I can’t imagine what life would have been for me had I been born today. A gender “non-conforming” girl, who had autism, a typically male diagnosis, who hated wearing dresses, who derided and ridiculed the inane gender roles pushed on her. Would someone have told me that I wanted to be a boy? Would they have implanted this thought in my head so it could fester and grow? Or would it be as today, as I still struggle with being misgendered, but I am a woman, a female, proud and strong, still a woman, but not bound to these laws about what society thinks gender is.
Gender expression and role nonconformity is a very different issue than being trans (which is specifically having a gender identity that does not conform to one’s assigned sex at birth).
Your concern might be valid if it actually ever happened - what usually happens (for example, what happened to me) is that one is generally abused for having a nonconforming gender identity (most often by parents, though I was abused by my peers) until one learns to hide their gender identity variance.
The vast majority of cissexuals have no comprehension what it’s like to be transgender - i.e. gender identity variant - so you often, usually, almost always conflate it with gender role or gender expression discomfort, when it’s not the same thing at all. I can tie back my hair, bind my breasts and butch it up, but I’m still a girl underneath, regardless of what the doctor said when I was born.
And that’s one of my main confusions about the whole thing. I don’t know what it’s like to be a man. How do I not know that that’s not part of being a woman? Maybe my grievances have more to do with the expectations of me and my body than actual dysphoria. How does someone know, actually know they’re another gender, or no gender at all? Maybe that’s how “everyone” feels. Maybe most people don’t feel particularly tied to their gender, because it’s just something that they are, just a Plinko chip that fell into one box or the other. I’ve posted before (with sadly no responses) about gender being a cultural and societal based idea, since notions of gender have shifted radically throughout time and even across the world currently. How do you know that you’re not “The woman who rides like a man” and not “The woman who is a man?”
I can guarantee you that that’s not how everyone feels. How? Because not everyone tries to transition. Not everyone feels that level of fundamental discomfort with being seen as the gender they were assigned at birth.
Seriously, you cannot conflate gender expression or gender role discomfort and nonconformity with gender identity variance; the two are significantly different phenomena. Doing so is one of the chief tools of trans erasure.
I mean, it makes sense that if you hate the role that’s expected of you that you’d feel hatred for your body, the thing that places you in that idea. But doesn’t that say more of society and the patriarchal notions of who and what someone should be and do based on their sex. Obviously, it would be incredibly hard to test, but I wonder what a society with no gender roles (beyond, thee of vagina carries babies and such) would be like. Would people still want to change sex? It would seem more legitimate to me then, in a world where gender conditioning was null or a constant that you could concretely examine the particular variable of sex dysphoria.
Isn’t it fascinating that you can erase the legitimacy of someone else’s lived experience just because we don’t live in a “pure” enough laboratory, so to speak, to vivisect them?
I mean, I’m a skeptic in all walks of life. I’m a doubter. And I’m bound to get some hateful anons for this, but really, I just feel like we’re opening Pandora’s box here, and we don’t have a clue as to what’s really going on.
I have a relatively simple suggestion for you: Assume that trans people know what we’re doing. Assume that this is an issue we’ve thought extensively about through our entire lives, and that there’s really nothing that we’re more sure of. Because that’s the truth.
As for people who do choose to transition, I support them in their choice to do so, and I think they should have equal rights and not have to worry about being harrassed or stalked or attacked or raped or killed, all that stuff that no one should have to worry about. I just can’t help but feel like transitioning is the band-aid to a bullet wound. It might help one individual’s dysphoria, but it won’t stop the problem that exists. I think if both men and women were allowed, hell, encouraged to be dominant, passive, weak, strong, smart, ditzy, fashionable, lazy, careless, opportunistic, paint their nails, grow their hair long or shave it off and have no worries about being oppressed or bullied for it, this whole trans* thing would become a non-issue or incredibly less of one.
To the contrary, Julia Serano reports, and I can confirm from my own experience, receiving far more acceptance and latitude for feminine behavior when presenting as a crossdressing, gender-nonconforming boy than when presenting those same behaviors as a relatively gender-conforming transsexual woman. When I presented as male, no one significantly questioned my feminine gender expression (other than perhaps wondering whether/when I’d come out of the closet and start dating men). As a woman, people have come up to me and bluntly asked me if I thought that, for example, wearing dresses made me more of a woman (my response was to explain the difference between correlation and causation, and further point out that an A-line skirt does a very good job at making my hips look wider).
In summary, your reasoning is flawed. Trans people exist - and we do NOT transition just because we’re “men” who want to wear dresses or women who want to access male privilege.
In conclusion: SIT DOWN.
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