Change Your World-NOT your Body

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Female Transition & Performing for the Male Gaze through Transitioning

There isnt an instrument available to accurately measure the degree with which females are saturated with messages instructing female worth based on Male Gaze performances. Most females are completely unaware of just how much their daily lives (directly/indirectly) revolve around performing for the Male Gaze.

Anything from wearing tight ill fitting blouses/skirts, painfully walking in unhealthy/uncomfortable shoes, dieting, exercising, putting on make up, shaving, plucking, waxing, exfoliating, filing/gluing/polishing/paining nails, smiling, curling, combing, cutting, dyeing hair, bleaching assholes, cleansing or more extreme primping in the form of injections/surgeries such as nose jobs, lip jobs, butt jobs, vagina/labia jobs, boob jobs, cheek jobs, face lifts etc etc etc. Obviously this does not begin to touch on the vast multitudinous subtleties females also employ in effort to gain Male Approval via the Male Gaze, but you get the picture.

Women overtly performing for the MG is so routine that at this point in time one can say, it goes without saying. But what about females seeking to escape the MG through transition? While the MG definitely informs aspects of ALL female transition, does it also continue to inform post transition female behaviour?? Or simply do trans females continue performing for the MG? No matter the conscious or unconscious reasons behind female transition, even post transition females continue performing for the MG. Only, in the case of trans females that MG shifts to a trans(male) gaze, i.e. a gaze from each other.

Constructed femininity was created and is demanded of females by patriarchy, BUT policed and maintained by females themselves. Constructed female masculinity was created by patriarchy and is policed and maintained by trans females themselves in the same way. Nowhere is that more evident than YouTube, trans female introductions number over 58,000 video results alone! Trans females may have avoided the MG through their transition, but they side stepped straight into a TmG. Where trans females dually perform and monitor/police each others performances.

New trans female changes are swiftly put on YouTube in the same way a woman rushes to show off her new high heels to her closest girlfriend. New haircuts, facial hair, muscles, breast removal, body hair etc are shown off as well as fodder for other trans females who criticize trans-manliness when and where it doesnt measure up. Females entrenched in MG performance demands is yet another pillar propping up patriarchy at the expense of all females, where transitioning to male isnt an exit, but another patriarchal suffocating windowless room. 

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11 comments:

  1. New trans female changes are swiftly put on YouTube in the same way a woman rushes to show off her new high heels to her closest girlfriend.

    External Fashion Accessories and Body Altering Chemicals and Surgeries....

    I've noticed this. It's kind of like frilly feminine Barbie doll type girls showing off their coolest clothes, makeup, botox, boob lift, etc. Except in this case, it's trans "guys" proudly making youtube video after youtube video of their first shot of "T", six months on "T", one year on "T", etc. See, I got my first whisker today. They have to show their buddies. I guess it's kind of like a bragging contest of sorts.

    Google "FTM and "first shot of T" and youtube

    20,900 results

    Google "FTM and "one month on T" and youtube

    72,700 results

    Googe "FTM and "six months on T" and youtube

    46,000 results

    ***(Fashion conscious girls)

    Coolest blouse...tank top, Victoria's Secret bra, etc.

    ***(Fashion conscious FTMs who need that "masculine" chest)

    Videos on tips on how to breast bind, best places to buy a breast binder for that fashionable "guy" flat looking chest..

    ***(Fashion conscious girls uncomfortable with their breasts)

    Boobs too small, not perky enough...whatever...if you have the $$, breast implants, etc.

    ***(Fashion conscious FTMs uncomfortable with their breasts)

    Just lop them off, and while they are at it, surgically whittle down the areolas and nipples too....

    Note: Plastic surgeons that enlarge breasts on females also get paid to perform elective masectomies with the surgical trimming down of nipples and areolas (aka "top surgery")

    ***(Fashion conscious middle age women who have a few laugh lines or crows feet )

    Botox pumps the skin up (actually deadens the nerves, but what the heck)

    ***(Fashion conscious FTMs who want more muscles for that masculine pumped up look)

    "T".

    Have people noticed a pattern here? Females are never satisfied, whole, or complete unless they have some sort of external chemical and/or surgical procedure.

    $$$ for plastic surgeons and pharmaceutical companies...all done on HEALTHY FEMALE BODIES

    I know some people are going to say that trans identified girls "feel like boys inside", and that they have a genuine need for "T", breast binding, "top surgery", etc. It's in their minds, and they can't help it. The same can be said about girls who feel compelled to have coolest clothes, botox, nose jobs, boob jobs, etc. They really need this.

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  2. Botox deadens nerves i didnt know that quick we better warn kylie and madonna..

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  3. Botox deadens nerves i didnt know that quick we better warn kylie and madonna..

    Clostridium botulinum...think neurotoxin

    Apparently, this person hasn't taken a biology class. Haven't people ever heard of botulism? It's one type of food poisoning, but not just any food poisoning. It's the toxin that the bacteria produces. If you are unfortunate to get it, there are anti-toxins. Hopefully, your doctor will catch it early. People don't die from it like they used to, but it definetly is not something you would want to catch. In severe cases, people can end up with respiratory failure (think breathing machine).

    The bacteria Clostridium botulinum produces one of the most powerful neurotoxins known to mankind. Although rare, it would be a nasty way to go because the body eventually becomes paralyzed, but the mind can be aware.

    Another nasty Clostridium
    is Clostridium tetani Tetanus. Thank God there is a vaccine for this because this is another really nasty way to go.

    Botox is essentially a watered down version of Clostridium botulinum. It's supposed to be good for wrinkles because it numbs the underlying facial muscles. Those frown lines disappear because the muscles are paralyzed.







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  4. YouTube also has videos from born male bodybuilders, skateboarders, BMX riders, carpenters, code geeks, gamers, etc showing off their bodies, things that they have built or created, new tricks they have mastered, etc.

    What is so inherently female about making YT videos off something you are proud of?

    PS Comedian and strong female role model Amy Poehler has a YouTube channel and a Tumblr dedicated to changing the negative stereotypes of females. It's called "Smart Girls at the Party" where she posts articles of successful or groundbreaking women, and other good feminist information. There is no place to attack transgender people, but it's worth checking out.

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  5. I have to admit I enjoy watching the occassional Hodge Twins social commentary videos on YouTube. If I watch an FtM video right after, (even if it's about someone's new whisker), I can always see their femaleness shining through loud and clear.
    Germany

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  6. For reasons I have never been able to understand, people are afraid to carefully look at FTM (biological females who "transition") through a feminist lens. Perhaps they are terrified of doing this because looking at this realistically is extremely uncomfortable for some people. FTM "transitioning" not only radically alters healthy female breasts, genitals, and reproductive systems, it erases female identity. If a person is born a biological female, we know that sex reassignment surgery can't really change her sex. It essentially amounts to extensive plastic surgery on breasts and genitals and years of testosterone. Socially, a female is lost if she legally changes her sex. People will say that these females really weren't females after all. Because they were born female, they are still of the female sex. There is no escaping this fact. Moreover, with the truly sad and horrific death of Nathan/Nancy Verhelst who was euthanized because she was disappointed and shocked with how she looked after reassignment surgery, it's clear that females are being "transitioned" who probably aren't emotionally stable. By all accounts, this poor tortured soul was raised in a dysfunctional family in which the mother favored the boys. Nathan/Nancy Verhelst was a gender non-conforming female who just didn’t' fit in. She learned from her mother and from society that girls aren't valued and as important as boys. This is what killed her. No amount of surgery could heal the internalized misogyny, self-esteem issues, and years of torment. Her body was mutilated through botched sex reassignment surgery. She stated she felt disgusted with the way she looked. She was unhappy with the scars from "top surgery". Also, she said the skin flap from her arm that was sewn onto her pubic area to fashion a "penis" was showing signs of rejection. Most people have no idea what "bottom surgery" on a female entails. No matter how we look at it, the surgical procedures involved in FTM "transitioning" are rather ghastly. She was so depressed that she asked to be euthanized. I say what happened to Nathan/Nancy Verhelst was a human rights abuse and a crime against the female sex. Even when we have a mutilated and euthanized female body, some still refuse to believe that factors such as internalized misogyny could play a role in FTM “transitioning”. It’s in plain sight, and still people refuse to accept it.

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  7. Why are approximately 90% of plastic surgery patients female? Why are most anorexics female? There definitely are cultural influences at play. There have been scholarly articles examining the cultural forces that push women to seek out surgical alterations to their bodies to fit social norms of proper ‘femininity’. I personally don't have anything against breast implants, Botox, tummy tucks, etc., but most rational people would agree that girls and women are saturated with constant messages from the media that say they aren't complete, interesting, or attractive without the latest fashion, surgery, or body modification. It is incessant and starts at an early age.

    http://www.the-dermatologist.com/content/biocosmetic-center-says-more-women-undergo-cosmetic-surgery

    I'm sure some people are asking themselves what does this have to do with FTM "transitioning" (surgery and hormones). The same plastic surgeons that perform breast implants and labiaplasty (plastic surgery to make the female labia more aesthetically pleasing) are the same plastic surgeons that perform "top surgery" (elective mastectomies with the surgical trimming down of areolas and nipples) and "bottom surgery".

    I've always said that hyper-femininity (Botox, plastic surgery, fashion, etc.) and FTM "transitioning" (surgery and hormones) are really the flip side of the same coin in that both are largely fueled by the decline of second wave feminism, misogyny, and postmodern neoliberalism. One can't exist without the other. I know it sounds strange, but all we have to do is to step back and look at this from a historical perspective. FTM "transitioning" increased during second wave feminism's decline. Neoliberalism just didn't expand the economic gap between the rich and poor. Pornography exploded, especially the most extreme gonzo porn, and the trafficking of women is more entrenched than it has ever been. Read the book "Pornland" by Gail Dines, but be warned that this is rather shocking.

    Nothing exists in a complete cultural vacuum, but FTM "transitioning" is somehow considered off limits. If people mentioned "top surgery" or "T" twenty years ago, no one would know they were talking about. The same goes for Botox and labiaplasty. To understand the particular point in time in which we find ourselves, I suggest watching this very insightful video. Please keep in mind that everything that is described in this video is the period in history in which we saw an increase in FTM "transitioning".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDcTt0emXhE

    In this postmodern neoliberalism world we live in, anorexia is rampant and teenage girls are talking about Botox and plastic surgery. While we observe this all around us, fifteen and sixteen year old girls who don't fit neatly into this forced femininity that we see in Teenage Vogue magazine are told that they too can be fixed surgically. If they don't look like hyper-feminized Barbie dolls, then they must really be boys. There is a chemical and surgical way to fix this.

    Surgeons who perform FTM and MTF surgery also perform everything from breast implants to eyelid and brow lifts.

    http://www.transhealthcare.org/clifford-king/

    Plastic surgery to physically alter healthy tissue is considered health care, but the medical rationale basically resides in one's mind, and thus is partly culturally based.

    http://www.madisoncosmeticsurgery.com/

    Perhaps feminists are reluctant to honestly look at FTM "transitioning" because doing so requires looking face to face with something that resembles female genital mutilation if they are wrong. If we dig deep enough, there is a deep, dark well of misogyny.

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  8. @Germany- If someone is showing off their "first whisker" they are probably early on in their hormone replacement therapy, and people sometimes look quite feminine still at that point.

    It takes time ;-)

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  9. FTMs rarely achieve the masculine hair features they seek. They do get hairy on their backs but often grow a scraggly underbrush on the neck. Which some proceed to tug and play with as they share discourse with their "brothers". Also,many experience male pattern baldness.

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  10. Also,many experience male pattern baldness.

    Male pattern baldness is a possibility.

    http://transhealth.vch.ca/resources/library/tcpdocs/consumer/hormones-FTM.pdf

    Hudson which is a respected trans source has a whole section on it.

    Trans men on testosterone therapy are at risk for male pattern baldness just as other men are. Whether any man will experience MPB appears to be dependent on the factors described below.

    1. the presence and action of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a potent androgen, in the hair follicles, and
    2. a seemingly inherited sensitivity to DHT in the affected hair follicles.

    http://www.ftmguide.org/hairloss.html#mpb

    There is a good link to a MTV video about two youn people who decided to detransition. The young man's breast implants were taken out, and the young woman got laser treatments for the beard growth. It always seems that doctors get people coming and going.

    http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-im-questioning-my-gender-again/1704884/playlist.jhtml

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  11. FTMs rarely achieve the masculine hair features they seek.

    I don't know about this, but if they detransition, they still could be dealing with a beard for awhile.

    If females decide to detrransition, depending on how long she has been to testosterone, she could be stuck with a heavy beard.

    Voice: The voice should stay at the pitch level that it has reached at the point T therapy is stopped.

    Facial/body hair: The hair that has come in on the face and body at the point of stopping T will continue to grow in, but large quantities of new hair will most likely not appear. If an individual has developed a patchy beard, it will probably remain in that same patchy state upon quitting T; he will be able to shave it and it should continue to grow back. It might change slightly in texture or growth rate-- depending in part on whether the individual's ovaries are still active and producing estrogen-- but the beard will not disappear. Electrolysis would be required for permanent hair removal.

    http://www.ftmguide.org/ttherapybasics.html#stopping

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