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The Issue Of Men

Somewhere along the line I went from being a conciliatory male apologist to a big angry feminist. That the time just so happens to coincide with my transition is pure coincidence. I mean, how could it not happen? If the home team just happens to be superior in every conceivable way to the rival franchise, it probably has nothing to do with the fact that I just moved to the city. Ugh! A sports analogy… how male. All kidding aside, I want to address something along those lines as I received some constructive feedback that my constant kicking of sand in the face of men comes across a little vitriolic. Let’s talk about that for a second.

First off I think I should clarify a few things. I don’t hate men or even masculinity in general. The vast majority of men, both cis and trans, have been genuinely good people with intelligence, sensitivity, empathy, and just and honorable intentions. My father was a very good man, and I hope to god my son will be as well. In the past and in the present, men have employed me, promoted me, helped me move, listened to my problems, worked for me with such engagement I burst with pride, and even now it is a man who is helping me transition here at work. No question about it, men can be very noble and do great things. “Yeah, yeah, men rock, so what’s the deal Michelle?”

Well, being born of unfortunate outer appearance, I’ve been shoved in with groups of boys and men since birth. One of the things I’ve noticed all through school, college, the Air Force, in various shit jobs, and even in a professional environment, is that men seem to like to be unbelievably nasty to each other and consider this a good time. I went on about ball busting in an earlier post, and it’s that I’m talking about. I’ve never fully understood it, but it led me to believe that men lack sensitivity about anything at all when said in jest, even if that wasn’t the underlying intention. This seemed like an open invitation to smack around these impervious galoots with no harm done. The gotcha of course, which I failed to realize, is that this only applies to each other. When women do it, it’s a whole different story.

Having a female brain, I never quite got the whole importance of the masculinity thing and considered it more of an affectation than a core identity issue. In truth, men can be very sensitive about it and get hurt feelings really quick or become defensive if they consider it threatened in some way. Women, including trans women, poking at it can be a bad time for them. It can be a little like the N word that way, but not quite understood by females to have the same level of impact. Sometimes it doesn’t, but sometimes it does. I’m not sure what always sets this off, but the comments received indicate that ball busting by females is clearly one of them. The others aren’t so clear to me, except for certain unavoidable things like my existence and gay male existence. That is where we can all run into some real problems.

Now that I have advanced my understanding of the lay of the land a little better, I can say with certainty that any negative comments toward males are emphatically not aimed at trans men, gay men, and the vast majority of the male population who are decent, noble, and chivalrous. The big angry feminist in me, however, can make no promises about the super testosterony types who wear their ball cap backwards, have contempt for women and the aforementioned types of men, and operate under the delusion that my existence is some sort of threat to their masculinity or that I have any intention of (yuk!) tricking them into sex. On them it’s open season; I simply don’t have patience for that kind of foolishness.

In conclusion, if you are one of the decent guys out there, cis or trans, of which I think you are the vast majority, you have my sincere apologies for any offenses I lobbed your way. Even having lived among you, I still don’t totally get you yet, but we can work together to understand each other. As for you other “men”, in the extremely unlikely chance you happen to read my material, game on.

About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

7 responses »

  1. Meh, I don’t get women, either. We’re even.

  2. I think as trans women we have a unique perspective having played for both teams without actually having a place in either locker room (damn another sports analogy). I have found myself in conversations about patriarchy and misogyny in history and religion, and as I tried to explain men’s overall fear of their own ability to act properly around women which resulted in them oppressing women rather than having to address their own fears, I ended up at “Men are pigs” I’m not exactly sure how I got there, but I know that the thought was sincere. There is so much i did as a man that I cannot explain or understand. I spent three hours today talking to a woman who said she couldn’t have stood twenty minutes with me as a man.
    Damn, I’m back there. Men are pigs. OK not all men, but the ones who have to act like manly men are.

  3. “any negative comments toward males are emphatically not aimed at trans men, gay men, and the vast majority of the male population who are decent, noble, and chivalrous.”

    I don’t give trans men a pass right off the bat. They can be some of the most misogynistic duded out there. Their trans-ness does not exempt them from that. Like all men, judge them on a case by case basis.

  4. I’ve always been more comfortable around women. I never was comfortable in a guy setting like watching sports unless there were other females there, or just hanging out with a group of guys, just never felt like I should be there. As far as nasty goes you have never been around my sisters their evil. I don’t know how many women can be this way but I will say there must be at least a few. There are a lot of good men in this world, more than not.

    • Actually Tedie, your sisters do sound like trouble! I think the main point I was going for is that some have come to task me a bit for my apparent stance that all women are good, and all men are evil, which I was just trying to answer. Not my best post, but at least now no one can say I never say anything nice. 🙂


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