Feeling disgust with gender norms and male privilege? Get a double mastectomy!

We have seen many examples of how young males get sucked into feeling dissatisfaction with their bodies when taking part in online transgender communities. Often this dissatisfaction comes from liking things our culture traditionally deems to be “for girls”, other times there is a sexual element to the desire to change sex.

For young girls who aspire to transition, the motive much more often seems to be a pervasive unease with the strictness of the female gender roles. It’s like these girls and young women are aware of the fact that men have it better in a lot of areas, but they don’t know what to do about it. We see this clearly in this post, where the poster talks about her unease, even hatred of her female body:

I feel a deep discontentment with my female body 95% of the time.

I think some aspects are quite amazing (like menstrual cycles and the potential to give birth!), but that doesn’t detract from my general unease and disgust with femaleness to the degree that I feel pinned down by it (or trapped in it!).

Feeling some ambivalence about your body is certainly not unusual. Not only because of failing to meet arbitrary standards of beauty, but also because of the social significance our bodies have.

When I look in the mirror, I can’t accept what I see. I hate my hips and butt and breasts. My thighs just seem generally shapeless. Overall, I have a weaker composition than most men. I hate how “soft” I look. My facial features are soft as well and I am drawn to sharper, deeper features (otherwise more masculine ones).

One part bog-standard “hating your thighs”, something females have been conditioned to do literally since they were babies:

picture of girl's onsie that says "I hate my thighs" and a boy's onsie that says "i'm super"

I have had an obsession with men from a young age. I have always picked up on their privilege. To me, they seemed more free, more successful, funnier, braver, more outrageous, more lighthearted, and less complicated than women. I looked at men and I saw power and movement, joy and grounding. I looked at women and saw sacrifice, pain, accommodation and anxiety. Men just seemed like the half that had it figured out.

And one part internalized sexism.

Obviously looking at that now, I realize there are so many things that have traditionally held women down and still do. I hate the expectation of some effervescent personality, of that need to feel accommodating, of acting stupid when you’re not. Of women congregating over things like consumption and trends, instead of more enduring things. (Again, this is what’s reflected in the media, but it’s also experienced. I simply did not fit in with girls my age, nor do I feel I fit in with college-aged women today. I find their interactions surprisingly vapid, maybe even scripted, and dissatisfying.)

She hates the expectations that are put on women, yet she is also quick to dismiss women as “vapid” and their interactions dissatisfying.

Does this make any sense? Is my disgust with gender norms bleeding into how I literally perceive the female figure?

The first reply, the very first reply, is this:

sexist

If you are dissatisfied with the sexist expectations of society, you should have your breasts surgically removed, because obviously you are not a real woman.

The OP gets more level-headed advice further down in the thread, thankfully. We here at transgenderreality hope she can learn to become at ease with her female body in a sexist world. And let’s hope young women stop looking for advice about these things in places that are blatantly sexist.

(archived link)

7 thoughts on “Feeling disgust with gender norms and male privilege? Get a double mastectomy!

  1. Thank you for posting this. I think this might be one of the issues at the root of my daughter’s dysphoria. Society/media is dictating women’s dysphoria in general and just because a girls doesn’t like her breasts or thighs does NOT make her a “boy”. Please, I am asking for you to reply to me. I’d like to learn more about your reasons for making all of these posts. If you are a concerned mother/father, I would like to network with you. You are not alone.
    Jan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, mumnrs.

      This blog is a joint effort, some of us have kids but none have personal experience with kids wanting to transition. Here are some resources you might find helpful:

      http://4thwavenow.tumblr.com/ (blog of the mother of a teenaged girl who wants to transition)

      http://nymeses.blogspot.no/2014/07/advice-for-parents-of-teen-girls-and.html (blog post with advice for parents of girls who want to transition

      http://www.reddit.com/r/Gender_Critical (a place for discussing gender critical feminism)

      The indidious thing about the online trans communities is that people come there with issues like feeling unease with their bodies or with gender roles, and the ONLY answer they get is that they must be trans. People might say “well, only you can know, but I felt the same way and I realized I was trans”. The people who felt the same way and decided they AREN’T trans don’t hang out in these communities. And so it’s easy to get the impression that being trans is the only reason for having these feelings.

      if anyone has any more suggestions for places to find supoprt, please chime in.

      Like

    • I see the signs of a good parent there.😊

      I know its a bit late and Im nof sire if you have resilved the issue yet. So I will reply with this:

      Its like the new generation to my generation (Im 21yrs old, so Im not sure if is mine or a new generation,) hasnt figured out or has forgotten to preach “HEALTHY self acceptance” and whenever they are preaching any other forms of self acceptance, its bad ones like obesity (yes the point where its extremely unhealthy to be fat” and various of other mental illness and sometomes to the point where its simply “good to have issues”. Please continue teaching your child to accept her body, and teach her the human mind doesnt have a specific “gender”, it just operates in specific ways that are similar to others and similar to others.

      I saw a documentary done on the typical woman and mens brain, and it all comes down to a mix of instinct and personal upbringing and if you see one of the documentaries starts mentioning an experiment with female chimps going to play with dolls while male chimps go play with cars, just remember, the experiment could be flawed and they havent recounted all the events that occurred in the experiment, because in the documentary I saw, it brought up an experiment but it was flawed I dont think the scientists recounted all of the events occurring in thenexperient, md they didnt even show the experiment being performedneither (it loses credibility at that point). Also its been shown throughout the animal kingdom that some species have the FATHER raising the kids, never the mother (the cassowary is an example of this) but if it really helps, there has been time that women in history performed “men” roles, look at the history of Egypt’s Queens, Hatshepsut and Cleopatra, one was more of a warmonger than her own husband and led invasions, the other ascended the throne, (and I think killed her brother) and negotiated with the Romans to reduce them of taking too much of Egypts stuff (her father made a mistake and left her to deal with the mess), Look at the original poem of Fa Mulan, (not disney, but it will help though, but Disney version is not the same as the origonal poem it was based on), the poem has the protagonist woman who already knew kung fu beforehand and was pretending to be a man to join an army for 12 years, look at the Japanese “onna bushin geisha” women, who were women who defended the villages while the men were away in ancient Japan, pre-christain era. Teach her about Jean d’arc and Nancy Drew who was the MOST DECORATED WOMAN of WWII.

      Im telling you this because I think, you can tell your daughter, for, it may not just be a case of disliking her own body image, it may also be because she was criticised on her interest and was told different things online and in real life by friends or schoolmates. By telling her of women who really were outside our modern day western stereotype of female and male gender roles and perspectives and that those perspectives, are not even the same in other cultures and not the same in our present day lives, and what really matters is what she likes, what she does aad thaf she accepts herself. Sit down with her and talk to her how she feels why does she feel this way and make sure you dont feel attacked and start defending yourself if your own parenting has contributed, it makes it harder for people to come out and talk about problems and someone defends and criticises. Suggest your daughter to do her research on females of the past, the common domesticated ones and the famous ones that stood out of the crowd and suggest to her to think about why the woman of those times are so dofferent to other fellow woman they shared those times in history with. Dont force it on her, but get her thinking about it, encourage it, and if you have trouble, give her an incentive to do so like a shopping trip, or games, bring it up in a family dinner or something and make sure all electronic devices are switched, do your own research when you talk about it, or research with her, it could be a great bonding time and perhaps see you as the mother fully accepting of her own body and mind, also label fictional characters in modern day series and movies who dont meet such criteria to be a girl, like the protagonist in “she’s the man”. Also, remember to support your daughter, it isnt hard to fall back and regress into old mode of thinking, so encourage your daughter if she feels confused, or what she has learnt is wrong, talk to you or a trusted friend who isnt biased by online social justice drama and nor are interested in making social movements their life, those people tend respect independent thinking, usually arent found in groups nor interested in those groups trying to force their views on you and remember to tell your daughter to question everything she is told and if she is still confused about anything, tell her to prioritise and think about what truly matters and some questions are better left unanswered.

      The problem with modern day media like social media is that, they dont put a strong focus on the past, they put a strong focus on the present and is the loudest (aka whinging) group that influences the perception of what a vulnerable minded individual has on the world. In a case of the trans movement online and on social media, its not hard to forget about reality and rational thinking and be warped by people talking about their own experiences having dysphoria and the origins of it, its not hard to try to relate and suddenly think “oh I feel this way and I’lI shall learn from this person”, many people, both consciously and subconsciously use others as a guide on how to navigate their life, figure out and get a grip on their personal identity as individuals. People tend to forget that just because someone is seemingly like themselves, it does not always mean they are the perfect guide to follow.

      I may not be a parent, but I have been through enough and studied biology, history (both in school and after graduating school as a interest) and picked up on some useful psychology throughout life, enough for me to avoid those type of brainwash traps in life, and for me to come up with ideas, some of them, coming from my upbringing as I do remember my older sister sometimes teaching me stuff and ensure I was comfortble with my body. One of her methods was jokingly poke my boobs and jokingly called them small. It worked in my case. She didnt want me to feel uncomfortable about my body, which I was, but soon I got use to my body and was annoyed combined to wanting revenge, to her regret, I did the same thing back in a deliberate creepy manner to freak her outXD. My older sister is the oldest sibling in the family and she is the closest I have to a responsible mother compared to my real one. I know its irrelevant but I feel the need to brag.

      I also hope that if and when I start raising a child, the world is not so trans crazy or as much, but if not, I hope my can and will protect itself from this jackass trans propaganda. I grew up in a family where gender roles do not matter and feminism isnt even preached, our mentality is to just full on being as practical as you can, it doesnt matter whats between your legs and as a result, my older sister who dresses waaaay more girly than me and has done the most renovation work in this family (e.g renovated an entire house, built many shelves, fixed kitchens and more), I like to be adventurous and am a pants and shirts girl (sister is also adventurous), amd my brother, he is just lazy and likes pants and shirt and dresses the least fancy part. My older sister has a degree in software engineering and my older brother has a degree in computer science.

      Also, Nancy Wake did things that were seriously unladylike in her time but was still proud of herself and comfortable as a woman and she LOVED ADVENTURE and jumped on the chance of it. I dont know who you are or how you parent and I dont know the age of your child but I really hope to help you by throwing out ideas that can help, other than seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist or seeing a family therapist. I hope this helps and I really hope troubled passers-by see this post when they need advice. 😊

      Like

  2. I really appreciate your posting this. I’d like to know what community of men that the writer found that is filled with “joy and grounding.” This has emphatically not been my experience of male culture or the experience of men I have known, and many of these young women seem completely unaware of how males police one another. Show any weakness or vulnerability around males, and assaults, rape, and vicious bullying are common responses.

    I have read feminists saying that young women want to be men because men are seen as human beings. The above piece seems to be clear body hatred of one’s female body, far more along the lines of anorexia. Instead of starving yourself, poison yourself with testosterone. Society certainly promotes female self-hatred, but it begins in the family. How do we let girls know there is another way?

    If you want to be seen as a human being, it has to start with yourself. We humans have created a very ugly world filled with casual cruelty and deliberate mass murder. If we all think that becoming male, becoming white, becoming rich, is the solution to feeling marginalized — which can be a tremendously freeing experience — there is absolutely no hope for us.

    Liked by 1 person

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