Mary Xmas (maryxmas) wrote,
Mary Xmas

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nstead of being eroticized and objectified, in this scenario, the trans person is idealizing women in the same way that a white professor of American Indian languages and literature did when she once told my entire class that there were no profane or curse words in any American Indian language because “they don’t think that way.” Women, the gazed-upon, become idealized from their gaze. Left with a piteously deficient model of masculinity and an idealized one of femininity-on-a-pedestal, and with their heterosexual desires still intact, these men become MtFs who identify strongly as lesbians and eroticize lesbian sexuality because they believe it frees them from the power dynamics of heterosexuality while giving them access to spaces free from those “other” kinds of men–spaces where women feel safer and more free about letting themselves talk. The MtF trans* people I have known who fit this dynamic have an almost fetishistic need to talk to women about personal things and to be let into a woman’s inner emotional space, even women they barely know. They take a lot of pride in (and will happily tell you about, ad nauseam) their ability to get into a woman’s psyche and help her solve her problems. They give lots of advice to women.

When someone who idealizes women in this way transitions to living as a woman, they often talk a lot about losing privilege. What they are actually doing is, very often, nothing of the sort. The trans activists who started out as Silicon Valley nerdy “forever alone” types (who comprised a huge number of callers over the years!) were economically and racially privileged men, but when it came to the patriarchy, they were being shit upon by traditional masculinity. Instead, they’re seeking to move up, not down. They want to move into women’s spaces, where their male socialization will make it easier for them to get ahead, be assertive, and be at the top of their social hierarchy with other women talking to them and ensuring that they don’t feel lonely. Instead of hating the gazed-upon, this kind of person decides that the only freedom from the gazer’s existential loneliness is to become the gazed-upon. Once in the territory of the gazed-upon, the person who has been socialized as a gazer can switch at will in their relationships with women, both sexual and otherwise, a privilege not afforded to female born persons.For these MtF people, the idea that they might have retained some of the trappings of what they were taught as children, that they were treated differently as male children than they would have been as female children, is odious because it represents a challenge to the idea that they have no part in patriarchy. They seem to believe that patriarchy is something you can simply walk away from, and say that you had no part in it, as long as you say the right words about your identity.
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