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Misgendered trans people doth protest too much

(51 Posts)
joystir59 Fri 10-Mar-17 09:38:17

Just that really- as a short grey haired lesbian I sometimes get called sir. Does it send me screaming abuse at the perpetrator as if they have committed a major crime and I am mortally offended? Nope. Because I know what I am. So its water off a lesbian's back. Trans people scream blue murder because basically they are living a lie and cant stand being reminded of what they really are- men pretending to be women. What do others think?

Datun Fri 10-Mar-17 09:48:38

Actually, I do think it goes right to the very heart of their pain. I don't think it's an act to garner sympathy, I think the reaction is genuine.

Having said that, if misgendering someone can send them into a tizzy of suicidal frenzy, then they need immediate psychiatric treatment.

It is remarkable how other people have simply accepted that calling someone by the wrong pronoun is absolutely heinous without wondering why.

It's one thing to be polite and kind, which we will all do. But the flipside is not bad manners and and unkindness, it's 'literal violence'.

A huge overreaction from a narcissistic personality and an incredible fragile sense of self. I can be kind, yes but if I don't want to be kind, it doesn't mean I'm actually killing you.

Actual reality vs your reality.

CoolJazz Fri 10-Mar-17 09:50:46

I agree, but I guess people calling you 'sir' don't know you are a lesbian?

I don't think many adult women can pass for a man, but obvioulsy a quick glance and the short grey can indicate male, I bet with a proper second look they'd know you were a ladee though.

Very very occaisionally I see an androgynous youth who I can't tell whether male or female, but even then I probably know whihc way I'd guess if pushed.

What is it that gives sex away even when androgynous and youthful?

FishInAWetSuitAndFlippers Fri 10-Mar-17 09:59:58

I think you have a very simplistic view.

You are comfortable with who you are so it doesn't matter to you.

A person who is genuinely struggling with their emotions, body, how the world perceives them etc won't be quite so self assured and it can be very painful for them (of course there are some people who just like attention and complaining too).

There is a lot to debate on the whole transgender issue, there are a lot of wrongs that need to be made right, I, personally, have no issue with calling someone by their preferred pronoun out of basic human decency really. Other things are much higher up on the agenda for me.

joystir59 Fri 10-Mar-17 10:00:59

CoolJAzz My point is that being misgendered is only painful because it hits on the truth for the person being misgendered. If I am misgendered I couldn't care less because I am a woman, always will be and being called male isn't a big deal- it doesn't threaten my sense of self; but when a MTT trans person is called male (which is what they are and have been justly recognised as) they cant stand it because it cuts to the painful truth, which they are trying to avoid/evade.

joystir59 Fri 10-Mar-17 10:04:17

And yes, CoolJazz I am sure it is lcaer to 99% of observers that I am female, and even the other 1% who see my short grey hair and associate it with maleness, will usually loo twice and apologise. I find the mistake very slightly amusing.

CoolJazz Fri 10-Mar-17 10:07:54

Yes I agree Joysstir it hits the raw nerve of the cognitive dissonanace, that they are trying hard to mask with their 'identity'.

Which I'm sure is pyschology painful, but their psychological issues are theirs to be addressed, and they should be offered support with that.

I would never deliberately hurt someone in this way, but when a reality needs to be stated this must come above their 'feelings' in those debates.

In everyday life I would hope we are all kind and considerate and do not seek to embarrass or shame people, and they reciprocate in kind.

TiggyD Fri 10-Mar-17 10:14:13

It's not the same as confusing you with a man. It's more like saying to you that there is no such thing as a lesbian, several times in a sentence.

Take the typical office sentence "See him over there? He forgot his pass." If said about a trans woman that's 3 times the existence of one of the most important features of their life has casually been denied. But carry on OP. Tell trans people they should get over what they say offends them. Then tell the disabled, jewish, gay and bi, and black people the same.

AmIEgo Fri 10-Mar-17 10:19:39

What is it that gives sex away even when androgynous and youthful?
Jawline
Brow
Shoulders
Voice
Waist and hips
Gait
Feet
Expansion to fill up space, vs shrinking to take up as little space as possible
Caricatured poses and movements
A sense of artifice through props like makeup and hair

A million different 'tells' and usually only one is enough for our brains to decode the person before us.

I once was in a pilates class with a woman who was of considerable stature and build and I wasn't sure. In the communal changing room later, I realised part of her ambiguity was caused by her wig. It wasn't so much that she was very tall and muscular, it was that my brain was connecting her unusual build AND fake hair to the perception of 'fake femininity".

In much the same way, an excess of makeup on a woman to me starts to push the wearer towards looking masculine, not feminine, because they start to look drag-like.

When you strip people of artifice (hairstyles, gendered clothes, makeup) their sex is obvious.

I think men are not as good at IDing the sexes as women, and I suspect that may be because women know too well the artifice of makeup and how we change with it, and more, we learn the importance of distinguishing men from women through our lives - for our own self preservation. Men do not find themselves thinking "Who is walking behind me, man or woman, am I safe, how do I turn around to check without arousing suspicion, the quickest of glances should do it..." with the same regularity as women. We NEED to see the men. I suspect men might walk amongst others with all people as general background noise until there is a particular reason to need to identify a woman. And I suspect the artifice fools them more than it fools us, because their lives don't depend on seeing past it to correctly clock the sex.

<disclaimer: I just made all that up, though>

AmIEgo Fri 10-Mar-17 10:24:42

Bullshit, TiggyD

Pronouns are for the sexes. If a trans person's wellbeing depends upon me literally lying to pretend that he and I are the same sex, then I reserve my right not to lie ABOUT MYSELF.

Trans people exist, like religious people exist.
I reject the claim that trans women make, which is that they are female like me inside, just as I reject the claim that religious people make that their particular god is the one route to heaven or whatever.

I can acknowledge a person exists without them forcing me to submit to their belief which I do not share.

THAT is tolerance.

2014newme Fri 10-Mar-17 10:34:19

Agree. It's attention seeking behaviour and best ignored. The trend for deciding you are a different gender will soon pass.

ArcheryAnnie Fri 10-Mar-17 10:40:54

Take the typical office sentence "See him over there? He forgot his pass." If said about a trans woman that's 3 times the existence of one of the most important features of their life has casually been denied. But carry on OP. Tell trans people they should get over what they say offends them. Then tell the disabled, jewish, gay and bi, and black people the same.

Tiggy, you seem to be under the impression that lesbians are part of an oppressing group, not and oppressed group. You also don't seem to have any notion of what growing up as a lesbian is like.

Lesbians - and especially any lesbian old enough to have grey hair, as the OP does - are constantly told their experiences aren't real. Many spend their teenage years (and more) not knowing if how they feel is in any way valid. It's the commonest thing in the world for lesbian couples to me asked "which one's the man, then?". Corrective rape for lesbians is a thing, a depressingly common thing. Lesbian sex, because it doesn't involve PIV, is not seen as "real sex". Young lesbians now are facing this and more, as they are derided for being in the closet because they are "really" trans men in denial, or they are ostracised and hounded for not wanting to sleep with people with penises.

Lesbians know about erasure, about denial, about having an essential part of who they are constantly dismissed. You don't appear to be aware of any of this. Stop framing lesbians as part of an oppressing group.

justanotheryoungmother Fri 10-Mar-17 10:45:49

men pretending to be women angryangryangry

I think that's a very ignorant view of the struggle that trans people go through angry

YetAnotherSpartacus Fri 10-Mar-17 10:46:29

I had to contact an ombudsperson yesterday. I regularly (still) hear of chairmen and manning things and manholes and the like ... As a woman, I still have to put up with being spoken over, put down and having people stare at my tits instead of my face. Why isn't that as bad as or worse than being misgendered? Why isn't it literal violence? Why aren't these issues getting the same sympathy and press as those of trans people?

CoolJazz Fri 10-Mar-17 10:53:17

justanotheryoungmother but how do we tell the difference between a man in dress and a genuine transwomen who has gone through reassignment surgery?

The problem is we can't. And that is a problem for those transwomen who have struggled that you are concerned about, as well as for women.

80% of trans women still have their penis.

FishInAWetSuitAndFlippers Fri 10-Mar-17 10:54:03

justanotheryoungmother sadly, these days, it's pretty accurate. There are a tiny percentage of genuine transgender people who do really struggle, largely because of the transactivists imho, there are a huge and growing number of people jumping on the bandwagon for publicity, attention, or simply for their own agenda which has nothing to do with the rights of transgender people and everything to do with their own, personal, agenda.

AmIEgo Fri 10-Mar-17 10:54:29

Do you, justanotheryoungmother? Tell me more about the struggle that Danielle Muscato, transwoman goes through...

Happy to affirm 'her' womanhood by using pronouns etc?

2014newme Fri 10-Mar-17 10:55:23

Because trans are mainly men.
Even when they pretend to be women.

If I sat in a wheelchair and pretended to be disabled, would that be OK? Or if I pretended to be an Asian or Jewish person ot a black person? No. But it's fine to pretend to be a woman.
@Tiggyd the op isn't pretending to be a lesbian. It's not the same thing. So when you say disabled, gay or black people will be next, they aren't pretending to be something else.
I have no issue with someone saying they are trans but I do have an issue with them claiming to be a gender that they aren't. You can't choose gender and more than you can choose race.

AgentBlue Fri 10-Mar-17 11:03:52

Like many other have said on here I have no issues with calling someone by their prefered pronouns once I have been made aware of this preference.

However I'm human so I make mistakes, so if I have known Jill as Bob for 10 years, chances are I may slip up one day, it won't be done intentionally to hurt or offend. But the level of venom that is directed at people who make a mistake is ridiculous.

And I agree with @CoolJazz, that it hits the raw nerve of the cognitive dissonance, that they are trying hard to mask with their 'identity'.

I have a name that is traditionally seen as male/masculine in Europe, as it happens in my job I work with a lot of European teams much of our communication will be via email at first with phone calls etc later. Invariably the assumption is made that I am male and has lead to some very funny/confused conversations.

I have several colleagues who despite having spend time with them face to face still slip up and refer to me as he/him, so what, it's a mistake, gently remind and move on.

However it seems more and more that instead of assuming that someone has made an honest error that they are being deliberately offensive .

As for: If said about a trans woman that's 3 times the existence of one of the most important features of their life has casually been denied, as I see it women are been told to deny that biology is important, but it is my biology, my breasts and my vagina that have caused me to be taken less seriously by multiple HCP's (even when I was a HCP myself)

It was my breasts that were been poked, groped and shouted at from the age of 11.

I have been expected to allow men access to my vagina because they bought dinner, they're a nice guy etc etc etc.

When attending multiple conference with a junior male member of staff, it has been assumed that he is my manager 'cause I'm the one with the vagina, he has the penis, even by people who knew I held the most senior position in the department.

In short we are been told that a biological fact for 51% of the population should be denied for a tiny proportion because to not do so is denying the existence of a feature of their lives. . .

Really................

joystir59 Fri 10-Mar-17 14:31:01

ArcheryAnnie
Thank you- you made me cry. You really hit the nail on the head.

joystir59 Fri 10-Mar-17 14:34:36

And can I just make something clear
Sex- male or female biology
Gender- social construct (e.g boys like blue and play with guns, girls like pink and play with dolls)
Sex cannot be changed- it is coded into our DNA, it is what we are born with.
Gender is almost meaningless as millions and millions of people do not fit binary gender roles.typically ascribed to our sex

joystir59 Fri 10-Mar-17 14:35:53

And I'm bad at grammar- I'm not really a short grey haired lesbian- I'm a tall lesbian with short grey hair grin

joystir59 Fri 10-Mar-17 14:42:35

justanothermother

MTT people are men pretending to be women. They are trying to pass as women.Some of them are taking hormones and having surgery to help with this. But they are still and always will be biologically male. I have every sympathy with people who struggle with the gender role society ascribes to them- I've struggled with this myself. I knew I would get flamed for saying 'men pretending to be women'. But I am only speaking the truth. I dont personally think it is helping anyone to encourage the myth that they can change sex. That they really are the opposite sex. That identifying as the opposite sex means anything. I could identify as a squirrel- would that make me one?
I believe that gender dysphoria is an extreme and completely understandable reaction to the pressure society places us under- to be straight and either macho or feminine.

poochiepants Fri 10-Mar-17 14:44:28

I think that it leads towards a strong feeling of failure in their eyes, which is the opposite of the sheer joy that they feel when someone accepts them in the gender they wish to portray. The failure is mostly internalised, and does hurt deep. Ex is transgender, and I could read the not so well disguised dismay when she was called he. Conversely, when called she, the sense of calm and happiness was tangible.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 10-Mar-17 15:18:59

Amiego, I think you're on to something with your theory that women are far better - and quicker - at discerning a stranger's sex. After debates on MN I often walk through town sexing people. Even wrapped up in winter coats it's really easy. I've only once seen someone whose sex I found a mystery. It was very disconcerting. I was with a doctor and he couldn't tell either. He guessed that the person was intersex.

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