i don't know what women are. do any of you?

(144 Posts)
chibi Sat 15-Jun-13 15:26:54

i am asking honestly. womanness is not a consequence of chromosomes or external morphology. it is about feeling you are a woman.

i don't feel like a woman. i don't even know what that would feel like.

everyone i have spoken with has assumed i am a woman, and i have done things some people associate with women like menstruating, being pregnant etc.

i used to think that because of my external morphology and the whole giving birth thing, and people's assumptions and my upbringing that i was a woman but now i am not sure.

if you are whichever gender you identify with and feel you are, and i don't feel like a woman, (i don't know even how they feel) but am i one because i also don't feel like anything else?

chibi Sat 15-Jun-13 16:27:22

i am not goadibg anyone,i am asking in good faith

i am asking here because i feel uncomfortable asking people i know in real life if they feel like the have a gender because i don't and i have been wondering for a while and feel a bit disturbed by it

i am happy for anyone to idetify as they wish

itbis because i don't seem to identify (but go with the flow of other people's assumptions) that i asked- i wanted to know if this is normal

i guess i am afreak and i am sorry and will ask for this to be deleted

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 15-Jun-13 16:28:32

I've got nothing to add so far, but am really enjoying the way this discussion is going so far.

I think it is interesting in other societies where they have third (or more) genders, I.e hijras in Pakistan or where people can choose to be seen as another gender, like the Sworn Virgins of Albania who took a vow and dressed and were treated as men.

chibi Sat 15-Jun-13 16:29:53

i feel really shitty now, i hope my stupid questions haven't been hurtful

honestly i just wanted to know if there was anyone else like me

sad

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Jun-13 16:30:25

Chibi, you are not a freak. You are you. You don't need to get this deleted because one poster has been rude about your post - it has opened up an interesting line of thought for the rest of us.

Thistledew Sat 15-Jun-13 16:32:34

I dream very vividly and very lucidly, and remember my dreams very clearly. On several occasions I have dreamt that I was a man - including having a functioning penis (yes, the dreams may have involved sex at some point blush). In these dreams I have behaved in ways that I would not do in normal life - slightly differently from my normal personality- but I have no sense at all of 'feeling like a man' in the dream. I acknowledged that I was a man, but didn't 'feel' any differently than how I do when I am dreaming in my actual persona. I certainly didn't feel any discomfort or revulsion at having male genitalia. This probably proves absolutely nothing at all, but like the OP, means I really struggle to understand how you can 'feel' like a woman or a man.

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Jun-13 16:34:18

YY, GoshAnne - and the Fa'afafine of Samoa, boys who are brought up as girls and are seen as a third gender.

chibi Sat 15-Jun-13 16:34:25

well, i already have reported. i have never spoken about this in real life and there is no bloody way i would now!

Did you look up genderqueer/non-binary? Did that fit with how you feel?

Well if this isn't a thinly veiled anti trans post then I apologise.

But that's what it reads as, the whole 'I don't feel like a woman despite being one so perhaps I'm not' is very standard anti trans rhetoric.

Especially what with it being in FWR.

If you've got most of the relevant body parts and live as a woman and have had children etc then it's fairly safe to assume you are a woman. Hth.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 15-Jun-13 16:37:48

My initial thought was that of EleanorHandbasket - which I think is fair enough as there have been many bunfights discussions on that area. However it is good that you have clarified and I think MN should keep it, it's interesting.

chibi Sat 15-Jun-13 16:39:25

not really- the website i found seemed to imply that these are people whi have a definite identity (ie they know they are men or women, or men sometimes and women others) or that that do things/behave in ways that do not conform to gender expectations

i don't feel an identity one way or another, and do some gender appropriate things but not others

FuturePerfect Sat 15-Jun-13 16:39:48

Not finding it goady OP. You don't sound confused or conflicted, just that you see the gap between being the individual you are, and belonging to a social construct of 'woman'? I know that, when I am left to my own devices, I feel I am inside my head looking out. But when I am dealing with other people, I am more conscious of myself from the outside - from their viewpoint - so as 'a woman' and all that that entails. Don't know if many men feel this? They may well do.

I suspect there are lots of people who don't strongly identify with their socially-ascribed gender, and don't hate the thought of being the opposite sex. Gender is made into a much bigger thing than it would probably be if not for the weight of history and tradition.

chibi Sat 15-Jun-13 16:42:11

no, it is not safe to assume i am a woman just because i have certain reproductive organs and have had children. that would mean that if i were childfree and had a hysterectomy/ooectomy/mastectomy i would stop being a woman and that is ridiculous and offensive

i posted here instead of chat because i figured i was less likely to get 'have a vagina, you are a woman simples' level of discourse

chibi Sat 15-Jun-13 16:45:17

if i woke up tomorrow with a 'male' body once i got over the initial shock of htf did that happen i don't think i would feel bothered and could go the rest of my life in that body without feeling like a horrible mistake had been made, or longing for my old 'female' body

having said that i have no desire to present as or be percieved as a man

kim147 Sat 15-Jun-13 16:46:41

Male bodies aren't all they're cracked up to be.

TheYamiOfYawn Sat 15-Jun-13 16:46:42

I don't go around feeling womanly all day, or anything like that, although I get biologically influenced woman-feelings such as PMS, the desire to bear a child, breastfeed etc. There are things that annoy me about being perceived as a woman, but those tend to be due to prejudiced about what women are like rather than because the idea of being a woman is alien to me. My trans friends mostly talk about a huge feeling if wrongness about the make/femaleness of their body rather than the per options that go along with that, and they don't really behave vastly differently since they transitioned in any significant way. So to me, feeling like a woman means nit really having to think about it all that much because it's a label that feels fairly accurate.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 15-Jun-13 16:47:13

I feel like a woman.

I can't put my finger on why. I don't have children yet, so I haven't done pregnancy or birth or breastfeeding. My periods are medically stopped, so I pretty much do nothing biologically that a woman does... But I do feel like one.

It just feels like an awareness, I think. I am aware that I am a woman. I don't know where it came from or when but I can't remember ever not having it.

I don't know if that helps you, OP.

Vegehamwidge Sat 15-Jun-13 16:47:38

Please don't feel like a freak OP.
I don't think people generally go around "feeling" like women or men do they (just know logically what they are) unless it's brought to their attention in a social setting, they're thinking about the ways they fit into their gender role or when thinking about their bodies? I could be wrong of course.

The third gender stuff...it isn't a third gender really is it, if you just allow some people to perform the opposite gender role. It's not a seperate category with different rules than men and women.

Thistledew Sat 15-Jun-13 16:50:40

I think it is unfortunate and slightly dangerous that anyone (and especially women) have to be so cautious in the way that they explore and ask questions about how they fit in with normalised categorised expectations of gender.

Yes, it is important to be aware of one's own privilege - in this case that you were born with a sexual morphology that you content with, but in this case the minority interest does have the protection of and recognition in law - i.e. the Transgender position that you are what you feel is protected by gender recognition laws.

There should be room for anyone to say "this definition does not fit with how I feel about my own gender, and I feel it undermines it". Provided that the discussion is developed in a spirit of enquiry, and respect that other people might have different views, it is hugely important that it should be allowed to happen without the OP feeling criticised, or that she should give greater precedence to the feelings of others over her own experiences and feelings.

chibi Sat 15-Jun-13 16:52:24

i was just now thinking i would be probably as weirded out by waking up in a different 'female' body as a 'male' one

i do have some identities- i feel my ethnicity for example, and not because i don't feel french or maori etc etc, it is a positive identification

this one is a total construct tho,my cousin is adopted and he identifies with the same culture and ethnicity as me

Vegehamwidge Sat 15-Jun-13 16:52:39

That's also how I feel FuturePerfect

Blistory Sat 15-Jun-13 16:54:10

I am a woman. I feel female. I have no idea how much of it is biological, gender or simply perception.

Neither my biological sex nor my gender cause me any distress possibly because they match in the way that society expects. It must be difficult to be in a different position.

Is it something that causes you distress and that you need to resolve ?

chibi Sat 15-Jun-13 16:54:53

that is very interesting, caja

i wonder what that is like

No, you are being ridiculous and offensive by suggesting that's what I meant.

Do I believe people can be whichever gender they choose? No. Do I think trans people should be forced to live a miserable life in the body/gender they believe is wrong? Also no.

Do I think feminism benefits from this constant sniping about born women and trans women and blah blah blah? No. Not in the slightest.

As I said, live and let live fgs.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now