Change Your World-NOT your Body

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

50's Housewives the Future of TMates?

 The post derives from a study of female partners of transmen entitled Women's Work"? Women Partners of Transgender Men Doing Housework and Emotion Work by Carla A. Pfeffer.

From the article: Despite increasing family studies research on same-sex cohabiters and families, the literature is virtually devoid of transgender and transsexual families. To bridge this gap, I present qualitative research narratives on household labor and emotion work from 50 women partners of transgender and transsexual men. Contrary to much literature on "same-sex" couples, the division of household labor and emotion work within these contemporary families cannot simply be described as egalitarian. Further, although the forms of emotion work and "gender strategies," "family myths," and "accounts" with which women partners of trans men engage resonate with those from women in (non-trans) heterosexual and lesbian couples, they are also distinct, highlighting tensions among personal agency, politics, and structural inequalities in family life.

Continuing: Despite continuing rises in the numbers of women working outside the home for pay, concomitant with supportive social attitudes for women's equality (among men and women), women still report experiencing "the second shift" at home (Bianchi, 1995; Kamo, 2000). Despite increasingly liberal gender-role attitudes, heterosexual women continue to perform the bulk of household labor across both cohabiting and marital contexts (Bianchi, Milkie, Sayer, & Robinson, 2000; Smock, 2000). Even more surprising, some research demonstrates that men actually perform less household labor once married than when cohabitating with their women partners (Gupta, 1999) or when earning less income than their women partners (Bittman, England, Sayer, Folbre, & Matheson, 2003; Greenstein, 2000). One of the most lasting lessons from Hochschild' s (1989) study was that men and women who are ideologically committed to egalitarian relationships co-constmct elaborate "gender strategies" and "family myths," describing the division of housework as equal although women actually perform the majority of this labor. Rather than assailing women with claims of "false consciousness" regarding incommensurability between one's feminist self understanding and participation in traditional, inegalitarian, sex-typed divisions of household labor and emotion work, this work demonstrates the complexity and function of family myths and gender strategies. These family myths and gender strategies serve important personal and social functions, as they allow individuals and couples to retain and preserve deeply held commitments to egalitarianism and keep relationships and families intact (Hochschild, 1989).

And: The present study focuses on the primary research question: What do narratives from women partners of trans men, on the performance, structure and division of household labor and emotion work within their relationships, reveal about "doing gender" and "women's work" within contemporary families? This research question was designed to obtain an in-depth understanding of the various forms of unpaid household labor and emotion work that women partners of trans men report performing in their relationships as well as to tap into the various explanatory frameworks used to describe these forms of work and their division.  

Eligible participants included both current and former women partners of trans men who had been in a relationship with a trans man for at least 3 months. Three months was chosen as a minimum cutoff point for participation because I wished to gather data on perceived relationship dynamics from individuals across as wide a swath of relationship durations as possible, from those in the early stages of relationship development to those in long-term relationships. It is important to remember that the present study is only one component of a much larger project. As such, cohabitation was not a requirement for participation in the study. I sought to interview both trans and non-trans women as participants and all recruitment materials contained the recruitment phrase, "self-identified women partners." I sought to interview women partnered with trans men at various stages of trans identification and transition, from those who self-identify as "genderqueer," with no intention of taking testosterone or obtaining sexual-reassignment surgeries, to those who identify and are legally recognized as "male," who are taking testosterone and have had sexual-reassignment surgeries.
Women were recruited using List-serv, e-mail group, and paper-flyer postings targeting the significant others, friends, families, and allies of trans men. I employed Internet-based socialnetwork sampling, the primary method of purposeful sampling when targeting sexual minorities and their partners (Patton, 1990; Rosser, Oakes, Bockting, & Miner, 2007). The Internet serves as the primary site for transgender and transsexual community building, social support, and dissemination of gender transitionrelated information, making it likely that even those who are older and poorer have found ways to access the Internet for these purposes (Shapiro, 2004). I also formed partnerships with local, land-based, social-service agencies serving these populations. In addition, interview participants from geographic regions across the United States and Canada were recruited to distribute materials to potential participants. Each research participant was paid $20 per interview unless they declined payment. 
Most participants in my sample (93%) and their trans men partners (77%) were feminist. As documented in the previous literature review, one of the primary contributions of feminist social research, over the past 30 years, has been to document striking inequalities in division of household labor between men and women. The feminist women I interviewed were not immune to these same social trends, often reporting inegalitarian, gender-stereotyped divisions of household labor between themselves and their trans men partners. It is important to consider the ways in which these feminist-identified women negotiated and explained perceived inconsistencies between their personal politics and everyday family lives. Despite strong feminist self identification, the family myths and gender strategies that participants generated to explain these inconsistencies most often focused on individual choice and preference rather than systemic and structural gender inequalities.
 
Women frequently spoke about inegalitarian division of household labor, but rationalized the reasons for this division. Ani stated: "I do the dishes; but I'm so neurotic about having a clean house and he is not .... I definitely do more than he does but, again, I'm the one that happens to be a neat freak." Linda offered a similar description, echoing the direct reference to personal preferences, rendering the pattern more idiosyncratic or personal rather than a reflection of traditional gender roles: "I think I would play a little bit more of an active role in laundry because it's one of those things that I have to have my way. Like if he was doing it, for example, everything just gets tossed in, whereas I have to do it my special way." Lilia discussed some of the ways she experiences gender in relation to her partner and to household work:
I feel very female when I'm cleaning up his room. He doesn't ask me to clean up his room, he's just very messy. So I clean up on my own free will and try and take care of him, which, sometimes he'll let [my emphasis] me do . . . It makes me feel very female.
Some women partners expressed annoyance with (what they felt was) their partner's misperception about the division of household labor. Ani stated: "Cooking is definitely me, but he thinks he does more."
Several women went to some lengths to assure their partners (and me) that choices they made were based not on gender stereotyping or roles, but on autonomous personal decisions. Veronica told me:
I've been working full-time for a couple years now. My musical career has gone by the wayside because of that. So, for me, my own personality, I think I would be happier being at home, making a home, being able to work on my own, being able to practice and have that sort of freedom. And we were discussing it a lot and I made it very clear that if I do adopt those traditional roles, it's not because of gender issues for us, it's just because the nature of our own sort of goals and just the nature our own selves.
Linda echoed some of this same sentiment:
I would say he's definitely more of an outdoors person than I am. Like I don't know how to drive a car, I don't have my driver's license where he's driven cars from a young age. He fixes the car outside. He's the one who scoops up the dog poo. He putters around in the garden. I cook a little bit more than he would though I don't think we do things like that because we feel we have to but that's just what our personal interests are.
Kendra offered another individualist explanation for what some may see as gendered roles:
I'm the one who's always cooking, and I'm definitely more of a nurturer __ I could see how someone from the outside could say we have very gendered roles in our relationship, but I don't know that they're really that gendered. He's definitely going to be the bread winner, but that's because he's going to get his doctorate and I really have no desire to ... . But I don't feel bad about it because he likes to do it.
 
These statements reflected a general unwillingness - or, in some cases, outright refusal - to link women's personal preferences, at least in the area of household labor, to women's gender roles or socialization. In the quotes above, interviewees either never discussed gender or gender roles or expressly rejected any connection between inegalitarian division of labor within their homes and women's traditional gender-role socialization. These quotes revealed a conceptual disjuncture of the personal from political, as they suggested traditional division of household labor was a rather unremarkable matter of individual free will outside the realm of gender-role socialization and imperatives. Women's narratives on the division of household labor in their families also did gender as they reflected predominant cultural scripts for men and women dividing household labor in accordance with seemingly "natural" tastes and preferences. Given the scarcity of alternative cultural models for enacting nonhegemonic male and trans male identities, adherence to existing, predominant, and normative social models remains unsurprising.  

Women whose relationships began prior to a partner's transition and whose relationships were initially considered "lesbian" were more likely to report that they performed more household labor than their trans partner. They were also more likely to offer choice and free-will-based explanations for perceived inegalitarian divisions of household labor. Women whose relationship was never understood as "lesbian" and whose partner transitioned prior to the beginning of their relationship were the least likely to report performing more household labor than their partner and also the least likely to offer individualist, choice, and free-will-based explanations for perceived inegalitarian divisions of household labor.  

Emotion work often involves not only managing one's own emotions, but the emotions of others as well. The women I interviewed often detailed elaborate routines of attending to (and being accountable for) both the mundane and extraordinary organization of the details of their partners' personal and emotional lives in ways that revealed traditionally gendered roles. For women with deep commitments to feminism, enactment of traditionally gendered roles within a relationship can be conceptualized as yet another form of emotion work that can result in personal and interpersonal stress and strain.
Michele offered one of the clearest examples of a woman partner's investment of physical, psychological, and emotion work for a trans partner's primary benefit. When I asked Michele about how much of her life, would she say, is comprised of taking care of her partner and issues related to his transition, she replied: "A lot. I would say, percentage wise - and this is something I've been trying to change because I see it being a problem - I would say about 70% of my life. That's scaled back from what it was - which was, like, 80%." When I asked Michele to reflect on what this has meant for her in her own life, she stated:
I provide an enormous amount of support around maintaining the household, doing domestic tasks, I have assimilated massive amounts of [my partner's] own work - school work - to assist him in completely his work. [This is in addition to] a huge amount of emotional time spent in processing transitioning, family, frustrations around the transition process, ... a huge amount of work. I'm supposed to be writing a dissertation .... My own work has been very neglected ...... I put it off since [my partner] started transitioning.
 
Nina discussed her own involvement with organizing and managing both the mundane details of her partner's everyday life and his emotional lability:
I remind him to do a lot, and am the planner and really sort of controlling about a lot of things. He is the one who is super flaky and forgetful __ His mood changes every 30 minutes. So the dynamic is me trying to keep on the ball about things and him assuming that I'm going to take care of it. Then, him not being on the ball about a lot of things and me assuming he's not going to take care of it. Nina described this process as an exhausting, dynamic cycle.
When describing taking primary responsibility for organizing tasks and responsibilities, many participants' accounts portrayed these behaviors as a matter of personal style or a reflection of roles that were intrinsic or natural. For example, Charlene told me: "I sort of call myself the secretary because he has trouble keeping that sort of stuff straight. It's a personality-type thing - I'm very organized-sort-of-minded. One thing that he remarks is that I make lists all the time and he is more scattered that way. So I tend to keep track of that stuff." Robyn discussed the discrepancy between her and her partner's involvement in one another's lives:
I guess that's, like, one of the female roles I take as his partner - someone who will always support him. I'm helping him do his trans stuff and he doesn't really look at the stuff __ He doesn't participate with my stuff so much - which kind of falls into the . . . me-being-the-one-to-come-tohim a lot of the time [pattern]. Not that he doesn't always express appreciation for that, but it's the way things happen.
Robyn's description revealed a relatively unidirectional investment of emotional resources that she clearly understood as a gendered aspect of her relationship with her partner and one in which she (as the one occupying the "female role") got the short end of the stick.

Veronica stated: "I think that we're pretty much egalitarian. I think that . . . I'm probably more of the one who gets us to talk about things. So I kind of have to be the provoker ___ I have to be the one who gets him to say things. I kind of have to egg him on a little. I think that I help him be more expressive and he helps me to calm down my brain." Anna described a similar pattern:
I think he compartmentalizes. So he just doesn't like to talk about things. And not because they're things related to gender, but just like, "I don't like to process," kind of issues. I think about a whole huge range of issues. You know - his surgery coming up. 1 asked him, "Are you nervous?" He doesn't wanna talk about whether he's nervous. And his reaction is not just, "Oh honey, darling, I don't feel like talking about that," but kind of snappish like, [in a very annoyed voice] "Uggh, I told you already I don't want to talk about that." So yeah it feels like there's a whole huge universe of things that are off limits.
Lilia discussed some of the ways she felt her trans partner manifested what many might describe as male privilege: "He's very forgetful and he doesn't take care of himself and he's messy and all this other stuff ___ I feel like he's very specifically like a boy in this way. Like, this boy energy - being messy, not neat, being clumsy with my feelings sometimes."

Although the women I interviewed discussed engaging in a wide range of emotion work within their relationships, one of the most compelling, frequent, and sociologically relevant activities they discussed was the provision of both basic and complex medical or health advocacy and care. Although women whose partner transitioned over the course of their relationship reported providing the most transition-related support for their partners, women whose partner had largely completed his transition prior to the start of the relationship still reported providing a great deal of transition-related support (in the form of emotional support, advocacy, bimonthly testosterone injection administration, etc.). Indeed, transition should be considered an iterative, relational, and lifelong process. The women I interviewed revealed their multiple roles as personal advocate, mediator, and emotional supporter for their partners, especially in terms of dealing with a partner's medical and health needs.

In trans community, it's the idea that I will support my partner and will do cartwheels whenever he decides to [physically alter] his body and that I'll be really happy about it. Whereas, really, when my partner had chest surgery . . . [the] process for me [was] that a body I had always known changed. I think it's important to let partners have that grief. I don't feel like I was given space to really feel things that I was feeling because there was this expectation that I just was going to support it wholeheartedly. That was really hard. 
Women also expressed fears or concerns about their partner's risk of death during surgery, ways their partner' s body might change and/or the fact that they loved their partner's body as it was. Tiffany discussed emotions connected to her partner's impending top surgery:
It's kind of weird because you get so used to somebody's body being a certain way - especially somebody you're close to. You get to a point where you memorize every single part of their body. And so it's very difficult when something changes - especially that quickly .... It's something that's important for him to do; so by the time he gets it, I'll be ready for it and I'll be supportive. But I really wish he didn't have to .... Having that piece of him cut off and tossed away is very difficult.
Despite the numerous concerns women reported in being excluded from surgical decision making processes, considering possible negative surgical outcomes, and mourning the loss of a partner's familiar and beloved body, women still described enormous personal involvement with partners' surgeries and postoperative care. Willow told me: "Oh God. It was like being an advocate for him, getting him food, helping him with the pain stuff, helping him get dressed, keeping him company, just being there, helping him sit up, helping him walk to the bathroom."
By focusing on individualism, free will, and choice, it becomes more possible for this group of women to simultaneously acknowledge stereotypically gendered inegalitarian divisions of household labor within their relationships and to explain this inequality away by focusing on the specificity and exceptional nature of their current trans relationship in ways that are less likely to fundamentally challenge one's overall conception of self and behavior as "feminist" or "lesbian" or both. It is in this context of ThirdWave feminist discourses of individuality, free will, personal power, choice, and performativity that these women participants' explanatory frameworks for assuming gender-stereotyped or disproportionate amounts of household labor and emotion work can be better understood. Of course, to better understand and situate these explanatory frameworks does not absolve them from critique. Instead, we might call into critical question the problematics involved in feminist politics that obscure the mechanisms and processes of family inequalities under assertions of personal power and performativity. It may be time to reevaluate particular family dynamics to call for greater equality between partners (rather than "the sexes"). Indeed, this research demonstrates that sharing a particular chromosomal sex pattern with one's partner does not negate the powerful social pull and processes of gendered inequalities within the family. 
The work performed by these women constitutes critical involvement in a trans partner's medical and health care that has previously been invisible and undocumented in both the medical sociology and family sociology literatures. This study also documents the personal and emotional costs of "women's work" in providing unpaid, untrained medical and health care for a trans partner undergoing transition-related medical procedures. Women's reports of providing care are frequently tinged with feelings of anxiety, frustration, fear, and inadequacy. Study participants reported feeling alone, sad, disgusted, terrified, angry, exhausted, unsupported, neglected, confused, and unprepared. Furthermore, participants described how providing transition-related medical and health care and dealing with the attendant emotions (both one's own feelings and the feelings of a trans partner) can become a consuming process that draws time, energy, and focus away from other activities such as work, school, friends, family, and self-care.
For full study see link provided at the beginning of this post. Not that most of us had any doubts, but it is clear from at least this sampling of female/transmale relationships that their commitment to hetero-patriarchy and its familial roles is clearly why those transmen transitioned to begin with. They could not see past the hetero-patriarchal roles that likely existed within their own families growing up and that are reflected by society at large, rather than work to expand their female role to include themselves, they instead pathologized strict gender norms and conformed by becoming "men".

dirt
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102 comments:

  1. I am curious to know for those in this study who were with their partners before they transitioned, if there was a shift in responsibilities as the person transitioned or if this division of labour existed from the beginning of the relationship.

    One also wonders if this type of dynamic harkens back to the rigid butch/femme roles of the '50s

    Again, I am always leary of studies with small sample sizes. Larger more comprehensive studies are always better.

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  2. The Butches and Femmes I know who grew up in the 50's do not at all express adhering to rigid hetero gender norms, then or now.

    From what I gather they are very similar to Butch/Femme now, with Femmes primarily being the more prevailing partner, the partner who often makes more money or holds a white collar job, while the Butch is comfortable taking a less dominant position and is usually more likely to take care of most household chores and children if their are some.

    And I agree on the small sample size.

    dirt

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  3. This is an interesting post. After reading the article, and I agree with Canadian that it would be interesting to know what the relationship dynamic was for the relationships that started pre-transition (or even pre-coming out). While the sample size is small, that's kind of the nature of research like that, unfortunately. It's hard to get a large sample of 'female-identified persons' in a relationship with ftms.
    That being said, I do think being aware of these kinds of issues (gender roles being non-egalitarian in these kinds of relationships) is necessary to further question them.

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  4. Studies like these are not automatically invalid or need to be distrusted because they have a small sample size.
    First, it's a qualitative study- those are very thorough and usually done to do research on a field on which not or no information is available. They are not supposed to be representative in a strict sense, they are supposed to give an overwiew. And they are better than anecdotes because they allow for first generalizations. It would be a sign of bad scientific judgement to construct a questionnaire out of nothing, for example, relying on the notion that most couples with a trans-partner are egaliatarian. These assumptions lead to distortions.
    Two, transsexuals/transgenders are a deviant*, very small population. Relative to the overall population of transsexuals and given that this is a qualitative study 50 persons interviewed is actually, in my opinion, an impressive number.
    Three, things like these cost money. It might be difficult to establish contact with transsexuals because of social desirability issues, it costs time to weed out the partnered transpeople from the singles. Because of this more money and time might be needed.

    *a sociological term, look it ub before feeling offended

    (And yes, I do realize that it wasn't the transpeople who were questioned but to get to their partners you first have to contact them.)

    Even for quantitative studies small sample numbers which might be the result of neccessity can be counter-balaned with statistical methods.

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  5. "(And yes, I do realize that it wasn't the transpeople who were questioned but to get to their partners you first have to contact them.)"

    ummm...or you could put out a call for participants for "partners of transmen" ?

    ...as though transguys keep their partners on a leash or screen their calls or something...sheesh.

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  6. I'm not sure how it follows from this study that "clearly" FTMs transition so they can enjoy hetero-male privilege. Dirt, can you explain how you made that connection?

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  7. So sad. We've all seen this oppressive sexist dynamic play out with most FTMs and their partners, I'm glad someone formally documented it.
    Thank you for bringing this study to light Dirt.

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  8. @ kurukurushoujo

    "And they are better than anecdotes because they allow for first generalizations."


    This study appears to be composed entirely of anecdotes. I get it was qualitative, hence some of my issues with it.

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  9. I love the way women do traditional gendered second class status non-paid labor, and still say it is "personal choice." This shows a complete lack of understanding of how patriarchy works, it cons women into lying to themselves. And women on a massive scale delude themselves, and keep on lying about the truth... they do this emotional labor and domestic labor because it was drummed into them in patriarchy, they have no free choice or free will, they just do what the man has trained them to do, and are too dumb to admit it!

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  10. I wonder if anyone has done a similar study on Butch-Femme relationships regarding the same breakdown?

    It would be interesting to see the parallels and the differences.

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  11. Did I misunderstand, or was it stated that partners who were in "lesbian" relationships *before* one person transitioned revealed a higher incidence of gender-stratified behavior/division of labor than in relationships that began as trans/non-trans?

    Either way, I was indoctrinated in 3rd wave feminism, which was starting to acknowledge that it can be a feminist choice to have a child, to do housework, or to do whatever it is a woman wants for herself. In the case of a former "butch" who transitions, is there some reason to believe that it's the ftm's transition that causes the "desire" of the femme to do "feminine" work, rather than her desire itself? That kind of thinking denies her agency, and I really thought we weren't doing that anymore...

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  12. Wait... I thought everyone said FTMs only liked men once they transitioned?

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  13. "Wait... I thought everyone said FTMs only liked men once they transitioned?"

    Right. It's kind of a Brokeback Mountain situation. We get the women to raise our kids and do our housework, but we secretly have sex with each other on "fishing" trips. That way, we can have straight privilege AND gay sex. SWEET!

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  14. I'm not sure where my previous post went. o_o As I've said before, if I'm not welcome to post on this blog anymore just tell me that and I will leave. I just want to know if I'm being moderated (since this has happened a lot lately) or just losing posts into some weird blogger glitch.

    Anyways, I do think following rigid gender norms is not a great thing. I am in agreement with Canadian that I'm kind of curious about those in the study with their partner before transition. I found the study interesting.

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  15. I don't mean this comment as a hateful, but I always observed more gender stratification amongst couples that were "butch-femme". I attributed it to the fragile masculinity of the butch-needing more reassurance of her butchness through gendered social norms.
    Transmen, once through transition, do not seem to require the same bolstering through social norms, as their gender is reflected in their bodies. I've seen many more transmen follow typically "female" career paths after transition, such as teacher, nurse, nanny, caretaker, healing arts etc. Whereas I'd always felt those careers were too triggering for butches...

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  16. Either way, I was indoctrinated in 3rd wave feminism, which was starting to acknowledge that it can be a feminist choice to have a child, to do housework, or to do whatever it is a woman wants for herself. In the case of a former "butch" who transitions, is there some reason to believe that it's the ftm's transition that causes the "desire" of the femme to do "feminine" work, rather than her desire itself? That kind of thinking denies her agency, and I really thought we weren't doing that anymore...

    Eh, third wave seems bogus to me, sorry. If "everything" is a personal choice, then no actual analyis can occur because hey there's no pattern and even if there might be a pattern we're not supposed to make any assumptions about what that pattern might mean. Being a sexist pig is a "choice" -- the 3rd wave trick is to just not notice the sexist pig part.

    I'm getting the impression lately that many of the 3rd wavers are starting to dump that perspective in favor of actual pattern recognition.

    Anyway. This study was excellent, not only for it's generalizations, but because it signals the presence of more objective reseachers (who don't have a vested interest in promoting twanz) who are beginning to take the subject seriously -- and who are finding the negatives that have been there all along.

    If trans is interested in breaking down gender barriers instead of reinforcing them, then we'd expect to find that trans relationships are the MOST egalitarian of all. But instead twanz looks very 1950's housewife -- while anecdotally for comparison purposes even my conservative republican friends appear to have much more equal partnerships. Hell, one of the hubbies was crying openly without shame about his mom who has cancer. They take care of their own "emotion work" most of time now. They CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES, fer cryin' out loud...

    most excellent post, btw. Thank you very very much Dirt.

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  17. "Not that most of us had any doubts, but it is clear from at least this sampling of female/transmale relationships that their commitment to hetero-patriarchy and its familial roles is clearly why those transmen transitioned to begin with."

    You didn't have *any* doubts before you saw empirical data that confirmed your assumption? That's remarkable confidence. As long as we all keep assuming we're correct and citing only the data that confirms what we already know, we'll be set!

    Also, it's one thing to point out a conclusion of a study, and an entirely different thing to speculate about the relevant causes of that result. There are any number of reasons why men, trans or otherwise, tend to do less housework than their female partners, and it is not "clearly" a plot to keep women in their place.

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  18. I don't recommend serious relationships during transition. The feelings are very much like those of puberty, and there can be alot of care-taking on the part of the non-transitioning partner. That changes. Do you think you could allow us a process as humans?

    I'm not inclined to believe this study is objective or adequately representational. I'm also not inclined to think that you, M andrea, are qualified to point out the "negatives" of something you have never experienced and are clearly prejudiced against.
    I'm guessing I know at least 300 ftm's and very few of them have relationships that even remotely resemble the 50's housewife pattern. That's a pretty large fraction of this study's sample population.

    Furthermore, if you are going to try to discredit us using this tactic, you'd better turn that gaze towards butch-femme relationships at the same time. Or will you claim that because you aren't changing your bodies, that the butch-femme 50's housewife dynamic is naturally occurring and must be acceptable....

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  19. "Hell, one of the hubbies was crying openly without shame about his mom who has cancer."

    Wait, you saw a man cry?

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  20. Um...

    I'm trans and single and not really interested in dating. Division of labor is not high on my list, since I'm single and live alone.

    My best friend is trans, and was with his wife while they transitioned. Yeah, she gives him his bi-weekly shots. It takes about 5 minutes. They have two kids under the age of 3. My friend is a grad student, so he takes on the bulk of the childcare while his wife works full-time. He also stays up after everyone else goes to bed and cleans the whole house.

    So, while we're speaking anecdotally... now the sample size is increased to 52.

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  21. @Anon March 16, 2011 10:30 PM

    "Or will you claim that because you aren't changing your bodies, that the butch-femme 50's housewife dynamic is naturally occurring and must be acceptable...."

    Because a lesbian couple follows a "butch/femme" dynamic in terms of surface appearance does not mean that their relationship adheres to stereotypical roles.

    "I'm also not inclined to think that you, M andrea, are qualified to point out the "negatives" of something you have never experienced and are clearly prejudiced against."

    So only trans people can comment or express reservations on trans issues then?

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  22. "Because a lesbian couple follows a "butch/femme" dynamic in terms of surface appearance does not mean that their relationship adheres to stereotypical roles."

    Understood, Canadian. But I'm talking about those butch-femme couples of whom I have more than surface knowledge.

    "So only trans people can comment or express reservations on trans issues then?"

    Certainly you can express whatever you want-without any credibility or objectivity.

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  23. @11:55

    Well, people can't really report their subjective feelings on something objectively. Since there is not much science going on in discussion here (seeing a relatively scientific article posted was nice to see, though), everyone is going to be commenting subjectively. Everyone commenting will be posting under the lens of their own biases (and everyone has biases).

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  24. Anon @10:56:

    Well, as you've probably noticed, the article was based on experiences of the female partners themselves, not the commentary of friends of their transboyfriends.

    Relationship dynamics are based on more than just who brings home the bacon.

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  25. @Anon March 16, 2011 11:55 PM

    "Understood, Canadian. But I'm talking about those butch-femme couples of whom I have more than surface knowledge."

    So you painted all butch/femme couples with that broad brush then..

    "Certainly you can express whatever you want-without any credibility or objectivity."

    So what is your criteria for a credible commentator/commentry on trans issues? Is it only input that reaffirms your position?

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  26. "Is it only input that reaffirms your position?"

    No, admittedly, I don't need affirmation of my "position", because I transitioned years ago. I pass completely, am in good health, and in a very loving egalitarian relationship. I consider myself a feminist, and I think my wife would be shocked if she knew that other feminists attribute her domestic pursuits to my trans status. Actually, she'd laugh.

    My focus is on getting people, especially lesbian feminists, to at least question their mistrust and hatred of ftm transsexuals. I do think that good feminists will be willing to question a prejudice that is shared by the Christian Right and society at large. I'm acutely aware of the criticism from lesbians: we "caved" to pressure, we are conforming, we want male privilege, we wish we were butch, we are victims of misogyny...etc. I understand that this is a feminist perspective, but I don't think it's possible to divorce that perspective regular old trans-hating in general. The Buddhists say "perception is projection" and I believe it. There is no reason for me to expect anyone to be capable of imagining what it might be like to be anyone but themselves, but I keep hoping.

    I do think any commenter who is worth their salt will be willing to question their motives. I question mine, I promise you. But as long as people keep posting really hateful and bitter stuff about ftm's here, without having alot of real interaction with ftm's, I'll always have a reason to counter it .

    I'm interested in conversations about exposing young ftm's to feminism and strong women, potential health risks of transitioning, and increasing understanding and trust between butches and ftm's. Where I live, people are on top of that shit, and there is alot of respectful, brave, discourse and friendships between butches and ftm's. Our identities should *not* threaten each other. I'm old enough that I still care about bridging that gap, and I care because many of my friends are dykes.

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  27. @12:58
    I enjoy reading things that contradict my position because I like to question myself. Hence my presence on this blog, which raises some interesting questions, but has some obvious biasing issues.
    I agree that it's important to expose those ftms seeking transition to strong female influences and discuss risks versus benefits of transition, since otherwise, they may make decisions that they are otherwise unprepared or not suited for.

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  28. "Their objections do not bare any resemblance to feminist objections and a result your linkage between the christian right and feminists is not valid. As an example I cannot imagine Pat Robertson objecting to transitioning because it reinforced Patriarchy, but I could see him quoting from the Bible."

    And I see both as perpetrating a singular view of reality upon a separate human, which one cannot possibly know. A view which is not necessarily a given, or rational.

    "You go on to accurately describe feminist concerns around transitioning, but do not offer any counter arguement and state,again without support that you cannot divorce it from "plain" hating. Why not?"

    Because feminists are *clearly* not immune to societal influences and psychological projection of their own choices onto others. Why would you be?

    "Also, one does not need direct interaction with those who willing remove their healthy body types because they "think" they are male to have valid concerns about such behaviour."

    This underlines your lack of exposure to/friendship with ftm's.
    It does nothing to support your cause. "I've never known a gay person, so I'm free to judge them as I believe- sick, disgusting, ignoring biology etc". I might have thought that before I met one, but I'd be a fool to believe that after some kind of real human connection.

    "This type of avoidance of the issue exposes the fact that in the face of women who have had similar experiences and chosen not to transition your arguements for the necessity of transitioning evaporate. Your systematically discount, ignore and avoid evidence that does not support your arguement based on the criteria that the "messenger" is not "trans" or "objective"

    Why should I see women who had the same experience, but did not choose to transition as having made the superior choice? It's more likely that I would see them as being scared, internally transphobic, living in a time when they could not survive as a transperson, or could not access hormones, surgery. I have absolutely *no* reason to believe that any person experiencing my life would have made a better choice in deciding not to transition. And I'm fairly sure that you cannot provide that quantitative data for me...

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  29. Both sides of the argument will never be heard on line it is up to an individual to look at both sides and confront both sides issues and make their own judgements...


    we all know dirts WHOLE point is anti "mutilation"/"synthetic hormone"

    we all know a trans person USUALLY cannot explain why the have a NEED to medically transition.

    but for ANYONE who is a self proclaimed feminist that spends this much time on a community she is "concerned" about (i have my own beliefs there but my personal opionion dont matter) truly isnt so secure about them selves in the first place feminism didnt singly target a 'male identified' group, they fought to stop 'misogony'...

    at the end of the day regardless of GID or not there still IS and NEEDS to be MEN and WOMEN for us to survive as a species...

    given all external chemical influences who can really judge one anothers gender/sexuality choices any way?

    also for people saying things about ftms not talking about japan ummm neither is any one else and for some people given all natural disasters this year Japan is just to much to handle, given some people such as my self need a distraction from what is going on for me as a victim of a natural disaster this year.
    and trust me this year has been one hell of a year so coming here reading a bunch of selfish womens crap is an awsome way to escape my current reality

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  30. I have met and interacted with many FTMs and am still opposed to transitioning
    Actually I find them very insecure, they wear their weakness so openly, if I look one in the eye she betrays some kind of shame

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  31. anon @ 9:41
    "I attributed it to the fragile masculinity of the butch-needing more reassurance of her butchness through gendered social norms."
    This statement is really just false. It is for me a adult butch woman and for every adult butch woman I know. I could agree with this statement IF it applied to any Butch or FTM who were young- as it is my opinion that all women who are presenting outside of their gender norm, while they are still in the process of growing up and feeling like a whole person comfortable in their skin- would have this sort of feeling. I know I did, and every other butch or ftm that I have ever encountered experienced this at some point in their youth.

    "Transmen, once through transition, do not seem to require the same bolstering through social norms, as their gender is reflected in their bodies. I've seen many more transmen follow typically "female" career paths after transition, such as teacher, nurse, nanny, caretaker, healing arts etc. Whereas I'd always felt those careers were too triggering for butches.."

    Again I could attribute this comment to both butches and FTM's - as you say once through transition- I would imagine that pre-transition would mean that they are younger than post-transition. I can say from experience as a butch female- who is extreamly masculine in appearance to the point of passing 100% of the time if desired- that I need no sort of bolstersing from anyone now that I have matured as a person. I sincerely believe that the same could be said for FTM- as you stated that "once through transition..."

    I could continue this line of thought by saying that all of the FTMs and Butches that I know- and based on videos before & after transition- that if the desired results (sometimes unrealistic) are not acheived-through either T or just attempting to 'pass'- then both FTMs and Butches seem somewhat unsatisfied with themselves/results.

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  32. yeah the shame of interacting with someone like more then likely.

    To be honest why do you care so damn much mouse?

    maybe fight for your PERSONAL rights not that of someone whom you are portraying as being a traitor to your women hood?

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  33. To Anon @ 12:58:

    "I do think any commenter who is worth their salt will be willing to question their motives. I question mine, I promise you. But as long as people keep posting really hateful and bitter stuff about ftm's here, without having alot of real interaction with ftm's, I'll always have a reason to counter it ."

    I totally agree that any commenter here who is responsible are willing to question their motives and themselves at all times. I know I do.
    Of course there are idiots on both sides of this issue that post hateful and bitter stuff on here- about both FTMS and Butches. As responsible adults, we should be able to just scan over those and move on to the more valid comments and have a reasonable discussion.
    But you really are invalidating some of our own experiences of life as a woman who actively lives outside of the gender norm- when you say things like this. Just as many trans people here seem to ignore all the comments from butches who say in detail, such as myself how our experience of growing up and "feeling male" were very much the same. Somehow because they transitioned and took the FTM title, they still are different. As far as I can see the only difference between many of us is who's taking T and who isn't. Who is using this label and who is using that.
    I take offense to your statement in assuming that we have not had close interaction with FTMS. I am no spring chicken. I have lived in NYC, I have lived in the deep south, I have spent 10 years in very progressive Portland, Oregon. I have had just as many close interactions/friendships with FTMS as I have had with Butch women. IMHO they really are not all that different.
    The only real difference I see is that the people that are truly unhappy/depressed/unsatisfied/dsyphoric about their bodies are focused, almost obsessed on 'fixing' them. Some resort to T, some do not.
    We really need to focus on that need to 'fix' our bodies. It's mental illness. This is the saddest part.

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  34. I'd be interested to see a similar study done with FtMs with male partners.

    I have a male (non-trans) partner, and we currently divide responsibilities fairly evenly, though I work fewer hours than he does, so use some of my extra free time on housework so we can spend more time together doing relaxing things.

    I know other transmen with non-trans male partners where responsibilities are evenly divided, and transmen with female (non-trans) partners where the relationship is even.

    In contrast, my mum and her partner who are both female, to the untrained eye they both look butch, but my mum's partner is more classically butch whereas my mum takes a more classic "female" role. However they are both strong feminists, and reject the labels of butch / femme, as well as rejecting heteronormativity for its own sake, preferring to just be pragmatic.

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  35. JJ- Right on!

    Anon 12:58 -
    "The Buddhists say "perception is projection" and I believe it. There is no reason for me to expect anyone to be capable of imagining what it might be like to be anyone but themselves, but I keep hoping."

    "Why should I see women who had the same experience, but did not choose to transition as having made the superior choice? It's more likely that I would see them as being scared, internally transphobic, living in a time when they could not survive as a transperson, or could not access hormones, surgery. I have absolutely *no* reason to believe that any person experiencing my life would have made a better choice in deciding not to transition."

    Do you see how these two statements blatantly contradict one another? How can you first talk about Projection and perception with such sincerity and then perceive and project onto a female- who may have had the same experience as you and did not transition - that she is " scared, internally transphobic... or could not access hormones, surgery."? YOU are projecting all over the place with that one.

    This is what disturbs me about Trans Ideologues in general. It's this assumption that "YOU (the non trans) do not feel how WE (the trans) feel, because YOU are different from us." There is rarely (if ever?) consideration of alternatives to transitioning/identifying as trans. As soon as most people pick up the trans moniker they disregard any other possible rationale for why these feelings might exist and solutions to liberate themselves from them. I would have alot more respect for the trans community if (at least) they were open to alternative ways of understanding body dysphoria.

    There is a commonly held assumption from the ftm community that females who say they feel/have felt the same feelings but do not identify as ftm must be either "different" from ftm's or in denial. All i can say about that is I'm truly saddened that the thinking of these individuals has become so confined. I believe the trans ideology is causing alot of unnecessary suffering out there, for "trans" and "non trans" alike.

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  36. to above anon- for realllllsss

    humans are more alike than they like to think

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  37. "So only trans people can comment or express reservations on trans issues then?"

    not at all. clearly the OP was citing your lack of experience and prejudice as the factors invalidating your opinion.

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  38. Did they sample the portion of the trans community that DON'T practice 1950s gender roles? Anyone can find people to "study" and make their reports mimic their attitude towards the topic. I'm sure I could find some abusive, controlling Butches if I wanted to and do a "study", but does that mean that if some Butches are controlling, that one can legitimately make the statement that 'Butches are abusive'? Hell no. You work so hard dirt, at finding skewed "facts" to support your hate. Not all - not even most FTMs have any desire to take on stereotypical patriarchal gender roles in their homes. As a matter of fact, I don't know one single guy personally (and I know a lot) who adheres to these "gender norms" - I've been married almost 10 years, we both work full time, and I do ALL of the cooking for my wife and kids, as well as most of the laundry. My wife keeps the checkbook and budgets our money, and I give her a footrub almost every night while we watch TV. She's my hero, and I would never do anything to make her - or any woman for that matter - feel inferior or weak or disrespected. Doesn't mean I'm special - it's how everyone should treat others regardless of their sex. This "study" proves NOTHING.
    I'm sure my comment will be deleted, since it's not an angry, negative FTM post... that's been my experience here.

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  39. mouse - I wish I could look you in the eye. You would see no shame, no insecurity, no fear. I feel bad for whoever it is you've seen this in - that you've taken it upon yourself to judge their pain without knowing their story. Perhaps they have been a victim of transphobia or homophobia - perhaps they are in or just got out of an abusive relationship, perhaps they lived a hard life. Their insecurity may very well have nothing to do with their transition. But you didn't ask - you just assumed. Where's the humanity?

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  40. i know they look away when they know that i know
    still acting very much like the women they are

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  41. well, you're obviously seeing what you want to see and drawing assumptions from a lack of eye contact... human nature I suppose. Difficulty with eye contact is a VERY common thing for people - regardless of who/what they are. It's something most psychology & public speaking classes focus quite a bit on... so I wouldn't be so quick to assume it's because "they know you know" - pretty self congratulatory there.

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  42. It interesting when someone suffering from the trans disorder post a study that supports their "choices" its the word of god, someone does a study USING trans lovers and trans people that shows them in a less than favourable light and suddenly that study is cherry picked. Sheesh!

    dirt

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  43. A biased "study", regardless of the slant, is just that - biased. It's results are going to support the writer's position.

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  44. i'm very good at reading feminine response
    believe me i'd rather not notice them so much

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  45. I know what butch is

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv89wbZHzNQ

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  46. @mike

    After reading the study, it looks to me like the writer did all they could to avoid methodological bias. Maybe there was some, but the article was relatively scientific (and I only say relatively, since it's a social sciences piece with some subjective data coding, not a hard science). That being said, it doesn't necessarily mean that it generalizes to all relationships: studies such as these tend to measure for the average, not the outliers.
    So while this information might need some more convergent evidence to give a clearer picture, it's a good first step. Good for you for maintaining egalitarian roles. This study just says you're not average, not that you don't exist.

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  47. The "writers position is to give voice to trans relationships by..."increasing family studies research on same-sex cohabiters and families, the literature is virtually devoid of transgender and transsexual families. To bridge this gap, I present qualitative research narratives on household labor and emotion work from 50 women partners of transgender and transsexual men".

    That you dont like what those trans narratives say about trans relationships is something else all together.

    dirt

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  48. Not really a matter of whether I like what the study says... it's just not my experience with trans families and "gender norms". I still don't think it's a good representation being that it's 50 people out of a very large community. But my opinion is neither here nor there, I realize that. I'd be willing to bet there are MANY more families that do not adhere to "gender norms"

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  49. "How can you first talk about Projection and perception with such sincerity and then perceive and project onto a female- who may have had the same experience as you and did not transition - that she is " scared, internally transphobic... or could not access hormones, surgery."? YOU are projecting all over the place with that one."

    Yeah, yeah, I do get it. Do you see what I'm trying to say? You try and de-legitimize my truth and I'm gonna turn around and do it right back to you. That's what you deserve and you reap what you sew.

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  50. Also, I went to the Sociologist's website and read one of her other papers regarding transmen. She came from a Women's Studies department and teaches in a Women's Studies Department. She has spent years researching relationships and families involving transmen and trans families. I don't feel that this person is objective as a social scientist. It seems that she has devoted much of her professional life to finding ways in which ftm's hurt women, kind of like Dirt but with better vocabulary. It's biased, as most "science" coming from Women's Studies departments is. Why should we expect anything else from people trying to help only half of the general population?

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  51. well said Nat at 12:46

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  52. "So sad. We've all seen this oppressive sexist dynamic play out with most FTMs and their partners, I'm glad someone formally documented it."

    GallusMag,

    With over 311 million people in the US, and APA statistics showing that about 1 in 100,000 people are FTM, how exactly can you see what's going on with most FTMs...?

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  53. @mike

    50 actually isn't too bad for this kind of research. Milgram's original research on obedience had around 40 participants, and it's one of the most famous results in social psychology that generalizes to the general population. Of course, subsequent experiments were done, but for an initial experiment, 50 is actually not bad on a relatively small community. And I'm sure there are lots of such couples who take egalitarian roles! They are just not the norm. This study is actual data, and it's worth thinking of critically, but it's more likely to be true than false. I don't really like the results, but those are the results. And there's not much to be done about that.

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  54. @Nat I see your point. I will also admit that perhaps my initial reaction to it was in the context in which it was presented - that being a blog primarily in opposition to the trans community as a whole. It comes across as one more of many "Aha!" posts, you know, to show that we are as vile as the author of the blog would have people believe. And yes, I am very egalitarian and proud of it. Thank you for the exchange.

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  55. "Dirt said...
    It interesting when someone suffering from the trans disorder post a study that supports their "choices" its the word of god, someone does a study USING trans lovers and trans people that shows them in a less than favourable light and suddenly that study is cherry picked. Sheesh!

    dirt

    March 17, 2011 12:30 PM"

    Well, once a cult member makes that sort of final commitment, whether it's giving away all their money and abandoning their children, or cutting off body parts and going bald, they're really isn't much talking to them. They are going to do everything they can to reinforce their actions because the only alternative is to deal with the fact that they've ben brainwashed and made terrible irreversable mistakes.

    It's funny someone quoted S.Bear Bergman in this thread- someone who now considers herself a neuter and whose last book title "The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You" pretty much sums up the fate of transition survivors on the highway of FTM.

    To the female-who-thinks-she's "male on the inside" who posted and said feminism is a bunch of "selfish womans crap" and says "at the end of the day regardless of GID or not there still IS and NEEDS to be MEN and WOMEN for us to survive as a species... " . Yes that's true hon. Female and male are biological reproductive categories. And you will always be female regardless of what you do to disguise that fact. Any role you play in survival of the species will be a female one, no matter how self-hating.

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  56. Mike- (comment at 1:17)

    Maybe where you live the gay/lesbian/queer/trans people are very separate, but not where I live, nor in most places I have lived. In my experience, we all tend to live in the same sorts of neighborhoods, shop at the same type of places, frequent the same type of bars/clubs/social outlets. Every single lesbian I know- has known or is friends with a ftm.
    I for one am not a person that just throws out blanket opinions and statements.
    When I speak about my exerience with ftms it's because I have actually had much experience and close friendship with many ftms.
    I have never attacked any particular person for their choice to transition or not. (even though I myself have been pressured by some of my ftm friends to transition.) We all understand that that is wrong- but I assure you it happens. Just as it happens often very open on the blogs of many of these young people, you can read for yourself that they repeated tell each other "when you going on T bro?" "when you making your first transition vid?"
    The only issue I have with many ftms- is that many of the younger ones, just as I was pressured- are pressured into doing this. And not only by other ftms- but by society in general.
    I believe wholeheartedly that there are some- (much fewer than what we are seeing) that should transition. But only after years and years of therapy have been done and once they are completely out of the 'I'm still figuring out who I am in life' phase that we all go through. (I know mine lasted well into my late 20's.)
    From what I see in many of the younger ftms that I've encounted is that it's about altering the body more to adhere to the mind. When maybe we should focus on fixing/altering the mind a bit, letting the mind rest a second from being hopefully 'fixed', and then maybe under strict reservations go forward with permanent changes to the body. I really feel like those physical permanent changes should be a last resort to GID.

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  57. @jj

    I understand what you're saying. I have never denied the fact that there are young people who jump on the trans bandwagon as a trend. My point all along, is that because to some it's a trend, doesn't erase those of us to whom it isn't trendy, or cool, or the next fun thing to do to piss our parents off or make a statement. That's exactly why I think there needs to be very strict criteria in place where therapy is concerned. It was a lengthy process when I transitioned, and it still should be but isn't. I don't go on trans email groups/forums, so I've actually learned about a lot of these stories from comments here - stories about young people pressuring one another into transition - and I agree that it's horrible. I'm sorry you had to endure that. This is precisely why I think it would be way more constructive for the lesbian and trans communities to work together to raise awareness, and hopefully, put some serious criteria on this, rather than fighting over all the biology. I have no problem admitting that biologically I am female. But legally and socially I am who I want to be and have the right to be. Thanks for your insight.

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  58. " I have no problem admitting that biologically I am female. But legally and socially I am who I want to be and have the right to be."

    Why do you think those that are perceived to be male should be treated differently than females?

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  59. @GallusMag
    "Why do you think those that are perceived to be male should be treated differently than females?"

    What did I say to indicate that I believe I should be treated differently than a female? I actually mentioned earlier that I am an egalitarian. I believe everyone should be treated equally, and with respect. How I chose to live my life is not a reflection of my feelings towards anyone else.

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  60. I find it rather hilarious for all FTM partners to enter in the relationship because they think it is super hype and then to end up doing the housechores to make their partner feels male the fifties way :D This article made my day.

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  61. thanks for your insight Mike! :)
    really appreciate it.

    I wish we could all work together more to support the young people.

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  62. @Anon 3:00

    First of all, not ALL FTM partners enter in to the relationship because they think it's "super hype" (whatever that means) - some actually love their partners - I know because my wife entered into ours out of love and mutual adoration. Imagine that. And not ALL FTM partners do the "housechores" - I actually do most of ours. And I can't speak for ALL FTMs, but I certainly didn't look to my partner to "make me feel male". I suppose some might. That's on them. And lastly, I do find it sad that you would get pleasure out of ANY woman being oppressed by whomever they happen to be with.

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  63. Mike, I respect your point of view and your way of respectfully delivering it. Unfortunately, some commenters come here because they already have hate in their hearts and are just looking for a place to lay it down. They have judged already and are not looking to be open.

    With our male privilege, this makes it even easier for us to throw up our hands and walk away. It gives me the perfect reason to write a whole community off the way have done mine. And the cycle continues....

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  64. Mike you said you have a right to be perceived as male socially. Did you not?

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  65. Shocking revelation: Straight relationships that include trans partners display the same gender inequities as other straight relationships! More at 11.

    Next thing we know, you'll be telling us that long-term gay relationships that include FTMs are likely to be open. Or that gay FTMs have elevated rates of HIV infection. Because it's totally shocking that FTMs look a lot like other men in sociological and epidemiological studies.

    The only thing vaguely illuminating about this study is the difference noted between lesbian pre-transition partners and straight post-transition partners in reported gender disparities within their relationships. Does this reflect an actual difference in the relationships, or is it a product of the different and less egalitarian expectations straight women are conditioned to have as compared to lesbians? Unfortunately, this point of actual interest is passed over everywhere the study is discussed.

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  66. "Mike you said you have a right to be perceived as male socially. Did you not?"

    Yes, I said that - and you have the same right if you wanted to pursue that. It doesn't make me any better than you. And it certainly doesn't speak to how I think others should be treated. I don't think society should treat you any differently than me based on gender, whether expressed or perceived. I think Butches have the right to look any way they want to as well, and still be perceived as women - regardless of stereotypes. Yet people say they are pressured to transition because to some, they look "masculine". I think that's horseshit. I'm not sure what exactly you're trying to get at here...

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  67. what you're saying though is that being perceived as a male socially is different from being perceived as a female socially
    so you must agree there's a difference
    i experience this first-hand often when i'm first taken for a boy and then people realize their mistake
    (by males usually because they pay less attention to subtlety)

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  68. ""Mike you said you have a right to be perceived as male socially. Did you not?"

    Yes, I said that - and you have the same right if you wanted to pursue that. It doesn't make me any better than you. And it certainly doesn't speak to how I think others should be treated. I don't think society should treat you any differently than me based on gender, whether expressed or perceived. I think Butches have the right to look any way they want to as well, and still be perceived as women - regardless of stereotypes. Yet people say they are pressured to transition because to some, they look "masculine". I think that's horseshit. I'm not sure what exactly you're trying to get at here..."

    You want to be perceived as male socially because being perceived as male is different than being perceived as female, correct?

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  69. My transition had nothing to do with what society thought, and everything to do with how I perceived myself and who I wanted to be. I was perceived as male by society for YEARS prior to transition - I had my DL changed to male pre-T, pre anything - simply by walking in to the DMV and telling them there was a mistake on my license, which they promptly changed. So transition wouldn't have even been necessary for me if how I was perceived by others was an issue. Nice try though!

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  70. (I imagine though that most FTMs have lower than average earning potential making being the 'breadwinner' difficult)

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  71. "You want to be perceived as male socially because being perceived as male is different than being perceived as female, correct?

    March 17, 2011 4:09 PM

    mike said...
    My transition had nothing to do with what society thought, and everything to do with how I perceived myself and who I wanted to be. I was perceived as male by society for YEARS prior to transition - I had my DL changed to male pre-T, pre anything - simply by walking in to the DMV and telling them there was a mistake on my license, which they promptly changed. So transition wouldn't have even been necessary for me if how I was perceived by others was an issue. Nice try though!

    March 17, 2011 4:36 PM"

    Yes- perceived as male. That's what we were discussing. I asked ""You want to be perceived as male socially because being perceived as male is different than being perceived as female, correct?"

    Stating you were perceived as male prior to injecting testosterone has nothing to do with the question.

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  72. Mike,

    How you "perceived" yourself is BASED on societies strict gender norms. You werent born or raised in a vacuum. This disorder doesnt develop from thin air.

    dirt

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  73. Gallus,

    Clearly "mike" is a serious self hating female in denial. She cant afford to actually answer you.

    dirt

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  74. @ greenbean:

    Why do you imagine that most FTMs have a lower earning potential? I'm an FTM lawyer and I know 2 FTM professors at good universities. I do know a couple of FTMs in the trades, like welding and carpentry, but those jobs actually pay pretty well last time I checked.

    So, on what do you base your assumptions?

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  75. Oh ouch dirt... you got it - I'm a biological female. I thought we already covered this - I'm fine with that and have no self hatred. In fact, I'm vain to the core and take a lot of pride in myself - unlike you, who has to build themselves up by tearing others down. I didn't answer the question the way GM demanded I answer it because I'm just not interested in her dime store psychology. Curious though - why you call yourself dirtywhiteBOI - instead of dirtywhitewoman or dirtywhitelesbian since you're so hung up on gender identity in others. I googled the definition and came up with this:

    1. in the lesbian community, a young transgendered/androgynous/masculine person who is biologically female and presents themselves in a young, boyish way; a boidyke; often identifies as genderqueer.

    2. in the gay community, a young gay man;

    3. in the BDSM community, someone who presents themselves in a young, boyish way and is usually a bottom/submissive;

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  76. yeah i guess you're right, men make more than women, even make-believe men

    i was basing my assumption on the ones i know in nyc who all seem to be stuck in work related to the queer ghetto

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  77. Pretty sure, many FTM's who have dealt with most of their issues ASIDE from their gender (in most cases its pretty clear cut to trans people), are doing MORE on breaking down societys gender/sex norms, it was only yesterday i entered into a debate with various aged male/female people (i assumes their gender ID's based on my visual knowledge) i was percieved as a man, and i challenged everything that came out, i was dismissed by the 40's women, but the younger guys who openly told her "be quiet the men are talking" i stopped that right away, i challenged that, all this came up when this women told a young man (16 or 17) he was/is either gay or a virgin so his point isnt not valid (i also stepped in on this)

    im just about ready to take me "male privalige" and wipe my hands clean of standing up for women and their "equal rights" if you cant respect me WHY should i support you?

    next time i will allow "the men to talk" by suppressing your right to be a women and be treated fairly

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  78. @ecstatic face (:D)

    That is a pretty serious threat, this oppressing you threaten to do.
    I am taking it very seriously.
    See my serious face. :|

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  79. @Nat

    Its not a threat to be honest i dont threaten its merely how i felt at that present moment.

    im just SO glad that out of the MILLIONS of people in the world there are only a few women who feel the way you do.

    the rest are actually being proactive in making change without singling out a group of people to make your self feel bigger.

    others dont even play into the belief that men have more power then women, i mean look at Australia a WOMEN (unmarried) is the prime minister and leader for the country.. so sorry if you have some false sense of security but women are as equal to men as what you would have people believe.

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  80. @ecstatic face (:D)

    You realize that, uh, I'm actually okay with transfolk, right? I think some of the arguments presented in this blog are interesting, but I disagree on many points. I do think that physical transition should be a last resort, rather than a first one, but I don't really begrudge anyone either way (I just think its irresponsible to one's own well-being to rush into these things, or let yourself be socially pressured, but I don't think that's the general case). Also, as an intersex person, making fun of trans people doesn't make me feel better about myself. Maybe it's why I don't. (Have you even read my comments before?)

    That being said, women are not equal to men in terms of social structure. That's kind of the way things are. Men make more money, there is a bias towards men for many jobs, etc. etc. and there are many things to be said about that. Feminism is a worthy pursuit. (A black man being president does not mean racism is eradicated, for example, so the Australia example falls flat.)

    As for my previous post, I just thought the kind of threat was phrased funny, and I think not many people round these parts have much of a sense of humour!

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  81. @ Nat im sorry for my misunderstanding and assumption, i have read comments in the past but i was going by your last comment as there are so many being said per post..

    I so agree with you transition (medical) should be only a last resort i agree many people are jumping into something even they may not have truely thought about or looked into..
    i think in the case of teens transitioning im in the middle there simply because im old then the "youtubers" (most), but i also had a VERY different life to what they have i had NO access to internet or external media sources that introduced me to transition even with the LGBTQI services i was never really introduced to it, i think people on the internet are given part info and not a whole story, so we as the recievers are making judgement based on what we are provided, no different to mass media.

    Back to teens, when i was a teenager i was in an unfortunate situation, but even still i made ALOT of choice irrationally as most teens do, thats why its called the transition from childhood to adulthood, they are allowed to make mistakes, and make some dicisions and explore the world and their identity without fear of judgement..

    as adults we should just live our own lives, i mean aside from my gender (which really isnt that important to anyone, and doesnt control my life) i have a hell of alot of other things to worry about in my life, my gender is there like anyone else it just doesnt control me...

    as for the Australia topic, from my understanding, Australia is VERY different to the USA, on the whole women will recieve the same pay as a man (im not involved in finances in conservative positions, but i did speak with my auntie who is a highly respected women in the financial field and she said that she has had no problem in her career with pay discrimination in fact she has been offered positions over men)

    so im not a expert im going by the info im being provided.

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  82. @ Nat sorry but my last response was deleted, i did appoligise to you, obviously dirt wants people to see that im some sort of women hating man

    Kudos to you dirt for the fail <3

    ReplyDelete
  83. "Gallus,

    Clearly "mike" is a serious self hating female in denial. She cant afford to actually answer you.

    dirt

    March 17, 2011 5:06 PM"

    Apparently so. Why she even went through all the motions of pretending she did not understand the very simple question is a mystery. Ah, the games people play.
    She's not much of a Foreigner fan either, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  84. @ :D

    ummmm you are coming off as a woman hating man. just read back your own comments. very biased.

    "im just about ready to take me "male privalige" and wipe my hands clean of standing up for women and their "equal rights" if you cant respect me WHY should i support you?

    next time i will allow "the men to talk" by suppressing your right to be a women and be treated fairly
    "

    As if we need a man or male perceived person to stand up for us?! come on now.
    THAT is just the problem. Men do have all the control. You basically agree with that in saying that you felt the need to stand up for us. Are we the underdog then? We need to be defended by our big strong men?

    Please. You really must be delusional if you think there is equality amoungst the sexes.
    Most women I know can't walk down a public street without being gawked at and stared at. We are still seen as sexual objects by most men.

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  85. The truth is largely this: radical feminist lesbians hate men and seek to make it mutual. Their constant clamor about misogyny is just so much psychological projection, a transfer of their own attitudes onto the opposite gender, whom they despise. However, I do love it when these women finally expose their true natures to the world. They've managed to hide their vileness for long enough - forever pretending to be weak and hapless victims when, in fact, they are some of the most nasty and malevolent humans on the planet. And you wonder why some of the rest of us might run like hell from any resemblance to you!

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  86. 10:18
    that's just stupid

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  87. The fact that men have and do hold the control in the world has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the poster is a 1) lesbian, 2)a woman at all. It just simply is.

    Are you really saying that men don't have that control? That there is no inequality of the sexes at all? Please show how this is the case.

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  88. anon at 10:18

    do some reading and enlighten yourself before spouting off such obvious priviledged bs. you sound like a person that has had everything handed to you on a platter- silver spoon in mouth since birth.

    you speak as if you had never had a struggle in your life.

    http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/employment_and_social_policy/equality_between_men_and_women/c10404_en.htm

    i suppose if we were all equal like you claim there would be no need for feminist at all now would there? or any need for legislation like above.

    oh i guess were just supposed to be happy that we get to vote! that we are not property anymore.
    as if!

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  89. *One in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.
    (Source: Sexual Assault Experiences and Perceptions of Community Response to Sexual Assault, 2001)

    *One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
    (Source: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

    *On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.
    (Source: Family Violence Prevention Fund)

    *Every nine seconds, a woman is beaten in the United States.
    (Source: American Institute on Domestic Violence 2001)

    *Women ages 20-34 endure the highest rates of domestic violence.
    (Source: American Institute on Domestic Violence 2001)

    *Only about one in five domestic violence victims with physical injuries seek professional medical treatment.
    (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics)

    *Sexual violence starts very early in life. More than half of all rapes of women (54%) occur before age 18; 22% of these rapes occur before age 12.
    (Source: Tjaden and Thoennes, 2000)

    *Intimate partner violence is the leading cause of injury to women. It affects 1-3 million women a year in the U.S., making it more common than muggings, stranger rapes and car accidents combined.
    (Source: Frisso JA et al., 1996. Tjaden P, Thoennes N, 1998)

    *Domestic crime against adults accounts for almost 15% of total crime costs: over $67 billion per year.
    (Source: Victim Cost and Consequences: A New Look. National Institute of Justice Research Report, Jan. 1996)

    Right! What are we complaining about?!

    ReplyDelete
  90. I completely agree that women are not treated equally and that shit needs to change in this society - my comment was in direct reference to the hate and misandry projected by some (most) radfems. It's not the answer... it actually makes people STOP listening to what you're so desperately trying to say. Two wrongs don't make a right.

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  91. Right! What are we complaining about?!

    March 18, 2011 11:00 AM

    I agree with most this study. It has been said by most the experts in the field believe the rape of male children and adults is much higher than indicted. This is because of the stigma attached to it and it goes unreported.

    On a seperate note I think it is important not to assign ftm's as a personal punching bag, which I feel I have seen in this blog over its existance here. For those who have been raped, I being one of them, it took years of therapy to realize it was not the entire gender who raped me over and over. It was a specific man with a specific name.

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  92. Anon @ 11:26- you've never read a work of radical feminism in your life, hater.

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  93. anon @ 11.48
    "For those who have been raped, I being one of them, it took years of therapy to realize it was not the entire gender who raped me over and over. It was a specific man with a specific name."

    I hear ya- but check this out.

    51-60% of college men report they would rape a woman if they were certain that they would get away with it.
    One out of twelve college men surveyed had committed acts that met the legal definition of rape; 84% of these men said what they did was DEFINITELY not rape
    --Tavris, C. & Wade, C. (1984) The Longest War: Sex Differences in Perspective, Second Edition San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers.
    --Warshaw, R. (1988) I Never Called it Rape: The Ms. Report New York: Harper and Row Publishers. --Women's Action Coalition (no date given) WAC Stats: The Facts About Women New York: WAC.

    ReplyDelete
  94. About the Victims

    •Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
    •1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime.
    •College age women are 4 times more likely to be sexually assaulted.
    •15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.

    Sexual Assault Numbers

    •In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of sexual assault.
    •Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.
    •60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
    •Males are the least likely to report a sexual assault, though they make up about 10% of all victims.
    •Reporting has increased by 1/3 since 1993.

    from: http://www.rainn.org/statistics

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  95. i wonder about female rape victims who transition to male
    there must be pretty big numbers
    curious

    ReplyDelete
  96. ummm...or you could put out a call for participants for "partners of transmen"

    "Women were recruited using List-serv, e-mail group, and paper-flyer postings targeting the
    significant others, friends, families, and allies of
    trans men." (p. 170)

    "I also formed partnerships with local, land-based, social-service agenciesserving these populations. In addition, interview participants from geographic regions across the United States and Canada were recruited to distribute materials to potential participants. Each research participant was paid $20 per
    interview unless they declined payment." (p. 170-171)

    I'm sorry for having made a false assumption. I thought they were too difficult to reach because I was suffering under the misconception that they were largely unorganized with trans men being much more vocal and visible. But, I STILL did not think they were kept on a leash. I didn't have that image in mind at all.

    (Obviously recruitment wasn't that easy, still, when looking at the number of sources used.)

    This study appears to be composed entirely of anecdotes. I get it was qualitative, hence some of my issues with it.

    Those are whole interviews executed in a systematic manner, not just a collection of anecdotes. Interviews can be more or less structured but at least a topic must be given to be discussed. An anecdote is only a tidbit narrated in a spontaneous conversation.

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  97. is it really 'radical' to want people especially girls/women to be happy the way nature made them?
    i'm hardly a radical feminist; i just think transitioning is tragic and silly

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  98. "im just SO glad that out of the MILLIONS of people in the world there are only a few women who feel the way you do."

    Echo this. It's a very select group who feel threatened by ftm's. As a friend told me last night, "These women are going to be dead very soon and will no longer have any ability to characterize and hate ftm's based on Second-Wave bullshit."

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  99. i wonder about female rape victims who transition to male
    there must be pretty big numbers
    curious


    actually, this is what held me back. Association with males I feared would create constant triggers. This is a good question, though.

    ReplyDelete
  100. & just because someone disagrees with something it sure doesn't mean she's 'threatened' by it

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  101. "i wonder about female rape victims who transition to male
    there must be pretty big numbers
    curious"
    FTM and rape survivor here. I realized I was trans when I was 12 and planned to transition when I was 18, but I was raped for the first time when I was 16, and the depression/PTSD-riddled aftermath derailed a lot of things, including transition plans.

    It's only in the past couple of years (since about 5 years after the third and last time I was raped) that I've started to reconnect with my body - I spent about a decade pretending it wasn't real, wasn't mine, was just a barbie doll I could play dress-up with and use for sex. As I started to identify with it and see it as "me" again, the feelings I had about it as a teenager resurfaced.

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  102. Those females partners of trans are ridiculous: most of the time, they are lesbians who tell stupid things like "oh my trans bf is so male"...How can you know that sweetie, if you haven't even eaten a single dick of your life?

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