The Gender Conformity Cop-In

 

@katebraestrup got a lot of love a while back on her post, “Thoughts From a Former Dysphoric”. My impression upon reading it was she was describing gender nonconformity, not dysphoria. Our dear Kate was a tomboy, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. Dysphoria ought to mean deep discomfort, though, not just being a little different. The red tribe has an interest in both downplaying and, well, up playing “gender dysphoria”. Describing tomboyishness as “dysphoria” both downplays and up plays the condition: First, tomboyishness is not so bad, not really all that dysphoric, so what are people complaining about? Second, if every tomboy becomes convinced she’s “gender dysphoric” then oh my sweet Jesus on rollerskates, what is this world coming to?!! Before you know it, there’ll be fire and brimstone coming down from the skies; rivers and seas boiling; forty years of darkness; earthquakes, volcanoes; the dead rising from the grave; human sacrifice; dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria!

What about those who aren’t just tomboys, or their male equivalent, but truly unhappy in their birth sex, perhaps with good reason? Even then, even though their discomfort is real, they may find copping into gender conformity a more sensible solution than, as @henryracette put it, copping out of it.

I can use myself as an example. I have a slight but pervasive connective tissue abnormality. The closest thing to “treatment” for it is being born male if you have to have it: testosterone-fueled muscle mass ameliorates it, while the vagaries of female hormones worsen it. So as soon as puberty hit, I found being female uncomfortable — really uncomfortable. At the time, I didn’t know I had the connective-tissue abnormality. All I knew was that, apparently, being a woman Hurt me with a capital H. Physically, mentally, even spiritually. My “woman’s body” disgusted me and just felt… wrong. Besides discomfort, I also had to manage, while still young and skinny, unsightliness that’s typically associated with the elderly and obese. 

***

Being seen as sightly is a pretty big deal for women. Not all women desire to be paragons of sightliness, of course, but conforming to norms regarding feminine appearance can make a woman’s life much easier. Appearing to have a certain shape, or unblemished skin, or other signs of beauty, even when you don’t, is a feminine art. Most girls learn something of it, but some of us, if we want to “pass” as “normal women”, especially when we’re young, have a lot more to learn and hide than others do.

One way to hide unsightliness is simply to cover it up. A life lived in a full-length housecoat would conceal a multitude of sins, but gals who wear clothing any frumpier than it needs to tend to be looked down on, too. For someone like me, passing as a “normal” young American woman, therefore, meant not only much artful concealing but also artful revealing, when possible, to prove that I wasn’t dowdy.

I cannot stress enough how much of this was an act, an artifice. I wasn’t naturally interested in clothes, or boys. Though not exactly a tomboy (I was outdoorsy but not fond of most sports), I was a nerd, and I would have happily given even fewer f…igs for personal adornment than I did if it weren’t clear that such adornment aided in making my otherwise-marginalized self socially acceptable. I might have been a loner when other gals went to even the bathroom in groups. I might have been in pain when my cohorts were in the peak health of youth. But by golly, if I tried hard enough, I could at least look pretty feminine. Womanhood might not have felt right to me, but putting on a feminine appearance at least helped me conceal from others how wrong it felt to me.

***

One rule for putting others at ease is to be at ease yourself. For some of us, that’s never gonna happen. We can’t fulfill others’ expectations that we’ll put them at ease with our own ease, so we compensate by fulfilling their other expectations. Some of these expectations might be gender norms, even shallow ones, like ones about appearance.

I admit I can frump it up pretty hard during pregnancy, but otherwise, if you see me at a meetup, you’ll usually see me dressed to the nines. Travel isn’t always easy on me, and I might be tired and sore, but at least I can wear a pretty outfit and smile. It’s one way to make up for all the other normal stuff I’m not so good at, whether it’s normality that applies to both sexes, or only to women.

I “cop into” gender conformity not because gender conformity expresses the “real me”, whatever that is, but because by conforming in the ways that I can, I buy a little more leeway for the ways in which I won’t or simply can’t conform.

***

Conservatives: when someone tells you gender is a performance, don’t roll your eyes. It very much is. It’s especially obvious for women that artifice is involved. This performance is related to biology, yes, but it’s not rigidly dependent on it. It’s dependent very much on social expectations. That might be uncomfortable to admit, because what if folks want those social expectations to change?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could fend off changing social expectations by declaring our preferred expectations “natural”? Why yes, yes it would. And sometimes it’s reasonable to argue that some expectations are more “natural” than others. Nonetheless, @henryracette can’t describe “The Gender Non-Conformity Cop-Out” unless there’s also a gender conformity cop-in, a set of choices people can make about performing their gender in order to negotiate social expectations.

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  1. Misthiocracy, Joke Pending Member
    Misthiocracy, Joke Pending
    @Misthiocracy

    Like.

    • #1
  2. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    I just like to go fishing and to shoot stuff.  

    • #2
  3. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    Not sure what you are talking about; you speak of “unsightliness”; that sounds more like being self conscious than like not being comfortable being a woman. There are plenty of women-especially nowadays-who are very overweight, and many would say, unsightly, who also seem to be totally comfortable as women. I need to lose 20 pounds, but that does not cause me to feel that being feminine is an act. I usually wear T shirts and jeans; am virtually never dressed to the nines, but to the extent that getting dressed up is kind of an act, I suppose, it’s a fun act-just not so much fun that I would want to do it every day, but it is fun.

    Not sure what you are talking about; like I said, it sounds more like being excessively concerned and self conscious about appearance than it does being uncomfortable with being a woman.

     

    • #3
  4. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Midge, great points all but (and I know what is said about everything before but), I’m not sure your points are dialed in to the problem.

    Life sucks, and then you die.

    When you die, you’re either judged or your not.  When you’re judged (I’ve no time or inclination to meander down the “it’s just lights out” path) you’ll be evaluated on how well you navigated the variables that made your life suck, and came out a better person.

    I’d give a person that was trans whatever (M-t-F, F-t-M, F-Golden Scaled Dragon…Building).  Good for you.  Live and let live.  I’ll support the right for you to do you and live your life in peace and tranquility–right up until you get in my face and tell me how I have to act and think based on the fact that your life sucks.

    I could go into great detail about why my life sucks–or, more honestly, why I have certain attributes that add points of suckitude to my life.  I don’t.  I just move forward, trying to be a good person, trying to help those around me.

    If you (not you, you, but the militant trans, generic you) want to get in my face about the fact that I’m not elevating your suckitude above mine, or above the poor little old lady across the road that has crippling rheumatoid arthritis and had it hit her when she was a mere 23 years old and make the ensuing 50 years a painful hell, then we have a problem.  Then I have to tell “you” that you’re not that special, Cupcake.  Get over it and be a good person.

    • #4
  5. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    Conservatives, when someone tells you gender is a performance, don’t roll your eyes. It very much is. It’s especially obvious for women that artifice is involved. This performance is related to biology, yes, but it’s not rigidly dependent on it. It’s dependent very much on social expectations. That might be uncomfortable to admit, because what if folks want those social expectations to change?

    It’s funny—I totally get it. I, too, felt (and still sometimes feel, although sheer practice helps) like I was in drag as a woman when I got all froofy and make-uppy and whatnot. I’m very happy in a job where I dress pretty much like a man. 

    The horrifying possibility, to me, is that a kid who feels the way I did when I was young—pretty much a tomboy—would be encouraged to think she actually is a boy, and a dysphoria would be created. Since dysphoria = pain, this doesn’t seem like progress. 

    Yes, I suppose having Mom say “well, you’re a girl and there’s nothing you can do about it,” was painful, I can’t imagine how weird and terrifying it would be to have the power to alter my sex placed into my five or six-year-old hands, to have adults literally tell me that I was in charge of determining something as basic as my sex. 

    By the way, I’ve met Midge and she does the pretty young woman thing really, really well.

    • #5
  6. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    How would you distinguish gender nonconformity from gender dysphoria? Is one a personality trait while the other is a mental illness? In my mind this is kind of like the distinction between a cross-dresser and a trans. The first one knows he is male but chooses to dress and act like a female (or vice-versa) whereas a true trans thinks that they are the opposite sex. Or is this more of a spectrum with nonconformity at one end and dysphoria at the other?

    Regardless of whether it’s nonconformity or dysphoria, I have no interest in upplaying or downplaying it. It is what it is and I agree with Boss above – Live and let live. On both sides.

    • #6
  7. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Then I have to tell “you” that you’re not that special, Cupcake. Get over it and be a good person.

    Yup.

    So much suckitude. I could write a book.

    Oh wait….

    BTW, I hope Midge is going to write a book. 

     

    • #7
  8. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    Conservatives, when someone tells you gender is a performance, don’t roll your eyes. It very much is. It’s especially obvious for women that artifice is involved. This performance is related to biology, yes, but it’s not rigidly dependent on it. It’s dependent very much on social expectations. That might be uncomfortable to admit, because what if folks want those social expectations to change?

    It’s funny—I totally get it. I, too, felt (and still sometimes feel, although sheer practice helps) like I was in drag as a woman when I got all froofy and make-uppy and whatnot. I’m very happy in a job where I dress pretty much like a man.

    The horrifying possibility, to me, is that a kid who feels the way I did when I was young—pretty much a tomboy—would be encouraged to think she actually IS a boy, and a dysphoria would be created. Since dysphoria = pain, this doesn’t seem like progress.

    Yes, I suppose having Mom say “well, you’re a girl and there’s nothing you can do about it,” was painful, I can’t imagine how weird and terrifying it would be to have the power to alter my sex placed into my five or six-year-old hands, to have adults literally tell me that I was in charge of determining something as basic as my sex.

    By the way, I’ve met Midge and she does the pretty young woman thing really, really well.

    The quote that is attributed to me here was actually written by Midge. :)

    • #8
  9. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    So much suckitude. I could write a book.

    Oh wait….

    BTW, I hope Midge is going to write a book. 

    It would appear that you didn’t write a book. You wrote multiple books. 

    • #9
  10. She Member
    She
    @She

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    [Snip]

    Life sucks, and then you die.

    When you die, you’re either judged or your not. When you’re judged (I’ve no time or inclination to meander down the “it’s just lights out” path) you’ll be evaluated on how well you navigated the variables that made your life suck, and came out a better person.

    I’d give a person that was trans whatever (M-t-F, F-t-M, F-Golden Scaled Dragon…Building). Good for you. Live and let live. I’ll support the right for you to do you and live your life in peace and tranquility–right up until you get in my face and tell me how I have to act and think based on the fact that your life sucks.

    I could go into great detail about why my life sucks–or, more honestly, why I have certain attributes that add points of suckitude to my life. I don’t. I just move forward, trying to be a good person, trying to help those around me.

    If you (not you, you, but the militant trans, generic you) want to get in my face about the fact that I’m not elevating your suckitude above mine, or above the poor little old lady across the road that has crippling rheumatoid arthritis and had it hit her when she was a mere 23 years old and make the ensuing 50 years a painful hell, then we have a problem. Then I have to tell “you” that you’re not that special, Cupcake. Get over it and be a good person.

    I regret that I only have one “like” to give this comment.  So, in the unlikely event that you missed it, here it is again.

     

    • #10
  11. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    Not sure what you are talking about; you speak of “unsightliness”; that sounds more like being self conscious than like not being comfortable being a woman.

    The connective tissue problems I have make being a woman Hurt with a capital H. At the time, no-one knew there was an underlying cause. I only knew that “becoming a woman” hurt. Physically. Mentally. The whole nine yards. I loathed being female. It disgusted me and just felt… wrong.

    Putting on a feminine appearance helped me conceal how wrong it felt, though.

    • #11
  12. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    The horrifying possibility, to me, is that a kid who feels the way I did when I was young—pretty much a tomboy—would be encouraged to think she actually IS a boy, and a dysphoria would be created. Since dysphoria = pain, this doesn’t seem like progress. 

     

    This is what I’m sayin’!

    • #12
  13. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    I am a little confused by this post. Did you have something physical that made it hard for you to feel like a cute girl? Or even a reasonably nice looking girl? Or were you confused about which gender you were? Or was it that you felt like you didn’t fit in because you didn’t like to use make-up or fix your hair, or do what your peer group of females did to get “dressed-up?”  I guess I’m not sure what’s up.

    You all know I grew up on a farm, milking cows. My sisters and I did all the farm work. We hauled hay, we milked twice a day, we drove tractors and machinery to till the ground. We shoveled (an endless amount) of manure, we broke our own horses, we changed irrigation pipes. In other words: we worked like men. It’s just what women do who are farmers. My mom did it, many other girls in my high school did it. I’m sure I was stronger than several boys in my class. I know my hands were bigger and tougher. I laugh to my children that I was a teen-age boy until I left home for college.

    I was never confused about being female, though.

    I feel sad for the kids whose parents aren’t telling their children that girls are girls, and boys are boys. Your body is your guide. But, there are plenty of activities in the world that are not just-for-girls or just-for-boys. Part of the problem might be that I learned from birth that God created man and woman. And we are partners, and we have different, but complementary, responsibilities, roles, etc.  Yes, girls can milk cows, and boys can wash dishes. But only females can grow a baby, and only males can create the sperm to make that happen.

     

    • #13
  14. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    I only knew that “becoming a woman” hurt.

    Forgive me for asking, but do you mean to say you were born male and had an operation (or many) or something to become a female?  Or am I missing the boat as usual?  

    • #14
  15. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    Oh wait….

    Don’t read the one star reviews…

    • #15
  16. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Nick H (View Comment):

    How would you distinguish gender nonconformity from gender dysphoria?

    Here’s my take:

    With gender dysphoria, their brain is telling them that their sex is wrong (supposedly, they have a brain that is biologically in conflict with their physical sex characteristics-which is certainly possible if one believes that there are differences in male and female brains-which is why pre-intersectional radical feminists oppose them).  I believe this to be a real condition for an extremely small proportion of the population (much less than 1%), though I think its better described as a mental disorder rather than an extreme birth defect (which of course makes me a Nazi in need of reeducation).  That said, its incurable as far as we know, and sex-change surgery may in fact alleviate the mental anguish of some people with this condition.  Make a mistake in diagnosis, however, and it could cause others to become even more likely to commit suicide.

    Gender non-conformity is basically people who feel alienated from cultural definitions (which do tend to have some sort of biological basis, such as estrogen and testosterone) of masculinity and femininity, and have misguidedly adopted a ‘trans’ identity like ‘genderfluid’ or ‘genderqueer’ in an attempt to explain that alienation and search for an identity outside the ‘male/female binary’.  Having a mental illness myself (severe OCD), I know that psychiatry is an extremely fallible science, and I shudder in horror at the damage the promotion of this identity is allowing the psychiatric profession to do to such children.

    • #16
  17. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Nick H (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    So much suckitude. I could write a book.

    Oh wait….

    BTW, I hope Midge is going to write a book.

    It would appear that you didn’t write a book. You wrote multiple books.

    Lots of suckitude! 

    • #17
  18. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    Conservatives, when someone tells you gender is a performance, don’t roll your eyes. It very much is. It’s especially obvious for women that artifice is involved. This performance is related to biology, yes, but it’s not rigidly dependent on it. It’s dependent very much on social expectations. That might be uncomfortable to admit, because what if folks want those social expectations to change?

    It’s funny—I totally get it. I, too, felt (and still sometimes feel, although sheer practice helps) like I was in drag as a woman when I got all froofy and make-uppy and whatnot. I’m very happy in a job where I dress pretty much like a man.

    The horrifying possibility, to me, is that a kid who feels the way I did when I was young—pretty much a tomboy—would be encouraged to think she actually IS a boy, and a dysphoria would be created. Since dysphoria = pain, this doesn’t seem like progress.

    Yes, I suppose having Mom say “well, you’re a girl and there’s nothing you can do about it,” was painful, I can’t imagine how weird and terrifying it would be to have the power to alter my sex placed into my five or six-year-old hands, to have adults literally tell me that I was in charge of determining something as basic as my sex.

    By the way, I’ve met Midge and she does the pretty young woman thing really, really well.

    The quote that is attributed to me here was actually written by Midge. :)

    Whoops—didn’t notice that, Judithann!

    • #18
  19. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Spin (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    Oh wait….

    Don’t read the one star reviews…

    Never. 

    • #19
  20. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    Nick H (View Comment):

    How would you distinguish gender nonconformity from gender dysphoria?

    Here’s my take:

    With gender dysphoria, their brain is telling them that their sex is wrong (supposedly, they have a brain that is biologically in conflict with their physical sex characteristics-which is certainly possible if one believes that there are differences in male and female brains-which is why pre-intersectional radical feminists oppose them). I believe this to be a real condition for an extremely small proportion of the population (much less than 1%), though I think its better described as a mental disorder rather than an extreme birth defect (which of course makes me a Nazi in need of reeducation). That said, its incurable as far as we know, and sex-change surgery may in fact alleviate the mental anguish of some people with this condition. Make a mistake in diagnosis, however, and it could cause others to become even more likely to commit suicide.

    Gender non-conformity is basically people who feel alienated from cultural definitions (which do tend to have some sort of biological basis, such as estrogen and testosterone) of masculinity and femininity, and have misguidedly adopted a ‘trans’ identity like ‘genderfluid’ or ‘genderqueer’ in an attempt to explain that alienation and search for an identity outside the ‘male/female binary’. Having a mental illness myself (severe OCD), I know that psychiatry is an extremely fallible science, and I shudder in horror at the damage the promotion of this identity is allowing the psychiatric profession to do to such children.

    Having OCD is useful in this, as in few other ways (!)—it lets you know that  your brain can be both incredibly powerful and seriously wrong. One doesn’t actually have to tap every stair in the stairwell to avoid disaster, but a young friend of mine (also gender dysphoric, as it happens) believes he must.

    Anybody who has had a mental illness, even a mild one, knows enough to understand (I think, anyway) true gender dysphoria. If your brain is telling you “you’re the wrong sex” it is incredibly difficult not to believe it, in exactly the same way that hallucinations are really hard to ignore. I was with a loved one while she was hallucinating a snarling dog crouching in the ceiling beam; she knew it wasn’t real…and yet she was absolutely terrified.

    So I believe that what a true gender dysphoric feels…they really, truly feel. And if they get relief by dressing up as, or being treated as, the opposite sex, I am fine with going along with it, especially if other treatment options aren’t available.  Life is hard enough without getting all judgmental about how other people manage to stagger through the days. 

    That is, however, really different from agreeing that a man can actually be a woman and vice versa. 

    • #20
  21. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Before you know it, there’ll be fire and brimstone coming down from the skies; rivers and seas boiling; forty years of darkness; earthquakes, volcanoes; the dead rising from the grave; human sacrifice; dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria!

    No, you cannot slip that by me:

    Loved it.

    • #21
  22. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    Conservatives, when someone tells you gender is a performance, don’t roll your eyes. It very much is. It’s especially obvious for women that artifice is involved. This performance is related to biology, yes, but it’s not rigidly dependent on it. It’s dependent very much on social expectations. That might be uncomfortable to admit, because what if folks want those social expectations to change?

    It’s funny—I totally get it. I, too, felt (and still sometimes feel, although sheer practice helps) like I was in drag as a woman when I got all froofy and make-uppy and whatnot. I’m very happy in a job where I dress pretty much like a man.

    The horrifying possibility, to me, is that a kid who feels the way I did when I was young—pretty much a tomboy—would be encouraged to think she actually IS a boy, and a dysphoria would be created. Since dysphoria = pain, this doesn’t seem like progress.

    Yes, I suppose having Mom say “well, you’re a girl and there’s nothing you can do about it,” was painful, I can’t imagine how weird and terrifying it would be to have the power to alter my sex placed into my five or six-year-old hands, to have adults literally tell me that I was in charge of determining something as basic as my sex.

    By the way, I’ve met Midge and she does the pretty young woman thing really, really well.

    I’ve met Midge too and I have no idea what all this talk of “unsightliness” is about.  But I’m gay so what do I know?

    • #22
  23. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    Yes, I suppose having Mom say “well, you’re a girl and there’s nothing you can do about it,” was painful, I can’t imagine how weird and terrifying it would be to have the power to alter my sex placed into my five or six-year-old hands, to have adults literally tell me that I was in charge of determining something as basic as my sex. 

    Kate,

    This is simply evil. Anyone who has such a hard time that they actually think this would have been a better way to raise children is delusional. I can sympathize with the delusional but I won’t condone destroying lives to feed the fantasy. Midge is married with children with a solid career. She might realize that all of that might not have happened had she been indulged in the wrong direction at that age. If she thinks that not having those things would be a better life I can say only one thing. There is no fool like an old fool.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #23
  24. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Hey, for those of you who’ve expressed puzzlement, I’ve updated the OP a little.

    I realized what I had described as just “discomfort” originally was meant as polite understatement that was actually understated enough to be really confusing. Now the OP should be clearer.

    • #24
  25. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Nick H (View Comment):

    How would you distinguish gender nonconformity from gender dysphoria?

    Well, I’m pretty literal-minded, and would prefer it if “dysphoria” continued to describe not just nonconforming behavior, but actual unhappiness. Like maybe can’t-stand-yourself, want-to-crawl-out-of-your-skin unhappiness. That something is wrong at a fundamental level.

    Even when things felt that wrong, it’s not clear that transitioning would always be the answer. But calling people who are nonconforming but also seem pretty happy as they currently are “dysphoric” doesn’t make a whole lotta sense to me.

    • #25
  26. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Spin (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    I only knew that “becoming a woman” hurt.

    Forgive me for asking, but do you mean to say you were born male and had an operation (or many) or something to become a female? Or am I missing the boat as usual?

    Um… you know those commercials for absorbent products filled with flowers and green fields and smiling young women doing sports and telling everyone how free they feel? Sometimes the ads even bust out this mysterious blue fluid just to show just how absorbent these products are?

    Yeah, when gals say “becoming a woman”, they mean having reached the stage of life where you need those products. I believe in the Game of Throne series, they call it “having flowered.”

    • #26
  27. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    Maybe I had a weird upbringing? But I have never felt that expectations of feminine behavior were oppressive: granted, there were not that many such expectations in my family. There seemed to be a fear that we were, or would end up being too girly: I was forced to play traditionally male sports, very much against my will. Totally hated it. That was oppressive, and when as a teenager I felt that I had to make up bs stories about careers that I supposedly wanted to pursue, that was very much an act that I was putting on: none of it was real. 

    That is one of the reasons why I hate feminism so much: being raised with feministic expectations meant that I had to put on an act most of the time.

    Midge, you have talked about appearances, but that doesn’t quite make sense to me: there are plenty of women who don’t wear much or any makeup and who really don’t concern themselves much with their appearance. What other expectations do you find oppressive?

    Again, this might be the result of a weird upbringing, but I have never devoted very much thought to whether other women or myself are being feminine; in general, it seems to me that most women, including you, Midge, are feminine. I only notice extreme instances of unfeminine behavior-such as, young women who go around looking for fistfights. But, maybe I have been clueless all these years? Maybe there are all kinds of expectations I have been unaware of? It would explain a lot :)

    • #27
  28. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    I am a little confused by this post. Did you have something physical that made it hard for you to feel like a cute girl? Or even a reasonably nice looking girl?

    It wasn’t just about feeling “cute enough”, or even feeling “normal-looking”, it was about having a can’t-stand-yourself, want-to-crawl-out-of-your-skin unhappiness about having been born female once puberty hit.

    In my case, there turned out to be an external cause for the unhappiness (and the unsightliness), but at the time, I was left wondering how other girls could stand themselves. It was really a mystery to me.

    • #28
  29. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    We are all very sorry for your pain.

     You have/had a physical illness, or abnormality.    You didn’t have the mental illness, the delusional state,  which has now been reclassified a “gender dysphoria”. 

    • #29
  30. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    I was forced to play traditionally male sports, very much against my will. Totally hated it. That was oppressive, and when as a teenager I felt that I had to make up bs stories about careers that I supposedly wanted to pursue, that was very much an act that I was putting on: none of it was real. 

    That is one of the reasons why I hate feminism so much: being raised with feministic expectations meant that I had to put on an act most of the time.

    By the same logic, I could hate femininity, since from puberty on it meant putting on an act most of the time. And yeah, I kinda did. But I still found the act worthwhile.

    I think a lot of us are performing an act, one way or another. My specific circumstances were unusual, but the general theme of, “I’m doing this to go along to get along, because the ‘authentic me’ is probably not someone others want to deal with,” is pretty common. And that larger theme is really what the post is about, although I told my specific story.

    • #30
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