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   Go read this post in full, very well worth your time.

Some thoughts from a man who underwent transition to ‘become a woman’.

 

“Jesse, a man who once claimed to be a woman, would agree with this. Like Cari, he also found that transitioning did not meet expectations. Jesse concedes that “I’m never going to truly know what it’s like to be a woman”. He bravely states,

It’s bending biological facts out of recognition if you try to make ‘female’ into some flexible category that anyone can fit into, just ’cause they feel that way inside. It’s also truly insulting. If you do that, you’re saying the oppression of women isn’t a thing at all, because anyone can be a woman; anyone can opt in and out.

He also talks about the women he met while identifying as one himself.

They were great people. They were generous, and kind, and accepting. But you know why? Because women have been told they have to be that way, ever since they were little girls and someone tells them to share, and to not be unladylike, and to be polite and not be loud or difficult.

He then advises boys and men considering transition:

You want to act like a woman? Start by being a decent human. Respect people’s boundaries. Respect their need for space and their experience of oppression, which you will never truly understand. Yes, trans people are an oppressed minority, and yes, the prejudice you’ve experienced overlaps in some ways with the way our culture treats women, but it is not the same, and please get it out of your head that it’s worse.

Julie Burchill adds that:

In a world where millions of people, especially ‘cis-gendered’ women, are not free to choose who they marry, what they eat or whether or not their genitals are cut off and sewn up with barbed wire when they are still babies, “choosing your gender” is uniquely for the privileged.”

More stories like this need to hit the mainstream consciousness. People should know that ‘transitioning’ isn’t some sort of magic bullet that solves the gender problem.

Filing this under patriarchal shit that makes me mad. :/  Quote from “The Problem with How Men Perceive Rape” by Lux Alptraum.

“One of the reasons it took me so long to open up about my negative experiences with men was that, for years, I assumed I was alone. I’d grown up hearing that “no means no,” and that smart women are upfront about their needs and obviously walk away from anyone who refuses to respect their boundaries. I assumed that I was the only one weak enough to let my desire for intimacy and affection fuel a tolerance for sex I didn’t quite want, in ways I didn’t want it. I assumed that being badgered into sex, or “consenting” due to sheer exhaustion, was a personal problem.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

While writing this story, I heard from a number of different women who’d had sexual experiences that weren’t quite rape, but didn’t feel completely consensual either. One woman told me about having the flu and still being pressured into sex by her boyfriend, an encounter that left her with “a low level distaste for sex for a few years after”—right up until she started to learn about the concept of “dubious consent” and came to terms with what she’d been through.

 

Another woman, whom I’ll call Anna, told me about the first time she had sex. Although things started consensually—“I had recently been feeling some anxiety over not having had a lot of sexual experiences yet, and so was feeling excited and a little bit daring about finally getting to”—her enthusiasm began to fade as her partner failed to live up to her expectations. At first he tried to penetrate her without a condom, and though he stopped and put one on at her request, the subsequent sex was painful, unpleasant, and bloody. “My body language was telegraphing pain/discomfort/disinterest, since I stopped showing enthusiasm or reciprocation,” Anna says. But her partner didn’t seem to notice or particularly care, even assuming she’d be up for another session after a short period of post-coital cuddling.

Anna doesn’t feel raped, but she can’t deny that the experience impacted her deeply. To this day, her sexual experiences are marred by a fear that she won’t be able to advocate for herself or properly assert her own boundaries. “I’ve wondered for years why I didn’t say anything when I stopped enjoying it, and why I let him continue.”

The answer to Anna’s question may lie in the experiences of other women. Marie, who, like Anna, requested anonymity, shared multiple stories of saying no to sex, being asked again, saying no another time, being asked again, and then eventually saying yes—even though her lack of desire remained unchanged. “I don’t want to disappoint people,” she says. “I especially don’t want to disappoint people in a sexual context. If I say no, someone getting upset, acting hurt, being disappointed, and asking again can easily make me say yes”—a personality quirk that both male and female partners have used against her, manipulating her into consenting and guilting her for setting boundaries.

 

Women get socialized to put their needs second and make other people happy, and too many men get socialized to ignore rejections and relentlessly pursue whatever it is that they desire. It’s a toxic combination that can lead women to deprioritize enthusiastic consent in the hopes of keeping the peace, or to turn to coping mechanisms like alcohol to make not exactly consensual sex feel a little bit more okay.”

Of course there is male douchery in the comments section, some dude blithely going on ignoring what is being said around him.  *sigh*.

 

The Female Version:

fdp1fdp3fdp2

fdp5

And then there is male date preparation:

mdp1

Wearing pants? Don’t smell? Check! Good to go!

 

Men worry that their date won’t measure up to their aesthetic preferences. Women worry that they’re going wind up dead.

The disparity is RIDICULOUS, and the fact that dudes get offended when women try to protect themselves is hard proof that way too many guys Do Not Understand how dangerous it is to be a woman. (Not to mention it’s fucking insulting. “How dare you not trust your life and safety to a complete stranger whose intentions you have no way of knowing”?)

The point is, “WE HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING A NICE GUY FROM A SERIAL KILLER.”

It’s not like they fucking wear nametags, okay? Moreover, the most awful people with the worst intentions often put on the nicest face or deliberately make themselves seem harmless and likeable, to lull potential victims into a false sense of security. (Read up on Ted Bundy sometime. It’s horrifying shit. Or read any thread on the “Let’s Not Meet” subreddit.)

In order to protect ourselves, we are forced to assume the worst of every man we meet, because statistically speaking, the biggest danger to women…IS MEN. Saying “not all men are out to get you, you’re just being paranoid” is like saying “not every car you ride in is going to crash, so buckling your seatbealt is stupid.”

When dealing with an unknown situation, in the absence of absolute proof of safety, exercising a little extra caution can be the difference between life and death. Shaming women for being what you may view as overly cautious is every bit as horrid as blaming them if something goes wrong later on.

[Source]

How many of you out there have either heard these words or said them to others? I’m willing to bet most males out there has heard it at some point and many women have told the males in their lives these words. It’s part of the social narrative, these constructs of what gender is and how someone should and should not act. Men are strong, men don’t cry, men are athletic, men demand respect, men settle their differences physically and most importantly men don’t show weakness.

Of course, this is all tripe. These social constructs are ultimately just that, constructs. And like anything constructed, it can be deconstructed. When these things are deconstructed, the seem silly and pointless. However, pointless as they may be they are still exceptionally harmful.

And of course that’s where Be A Man comes in. These three words are the epitome of how patriarchy harms everyone. These three words are toxic. These three words have done so much harm to so many men that I am ill equipped to describe exactly how. Fortunately for both me and you the good people at The Representation Project are. They are currently creating a film tackling this very issue. I urge everyone to watch the trailer for this upcoming film: The Mask You Live In.

Another bit of well crafted insight into some of the subtle rules that govern our society.

A big thanks to Sexgenderbody from the Daily Kos. 

men –

we are the problem.  all of the problems.  and not just some of us – all of us.   we are bullies, rapists, murderers and we live off the sweat and pain of anyone we can.  you may not have raped or stolen land but you sure as hell dine off the privilege of being a member of the rape and murder class.

and the biggest problem are those of us who say nothing.  we are the grease for the machine.  we are cowards because we don’t want the brutality of other men to be focused on us.  we are taught as children to play along with the rape and murder class rules or be punished.

so we keep our mouths shut when we should protest.  we laugh at sexist jokes. or racist jokes.  or we just slink away and say “I’m not like that”.

well guess what assholes – we are like that.

all of us.

so, if you’re not throwing yourself and every other man you see under the bus – you’re just another chickenshit rapist happy to skate by while others do the raping and live the fat life that buys you.

we don’t know 10% of how shitty it is to have to listen to the crap that comes out of our mouths every day.  street or office harassment, stupid jokes at the dinner table, loss of money or healthcare or whatever simple autonomy we enjoy being denied to women, queers and people with less money or darker skin.

at every injustice of bloodshed and starvation, there is a man causing pain to someone else.  

it’s a man’s world alright – and all this shit is man’s fault.

silence is consent motherfuckers.  this shit doesn’t end so long as you stay quiet (and saying “I’m not like that” or “men get hurt too”…by men, btw – doesn’t count.)  

speak up cowards.  act up.  yeah, and your life will be harder.  you will lose shit.  but that’s shit you stole – it ain’t yours.  so buck up and make the term “act like a man” mean something other than rape or murder or violence.

Rattle a few cages?  I certainly hope so.

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