Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Wot and the 'Oo

    In a couple of places recently I've had my attention drawn to the apparent dichotomy between identifying as female and admitting that I present as a scruffy bloke in my everyday life. It seems letting slip that you have something of the bloke about you is a bit of a no-no hereabouts.
    It's a valid subject to address, and it's one that different people approach in different ways. My approach to it stems from my scientific and engineering training, I approach it from an empirical rather than an emotional standpoint. Experience and observation rather than theory or logic.

    It comes down to this: splitting the what from the who.

    Who I am is defined by what lies between my ears. I've spent the past four decades battling a brain from the girl parts bin, so yes, I identify as female.

    What I am is defined by my physical attributes. Stubble, deep voice, male parts. I was born that way, grew up that way, can't deny it. So yes, day-to-day I'm a scruffy bloke. Don't really like it much and it's looking sadly more likely I may well fix it some time, but that's the way I am for now.

    This dichotomy is central to the the life of every transsexual. Transition early, transition late or never transition at all, we wouldn't be transsexuals if we didn't have to live at least some of our lives in this way. I find it a bit odd that I even have to lay out what should be the bleedin' obvious, but there you go.

    So yes, I identify as female, though circumstances mean I have to live most of my life as a scruffy bloke. Live with it. I have to, every sodding day.

13 comments:

  1. Gosh it sounds like someone has rattled your cage there Jenny. For myself, I have no qualms or misunderstanding regarding what you've written here. You are quite right and I see no problem at all. I know someone who although lives full time as a guy and a heterosexual one too with a girlfriend, still identifies as being female and insists people call her Sara.

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  2. Honey... you could identify as a peeled-onion, too. But if you don't dye yourself light-green, then it's just your imagination, and you shouldn't be surprised when people don't treat you like a peeled-onion, which of course just makes your feelings worse.

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  3. I was observing a discussion about a drop-in centre for elderly "female born lesbians". One contributor, who, prior to transition, had been heavily involved in the lesbian scene, was criticised for giving his opinion, by someone who has transitioned. Basically, the argument was 'I've always been a woman, and since you've always been a man then you have no say in this case'. His reaction was that he did not want to erase that part of his past when he modelled his identity on a lesbian woman.

    There is something to be said for both points of view. Though I think the former attitude was rather simplistic. Suggesting that, until you transition, you are not and can never be a woman, but, upon transitioning, you attain the status of one who has always been one, is a bit silly. Isn't it?

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  4. DRu, You have a less than interesting and somewhat self-serving, tiresome, and yes, SIMPLISTIC attitude, to which YOU are more than *entitled* to, but with which I disagree. I hope we can leave OUR disagreement aside so that I might address Jenny's EXCELLENT and easily understandable, STAIGHTFORWARD assssment of what it means to suffer from transexualism.

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  5. Jenny. I DO like and appreciate you simple and clearly articulated description/analysis of what it means to be born transsexual. The body of a bloke with a brain from the "girl's parts bin". A nice simple, figurative description of TOTAL psycho-sexual inversion.

    Jenny' statement: "This dichotomy is central to the the life of every transsexual. Transition early, transition late or never transition at all, we wouldn't be transsexuals if we didn't have to live at least some of our lives in this way"..is pretty darn close to the truth.

    It fits well with Benjamin's early attempts to quantify and catagorize the levels of intensity experienced by transsexuals AND...A MOST IMPORTANT consideration...those other sufferers of less intense levels of GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER; IE GID.

    The source of much of the discord, at least from my perspective, is that because those who suffer from extremely intense levels of this psycho-sexual disconnect, (Benjamin's Types V and VI), MUST seek treatment if only to continue to survive as a functioning human being. In other words they MUST seek surgical transition.

    For those whose level of intensity is thankfully NOT so severe, OTHER OPTIONS are available, and SHOULD NOT be conflated with a "one size fits all mentality".

    That was the point I was making when I asked the question, "Are you a man or a woman".

    *Idendifying* as a woman, just simply IS NOT the same as BEING a woman.

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  6. I was careless in my post; I said 'woman' where I should have said 'female'. Just saying.

    Ah, Anne. Sweetness and light, sweetness and light.

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  7. I always felt that the challenges we faced were hard enough without having to carry others unhelpful comments along the road.

    Perhaps you should leave some of the detritus at the road side.

    Becca

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  8. Hmmmm....Sarcasm and disparagement. How sadly predictble.

    Than you Dru and Becca, for such 'thoughtful' consideration of my poor attempts at meaningful discourse.

    I stand duly dismissed. Nevertheless, would be interested in what part of my comment, you find "offensive", or 'less than helpful'.

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  9. Anne, I have heard what you have to say. Your comments are consistent and persistent and I have never felt the need, nor had any desire to engage.

    Amazing as it might sound but not everything is about you.

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  10. An interesting approach! However, "who" is not just between our ears. It's our whole being, brain and body together united by a pervasive nervous system. That's why someone born transsexual has to change anatomical sex -- because the body is very much "who" as well.

    To me, "what" is not the body. It's behavior and presentation. A male-bodied person can't help being male-bodied (until purposely changing that), but his behavior and presentation are entirely under his control.

    Sagebrush

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  11. You are correct, 'Becca', it is not about me. it is about discourse. In this case the topic is transsexualism, which I distinguish from cross-dressing AND 'transgenderism'.

    You find that distinction "unhelpful", refering to my views as 'detrius to be left along the roadside', yet you refuse to address the issue of that distinction, choosing rather to disparage the individual who hold an opinion different than yours, in that I find that distinction extremely important.

    I am making no "judgement" about either condition, and I most certainly hold no ill will towards anybody that might experience hings differently than I do. However I DO take exception into a conflation of such TOTALLY DISTINCT CONDITIONS.

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  12. Morning all,
    And what a lovely morning it is, ho hum.

    The key word above is 'empirical'. I can't say "I'm a woman", cos I am not, just at the moment. To say I am would be delusional. But I'm increasingly less of a bloke, even though I do a seriously good job of looking like one.

    All I can do at the moment is present as the woman I've been battling for decades when I get the chance, as I do on this blog and as I do increasingly in the real world.

    Sorry, no simple answer.

    And I'm under no illusions, if I finally shed the bloke for good I would not magically blend as some perfect young woman. This is why I've fought this for so long.

    Fortunately I've managed to place myself in an environment in which I could get away with it if I had to.

    It's true, behaviour and presentation is voluntary. But I feel an effeminate male presentation is not for me. It would bring its own troubles and it wouldn't address the need.

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  13. So yes, I identify as female, though circumstances mean I have to live most of my life as a scruffy bloke. Live with it. I have to, every sodding day.

    Yeah....I can relate...

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