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Where are all the trans men? An Answer.

(398 Posts)
1955stephen Tue 03-Apr-18 23:23:12

Someone asked: I have also wondered where the trans men are in all this!

So decided to do a little of record ethnographic research and talked to a few of my 'trans men' mates about this, over my orange and soda, and their beer or two. I asked whether they would consider to contributing to an online debate., like the one on Mumsnet.
All said they really limit their online stuff to what is absolutely necessary for family and friend's purposes i.e. a bit of facebook and that's that. Though many said they used Whatsapp to talk with family quite a lot.
It seems some go onto computers when at work, but most don't even do that - they are very hands on people; a doctor, a ceo, a dentist, a teacher, a manager of a day centre, a physio, a occupational therapist, a firemen, a stable owner, a policeman.
They only go online when real life obliges them to do so - such as talking to their mum.
They said they go on to buy absolutely essential items; a sprogget needed to fix a toilet flush, bracket to fix the kid's bunk beds, or when told to change the milk order cos their partner was going to bed.
Two said they went online to get a new book on their kindle, or to find a film for their partner, their kids, their mother etc.
Most said they don't want the hassle of participating in online talking. As another put it: "by the time the evening has arrived, I have run out of words. I simply cannot carry on talking, and typing means saying the words in my head". (I understand that feeling) .
Another said "going on the computer is just too much when all I want to do is stop, eat, wash and go to sleep."
Another said "ask me to come round, and choose between 1. digging your garden, 2. print and pack 2000 newsletters, or 3. type words, I'll chose them in exactly that order: 1, 2 then 3".
And another said; "as a journalist I am online a lot - watching, but I limit my participation to when I have something worthwhile and different to say. That's not often".
It seems, therefore, from my small selection of consulted trans men, that most trans men limit computer use to work. And we just don't want to do it after that.
I understand because that is how I feel, and have no urge to change that.
There will be some who participate online (as I do to a limited extent), but if people don't want to, they don't have to - and they are probably mentally healthier for not doing so.
Has anyone counted up men's and women's use of talking chambers on the internet? I wonder what hormones have to do with it..

SlowlyShrinking Tue 03-Apr-18 23:33:14

I think what people mean when they say ‘where are all the transmen?’ is ‘why do all the transactivists seem to be transwomen?’

Mouthtrousersafrocknowandthen Tue 03-Apr-18 23:34:52

They have, in economics - here is the outcomes.

NotTerfNorCis Tue 03-Apr-18 23:58:24

There are far more transwomen than transmen in politics. Is this because transmen are more contented with their lives and feel less need to fight for change, or are transmen less likely to get involved in politics for the same reasons as other women?

ICJump Wed 04-Apr-18 00:04:02

I’m sorry but something about this doesn’t ring true. I’m not sure what.

thebewilderness Wed 04-Apr-18 00:08:15

One of the reasons they wrote the regulations so transgender identified people could use whichever public facility they choose is an acknowledgment that the vast majority of transgender identified females use the women's facilities, and the politicians did not want to force them in with the men.

WichBitchHarpyTerfThatsMe Wed 04-Apr-18 00:32:42

This is an odd thread. Not entirely sure why. Not the title but the first post. I might be completely wrong.

DonkeySkin Wed 04-Apr-18 00:55:33

This is an odd thread. Not entirely sure why. Not the title but the first post.

I think it's the weird anthropological tone, reporting on trans-identified women as if they are an exotic lost tribe, especially the solemn exegesis on 'their' computer habits.

They 'go online' do they? To find 'new books' or 'films' or to buy things for themselves or others, just like normal humans? And some even 'go onto computers when at work'? But wait, 'most don't even do that', perhaps because they are uniquely wearied by modern technology and 'online talking'?

Italiangreyhound Wed 04-Apr-18 01:04:39

@1955stephen thank you for attempting to answer the question but as @SlowlyShrinking says it is really more a question about why all the debate about trans rights etc seems to be trans women discussing this.

I can definitely think why I think this may be so but as a natal female I don't want to speak on behalf of trans men or anyone else.

I am frustrated that this debate so often centers trans women and wonder why we do not hear much about trans men, and especially the large numbers of girls and young women currently identifying as trans boys. That is, I think (IMHO) what people mean when they say "Where are all the trans men?"

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 04-Apr-18 01:10:39

Are you suggesting that there is some kind of hormonal reason why trans men don't post much online? Testosterone, presumably? And women use "talking chambers" a lot more than men, and trans men, due to their female hormones?

pallisers Wed 04-Apr-18 01:15:57

Goodness, how many transmen do you really know? I know one - as in could chat to them in some depth - to my knowledge and I live in an area which is liberal, lovely and a magnet for diversity including trans.

It is lovely your friends think like this but I don't think it tells us much about transmen in general.

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 04-Apr-18 01:40:25

@1955stephen is presumably is Professor Stephen Whittle, who I guess will know more transgender people than the average due to their campaigning and academic work. Which doesn't make any of the anecdotal comments anything other than anecdote though.

Ereshkigal Wed 04-Apr-18 01:43:18


AssassinatedBeauty Wed 04-Apr-18 01:47:33

Oops, too many "is" at the start of that post...

Datun Wed 04-Apr-18 02:23:43

Yes, I don't think it's really about where they are and what they're doing and whether they need sprogget.

It's more the way transactivists follow male pattern behaviour and exhibit male privilege, whilst denying any such thing and insisting they're women. Because if you buy into what they're saying, it would be transmen driving it, not transwomen.

ICJump Wed 04-Apr-18 02:30:15

Ohh that would make more sense then

Have you done research into the impact on self ID and TIFs? What about health care? I’m think screen checks etc?

TallulahWaitingInTheRain Wed 04-Apr-18 08:23:16

I thought that was really interesting: thanks OP. I do think it matters that the voices of TIFs are hardly heard at all in this debate. Is it fair to say that this (very understandable!) attitude of wanting to keep out of the politics of it all is also true of many gender-dysphoric TIMs though?

LangCleg Wed 04-Apr-18 09:27:10

I thought that was really interesting: thanks OP. I do think it matters that the voices of TIFs are hardly heard at all in this debate. Is it fair to say that this (very understandable!) attitude of wanting to keep out of the politics of it all is also true of many gender-dysphoric TIMs though?

Yes. Seconded.

It would be very good to see if anybody would be prepared to participate in some ethnographical research or study. This could be anonymised if people are uncomfortable about having public profiles.

That said, Stephen, the anecdotal nature of your post has left a rather large elephant in the room, and that elephant is: sexism. It is hard to deny that the current transgender activist movement is overwhelmingly male-dominated and ignoring sexism while pondering that would be an elephant-sized deflection, don't you think?

vaginafetishist Wed 04-Apr-18 11:01:28

But look at how male they are, changing sprockets, doing milk orders for their girlfriends.

Is this the Stephen Whittle who claimed on Twitter that one of the proofs they were a man was that they didn't know their children's names?

What a progressive movement this is!

Vickxy Wed 04-Apr-18 11:13:37

My guess is transmen seem invisible as they are all/mainly the 'old school transsexuals', who just basically want to live their lives.

Where most transactivists are actually just heterosexual men, jumping on a bandwagon and being happy that there is now a way to tell women to stfu. Basically.

vaginafetishist Wed 04-Apr-18 11:19:38

Duh, not their children's names, their childrens friends' names.

Not knowing your children's names would be strange indeed.

NotDavidTennant Wed 04-Apr-18 11:28:07

There's a weird air of "transmen are too busy being men and doing manly things to engage online" in that OP.

Jayceedove Wed 04-Apr-18 11:36:50

Vickxy, just (briefly) popping back to say that I think that there is truth in what you say.

Most transsexuals have been socialised in their new gender roles as it was part of the treatment methodology. And as many spent many years without rights never really asked for much and it became possible to forget that you were transsexual and get on with life. Which was, for us, the whole point of transition.

So activism is not a passion and we have been dragged out into this in the past year or two because of what we see going on around us. It has been quite a shock to many.

I also wanted to reassure anyone thinking a wind up still as some did that the OP is one of the longest and most respected trans men in the country and a highly successful academic and professor, who probably knows more about gender law than any other person on this board.

Rather than mistrust and antagonise his knowledge and experience and willingness to offer advice and help can be invaluable.

I doubt there is anyone in the UK better qualified on transgender matters and gender law and how and why the Gender Recognition Act was created and any future changes that are being discussed.

Just Google Dr Stephen Whittle if you are unsure.

Please be patient and listen to what he has to say. This could be a really invaluable thread.

vaginafetishist Wed 04-Apr-18 11:39:13

No, it's not about stereotypes, no siree.

BlazeAway Wed 04-Apr-18 11:42:05

It’s not my experience — the ones I know are always on Tumblr, or writing blogs (although mainly about queer culture rather than specifically being trans themselves).

But then, I’m at university so the ones I know are younger, not yet working in a professional environment and most have transitioned pretty recently.

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