Listen: life isn’t fair. That sucks, but it’s also reality. As an idealist, I’m heavily invested in trying to make life more fair. But the way to do that is to directly engage with reality, not just try to force everyone else in the world to buy into my particular fantasy.
In every society ever known to have existed, gender is attributed based on perceived sex. This also applies to societies with so-called third genders (hijra, two-spirit etc) - because have you ever heard of a female hijra? Of course not! To be a hijra, you have to be male! As in, born with a penis! As in, taller than a person born female, on average. As in, significantly narrower hips than a person born female. As in, lower pitched voice than a person born female. As in, longer bones and larger more muscle mass than a person born female. None of these things are “socially constructed” - they are biological facts! And every person ever born uses all of these facts every day to determine the sex of the people we interact with. Including you!
In cultures where people are frequently naked, sex is immediately obvious to everyone. In times/cultures when people have worn a lot of clothes (think US and Europe in the 1890’s) it was easier to disguise your sex. Why do you think so many women lived their lives as men in the late 19th/early 20th century? Because living as a woman meant a choice between poverty or being a man’s servant, and it was easy enough to disguise your sex through the clothing of the time that it was possible to cross-live! So lets be real: how many “passing women” have there been in Kenya, would you say?
This issue about the cost of transition has been a persistent complaint for a few decades now, but it really doesn’t make any sense. Very few males are able to consistently pass as female without hormonal and surgical intervention. And even with many thousands of dollars in hormonal and surgical interventions, many trans women will never consistently pass as female. This is just reality and every trans woman knows it. This is why coverage for “trans healthcare” isn’t actually a solution to many trans women’s problems: because even with these interventions, they are still going to stick out. Taking hormones and getting surgeries doesn’t make a trans woman either female or a woman. Nothing will ever make us female, and the only thing that can make us women is if we are perceived to be female. Hormones and surgery can help make this perception happen for some of us, but it doesn’t work for all of us, it may only work for a period of our lives, and no matter what there is no guarantee.
I am a trans woman, and I hate this because it feels so unfair! Believe me! But the fact that this feels unfair does not make males look like females. I mean, really? Talk about a non sequitur. Do these doorstops make your penis look like a vagina? Really??? It is an inescapable fact that nobody is going to mistake a male for a female unless that person ~wait for it~ looks female. So the whole trans project of trying to force other people to perceive things for what they are not is a delusional, childish farce. Like, exact enactment of “Emperor’s new clothes”. It is exactly the height of male foolishness and delusion!
In saying this, I’m not “throwing my trans sisters who can’t pass under the bus”, or any bullshit like that. They are male but they feel other than men; I am male and I feel other than a man. We have this very essential, deep thing in common! But this internal feeling we share doesn’t change the fact that some of my “sisters” look unambiguously male and always will. And even more importantly, it doesn’t change the fact that some of my “sisters” think, speak, and behave exactly like men. I have the right to acknowledge reality, and that trumps the narcissistic injury to their deluded self-perception. The way to heal from deluded self-perception is to learn to accept and embrace reality, not force others to cater to your crazy bullshit.
If “wishing something” made it true, the world would be a completely different place. Maybe better, maybe worse. But if you think we actually live in a world where wishing alone changes reality, you need to grow the fuck up. You seem like a decent person so I’m not saying this out of hate or anger, but out of genuine concern. The way forward for all trans women is to create cultural space which allows and celebrates gender non-conformity in males. The fact that some trans women pass as female is a side-effect of the gender straightjacket, and it is absurd that we can legislate people’s perception of sex. We need a program that works to liberate everyone from sex role stereotypes - which is not feminism, but is directly compatible with feminism. That’s the kind of “trans feminism” I can get behind - not this cotton ceiling, female penis bullshit.
Happy Halloween, and best wishes.