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Am I wrong with my views on transgender? Prepared to get flamed.

(63 Posts)
MACaddict5 Fri 03-Mar-17 10:31:43

I'll start by explaining that I have the utmost sympathy for those who are transitioning and who have had to transition as I can't even begin to imagine how truly difficult that journey would be.

I have often wondered what brings a person to that point of feeling that changing their physical anatomy will give them peace and allow them to be their true self.

I can imagine that growing up and being pigeon holed into wearing blue, playing with trucks, wearing "boys clothes" etc but feeling like you are more drawn to the "girl things". Feeling like society expects you to be a certain person just because you have male or female genitalia and feeling as though you're living a lie as a result of that.

Would it not be true to say that the physical anatomy is not necessarily the problem, but that it's how society has certain expectations of people based on whether they are male or female. That people from a young age feel that pressure to conform to certain gender roles and so, when they no longer want to live this lie, they feel the need to transition. Why does being physically male or female have to dictate anything about our lives? It strikes me that the problem is societies expectations of people based on their sex, rather than that individuals anatomy being "wrong" that is the problem.

I have nothing but compassion and love for those dealing with these issues. I just wish their was a way that we could become a society where we accept everyone as individuals rather and I wonder if I society like that would result in less people feeling the need to have such drastic surgery which must be such a difficult process.

Iwantausername Fri 03-Mar-17 10:37:36

I think you've wonkily hit the nail on the head.
From my experience anyway. But I do know some people look down at their genitals and think ''well that shouldn't be there'' and feel disgusted by it etc.
I think its too complex to nail down as such, But I do think you're partially right.

VestalVirgin Fri 03-Mar-17 11:15:47

Would it not be true to say that the physical anatomy is not necessarily the problem, but that it's how society has certain expectations of people based on whether they are male or female. That people from a young age feel that pressure to conform to certain gender roles and so, when they no longer want to live this lie, they feel the need to transition. Why does being physically male or female have to dictate anything about our lives? It strikes me that the problem is societies expectations of people based on their sex, rather than that individuals anatomy being "wrong" that is the problem.

That certainly is the problem for most, if not all transgender individuals. Many of the children who are transed would have grown up to be, or already know they are lesbian or gay.
Some are simply girls who don't want to be treated as subhuman fucktoilets.

It used to be called "transsexual" and it used to be generally accepted that only having a problem with your genitalia as such made you trans. (Back then, most transitioners seem to have been male, girls apparently found other ways of coping with the self-hate and hate of their own bodys that patriarchy instills in them.)

But now it is called "transgender" and "gender" is indeed the main criterion.
And "gender" is indeed about "girl things" and "boy things".

Pretty sure there's also statistics that show that the more homophobic / sexist a society is, the more trans people there will be.

shovetheholly Fri 03-Mar-17 11:23:12

I think the problem lies in assuming that there is some kind of opposition between two things: the idea that socially constructed gender roles are problematic and the idea that some people need to change their anatomy in order to feel whole in some way. To oppose those things transforms anatomical change into some kind of complicity with the patriarchal order, when in fact it is usually anything but. It also tends to see anatomy in a kind of essentialist, identitarian light - a view that, I think, feminists like Judith Butler and Donna Haraway have done much to problematise. smile

VestalVirgin Fri 03-Mar-17 11:27:25

to oppose those things transforms anatomical change into some kind of complicity with the patriarchal order, when in fact it is usually anything but.

Uh ... what?
Are you talking about "gender reassignment surgery" when you write "anatomical change"?

That is very, very, very much complicit with the patriarchal order. Homosexuals in Iran are ordered by the government to let their bodies be surgically altered (and sterilised) or else they face death sentence.

MACaddict5 Fri 03-Mar-17 11:36:46

All I'll say it, you guys are far more intelligent than me. I'm now totally lost confused lol.

TheTartOfAsgard Fri 03-Mar-17 11:38:03

Sorry to butt in, but going back to what @vestalvirgin said, does that mean that being transsexual and being transgender are two separate things?

My dd has two friends who identify as the opposite gender. The biological male is starting the journey to become a woman and will go through a surgical sex change, whereas the biological girl doesn't want a sex change. Are they two separate disorders?

Sorry if wrong terminology used.

Vegansnake Fri 03-Mar-17 11:50:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shovetheholly Fri 03-Mar-17 11:51:54

Vestal - You're right, like most things, it depends on context and the political regime is a huge part of that. Of course, in some cases, surgery can be part of a hideously and explicitly repressive regime. In others, it can be part of an internalised repressive regime in a more liberal society. In others still, however, I would argue that it can be a liberated and liberating choice. I am sure we would all agree that the first of these is oppressive and morally repugnant. What I am suggesting is that we cannot reduce all cases of the third to the second.

RedAndYellowPeppers Fri 03-Mar-17 11:56:05

Many of the children who are transed would have grown up to be, or already know they are lesbian or gay

That with bells on. And there is clearly a huge pressure on gay/lesbian teenagers now to be trans instead sad

And YY the fact that the society has become more and more polarised in terms of gender.

RedAndYellowPeppers Fri 03-Mar-17 11:58:13

Vestal yes I have been thinking about Iran too.
There you can't be gay but you can be trans. Cue for lots of people to get surgery an end up working as prostitute with a very high level of suicide

may2017ttc Fri 03-Mar-17 11:58:57

Just popping in as a trans person- hi!
It is different for everyone. The feeling of 'being trans' is different for every single trans person. Of course there are things that connect each together but every trans person experiences it differently. It is also pretty much impossible to explain WHY we're trans, we just are.

ExitPursuedBySpartacus Fri 03-Mar-17 11:59:23

Well I think you have hit the nail perfectly on the head OP. Not wonkily at all.

may2017ttc Fri 03-Mar-17 12:01:04

And hahahaha no there is no 'pressure' to be trans over being gay or bisexual. It's more that because trans folk are becoming more 'known', I guess, that people who would have identified as gay or bisexual due to feeling so lost and not knowing that trans is a thing, know what it is and know that it fits them better than gay or bisexual. I mean, being gay or bisexual are completely different from being trans anyway. I am both trans AND bisexual, the two are separate.

Londonsburningahhhh Fri 03-Mar-17 12:06:27

I asked my daughter does she know of any children in her school who are female and want to be male or male and want to be female she said "No". I don't think its as common as what people think it is. It is a lot of pressure to put on youngsters. I have heard a lot of adults regretting their decision to make the change at such a young age.

HuckleberryGin Fri 03-Mar-17 12:06:41

vegansnake but she will never be male, no matter what surgery she has. There are a studies that show that treatment for body dismorphia results in much better results in terms of wellbeing, than surgery. You can't be in the wrong body. You are in the body you are born in. I can't feel like I should be black or Asian. I will always be White Caucasian, no matter what I do to change my skin tone. I am what I am base don my DNA. I can't be male anymore than I can be a cat.

Klaphat Fri 03-Mar-17 12:06:52

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

VestalVirgin Fri 03-Mar-17 12:06:59

Sorry to butt in, but going back to what *@vestalvirgin said, does that mean that being transsexual and being transgender are two separate things?*

I think transgender is now just being considered the new, more politically correct term, but there is in fact a variety of disorders under the trans umbrella. All thrown together by the dominant narrative.

There's girls who simply do not want to be women under patriarchy - and who could blame them?

There's young lesbians and gays who have internalised homophobia and think they must be the opposite sex therefore.

And then there's adult males who find the idea of themselves as women sexually arousing. (Autogynephiles)

And then there's the group that I think used to be the one called transsexuals: People who feel their genitalia are wrong.
This is probably similar to other disorders that make people think that their arm or leg does not belong to their body. Those disorders are rare enough that most have probably not heard of them.

There is overlap - many of the girls who want to identify out of femaleness feel "dysphoria", i.e. that their breasts do not belong to them, that their genitals should be different, etc. (and no doubt, many a woman has felt similar as teenager) - but there are also "transmen" who are content to identify as male but happily use their female bodies to get pregnant and have babies.

It is obvious that there is a very big difference between a male who had surgery because he was always uncomfortable with his male genitals, and a male who claims that his penis is female and he should therefore be allowed to wave it around in the women's changing rooms.

However, under the new laws, they are both the same.

Klaphat Fri 03-Mar-17 12:08:27

Majestic* obviously. Forgot how to spell while fighting the results of my dodgy phone typing.

morningconstitutional2017 Fri 03-Mar-17 12:09:07

There's always been this need to label people into either male or female. Stereotyping these days tends to be extreme. One of my childhood friends enjoyed climbing trees and was called a tomboy - it didn't follow that she wanted to change sex. Some men are a bit camp without being either gay or feeling they would prefer to be a woman.
People who transition tend to feel disgust at what nature gave them and feel strongly that they are in the wrong body which must be very distressing indeed. Taking hormones and then having surgery is a choice that can be made and at least it is safer now. Hopefully we can be better informed and more understanding than in the old days.

Vegansnake Fri 03-Mar-17 12:10:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VestalVirgin Fri 03-Mar-17 12:10:52

Ah, forgot to mention that:

I think that the change from transsexual to transgender is symbolic.

While it is not possible to actually change sex, the sex part of transsexual implies that the person has dysphoria about their sex organs.

Whereas transgender seems to be mostly about discomfort with one's gender role ... which in the most harmless form results in girls using male pronouns for themselves and fooling themselves into believing that they get to opt out of being oppressed under patriarchy, but in the worst case leads to people disfiguring their bodies to fit the gender role they would like to perform.

VestalVirgin Fri 03-Mar-17 12:13:42

Vegansnake, I recommend this site for the parents of trans-identified children: 4thwavenow.com/

Vegansnake Fri 03-Mar-17 12:19:34

Vestal thankyou,sorry I've asked for my posted to be deleted.its to identifying .sorry,I shouldn't of put it

juneau Fri 03-Mar-17 12:19:48

Yes, I think you're right. I was talking to a retired doctor about this recently and he said, in his 50 years of doctoring, that he met a tiny number of people he believed to be trans. The vast majority were either gay (and struggling to come to terms with that), transvestite, or didn't feel that they fit the traditional view of what a man or a woman is. His opinion is that all this trans stuff in the news and how it's become almost mainstream will encourage or even force many people to undergo a formal gender reassignment who should just be allowed to live as they want. After all, we don't go around with our genitalia on display - so who cares what's in someone else's pants?

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