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Mon Mar 12, 2018, 10:05 AM

Trans men confirm our worst fears about sexism


Yet experiences of trans men can provide a unique window into how gender functions in American society. In the last few months, I’ve interviewed nearly two dozen trans men and activists about work, relationships and family. Over and over again, men who were raised and socialized as female described all the ways they were treated differently as soon as the world perceived them as male. They gained professional respect, but lost intimacy. They exuded authority, but caused fear. From courtrooms to playgrounds to prisons to train stations, at work and at home, with friends and alone, trans men reiterated how fundamentally different it is to experience the world as a man.

“Cultural sexism in the world is very real when you’ve lived on both sides of the coin,” says Tiq Milan, a friend of the future groom.

And that cultural sexism is often more visible to trans men, because most say they find it easier to be low-disclosure than trans women. They’re often not recognized as trans, which means they can be less vulnerable to obvious transphobia. Some call it “passing” or “going stealth”; others say those terms suggest secrecy or deception, preferring the term “low or no disclosure.” In practice, this means that a 6’2” woman is often more conspicuous than a 5’4” man. James Ward, a lawyer in San Francisco who transitioned about six years ago, put it this way: “We have the ability to just walk through the world and not have anybody look at you twice.”

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Trans women have long observed the flip side of this reality. Joan Roughgarden, a professor emerita of biology at Stanford and a transgender woman, says it became much more difficult to publish her work when she was writing under a female name. “When I would write a paper and submit it to a journal it would be almost automatically accepted,” she said of the time when she had a man’s name. “But after I transitioned, all of a sudden papers were running into more trouble, grant proposals were running into more trouble, the whole thing was getting more difficult.”


“As a man, you’re assumed to be competent unless proven otherwise,” she says. “Whereas as a woman you’re presumed to be incompetent unless proven otherwise.”



http://time.com/transgender-men-sexism/

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trans men confirm our worst fears about sexism (Original post)
ehrnst Mar 2018 OP
ismnotwasm Mar 2018 #1
smirkymonkey Mar 2018 #2
MineralMan Mar 2018 #3
ehrnst Mar 2018 #4
MineralMan Mar 2018 #5
betsuni Mar 2018 #6
RandomAccess Mar 2018 #7
ehrnst Mar 2018 #9
RandomAccess Mar 2018 #11
iluvtennis Mar 2018 #8
Collimator Mar 2018 #10
RandomAccess Mar 2018 #12
crim son Mar 2018 #13
TalenaGor Mar 2018 #14
rainin Mar 2018 #15

Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 10:22 AM

1. This is interesting and not unexpected

The Trans community teaches a lot about gender roles and bias. From whatI understand from friend, is that Trans women who do not “pass” easily can be rejected and humiliated. My closest Trans friend transitioned in middle age, and had a fairly slight build. She was a tallish, attractive woman who still dealt with PTSD from Vietnam. She passed away a couple of years ago from cancer. We knew her from both sides of transition. She was a feminist like, immediately because the sexism started immediately

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 10:37 AM

2. K&R

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 10:41 AM

3. What a shame on our society this represents!

We can do better than this, I think. We should.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 10:46 AM

4. Indeed. We have to acknowledge it in ourselves as a first step

and as we have seen, that may be an uphill climb.

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 10:51 AM

5. Absolutely. If we have privilege, we must be mindful of it and

guard against personal prejudice based on it. I agree.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 10:54 AM

6. K&R

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 11:46 AM

7. Discouraging, but not surprising

What's discouraging to me isn't so much that this happens, but that we've come SUCH a long way since the late 60s, and STILL it's so rampant, so visible, so deeply entrenched.

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Response to RandomAccess (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 12:01 PM

9. Susan Faludi talked about progress being an upward spiral rather than an arc

After great steps forward, there is a backlash.

The larger the step forward, the stronger the backlash.



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Response to ehrnst (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 12:07 PM

11. I'd forgotten about her and her book

Excellent reminder. Sigh.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 11:47 AM

8. And the same bias happens if you are a person of color or wear religious headgear - BIAS...

...sometimes I wish we all were purple and looked completely alike with no distinctions whatsoever. I agree that would be a boring world without diversity, but since some folks can't seem to handle it, we need some solution.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 12:05 PM

10. Ben Barres, a neurobiologist born as Barbara Barres spoke to this.

Barres told the story of someone who approached him after he presented at a seminar. The person told him that his work was so much better than his sister's, Barbara.

Barres made a determinated effort to support women in the sciences after he transistioned due to responses such as that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Barres

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Response to Collimator (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 12:08 PM

12. Thanks for sharing that

Amazing.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 12:27 PM

13. Duh. n/t

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 12:33 PM

14. so True - im in HR and currently my team is 3 men 4 women...

the three men all get their penis pay - they all work less, under perform and are paid more.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2018, 01:22 PM

15. Prejudice happens to any group perceived to be less valuable.

I've been morbidly obese and I've been slim. Because I was morbidly obese first, it was a shock how the world treated me differently when I was a normal weight. I was the same person and yet only the thin version of me had value. Everything was easier.

Since very little time passed between the two versions, I was pretty shocked by what I learned. Not only was I treated differently in all interactions, I heard fat-hate comments first hand because people thought I was one of them. They said things TO ME about other fat people that shocked me. I'd never heard those comments said when I was fat.

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