Have you ever heard it said that women are “catty”? Catty refers to a woman being deliberately spiteful…usually to one another.
The reason women are perceived in that light is because of the way girls are socialized as they are growing up.
Most girls are taught to defer to men in conflicts, opinions and social situations. They are raised to believe that being assertive or visibly confident is not “lady like” . There is an expectation that they behave in a more demure and passive manner than the average male.
I see this almost every day at my job.
For example…If a male supervisor or manager directs his subordinates in a firm or “no bullshit” manner he is perceived as a good and decisive leader. If a woman displays those same qualities then she is a bitch.
Here’s where it applies to trans people….
I was raised as a boy. Male values and norms were impressed on me. I was taught how to stand up for myself and how to be self reliant. I learned to speak my piece when I had to and the result was that I excelled in my former male roles.
As a cop, I used to go toe to toe (literally) with men who could literally kick my ass. My thought was I’d rather risk getting hurt or killed than to show any weakness or to back down.
I still carry the remnants of those learned attitudes and behaviors with me today, but I’m perceived in a totally different light by those around me.
There is not a week that goes by where I don’t hear, “Toni, you’re something else”, “Toni, you’re too much” or even (rarely) “Toni, I wish I could be more like you” from the women I associate with.
Because of my assertiveness, some women feel that I’m a threat to their social standing and as a result, I fall prey to the “cattiness” I mentioned earlier.
If I was still a sociology student, observing someone else, I would find my situation “interesting”, but as a trans woman trying to live her life it becomes tiresome.
The reason I’m even talking about all this is because transition is so much more complicated than presenting as female physically. I’ve pretty much learned to deal with my physical gender dysphoria but now I’m learning to come to terms with a sort of social dysphoria.
Its all part of that journey we always refer to…the one with all the steep hills and curvy roads we learn to overcome.
#transgender #misogyny #transition #sociology #mtf