Saturday, August 15, 2015

Drafted to the Losing Team?

Here is a topic we haven't delved into in a long time here in Cyrsti's Condo- male privilege. Truthfully, I ran back across the subject from an unexpected source: MarieClaire.com. In fact the site is running a whole transgender series called "Trans(form)". There is quite a bit of wonderful information in the post so I will pass along some of the highlights.  Including a book which hits home on the subject with the obvious and then goes farther, much farther:


Julia Serano
"A lot of trans women are aware that there is male privilege before we transition–that women are not treated with as much respect as men," says Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. "But there's a big difference between knowing privilege exists and the literal experience of losing it."  For Serano, the sexism hit her all at once. "All of a sudden, the world is, to a certain degree, a lot more dangerous or precarious," she says of discovering her new reality. 
The transgender women we (the author) spoke with cited a litany of new challenges on the other side of their transition, which will be painfully familiar to the cisgender women reading it: getting talked down to, getting talked over, getting catcalled in the street, getting dismissed in the workplace, and so on. "I would be talking about a patient, and a male medical student would be kind of glazed over, staring at my breasts," says Dr. Marci Bowers, the first transgender surgeon to ever perform a gender-reassignment procedure."

Dr Bowers though went on to say: "With their unique perspective of gender relations, some in the trans community actually find themselves sympathizing with men. "I think there's a lot of what I'd call female privilege, too," Dr. Bowers adds. "A man is never trusted like a woman is trusted: by strangers, children. When men deal with each other, there's a certain distance they keep. There's a sisterhood and a safety among women, and it's a very helpful feeling."

I always felt being admitted to the "girl's sandbox" was far from a "given" but once I was trusted and admitted, I did feel the strength of the"circle" as I had never did with men during my life.  I think I was drafted to the winning team!

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A Life in Gender Flux