Sexual equality symbol

Image via Wikipedia

Mix a little gender dysphoria, a little classical sexism, and a little progressive feminism and you have a recipe for disaster.  It would seem to me that in our culture, sexism is harder on us than on other groups.  Progressives hate us because we epitomize sexist stereotypes, but it’s those same stereotypes that often allow for us to receive and continue to receive treatment for our gender identities.  To be a feminist and a transsexual makes you into a moving target for liberals and conservatives alike to make pot shots at.  I find it difficult to deal with some progressive women in our society because they are so against gender stereotypes which we sometimes use to remain under the heteronormative radar.  Make-up, facials, waxing (hair removal), nails, and hair salons can make the difference between a women like us being spotted or overlooked, which in some cases can mean the difference between life or death.

So how does one balance the desire for safety with the need to eliminate sexist stereotypes, especially the derogatory and discriminatory ones?  When you are the target of society’s scrutiny how much is acceptable and how much is too much?  In our society of gender norms it’s also impossible to understand how much of that is normal female behavior, and how much of it is chauvinistic in origin.  In feminist or progressive women circles of thought such statements are blasphemy as femininity is perceived to be a construct of patriarchal society.  So how does someone who was raised without the cisgendered privilege express their gender when they are being pushed and pulled from both sides, a placed in peril by the crossfire of a war we certainly didn’t start.  Because of my situation I don’t feel safe without using my feminine charms, but I am either offending the progressives by catering to stereotypes, or leaving myself open to be the target of prejudice.  While I’d argue the prior is easier to cope with than the later, it’s still difficult when you have progressive friends.

I get the commentary a bit that, “You should just be yourself” from these same peanut galleries, but they fail to understand that I am doing just that.  They can’t sort what is because I am me, and those things because of the social consciousness practices I must engage in to feel safe.  I have noted that the longer I am on hormones the easier those social obligations become to manage, but it still leaves me feeling rather self conscious.  It’s not because I am vain, but because I feel if I become complacent that I’ll end up becoming a victim.  Maybe that is the problem…  Because I already deal with it I am already a victim of this system stacked unfavorably against me.  I won’t present as gender neutral or masculine because that isn’t who I am (social issues aside), and presenting feminine still has classical issues to deal with.  Well, after researching a bit I shouldn’t be surprised.  Even feminists can’t agree one what it means to be a woman.  Sometimes I wish there was a book called “Woman Extract – Woman without all the bullshit”.  Classical arguments of maleness and femaleness, in addition to their opponents fail to adhere to one context that rings true in all things.  People are individuals, and by individual we are all different.  There is no one definition that is going to be true for all.

While we can't all be Klingons where the women can equally beat the shit out of anyone in the Cosmos, we certainly can be equal. But I think the hypersexualism in any sense of the word is wrong from inception even their reversals (I.E. Hypermasculine Females, Hyperfeminine Males).

Becoming a social being is more than just a process of being you, but being genuine while using a certain amount of social concession.  If being social means I have to concede that I do participate in a few gender stereotypical behaviors, so be it.  I do them anyways so I’d rather be safe, than idealistic and this is my prerogative.  While some feminist believe if I was serious about being a woman that I’d destroy the social stereotypes in my every action, I’d argue that I can’t be an activist if endanger my own safety needlessly.  Perhaps I am just not brave enough to cross that line.  Maybe since my eyes are only newly open to the effects of gender stereotypes and sexism that I don’t fully understand this concept.  Advocating for social change isn’t the same as social rebellion, so perhaps I don’t feel comfortable extricating myself of my make-up, feminine clothes, or nail, hair, and hair removal appointments to make my point, or deprive myself of things I enjoy a little bit.  I think I am entitled to do what I need to do to get by and survive.  Truth is this, the clothing you wear does not make you male or female, who you are does that for you.  So what does it matter?

One thing that has changed with time is that I don’t have to do as much, and I resist the overly feminine trappings of gender stereotypes where I feel I can.  However, it can still be a problem for people’s frame of focus.  Also, I stand a better chance of fitting in with feminist crowds because being more comfortable with my appearance means I can mean some of those standards.  However, many transgender and intersexed people don’t, and depending on their circumstances may do more or less to meet the gender stereotypical status quo.   Many parts of the feminist movement completely miss these individuals in their alliance for gender equality.  Some are so angry at the patriarchy or just men to boot, that they consider transwomen to be an ‘attempt to rape them of their last vestige, true womanhood’ by making a mockery of what it means to be woman.  This is simply not true, and it would be rude to assume that somehow we care about their vestiges or body parts in that manner.  It’s an assumption of deviancy, and ulterior motives that simple don’t exist.  I am just trying to be myself, I am just trying to survive in a world that has an oversimplified context of gender.  Gender is about more than your genetics and anatomy, and it’s high time the world woke up to this.

I found this pearl of an image of probably one of my least favorite men in the world. But all considering the image is pretty normal until you notice all the body guards in this image are women. I put this up to illustrate that I think all people should be permitted to do what it is their talent to do, without the restriction of gender. I do not advocate reverse discrimination, or Female Chauvinism; nor will I advocate any such concept or movement aimed at that goal.

Gender identity is a persistent quality intrinsic of all people, but most never come in to conflict with it how I did.  Everyone fights with it, because quite frankly there isn’t a man or woman in the world that can epitomize sexist stereotypes forever.  I write in the hopes that one day all people will be free of gender based oppression and sexist dichotomies.