Monday, June 09, 2003

Sister Niki, regarding S/He, as a person who lived with several transgendered individuals (slightly different from transsexuals, these are individuals who would like to be referred to using the pronouns of the opposite gender.. basically its a woman thing, I've never seen men try this), the transformation achieved in the minds of the individuals is sometimes thwarted by the physical realities. You can hide the hips and boobs in baggy clothes, but hiding the feminine fuller lip and narrower face, not to mention the social mannerisms is pretty hard. The transgendered woman I lived with in my senior year of college came closer to mimicking a very feminine gay male than really becoming an actual guy. Her insistance on being referred to as 'he' created some alienation in the house, since he/she was the paid resident, in charge of keeping order and enforcing regulations. The personal clashed with the official persona to the extent that we could all tell she/he wasn't quite sure what she was, therefore how should she tell us how we were supposed to be?

I heard a story on This American Life (Episode 220, first aired 8/30/02) about a woman-turned-man who inadvertantly become the subject of abuse from men who for some reason like beating up smaller, weaker looking men for simply existing within three feet of them. So while women may shut up while you talk, it doesn't necessarily mean men won't shove you in the bathroom.

This is a little off subject, but the thing that bugs me about men who wish to become women, is that they wish to achieve a sort of super-feminine reality that real women don't have. Men who become women are not really becoming women, they are becoming better than real women could ever hope to be. Its almost its own form of misogyny: men knowing how a real woman should be. For women who become men, they are trying as hard as possible to not be women. I've never seen one who hoped to better the rest of their chosen gender. They just want to be invisible. In effect, each seems to take a very gendered approach to becoming the other.


Post a Comment

<< Home