This has been a touchstone for me ever since I decided to drop the act and go full time.
struggled to stay awake all day and now I can’t CAN NOT sleep. FML.
I know it’s not cool for me to express here what I have so far been unable to say in person.
I know that everyone I love has their own journey to accepting the truth of what I have revealed about myself and that it is THEIR journey not mine.
It IS important to my identity and sense of self worth that I be tolerant and understanding.
I DO want to give those I love a ‘bye’ on things I won’t tolerate from strangers.
I DO understand that habit changes take time and are disconcerting.
I KNOW that TO YOU, who have not lived with my fear and shame and guilt, this announcement of my inner (and now outer) womanhood is something new and sudden.
But it still hurts.
It hurts when you call me by anything other than my new self assigned first name.
It hurts when you get my pronouns wrong in my presence.
It hurts when you try to explain me away:
I’m not trying to ‘reinvent myself so I can leave my baggage behind’ I tried that in college when I changed my nickname to <middle name redacted>. I tried it again by becoming Private <last name redacted> in the Army.
I’m not suffering from hormone problems due to BPH and or low Testosterone.
I’m not engaging in a hobby or fad or kink.
Yes you CAN know that you were a woman at heart before any age threshold YOU think is ‘normal’.
It hurts when you attempt to deny my truth… my identity.
It hurts, It Hurts, IT HURTS.
I can live with falsies and shapewear and having to shave my face to avoid looking like the incredible bearded lady.
I can tolerate the discomfort that ladies’ underwear inflicts on my certain ‘Je ne sais quois’.
With the right dress I can see a lady in the mirror.
But my voice offends me every time I open my mouth (those who know me will realize that’s quite often). It’s loud, it’s deep, it carries, it doesn’t sound feminine at all. there are no hormones and no, safe, surgeries that will fix it. the only fix is training, expensive, long, WAITLISTED training.
The word waitlist is becoming all too familiar with me.
so. yeah. I hate my voice. Just thought I’d say.
Ladies, we DO have privilege. I’m not going to compare the ‘better or worse’ between ‘able to wear pretty dresses’ and ‘certain his voice will be heard in a meeting’ Nor any other two privileges I’ll just note that we DO have some.
Female only facilities: It has been decades since the last well known ‘no gurls allow’d‘ men’s club was laughed out of existence. We currently rage against religion based separation of the sexes in school and at pools. However Goodlife and other fitness franchises still have classes and entire facilities that are dedicated to women only. Offer the rationales you like. It’s still something the other gender, across the board and simply on a basis of plumbing, is not allowed.
Greater tolerance of public aggression/violence: In brightly lit public spaces a woman can display much more aggression to a man than vice versa. There are you tube videos of public experiments in this phenomenon involving actors and real life anecdotes I’ve personally heard. It’s a common facet in many anime as well (not exactly mainstream but it’s one of the things I note).
So… what do I mean by the above?
It’s perfectly okay for a woman to use her purse as a flail as she screams at her (presumed) significant other in a public mall. Even the police will be amused. As soon as the man defends himself in any but the most passive manner THEN charges are laid. In a reverse situation all the man has to do, is raise his voice (sometimes) and certainly no more than raise a hand. As soon as this happens the very same people who laughed at the man in another couple are transformed into a swarm of white knights promising to beat the man up if he takes it a step further. This is reflected in the media I (nerd that I am) typically consume. It’s only the dark anime (or the dark moments) that show violance against women. but women squashing men flat as Wyle-E-Coyote under a giant mallet is absolutely hilarious. Women actually punching a man to the moon without any just provocation is a staple of romantic comedy anime such as ‘Love Hina’
There’s more to it of course. Where a man see’s deference, women see this as an example of not being taken seriously. Or perhaps a small victory in the fight to end violence against women. And what happens in the light, in public, is NOT the same as what happens at a lonely bus stop or darkened street. however, it’s hard to argue that there is no privilege involved, even if it is backhanded and uneven.
There are others but I’m sure you ask why they are worth mentioning when compared to <insert great injustice against women here> . The simple fact is, we have to be aware of them if Feminism is not going to become a single minded interest group populated only by fanatics. Already I know many female friends who feel obliged to distance themselves from the label feminist even as they are talking about issues for which feminism would be a rational stance. Also if feminism is truly about equality for everyone we have to abandon the ‘Boys will be okay’ school of fixing things. If we are slaying our own dragons. Then the man who thought he was a knight is suddenly without a purpose. You CAN say ‘that’s his problem’ but then don’t pretend you’re anything other than just another interest group.