Thursday, 24 February 2011

Girl 101

    It's always interesting to read one's way round our corner of the blogosphere. This morning I was reading several different viewpoints on the position in our world that possession of an intact penis confers on its owner. Close to home for me, someone who is despite the facade I maintain here, very much a scruffy bloke in day to day life.
    I was struck by the incompatibility of the central message we all promote on one side of acceptance of the gender dysphoric: that the genetalia we are born with do not dictate our gender identities, and on the other side the position that one can not truly be transsexual, or indeed transition to become a woman or man, without having had GRS. Something does not compute.
    That said, there is a common thread I have observed on my rare outings in the real world presenting as female. Thus far I have always been accompanied by other t-girls of all hues from flamboyant part-time TVs through people like me and pre-op TSs to post-ops. If I may make an observation based on this experience, it is that possessing the equipment required to be a dab hand at nival auto-calligraphy does not allow you to leave the seat up in the ladies'. I mean, c'mon people, it's like, girl 101!


  1. A very interesting post Jenny. What indeed constitutes definition of gender? Is it simply a physical thing or a psychological thing or maybe it is both? Who determines what it is? Is it the medical profession, society in general or the dysphoric transgender? Is it decided on a whim or is it a genuine feeling or knowledge that something ain't quite right? There are so many views and opinions on the subject and which is right or are they all right? I can only speak for myself of course but for me it was both a psychological and a physical necessity to be wholely female. That of course meant full transition in all it's glory, insofar as full transition can go under a knife and a psychiatrist! Not that I needed a psychiatrist to tell me I was a woman inside. I believe every effort had to be made in order that I presented fully as a female, half measures just didn't cut it (excuse the pun). Having a penis was the last thing I wanted so it simply had to go! A conflict of sorts occurs here because having masculine genetalia, if it works, imposes feelings foreign to the dysphoric but which had to be dealt with nevertheless. So sex became necessary rather than desired. This is a serious non-compatable situation for someone who feels they are the opposite gender and serves to promote an urgency to have it corrected.
    Anyhow that's my threepence worth. It would have been twopence but I ramble on sometimes!

    Shirley Anne xxx

  2. Eyes a bit wonky this morning, and I focussed on the phrase 'intact penis conifers' and imagined a strange forest. With which thought, moving on... this a facade or simply one side of yourself? I liked Dylan Thomas' title "Adventures in the Skin Trade", using the phrase as a model for the way that we can be different people in different environments; or at least, the same person but perceived differently, depending on which aspect of ourselves is brought into play in a given environment.
    Damn, I know what I mean, but it's not coming out right. Time for coffee.

  3. Absolutely, as a statement of identity that doesn't leave much out! I think I would be reading from the same page were I not hanging in there for Mrs. J.

    It was an insistence that someone without the op for whatever reason was some kind of fraud that got me and inspired this post. Some people choose not to, others have it thrust upon them for medical reasons and yet more outside the UK simply can't afford it. Their path is simply different.

  4. @Dru: Ah the joys of taking ages to write a comment such that someone else's comment comes in while you are writing it! My comment above was in reply to Shirley Anne.

    Funnily enough such a woodland hadn't occurred to me. Now I can't get it out of my head!

    Mrs. J. says I don't change when presenting as male or female. Except that as female I'm a lot less stressed and depressed. OK, from an inside perspective that might be obvious, but some people do maintain completely different personae.

    My point in describing this as a facade was to remind my readers that I still have a bloke side and am not afraid to admit it. I've railed against absurd positions before, and it would be absurd for me not to admit that one.

  5. Lacking coffee but will try. Good comments from Shirley Anne and Dru as usual.

    The reason it doesn't compute is, I think, that it is a major concept clash.

    Gender and body are entirely separate entities as we know but we live in and have contact with a society that mainly equates x body with x gender.

    Unless one holds a phallocentric view then stitching on, or removing, a penis doesn't change anyone's innate gender although I can appreciate that some people will or will not want a dingly-dangly bit if they have a choice. Most definitely though leaving the seat up or down is a learned habit.

  6. I guess what gets my goat isn't the general public's ignorant view though, it's when I encounter such views from those who IMHO should know better.

    In my travels even in my relatively narrow part of Southern England I've met one or two people who can't have surgery for medical reasons. I'm sure they'd have plenty to say on the subject, were we to be able ask them.