all 11 comments

[–]peakingatthemomentTranssexual (natal male), HSTS 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Obligatory not QT, but trans. I feel like trans is multiple things that all get lumped together so I’m sure people might have different answers. If you have or had dysphoria, that is a mental illness so I’m not sure that we’d have perfectly logical answers. Maybe there are QT people who don’t or didn’t have dysphoria or don’t think it’s mental illness, but I’m not sure if any of the are here

I guess I’ll give two answers, one for the present and one for the past.

  • So current me sees myself as a woman because that’s how I am the world. It’s how people see me, how my body looks, and how people interact with me. I feel like you’d have to really make an effort to maintain some other identity if that is the case. I don’t really think about gender roles as being a reason for me being a woman because even if tried I to behave differently than I am naturally, it probably wouldn’t change how people see me. It’s probably similar to other non-trans people.

  • As a child, I had super strong belief that I was actually a girl or was one inside. I can’t really know why exactly. It could either be something I was born with or something that developed from being an feminine gay boy in an environment where that wasn’t an acceptable thing to be (maybe more likely). It wasn’t something anyone could get me to let go of (and various therapists and family tried for year, my family eventually support it when I was a teenager). Looking back, I feel like it had to do with feminine gender roles fitting me better, feeling uncomfortable with masculine parts of my body, feeling uncomfortable dressing like a boy, and fitting in better and feel more comfortable socially as a girl. I felt really strongly about all those things and, in my mind, it meant to me I was actually a girl. I feel like it’s mental illness though because I wasn’t a girl, I was a boy, but I couldn’t be convinced otherwise and persisted in that belief until after I was an adult.

[–]MarkTwainiac 13 insightful - 1 fun13 insightful - 0 fun14 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

So current me sees myself as a woman because that’s how I am the world. It’s how people see me, how my body looks, and how people interact with me.

I don't mean to "invalidate" or call into question your "lived experience," but huh? You seem to think that the main determinant of the sex of individuals is other people's perceptions of our outward appearance, not biology.

As in other discussions we've had before, I take issue with your insistence that your childhood issues & superficial outward appearance as an adult somehow mean you are &/or should be considered the opposite sex.

As an AHF who who has had hardly any IRL visual social contact with other people during the COVID crisis, I find your superficial definition of what determines who is a woman highly offensive. Am I only a woman if others can see me & gauge "how my body looks"?

Can you give specific, detailed examples to back up the claims that in the wider world "people see" you as a woman?

I don’t really think about gender roles as being a reason for me being a woman

On this we can agree totally. Gender roles, aka regressive sex stereotypes, do not define who is a man or a woman. Biology does.

I am a woman because I'm an adult human female. I don't understand how or why the fact that you as a gay male who from childhood has been uncomfortable with your sex & the sex stereotypes associated with it somehow qualifies you to claim to be a woman. Your claim can only be taken seriously if you erase the sex of 51% of the human race, including the person who gestated & gave birth to you.

I don't say this to be cruel. I am sorry for the distress you've experienced. You seem like a very nice person. I think you should be able to live your life & "present" however you want. But still, you're not the same sex as your mother - nor of me.

[–]peakingatthemomentTranssexual (natal male), HSTS 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Hi MarkTwainiac! So, I feel like maybe I can be clearer sometimes or I need to preface more. This is only my experience of identity. I’m not trying to define womanhood to be my experiences or feelings. It’s why I always say I’m not QT. Transwomen aren’t women in any way that makes sense, but I still exist and I was trying to explain my identity (which was influenced by having a mental illness). I promise I’m not trying to erase female experience or speak for you. I’m just speaking for me.

[–]poeslawisthrivingTrans MtF (open about it to some degree) 6 insightful - 3 fun6 insightful - 2 fun7 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

Not QT, but trans.

What does woman gender feel like?

Trick question imho, there isn't any, not on it's own anyways. If you're asking what if feels like to be of the male sex whilst identifying with the gender of 'woman' I can answer that from my own experience. If you're asking what if feels like to be of the female sex and being perceived and viewed as being of the gender of 'woman' I wouldn't know.

How do you know if you have a woman gender?

Either because A: You are perceived as such due to physical characteristics, or B: you identify with it.

I define identify as being wanting to be perceived as this gender (with varying degrees of success depending on many factors), which itself is the cultural and physical perception of the female sex.

Other people may argue different and can't and won't speak for them.

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (6 children)

I'm not sure. I've been asked this before, how do I know I'm a woman if my sex is male? In my experience, it's the image and idea of myself I've always had, the characteristics about myself that people and society has told me are feminine or female, the feminine appearance I had before that led to people mistaking me for a girl, being told I was supposed to be born a girl, being brought up as a surrogate wife. All of that together convinced me that I am a woman and I must see the world the way a woman does. I know that's not true now as an adult, but that's the only way I've seen myself and seen the world, so if gender or gender identity were truly real, then I experience them as a woman. This is more detail, I just included this as an elaboration

[–]Penultimate_Penance[S] 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

That's interesting. Growing up I was mistaken for a boy from time to time, sometimes people even told me that I didn't 'count' as a girl. I just laughed at them and carried on. I always considered femininity as something that society constantly tried to force on me. There are pretty intense social consequences for gender nonconforming girls especially when they become teenagers. Heck even I gave into the pressure for a few years, because going against the social current was exhausting. The social pressure sucks for gender nonconforming boys too, so I definitely feel for them.

Curious, do you like femininity? What do you consider feminine?

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 3 fun2 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 3 fun -  (4 children)

I do like it! And I suppose anything that breathes life is feminine, like a sigh upon awakening

[–]MarkTwainiac 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

anything that breathes life is feminine, like a sigh upon awakening

So breathing & sighing are "feminine" now? Does this mean yawning & snoring are "masculine." C'mon, you can't be serious, LOL. Everybody breathes. Like everybody hurts.

Seriously, what is meant by "breathes life"? Is it like giving or getting CPR - aka "the breath of life"?

The idiom "breathes life into" means "bring new ideas & energy into something." But that's not something only associated with female people, nor is it considered "feminine."

Are you talking about ancient mythology where certain deities were said to have "breathed life" into clay to make other gods & humans? True, Isis was a female deity. But pretty sure Prometheus was a guy. IIRC, in origin stories from various cultures, most deities who were said to have been able to "breathe life" or make the wind do so were male.

Or by "breathes life" are you making a reference to childbirth? Sorry, but while childbirth is fundamentally female, it's not very "feminine." Women do use breathing techniques to help us get through labor & birth, but we don't bring new life into the world by breathing. We do it it by pushing, sweating & experiencing intense physical pain. It's bloody hard work & what comes out of our mouths in the process is mostly grunts, shouts, cries & a whole lot of foul curse words.

BTW, turns out "breathe life" is a phrase lots of guys who would be considered "masculine" like to use, LOL:

And funny thing, lots of other guys whom no one would describe as "feminine" are big into the breathe thing too:

OK, I'll stop now. In turn, please stop coming up with new ways of sex stereotyping. And please stop attributing & associating human activities & qualities to my sex. I find it objectionable & "othering." Like saying women are "limitless, formless."

I find it oppressive too. All the ideas about what's "feminine" were invented & imagined by males & projected onto the female sex in order to sexualize, subordinate, pigeonhole & restrict us.

Moreover, preoccupation with what's "feminine" & "masculine" is the source of problems & distress that those of you who suffer from "gender dysphoria" feel; it's not the cure. Far better, IMO, to get away from sex stereotypes rather than to breathe new life into them. In fact, dispensing with sexist sex stereotypes used to be a principal aim of feminists & progressive men.

Thank you & I apologize for ribbing you.

BTW, here's an art rock classic from my fave band, Roxy Music, where Bryan Ferry in his best weird & creepy persona says, "my breath is inside you." But he's talking about a blow-up sex doll from yesteryear & the song is about male loneliness & alienation in modern-day life.

Another blast from the past I hope you enjoy. When Kate Bush came on the scene, she was considered "a breath of fresh air" LOL:

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 3 fun2 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 3 fun -  (2 children)

Simply amazing😁🙃 that was the best answer of the year

[–]MarkTwainiac 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

You're a sport, Fleurista. I imagine if we ever met IRL we'd have a good time together.

BTW, now that I linked to all those YT videos about breathing, my feed is full of all sorts of footage I'd not seen before. Such as this clip of Pearl Jam from 1991 in which young Eddie Vedder looks absolutely gorgeous. And not just coz his hair was so long that it went below his shoulders. Man, he was hot & what I'd describe as a "pretty" man

Also, watching Eddie & Pearl Jam in the other videos that have come up in my feed has given me the impression that all the studied hair flicking & tossing that males who identify as trans today do might have more to do with your sex than mine. All the guys in the band have hair below their shoulders & are constantly tossing their long locks about. What a difference 30 years make!

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I won't lie, this has been a musical treat to savor the past few days--like for you, Kate Bush's dulcet coos brought up some gems from Siouxsie & the banshees and Tori Amos in my recommended music, so extra thanks for that!! I'd never heard of Roxy Music, so that was a wicked delight to add to the collection too 😁 it's been a wonky few days, so it's exactly what I needed 🙂

Though it was in jest, the "breathing" commentary got me thinking of a couple things since I think the English word "inspire" comes from the French word (or maybe Latin) "inspirer" (to breathe in; inhale) and I have another weird question/theory now I want to ask/bring up in another post--all the more deserving of "answer of the year"