Misogyny

I have now had answered to my own satisfaction that as a transwoman, I can expect to receive prejudice based on the fact of my being trans. Now to the vexed question of whether or not I will also receive prejudice on account of being a woman (or a whatever… I appreciate this is a contentious one).

During my “former life” I made friends in the oddest of places, being both averse to and utterly rubbish at ordinary forms of masculine socialising… Hippies, anarchists, artists, and one very eclectic street performer who, a couple of years ago, spent a month or two living solidly as a feminine persona. He added an feminine “a” to the end of his standard performer name, went around various shops loudly insisting on being shown dresses and lingerie (Retail assistants must need to work hard on that poker face), and at length he materialised as – to be fair – a not unimpressive looking drag queen. I think that was his goal, as he took this persona to stage, shot a music video, and hosted gigs in it. At any rate, he was rather too extreme to actually pass, though that did not seem to be his intention. It was an act, and it did not last. He did, at the time, ask me to become his “sidekick”, which did briefly make me wonder if he had a much better trans-dar than any of my other friends seemed to… I declined, at any rate.

A week or so ago I met him on the street, chatting to a friend whom I did not know. He called me over, and asked me to confirm something that he had been telling this friend, who was apparently sceptical…

“Tell him: I inspired you, didn’t I?”

…or words to that effect, and I had not misunderstood them: he had been telling this friend (and, as I later found out, a friend of mine as well) that “Anthony” had only chosen to become Eleanor on account of being so awed by and envious of the aforementioned drag act. That was the first nail in the coffin of this friendship…

The following day, he plumbed a new depth. Approaching me in a public place, with a mutual friend, he greeted me with the following pronouncement:

“Eleanor: you’re working for me now.”

…and he went on to explain, but I missed the details in the commotion. Our mutual friend later filled me in, with incredulity:

“He said that now you’re a woman, he’ll take you down to Bute Street and pimp you out.”

If I had any scepticism of the Nordic model before, it now seems like a damn good (and a cathartic) idea…

The hubby has since emphasised that he will not be responsible for his actions if he should meet this chap again, so we can safely say that this friendship has run its course, and without regrets. One could of course be forgiving and assume he was ignorant of the large numbers of transwomen who end up condemned to prostitution and its attendant atrocities, and may have been unaware of just how sick and tasteless his joke was. Looking back, however, his views have always been deeply sexist and essentialist, and I find myself ashamed that I did not distance myself from him more quickly. It may be that my recent excursions into feminist journalism and literature have given me the perspective to appreciate how poisonous those attitudes are (and thank you, incidentally, to @Neopythia for the massive Andrea Dworkin trove). It may also be that I was more “tolerant” than I should have been because friends were hard to come by, and it is almost certainly the case that I am very bad at telling some people what they need to hear. Ironically, it seems this transwoman needs to “grow a pair”…

In more positive news, Leeds University have updated their files and sent me a lovely new PhD certificate. My doctorness is restored to me. A TARDIS would make my joy complete, but I’ll take what I can get.

phccert

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10 thoughts on “Misogyny

    • You’re very welcome indeed, and there are a few folks around these parts who would say “fiend” is all too apt… I do hope your friend is able to get her ID soon. I was unbelievably lucky with mine; fully reassigned passport before transition, etc. It is so much a matter of luck in these situations, and that should not be the case.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. An interesting read as always. Your ex-friend seems like a real jerk. I know there is misogyny and transmisogyny in the world. It doesn’t take long reading a story about women’s rights or transgender issues and browsing through the comments to find such individuals. You are refuting the nonsense spouted by these ignorant cis men, (mostly), by living as your authentic self.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This does appear to be the consensus on my ex-friend, though I could almost pity the poor sod. He really doesn’t seem to grasp what a hideously sexist, aggressive, and often obscene person he is, while most of Cardiff seems to be keenly aware… He can’t really afford to lose friends, but I can’t afford to be around someone who makes me feel like that.

      I am encouraged, though; that so many other people (including men) can see his behaviour for what it is. That can only be a good sign.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. πŸ™‚ I am by no means the only victim of his charm. Aside from being hideously sexist he is also capable of being interminably boring. He sees himself as a bit of a philosopher, and has commandeered many an innocent passer-by to spout incomprehensible spiritual waffle until they can politely extricate themselves (so it’s all been a bit of a gain for my social life, really).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I felt creeped out just reading about his behavior. I can’t imagine enduring it in person. Also, I can understand why you befriended him; don’t we all fall prey to our vulnerabilities and need for connection when not at our strongest or most self-connected? I don’t have any judgment about you for it, only admiration for how you realized it and made a difference choice.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dang, just left you a long message, and it disappeared. It’s too late (on US west coast) to put it all together again. Suffice it to say you write really interesting posts and congrats on getting your true name on your doctorate. What discipline btw? Mine is in sociology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ouch… I hate it when that happens. 😦 WordPress ought to have some automatic way of saving in draft form. I used to write my messages in Word first, but get too lazy nowadays (and then regret it…).

      I studied English Literature, specifically the poet P B Shelley. I’d read a study at the time which suggested that Shelley would quite possibly have been trans had he been born in a later century, and back in the early 2000s studying the literature of my condition was as good as it got. I was obviously passionate about it, though, as I did pass. When life gives you lemons, etc…

      Like

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