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my identity as a woman is something i'm pretty strongly attached to, and it feels wrong to think of myself any other way

but i think what i really want are things that everyone should have, rather than earning through performance of womanhood

i wanna be able to just talk to a random woman without having to worry that it's going to be perceived as either an attempted assault or an incredibly lame attempt at pickup artistry

i hate how self-segregation along gender lines is just so ingrained that we give it no thought at all

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idk it just bothers me because it feels like lots of other trans women just kind of accept their negative self feelings related to manhood as a normal part of it, like their newfound community with other women is something they've earned through a new gender performance rather than something they had been deprived of unfairly their whole life

i've heard it said that masculinity is a prison

to me it's more like a void that still has gravity somehow, no matter what there's always room to fall lower

i think most people would identify the claim that a woman is too ugly or weird to do something as wildly and viciously misogynistic, which it is

but i think just as many people basically agree that there's plenty of men out there who, for whatever reason, be it physical or social, are just unfit for ordinary life

by most metrics i can imagine, i'm one such man

i'm balding in my early twenties, i'm not *that* short but i'm noticeably not tall compared to most other men, and even if you can get past all that there's also the problem that i basically only learned that it was okay to initiate conversations with other people basically yesterday after an adolescence of being scared shitless to rake leaves too slowly

there's nothing i described up there that i think is irredeemable, or even that makes me a bad person, but it feels like no matter how good i try to feel about myself it feels like no one else anywhere is on the same page, and the people who do show sympathy only do it on the basis that i'm actually a girl underneath all that shit

but why should my personhood and relationships be founded on some kind of abstract identity i have?

it's always felt to me like what was being said there was that my personhood is like a loan i'm taking out

i get to have friends and relationships and stuff but only on the condition that i promise to do something about my disgusting body in the future

and so it's just so bleak and heartbreaking when it feels like most people, even trans people, have not only never encountered but struggle to even understand at all a trans identity that isn't directly connected to a trans body

anyway gender is a prison and i could die happy if i saw it demolished in my lifetime

@skelltan but what i'm saying is that perception as a man shouldn't be a problem in this way

@aoife I get what you’re saying and I agree. I’ve framed it a little differently by saying “gender expression, not gender roles”. My identity as a gay trans woman is of huge importance to me, but there’s so many things society and people who subscribe to gender roles expect if you when you put those labels on. My femininity is a woman’s femininity, whether or not I perform it in the expected ways. It is unique and I should not have to battle constant gatekeeping to prove that.

@aoife this really resonates with me, though it might be a bit of a nonsequiter:
I grew up around women & queer folk my whole life and only started talking regularly to cis men in the past year or so...and when I offer genuine compassion, kindness, and affirmation to them, these men are Thrown. And so immensely grateful.

There seems to be this deep rooted societal expectation that men just not get that kind of community. It's whack as hell. I feel like it should be a basic expectation, no matter who you are.

@aoife I mean talking to a random woman is a problem *men* have. 100% of the woman I meet (apart from my wife), I have no interest in. Yet to get shit done, interactions are inevitable.

To many woman, I'm a potential creep *unless* I'm accompanied by my wife and kid. That's just how it is.

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