The Gender Straight Jacket and the Child's Mind

I read the quote below from Jeanette Winterson's recent memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?.... "my sense of myself as being a girl who’s a boy who’s a boy who’s a girl".

This quote perhaps more than anything I've read or written myself perfectly sums up that early gender confusion many females feel, which begins before most of us are able to even speak. A confusion so tightly woven that it usually takes decades to begin unraveling and another decade to make sense of.

In between feeling one's self "a girl who’s a boy who’s a boy who’s a girl" and decades later of gaining the intelligence, insight and maturity to see through the bullshit that is the gender straight jacket, there are years and years of deep shame, a shame so intense and ugly our own body becomes the enemy! A body we've been spoon fed since birth that is inferior, weak and should always be at the sexual disposal of men, either visually or literally or both. A body whose natural functions further the shame separating us from other females and later create intimacy issues with lovers where there should be none. A shame because we cannot be that boy who's really a girl.

These feelings are as old as the gender straight jacket itself, that sense of wrongness and failure and self hatred. Which is why it is important for us to discuss, challenge and ultimately dismantle the Gender Straight Jacket. So that future girls wont have to spend decades learning to love themselves and see themselves as the supreme beings that they truly are.

Your body isnt the enemy, the Gender Straight Jacket is!

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  1. Great article. This is why I can only find compassion for transitioners and those who hate their bodies in general. I refuse to ridicule anyone suffering because of the gender straight jacket. We need to see these people and the state they are in to understand the extent of the problem, but we must also stay humble. I firmly believe that as non- gender believers we have arrived at this conclusion through luck and perseverance, not because we are truly different or superior, mentally.

  2. I believe your opinion on a "gender straight jacket" is different than mine. I was bound by my own femininity for years. I finally escaped that jacket. I'm comfortable now that I have had the chance to peel away the mask I was living behind for years. I'm just in a loss of words when I read some of your post, its seems like there is so much hate behind your words. I guess I am just trying to understand why? We are all one community. The majority of us just trying to spread love. So my question is, why all the hate?

  3. "why all the hate?"

    WHERE'S the hate, I see none (apart for gender).

    "The majority of us just trying to spread love." Liberal hippie-shit nonsense is the phrase that springs to mind! :)

    BUGGER love, I don't need all that pink and fluffy nonsense when we have women under the heel of the patriarchy. You ain't gonna change that by 'spreading love', might as well spread margarine............

    Let's face it, women have for far too long gone around being too bloody NICE to everyone about everything, rather than getting good and angry about the suffering that women have endured for centuries.

    La-la-la, women hate their bodies so much they are having plastic surgery -- okay, let's go and be NICE to everyone about it, I'm sure that will change things! Women are being raped and murdered by their male partners and husbands, let's try being NICE to them.......................

    If you want to know where the hate is, I think you can probably guess who I'd direct mine at (hint, it AIN'T trans folk, on the whole).

  4. I ask a simple question and I got the answer. I am not trying to start an argument nor debate. It was a question. Yes there are men out there who and not good people but there are women as well. Its human nature... a women kills her own children, a man rapes and murders his wife. Do you weight one heavier than the other?

  5. And maybe I do have this ideal that we can all live together as one... its better than spreading dislike or hate. Like I said earlier I am only looking for answers.

  6. anon 12:42

    Had to coment to you...

    Most of these women who kill their children have been so abussed by the system and the men in their lives they snap.

    Address the male violence issues and the rest will fall in place.

    (sorry Lynn, I know how you feel about me posting here but I can't let that one go.)

  7. Where are you getting your information from? If you don't mind me asking?

  8. "I ask a simple question and I got the answer."

    I didn't. Where is the hate here? I see none (of trans people at least, hating or disagreeing with an ideology isn't the same as hating people).

    Some women are nasty, some men are nasty DOESN'T really address the state of society as we see it, and why WOMEN as a sex class are systematically disadvantaged..............

    Or is the only response just the liberal, individualistic nonsense -- some people are nasty, sex has nothing to do with it...............

    It's NOT about people individually being good or bad, but WHY the system is the way it is, WHY women are always at the bottom of the heap, WHY are men always in charge? If you think THAT'S human nature, then we really have got a problem, if you think the because of biology, we are STUCK with it..........

  9. I said nothing of women being less then men... women have climbed their way up the chain in many ways. The site in general seems to aim at trans men. I again was simply asking why? Because of our hate for femininity? I in no way hate femininity. I have fem aspects and as do biological men. I guess I am just trying to undeerstand?

  10. "I in no way hate femininity. I have fem aspects and as do biological men."

    I hate femininity -- in terms of the things society expects me to wear/do/not do because of my sex.

    In the other sense, femininity just means associated with biological femaleness, hence bio men CAN'T have such.

    Why any woman WOULDN'T hate femininity is beyond me, given the restrictions that typical feminine clothing and behaviour means for the person concerned. Why would anyone in their right mind want to wear (as I see so many women wearing) shoes that they can barely walk in? Clothes that aren't durable or warm/cool?

    Difference is if you believe that femininity is natural, or constructed. What we NATURALLY do as females is in some aspects dictated by our biology, but unless they found it and didn't tell me, there is no 'has an urge to wear bloody stupid shoes' gene attached to the X chromosome.

    So, WHY do women do such things? Because it seems to me that for many women, their sense of self-worth is based on appearance, and in particular how they appear to men. Because men don't want women in sensible clothing, but in clothing that designates them as eye-candy -- the pretty typist for the male boss to gaze at, rather than a woman who is running the show herself.

  11. If the trans community truly desired to "spread love" then they wouldn't be constantly trying to hack into Dirt's blog, nor would they keep leaving comments such as "I wanna rape you to death" and "I know where you live" at trans-critical websites.

    Seriously, walk the talk. Because your bullshit is showing.

  12. The people leaving comments like that, its wrong. Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech.. threats on the other had is different. Not all trans men are such. Some of us want to just live our lives and be happy. I agree that the threats are inappropriate along with hacking.

  13. "I hate femininity -- in terms of the things society expects me to wear/do/not do because of my sex.

    In the other sense, femininity just means associated with biological femaleness, hence bio men CAN'T have such."

    I wish there was an another word for societal expectations based on sex. The double meaning doesn't make for an easy discussion!

  14. I was accused of hacking but it turned out to be paranoid bullshit! Dirt doesn't even know who is doing it! Learn the facts!

  15. "I wish there was an another word for societal expectations based on sex. The double meaning doesn't make for an easy discussion!" I think this is somewhat intentional, in that when you have gender (or gender ROLES) as a social construct, and SEX as meaning simple biology, then it is less easy to confuse them, and harder work to explain WHY one is supposedly linked to the other.

    The trans ideology, in terms of the internal innate gender magic voice in the brain line NEEDS such a confusion, because they need to take identification OUT of the realm of simple biology.

    I think MOST of this confusion is about because we have such STRONG links between actual biological sex, and expectations, that we can't see them a lot of the time!

    I was just thinking of a really daft example last night. So, curvy things more feminine, or more associted with femaleness. This is simple biology at the start, because women DO tend to have more curves than men, on average, simple fact about fat distribution.

    So, curves are female, angular objects male. Not too bad.

    But then we have what such objects are made of. Angular, and I think hard materials, like steel. Curvy, and I think soft, like rubber.

    Hence we end up with the association, female = curved = soft = weak

    whereas male = angular & hard = strong, unyielding etc.

    Because think of any furniture designer, curves are feminine (and sensual), whereas angular shapes are male and thrusting (goodness, MORE associations). Our very language of design and architecture takes on these gender nuances, even if we did start from biology.

    And the simple fact that's it easier to make a sharp corner from metal, rather than rubber, loops round to associating strength and steely determination with men..........

    It's humans and PATTERNS I think, and patterns that we see as regards male/female get used elsewhere, and associations get carried around and back.

  16. Another example. Two languages, both use gendered nouns. A bilingual speaker said that one language, where 'bridge' was feminine, bridges tended to ne described as beautiful, graceful etc. Whereas on a language where 'bridge' was masculine, it tended to be about how strong and useful they were........

    So gender essentialism infects civil engineering, and NOT just in the sense that you can't find many female civil engineers.

  17. Interesting way to look at it BadDyke. The ability to see patterns is like the cornerstone of intelligence... and yet theres a weakness in this method, its very possible to cling to bad theories and miss obvious truths if you don't constantly evaluate.

    Going back to your example of curves vs. angles, the mind immediately springs to curvy objects as being aesthetic, non-robust etc (mine did too!) All our 'logic' has us missing that elephant in the room! Ships. Planes. Hard, tough, functional things which couldn't operate without curves - and are traditionally called she.

  18. "Ships. Planes. Hard, tough, functional things which couldn't operate without curves - and are traditionally called she."

    'Cos traditionally controlled by men!

    Just this gender crap gets everywhere.

  19. Actually, the circle is as strong a structural shape (if not stronger) than the triangle. So this whole curves = weakness / angles = strength where designers or architects are concerned is BS (assuming those architects & designers know basic geometry...)

  20. SHEAIt's difficult for people to target the source of their gender confusion, because there was once a time when they had no conscious mind, so they can only remember a very limited spectrum of events and the rest is a blur. Their subconscious is the mind that holds all memory of everything they have ever experienced, but because a young child has no conscious mind, then they cannot have conscious memory of many of the things that they saw or experienced in early life. It's like having a dream, if the conscious mind doesn't connect, then the memory of the dream dissolves and you cannot consciously recall what you saw or did in it. But the subconscious remembers everything, so it will keep making you behave in certain ways whether or not you consciously understand why you feel that way.

    But the real problem stems in the fact that the subconscious mind is a primitive mind and doesn't understand logic of any kind. So messages can become distorted along the way. One small example is when a parent tells their child constantly that they are 'a big girl'. Consciously, we know what that means, but the subconscious is a primitve mind and will interpret it literally as big e.g fat and that kid could grow up fat without knowing why etc. Some people may think this is BS, but that really is how the subconscious mind works, it's not logical at all. And the thing is that TV is now the biggest tool of mass brainwashing ever devised and millions of kids spend hours in front of it, downloading gender straight jacket messages. Their parents can be great, but it all goes down the toilet as soon as the TV/teachers/culture start adding their bit into the equation.

    The bottom line is that that all is not as it seems, and all of us, whether gay, straight, trans, whatever, have been screwed up by our retarded culture and religions.

  21. "So this whole curves = weakness / angles = strength where designers or architects are concerned is BS "

    Which wasn't the point: the association was

    straight/angular/hard -> metallic (e.g. steel) -> strong.

    Trying to counter an example of gendered association by citing the actual structural properties of various objects kind of misses the point -- which is the the associatiosn AREN'T based on facts or actual properties, but the way we talk and think about them.

  22. I'm not feminine, never will be feminine, and have resisted femininity and femininization ALL MY LIFE...but I am ALL FEMALE! femininity doesn't equal female, because if it did, all the high feminine MTF's would be more female than any nerdy, fat, Butch, or poorly dressed woman alive. Not to say that Butches are poorly dressed, some of us are quite dapper.....but NONE of these types of women are considered high on the scale of 'femininity', whereas MANY MTF's to 'pass' as supposed females, pride themselves in it.

    I pride myself in being 'unfeminine' because I so enjoy being Butch, and FINALLY being accepted for it, like I never was as an 'unfeminine' girl and teen, way too masculine and mannish for my mother, my grandmother, my father and grandfather....but it was the female relatives who tried to change me the grandfather didn't understand it but accepted me, and my father and I aren't speaking. Also, when I had a Femme lover/partner, he accepted her. But now that I'm with someone equally as Butch, this partner, even though we are legally married, is NOT accepted, nor am I, by my father.

    So, no, I would be glad to read this book, and worked hard to escape that 'Gender Straight Jacket' which actually I did by coming out as a Butch Dyke and being recognized as such by other Butch and Lesbian sisters, and appreciated for it, in a way I am not in the patriarchal hetero world. Not 'feminine', but I AM womonly, and have my tender and vulnerable and colorful sides, as well as my fiercer more macha sides...we are all multifaceted.

    Besides, femininity, along with masculinity are social constructs, NOT biological facts. Let's not let ourselves be MANipulated by them!

  23. "But now that I'm with someone equally as Butch, this partner, even though we are legally married, is NOT accepted, nor am I, by my father. "

    Same here. Seems that when society can slot you into boxes labelled masculine/feminine, it finds you easier to acccept. But if, when someone asks -- which one of you is the man? -- the answer is neither, it don't like it!

    Heteronormativity is the word, I think, society expects a partnership of masculine/feminine, active/passive, and doesn't like anything that challenges that.

  24. i know you study FTM's mostly, but what are your thoughts concerning MTF's? Are they feminists who choose to present themselves as women as a part of their feministic manifest?


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