What does it mean when trans people talk about “identifying” as or with a gender? Since it supposedly doesn’t have to do with stereotypes or gender roles, but with identity, is it possible to pin down the nature of this identity?
What aspect of the gender you weren’t assigned at birth do you specifically identify with?, a poster asks. Here is one of the replies:
Why this person could not wear women’s fashion and be cute as a guy is not elaborated on.
Here is another reply:
Having long hair and shaving your body hair is apparently a sign that you are female, as well as spending time on “cosmetic skin care”. The same commenter continues:
This is sad. A male who wants to groom in ways more typically associated with women, has been convinced that this means they are transgender and needs to pursue medical treatments. In another time this person might have been happy with being a long-haired, smoothly shaven guy with great skin.
“I want to be the one in the relationship who makes all the money”, says a commenter calling themselves “agender girly boy”, but admits that this is a stereotype of what males are. But hang on! “Most stereotypes are based in reality” another commenter points out. Charming.
In a post titled question on changing my personality (mtf), the OP worries that their personality is not feminine enough, and wants advice on how to change it. Who knows what is meant by this, but it probably does not mean assertive or dominating.
The idea that woman = weak is seen again in this post, named “imagery of being turned into something weaker“:
Several commenters point out that females aren’t necessarily submissive and weak, which prompts the OP to elaborate:
So it turns out that the real reason for this poster’s desire to be a woman is a desire to be sexually submissive. And this story isn’t unique either.
Yet another poster is struggling: pretty confused right now please help
So this poster is sexually submissive and wants to “be a girl and fulfill that role in the eyes of the public norm”. And the most telling point: “I just feel that my outlook, interests and desires would be more accepted in a girl than a boy”. It doesn’t get much clearer than this: this guy wants to change his body to “match” his personality.
This is not progressive. This is just another way of reinforcing gender roles. It used to be (and still is, for many) that people were told to behave in a manner that was expected of their sex. Now people are trying to change their bodies to match their personalities instead. Why can’t we do neither?