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. If fact, 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.