In this modern world, where our survival is not necessarily dependent on traditional gender roles, we are witnessing those roles change. Some slowly, others incredibly fast. I’ve mentioned this before in another free-writing exercise. Could this imbalance between masculine and feminine be playing a role in the current state of the world? Were gender roles socially enforced because the collective unconscious knew it had to be so to maintain order? Or are we moving into a new paradigm and these are just teething problems? Personally, I think that if you are a natal male that is sensitive and nurturing and prefers to present as a woman, then so be it. Even if you don’t necessarily have feminine traits, but you feel that’s how you want to present yourself, then so be it.
How a person decides to present themselves is up to them.
I have worked in the same supermarket for just coming up to ten years now, and I am very good at remembering faces. I recognise a lot of the customers that shop in my store, and I’m not going to lie – it is jarring when someone you have known to present as a man for eight years suddenly present as a female. I’m not against it at all – but it is hard to hide that first reaction. I know this person hasn’t changed, they are still the same person they were underneath, but that first reaction to them must have an effect. It’s hard to change, it’s hard enough to be congruent in, out and throughout yourself, so if someone has the courage to one day change, then I can respect the hard choices they have made.
But then on the other hand, I do feel that gender and sex are different – A male has a penis and a female has a vagina – and there is no getting around that. I do think that your natal sex should be on your birth certificate and medical records as biologically men and women are different. And for the safety of the patient and the medical team, it’s just safer if the people trying to save your life are fully aware of you as a person. I understand that some trans people do undergo surgery to remove or add genitalia and/or body parts, but genetically they are still as they were born. Until genetic resequencing is a reality (let’s hope it never is, as one can only imagine the horrors that could produce – I’d love to discuss this further another time), it is simply impossible to change ones underlying genetic make-up, and thus ones biological sex.
How much of it is sexual, I wonder? How often do men fantasize about what it would be like to have sex as a woman? Could the ease of access to porn, and it becoming more and more degenerate be contributing? Note to self: Write about porn. A great deal of debate is around changing rooms and female-only spaces, where women could feel threatened by the presence of a biological male. Maybe out of respect for natal sex people, trans people should change in a more private area, like a cubicle in a general changing area? Are there equality rules in sports? Is it fair that a female boxer go up against one that was born a man? Men, in general, have denser bones, are more muscular, and more durable. And then there’s the furore around the word “women” – can biological men that present themselves in a feminine way claim to be women?
I don’t know. I don’t know what the ultimate solution will be. Society will get there one day, it is slowly moving towards a consensus. Progress can be slow, and that can be frustrating for some, but attitudes are changing, and the solution will not manifest overnight. Sometimes patience is needed rather than trying to convince everyone that they are wrong, and they should fall in line with your way of thinking. You can’t control other people, and neither should you ever try.
I’m asking more questions that I am answering now. It’s one for me to ponder further, I think. Maybe in another Free-writing session, maybe just in my head, who knows.
As part of my ongoing quest for greater self-awareness and my continued personal and professional development, I picked a word and wrote about it for sixty minutes. Leave a comment on here with a new word for me to explore in the future or you could suggest one on Twitter (@Iain_D_Stewart).