cognitive dissonance

posted on Gender Critical subreddit
27 september 2017

i have just discovered Rachael Ivey, and have posted her lecture on youtube called ‘radfem response 2014’ on my blog (in the ‘wisdom’ section of the sidebar on the right)…

her talk discusses cognitive dissonance faced when the way we see things comes into contact with a way of seeing things that forces us to re-think and to change…

i am seriously with her on that, living it…

the reason i’m here is to share with you, gender critical radical feminists. i offer my thoughts in the hope that they may inspire someone to help me grow by criticizing me.

i’m inspired to do so by my solidarity with your work that goes back to the 80’s when my Mother’s radical feminism caused me to read Feminist Theory (Mary Daly, bell hooks, Robin Morgan, Gerda Lerner, Barbara G. Walker, Sonia Johnson…)

i began to “come out” as a Transgender Woman last year and since then in rapid order have changed my legal name and gender (“MtF”) and wardrobe. i did all that and have no regrets… and there’s no “but”…. just…

i’ve had some time now and things are coming clearer, and i am sure that the definitions offered by the Transgender Community culture that i have been led to believe answers my existential problem don’t even come close. i have been drawn back to Feminist Theory where i’ve found my way of thinking reflected almost perfectly in Gender Critical analysis…

in my coming out, i was perplexed by the reactions i’d get when asked “well, are you a Woman in a Man’s body” and i’d say, “no… i am simply a male… what i am NOT is a MAN…” or when asked about my sexual preference and asked if since i have always been attracted to females if i am a Lesbian. my answer to that was always “how can i be a Lesbian? i’m a male… only females can be Lesbians… if i “change my gender” i don’t change my sex… that can’t be changed…” no one seemed to want to hear these answers. i figured that was their problem.

my main motivation for opening this whole can of worms in my life was to stop being dishonest about my life-long crossdressing.  changing to a new way of living based on a concept of sex that failed to see what is obvious to me (with all respect to those for whom this is NOT obvious or true) wasn’t gong to interest me —

…as far as i have been able to get with this, i am a male no matter what hormones, operations or whatever i do to modify my appearance. that conforms to Gender Critical ideas about sex and gender.

but i still want to dress like a Woman. and i am beyond joy at the changes in my physical self due to the hormones. that is considered by the Gender Critical interlocutors in my short experience with this on a scale of being mildly pathetically misguided to being recklessly perpetuating gender roles oppressive to females.

so i’m learning what a mess has been going on “out there” while i hid from the world. it has been a real disgrace to me to learn about what i see called “Transgenderism” and how it’s adherents abuse female Women. i vehemently object to the insults,  intimidation and negative attitude that some Trans Women (maybe most, i don’t know) assault Gender Critical Women with…

Gender Critical Women criticize Transgender Theory.  these are the ones that the Trans call “TERFS” with the sort of contempt and menace found in other misogynist disgusting insulting words…  a real insult designed to hurt.  i abhor that. if there is any validity to an argument, the use of overheated rhetoric and loaded words etc. takes away from that validity.  Gender Critical Theory should be and is fairly criticized with reason as any of us should be happy to allow about our own approaches and beliefs. but no one benefits from name-calling and insulting and ranting.

Gender Critical Women express a strong objection to the fact that the existence of Trans Women creates a new need to qualify what type of Woman a Woman is… a female one or a male one. this is absurd to Gender Critical Woman and rejected by them.

i almost satisfy these critics by not claiming to be a female…

but by calling myself “Transgender Woman” and using Women’s restrooms and being misunderstood as attempting to “deny my male body” by changing the natural balance of sex hormones in me i am in violation since Gender Critical Women don’t believe that a male has the right to use any pronouns associated with females.  that it is a form of male privilege run amok to allow my presence some or any spaces that Women have reason to expect to be exclusively for their use.  that males looking like Women serves only to perpetuate negative stereotypes.   who i am may be objectionable to Gender Critical Women. they have good arguments as to why they object to these things about me. i don’t deny their point of view, but it isn’t my point of view.

i am what i am and don’t see how to to make these lemons into lemonade without… thinking outside the parameters of the apparent divide.

I’ve conceived of a different way i think… a way in which i use male for my biological name and Woman for my gender… and i’m really still working on this but the idea is, ultimate re-integration of all members of the species, transcendence of the narrow point of view in which our differences seem to actually divide us… i think nature made us like all of nature, to be interconnected to the degree of inseparability. identifying gender and sex is only useful in this context in a way that someone would need to know for purposes of procreation or as an aesthetic thing alone… if there is such a thing…

i’ve been subtly ejected from the Transgender Community that welcomed me when i began to come out, i believe in large part because of my her-esy,  but i was leaving anyway.  i felt uneasy knowing that i didn’t adhere to the observance of strict assertion of my female-ness and equivalency with “cis” Women.

unless i can find some other males that seek a way to live outside of the Patriarchal definitions that we must conform to to be “Men” or “Women”, i simply won’t have any community.

what i’m dealing with at this moment is: what does it mean that i’ve restructured my life (physically as well as socially) but i’m still left participating in Patriarchal oppression of females?

i don’t regret the hormones. i am happier than i’ve ever been now that i have normalized my apparel preferences and appear as a Woman at work and in public and everywhere.

but i can no longer really call myself a “Transgender Woman” without choking a bit… i can make it work if i read it literally… it says that i am a “kind” of Woman, not simply a Woman. but the current politics of that label as i understand it are noxious to me… i don’t want to call myself something that is associated with misogyny by Women i respect and frankly, to plain old Man violence… some of my fellow Trans Women seem to me to act more like Men than most Men i know.

i’m sure about this: female is the matrix of all life. all of life passes though her, comes from her. in biological theory, the origin of sexes is supposed to have emerged as a variance providing some advantage to the species that developed it. i’m not well-enough read to understand why that happened, but i do think i can say the above with total confidence. female is the matrix.

my existence as a male does not make me a member of an “opposite sex”. it makes me a version, a modification of, a version of… female. NOT female, but related… so closely related that by simply ingesting hormones my body will actually develop female secondary sex features.

nothing can make me a female, much less a Woman. these are experiences that belong to you, females. but nothing will keep me continuing to be a Man either…

i am declaring that my maleness is expressed THUS and not according to society’s demands.

i’m worried about a remaining contradiction in myself though… and i think we are all perplexed by this… styles of dress and appearance are collected together under a rubric called “gender” and a lot of those practices are traditionally tied to exploitative practices against females. my aping any of those in my daily life is ignorant at best. but i’m not going to hold myself to a standard that even feminists don’t… there are feminists in dresses, with hairstyles, wearing makeup… just as there are feminists who wear Man clothes…

i guess what i wish was that styles of dress could be simply styles… not markers of rank and targeting mechanisms… i can’t imagine changing back to Man clothes and love what i do now… i feel pretty, i have confidence in myself, i’m happy.

the least i can do (and i do) is to be clear with everyone that i am not a female… and that gender roles are as Rachael Ivey points out: “a caste system” and that what i am is a human being, a male who seeks to participate in the liberation of our species from this 10,000 year long nightmare of Patriarchy, Hierarchy, Division and Death.

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