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Norithics

Gender Identity and Dystopia

I've been thinking about something for a long time, and only after lots of analysis and trepidation on my part, I've decided that I need to at least... share my thoughts.

I want to start this journal off with a big, fat disclaimer, which I usually don't do, but due to the sensitive nature of this subject, I feel it's necessary: I do not hate, discriminate against, feel prejudice for, or otherwise denigrate transsexual people in any way, shape or form. Please keep this in mind while you read the rest of what I have to say.

Transsexuality has always been something close to my life. When I was a young teenager, I believed that I myself was a MtF transsexual, and generally portrayed myself as female whenever possible. It took a long time, but I eventually pieced together that I didn't actually feel this way about myself; it was just my general distaste toward all male role models I'd had up to that point manifesting in a subconscious desire to identify with the same gender that had shown me the positives of the human experience, rather than every single negative. When I slid off that shell, I became able to identify as male without trepidation or disgust. At no point, however, did I take this as some sort of discrediting of transsexualism in general; I just assumed that I was an impostor among a crowd of people who had much better, genuine reasons to be in that place in life.

I still generally feel that way, especially in the sense of relative position to myself. But as I've seen some trans friends grow up and contemplate their lot in life, some of them committing to surgery, others just to hormones, still others to neither... I've noticed that more often than not, they've found less than they were looking for in the pursuit. As a result, I've begun to wonder if transsexualism isn't a symptom of a problem that isn't the fault of individuals, but our whole weird social system. Please allow me to explain.

For someone to feel bad about their sex, they have to feel that their own personality, tendencies, and general makeup as a person conflicts with the sex they were born to appear as. However, in order for that to happen, we have to accept, even in a passive "This is the way the world works" sense, that those gender associations and stereotypes are positively true. Otherwise (unless I'm missing some big invisible thing that I've just never ever seen before), if we posited those associative rules and stereotypes were false, there would be no reason to believe that one's sex (and perceived gender) had to be something they were uncomfortable with.

To give another example, if a woman has breast implants, ultimately she can have all the agency in the world, and be as self-confident as possible... but the fact that she chose to get them was in at least some way a result of the assumption that large breasts are superior. And unless she had a super-specific fetish for breast implants, that assumption would have to come from society at large.

So does this mean that I feel like transsexuals and women who get breast implants (or men who try to enlarge their penis, for another example) are fools? That they're just stupid or weak for buying into these preconstructed ideas of gender identity and beauty?

Not even a little. Because like it or not, logical or not, these assumptions are woven into the fabric of society whole cloth. They are ancient, they are repeated like a deafening echo chamber, they are the next best thing to truth: what we as a whole believe is the truth. If everyone believes the Earth is flat, then it doesn't matter that it isn't; society will function as if it is, and there is very little you can do to alter it within the scope of your own generation. These people are just working within the rules that govern our world, whether they even agree with them or not. I can't fault anybody for doing that.

Why even bring this up? Well, it's because somebody asked me something that basically brought up the unspoken question if there were transsexual people in Partners. And I had to ultimately answer "no." Not because if you were a transsexual person you wouldn't be allowed or acknowledged; they just wouldn't understand why you felt the need to be one gender or another in specific to begin with, because they don't have those assumptions. There's no such thing as "girly" or "manly." You can be "pretty" or "handsome" with any set of genitals. You can comport yourself how you like and dress in whatever suits your fancy without setting off any imaginary boundaries of propriety, because they just don't have them. There are no verboten hobbies or interests or personal tics. But I guess I just didn't want to come off as ignorant or hateful, and thus, this overly long explanation to a question that ultimately nobody ever explicitly asked.


As it turns out, my assumptions were incorrect! Also, I addressed trans people in Partners: http://earth-2541-partners.wikia.com/wiki/Post-Splice_...
Viewed: 525 times
Added: 5 years, 2 months ago
 
Mathew322
5 years, 2 months ago
First.

OMG. I really like this. It reminds me of a YouTube video I watched a while back: Are Bronies Changing the Definition of Masculinity? | Idea Channel | PBS It's really good and I encourage you to watch it.
KentoFoxeh
5 years, 2 months ago
I've noticed in a lot of transsex people, it's not exactly that they WANT to be the opposite gender, but more often than not, they just hate their own gender. I feel this focus on the negative aspects is what ultimately leads to the disappointment that often happens after sex reassignment procedures. It's easy to be tricked into thinking you want it one way when you HATE it the other way.
Nimble
5 years, 2 months ago
That's a very good answer to the question. The fact that society in Partners has advanced to such a stage that issues like that don't exist... and the fact that you had such a clear and concise answer like you put here.. Well, it's awesome!

One day, we can all only hope that society progresses to such a point. Sadly, that's not the case, and we have people who feel uncomfortable with the disparity between who they are, and what they are.

I don't think anyone could fault you for your position on the topic. Your position is well defended and articulated. Good for you.

Penis. Just because.
Flexible
5 years, 2 months ago
Suffice to say; when it comes to transsexuals, people have various reasons for choosing to go through with it. Some are right, some are wrong, and it's all about perception of your problem. I know there's people out there who jump on bandwagons just to find out that the destination it lead is not what they wanted, they just wanted the attention riding the wagon gave them. Other times, people have a problem that they think it will solve, and it often has nothing to do with their gender identity. So they're finding less than what they're looking for because they went looking for the it in the wrong place.

You are the perfect example of this, you disliked how  men behaved and used that as a reason for why you believed you wanted to be transsexual, yet how you feel about a gender is only a superficial reason to change your gender. If you don't like males, but do like yourself, then you have no gender identity issue. If you hate males, hate being one, want to get a sex change so you can both be lesbian and not be male any more, then it applies to your identity. On this, no level of social stigma or the lack there of is going to change how you feel. Men could suddenly all turn into superman, every single one, and your dislike for the male GENDER, not the behavior of the gender would not change.

In short; My choice was dictated by how I felt about being male, not about how I felt about what others did, or how others felt towards me. I've never been disappointed in my choices, and if someone is then they better re-evaluate why they made the choice in the first place. If people don't look at their own reasons, and they often don't, they fail to realize that what they want has nothing to do with their OWN gender identity. This leads to them feeling like they haven't found what they were looking for, or to them deciding to not go through with it at all. Using you as the prefect example again.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
I see what you're saying, and I don't think I disagreed with what you've said at any point in the journal. It isn't that I believe that people depend on others' perceptions in order to decide whether to be transsexual or not, but rather that the very idea that their sex means one thing or another itself a pre-planted concept. You say that it was about how you felt about being male, but where do your ideas of what it means to be male come from in the first place? How does 'male' have any meaning to you? That's where I'm coming from.
Flexible
5 years, 2 months ago
It wouldn't matter if society did or did not treat males/females differently, or have the concept of gender. Gender is a physical definition of a person, and if they're not happy with how they feel or look physically, then they change it. I was physically unhappy with how my body felt, I didn't like looking at my male body in the mirror, I don't like facial hair, I don't like square proportions on anyone, not just myself. I find it hard to enjoy the male body if it's not effeminate in shape. It's a physical thing, not a social thing. x3 Anyone who denotes it as insecurity either doesn't know, or understand the concept of being in a body that every day makes you want to not exist.

I agree that without set standards of male and female a lot of people wouldn't feel the way they do and go through with transsexual life-styles, but I personally don't think it would matter in my case.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
That's very interesting to me. I'm curious, then, what if you had been given a different male body? One that was relatively hairless and lithe- one that was pretty, by the standards that are normally applied to women. Would you still feel the same way? What if, as a female, you still appeared hairy and/or blocky; would that be terribly disappointing to you? They're not loaded questions; I'm honestly really curious.
Flexible
5 years, 2 months ago
I can't actually answer those questions. Since my life would be totally different if those were the situations, and my perception of self would be different, leading to a changed outcome. I can only state what I know of myself in this situation now. x3
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
That... is a totally fair answer.
notmenotyou
5 years, 2 months ago
Nice read, and well thought out too.

Society and traditions are, in my eyes, two things closer to the devil than anything else currently. People are bend and shaped into things they have to be and not what they would like to be. They are told on TV that they have to look a certain way to be desirable, that they aren't allowed to do some things because of 'tradition' and are supposed to do other things because it is 'expected' from them.

Just take a look at toys for girls and boys, girls get dolls, which you can often only dress up or make their hair or something, boys get all sorts of lego and the like, something that trains abstract thinking. Many wonder why girls are under-represented in engineering classes world wide, how should they feel comfortable there if they were never allowed to train needed skills?
The next thing would be that, because of this 'girls are for keeping the house clean' many don't try even try to change something, others are laughed at for trying to break out of this.

There are so many things that could be put on this list that it is really depressing.
Flexible
5 years, 2 months ago
Girls are given dolls to help intensify the nurturing instincts that exists within them already. It's some weird thing that's always happened. No idea why. Especially those baby dolls that cry and stuff. Honestly it gives me the shivers. XD I say let them play with whatever they want to play with, but hey.
notmenotyou
5 years, 2 months ago
I think it has something to do with survival of the family/tribe. A couple thousand years back in time, woman were pregnant whenever they could afford it/ how ever often it happened, having your somewhat older daughters care for the younger daughters would free some time for the mother to teach the eldest children what type of plants should be collected and what shouldn't. Back then, people only ever got as old as 25 years, if they were extremely lucky, it was more common till approx. 1900 to die before 18 than it is now to die before 60. Teaching children, especially girls, how to properly care for a child that had a 30% to die before the age of 2 was something incredibly important. And you couldn't exactly just hand out your newborn to your other daughter, those little things are bit fragile.
So replacements (dolls) were created, and just stuck around.
Flexible
5 years, 2 months ago
Makes sense to me!
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
I think you make a more salient point than anybody even realizes. The things we do as children can go a long way toward forming our desires as adults. If a little girl never learned that building things can be fun, what is there to create that association as she gets older? Now I'm really intrigued about that, and I feel like I want to see what would happen if girls and boys were given the opposite toy types, then fast forward to adulthood and see what careers they would choose.
notmenotyou
5 years, 2 months ago
Research into this is currently in the making. I'm from germany and our land is rather known for our engineering skills, if anybody wants to study, all they have to do is to have good marks in school and find a place, our state will pay them through university (and that in a way that is actually possible to repay within a couple years), yet we need more engineers for our companies around the country.
So there have been ongoing studies who is more likely to study and who isn't, and this research suggests that kids raised in an academic family with at least one parent having studied being much more likely to study on its own than the kids raised in families with a worse school history.
Based on this study they wanted to find out why kids in non-academic families don't to study, even if money is no problem, many of those studies are still undergoing, but it seems that in academic families the children often have better toys and parents that teach them things like building with legos and encourage them to watch learning programms and read books or show them some smaller tricks/math, while in non-academic families the children often only have a TV to watch and often simply lack encouragement from their parents to simply do anything.

So, while not exactly in the direction of what toys are good or not but the evidence is there, the upbringing of a child is quite important in deciding what they are either capable of doing or comfortable with.
Eviscerator
5 years, 2 months ago
...There's food for thought.  It makes alot of sense, but it'll probably take a while for the implications to set in.
blankname
5 years, 2 months ago
after reading this i must wonder why bring up dystopia its seems to me that the world of partners is a utopia of sorts seeing as no one labeled in that way
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
I guess because I get gunshy around the word 'Utopia.' One man's heaven is another's hell, and it feels presumptuous to apply it to a world I've crafted based on my own assumptions.
blankname
5 years, 2 months ago
yeah perhaps that is for the best then
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
To be sure, I don't consider it a dystopia, either; I was mostly talking about the direction that gender normative ideas take us in.
JeremyMikales
5 years, 2 months ago
You might be subconsciously thinking of "Dysmorphia", the feeling that the form something takes is wrong. The term that is used for a transsexual's dislike for their birth body is "Body Dysmorphia".
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
Interesting. Though, no, I did mean Dystopia, as my main focus was a zoomed-out perspective on unfortunate social mold-casting. Also, you just taught me that word just now. *laughs*
AlexReynard
5 years, 2 months ago
This is one of those 'I don't disagree with a single thing you've said, but I think there's another angle you should consider' type things.

I can absolutely agree with you that there is likely a lot of people who think they are transsexuals due to societal pressure. Like you said, they dislike their own gender and believe they'd be happier as the other. Or, since transgenderism is becoming more well-known in recent years, people with a general dissatisfaction with their lives would gravitate to it as a possible explanation for their feelings of loneliness and alienation.

But of course, both of those kinds of people are eventually going to realize that their problem isn't really what they think it is. The *true* transsexuals, I believe, are the people for whom 'disliking' their body is a moot point. For some rare people, it's not that society pressures them to think a certain way about either gender; it's that when they look in the mirror, it doesn't match the self they see when they close their eyes and envision what they ought to look like.

And that's kind of true for me. It's not a major part of my life. I don't hate my body. I'm not too fond of it either, but that's beside the point. When I imagine what I look like, it is never what I really look like. This body doesn't match me, it's as simple as that.

Luckily for me, it's not too severe of a mismatch. But for some people, their inner self is one gender, their outer self isn't. And they may have nothing but positive feelings towards the gender they were born as, but that still doesn't make it *correct*. Imagine you come home to find that a loved one has been replaced with someone else who looks similar. This other person might be nice, might be fun, might be a genuinely good person. But it's not the person you love, and nothing will change that. It will always feel wrong. Especially if you are pressured to love them as if everything's normal.

So, I don't presume to know more than you about a story series I haven't started reading yet (Although I assure you, Relee keeps badgering me to!), I think there would absolutely be transsexuals in your world. Even in a society where the genders are completely equal, there could still be people who look in the mirror and see the wrong reflection. (And for furries, some of them might see the wrong species, too.)
PonderousPlatypus
5 years, 2 months ago
While you raise some good points to the light to be discussed, I would be very careful using words like 'true' in regards to identifying different types of trans. The reasons people can come to the decision that they are trans are quite varied, and to put one above the others as the 'real' reason only serves to belittle and diminish the choices of many other people.
AlexReynard
5 years, 2 months ago
>The reasons people can come to the decision that they are trans are quite varied, and to put one above the others as the 'real' reason only serves to belittle and diminish the choices of many other people.

I wouldn't use the word 'belittle', but yes, that is exactly my intention.

Some people have obsessive compulsive disorder. Other people claim to have OCD because it's crazy without being too crazy and they can tell all their Facebook friends about it and lap up the sympathy.

Similarly, there are people who genuinely know, down to the core of their being, that they are in the wrong body. And these people often know from childhood that this is the case. Other people claim to be trans due to confusing it with common alienation, due to hating their own gender, or due to the bandwagon effect like I described with the counterfeit OCD sufferers. (Or they simply enjoy the fantasy of being the other gender. If so, they definitely shouldn't be calling themselves a term that implies a need to be the other gender.)

I'm not even immune myself. I'll occasionally talk about my experiences with depression, but I know damn well that other people have real, crippling, months-long periods of inescapable paralyzing emptiness, and my own 'depression' is so minor in comparison I really shouldn't even use the word.

So yes, I absolutely think that there are 'true' transgendered people. Off the top of my head, I think one way of testing this theory would be to ask, 'Imagine that I will pay for your gender reassignment surgery, today. You'll get your dream body, but it will mean surgeons slicing up your most sensitive body parts, months of agonizing recovery, and no guarantee you'll ever recover full sexual function. You have to choose right now. Yes or no?'
PonderousPlatypus
5 years, 2 months ago
I think that's a very poor way of looking at it. Psychological conditions cannot be objectively measured the same way flu symptoms can, so to try and classify somebody's depression as worse than somebody else's is futile. How do you know that you and somebody with crippling depression don't feel the exact way, but you are better at coping with it? We really can't measure what they feel, only how they react.

Suppose, with your example, that somebody who deeply, truly feels that they are in the wrong body, and when they look in the mirror it's an alien staring back at them. Suppose they don't take your offer, though? Does that mean they aren't a 'true' transsexual? No, there are a bunch of reasons somebody might not want to. They might be afraid, or they might want to wait until the surgery advances, as it has done quite rapidly in recent years. So, I would strongly disagree with your measure of what it is to be truly trans. And, I strongly disagree with the idea that we should try and measure who is deserving of being considered as such in the future.

If I identify as gay, but later on decide I am bisexual or even straight after all, it doesn't mean I was never truly gay. The same way that somebody may believe they are trans, or even be trans but not wish to physically change their body, they are no less transgendered than somebody who does undergo surgery.
AlexReynard
5 years, 2 months ago
>Psychological conditions cannot be objectively measured the same way flu symptoms can, so to try and classify somebody's depression as worse than somebody else's is futile.

(looks a bit confused) I have no idea how you can come to that conclusion. Just because psychological symptoms can't be measured with perfect precision doesn't mean they can't be compared at all.

>How do you know that you and somebody with crippling depression don't feel the exact way, but you are better at coping with it?

Because my depression will hit me on a night or two out of every month, and usually some light exercise, talking with friends or a good sleep will make it go away. I have at least one friend whose depression is like a Dementor sitting on his chest for days on end and nothing will make it leave. My depression is not worse than his.

>Suppose they don't take your offer, though? Does that mean they aren't a 'true' transsexual?

Did I say that answering 'yes' was the test? I admit I should have clarified this, but I think the test is really the level of thought given to the question and their reasons for their answer. Someone who gives an immediate, horrified "No!" is only mildly transsexual in my opinion. Someone who'd give an immediate "Yes!" is likely invested more in their fantasy of what it'll be like than reality. But someone who has to seriously weigh the options, who fully understands the risks and is actually willing to consider chancing them, that is a person who genuinely believes they are in the wrong body.

>And, I strongly disagree with the idea that we should try and measure who is deserving of being considered as such in the future.

What do you think the consequences of my way of thinking will be?

I have the viewpoint I do because I know a genuine transsexual person, who has done everything short of surgery to make his reflection become correct. And I see a lot of people who claim to be trans for fleeting societal reasons, as I've already explained. Maybe this is my problem, but I try to see things from my friends' perspective. I imagine myself looking down and seeing the wrong genitalia, wondering for years why I feel wrong in my body, then learning about what I am and committing to it and taking hormones and transitioning to living 24/7 as my real gender, risking alienation from friends and family. And then, if I saw hordes of internet people claiming to be trans and clearly showing that for them it's little more than a fantasy or an attention-getting device, I'd be furious at them. Posers.

>If I identify as gay, but later on decide I am bisexual or even straight after all, it doesn't mean I was never truly gay.

I disagree. If you can actually make the choice to choose your sexuality, you were never truly gay or straight in the first place. I think most people fall a lot closer towards the middle of the spectrum than they want to admit, but I know that some people are firmly on either end, and no matter how hard they might try, they can never force themselves in the other direction. I think that if you're able to choose, you were always bisexual.

>The same way that somebody may believe they are trans, or even be trans but not wish to physically change their body, they are no less transgendered than somebody who does undergo surgery.

I cannot agree to the idea that if someone 'believes' they are trans, that means they are. Yes, the desire for surgery does not prove it conclusively, but I covered that (And I did point out that my original question was off the top of my head). But self-diagnosis is notoriously unreliable. Just because someone thinks they have cancer doesn't mean they do. Just because someone thinks they have Asperger's doesn't make it true. Just because someone thinks they have the soul of a Na'vi from Avatar doesn't make it true. Saying 'I feel' is not enough. Either show that you believe it through your actions, or talk to a professional to get it confirmed.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
Hm. You're right, I did not consider that. There's a couple of reasons I didn't, either.

The first being that I think the way that we perceive ourselves and our desires can seem tied to gender even when they aren't, in reality, actually that closely related on second look.

The second, probably more relevant reason, however, is probably because I've never had that man-in-the-mirror moment. After I went through enough hallucinations, my identity sort of 'cracked,' so to speak, and it's very hard for me to feel anything toward my reflection, positive or negative. My personal associations are a bit, ehm, incomplete.
AlexReynard
5 years, 2 months ago
>The first being that I think the way that we perceive ourselves and our desires can seem tied to gender even when they aren't, in reality, actually that closely related on second look.

Entirely likely.

>The second, probably more relevant reason, however, is probably because I've never had that man-in-the-mirror moment. After I went through enough hallucinations, my identity sort of 'cracked,' so to speak, and it's very hard for me to feel anything toward my reflection, positive or negative. My personal associations are a bit, ehm, incomplete.

Sorry to hear that. Do you think your outside and inside are mismatched, or are you just unable to care either way?

BTW, you seem to have left a comment and then deleted it. If you rethought what you said that's fine. But I hope you didn't think what you'd said would offend me. I admit, my thoughts and feelings on this issue are a lot shakier than some other topics, and I'm completely open to any argument that can prove mine wrong.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
No, I just realized I hadn't organized my thoughts so that a human being could interpret them. *laughs*

As for your question... *sorta uselessly gestures with his hands* I... It's so hard to explain. It's like, I don't have the module installed to have an opinion on myself. Like, I can evaluate my accomplishments and behaviors, but I feel no reaction or attachment to my reflection or appearance, like someone who didn't realize they had one.
AlexReynard
5 years, 2 months ago
>No, I just realized I hadn't organized my thoughts so that a human being could interpret them. *laughs*

No prob. Had that happen earlier today in a discussion about frivolous lawsuits which, when you look at the facts, are far more valid than they're dismissively reported as. I made a comment about how maybe, just maybe, large corporations would encourage reports of these "frivolous" suits in order to influence the public and lawmakers towards "reforms" that would make it more difficult for the average citizen to file valid claims. Unfortunately, I left out the word 'reports'. So it looked like I was suggesting that these companies stage bizarre accidents towards the same purpose. Whoops.

>As for your question... *sorta uselessly gestures with his hands* I... It's so hard to explain. It's like, I don't have the module installed to have an opinion on myself. Like, I can evaluate my accomplishments and behaviors, but I feel no reaction or attachment to my reflection or appearance, like someone who didn't realize they had one.

That's genuinely fascinating. I've never heard of such a condition before.

So in essence, the Norithics I'm talking to right now, your words and ideas, is, as far as you're concerned, the real you?
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
" AlexReynard wrote:
That's genuinely fascinating. I've never heard of such a condition before.
So in essence, the Norithics I'm talking to right now, your words and ideas, is, as far as you're concerned, the real you?


Well I mean, I'm concerned about it because I know the way the world works, but... in the spirit of the question you're asking? Basically, yeah. Yes. That's me.

It's really really hard to explain in words, but... I guess the closest approximation I can make is this: You know when you say a word a bunch of times, over and over, until that word loses meaning? That has to do with your memory, and it's basically how I... regard?... my physical body/face. I'm aware what it's supposed to be, and I know that in the abstract, it's me... but I don't really see it that way. It has a lot to do with the way that schizophrenia can bombard you with more fear than any human has any reason to ever have, in volume and repetition... and also with the fact that it plants false memories over your real ones. All in all, it's a big fucking mess.
AlexReynard
5 years, 2 months ago
>Well I mean, I'm concerned about it because I know the way the world works, but... in the spirit of the question you're asking? Basically, yeah. Yes. That's me.

Not to make light of it, but it sounds like what happened to you by accident is what I've been working towards intentionally. My mind is definitely more 'me' than this clumsy, slow flesh I'm trapped in. I don't *hate* it, but it still feels like prison. That I could do and be so much more if I didn't have to put up with physics limiting me.

>I guess the closest approximation I can make is this: You know when you say a word a bunch of times, over and over, until that word loses meaning? That has to do with your memory, and it's basically how I... regard?... my physical body/face. I'm aware what it's supposed to be, and I know that in the abstract, it's me... but I don't really see it that way.

<nod> I can understand that. Very good analogy.

>It has a lot to do with the way that schizophrenia can bombard you with more fear than any human has any reason to ever have, in volume and repetition... and also with the fact that it plants false memories over your real ones. All in all, it's a big fucking mess.

I'm sorry to hear that. I wasn't aware you were schizophrenic. And, while I don't know much about the condition, I do know that I'm mentally fucked enough that I'd have no grounds to judge you harshly for it, as some people might. Our brains may backfire differently, but I can at least say you're not alone in being abnormal. And I don't mind that you are. :)
Flexible
5 years, 2 months ago
Lamia
5 years, 2 months ago
aha, you've touched on an issue that I've realized and embraced in my trans-ness

see, I consider myself transgendered because I want to be perceived as female, because ultimately, that's what matters. according to social norms, if you dress like a gender, talk like a gender, act like a gender, and call yourself a gender, that's what you are. the 'talking' and 'acting' like a certain type can be argued, but really, there are stereotypes and roles and expectations for a reason.

I started to consider myself as trans when people started to mistake my fursona for a girl (I was girlier than you, in fact) and I played with being ambiguous for a while, as more and more started calling me one. for a while it was fun, but then I gave serious thought to it... 'What if I let it continue? It actually doesn't bother me... In fact it kinda feels...'

this is just my personal reasoning for being trans, though; I believe it's purely of the sociality, not of the body. I want to be seen as female and its accompanying associations, for better or for worse. additionally, I'd also like to see myself as female, which, given the input from other people, will help that along as well.

I feel as though people that get sex changes are very insecure people, but this is just a conflict of trans-motive. I'll still stand by and defend their decisions so long as they made them in total seriousness.

as for my physical body: I like my dick, won't be getting rid of that. I also have a natural spoon shape, nice curves. I got lucky, I guess, might play a part in not wanting a sex change. I wonder about that sorta thing sometimes...
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
What you say makes a lot of sense. I mean, after all, you have to live in this world, not a world that sees things differently. It's almost just a practicality standpoint.
Shakeidas
5 years, 2 months ago
Like Reynard said up there, I think there's another angle you're missing.  While I'm certain the rate of people identifying as transgender/transsexual would undoubtedly decrease if we threw away social stereotypes about gender, I don't think it would ever go away completely.  For some people it's just a *body* issue, with having a body type that makes them uncomfortable.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
Then I guess, really, the only thing I have to offer is that I have to wonder something, very seriously: If it wasn't for these assumptions we make about what body types and descriptive adjectives belong to which gender, would that still fall under transsexualism, or would it simply fall under the general premise of bodily dissatisfaction in general (which affects a much, much greater number of people already)?
Shakeidas
5 years, 2 months ago
Well I'd think the term "transsexual" would still exist since it has to do with physical sex.  But yeah, it would probably be seen more as an extreme form of bodily dissatisfaction than it's own completely separate deal.  And of course by the time we reach that point we'll have people doing species changes and shit too.
FelouseFarnayne
5 years, 2 months ago
Hi there, only just recently setting up/planning to create my account on here but saw this journal and couldn't help but offer my view on things. Touching on such a sensitive subject can be difficult to be open about so I respect and applaud you for coming out and saying it in a good and well thought out way without bias like most ignorant mean people would do.

Personally I feel that certain aspects what makes people who they are is how they feel their soul and how honest they feel in portraying themselves from their own hearts. Being a gender blind person I tend to not care or ignore the shell of the person and look to their personality and I take that into myself to be honest about "who I am" as a person contrary to "what I should be" in the eyes of others.

So what I am saying here is that people tend to choose what they feel suits their own personality and how they want to be seen by others, some just feel physical changing of ones shell is the only answer while others like myself believe in only a change in ones inner self. I guess what I am trying to say is that while society may make us feel trapped to not be true to our selves, there is a silver lining where people can be themselves while ignoring what society should make of them and instead what we as individuals should make ourselves.

I hope I understood that, because I can't help but feel I either misunderstood or I made a wrong assumption while forgetting completely certain information from reading such a long and involved journal, so if I did misunderstand something then I am sorry ^^;, Thats my unbiased and neutral view on the matter anyway, I found this journal very interesting read and enjoyed reading another person's view on a subject like this n_n.
merlynn
5 years, 2 months ago
Oh,gee,ya' think? Fucking noobs. Try to explain shit to 'em and they call you a bigot cause you don't play into their deluded fantasies. Then they come back around having finally come to the same conclusion after being beaten,battered,and bruised and declare THE SAME GODDAMN THING you told 'em at the start and act like it's wisdom from on high that had to be fought for through a "lifetime of struggle". I swear,you people are getting dumber with each generation. Separate the signal from the noise.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
I've given you a lot of chances, and I've endured a lot of your endless tirades. But I'm afraid your inability to attempt to make a point without being absolutely boorish and dismissive has sealed your fate. You will not be allowed in on these discussions anymore.

Consider perhaps that your abrasive attitude is the reason why others do not accept your viewpoints, and not their actual content- however simplistic it may be.
ElfenSciuridae
5 years, 2 months ago
This is very well said, Norithics. Very well  said in deed.

I'll post my response when I can. Its longer than 4000 characters, maybe triple that. But it will be posted.
codydudetm
5 years, 2 months ago
This makes me smile a bit in my head and heart :3 Because for the longest time, I've felt uncomfortable myself being what I am, which is, I suppose, a feminine boy. I act and behave a LOT different than boys I see at my school and male adults that I've seen, which is to say that they're mostly jocks and jerks. Maybe I'm making a big assumption about them, but you get the picture. But I like ta be a boy, and I like my femme figure. And maybe someday I'll shave my legs and wear something girly. And that'll be okay :3
Exelbirth
5 years, 2 months ago
Can't help but say that you're definitely my favorite and most respected artist/writer on here now. You sound a bit like I imagine a philosophy major would if they talked about this subject.

Personally, I want to be a woman. Why? I can't really answer other than it just feels to me like I should be. I don't have a general hatred toward the male body, I don't really feel disgust when it comes to the male gender (not enough to make me want nothing to do with it at least), it just feels to me like my body is wrong. Even when I dream I'm more often than not a woman.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
If I may ask, what kind of woman are you in those dreams? In your projections of yourself? Are you very different there from how you are in reality? How do you feel about that form, in contrast to your own?
Exelbirth
5 years, 2 months ago
Honestly not much about me seems different. Mainly just me if I would have been born female instead of male. No facial hair (less body hair in general), obvious chest, gear between the legs switched, and hair length is longer (actually have let it grown about a foot in the past 3 years). That's really about it, other than voice being less masculine.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
That's very interesting all in itself, actually!
And thank you for what you said, it made me feel pretty good, actually.
Exelbirth
5 years, 2 months ago
Haha, you're welcome I guess, though I'm just being myself: Fairly straightforward and honest towards those I respect.
PonderousPlatypus
5 years, 2 months ago
Several others have already touched on it, and one other has even used the word for it, but I feel like I should still weigh in. I think that there is still beyond a doubt ways for trans people to still exist in Partners society. Honestly? I feel like they would have an even harder time there than they would in our society. Because while a lot of trans people can come to their decision based on the way genders in society are perceived, whether from person experience or general opinion, there is another reason people may be completely unsatisfied with their gender. And that is gender/body dysmorphia.

The idea that, when they look at themselves, they feel -wrong-. That what they and everyone else sees doesn't match what they have in their head or their heart. Some people are born male, but will never feel male, and when they look at themselves they will always think they are looking at a different person. It is one of those issues of the mind that I find hard to imagine curing, the same way that I would still expect there to be paranoia or narcissism in the Partners world.

And really, it is exactly because their society is so advanced in dealing with a lot of other issues, and due to their lack of very defined gender roles, that I think such people would really suffer. Imagine trying to explain to somebody who didn't really see many hard differences between the ways boys and girls interact that you don't feel like a boy. What does that even mean when boys and girls are basically the same, except physically? And, there is much less of a standardized 'ideal' body type in their society. So, it would also be difficult for them to explain the idea of being severely unhappy with the way they appear to others. "But look, so many other people find you attractive!" Except, it's not really a matter of attraction. It's a matter of not feeling at home in one's body.

Of course, I am just looking in to this world you've made, so I may be one or wrong on all points in how they regard to Partners. But, this is the internet. What better place to make sweeping assumptions about other people ideas? Besides all that, I got to talk about body dysmorphia, which is fascinating stuff.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
You know, in relation to Partners, actually, there is kind of an example of what you're talking about. And she's the main character!

I play it up for laughs more often than not, but Natalie very deeply feels that she'd like to have a different body type. She would rather be more average or have a larger bust than she does, and that the body type she's growing into reflects her mother far more than it does herself. Even in moments where she "accepts" these things about how she looks, it still feels weird to her.

Another example is Erwin, and his is even more pronounced. He doesn't like being awkwardly endowed as it looks so strange on him, but probably even moreso is the fact that he doesn't like his build. He would much rather be tall and blocky and strong-looking. His 'Dad'- who is a woman- is that build, and looks very strong, and he looks up to her a lot, which is really most of the reason, but the result is that he's dissatisfied with his looks, and never feels like he's bringing anything to the table in a society where everybody is bisexual.

I guess I would still stand by my claim, but under the caveat that, no, people who are dissatisfied with their bodies still exist- it's just a lot more specified into physical details rather than a gender divide, because all of the assumptions exist within a much more nebulous cloud of adjectives than "manly" or "womanly."

Additionally, this really makes me wonder what the root of gender dysmorphia truly is. Is it something really that hard-wired into our brains? Or is it actually vulnerable to the travails of social mold-casting just like everything else?
PonderousPlatypus
5 years, 2 months ago
As with all nature vs nurture arguments, I believe the answer is somewhere in the middle. To some degree who we are is hard-coded, but even those aspects are not immune to society's influence.
Kittycoon
5 years, 2 months ago
Your decision will not change your impression on me. I have quite a few friends and co workers who are trans and honestly, they are some of the best people I ever met. Lately my co worker has been helping me out with the job changing situation of me having no food to barely make the rent. But my point really is changing how you look is not going to change who you are. On the inside, you are still that inspiring person I met five years ago and today little to nothing has changed my impression on that. If the world saw these people like I do, the world would be incredibly different.
SenGrisane
5 years, 2 months ago
Oh. Interesting.

I am male and rather happy with it. Even though I have some female (and childish :P) traits I don't think I would be happier as a girl. I also don't think I would be unhappier as a girl, by the way. After all I love shoving things into any orifice I have (is that a female trait?) so... one more orifice should be fun too. But in any case, taking a permanent, unreversable operation is something I'd never consider unless I have a very good reason.

Actually I'd love to be a herm but that's not possible XD
Lost
5 years, 2 months ago
I have had issues with male gender roles for as long as I could remember. I've always been more cerebral than physical, compounded by my small frame, and I've never enjoyed sports. Growing up, I always wondered at the big dissonance between boys and girls, that boys were expected to be good at sports, very physical, and girls were expected to be interested in pink and very dainty and fragile. Very nuclear, conservative stereotypes, like bad sitcom characters. I didn't like the hard dissonance between the sexes (apparently my older sister had the exact same mindset), and I knew I didn't fit into either category or group.

I preferred the idea of being a girl. What they could wear, their more curved body shapes, and the lack of external cargo between their legs appealed to me more than the blandness what men were expected to wear and look like. This hit critical point in high school, when I was around guys who were everything I didn't want to be; dumb and extremely violent. It made me want to be a girl more than ever. It wasn't until after I was able to leave that environment that I began to feel more comfortable in my own body, but it isn't enough to reverse my desire to be a girl. I'm still surrounded by guys who are ignorant or don't communicate, or try to force out all the sitcom masculine stereotypes as possible.

In a nutshell, it's a combination of my love for the female body artistically and sexually and society's standard for what makes a "man".
Danund81
5 years, 2 months ago
Lovely article. I've noticed it starting at an early age.

Girls play with dolls, boys play with action figures.  Either way they're plastic people.  But often societies sees issue with something 'different' than the norm.  No surprise there right?

Was walking through the market with my sister and her son.  My nephew got a hold of one of the new 'brats' dolls, the ones that look like frankenstein, dracula etc?  I immediately watched my sister (who's in a homosexual relationship)  take the doll from his hands and gave him a nerf gun instead.  I raised an eyebrow at this knee jerk response my sister had, but didn't question it.

I watched him instead want the brats doll, what he had been denied.  Society often makes assumptions of how to raise children, create barriers at a ridiculously early age, defining what's boy stuff and girly things.    I think part of it is the assumption children might have that the other gender's stuff is so much better.

This is not me saying "All transexuals are because sussy wanted a G.I. Joe for Christmas and Timmy wasn't allowed to play in mom's dresser.", I say this to give a potential source, a factor in what subconsciously causes these decisions.  
Kupok
5 years, 2 months ago
I really enjoyed reading this, and I wish I had something constructive to say about it.

I'm surrounded constantly by folks with gender issues, and this does grant some extra views I did not have before.

Honestly, I feel like a minority among my peergroup, like I'm the only cisgendered @w@
Zarpaulus
5 years, 2 months ago
I did notice that most of the old cultures that featured something like transgenderism also have/had very strict gender roles.  More so than Victorian England even.
Keeran
5 years, 2 months ago
I believe society is to blame here on most cases. I encourage you too look at this video, the vlogger here points out some good points here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp8tToFv-bA
StelardActek
5 years, 2 months ago
I'm far too tired to do this justice, and I know I won't remember to come back to it. Suffice to say I read it all, thought about it, and agree with your points. I approve your your world building and your explanation as to why things are so, separate from our own world. ^^
Shokuji
5 years, 2 months ago
Well said, Nori. =3

Also props to Alex for bringing up a good points too.
JHelfrich
5 years, 2 months ago
This reminds me of a book I was hearing about on public radio last year.

http://www2.kuow.org/program.php?id=25979

It always kinda struck me as odd growing up that there were these clearly defined lines between boys and girls in terms of clothes, toys and expected behavioral norms and these were being propigated without caring about if that's what the individual even wanted.  It was "just how things were", which seems to be a good sign that maybe something needs re-evaluation.
LillyCorthaine
5 years, 2 months ago
I found this post really interesting to read. o3o
farfox
5 years, 2 months ago
The problem with this is that it assumes that body dysphoria is only rooted in gender roles/behavior/whatever and not biological dysphoria. While I agree that many transgender people seem to be conforming to societal notions, there are also MtFs who behave as butch women and FtMs who behave as femme men, thus are obviously not doing it for societal conforming but instead because they do not feel comfortable with their born bodies in a serious, "non-societal" way.
Norithics
5 years, 2 months ago
Well, but here's where I get confused: how is any of that not biological? The entirety of our psychology consists of physical things happening within our brains, and unless it was a humour of the body from the neck down, I could only assume that body dysphoria works within the same constructs as the rest of our mind.

And it begs the question, then: If they aren't doing it for those reasons, then why? If they truly are that disconnected from the idea of gender roles and social implications therein- something that would be amazing all by itself, what with how pervasive this aspect is within our social consciousness- what remaining reason do they have to pursue a goal within that construct of gender? It doesn't gel on paper, and I would seriously welcome an answer.
EarthPhantomTS
5 years ago
It's journals like this that make me wish we could fave journals on this site.  I'll admit, I can understand what you're talking about, being inclined to portray yourself as the opposite sex because you hate your own biological sex.  That said, I have other reasons for identifying myself as Adelle rather than my real self, so I have no desire to "come clean" on who I actually am yet.
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