What did you think you were getting into?

This dissent from the “true” mother piece is much harsher than mine. Also funnier.

In these moments I am reminded how easily our worth as individuals, along with the bonds we form with our loved ones, can wither before the relentless gaze of society. That is the prison not only for transgender women and mothers but, I increasingly realize, for all women and mothers.

What did you think you were getting into before you transitioned? What did you think women’s lives were like? If you were always a woman, and were socialised as a girl, how could you not know it?

My version was just: It’s interesting that she’s only now realizing that women are subject to social scrutiny and devaluation.

See how tactful I can be?

Reductively, man is person and woman is body. This is the predicament of all womanhood, made visible in larger relief under the magnifying glass of transgender womanhood. The man does and the woman is done, the man fucks and the woman is fucked. Women have a shelf life both as mothers and as lovers. Our worth is tied to our bodies, our ability to become pregnant and be pleasing objects with virginal orifices for the male member to penetrate and to possess. If our bodies are determined to be inadequate by the arduous metrics imposed on them, we are regarded as worthless sacks of flesh, not women and certainly not mothers.

This is what we call running a nice warm bath of someone else’s oppression and then getting into it for a wank, all the while making out that it’s worse for you. Well, that’s what I call it. Call me old fashioned etc.

Oh, that’s genius. That’s exactly what it is.

You, as a male, as a person, are able to tell the non-people, the non-men , that their bodies are in no way connected to their motherhood and their womanhood.  Could it be that, essentially, transwomen make more authentic mothers? Mothers not tied to the messy, nasty, biological business of growing and birthing children (“there was a womb in my heart that carried all three of my children; my soul was pregnant with them though my body could not be”).  Mothers of greater purity, children springing forth from their minds like Athena from the skull of Zeus?  It’s an old, old story, this narrative of the messy, foul, female body versus the clean male intellect. Transwomen are better, cleaner women than women, are more woman than women:

[trans] womanhood resides solely in who we are as persons, not in the set of physical attributes conventionally expected of our gender […] Therefore, granting transgender women their womanhood is tantamount to granting women personhood. It means affirming that women are not walking and talking composites of ovaries, uteruses, and vaginas, but something more intangible and cerebral.

There’s a word for this, and it is nothing to do with occupying the fault line of this gender gulag, whatever the fuck that abysmally mixed metaphor is supposed to mean. That word is misogyny.

This, I believe, explains the ferocity of society’s attempt to invalidate transgender womanhood. To acknowledge our existence as women is to disentangle the woman-body complex on which patriarchy is built. It challenges the notion that men and masculinity have sole proprietorship of personhood, relegating women and the feminine to the carceral condition of being nothing but bodies.

Only a misogynist man could hear women demanding their right to name their female bodies and experiences as exclusively theirs, demanding their right to safe and private women-only spaces, and erase their agency and needs by attributing them to patriarchal oppression.

She’s right you know.

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