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her wear make up or a dress, preferring mainly to wear vests and jeans. I think she could look really nice if she made the effort with her appearance, but as long as she’s happy, that’s all that matters to me and should be all that matters to anyone. Don’t do anything to suit someone else, only do things to suit you (within the laws of the land and as long as it’s not hurting anyone, but that should go without saying).

  21. No, she’s not, she’s a woman, like you are a woman, she’s just a different woman to you, just as every man or woman is unique. The world isn’t yes or no, black or white ones and zeros.

  22. I think it’s great that you’re proud of being what you are, but I do hope you wouldn’t exclude others from their path just because you see things differently. After all, isn’t it just as bias? No one but the person themselves has the right to determine who and what they are. You don’t have to agree, but you need to respect other peoples choices as long as they don’t harm anyone.
    Besides, if you are against gender roles, then how can you comment that you can tell a persons gender from the way they write a comment? (Like you told inotowok.)
    That comment tells me you have a very conservative way of perceiving men and women, which I think is very harmful. If you think that men and women always react and feel a certain way, if you generalise people by their sex or gender like that you leave no room for people who aren’t men or women. I have so many friends who feel they are both genders, neither or something completely different that it saddens me to see such heteronormative comments like that.

  23. When I was a kid, I loved dressing up in costumes, putting on makeup and I was always very pedant about what I was wearing, more so than girls my age were, but then again, I was never one of them. Sure, most of my friends were girls, I liked to play with barbies, I liked cooking, dressing up and Spice Girls. I liked many things that are conservatively thought as feminine.
    At home, gender roles weren’t really present, I got to choose what I wanted to wear and what hobbies to participate in. I was a normal happy kid, I didn’t really think of things like sex or gender, kids often don’t. Then puberty hit, and everything went down hill. I got depressed when I was 13years old. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, I was very angry and anxious all the time, but I’d learned to conceal my emotions all too well, so no one at home had any idea how much pain I was in.
    It was only when I was about 15, when I learned about transsexuality. I had already thought that I was probably androgyne, and since I’d already identified as a dyke (almost radfem also) it was really hard for me to accept that I was actually a transguy. I’ve always adored women and to realise I was actually a man was devastating at first. Some of my friends had probably known longer than me, but my family had no idea. They didn’t understand at first, and they still struggle with it, but the things that hurt me the most were when they said something like “but you always liked the girly stuff, how can you be a guy?”
    You see, since I accepted myself, I have felt whole, and I feel more like myself the longer the process goes. It offends me when some lesbians tell me that I just couldn’t take the pressure of being a woman or that I wanted to be a guy so that I could be straight. How close minded is that? I remember for two years, going to sleep every night hoping I would wake up the next day as a girl. I had the body of a female, but it didn’t feel like mine. I wanted to be a girl so bad, but in the end I couldn’t lie to myself anymore, and that saved my life.
    I don’t know how transsexuality is treated in other countries, but in Finland at least, no one ever pressured me into hormone therapy, surgeries or anything else. The psychiatrist asked how I felt, and when at the first times I told her I wasn’t sure if I was a guy or androgyne, she told me not to rush into any conclusion and just wait until I felt sure myself. She also told me that only recently they have been allowed to treat people who are androgyne or genderqueer, since before it has been the “either-or” method. These days you can choose the treatments you need and you don’t have to take “the whole package”. This is a huge progress, people are finally starting to understand the diversity of sex and gender.
    So no one ever pushed me to do anything, but people have questioned my transition which I do find offensive. I didn’t choose to be trans, quite the opposite; if I could have chosen, I would have become a woman because I already had a body of one, but alas we don’t always get what we want in life.

    Today I consider myself as a human rights activist, a pacifist, a feminist (not radfem or any of the new waves of man-haters, but the true original meaning of feminism; equality between all humans no matter age, sex or social class etc.), a bit of a nerd, a DIY clothes maker and a loyal friend. Only after that do I identify as a pan-sexual male. I don’t want to see myself as straight, maybe because I’ve always been a part of the rainbow scene and it feels more open (at least most of the time), but mainly because I don’t want to be a person who limits his willingness and ability to love and share love solely based on sex and gender.
    This is also the way I classify other people; not by gender, sex, sexuality, skin colour etc. but through their interests and personality.

    I only wish that people would dissolve harmful social gender roles with an open mind and through kindness. I understand the knee-jerk reaction to hit back etc. but it really doesn’t help one bit. We need to be more accepting and understanding. If you really want to get rid of social gender roles and the heteronormativity in our societies, you need to start with your own prejudice and bias thinking. When you accept other people as they are, even those who you don’t agree with, and you teach your own children the same tolerance and love, you will change the world.

  24. Excuse me, are you lecturing me about feminism on a radfem blog? The “true original meaning” of feminism was as a women’s liberation movement and it had nothing to do with equality with males. You are so obviously male.

  25. That is not the point. Gender is a social construct. That is the point. Male and female are biological categories, and while not every person fits biologically into one or the other, we are a dimorphic species, which means that we reproduce (at the moment) by an ovum being fertilized by sperm. That is a biological reality for most of the entire world. Within patriarchy, this has very, very concrete implications that cannot be brushed aside, because women are on the receiving end of global oppression, femicide, torture, murder, etc. The problem with queer ideologies is that it attempts to muddy a situation that has been hard to elucidate as it is, and women’s lives are on the line.

    Trans do not make me feel ooky. MEN make me scared shitless in general. Men who think their identities are more important that the worldwide, 6000+ year oppression of women are entitled and disrespectful of women’s boundaries. That makes these men either just like the other men or worse.

  26. I am not shortsighted. I disagree with you definitively. That is not the same thing. Everything you describe is the life of every woman on this planet, and we cannot EVER get out of it. If you want to trample on women’s chance at autonomy because now you feel something individually that we have suffered as a whole for thousands of years, then you are anti-feminist, anti-woman.

  27. I am not blaming all FtM trans for patriarchy. I blame men/mtF(same thing) for patriarchy. But all trans people I hold responsibility for how they contribute, and the truth is that many MtF especially are very abusive towards radical feminists. We receive rape/death threats regularly from that crowd. This is just more of the same shit from men, actually, because we dare to say that penis is male…for that, these men threaten to kill us. Sounds a whole lot like men, doesn’t it?

    In a post-patriarchy, there would be transgendered people, because there would be no gender. Gender itself is part of patriarchy. There wouldn’t be people with a wide range of expression, but no one would be trying to “trans” to the other “gender” because there would be no genders to go back and forth to and from.

  28. No, people on both sides are not guilty of what I say. Show me one single example of a radical feminist threatening to rape and/or kill a trans person. I can provide countless examples if you want to see. Can you show me even one?

    Oppression is not “it goes both ways.” Men dominate over women in a system of violent patriarchy. There is no “both ways” here anymore than a rapist and a victim are both equally responsible for his rape of her. If you do not like radical feminist politics, leave my blog.

  29. Grow up oopster. Seems like I got tired of your shit so you decided to come bother people on here instead. Name one radical feminist who’s attacked or killed any trans person, you idiot.

    I hate you too oppster. I hate you too.

  30. I didn’t say radical feminists had raped, killed or threatened to kill anyone, I said there would be unaceptable behaviour from all sides, that’s just going to happen. Most people won’t be like that, but it just makes sense that you will get extremists on any side of an argument.

    I actually agree with some radfem ideas, but not all, but do you want a debate where everyone just nods in agreement with you, or do you want to debate the pros and cons of your argument?

    Francois, I’m sorry we had a falling out, I have apologised to you for it.

  31. I do not want to “debate” with men on my blog, no. This is a consciousness raising space for women. If you are male, you can appreciate the writing or leave. I am not interested in male opinions here.

  32. ‘Oppression is not “it goes both ways.”’ It’s such a simple concept, isn’t it? Oppression goes one way: from the top to the bottom. And yet here you are having to explain something so basic!

    Defending oneself from the oppressor, criticizing and exposing the mechanisms of oppression–this does not make “both sides” equal. Calling for an end to the sex class system is NOT oppressive. To anyone.

    Jesus. Gotta love how this “equality” business is only ever used to somehow prove that women are “just as bad” as the abusing-rapist-murderers. That’s why anti-feminist, woman-hating men and women just LOVE to talk about equality. It’s yet another stick with which to beat up and punish women–especially radical feminists.

  33. “Francois, I’m sorry we had a falling out, I have apologised to you for it.”

    Hardly my point, is it? I am not asking you for apologies. I am asking you to open your fucking eyes and realize that radfem are not your enemy.

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