Trans activists say that becoming trans is not based on stereotypes, yet previous posts have shown time and time again that gender stereotypes are a motive for transitioning, e.g. a male thinking he must really be a female because he did not like to play sports as a child. What role do stereotypes play in transitioning itself?
Many transgender people believe that a MtF’s brain is meant to “run on estrogen”:
A few months later, I’d begun to experience the physical and mental impact of the hormones, and with it a new sense of clarity, peace and happiness. The chronic aches in my joints and pains in my stomach that had been a staple of my life since puberty dissipated. My mind and body began repairing themselves. It’s as though my brain was meant to run on estrogen my whole life.
Other transgender people claim their brains are meant to be like female brains. What do they mean by having a female brain? The concerns that they raise about what neurological and psychological changes they will experience after taking hormone replacement therapy is revealing as to what they think women’s brains are like.
Women are stereotyped as being worse than men at logic, reasoning, and scientific skills. It’s not unusual to find comments from Reddit users afraid that taking female hormones, i.e. becoming more “like a woman” will lead to the deterioration of these skills, or to find those who feel those skills have indeed changed:
Then there are downright bizarre concerns over the effects of HRT, such as worrying it will change one’s sense of humor:
A reply to this user explained that their personality did change on HRT- they became less interested in talking about ideas, became more easy to manipulate, and became more empathetic:
Sounds an awful lot like stereotypes of a vapid woman…
These concerns are both bizarre and insulting to women. But the concerns they hold are revealing about what they believe women are like, which in turn is revealing about their understanding of gender and motives for transition.