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born in the wrong body...a question about transgenderism

(150 Posts)
HarveySpectre Tue 19-May-15 21:35:34

i started this in chat, but no-one replied.

Ive always taken 'born in the wrong body' to be a description of how transgendered people feel.

but ive heard and read it so many times, I am doubting my assumption

is it meant TG people believe themselves to actually have been born into the wong body??

and if so, how so?

TiggyD Tue 19-May-15 22:33:01

Why not go to a site with trans people on and ask some of them instead of somewhere where half the people don't believe transgenderism even exists?

LassUnparalleled Wed 20-May-15 00:36:22

The thread you are referring to runs to almost 900 posts and includes direct experiences from transgender people.

I'm not sure if there is any practical distinction between the 2 view points .

I've always been a girl and a woman. I like being female. I don't feel I'm hard done by or oppressed or been unable to do what I want because I'm female. I prefer feminine clothes, always have done. I can't imagine not wanting to be a woman. I can't begin to imagine wanting to be a man.

I don't usually subscribe to the view one can't have an opinion on a subject without having experience of it, but I think I have to make an exception here.

Clearly many people do feel like they are in the wrong body whether literally or metaphorically. I don't understand it and don't think I have anything useful to add.

LassUnparalleled Wed 20-May-15 00:59:36

Oh I meant to ask OP on that thread you mentioned you object to sharing a toilet at work with mtf transgendered people and avoid using the toilets at the same time as transgendered colleagues.

Why? That thread dealt with possible dangers in public spaces of mtf with ulterior motives - what dangers exist in an office /work space?

HarveySpectre Wed 20-May-15 06:51:54

I haven't referred to any thread. I am on a thread in chat

Why didnt you ask that question of me on the relevant thread?

I do have a very specific reason, personally for not wanting to share toilets with men. But its not relevant. Individual women should not be called out to justify why they feel uncomfortable. It doesn't matter if there is no good reason, at all

In my last work place. I worked with a man for 7 years. He was an odd bloke, none of the women in the office liked talking to him as he always stared at your tits. One Friday whilst he wasn't un, there was an announcement by HR that he was changing gender. On the Monday he came in and we had to call him by a different name. He looks exactly the same except he wore a frock and feminine shoes and eye shadow! The mtf I work with now ive always known as such, but they all look like men

TheCowThatLaughs Wed 20-May-15 07:00:07

TiggyD perhaps you could link to a satisfactory explanation of "feeling like a woman"? That you'll be really helpful because I've googled quite a few times in the past and never found one.
It's also a question that's been asked of mtf posters on mn and again never really been answered afaik, so would be great if you could help us out smile

HarveySpectre Wed 20-May-15 07:01:14

The question I was asking with this thread is whether being born in the wrong body is a metaphorical or literal description.

If it is literal, then I am imagining that you would need to have some religious belief to start with.

I have a physical deformity which limits mobility and is painful more often than it isn't. So I get being uncomfortable/disconnected from your body. And I understand being angry with your body. I struggle to believe that we are entities independent of our physical bodies

RolodexOfHate Wed 20-May-15 07:07:46

Transgender women are women too. A woman shouldn't have to justify herself using a toilet to you. She also shouldn't have to justify or explain what makes her feel like a woman.

I have never heard a convincing explanation of what it means to be a woman that is felt universally across womankind, beyond the simple fact of 'identifying as a woman'.

As for 'looking like a woman', I really feel that we'll start having to kick catwalk models and boy band members out of toilets too. They all look pretty androgynous to me. The only difference is that you don't question their gender identities because you see biological sex as the defining factor.

stinkingbishop Wed 20-May-15 07:10:15

My mtf DD put it starkly to me; imagine I woke up one morning and I'd had a willy stitched onto me. How would I feel? All levels of wrongness. She says she feels all levels of wrongness. I think the difference, strictly speaking, is between gender and sex. Sex is, biologically, what the chromosomes decided to do with the genitals at 8 weeks as a foetus; gender is an identity, a construct, and is what your brain and society think you are. No, there's no entity separate from our physical body. Our mind is what our brain does. But a cocktail of neurotransmitters and hormones et al can - and in my DD's case do - cause a discrepancy between sex and gender.

That's how I've explained it to myself anyway!

TheCowThatLaughs Wed 20-May-15 07:12:00

I don't "identify as a woman"
I am a woman, due to being born female.
Yes exactly: there is no universal "feeling like a woman" for women, so how do these men know that they feel like a woman?

HarveySpectre Wed 20-May-15 07:12:45

Our biology makes us women.

HarveySpectre Wed 20-May-15 07:18:54

rolo but toilets are segregated on the basis of sex not gender.

Gender is a relatively recent construct. Segregation was happening long before

TheBlackRider Wed 20-May-15 07:27:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChunkyPickle Wed 20-May-15 08:38:54

I'm not sure we'll discover more on this thread than the last, but I'm a woman and was a girl because when I was born I had a vagina.

If I woke up tomorrow and had a penis it wouldn't greatly bother me (growing and ejecting 2 children was a huge enough change to my body that I'm pretty confident about that - the magic by which I got that penis aside)

I'm just me, my genitals are neither here nor there - even though society tries to tell me otherwise.

Many people have posted on the threads who feel like this, but perhaps we are the odd ones. Perhaps other people can point to a feeling on gender in them that I don't have.

I don't think my kids have it either - although they are young, they just don't seem to have strong ties to their gender, and don't seem to care.

ApocalypseThen Wed 20-May-15 08:45:26

What does being a woman even feel like?

Well one thing appears to be definite, that's too important a question to be left to those born female to define.

sanfairyanne Wed 20-May-15 09:00:38

when i was young i was quite ill. i used to have 'out of body' experiences where i felt entirely detached from my body. i sometimes wonder if it is a bit like that?

HarveySpectre Wed 20-May-15 09:12:30

sanfairy maybe. Its a huge jump Imo though to then think you, or a person, has been deposited in the wrong vessel.

Is it to be believed that humans exist in 'soul' form, before they are born into a babies body?

SweetAndFullOfGrace Wed 20-May-15 09:25:45

Transgender women are women too

Here is the problem. "Woman" means (to me, and many other people) having female biology ie being born with a uterus, vagina etc.

Having female biology and identifying psychologically as female are two distinct things, but I do also believe that being born with female biology sets you up for certain social conditioning and life experiences that are not the same as the life experiences of someone born with a penis, no matter how much they don't feel that they should have that penis.

And I really don't think someone who is mtf transgender can claim to have a life experience that is female, so from my perspective they don't get to declare they are the same as a person born a woman. That takes something away from women, as many previous threads have pointed out - it can dilute the discussion about women's issues in ways that are not just inconvenient but sometimes actively dangerous for women.

Someone who feels they were born into the wrong body may not be male, but that doesn't make them female. I think the duality that society insists on in terms of gender is a major part of the problem here. I don't see why we can't have a middle ground that isn't male or female?

sanfairyanne Wed 20-May-15 09:26:13

yes, i really dont know

i do know i spent years being pissed off i was female, but that is because of millenia of discrimination and ridiculous stereotypes of what 'being a woman' means. but thats a different story

HarveySpectre Wed 20-May-15 09:37:26

If it is meant literally, then it puts transgenderism in the realms of religious doctrine; requiring faith where there is no logic or evidence

FloraFox Wed 20-May-15 09:56:13

Harvey transgenderism is a matter of faith. There is no logic or scientific basis for it.

I have never heard a convincing explanation of what it means to be a woman that is felt universally across womankind, beyond the simple fact of 'identifying as a woman'.

This is nonsense. I assume you're referring to intersex people but the existence of intersex does not negate the fact that humans are sexually dimorphic any more than a person born with one leg negates that humans are bipedal.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 20-May-15 10:58:37

Think we've read the same set of blog posts Flora.

I really liked them, felt they explained this in a way I really 'got' , fairly sensitively as well.

RolodexOfHate Wed 20-May-15 12:00:49

toilets are segregated on the basis of sex not gender I don't think that this is true. I think that some people here would also see a problem with a post-op transgender woman using the toilets, who is effectively a woman in sex as well as gender.

I don't see why we can't have a middle ground that isn't male or female? To me, this really sounds like a 'separate but equal' argument, which we wouldn't advocate in any other circumstances. What makes it appropriate here?

This is nonsense. I assume you're referring to intersex people but the existence of intersex does not negate the fact that humans are sexually dimorphic Humans are definitely sexually dimorphic, so not everyone is a female. But we are certainly not gender dimorphic, so not everyone is definitely a man or definitely a woman.

I think the important thing here is that your own personal experience can definitely not be applied to the rest of the world. Some branches of feminism are so fabulous at accepting that white women are oppressed, but also oppressive to black women. Why can many people not make the step to accepting that cis women are oppressed, and may oppress transgender women?

YDdraigGoch Wed 20-May-15 12:05:21

Transgender women are women too.

that depends on whether your POV is that gender is a mental thing or a physical thing.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 20-May-15 12:07:33

Or whether you are using 'woman' as a biological descriptor.

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