Change Your World-NOT your Body

Monday, March 21, 2011

Male Privilege among Transmen

Some interesting finding from a 2006 study about transmale privilege in the work force, entitled "Before and After: Gender Transitions, Human Capital, and Workplace Experiences".

From the article:


In this paper, we use the pre- and post-gender change workplace experiences of
MTF and FTM transsexuals to examine the persistence of gendered workplace disparities
that advantage men and disadvantage women. Drawing on survey data about transsexual
employment experiences before and after gender changes, we demonstrate that these
gender transitions bring important changes in workplace outcomes. In becoming women,
MTFs experience significant losses in hourly earnings from becoming female. In
contrast, FTMs experience no change in earnings or small positive increases in earnings
from becoming men. Additionally, we find that MTFs transition to become women on
average 10 years later than FTMs transition to become men. We interpret this as
evidence that the male gender, net of all measured and unmeasured individual
characteristics, has a labor market benefit which MTF transsexuals delay giving up.

First, while MTFs are on average about the same age as the general male population, FTMs are on
average about 10 years younger
than the general female population and 10 years younger
19 on average than MTFs. As discussed below, we interpret this as evidence that MTFs may
be attempting to preserve their male advantage at work for as long as possible, whereas
FTMs may be seeking to quickly shed their disadvantaged female gender identity. A
second important difference is that both MTFs and FTMs are twice as likely to have a
college degree as the general population.



In all of these comparisons, we cannot reject the hypothesis at the 5 percent
confidence level that mean hourly wages for transsexuals before their gender change are
equal to those for the general population.6 Transsexuals before their gender change are
employed in jobs with wages that were statistically indistinguishable from those of the
general population. The relatively small differences in earnings between transsexuals
before their gender change and the general population is consistent with the notion that
transsexual employment patterns are not substantially different from the non-transsexual
population.



One of the more salient patterns evident in the transsexual sample is the stark
difference in the timing of the gender change for MTFs and FTMs. As reported in Table
1, male-to-female transsexuals transition on average 9.6 years after female-to-male
transsexuals. The MTFs on average choose to remain in their male gender until age 40,
whereas FTMs on average change their gender at age 30. This later age at gender change
is consistent with the hypothesis that MTFs change their gender later to preserve their
male advantage as long as possible. We argue that this difference in behavior between
MTFs and FTMs suggests that transsexuals anticipate that their pre-gender change human
capital will not receive the same value after they change their gender. MTFs react to the
loss they expect to receive from becoming women by minimizing these losses through
delaying their gender change. FTMs, on the other hand, maximize their expected gains
from becoming men by changing their gender earlier.



The estimated average change in earnings for FTMs is statistically
significant at the 17 percent level (p-value of 0.167). Given average earnings for FTMs
before their transition are $18.86, female-to-male transsexuals gain 7.5 percent higher
earnings.



A longitudinal study of
transsexual employment over a longer period may reveal more substantial changes. As
we discuss in the next section, interview evidence indicates that FTMs experience more
subtle changes in the labor market opportunities after becoming male as they gain
increased authority and respect in the workplace.



Survey respondents were provided a blank space to write comments about their
workplace experiences. Five FTMs elected to write comments. All five praised their
workplaces for their tolerance and acceptance. One respondent in a blue-collar job wrote:
“My transition went extremely smoothly. I was shocked at how smooth. No one even
talks about it and it had no effect on my pay. If anything, I have been better accepted at
work because people don’t see me as a dyke like before.”



While blue-collar jobs still could be
precarious locations for gender changes, FTMs in general reported satisfaction with their
post-gender change workplace experiences. In in-depth interviews with twenty-nine
FTMs in Southern California, Schilt (2006b) found that many female-to-male
transsexuals experience an increase in authority, reward, and respect at work once they
begin working as men – even when they remain in the same jobs they had as females.
While they all were subject to female gender socialization as children, and had the same
skills and abilities as they had as women workers, becoming men brought positive
workplace outcomes.



I dont believe this comes as any shock to any of my readers, especially any feminist readers.Women still make significantly less than men in the workforce, so one would assume the average transman once legally "male" and visibly passing as a male, s/he too is going to open up many doors that as a female were previously closed to her/him. Studies like this (small though it is) just confirm that assumption.

I searched high and low across the world wide web and found many examples of transmen confirming their male privilege in both their general treatment in public as well in the workforce through new found job opps and advancements. But I found not one single ftM group who was working with feminist groups to help prove exactly how deep sexism and female disadvantages in the work place still are. I find this not only sad, but utterly repugnant. It only solidifies the empty transmale "feminist" rhetoric transmen are famous for spouting. A "male feminist", looks great on paper, sounds even better in person, but what price the crown of a king on his throne when your chained in the dark all alone?

Nil.

dirt
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32 comments:

  1. "male-to-female transsexuals transition on average 9.6 years"

    This is more likely due to stereotypes and fear of lash back. Lots of MTF's I know were scared of being hurt when out of the closet.
    MTF's are much more likley to be beaten or murdered then FTM's. That is not because they are becoming woman, but more because men still have an issue with "Queers."

    I notice there is nothing in here about the discrimination FTM's face through transition. I have personally experienced discrimination from my female employers, teachers and woman in general in the public. Discrimination is everywhere.

    And as for why there are not MTF's working withy Feminists. I've heard a lot about MTF's not being accepted in the feminist community. You yourself dont accept that MTF or FTM is really "the gender" that they want to be perceived as. So...maybe you should stop twisting things the way you like.

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  2. I think there's a causation problem here. FTMs gaining more privilege after transition shouldn't be surprising to anyone who understands misogyny and sexism - men make more money, generally speaking, than women. It does not follow from this, however, that FTMs transition in order to gain access to those benefits.

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  3. I was also going to say that transitioning from male to female is likely going to be alot more frightening than becoming female to male for obviouse reasons, and im sure you know what those reasons are so im not going to go in to detail.
    as for FTMs transitioning for male privlage in the work place, i own 2businesses and have never worked under anyone accept maybe my father when i was younger.
    i a FTM and i did not and will not benefit from being FTM in the way you are proposing.

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  4. PP,

    Spoken like a real man, looks like you have your male privilege down pat.

    dirt

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  5. @Dirt

    Im confused.
    I dont think i have recieved any kind of privilege reguarding my gender before and after starting to transition, infact i opend both of my businesses before i began transitioning.

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  6. If you pass as male, where ever you walk, you receive male privilege and if you are white, that privilege is triple fold.

    dirt

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  7. Anon@1:22,

    Sounds like the old "reverse racism" argument to me.

    dirt

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  8. @Dirt
    yes yes, there are privileges to being slim, good looking, rich, having children, able bodied, BEING A WOMEN etc. what is your point?
    are you saying i was born white to gain "white privilege"?
    and didn’t i specify "regarding GENDER"?
    "where ever you walk, you receive male privilege" what does that have anything to do with "in the work place"? Why are you straying away from the actual topic? obviously there are ups and downs to every choice we make in life, do ripped guys gain some kind of “ripped guy” privilege? If so, why is that a bad thing? Any who, for me, due to the fact that i have already established 2 businesses, my reason to start transition wasn’t for "privilege" in the working environment.

    The argument im making is, yes, somone can make a choice (and theres many out there) that can cause them to gain a privlage others dont have. BUT, that dosnt mean that it was the sole reason WHY they made that choice.

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  9. And you make a "choice" to gain privileges you otherwise would NEVER get in your life, we get it.

    dirt

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  10. Isn't it more important that those with privileges take responsibility for them? For example, a person with white privilege could engage in anti-racist work, and if they see that they are receiving something that is not due (i.e., hired over a person of colour) speak up?

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  11. many of these guys get the male privilege after transition, but also seek to keep getting lesbian privilege- (if there is such a thing!) and still many insist upon being included in woman only identified spaces. i've seen recent examples of completely transitioned ftms who are demanding their space in "femme" areas. it's like we can't exclude them from anything...

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  12. I" think there's a causation problem here. FTMs gaining more privilege after transition shouldn't be surprising to anyone who understands misogyny and sexism - men make more money, generally speaking, than women. It does not follow from this, however, that FTMs transition in order to gain access to those benefits."

    Most relevant comment to ever appear on this blog. Dirt, this entire post is just silly and has very little to do with actually being trans other than to say that if you pass as male you generally receive gender privilege in the workforce and vice versa for women. Why don't we get more relevant and talk about the privilege experienced by non-trans people in the workforce. And I am not trans nor am I male just to contextualize this for you.

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  13. Dirt, no, our choice is not based on gaining any kind of privilage (atleast not for me i cant speak for every individual) So i want to get that straight, I did not transition for the purpose of gaining “male privilege”
    lets not forget i sacrificed just as much as i gained.

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  14. I am nearing retirement age and am self employed. By the time I finish my transition I will be retired. What male privilege am I after? What male privilege will I get? I did not do this to please society, as I could give a rats ass what society thinks. I did this to live the balance of my life the way I felt all of my life.

    As a woman I never stood there and waited for a man to change my tires.

    As a woman I never counted on a man for anything. I was above average in looks and could have used my female privilege to get what I wanted in life and never did.

    As a guy I still am not after privilege of any sort.

    Yes I am white and to the poster that stated we should do outreach to offset our privilege, I always have stood up for those who are being stepped on. This will never change and often gets me in hot water.

    I came from an affluent family and never used my families influence to gain anything in life. So I guess one would say I had financial privilege as well. My parents were divorced and I chose to live with my mother by my teenage years.. So once again I did not hide behind financial privilege. My successes and failures are a result of my own action or inaction.

    Do I think the system is set up fair? Hell no!! And I am all for fighting the injustices society set up for women, minorities, and the poor.

    Also, male privilege even has its hiearchy.. Men of color certainly have to constantly battle to get decent paying jobs, Men who are short, unless they are Bill Gates, are not seen as equals in some parts of this country. Men who are effeminate certainly have not gotten a square shake in this hiearchy.

    Also culturally, depending on where you live, has an impact on how you are treated no matter who you are.

    Yes, the are many inequities which need addressed and changed. Do I believe some ftm's will gain? Certainly, but not most.

    As far as mtf's, I don't think many of them ever have had male privilege and I am sure you will dispute this. Maybe prior, if they had no feminine traits showing, but certainly not post.

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  15. If you don't "get" what male privilege is, you can be absolutely sure you've got it. MABs are blind to it because they've always had it (and expect it and believe the goodies in life come to them because they're such awesome people not because of the random chance of their birth sex and the society they were born into).

    But women who claim that getting the goodies that men get wasn't the reason they transitioned are outright liars.

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  16. Thanks for the laugh, Anon 2:57

    Your childish belief in how absolutely fabulous you are and pathetic misunderstanding of privilege are hilarious.

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  17. @ Noanodyne:

    No, FTMs do not transition for the purpose of gaining male privilege. Getting some male privilege is a side effect, not a cause, of transition.

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  18. I always felt like a white person inside. I always hated being looked at like a black person and treated like a black person. I just knew it wasn't who I was. Everytime I looked in the mirror I knew I was in the wrong body.
    I am "white brained".

    Now that my condition has been surgically corrected, my skin lightened and face reshaped, I feel I am in a unique position to defend black people and fight for their rights. Other white people listen to me when I educate them about racism. Putting white people on the defensive will never, ever get rid of racism.

    Yeah....right.

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  19. wow, really? your comparing Gender to skin colour? *EPIC FACE PALM*

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  20. Anon @ 6:23- what's your issue with comparing sexism and racism? Too effective?

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  21. The last refuge of people who have no argument: "face palm" and "head desk." Cutie cute cute, and oh so edgy edgy snarksterella, but completely devoid of anything meaningful except when one reads between the lines to see........ nothing!!!!

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  22. Sure Anon27 and there's a Santa Clause and a Tooth Fairy because someone said so.

    But stating something isn't the same as the truth, which has to be backed up by something beyond bland and banal opinion which is just like assholes in more ways than one.

    In fact, if men were treated like the shit women are treated like, forced to conform to standards that marks them for abuse and treated as an oppressed class, women wouldn't transition to that (they already get that for free; and don't bother twisting this to be about M2T, completely different thing).

    It's precisely because men have dick wagging privilege that women want to be them. How do I know? Because F2Ts have described it over and over and over and over and over and over on their blogs, on their videos, in comments on here, in comments all over the web, on facebook and twitter, in trans talks at LGBT events, in the books they've written, and pretty much everywhere they communicate about the experience.

    They describe getting to wear comfortable clothes (a privilege), getting treated with respect (a privilege), being able to go anywhere they want without fear (a privilege), being taken seriously automatically (a privilege), having opportunities they didn't have before (a privilege). Et cetera, et cetera. Those are not by-products, those are the whole tostada.

    Yes, you are a liar if you claim that those aren't the reasons women want to be men. You are lying to yourself and everyone in your life and everyone you come in contact with.

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  23. a phrase i keep seeing is "we have interpreted this to mean."
    if i wanted someone to chew my food for me, i'd ask them to.

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  24. hell yes Noanodyne!

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  25. @ Neodyne 7:31

    OK, let's take my case: I'm 35 now. I lived as a butch dyke for 34 of those years. During that time, and without changing anything about my butchness (I was always VERY obviously gender non-conforming), I had plenty of friends, did well in college, performed excellently in law school (magna cum laude), was on the law review, had all the right clerkships, and was poised to be "that successful lawyer." All of this, while cutting my own hair short with clippers once a month or so, and only wearing a nice women's suit when I had to, like a job interview, and even then I picked the butchest women's suit I could find.

    A couple of years ago I became permanently disabled. This was extremely disheartening (as you can imagine). While going through some therapy and with lots of time on my hands to think, I decided transition was right for me. I have no expectation of ever re-entering the workforce, therefore attaining male privilege in the workforce could not POSSIBLY be one of my motivations for transitioning.

    I'm not so different now than I was 5 months ago. I still look pretty much the same, with some little differences developing over time. When did I become an agent of the patriarchy exactly? When I took my first shot? When I came out to all my friends and family and told them it was not a big secret, that they shouldn't lie to anyone about it? Last Saturday when I took my next-to-last shot before its officially been 5 months? When? When did I obtain "dick-swinging" card carrying patriarchy membership"

    You mention that FTMs gain "They describe getting to wear comfortable clothes (a privilege), getting treated with respect (a privilege), being able to go anywhere they want without fear (a privilege), being taken seriously automatically (a privilege), having opportunities they didn't have before (a privilege). Et cetera, et cetera. Those are not by-products, those are the whole tostada."

    I think I've always had those things to the exact degree I have them now. I never let anyone tell my butch ass what to wear or what I could or couldn't do or where to walk at night. I took those privileges for myself, as a butch woman - I refused to let anyone take them from me.

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  26. Anyway, to address the topic at hand, no, Dirt, I wouldn't take that pill, because it would magically change myself into someone I'm not, and that's not acceptable to me. I actually like and am invested in the person that I am.

    (Now, if I could take a pill and become un-disabled, I'd rip it out of the doctor's hands and not even wait for a glass of water to down that sucker.)

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  27. Oops, that last post was meant for the "Magic Pill" thread above this one.

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  28. I'm really sorry for you, Anon 27. I really am. Obviously, things have gone wrong in your life and you think transitioning is going to fix that and make things better. I'm sorry that you live in a time that tells you taking hormone shots and play acting will make you into something you want to be. That's just very sad that you think you can't be who you really are. You're never going to be a man. You're going to be a butch woman who is shooting up and damaging her health so that other people think you're a man. And that's just sad given all you've been through to live life as something strong and proud, rather than a fake.

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  29. anon@27

    i have much compassion for what you have gone through. please understand that. surely you recognize that at 34 we are much different people than at say 16, right? it's my opinion that once a person is out of that "i'm still forming my person, and understanding how to withstand making quick decisions without having real life understanding of those consequences" phase- that if one still finds that they are living a life of sheer and total unhappiness with their body not being the way they imagine it to be- then after much thought and counsel, then as a last resort transition should be a last resort.
    can you agree however, that moreover for more than just 'fixing' our own issues with our bodies, but also seeking to completely change how society views women as a whole- could possibly be more beneficial to women and girls beyond ourselves.

    *sorry if i'm rambling, i'm a bit stoned!

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  30. "In fact, if men were treated like the shit women are treated like, forced to conform to standards that marks them for abuse and treated as an oppressed class, women wouldn't transition to that (they already get that for free; and don't bother twisting this to be about M2T, completely different thing)."

    How is the MTF thing different?, why because it cancels out your bias. You are so fixed on FTMs transition, because you like to construct misogyny.

    "It's precisely because men have dick wagging privilege that women want to be them. How do I know? Because F2Ts have described it over and over and over and over and over and over on their blogs, on their videos, in comments on here, in comments all over the web, on facebook and twitter, in trans talks at LGBT events, in the books they've written, and pretty much everywhere they communicate about the experience.

    They describe getting to wear comfortable clothes (a privilege), getting treated with respect (a privilege), being able to go anywhere they want without fear (a privilege), being taken seriously automatically (a privilege), having opportunities they didn't have before (a privilege). Et cetera, et cetera. Those are not by-products, those are the whole tostada."

    Noone is denying male privilege is real, its real just like lots of privileges out there. Why must you persecute those who have it. You seem to hold a grudge on FTMs because they receive this privilege. Must we start the long list of privileges that some of you on here have. And should they start hating you for it.


    Yes, you are a liar if you claim that those aren't the reasons women want to be men. You are lying to yourself and everyone in your life and everyone you come in contact with.

    Finally you show your bitterness and ugly head popping up. All this BS about hormones and "mutilations" is just that BS, you hate us because of male privilege, say so and cut the BS. You don't understand the complexity of transexuality, even if we were given billions of dollars and lots of pampering, some of us would still transition to live in rags in the bodies that feel right for us. Meanwhile you can continue believe your lies and bias, whatever makes you sleep at night.

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  31. The male privilege is REAL..which is why many transition...many, maybe not all...but it is like a tempting carrot hanging on the end of a stick, after you've been beaten by that stick for many years of your life for being Female, and especially like that Butch mentioned, as a Butch Dyke Female..who only decides after she's disabled she'll transition to male. I see it as 'giving into the struggle', instead of being the proud Butch you've been all your life!

    Sure, there are those with such deep body self hatred that the only way out is transition(on either side), but for the FTM's in particular there is a carrot on the end of that stick called 'male privilege', if you pass enough, that you are invited into once you do, THAT ONE CAN NEVER EXPERIENCE EITHER AS A BUTCH DYKE ESPECIALLY, OR EVEN AS A REGULAR FEMALE, WHO STILL HAS MORE PRIVILEGES IN MANY WAYS THAN ANY BUTCH DYKE EVER WILL HAVE! Which is precisely WHY so many Butches are sadly transitioning, and so many nonButches at younger ages are transitioning as well..they WANT that carrot, and because we DON'T have a strong Lesbian Feminist movement spreading messages of LOVING your Female Butch Dyke body/mind/Spirit and sexuality, and even creating OUR OWN Female Centered forums and businesses which MANY Butches partook of, and so many years of Republican rule and in the 'LGBT' community, gay male rule as well, that 'becoming male' is better than being Lesbian/Butch/A Dyke as far as the world is concerned. Whether inside or outside the 'queer community'. Which was never my primary community in the first place...for me, it was ALWAYS the Dykes, even when it was difficult. And Female proud Butches were ALWAYS part of that and very visible...not so much anymore with all this transitioning taking place, and male identification replacing the messages that you can be Butch and Female Proud, Strong, and'anything you want to be' in a Female body and however you express it....

    Sadly, that has all changed, and for some, or for many, the only way out of that oppression is to transition...at least they see it that way....cuz that carrot is still at the end of the stick, while being a Butch Dyke is villified just about everywhere, except in our own communities. Even the genderqueer/FTM's see Butch as wimpy compared to themselves and their desire to identify with the male rather than with other Dykes/Butches or Female/Women as a whole....who wouldn't want to go where the power is?
    -MasterAmazon

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  32. annonymous 6:11 there is no such thing as white brain. however there is a proven medical difference between male and female brains.

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