although it's only my imagination ;.;

A proper addition to the #BeThe5thChallenge

I guess this post is about the way that disagreements between trans and cis ppl on this site, like so many disagreements, are based in egocentricism and people arguing about different issues in the same conversation. (although, tbh, cis ppl who can’t get out of their own heads long enough to acknowledge that the costs of being trans obviously outweigh the benefits kind of definitely need to shut the fuck up)

It seems like it’s really difficult for some people to realise that other people’s problems are maybe, um, larger than yours. Not that it’s a competition, not that it’s uniform across all axes, but mental health and poverty statistics do kind of prove that certain people in certain demographics are more disposed towards being more deeply effected by societal inequality.

I’m fully capable of realising that issues with gender as it intersects with misogyny and sexism (at least here in the first world) are nothing compared to violence against trans ppl and the omnipresence of having your personal identity and bodily autonomy consistently denied.

But, mmm, I also know I’m not the only cis woman that spent part of her childhood fantasising about being a boy, or at the very least fantasising that people would STOP pointing out I was a girl. Which seemed to happen a lot whenever they wanted to dismiss my opinion or control my actions or tell me that my hobbies and behaviour were weird or inappropriate according to gender norms. I have never, ever wanted people to ID me as a woman - why would I desire for people to pay me a privilege that they pay me all the time without my input - while I have on many occasions desired for people to ID me as a man when sexism made being ID-ed as a woman undesirable.

So, mmm, of course it’s maybe easy for me to think I understand what transmen are thinking - even when I don’t. I also wanted to escape femininity, to have people identify me as a man - ignoring that wanting people to identify you for who you are, versus who you are not, are completely different experiences.

I can probably understand why cismen sometimes want to be ID-ed as woman too. Although sexism might not effect men societally on the same level that it effects woman, I can understand how being aligned with traditional masculinity comes with a lot of expectations that somebody might want to periodically escape.

But when a transwoman asks me to imagine what it would have been like to have my womanhood never acknowledged, my first instinct is just to go ‘hallelujah. it’s all my childhood dreams come true~’ to this day, i’m not really sure: if i could get away with people thinking i was a man (without putting in a huge amount of work to make that happen) why wouldn’t i? those mental health statistics might make me pause. but i don’t know. i can’t know.

idk, what even is being a woman? the only answer i’ve ever come up with is that being a woman is the shared experience of a periodic desire to escape being a woman. But it seems increasingly that this definition might not be broad enough.