Transition

From woman to man to red pill

I never thought my transition from female to male would lead me to the Men’s Rights Movement.

I never even knew such a thing existed until a year after the fact. My transition was not about sexual politics, but about achieving personal brain-body congruence. I was correcting an internal dysphoria that had persisted since age 7, when I angrily declared to the boy next door that I was “Super Boy and not Super Girl,” and staunchly defended my decision to enter the boys’ restroom to a stressed-out elementary school teacher.

At 11 I begged my mother to let me cut my hair as short as possible and was thrilled when our dentist mistook me for a boy. In short, everything I was inside; everything that I could sense and attach to my identity, was male, even as my body said otherwise.

That conflict intensified harshly. The next year I tried to cut off the breast stubs that grew on my chest with a steak knife, and expressed a strong desire to get breast cancer, “so that I can get a double mastectomy like Grandma!” When I was 16 I developed anorexia in order to stop my periods and shrink my breasts as much as possible.

My distress never had much to do with social roles, and for the most part I did not transition in order to gain any perceived social privilege. I played with Barbie dolls and dressed up as a princess (though I always added a sword just to prove I was a tough princess). Xena was my role model.

From a young age, though, I did express extreme anger at not being able to enlist in the Army as an infantryman, and was enraged when a friend’s grandmother presumed that I did not know how to put gas in a car because I was a girl. Any time a man showed “chivalry” towards me, such as offering to help me carry something heavy, I was insulted and angry. I also experienced howls and whistles on a daily basis from men in cars when I went out alone for walks.

“Well, I must be an extreme feminist,” I remember thinking. “Because feminists are the only other girls who seem to get as angry at these things as I do.”

I got the double mastectomy I’d always wanted the day before I turned 20. By this time I had learned of the existence of female-to-male transgender people and knew that this described my condition almost perfectly. I had gotten to the point where it was either get a sex change or kill myself.

After having my breasts removed I began administering weekly testosterone injections. My voice dropped and I began to grow a beard. At this time I began to be taken as male in social settings.

The first thing I noticed was that the cat calls from cars as I walked down the street came to an end. No longer feeling sexually threatened was a huge relief, although it also led to me to another most interesting observation. I wondered if I made an ugly boy since I no longer received daily assurance that I was sexually desirable. It actually took a while to get used to not being seen as the physically attractive sex. My gain became an unexpected loss and I began to realize there are some things on the other side of the fence that you cannot see until you cross over and stand there.

Standing there, as I do now, provides a very different view of life, and of men, than I ever had. Until I got here, there was much I was unaware of, like the previously unseen objectification of my body as an appliance.

It took a while to get it. I was pleasantly surprised when a female friend asked me to help her move furniture shortly after I began hormone therapy. At this point my muscles had developed somewhat in response to testosterone, but I was still within the female range of strength. Nevertheless, I was able to move the furniture (though I’m sure she could have done so herself). I felt very manly and tough. Wasn’t it wonderful that people now presumed I was strong and capable rather than weak and in need of chivalric protection?

I was happy, celebrating the fact that I was no longer seen as just a piece of meat–although later I realized that now society either uses me or ignores me, because I’m not attractive enough to be a piece of meat. I’m instead just an ugly, hairy beast with a wallet and a pair of muscular arms. Or, I might say with some measure of irony, a piece of meat that doesn’t even rate a cat call.

I have also found it very difficult to get used to always having to take action and make decisions. Men are expected, forced rather, to be the active agents of society. If there is a problem, men are expected to take the initiative to solve it rather than seek help or advice or take advantage of social services.

In straight relationships, the man is expected to approach the woman, initiate conversation, and move the relationship in the direction he wants it to go while simultaneously being extremely careful to monitor her unspoken cues to ensure he is not being rapey or creepy (and if he fails to correctly read those cues, he risks being put away in jail and raped himself).

Even in gay male relationships, no partner takes the “female” role: both are expected by the other to approach, initiate, take charge, and make decisions at least half of the time.

Being an active agent 24/7 is not a privilege, but a very tedious and stressful responsibility. Having it suddenly forced upon me without being trained for it since birth was mentally and physically exhausting.

The burden of all that hyperagency has a huge downside. Sometimes men need help as well. When they do, people are very reluctant to come to their aid and do not hesitate to make fun of them for needing assistance. There are virtually no domestic violence shelters for men, nobody cares if a man is homeless, or out of work, or if he is mentally ill and needs care and concern, because he’s a man, damn it. He’s supposed to be strong and capable, all the time, or else he’s useless and might as well not exist (just like an older, unattractive and overweight woman is seen as useless).

According to feminism male privilege guarantees that he has it so much easier than women. They laugh at the notion that it might be difficult to be a man in this society, because they can’t see the other side.

Well, I’ve stood on both sides of the fence and, without bias from either, I can safely say that “male privilege” in this day and age is bullshit. Women face a lot of threats, to be sure; but men face many of the same exact threats without the social and legal support that women have. Men’s issues are for the most part not even acknowledged to exist.

Due to stress from college and bullying (which, oddly enough, came only from within the campus’ LGBT/feminist community) I required a brief stint at a mental hospital last summer. I was at a very low point and began whimpering during my intake evaluation, at which point the doctor told me, “You’re a man, right? That crying is pathetic. Man up!”

Man up. It suddenly hit me that most men are probably told this phrase hundreds of times throughout their boyhood. At one point I would have given anything for people to encourage me to toughen up like Xena. Now I realized that sometimes, men, like women, just don’t feel tough and need the same love and care that women do when they are hurting. Why is this so hard for society to accept? Both men and women can be tough most of the time, but everybody has points in their lives in which they need to be taken care of by others.

Nevertheless, I stopped crying immediately (which testosterone makes physically easier to do), having been reminded that it is now socially unacceptable to show my feelings, even when being admitted to a mental hospital. I didn’t mind that much. After all, it’s a man’s responsibility to always be strong and capable, right? I was a man, damn it, and right embarrassed that I’d failed to behave like one.

After a year of these experiences, and a year of listening to extreme feminist doctrine at my liberal arts college (which schooled me on the inherent violence of male sexuality, “rape culture,” “trigger warnings,” “safe spaces,” etc.. it seemed to me that many of them wanted to be seen as weak, delicate flowers rather than as strong and capable women), I began to change the way I saw things. I took the red pill, you might say.

Since women now share traditional male “privileges,” they also ought to share traditional male responsibilities; that is, to carry their own weight and acknowledge guilt when they are guilty, and to respect and care for the men in their lives like men respect and care for them.

Current feminist doctrine wants to retain traditional female privileges (in the form of the Violence Against Women Act, courts favoring mothers over fathers and ex-wives over ex-husbands, etc.) as well as all the traditionally male rights they have rightfully earned over the last hundred years (ability to enter virtually any career they wish and fully participate in society). It is a human rights victory worthy that women now share traditional male rights, but it is unfair that they are not willing to give up traditional female rights in return, because this now puts men in a disadvantaged position.

Editorial note: this is a reprint of a classic article from 2012 we think may be of particular interest to new readers, or worth re-reading for those who’ve read it before. –DE

About Steven

Steven is a human being who transitioned from being a woman into being a man. His journey led him not to the ideology of gender feminism, but to the Men's Rights Movement.

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  • https://www.youtube.com/user/KopperNeoman Christopher Wedge

    Good repost – I never spotted this article before.

    Especially since our transphobic/transignorant element need to learn better.

    • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

      Reading this makes me wonder. When you say that “our transphobic/transignorant element need to learn better.”

      I am confused. This site admonishes feminists for making statements such as this. To say that women are not special, but human, does not make me a misogynist. Neither does someone who looks at this article and wonders what could make someone feel this way “transphobic/transignorant” either.

      The person who wrote this article, was obviously hurting as they grew up. People who recognize this, and don’t agree automatically are neither afraid of this, nor ignorant of it. They maybe just don’t agree outright. As GWW so eloquently stated in her speech at RU the other night high lighting freedom of speech, and the free market of ideas. Even those you disagree with have a right to state their opinion.

      Making statements like that only serve to divide us by forcing people to draw sides unnecessarily. We can discuss this topic in a more enlightened fashion then subjecting people within our own movement to a summary dismissal because not everyone in the movement is on the exact same page. This movement has numerous segments to it, and all of us got here based on the same theme. Men are disposalable, and therefore easy to “summary dismissal.”

      To play devil’s advocate, some people who disagree with you would argue that Steven, was born a woman, and therefore his desire to switch his tool box from woman, to man, may have a far deeper, and more insidious internal source that he may have left unanswered within himself. They don’t say it to destroy his person, but to say that they value him for what he was. They denounce his actions not out of hatred, nor disgust per se, but because they feel that is what he did that highlights a deeper issue that was never addressed. He despised his scenario so badly, they wonder why billions of woman on the planet are content with their gender, what gives with Steven? Why did he feel it necessary to do this? If they don’t like his answer, and still disagree, why the long face? Everybody deals with people who may have been fond of them in different circumstances.

      That does not make them ignorant, hateful, nor terrified of Stevens choice as a person.

      You can’t bite the hand that gives compassion just because you don’t like the compassion it espouses. People are free to disagree with you, no matter how much you may hate it.

      Me personally, I have numerous conversations with human beings of this sub-segment of lifestyle, but I don’t hate them. It is not my personal choice for myself, and I will probably never understand it. that does not equal ignorance. Merely, a lack of experience, and none desired thank you. Yet that does not mean I hate people who are. Just like not understanding a woman’s period, means that I am naturally ignorant to the world because I don’t share collectively the experience of everyone in it. Saying that one is ignorant of your experience, is like the other accusing you of ignorance of theirs. It gets no where, and really does not add anything resembling constructive discussion. You also have to be open to the idea that maybe they have some truth at least to what their opinion is.

      You won’t find me beating up transgendered folks in the street, or claiming they should be put in concentration camps and tortured, then killed. They are human beings, who are working their way through life like any one else…..in their own way. Just because someone thinks that changing ones gender is wrong, is a difference of opinion. Not necessarily wrong in of itself. If you don’t like it, then discuss it with them! Otherwise, your like that “genius” male feminist who posed Karen a question, then Elvis left the building. You want to win on the “free market” of ideas, then win it. Don’t pull the feminist hat trick of narcissism, pre-disqualification based on difference of opinion, and demonization/belittlement of those you need others to disagree with. Transgendered people will never win in the long run with that sort of mentality at the helm. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of people have no experience with the transgender portion of humanity. It does freak them out. It has no bearing on their collective experience. However, slapping them in the face is not going to win any of them over to your cause.

      If you want to win this argument, you have to debate it. Honestly, contrary to the far left media take on it; they only use transgendered people as a tool to co-opt their victim status for their own benefit. Like feminists, which most of them are, surprised? We all know I am.

      They don’t actually care. From movies and comedians transgendered people are mocked all over the world like a bad joke. Strangely seems similar to what fathers and men in general are put through. Hence the reason this former woman wrote his article.

      Call your opposition confused, but stop short of painting them in the same pictures they do you. As GWW said, people will be watching, and will make their own opinions. Don’t carelessly make them for them by portraying yourself in a unnecessarily negative light!

      • captive

        I have no need or desire to mock or disrespect transgendered people. I also don’t support major surgical cosmetic operations to alter non-“deformed” anatomy because it helps contribute to the false belief that one’s behavior is intrinsically based on their chromosomes and because I see it as excessively vain. People shouldn’t arrive at this point in their life where they feel there’s such a disconnect between their mind and body that their body must be subjected to extreme trauma to “fix” it. I see it as the wrong solution to the right problem – capitulating to the consumerist religious lie that your worth is primarily defined by your physical makeup.

        • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

          And I respect your opinion. I like that AVFM recognizes everyone. You notice that our comments were not viciously attacked. Something that you could not do on a feminist website.

          I think it would be an interesting debate. But I fear that this particular topic would detract from teh main thrust of what this website stands for, and cause more harm than good.

          So, everyone gets recognition, and feels heard. Debate the merits on the side. I can live with that. It is libertarian.

        • erwin

          Captive I think you have worded fairly well I how I also feel about the transgender issue. As a man who knows a surprisingly high number of trans people (Five- a good friend, my sister depending on how you look at it, and my ex-boyfriend? again depending on how you look at it, a local woman who works at a supermarket, and my other Friends Sister.)
          And yah I think it comes down to the vanity of the flesh with me as well.
          Questions like is a man (non trans) with his penis chopped off (and thrown down a garburator perhaps?) still a man? I think the answer to most people would be yes.
          It’s the idea that your sex and gender in my mind are defined by biology and society respectively.
          In the case of gender being societal though, if you have “chosen” you wont conform to the societal norms of gender and that it is just a construct. Then why not abandoned the model. I think trans people could be perfectly fine men just fine with a vagina and tits or a woman who happens to have a penis, they obviously don’t find this acceptable, but I find the idea of changing “symbolic” parts concerning as it really doesn’t change anything.
          I’d still be Me without legs. Without my arms? If I was burned in an accident would I be less of myself? My body is mine but I don’t have to like it (I’m a little pudgy, and my nose isn’t straight) but it would be folly to allow that to constrain my mind. (I’m really a skinny person with a straight nose on the inside)
          they can where what they want and go in the restrooms they feel comfortable in ect just fine.
          (Human Dignity IS a Human Right)

          I think the BIGGEST issue with these kinds of discussions is they aren’t really to be had (I think ever?) with the individual trans people. These issues if discussed personally can be VERY offensive by the nature of the topic. (AKA you are wrong and feel you are mentally ill, but please dont be offended k?)
          Its very easy for people to think you are talking about them specifically and thats not the idea, it makes it hard to have conversations about what seems to becoming a more common issue.

          Steven, was born a woman, and therefore his desire to switch his tool box from woman, to man, may have a far deeper, and more insidious internal source that he may have left unanswered within himself

          I’d go so far as to say it is ultimately a token action, that is may appease the chaos in ones mind but only in a token manner, that ones parts hardly change the nature of the issue’s
          (that we all share) plaguing ones own mind.

          I honestly believe that a lot of individual issues could be solved in our society is more people were introspective and honest with themselves while doing so (to be honest its a surprisingly hard task to accomplish)

          Just my meager 2 cents on an issue I have spent a good time building an opinion about.

          P.S.) Some of my comment is tongue and cheek so dont take it the wrong way please – if there is a nicer way of thinking about what I said please assume thats what I meant, and I promise I will do the same in return.
          Also if it isn’t clear enough from the angle I look at it, I am in fact a realist and that forms the base of how I think about trans-ism.

          • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

            If this was a trans website I wouldn’t post this, but I too have a realist view of this topic. When I was younger, I was like Steven…I desperately wanted to cut off my breasts, wanted a penis, wanted uber short hair, a deep voice, larger muscles. Going through puberty was hell, as all my friends were becoming what *I* felt like and I was becoming “other”. Had I known about the trans community then, I might’ve had the information needed to convince my parents to help me get hormones. As it was, I simply bandaged up my breasts during school, kept my hair in a bun, and had boys clothing that I changed into when not at home.

            Gently breaching said topic with my parents, and mother in particular, I came to the sad realization early on that becoming a son would only hurt them and possibly push my mom away for good. Each of my relatives barely accepted my “tomboyism”…if they knew it went deeper, they would blame themselves for doing something wrong. So here I am at 29, still desiring a body that matches my mind, yet not even taking hormones because I try to keep in step with my faith’s tenet of “Harm None”.

            I will say this: The reason for trans people to actually undergo surgery is usually so that their dysphoria is lessened. It typically doesn’t have an insidious reason, and is really more about “fixing” something that (in our minds) went wrong. For those like myself, who have suppressed our dysphoria to tolerable levels or for whom the construct of gender is more important, it’s less about our genitals and more about being seen and treated as the sex we are internally. Luckily, I’ve been able to “train” my friends (all of whom are men) to act, speak, and play as though I’m a guy too. If I punch them on the arm…they punch me back. I’m bi, and we point out attractive women to each other. When we game, I’m not given any leeway or extra help. If we are at a function/convention and tables/chairs/product needs moving they know I’ll take as much as I can carry and not an ounce less. *This* is what makes me “content” with my dysphoria…friends and coworkers who treat me as a male despite what they see.

            It’s the world at large that still triggers a disconnect, and is the reason that I’ll probably end up taking hormones someday. I talk about this more on my blog, but am currently unsure if I can post a link?

          • whiic

            When I listen to some trans-activists I sometimes even think they are part of the problem. First of all: some of them are very, very fixed on the gender-binary construct. It’s understandable because the ones most likely to become activists probably have the strongest gender identity (opposed to their biological sex).

            But it is the strong gender identities in general that created a big part of the trans-gender problem (everything except the physical part – though it was the physical part that was the biggest issue for Steven in particular). And they aren’t wishing to abolish genders, just swap them, physically and socially. A trans-person might want to enter opposite sex’s dressing room but he/she could still have strong opposition to the idea of having that room open for both genders. Men who still identify as men, can still be discriminated against because they don’t identify as a member of Official Victim Demographic. Men could be conscripted, men can be labeled rapists, men can be sentenced harder, etc. Nothing matters because they choose to be male, and has since chosen their own oppression.

            So while I do have sympathy toward people with gender dysphoria (like I do have sympathy toward people otherwise mentally ill), I don’t really like some of the trans-activism any more than I like for example the concept of “Health at Any Size”. It is different to not needlessly make life of people with mental or physical problems even harder, but it doesn’t mean the society should accept BULLSHIT as facts, or aim toward strengthening mental illnesses and convincing mental patients to accept their inner head as truth. Be it about non-existence of health risks of far, or about this gender binary and “born into wrong body” as if there’s a separate soul that is inserted into a baby.

            One other example is for example “headmate” activism which wishes to convince people with multiple personality disorders to accept multiple personalities as actual people in your body.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR8ADuqrGx8

            Is that healthy? I mean, it’s no more or less true than trans-ideology is true.

            Of course trans-activism is far less harmful (even if equally bullshit) because:
            – there’s really no medication to suppress gender dysphoria, like there’s medication against schizophrenia
            – there’s no way to separate multiple personalities to multiple bodies, like there’s possibility to mutilate a healthy body to vaguely resemble opposite sex to (somewhat) alleviate gender dysphoria.

            Trans-activism which merely aims at raising awareness is positive thing, if it doesn’t have political agendas, and if it doesn’t inject ideology into reality. Awareness is good, being misinformed rather than uninformed… that really doesn’t help much. And continuation of performing sex-change is probably necessary. It’s just pragmatic. It helps. It doesn’t correct the problem (=mental illness) but it alleviates the symptoms (=depression, self-hate, etc.). The reason to mutilate a healthy body is because we don’t have a cure to the actual problem.

            Trans-actives will probably have opposition toward that, claiming that the body is the actual problem and there’s nothing wrong with his or her mind. Well, that’s also a useful thing to tell him or her to alleviate depression and self-hate. But it’s still a lie. It’s a white lie.

            Me, not willing to admit a lie as truth simply because it’s a reasonably harmless or even (when applied properly) helpful one doesn’t make me a trans-hater or trans-phobic – just a person of no-bullshit. It doesn’t mean I have an interest to make trans-people uncomfortable by expressing my standpoint if it’s not asked.

            Oh… and if a transperson happens to read this. Sorry, I didn’t include a *TRIGGER WARNING* to the beginning of the post. It would have been too Tumblr.

          • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

            @whiic

            I’ll leave the whole “separate soul” thing alone since I believe in reincarnation and you most likely don’t.

            While I, and the majority of other people who live with gender dysphoria, don’t think of ourselves as being mentally “ill” I can see how it may come across that way. In the spirit of open mindedness, I’m even willing to say that I could be “mentally ill” according to past definitions…or current opinions from non-medical persons. As it stands right now, gender dysphoria is not considered a mental illness though.

            Some transactivists get under my skin as well. They can be pushy, cruel to cis people, intolerant of open discussion, and a number of them exhibit the contradictory notion of “Cis people need to get over their privilege and learn about our condition…but it’s not *our* job to teach them.”
            Really? Then whose job is it? If you’re going to condemn someone for using incorrect terminology or saying something unintentionally offensive, then you should take the opportunity to talk with them as to help them learn. This idea of “it’s not a trans person’s responsibility to teach a cis person” is crap.

            As for the gender binary thing, I’m still up in the air as to how I feel about it. Men *are* different than women, not just in body but in mind too. My mind happens to correspond to a male one despite my feminine body. It’s evident in the way I approach problems, tackle projects, hold conversations…even experience arousal. For others, it’s reversed. Then there are those that are genderqueer or gender fluid, who experience no binary at all, or who switch gender from day to day. The human brain is still a mystery when we come right down to it, though we’ve made huge progress in the last few decades. Hopefully more information is forthcoming…both for cures of mental illness and basic understanding. I don’t think we can truly get rid of the binary, or even that we should try, but perhaps if the lines are blurred more it’d be better for some. Prsonally, I’m willing to accept anyone for who they feel they are whether it matches their body or not. I care more about if you have good morals and ethics than what your body looks like.

          • JGteMolder

            @whiic
            Oh, great, didn’t we just have an article and a discussion in the same topic on how those who are transexual have the physical brain of the other sex?

            It’s called an MRI scan, we can see this stuff.

            It’s not a mental illness; it’s a neurological problem. Remember Steve was SEVEN. Do you actually think, you can have severe mental problems like this, without a trauma to create it, at seven?

      • Katsuni

        There’s a few comments in this particular set which I’d like to cover quickly.

        From JJ:

        “Reading this makes me wonder. When you say that “our transphobic/transignorant element need to learn better.””

        If people would just live and let live, no big deal. I don’t care if you’re a bigot as long as you leave me the hell alone, same with most other people. Generally speaking, humans are content as long as no one breaks down their front door with a shotgun blazing at 2am in the morning (which happened to a trans person nearby where I lived at the time, and was subsequently told by the police it wasn’t a hate crime despite the yell “DIE TRANNY BITCH”, go figure), or to be attacked on the street, to be legally allowed to be murdered (the tranny defense says if you tried to have sex with a trans-person, found out they were trans, and freaked out, it’s okay to murder them; you legally won’t be persecuted with it as a crime in both canada and the states), or otherwise physically oppressed.

        If someone just doesn’t like you, and they tell you they hate you? It kinda hurts, but eh, most of us can live with someone in the world hating us for no good reason, so it’s no big deal. The problem is mostly when it shifts over from being “I don’t like you” to “I will kill you” and following through with it, or otherwise trying to make someone’s life a living hell.

        Now, when it comes to trying to prevent extreme attacks such as these, the easiest way to fix it is simply education. If someone can be educated to show how it’s just another human being, same as them, trying to get through life, then they’re humanized and the problem largely goes away. They may still disagree with some things, but they probably won’t try to kill you kind of dealie.

        JJ again:

        “To play devil’s advocate, some people who disagree with you would argue that Steven, was born a woman, and therefore his desire to switch his tool box from woman, to man, may have a far deeper, and more insidious internal source that he may have left unanswered within himself.”

        This is, in fact, possible, even though many trans people don’t want to admit to it. There is no one, single, “right” way to be trans, and this means that there can be a dozen reasons why people wind up such. For some, it may be genetic, others may have other biological factors, for some, it’s possible it may be entirely psychosomatic.

        However… rigorous testing and psychological profiling is required when transitioning, with the express intent of weeding out those who are doing so because of personal issues, and those who truly are stuck with a brain/body disconnect. Back to the education thing before, if you knew how many tests and requirements there were, a painfully arduous line of hoops to jump through, you wouldn’t make the above case at all =P

        JJ once more:

        “That does not make them ignorant, hateful, nor terrified of Stevens choice as a person.”

        For the vast majority of the time, it generally does, however. Typically hatred is borne from ignorance, and with the transgendered thing, there’s an awful lot of ignorance out there since there’s very little attempt at education, and most of the education the average person has is through painfully false misinformation such as chick tracts, tranny jokes, or pornography. With such in mind, the vast majority of people actually are ignorant, and that ignorance typically is hateful because the false information largely informs people that they should be hateful or scared.

        The idea of a joke where a guy’s about to sleep with a woman and she mentions something about how she loved something as a little boy is not, in and of itself, offensive to me. The point of the joke is to strike fear into the man that he’s sleeping with a transwoman. It’s a joke, get over it. Except… there’s one flaw with this; that joke, and those like it, are the primary source of information most people have on trans people in general. A large number of people don’t even recognize that it’s even possible for there to be female to male transgendered people, as was seen in a law passed last year which was heavily based upon “protecting women” – it stated that you absolutely must use the same washroom as the gender marker on your birth certificate due to fear of trans-women using female washrooms. The part that it missed… was that putting a trans-man in to a male’s washroom, would also be covered by this law, and mean that you’d be putting a self-defined guy, potentially with a beard, into the female washroom, meaning it hadn’t solved anything and only exacerbated the problem due to fear and ignorance.

        Some people will understand, and they just won’t care that they understand, they’ll still feel hatred, fear or confusion. The vast majority of people, when it comes to understanding the whole trans thing, don’t really even know what it is they’re frustrated with, since it’s so alien of a concept that it’s hard for most people to wrap their heads around it. This can be clearly seen in the advertisements about “why can’t you just be a normal gay person?”, which misses the whole point that gender and sexuality are two entirely different things.

        JJ for the last time:

        “You can’t bite the hand that gives compassion just because you don’t like the compassion it espouses.”

        I agree fully on this; unfortunately, many trans people have gotten so used to being attacked, that they convert almost anything anyone says into an attack upon them simply because it’s NORMAL for them. This has the sad side effect of making many trans people downright hostile and aggressive, as well as turning away people who would have otherwise been understanding or helpful.

        Unfortunately… this is a socialization issue. When your parents disown you, your lover abandons you, and your friends turn away in disgust, then you get violently and physically attacked… well… people tend to become massively defensive in that kind of situation when both random strangers on the street, and their own, supposedly loving family, will turn on them.

        My point to stress is that, while it’s understandable, and wouldn’t have existed if you hadn’t essentially kicked the puppy, metaphorically speaking, you’re still left with someone who’s unsociable and aggressive. Being a grade-A asshole like that through life isn’t really that great of a thing to be, but the key to keep in mind, is that the easiest way to fix it is to go to the source: that people tend to be assholes because they, themselves, have been treated poorly. It’s the whole Erin Pizzey thing about violence being generational; if the people who are supposed to care for you treat you like shit, you’re probably going to treat other people like shit later on in life. It doesn’t mean that treating people like shit is a good thing, it simply means that there’s a way to trace back where the problem originated from, and that it can be treated at the source, instead of a bandaid fix on the symptoms.

        Since I’ve gone through JJ for too long already, I’mma move onto captive:

        “I also don’t support major surgical cosmetic operations to alter non-”deformed” anatomy because it helps contribute to the false belief that one’s behavior is intrinsically based on their chromosomes and because I see it as excessively vain.”

        This is a good point, so let me state that I feel no personal need to “alter” my anatomy… or at least, I wouldn’t. It’s irritating, it’s frustrating, and even so much as walking past a mirror can cause me to pause for a second in confusion, then finally go “Oh… yeah… right, male face… sigh.” when I finally recognize it’s my reflection. Despite that, I could tolerate it; it’s irritating, but it can be lived with for me. Other people… not so much; it can be far worse for others who have their brain telling them one thing, and their body saying another, to the point that they start to physically harm themselves to try to fix the disconnect.

        Unfortunately, just tolerating such doesn’t work for me, because it’d only be useful if it were for myself and no one else. There are other people in the world, and without appearing as the “correct” gender, people will typically refuse to treat you as such, or not even consider the idea. If you’re talking to someone in the store, and they appear male, you’re going to treat them like a guy, generally without even considering that they may not be. You’ll generally call them a guy, you’ll treat them like a guy, and you’ll act around them as though you’re a guy. Furthermore… if you see them with their boyfriend, you’ll probably then treat them as gay.

        On a more extreme side, let’s go into my relationship with my boyfriend; we love each other very much, but he’s very strictly straight. He has nothing against gay people, he simply has a negative attraction to the male body, to the point that it actually makes him feel a little ill to consider it; it’s a physical reaction and there’s not much he can do about it any more than I could eat mashed potatoes; my body flat out rejects them as food, and sadly, his body/mind flat out rejects me as female.

        It’s more than a little painful to learn that, getting to meet your boyfriend in person for the first time, he actually feels physically sick to see your face, and that it makes it impossible for most signs of affection such as kissing, hugging or sex. He doesn’t WANT to be that way, it’s just something stuck in his blueprints that makes him actively uninterested in the appearance of a male body.

        This is somebody who loves me deeply and would probably be willing to amputate his own arm off if it’d remove that reaction.

        Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way, nor do people, as much as we’d like it to. It’s frustrating for me to look in a mirror and be confused, but it’s downright painful to know that your lover is physically revolted by your appearance. It’s unbearable to be treated constantly as a guy by anyone on the street who doesn’t know better, or to have to cut off 90% of the population off the top when it comes to dating.

        If it were only me, I could tolerate the male appearance; it’s annoying, but I could live with it. I don’t live in a world populated only by myself, however, and when I factor in all my relationships with everyone else in the world… the weight simply becomes too great to realistically bare any longer. As such, I will be transitioning with the whole surgery and hormones and such, not because it’s vain and I think it’ll make me look pretty, but because I simply want to be accepted as female without having to argue the point. I don’t have to look like a supermodel, nor do I think it’d be fitting anyway; as long as I were identifiably “female” so I could avoid most of the confusion from myself and others, I’d be fine with that. I could be bland and boring, and I’d be perfectly fine with it, so long as it removed most of the social issues of people assuming I’m male.

        That’s just me, though. Other people can’t even stand their body as it is, since their brain is telling them it SHOULD be there. People have lost arms before and still been great contributors to society, and have lived perfectly normal, happy lives despite that. However… we still give out prosthetic arms, often not because they’re needed, but simply to make other people stop asking questions or looking at a person missing an arm and not knowing how to talk to them. There’s a reason these prosthetics are designed to generally look as real as possible for the most part, despite that the non-human looking ones work significantly better. The functionality is nice, but making everyone just stop bloody staring at you is kind of a major psychological bonus on the side. Being able to look at your arm and have your brain just accept it as an arm, rather than having it panic in confusion is also a rather heavily useful thing to have.

        If we gave out clunky, deformed looking prosthetics as the norm, you’d have a point, but we generally don’t for the most part – we typically try to make them look as close to the original human appearance as possible because it simply makes it less of a strain on social situations and with their own cognitive disconnect between mind and body.

        The problem is… as soon as we introduce other people into the picture, the idea of just ignoring it falls apart, because no one else can.

        Back to JJ (again =P ) because he makes a valid point:

        “And I respect your opinion. I like that AVFM recognizes everyone. You notice that our comments were not viciously attacked.”

        I respect your opinions as well, however, I also feel that you probably haven’t thought the issues fully through and are likely missing out on a lot of what reality is actually like for trans people. I’m not angry, nor will I attack you, but I’ll provide the explanation and information and let you make up your own mind from there. You may still disagree with me; so be it. You may even hate me, resent me, or want me dead, no biggie, so long as you don’t act on it.

        Unfortunately, we’re human, and reality is subjective for us because of such. If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation in the first place; we’d simply recognize all possible perspectives and distill the correct answer from such. Humans don’t work that way, however, so here we are.

        “I think it would be an interesting debate. But I fear that this particular topic would detract from teh main thrust of what this website stands for, and cause more harm than good.”

        Personally, I disagree; gender and the differences between the male and female side are at the very heart of what makes AVFM needed in the first place. When you have FtM and MtF trans people, it really can be used as a platform to expand into men’s needs and issues quite fluidly. Even though there’s some innate differences between the issues that trans people face, a lot of it is mirrored as well.

        One could say there’s no need to educate people on men’s issues because people aren’t ignorant, hateful or terrified of men… except… they are, and you’d only actually notice that from a male’s perspective in most cases. Women often truly don’t recognize how ignorant they are of men, how hateful they are towards the male identity, or how terrified they’ve become of just “men in general”. If this were true, we wouldn’t have things like shrödinger’s rapist in the first place.

        This is a perfect mirror to how many men are terrified that their date “might be a tranny”, how hateful people are towards the mere idea of someone not being able to just live with the role they were born to and aggressive towards having their own self identity be realized, and how ignorant people are towards the very concept.

        Men have problems. Women have problems. Trans people have problems. The thing is, we’re generally limited, as humans, in our capacity to truly understand the problems of people other than ourselves, due to the issue of having a limited perspective to view things from.

        Nearly everything in this post I’ve written can be directly mirrored by the very same issues men face as a whole, and the point is that we’re really not so different as people honestly think.

        Women would like to force men to act like women, the schools punish boys for acting as boys instead of girls, and some of the more extreme feminists would like to see men removed entirely, or can’t understand why men can’t just be happy being female, or catering to females as their role “should” be. After all, why should you have a personal identity if it bothers someone else?

        This is the exact position that trans people are in, and one of the easiest ways to understand your own position, as well as to show it to someone else, is to explore how that same position from a different perspective.

        Men are considered to be a valid target to attack in our society today; it’s alright to go male-bashing, or be prejudiced against them. Sadly, though there’s some lip service to “protection” for trans people, it’s honestly only really used to attack people for being transphobic, so as to leverage their beliefs against you by making you appear as a bad guy, rather than actually having anything to do with the whole trans thing in the first place. As such… we’re kind of in the same boat in many ways. Nobody attacks men, and nobody attacks trans people… except that they do.

        To that end, I’ll leave off here and simply state that we have a lot more in common than you may think, and that each of us can learn from what the other experiences in our own fight for rights and the allowance to just peacefully exist.

        • http://gloriusbastard.com/ JJ

          I can agree with most of what you are saying.

          I think trannys do have a hard time. When I was living in Hawaii, and would go to the clubs to meet girls, I despised the vast majority of trannys I met. But not because they were different, or trannys. But because they would literally try to grab me, my junk, or convince me they were a woman. I don’t feel bad being offended by that, and my treatment may have been harsh in a few instances. But if I don’t know you, and I don’t have a “physical connection” let’s say, being that I am straight; I don’t feel bad in giving a verbal beat down. But I never did, nor do I condone giving a physical butt whooping. What they did was extremely inappropriate, if not criminal. Had I been a woman, and another man (or woman, whatever) did that to me…that person would have been arrested. But in my situation, people just laughed. Some of them, had I been a lot smaller, may have actually tried something. A few of the groups I had the unfortunate experience of meeting, I am not sure they would not do something like that.

          I am not offended if a woman, or a man, is attracted to me. I don’t dismiss someone like that, I am not a douche feminist. However, attempting to grab my dick, be you man or woman is grounds for an altercation. And if these men, who turned women could try that on me, at my size, I cannot say I would be surprised that if I were smaller, say half my size, that I would not be taken advantage of. They were extremely aggressive. Ravenously so. It disgusted me.

          On the other hand, you have those in the religious sphere like Catholic priests, NAMBLA organization, and others who get a free pass by the media to a certain extent. I wonder why these individuals are not called homosexual, and just a child predator. When they are clearly men, attracted to young boys. I have seen homosexual ads that use the history of Ancient Greece to justify pederasty. In Greek, it is called “kinethos” or “same in the community.” Because they enjoy the company of a young lithe male body.

          If the various aspects of the homosexual community ever want to gain real normalcy, individuals like this will have to be prosecuted, and condemned. For a guy like me who has seen several service members suffer from forced homosexual acts, this subset of that realm of humanity are going to have to prepare a whole lot more for a real debate.

          Between the studies of twins, who were homosexual (three times), to the public’s aversion to their differing types of “lifestyle’s” I don’t think the homosexual community is on anything but shaky ground. I sense that their push for gay marriage, and other topics may turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory long term anyways.

          In general, throughout history,for all the historical narrative that has been used to suggest homosexuality is normal, they seem to avoid a real debate outside of venues that are already accepting of their point of view. Like Hollywood, and the liberal media. They don’t arm themselves for debate, and go after the geniuses at Fox News, or go against conservative talking heads.

          They are going to have to, because when the popularity fades away from the current push, I feel history has shown homosexuals to be easy targets.

          • JGteMolder

            That’s funny, ’cause you see, the men who raped the other men, were probably straight, or bisexual, not homosexual. Indeed, him being the victim, most people would consider the victim the homosexual.

            All the problems you state with “homosexuality” aren’t a problem with homosexuality, they are a problem with 1. The ridiculous level of untouchability religions and representatives thereof are afforded in the US, and 2. that nobody gives a shit if men are victims.

            Eradicate these two, and men getting raped by other men, boys getting preyed upon by not just men, but women as well, whose victimization will be disgarded even more, will be condemned severely and perpetrators, if proven in a court of law, locked away.

            No amount of blaming homosexuality will do anything. Indeed, the average people in the street’s problem with homosexuality has got nothing to do with the stuff you described. Indeed, the stuff you described they will either applaud or ignore. The reason the average person in the street hates homosexuality is because a homosexual man is no longer a good beast of burden to be used up by a woman.

  • nawotsme

    Thanks Steve, and Dean for reposting this. The article gets right to the heart of the grass being greener…..

    I am reminded of a book that i never got around to reading about a young man who took a drug that made his skin pigment change. Looking black, he then hitchhiked around the southern states and recorded his observations. The ‘experiment’ was repeated more recently.

    Regards

    • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

      “Black Like Me”, if memory serves. When was it repeated? Is there a novel about this more recent experiment too?

      • nawotsme

        Thanks for that theswordinthechalice, i really must try to read it. The repeat experiment i saw on an Oprah show (and don’t hold this against me lol). The young man had been tested by a doctor ready to take the drug to change his skin colour, and then head off on his journey. I know his intention was to write about the experience, to see if attitudes had changed over the years. Not being a regular Oprah viewer i didn’t see any follow up. I’ll see if i can find out if a book was published and post back here if i find it.

        Regards

  • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

    I may be “outing” myself here, but as a woman who has lived with gender dysphoria her whole life, and also found out about the MRM through contacting “other” men…Bravo. I hope one day I too can have the funds necessary to make my body as (I know) it should be. In the meantime, people such as us, who cross gender lines on a daily basis, need to be a far louder voice for the men we not only love, but also strive to be. Feminists and the like need to realize that being male is not all about “privilege”, it’s about being human and all the experience that comes with it.

    • Aimee McGee

      Hi and welcome. I suspect there are a fair few women with gender dysphoria who find their way to the MHRM. I’m comfortable in my female gendered body, but have a brain with masculine traits according to the research by Simon Barron-Cohen, so sometimes struggle to conform to gender normative behaviour and roles.
      It really all about gender being a spectrum not a dichotomy, same as sexuality

      • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

        Hi Aimee. Thanks for the welcome. I’ve been researching the manosphere/red pill thinking for roughly 3 years now, but only recently started commenting and blogging myself. I actually intend to come to the upcoming AVfM conference/demonstration in the summer, and am now seriously considering joining the forum here as well. At first, I was afraid of complete rejection (as in being banned for my dysphoria), but as I read more and more I see my fears are unjustified.

        Will talk more after work. May your day go well.

        • Aimee McGee

          I’m UK based (at the moment) and have met a number of UK MHRAs, most are good people, many have had tough lives.
          My introduction to the MHRM was via the process of realising how little support there was for abused men, after my Beloved disclosed his experiences. Our family court experience consolidated my activism.
          I’m lucky, I grew up in a humanist household, and my mother in particular emphasised the importance of agency in her raising daughters.

          • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

            Aimee, I am sympathetic to your Beloved. It’s a terrible thing that he had whatever bad experiences he endured. Society as a whole needs to rid itself of the idiotic idea that men can’t be abused (whether physically, mentally, sexually, or emotionally) by their partners. It’s ridiculous.

        • Peadair

          Most people here just care about the issues of Men and Boys. Full Stop. That is it. We all battle personal demons, and have different journeys and views but the thing that we all agree on, Men and Boys have problems and we want to help fix them.
          You want to help, I join Aimee in saying, Welcome.

          • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

            Thanks Peadair. I’m happy to be here, I’ve not had much luck finding people who are really introspective about the issues that men and boys face. Then again, I’m not that far from NYC so perhaps that’s to be expected. The double standards of feminism are alive and well in my area, if the conversations I’ve had are any indication.

  • Katsuni

    I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, there, as in male to female, and the more I learned about being transgendered and such, the more I realized that the world isn’t as feminism claims.

    You’ve seen the hardships men face; I’ve seen the benefits women get.

    If I’m viewed as a male, then I’m taken seriously in some ways… but in others, completely ignored. As a female, I get privileges, such as being able to say I’m hurt, or need help, and people will actually listen. If I use logic, it stuns everyone and they listen more readily since, if a woman can see it, it must be true. People defer authority to me as a woman very often simply because I’m female; if I’d said the exact same thing as a male, it’d be brushed off.

    There’s more to it than that, obviously, and the legal protections are incredibly skewed; I have an easier time getting work, an easier time getting into college/university, an easier time getting paid for things that men would have to earn instead, an easier time if I were arrested, an easier time if I were convicted and sentenced, an easier time regaining freedom after, and an easier time getting people to have sympathy for me, even if I were to do something horrible.

    I could beat the shit out of my boyfriend, and no one would bat an eye; if he so much as tried to cover his face with his hands out of fear, he could be charged with assault.

    But there’s no such thing as female privilege, and no such thing as misandry (even the spellchecker claims so).

    If someone hates a man, for the sole reason that he’s male, then by the very definition, misandry must exist. If even one person has ever done so, it’s true, regardless of any other factors.

    To twist it into being misogyny is as ludicrous as saying that a woman being raped is misandry because she didn’t give the sex to the male in the first place, thereby depriving him of his male sexuality. It’s absurd to the highest degree, yet this is the same line of reasoning that feminism has used to twist and bastardize any and all problems men face into somehow being female oppression.

    When all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail, after all. When all you have is a vagina, apparently that also means the whole world is a dick towards you, even when it’s being a cunt towards a guy.

    Humans have problems; it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, it’s as simple as that. Most of those problems coincide with one another, and generally people face the same issues as a whole. There are a few, however, that are different; the problem is that the grass is always greener on the other side. Feminism can only see the problems women face, oblivious to the ones men do. The MRM, conversely, honestly does have a bit of an issue with seeing the problems women do face, though admittedly, half of that is because feminism claims EVERYTHING is a woman’s problem, to the point that it’s become a case of the boy who cried wolf and it’s hard to believe them on much of anything anymore.

    To be fair though, if I were to walk down the street as a woman, I might get raped. If I were to walk down the street as a man, there’s a much higher chance I’d be murdered. Despite what feminism says, it’s possible to eventually pull your life back together and get over being raped; on the other hand, you can’t exactly get over being dead, and as such, one simply has to accept that there are problems for both sides in this.

    In the end, the very fact that people can even claim that it’s impossible to hate a white person because they’re white, or that it’s impossible to hate a male because they’re male, shows us that we still have a long road ahead of us when it comes to equality. We’re still just as sexist, racist and bigoted as ever, we’ve just shifted what the allowed targets are.

    I’m an egalitarian, and I hold out hope for the day when, somehow, we’ll be able to just look at people and see them as a mass of potential value, rather than a list of preconceptions.

    It’s a little dream I have, of sorts. Of course, that day may never come. After all, we’re only human.

    • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

      That is so true, both sides have issues…violence, sexism, hardships, etc are not and never have been a gendered thing. Certain types may happen more to a particular sex, but that doesn’t mean it’s exclusive or that “anomalies” shouldn’t get the help they deserve. We are all thinking, feeling humans first of all. Let’s focus on help *everyone* rather than a select few.

      Katsuni, do you have a blog as well? I’ve never met a MtF person before and would really like to get more of your input on some of the things you talk about above.

      • Katsuni

        Sorry, no blog; I’ve long since learned they’re entirely too dangerous to have, and can screw with your employment opportunities in the long run.

        However, I’m commonly available on the AVFM skype chat, and do check the forum from time to time.

        The point is, however, as you stated; helping everyone instead of a select few. Feminism harms women nearly as much as it harms men, which few people seem to notice outside of the MRM, so it’s one of the major reasons I’m anti-feminist… because, well, “feminism hurts women too”. Maybe I should do an article on that at some point.

        • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

          Fair enough about the blog thing. My own username isn’t remotely close to my actual name, and none of my friends or relatives know that I have one, but I understand and respect other people’s choice to not feel safe with one. Perhaps a conversation on the forum at a later date then, if it pleases you.

          “Feminism hurts women too”. Yeah, it rather does, eh? Too bad so few can see it. Looking forward to such an article!

          • paxmaxi

            Agreed. I think that as feminism progresses further we will start to see more and more women speaking out against it, and not just traditional women but all women. It’s weird i can understand what they get out of demonizing men but the patronizing, dismissive attitude towards women who hold different views just dumbfounds me. I think it is a major weak point in feminism and more women will be waking up to it as it’s claims and lies become more ridiculous and transparent.

  • crydiego

    I would love read more article like this. It is like a window into another world when it comes from someone who has seen both sides. I think both sexes are a bit blind to the day to day experiences of the other.

    Did you really get a lot of cat-calls? I have never done that and none of the men I have been friends with have either; I am guilty of a lot of looking.

    • Mr. J

      .
      Yes, catcalls are total bullshit and men need to call out other men who do that in the same way women should call out women who use men as wallets.
      It is amazing how some men have double-standards and seem to think two wrongs make a right the same as some women.
      .
      .

      • Bombay

        Only men can stop cat calls.

        • Fredrik

          @Bombay:

          Only cats can stop cat calls.

          Only ducks can stop duck calls.

          Only robots can stop robo calls.

          Only colds can stop cold calls.

          Only refs can stop bad calls.

          • Bombay

            Yes!

            You do know that I was mocking “Only men can stop rape.”

          • Fredrik

            @Bombay:

            No, I would *never* satirize a misandrist ad campaign by saying something like “Women Can Stop Baby-Dumping” or “Just because it came out of your body, doesn’t mean it belongs in a toilet.” ;)

            ETA: Holy crap! I just realized what probably happens now and then where there are still outhouses. :(

          • Bombay

            @Fredrik LOL

      • tango

        Lets get catcalls in perspective; 99% of the time theyre not genuine compliments and women aren’t going to take them as such. They are usually done in such a way as to wind the other party up. But having some silly person trying to wind you up is something normal adults should be able to handle. Lets try and encourage women to be adults please?

        Secondly, in my experience, men who are socially uninhibited enough to catcall women are going to be uninhibited enough to give you a kicking for challenging them. The equivalent really isnt me calling out another woman for using guys for their wallets because she’s not likely to break my skull on the kerb for it.

        • Katsuni

          In response to tango’s example, she is, however, far more likely to use her social privilege to turn anyone nearby against you and get someone ELSE to break your skull on the curb, throw a tantrum, or otherwise put you into a painfully uncomfortable situation, or land you in jail.

          Violence by proxy is still violence, go figure.

        • Mr. J

          .
          One would hope the “violent men” stereotype would not be true…That belief seems to cause all kinds of problems.
          .
          .
          .

        • whiic

          >“Secondly, in my experience, men who are socially uninhibited enough to catcall women are going to be uninhibited enough to give you a kicking for challenging them.”

          I have some doubts on that. “Never hit a woman” applies to vast majority of even total jerks. I would actually be far more afraid on criticizing a woman on using a man’s wallet because then I could actually get hit. It would of course be a girl-punch / bitch-slap, but it’s not the force of the hit that worries me but the fact that self-defense would be socially unacceptable and this social acceptance would even affect the court decisions.

          It the catcaller did punch a woman for being called back, bystanders and potential other catcaller would not ally with him… but beat him literally to pulp. Or like Katsuni said, he doesn’t need to lay a hand on a woman and still get violence directed at him – if she just wishes to use it.

          Also the idea that men are naturally violent and will physically attack a woman if just freed of the inhibitors of social standards? That’s just bull.

          First, I don’t even see catcalling, sexual harassment and “sexual harassment” (approached by unwanted ones) as being freed from social inhibitions since men’s responsibility to make the approaches is part of social expectations.

          Second, alcohol as the most widely used remover of social inhibitors does tend to reduce bar for having sex or committing violence. Yet men usually beat each other up than women, even in that state. And men can direct anger toward women toward innocent men, even. Take for example the violent, possessive boyfriends who beat up any guy who “disrespects”, looks at, approaches or get approacher by her GF. And a lot of women get off by this alpha male behavior and intentionally trigger jealousy because they know he’s never going to hit a woman even when she totally deserved it. Instead, someone else, doesn’t matter who gets to be an outlet.

          This much is how much men avoid hitting a woman. It goes beyond absurd and when some women know it all too well (to abuse the hypoagency for mere entertainment) others never realize they’ve been protected by it the entire time when they felt afraid.

          • tango

            I was replying to Mr. J who I assume is a man, so when I said “hit YOU back’ I was talking about a man hitting a MAN. I know most men wont hit a woman.

            I stand by my assertion that men who act nasty towards women in public (im not talking awkward flirtation) tend to be the kind of guys who will deck another GUY without much provocation. In short I dont expect a man to risk getting beat to avenge me from some coarse language or a moments embarassment! Some men are violent towards other men. I dont think that statement is stereotyping all men as violent?? That was not my intention.

          • whiic

            I skimped through comments too hastily. Sorry.

            Being corrected on what you meant, I agree with you. Except on the catcalling and men against men violence being “socially uninhibited” because it’s pretty much what society expects from men as the gender that has no intrinsic value and whom must compete with each other to deserve their place in society. Cockfights among each other and acting cocky toward the chickens are part of their role.

            Because of this I wouldn’t step in to defend a woman’s “honor”. If catcalling isn’t necessary a nice behavior, it’s not enough of a human rights violation for me to risk my health trying to prevent from happening. I leave that to white knights.

      • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

        I don’t think cat calls are bullshit. I have seen them. Not many, but I have seen them so I know they exist. I just don’t think they matter that much in the scheme of things.

        I happen to be much taller than the average man. All my life I get the same questions. “You play basketball?” “How’s the weather up there?” And the ever ingenious observation, “Gosh, you’re tall!”

        Not quite the same as cat calls, but I do know what it is like for people to focus and comment on my physical appearance, all the way back to my parents telling me, “Stand up and show everyone how tall you are.”

        The attention was not always positive or welcome.

        For a while, when I was young, it bothered me. Then about the time I hit my mid 20’s it reduced in my mind to a minor annoyance.

        It never occurred to me to spend a lifetime being offended by it. And indeed, just like the introspective honesty demonstrated in the OP, it came to be something I look back on with some fondness.

        But I won’t say everything I ever felt about it was bullshit. I would not fault a woman for saying she experienced cat calls and did not like it. I just won’t get wound up about something like that. It’s not a big deal.

        tl;dr for quote miners. Cat calls are nothing to whine about.

        • tvsinesperanto

          “all the way back to my parents telling me, “Stand up and show everyone how tall you are.””

          Oh man, yeah, I was 6’3″ by the time I was 17 & I used to HATE that. I was terribly self conscious in my teens (who isn’t) & my parents used to get me to do this all the time.

          The only thing worse was that most of my extended family were pretty short & they were always going on about how wonderful it must be to be so tall (usually just after they had dragged me away from doing something to get something off the top shelf for them).

          Yeah, well, if you ever tried sitting comfortably in a plane, bus, train, or theatre. at that height, You wouldn’t think it was so wonderful. You try spending 9 hours shifting your legs from one uncomfortable angle to another because the distance between seats is less than the length of your femur.

          Bitter? Moi?

          As for the cat call issue. I agree, it happens. Probably not as much as feminists say it does but I’ve seen it rarely. If I was female, I’m sure that I’d see it more often & it would probably start to piss me off too (after the novelty of being considered widely sexually desirable wore off). However, is it THAT big of a deal?

          The behaviour of a gold-standard moron? Absolutely.

          Annoying? Yes.

          Threatening? On occasion perhaps.

          A tool of oppression? Hardly.

        • http://breakingtheglasses.blogspot.com/ Hannah Wallen (aka Della Burton)

          Feminists do with cat calls what they do with everything else. They exaggerate everything they find negative about them in order to exploit the concept for effect. They have to exaggerate if they want to use their description of the behavior as a way to paint men as inherently predatory and malicious. If they talked about it as it actually is, they’d just sound whiny and self-absorbed.

          In my experience, hearing a woman or girl talk about cat calls as the constant, widespread, inescapable, personally dominating problem that feminists make it out to be is an indication that I’m only hearing part of the story.

          What Steven describes is not outside the realm of normalcy – most women men I know have experienced some level of unwanted attention, and cat calling is part of that. It’s not a huge issue unless the recipient makes it so.

          • MGTOW-man

            I agree. Cat calls are not as “sexually-threatening” as indicated. Too much hoopla is made of them. Some women may FEEL threatened, but their feelings alone are not reality. Only if the calls become something more of unwanted advances that he can and should clearly see and heed, is there cause for alarm.

            Cat calls are a part of the overall group-wise makeup of being male. Most all sexually-reproducing species’ males display some form of “cat-calling” behavior in one way or another—be it flashy colors, aggressive fighting of other males, or whistling and letting her know he likes her…and in all cases, it being about sex.

            Too, it IS true that if feminists didn’t exaggerate, they would have no audience. I have noticed this all of my life. Even the “epic” “fish needs a bicycle” is a take off of hyperbole intended to get the maximum effect from a minimal investment. Females GET MORE this way.

            I do not intend to provoke Steven, but cat calling is not treating women as if they are appliances. That is a one-sided observation which by now, with all that has changed for Steven, should be obvious to him.

            Wonderful article btw. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, or that the previously-forbidden feet can wear those shoes, the truth starts to come out, huh?… Being a male has never been glamorous and feminists have mistaken this burden as a privilege.

            “Oblivious” is an understatement, but I say it all the time. And it is true!.

            And one more thing. Most all things males did as they lived historically was FOR women, directly or not: wars, fighting, supporting, protecting feeding, loving, and yes, working (meaning, that men could choose an unhindered career path was not against women, it was FOR THEM ultimately in the great scheme of being male. Women misunderstand this too). Remember, we are a species, FIRST!

  • Nostradormouse

    This is a really valuable point of view.

    The perspective of someone who has stood either side of the gender divide is as valuable as it is definitive. The insight and perspective would likely be a very constructive contribution in its own right.

    Is it possible to contact Steven and ask for more insights and observation? Since he found his way here, other per-operative dysphorics treading the same path might also find their way here, and benefit from the road map of his experience.

    • http://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com TheSwordintheChalice

      Not all of us have the time, money, or support systems to consider operations. There are many who simply dress and act as the opposite sex, ones who have enough finances to take hormones, or people like myself who have forced themselves to be…content…with their physical body and just don’t give a damn anymore when people point out that we are “unladylike” or “effeminate”.

      So many different ways to live in a body that is inconsistent with ones brain…it really speaks to just how adaptable humans are.

  • donzaloog

    Thank you for this article.

  • tvsinesperanto

    To whomever has the right of reproduction for this article…

    May I have permission to repost this article on Men’s Rights Sydney’s web site?

    This is an absolutely brilliant article & one that I think would serve our group extremely well at this stage in our evolution. If we could have permission to repost it, we would be very grateful. Thank you.

    Also, I agree with the sentiment of several other commenters here. I too would love to see more insights both from Steven himself & from other transexuals who may have had similar (or, perhaps, dissimilar) experiences.

    These people are in the unique position of having experienced gender from both sides of the fence & can offer us insights that nobody else can.

    I, for one, would like to hear a LOT more from them.

    Cheers,
    TV

    • earth one

      This may be of interest: I read this several months ago, and it stuck in my mind.

      http://www.vice.com/read/lesbians-no-longer

      A lesbian couple that became ‘semi-straight’ when one of them transitioned into a male, and came to some harsh realizations about how men are seen in our society. I filed it away mentally, and now have found it again.

      The shock of reality – nothing quite like it.

      So much to think over here, so many comments – excellent article – thanks to Steven for writing it, and to DE for reposting.

  • James Williams

    Very helpful article in helping to see things from a different persepctive.

  • Bluedrgn

    This reminds of an article I read on Huffington Post awhile back where there was someone who had transitioned from a man to a woman talking about how much easier their life was now…

    Not surprisingly the moderators were working overtime on that post… my post that it was “nice the hear from someone who had seen both sides” was not allowed through, but there were tons of post from people saying that they were deluding themselves or that they would see the truth eventually.

    Ultimately the article was buried very quickly.

  • JinnBottle

    What’s this about catcalls being some kind of sin? (Along with “guilty of looking”?) Catcalls – if you mean by that beeping your horn and wolf-whistling – used to be something young men did from cars to sexylooking young women. It was part of a thing called being alive.

    It’s done rarely if ever anymore, so congratulations, feminists. It’s done so rarely that – unless by “catcalls” you mean shouts like “dog!” or “rrrrwooof!” or mean spirited stuff like that – I think you’re lying, “Steve”. I don’t know if you want us to get that you were smoking hot when you were a girl or what. But if what you say about looking as much like a boy as you could when you were a girl is true – then “being constantly catcalled” doesn’t match up.

    I respect certainly one point you made in your Post – mainly, that your needing to transition physiologically (mastectomy) from male to for-all-social-and-many-physical-purposes female was perfectly legitimate.

    Other than that, I found alot of cluelessness in your article.

  • markis1

    when i was young and went for a walk well dressed i usto get cat calls from women/girls…

    and friends of mine did too…..

    so women dont want to be flirted with like that anymore…..
    i dont even bother to look anymore…..feminine attributes no longer have currency with me…i just dont care anymore

    MGTOW

    • MGTOW-man

      Women should be careful what they ask for…they just might GET IT!

      They will take TOO much of the maleness out of males…and regret it.

      But I agree with you. And going one better. Even if MGTOW doesn’t prove itself to be what “saved the males”, it IS for me and has made my life worthwhile. Never regretted it. The best thing I never did was get married and have kids.

      And I am just as much of a man for it and no one can change that. I simply do not grant them access in any way. My sense of manhood is defined and owned by ME.

      If this won’t stop feminism, nothing can…not that there aren’t other ways to win against feminism (defined as de-male the world). Extremist? Positively. Dysfunctional? Sure. But predictable and inevitable? Absolutely!

  • Druk

    Man up. It suddenly hit me that most men are probably told this phrase hundreds of times throughout their boyhood.

    Nah, boys learn their gender role good and early. It doesn’t need to be said very much because it’s heavily implied in every action you take.

    • Fredrik

      Even more basic, our gender role is heavily implied in taking action — which is not a bad thing. I exulted in it. It’s natural. On the other hand, the suppression of passion is modern and weird and actually goes against classical masculinity.

      • erwin

        I think thats more or less a peacetime thing Fredrick.
        Passionate men are “dangerous”, they are better to have around in “war” times.

        This is clearly seen when a woman wants a man to be a “thug” for them, and all of a sudden wants a passionate man to go break someone’s neck. (with passion)
        The rest of the time, you better not show any emotion, that would make you seem threatening, and we wouldn’t want that. (think of the children?)

        • Fredrik

          I don’t know, how do you resolve that with the trope of the heroic sociopath? I just saw one in “Erased,” I’ve heard that there was another one in “World War Z,” and really it’s very common. How do you resolve that with the historical fact of emotional strong men? I can’t prove it, but I get the feeling that somebody wants something, and is trying to shape the culture for a reason.

  • JinnBottle

    “What does a woman want?”

    Anything you ain’t got, my man.

  • J Galt

    “Man up. It suddenly hit me that most men are probably told this phrase hundreds of times throughout their boyhood.”

    From a biologically singular perspective of masculinity it is less about the frequency or “hundreds of times” and much more about having no options, support or choice for other directions. This subtle nuance of perspective is a definitive difference between acting male and being male, acting female and being female.

    Women are given choice by gynocentric socialization men are not.

    For a man to engage in gender selection or “choice” he is embracing feminine socialization by embracing choice. When a woman engages gender selection she is embracing nothing but what she has already received as a result of gynocentric privilege; her choice. While this may suggest a paradox of identity it becomes less so when we ask which prison you would expect to reside in if prosecuted for a crime; a male prison or a female prison.

    The superficiality of daily life in a “binary” is certainly irritating at best and enraging at worst. When the full weight of our social system bears down on you threatening your freedom and your life purely as a response to your gender; dysphoria plumbs a new depth. I have a great appreciation for your perspective and experience and enjoyed the article, I found it provocative and interesting.

    • Katsuni

      “Man up. It suddenly hit me that most men are probably told this phrase hundreds of times throughout their boyhood.”

      Personally, I got told “You’re not a girl, stop acting like one” as the phrase I got to deal with on a regular basis.

      It very quickly made me realize that men are not allowed to act like women, but that women are allowed to act like men. A girl can be a tomboy and most people don’t care; if I were the reverse of my situation, as in FtM, I could probably have worn jeans, bound my breasts, that kind of thing; the stuff that Steven mentions he did. Instead… I’d get yelled at if I shaved, if I showed any emotion, if I even so much as played a female character in a video game, or acted even remotely feminine.

      A feminist would look at that and say “A-HA! Proof that being female is bad!”. And at first, that’s what I’d been conditioned to view it as.

      After a bit of thinking though, I realized it wasn’t true. Women are allowed to be women, and are praised for such; women are also allowed to act like men, and while people are a bit apprehensive of such, it’s generally viewed as a woman’s right to express herself however she wants. A guy? You either strictly follow the accepted male formula, or fuck you.

      As J Galt mentioned, a woman is embracing her choice; men aren’t given that option. Women have choice and freedom, men have obligations.

      • tallwheel

        Girlwriteswhat has said a similar thing.

        Also, not sure who I got this exact wording from, but I remember someone in the manosphere saying (and I am paraphrasing here) that ‘femininity is a luxury’. Femininity is only possible through others’ protection, and only those with a uterus are eligible for such protection and luxury. Males who show themselves to be feminine are asserting that they are eligible for a luxury that society will not afford them.

        Personally, I think this assessment is right on. The feminist explanation that ‘femininity is not valued’ never quite made sense to me even in my bluepill days.

  • Duke

    Steven says “………..That conflict intensified harshly. The next year I tried to cut off the breast stubs that grew on my chest with a steak knife,”

    I say, bro- thats some heavy shit to be dealing with right there. That sounds suicidal, and you should consider talking with a professional.

    • Duke

      I’ve briefly studied “Gender-dysphoria”, and it seems like you got some other things going on there also.

  • crydiego

    Wow, great post and great comments. I read all of it and I believe I view the world a little differenty now because of it.
    It is clear to me that what is most important is freedom of expression. A place where people can speak their minds and have their views questioned openly and honestly.
    For me personaly I would like to thank everyone for this post and the comments.

    • Fatherless

      This article and its comments is a resource unto itself.

  • Diana Davison

    I’ve avoided commenting on trans issues on this site for some time now because I’ve had serious debates on this issue with other “allies” of the LGBT community that get quite emotional and irrational. I’m willing to get into detail of why I’m of my current opinions but will try to keep it brief here.

    Trans people, like everyone else in the world, have personal struggles they have to face on a daily basis. I do not feel particularly sorry for them just because they say their struggles are more interesting or severe. I’m bisexual and my experiences in the LGBT community and outside of it are not “truth” with a capital T. I’ve had more arguments with my supposed allies than with my supposed enemies on the issue of my sexuality.

    I am of the strong opinion that this article is a false account. I even think it’s a demonstrable lie. Whether I’m correct or not, the resulting, supportive reactions make the article of value to the site.

    Even if this is a fictional manipulation of our attention, it opens up an important dialogue that has, twice on the site now, shown that men’s human rights activists are compassionate, open-minded people.

    The account, in this article, of what it is like to be a female in this society does not align with my experiences and actually reinforces the idiotic assertions that feminists make. That this person, trans or not, may have the “lived experience” that women, even when they present as males, get catcalled and harassed on a daily basis to the point that the world is a scary place, and that men don’t take women seriously based on their gender instead of the possibility that they said something that didn’t deserve attention, may be “Steven’s” perception but it is purely his interpretation of events. I’ve found that it’s quite easy to be taken seriously if you present yourself in an assertive way.

    Re ‘unwanted attention’ – I had a friend who was not physically attractive who insisted that every time she left the house guys were “looking” at her. After some investigation into the matter and pointed questioning, it turned out that she thought someone trying to see a house number behind her was “looking” at her, someone staring off into space when she walked through that space was “looking” at her. Someone hailing a fucking cab was catcalling her, etc. When she stopped interpreting everyone else’s actions as if they were revolving around her she realized her account of daily living was delusional. The attention only existed in her mind because, opposite to being ‘unwanted’ it was actually being sought.

    In reality, for non-delusional women, they do not get sexually harassed every day unless they are looking to interprete the world around them as sexually responsive.

    I utterly reject Steven’s account of what women experience. It is part of the feminist narrative and it’s only true for idiots with an agenda or idiots who bought into the lie.

    But I’m glad we are having this discussion.

    Steven’s account, granting that it may be true, does not mesh with the “lived experience” of all trans people. Normally I wouldn’t give a shit but, because of social justice warriors, this is something important to address. We are being asked to allow children as young as 7yrs old to tell us what gender they want to be but those same enablers won’t grant children the right to consent to having sex until the age of 16. What does this mean, outside of a debate about whether or not gender and sex are the same thing?

    It means that children are having their reproductive rights removed by adults shirking their complicity in the violation by claiming they are morally enlightened. Social Justice Warriors use accounts, like Steven’s, to demand we encourage hormone blocking in children, and early transition surgery, and then decry those who object as moral failures.

    We currently live in a world where people can present (dress etc) however they fucking want, but that’s not good enough for social justice warriors. They demand that we interpret normal childhood anxiety about their bodies as a sign that they were born in the wrong body. It is not my job to prove they are wrong, it is their job to prove they are right.

    Reason: we are talking about children who are not old enough to know if they want to have sex let alone what sex they are. Disagreeing with morality police over the issue of transitioning based on subjective assertions is an act of child protection. This issue is no longer just about consenting adults.

    If they (SJWs) want to convince me that transition surgery is essential to the survival of these children they need more than half baked, unverified accounts from people like Steven.

    Down vote me all you want. I think this article is a work of fiction in both what women’s lives are like and whether or not transitioning resolves the inner conflict that gender dysphoric people face. This is merely a sketchy account asking us to prove personal morality by blindly nodding and agreeing with everything we are told about a disorder/condition that even trans people can’t agree on amongst themselves.

    • Fredrik

      I think that this is a debate worth having, and just so you know, your comment’s word length (875) falls within the guidelines for an article. You would hardly even have to edit it. Bring it!

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      “I am of the strong opinion that this article is a false account. I even think it’s a demonstrable lie.”

      This website has many, many personal accounts of people’s (mostly men’s) experiences. Few of them can be “proven.” They are just personal stories in a venue that is the exception to the norm.

      Everyone is free, of course, to express their opinion, and now I will express mine.

      You say:

      “Steven’s account, granting that it may be true, does not mesh with the “lived experience” of all trans people.”

      And? Where in this article is the assertion made that it does? Where did this story go from being one person’s expression of their own life, to a statement on behalf of the transgender community and all transgender people as a whole?

      The only person I see on this page laying claim to that knowledge is you, in your very criticism, and in my respectful opinion it stinks of fantasy.

      Then you follow with this:

      “Normally I wouldn’t give a shit but, because of social justice warriors, this is something important to address. We are being asked to allow children as young as 7yrs old to tell us what gender they want to be but those same enablers won’t grant children the right to consent to having sex until the age of 16. What does this mean, outside of a debate about whether or not gender and sex are the same thing?”

      OK, let me use some of the license that you have used here.

      I think you are lying.

      I think you are taking one person’s account, falsely attributing that to social justice language and an agenda that is in no way present in the article, in one of the biggest straw man non sequiturs I have seen on these pages.

      I take exception to that, and for very good reason.

      If you had some proof that there were lies being told in this article, I would be the first one to print it in a retraction just before I pulled down the piece.

      But you don’t. What you have here is your personal straw man attack.

      Earlier tonight on the Facebook page, someone (an alleged MRA) took exception to a meme that was posted about the sentencing disparity between men and women. Their contention was that since men committed more violent crime that they naturally got more time. Their remark included the reference that we were acting like “the radfems” with that type of focus.

      The radfem remark had just as much relevance to what was posted as your inference of social justice warriors and morphing into into a “for the children” canard.

      And of course all of your histrionics over the post are relevant to my original point.

      These are just personal stories; told in a place where it is generally safe to tell them. That is part of what AVFM provides to a lot of people. And even if you have a stick in your ass about one story or another, it is remarkably bad form with what amounts to allegations of lying, the lack of proof of which is shrouded in straw manning, non sequiturs and other forms of senselessness.

      No Fredrick, this post won’t be an article here. AVFM does not invite people to tell their stories and then publish articles calling them liars. If we find credible evidence (I mean outside of specious finger pointing) then we expose that and issue some kind of retraction.

      We are not in the business of unsubstantiated allegations. Most of us, anyway,

      • Diana Davison

        Calling this life story a lie is, indeed, a pretty big accusation. I have admitted in my comment that it is bold statement and tried to make my comments in a way that doesn’t criticize AVfM for printing it as a true account. It’s a story for discussion be it true or not.

        I may be entirely wrong. Let’s put that aside for a moment.

        If this article had been written by a hetero female making the assertions that women face harassment to the degree that Steven claims they do we’d have been making fun of it. Why are we applauding these statements because they came from a trans woman?

        The description offered here of what life is like when perceived to be a woman is the exact narrative we’ve tried to show is a lie. Sure, I’m telling you my own “lived experience” doesn’t mesh but that I don’t find the world to be hostile towards me as a gender is sort of what we try to explain to people on a normal day.

        I did not submit my reply as an article for the precise reasons you’ve said it would never be published as an article.

        While you see my response as unacceptable, I am not submitting it as a judgement on trans people in general, a rejection of trans people, nor as a call for distrust of trans people.

        My questions here relate to why we have listened to someone tell us women are sexually harassed every day and confirmed it to be reality. This is the first time I’ve ever seen AVfM agree to that narrative. How did it happen?

        My calling it the feminist narrative is not an insult accusing AVfM of going feminist. I know that is not the case. I think some shit slipped past detection because we are so busy trying to prove we like trans people.

        I don’t have a problem with trans people. I really don’t. I have a problem with this story.

        • Katsuni

          To make a quick note, it wasn’t mentioned as something that happens every day to them, and it wasn’t mentioned as something that happens to ALL women; it was actually only mentioned in reference to themselves.

          They *DID* reference “all men” several times, and “all gay relationships” once; go bash that all you want, I’m fine with it when we nail people for going a little overboard on generalizations. A bit of generalization? No biggie, it’s a method of explaining a basic concept in broad strokes and helps people understand quickly what you mean. The difference is between “most” and “all”; if you say “most men are X”, it says, yeah, maybe a large portion of men are like that, but not all are, so there’s room for variation, sure. When you say “ALL men are X”, then you’re stuck with a concept that doesn’t even remotely make sense.since no two men are identical, and as a group, men will disagree with each other on, quite literally, every topic because it’s impossible to have any large group and have a 100% consensus on anything. You can’t even get all women to agree that cannibalism is wrong, or all men to agree murder is wrong; even our supposed “universals” are misnomers =P

          The point is… I’m totally against someone saying “all women are harassed by catcalls”. That’s not what was said, however.

          “The first thing I noticed was that the cat calls from cars as I walked down the street came to an end. ”

          This is in self-reference only.

          ” I also experienced howls and whistles on a daily basis from men in cars when I went out alone for walks.”

          This is unlikely, but possible. It’s also self-reference only in a restricted location.

          “Or, I might say with some measure of irony, a piece of meat that doesn’t even rate a cat call.”

          This is the closest that’s ever come to saying all women are cat called, and specifically it simply states that men aren’t as likely to be catcalled at as women are. It doesn’t actually state that all women are catcalled at, nor does it even imply such; it simply says that for this individual, they experienced X as female, and Y as male.

          I’m fully with you that it’s open to debate as to whether X and Y actually existed in this case; it’s very common for trans people to be severely hypersensitive to what other people think of them, especially when it’s in relation to their body; after transition, this has a temporary, massively elevated spike, but shifts perception generally 180, then after a few months, tends to disappear entirely. As such, it’s probable that he didn’t really get catcalls often (if ever), but viewed them as such due to the hatred of the female body, and upon appearing more masculine, probably started viewing things in more of the sense of “why aren’t people looking at me?” and looking specifically for cases where they weren’t, while ignoring any case where they were. Confirmation bias at it’s finest.

          The point is, you’re putting words in his mouth by stating that he’s claiming ALL women are catcalled, and to be blunt, every time it’s mentioned, it implies only that he, himself, experienced it, and we’re quite aware that experiences are subjective.

          Go right ahead and call him out on it being unlikely, but also accept that there’s a possibility that it was true. Don’t go calling someone a liar flat out without any evidence, let alone without having any grasp of their specific situation.

          Especially since, to be blunt, it does happen… you can, flat out, trigger catcalls and such. It’s largely based upon how you present yourself; Marlyn Munroe once had a perfect showcase of this, where she was just walking down the street with a reporter who was interviewing her. The guy was confused as to why everyone was just ignoring her, and she simply pointed out “Oh, you want to see HER?”, and she shifted how she walked, how she spoke, how she looked around and so on, and in under ten seconds all eyes were on her.

          Is it possible that someone can generate that effect? Yes. Would they generate it without recognizing it? No. It’s something that requires conscious effort and training to pull off, so wouldn’t apply to this situation… but in a way, it can.

          Someone who hates their body, and is actively frustrated with it in public, gives off tons of little cues that other people will pick up on. It’s like how you know someone’s had a bad day, even if they’re trying to present a fake smile. “Something” just gives it away. Some people try to cheer them up, others try to rub it in, and that could very well be the origin, so it might have actually occurred as well. Unfortunately, we don’t know what happened, and there’s a respectable explanation for both sides of the coin.

          I’ll let him have his statement because there’s not much reason to really question it, and it only relates to his own, personal experience, and never implies it’s true to anyone beyond him, other than that he didn’t experience it as a male.

          If he actually DID say ALL women experience catcalls daily, and that ALL men gave off catcalls, then yeah, burn him at the stake and all that, but that’s not what happened and that’s not what was said. It might very well be that you’re just looking for a fight because that particular topic irks you, and you read more into it than what was said. I could be wrong on that, but it’s the impression you’ve given off.

          I’m reasonably certain we’d all turn on him if he did make such a claim, so don’t worry about it too much; it’s not who’s saying it, but what’s being said. It looks suspiciously similar to common feminist crap, but the phrasing is all wrong when you actually look at it.

        • Ben Tabor

          He isn’t a trans woman, he is a trans man. Do research before you pass judgemebt.

      • Odysseus

        Ignore the downvote Paul, I meant to upvote.

      • Fredrik

        @Paul Elam: “No Fredrick, this post won’t be an article here. ”

        On the one hand, I’m disappointed because I thought that it would be a valuable conversation for the community to have, On the other hand, I see now that it would be a horrible idea, and I’m sorry that I said anything.

    • Katsuni

      Hey Diana; normally I agree with a lot of what you say, but not always. This would be in the latter category for the most part, though some of it is from the former.

      First off, I agree that virtually any discussion involving the LGBTQ “community” (if you can even call it that) will often become emotional and such. Hell, even if we limit it to only the trans “community” (again, it’s not much of a community as that’s generally about all anyone in it has in common with each other, and even then there’s wide variations), then you still find that there’s a ton of bickering and infighting. It’s nearly impossible to have a conversation in a “trans safe place”, because someone’s always going out of their way to be offended. It happens when people have been wounded from their closest friends and relatives – they don’t trust anyone in general any longer. It’s understandable, but that doesn’t mean it can be condoned, either.

      Next on the list that I agree with you on, is that everyone has problems. Some people have more than others on average, but whatever, big deal. Frustration is largely relative to an individual’s own experiences. What causes one person to break down will barely register as more than a mild nuisance to someone else.

      Now… with those two things covered, after that it becomes dicey.

      Yes, it’s probable that someone really hasn’t been experiencing catcalls constantly; it really just doesn’t happen that often in most areas, and typically it’s just someone being essentially paranoid. However… sometimes, even if you are paranoid, they really ARE out to get you. There are some locations where catcalls and harassment are pretty much normal still; there aren’t many these days, but they do exist, especially if that location’s culture has taken an interest in catcalling specifically on individuals who appear to not want it, just to piss them off. Some people just get off on annoying others, and that’s as valid of a method as any other for pissing someone off while having an easy out of claiming it was meant to be taken as a compliment.

      This doesn’t mean that it’s true, just that it’s a possibility and we don’t know one way or the other. It’s unfortunately a matter of personal experience. I’ve never even seen anyone be catcalled, other than random teenagers yelling out of a car as it passes by, usually in such a vague manner that no one has any idea who they’re calling out to. Then again, that’s only my personal experience from a small, rural area. Some areas are significantly different, so I can’t assume that I know everything about every culture everywhere. Canada and the USA alone are just too big and varied to have any sort of consistent behaviour even within the boundaries of a single city, much less across the entire continent. As such, I’d simply caution you in the fact that you did pretty much just claim truth with a capital “T”, without any evidence to back it up, and assuming that all experiences are equal for all people across the entire world, which is kind of silly of a claim to make just in general.

      Next off, as Paul said, Steven’s statements were not listed as “this is what all trans people experience”, and that’s essentially putting words in his mouth. Maybe he actually believes that, I dunno, it wasn’t covered nor implied one way or the other, so there’s no real way to make any claim regardless.

      For the last part… I think you’re making a few basic errors.

      First, you state that a child doesn’t even know what sex is, so how can they tell what sex they want to be? Part of this problem is that you’re confusing gender with sex; one does not equate to the other. You can view yourself as male or female (or anything in between) without that being applied in a sexual manner.

      Second, there’s an issue with assuming that children don’t know whether they’re boys or girls, and to be perfectly blunt, children begin exhibiting various gendered behaviours as early as the first day after birth, with more clear and definitive signs often by the time they’re only six months old, even with identical treatment by parents. There’s a pile of evidence which suggests and implies (though it’s difficult to verify fully due to the nature of children being largely unable to talk before a certain point) that children pretty much have their gender built in from birth, regardless of how their parents treat them, though they’ll try to adapt to whatever situation they’re placed within to some degree.

      Third comes down to the issue that, once you hit puberty, you can’t undo a lot of the changes that you undergo. We don’t physically have any way to really and truly reshape things like the rib cage or hip structure, and many of the surgeries that are available wind up being expensive, dangerous, and come with potentially nasty side effects. If an MtF doesn’t have hormone blocking, for example, they flat out will have their voice drop massively, and while some are able to retrain their voices, others are kind of stuck with things like adam’s apple shaving and larynx tightening… which have the potential for losing one’s voice entirely when it could’ve been prevented.

      The issue there is that some children simply recognize their body should be one way or another. Others don’t. Some may be going through a phase, as much as many trans people may not want to hear that last bit; about 90% of cases or so won’t grow out of it… but about 10% of them will.

      To that end, I agree that surgery and hormone therapy shouldn’t be allowed on someone who may really not know what they want at that time. On the other hand, if you don’t provide hormone blockers, the chances are overwhelmingly large that you just inflicted permanent damage upon their body and a lifetime of expensive and dangerous surgeries and medications, some of which are potentially fatal, others which have remarkably nasty side effects. By “protecting the children”, you can very much so be seriously harming the adult they turn into.

      As such, there’s really no “right” answer. “Surgery” is potentially very harmful to some children and could seriously screw them up if they do grow out of it. A lack of doing anything is potentially very harmful as the longer you wait, the more dangerous the corrections become and the less effective they are. The best bet, honestly, is hormone blockers to postpone puberty; it has some complications with it, but they’re relatively minor in comparison to both other options, and if the child grows out of it, no problem, take them off the blockers and it doesn’t really cause that many problems. If a child decides they’re following that path as they grow older, then it’s saved them a ton of money, frustration, and potentially their life.

      As stated, there’s no clear cut answer, and children are often vastly more aware of their own bodies than adults are. We undersell them a lot of the time in knowing who they are, especially when it’s something innate enough for them to recognize by default. “Who are you?” is a simple enough question, though most people have difficulties answering it… even so, most people at least have a vague idea of where to begin.

      Regardless, the point is quite simple that boys and girls can be aware that there are differences between the genders without knowing about sex. It doesn’t mean they need genital surgery, and they may not even want that as adults later on anyway, especially since it’s about on par with open heart surgery when it comes to the risks, but is actually much worse for lasting side effects. As such, it’d be a bad idea to perform surgery on the kids, but applying hormone blockers is a reasonable compromise in most situations – most, not all.

      The fact of the matter is… you’ve basically taken on the tone of a social justice warrior yourself, by stating that you know what’s right and wrong, and that everyone had better listen to your personal viewpoint without taking into consideration anyone who’s actually had to go through it personally.

      Regardless, these are complex issues and they’re not going to be solved on a comment section, no matter how much we might like to think that it’s clear cut and obvious. There’s no right answer due to the nature of some of these issues, and, as a group we (humans) need to recognize that we can’t solve everything simply because we “know” what’s “right” and “wrong”.

      Normally you’re a lot better at thinking things through rationally, rather than throwing up strawmen and putting words in peoples mouths for them. I’ll chalk it up to just having a bad night, a hangover, or whatever, it doesn’t matter, but do be sure to consider your words in the future. I don’t mean that in the sense of “ZOMG NEVER OFFEND ANYONE EVAH”; I mean it in the sense of don’t claim absolute truth while bitching about someone else supposedly claiming absolute truth… especially when they actually didn’t make that claim. (Though he did, actually, make some implied absolute truth claims, but they were about different matters entirely – ones you didn’t argue with, such as the whole “all men experience X” or “all relationships are treated as Y”). In short, if you’re going to bitch about something, make sure they’re actually doing what you’re bitching about them doing. I have no problem with someone bitching about something, so long as they’re correct, and you made entirely too many faulty assumptions this time.

      Feel free to offend people, just make sure you do your research first. After all, part of freedom of speech is people calling you on your bullshit, and that includes all of us – it’s not a one way street of whose bullshit you get to call out.

      • Diana Davison

        Where I have specifically stated that I don’t have capital T truth you’ve now tried to reframe my questions as if I’ve said the opposite. When I’ve asked these questions in an LGBT environment I’ve been silenced by being told I’m “CIS privileged” so don’t tell me I haven’t tried to research the subject. I was told to educate myself and I came back and posted the results quoting and linking numerous trans people giving their advice and experience to others and my research efforts resulted in LGBT allies telling me that my research and efforts were just more proof of my CIS privilege.

        My questioning of this story is two levels: the story is internally inconsistent. The claims that he was “presenting” non female as much as possible don’t coincide with being catcalled every day. The claims that his transition went as lickity split as he describes don’t coincide with either the majority of accounts I found in my research nor the experiences of the trans people I personally know.

        One of those trans people is an ex-boyfriend who, at the age of 20 chose to transition then after 10 months of presenting the opposite sex because it was part of the counselling, changed his mind and now refuses to discuss it on the grounds he was “fucked in the head”. But trans activists are insisting this waiting period be eliminated because of amoral cruelty.

        I’m not challenging this account because I don’t understand. I’m challenging it because it presents a clear and present danger to the health of many people currently struggling with this problem if we don’t ask these difficult questions and demand sufficient discussion. My previous questioning has been met with shaming and accusations of CIS privilege with refusal to discuss.

        I have, since your arrival on the forum, intentionally not challenged your assertions, Katsuni. But I have paid attention to them. My comment here is not impulsive or due to a bad day.

        • Katsuni

          No problem; also, if you want to challenge my assertions, go right ahead! I find people learn fastest when they have their beliefs challenged and are forced to defend them by working through what they know. Teaching and debate both require that you truly comprehend what you’re talking about; it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily right, but it means that you at least have to have a working knowledge of such.

          I’m weird like that, though; most minorities seem to just throw a fit when you make them prove anything, or at least acknowledge that there may be some issues they honestly don’t know the answer to (and when it comes to trans stuff, there’s a metric fuckton we simply don’t know because no one’s bothered to check, or the few that did check were so biased one way or another that their results are damned near useless).

          Oddly enough, I rather like the MRM in that men are essentially a minority class at this point, but most are still willing to sit down and explain their issues calmly. Some get pissed off, from having to do so a bazillion times in a row, but that happens with any group; men are just more used to having to use logic than righteous indignation is all it seems. I suppose they’d have to be, since no one takes the latter seriously when it comes from their mouths.

    • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

      The way I read Steven’s account I was making allowance for something: the crazed narrative about men and women of our times leads many women to the type of projection you’re talking about, seeing everything as “sexualization” and so on.

      I have many times had men and occasionally women yell rude things from their cars or from some other distance at me. I don’t get to call that catcalling and I mostly shrug it off, same as I shrug off most insults and threat-oids on the internet.

      I have also dealt with women in other parts of the world who describe what I can only call real street harassment, usually in and around rough neighborhoods. Discussing these things like adults outside of the bad man/good woman dialectic is what’s needed.

      Steven’s account is a personal one of personal growth. We haven’t heard from him in a while, but I suspect the issues raised by Steven would be more easily raised by not simply declaring this “lies” and merely by asking questions. Starting out a conversation calling someone a liar, instead of just asking a few pointed questions, isn’t really constructive, it’s an invitation to not-discuss. Or so I see it.

      I’d like to ask Steven if at this point he really thinks all those “catcalls” were really catcalls and if men really were looking at him when he was a her as if she was “meat.”

      I have also, by the way, seen the behavior of women not being taken seriously and being condescended to by men, pretty much automatically. On the other hand, I have seen the same happen to men; the context seems to vary, and I think there are probably cultural variations too. What you experience in British Columbia is probably not the same as people experience in, say, Louisiana.

      Just my two cents.

      • tango

        Word.

        I dont doubt that Steven had rude things yelled at him when he was younger. I actually have no doubt that some of those tumblr feminists have rude things yelled at them. It happened to me when I was a young teen as well. I was plain and sensitive about my appearance and trolls homed in on that. “Cat-calling” is just one way people can bait you into the reaction they crave while maintaining plausible deniability “why are you mad? its a compliment!”

        Its really asshole-ish, but it actually relies on that person seeing you as a full human with human reactions, not an object or a piece of meat. And since we cant eradicate assholes people need to develop some coping strategies.

        I guess my point is if you learn that trolls go after visibly insecure people, you have the power to break the cycle. If you think its directed at you because you’re female, what can you possibly do? I have only met a couple of ftm trans but one of them had such strong feminist beliefs…I had to wonder whether all those depressing beliefs about females being helpless victims were at least exacerbating things.

    • strix (David King)

      The account […] does not align with my experiences

      That’s okay, but you can’t generalise your experience to that of all women. Essentially, you’d be saying that your lived experience is representative of all women’s experience, which is precisely what you’re accusing the author of doing (when, from what I recall of the OP, the author is not saying this).

      Wrt catcalls, as Paul and others observed, there is no doubt that they do happen. How often they happen almost certainly varies by area and individual woman (or man, sometimes!) Those who wish to assign a frequency to the problem need to show evidence.

      may be “Steven’s” perception but it is purely his interpretation of events.

      Personal experience, or “lived experience” if you will, is what it is — an account of subjective experience. That an account could be delusional isn’t particularly important because personal emotion and personal experience is always valid (as opposed to conclusions and behaviours, which are not always valid); it only becomes a problem if the raconteur is trying to require that others do (or not do) something purely on the basis of their own experience, which this author is not.

      We are being asked to allow children as young as 7yrs old to tell us what gender they want to be but those same enablers won’t grant children the right to consent to having sex until the age of 16.

      There’s a good reason for that. Gender identity is an internal thing, involving only the individual in question, who is figuring out who they are relative to everybody else, and testing those ideas in the real world. Sexual intercourse, on the other hand, is an activity that involves two parties, and minors are particularly vulnerable to coersion (especially by an older party) to do things they are not yet ready to do.

      Social Justice Warriors use accounts, like Steven’s, to demand we encourage hormone blocking in children, and early transition surgery, and then decry those who object as moral failures.

      Prepubescent children who think they might be trans have three alternatives open to them: irreversible surgery, irreversible natural development, and reversible hormone blocking. Of the three, hormone blocking is a ‘least worst’ alternative because it is the only one that can be reversed once the child is old enough to know their own mind and identity. Children begin puberty at an increasingly early these days, and hormone blocking buys a little time for the child to gain the maturity to make an informed, permanent decision.

      [Social justice warriors] demand that we interpret normal childhood anxiety about their bodies as a sign that they were born in the wrong body. It is not my job to prove they are wrong, it is their job to prove they are right.

      It sounds to me that you are saying that there shoud not be the option for children, where supported by parents and the appropriate professionals, to take hormone blockers or, IOW, that you wish to impose your views on others.

      Nobody’s saying that you have to accept or even approve of their decisions, nor that you can’t or shouldn’t express your views as to why hormone blocking therapy is wrong but, if that’s accurate, then I rather think that it is up to you to demonstrate why others should be denied the agency to make decisions in respect of their own bodies.

      Personally, I have no way of knowing whether the OP is a work of fiction or is a real account, but I don’t think it particularly matters. That being the case, I’m struggling to see what the problem with OP is.

      As both you and Fredrik said, the debate is worth having anyway. I’m content to give Steven the benefit of the doubt.

    • Jotty

      Just thought I’d chime in and say that I agree with Diana 100%. A few of the assertions in this article — while certainly in the realm of possibility — just don’t pass the smell test. It reads too much like someone who views the world through the warped lens of feminism (which, obviously, is completely possible) where a guy’s field of vision is actually his eye-rape-zone, and any expression of male sexuality whatsoever is threatening and oppressive.

      That said, this particular individual’s personal experiences don’t ultimately change the fact that life sucks in different ways for both men and women. I’ve heard all my life about how difficult women have it as opposed to how easy men do, and at least articles like this attempt to highlight that hey, men don’t actually have everything gifted to them after all.

  • crydiego

    I think Diana expressed an opinion and I agree it was strongly put and maybe a little over the top but that’s what you get here sometimes; from everyone.

  • Duke

    Dianna, i believe you have the right to call “bullshit” if you smell it. I do it all the time!!
    But i try to be a little more subtle at first, and then gauge their defensive actions, then i can totally tell if they are fabricating their story, or telling the truth.
    Saying someones story “smells fishy” is a good first response to a story you feel just isn’t adding up.

  • captive

    I certainly heard that (“Man up” in so many words) from a woman I loved once when I was crying. Not pleasant to have your masculinity directly assaulted by someone you love. I’ve never been a tough guy – don’t hate guys who are either.

    I would never choose to be male if I had a choice in the matter. There’s nothing I find appealing about being male and all privilege seems to reside in being female in culture. If you’re without a father who will give you any sort of advice, you’re totally screwed because you’ll never just figure out the world on your own.

    Good luck to yourself. Glad it’s recognized by someone formerly female that realizes that being a man is hardly what it’s cracked up to be according to most feminist theory. Most of us aren’t CEO’s or Presidents or live our lives without hard labor – and virtually none of us are regarded as important or valuable just on account of existing, as opposed to females.

  • http://magx01.blogspot.ca/ magx01 .

    It’s a potent little phrase, isn’t it? It implies that “if I can be this way you can too” which is clearly fallacious as it ignores past experience, and past experience is a large part of what makes us who we are. It also punishes someone for being human because they are placed in a little box (like a label) and are forced to act as though they were nothing more. Read more on “manning up” here: http://t.co/Huyb0p3QhO

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ David King

      This could be the basis of a decent article here, if you were inclined to submit it here… (See the masthead for where to send it if you would like to.)

      • http://magx01.blogspot.ca/ magx01 .

        I’ll look into the requirements and such and if it could be a fit then I’ll give it a shot, thank you :)