If in a hypothetical society...

Discussion in 'Ask a Transgender Person' started by Blades25, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. Blades25

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    Hello :)
    I know gender identity is first of all a biological issues. It is also true that most people wear and behave according to the role of the gender they feel they are.
    So my question is hypothetical but it may help me understand: if we lived in a society which didn't prescribe different clothes and behaviors to different genders (therefore if the difference between male and female was only about the ppssibility of pregnancy, and for the rest we were exactly the same culturally), would there still be need for you to change your sex?
    I hope my question doesnt offend anybody. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. desilover

    desilover Banned

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    gender behavour is not wholly arbitrary. there are some differences between men and women in all societies.
     
  3. Blades25

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    Dear Desilover, I am aware of that. Indeed I wrote "In a hypothetical society", it is a question that would help understand how much the gender you feel is influenced by the displays and behaviours culturally assigned to that gender. Because there is a sharp difference between female/male (merely biological) and woman/man (a set of rules and habits culturally defined and, therefore, temporary, changing, transient). For example, in ancient Egypt male used eyeliner and wigs.

    When someone born male feels like a woman, the first thing they will do is behave and wear like a woman, to communicate their feelings and show how they want to be identified. In a world where women and men behaved exactly the same (or better, no different clothes, hairstyles, jobs, where men could freely wear stilettos and woman grow their natural body hair), there would be no possibility, nor the need probably, to show that you feel of the opposite sex.

    That said, we know that sexual orientation (from homo to hetero) is something else than gender identity (male to female). Therefore it's not taken for granted that a mtf person will sexually behave and feel like a straight woman. It happens that mtf people will have female partners and behave sexually like a male.

    I therefore dare to hypothesize that in the fantastic world we are depicting, things would be different and many people would not feel the need or urge to go a long path of sex reassignment.

    I hope I expressed this though of mine tactfully enough, that I didn't offend anybody. This is just a thought I had studying sexual identity and I care to say that it is very general and doesn't claim to say how things should be, at all. It's just for me to better understand.
     
  4. Scarletbegonia

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    Not trans, but mom of a transwoman.
    There's a body dysphoria involved, where the physical reality of the body and sex organs/secondary characteristics are disliked.

    Not sure how societal roles play into that, however.
     
  5. Blades25

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    Thank you, Scarletbegonia :)
    I know, it is first of all something body related. And unfortunately it's not easy (if not impossible) understand how much cultural gender roles play their part.
    Anyway thank you for letting me express my thoughts and discuss about it with you.
     
  6. desilover

    desilover Banned

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    I agree, it's part biological and perhaps part social. I think in all honesty that gender roles are subjective, but not as subjective as the PC society proclaims.
     
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  7. Scarletbegonia

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    I'd say they are programmed to a great extent. It's the self image as one gender or the other, not the ability to say, wear certain clothing.
     
  8. craigory001

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    Blades, I know I'm late in the game, but it's late and i can't sleep, so I stumbled upon your discussion. There is no proper analogy as to why someone needs to transition because I find the idea is too abstract for most. It's not only a matter of feeling trapped in one's own body, it's also a sense of incompleteness like a feeling of phantom pains or limbs. I know I'll probably take heat for this but allow me to paint a scene for you.

    A man and his wife are driving home from a wonderful evening out on the town. They had taken in a show and had the most delicious meal they've eaten in months. They're carrying on, just laughing at each other's jokes. They're singing along to the radio, off key, but they even laugh at that. The man thinks to himself that he could never be happier. His wife leans in and kisses his cheek and says "I love you. You spoil me rotten."
    They're almost to their exit. They are both thinking about how quickly they can get into bed. In an instant they see a flash of light. They feel the semi crash into them, before they even see, or hear it. The car goes sideways, barreling down the expressway. The car flips over twice. They come to a halt crashing into a guardrail. The man feels his legs are pinned but he still tries to get out to help his wife. When he realizes he can't move he calls out to her. She doesn't answer.
    The man wakes up in the hospital. There is no one around, but he hears laughter. It's his wife, he thinks. He'd recognize it anywhere. His legs feel like they're on fire, they hurt so badly. He doesn't want to move, so he calls for her. A nurse runs in and quites him down. She explains that he was in a car accident. A truck drive lost his brakes and totaled his car. She explains that his wife died in the accident with her unborn child. He throws off his blankets because he wants to go see her in the morgue. He's terrified to see that his legs aren't on his body. The nurse explained that there was too much nerve damage to save them.
    Months later the man is sitting alone. He longs for his wife and his child he never knew. He still gets up to try to walk until he remembers he can't. He thinks about how he'll never walk again, trapped in a body that's failing him. He is so lonely that he pines for a woman that no longer exists, but he still hears her laugh. She still kisses him at night and he feels her on his lips.

    I hear you say that it's not that bad for transpeople. After all they have options, and no one died, or lost their limbs. The reality is that most don't have options when they need it the most. Healthcare fails lots of trans people, myself included. Personally I lost most of my family and friends, which isn't uncommon in the community. It's hard to find meaningful relationships because there is a fine line between not sharing one's disposition and getting murdered or sharing and getting murdered.

    So to answer your question about if being able to get pregnant is the only thing that made a woman different, would you still transition, my answer is an unreserved YES! My biggest dysphoria comes from my inability to become pregnant, to birth and raise a child of my own creation. I am so overwhelming burdened by that one aspect. If transitioning gives me some glimmer of hope that I can better realize myself I would transition over and over again, no matter how painful it is.

    TL;DR: Being trans is only a choice if you think that a person who lost their legs chose to do so.
     
  9. Blades25

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    Craigory, I thank you for you reply.
    I do not think that being trans is a choice: the way we feel (just like sexual orientations) is not under one's control.
    Moreover, I didn't even think "it's not that bad for transpeople", I was just trying to understand what you wanted to communicate me with that tale. I don't think we should compare sorrows and make a chart of pains, on the contrary we should respect every person with the problems and issues they are going through.
    As your post reminds me, every single situation is different and it's not possible to make a defined declaration about how things are, let alone how they might be in a hypothetical society. For you, your biggest dysphoria is the inability to become pregnat; for somebody else, the need to have a strong muscular masculine body to be able to "take" his/her partner; for somebody else, who knows what more.

    I thank you again for sharing your feelings and your worries about growing meaningful relationships, and the unfortunate loss of your previous ones. I wish you to be able to find what you are looking for.
     
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  10. kscird

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    Blades25 I don't think there is a simple answer to the very your complicated question. Is gender a learned behavior or does it stem from something biological and would people feel different in a world free of cultural and societal "norms". Can you pinpoint the moment that you where you knew definitively that you were male? what would you do if in all your youth you were told that you were female? For me, I remember some of my earliest memories questioning why I couldn't do certain things or wear certain things. If gender behavior is learned then I failed the being a male because I never took to it despite having plenty of strong males in my family. I always gravitated towards the female side only to be told that what I was doing was wrong. Against all that opposition I still felt deep inside that I was meant to be something different than what I was being told my role should be. I'm not sure if that gets you closer to answering your question but I thought I'd at least try and answer since it intrigued me.

    Best of luck.
     
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  11. vibrationzzz

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    It's all hypothetical, until someone does it first.
     
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