Transphobia, The Turing Test, and Cards Against Humanity Read More
As a woman-born-woman, I find most mtf trans women somewhat baffling. They are all, without exception, painfully effeminate. Why?
I think a lot of transgender mtf people have some very rigid and stereotyped ideas about what being a woman means. I don't own a dress, wear makeup or high heels; that doesn't make me less of a woman. Not being effeminate doesn't mean I'm not female. Butbin the trans community, women and femaleness are percieved to be only one fixed way. Looking at a trans woman makes me feel stereotyped, as if I'm supposed to act or look a certain way because I was born female. It feels a bit culturally repressive.
Yes, seeing ourselves through others eyes can be salutary and unsettling. And, of course--vulnerable to caricature. My point was that some folk have a vested interest in playing very close attention to details that others might miss--and that this has lessons for any ethologist.
I agree, transgenderism seems to be based in nothing more than male and female stereotypes. Women behave like this, men behave like that. It's very narrow minded and cliched. There are 'effeminate' men and 'masculine' women and many variations in between, and it's all culturally learned behavior to begin with.
The question is--where do these stereotypes come from? There is no mysterious platonic realm apart from humanity that hands down stereotypes to an otherwise innocent humanity. We generate them from the bottom-up. That doesn't mean that they are accurate but it does mean that we need to look inside not outside for their origin.
I think one of the key differences for someone who is mtf is the desire or need to be accepted as a woman. Simply existing isn't necessarily enough for others to perceive them as female, so they might have to 'play it up a little' so to speak and consciously do or wear things that read more feminine.
Stereotypes and narrow definitions of femininity are certainly limiting and harmful to everyone, but a transgender person may not feel they have the freedom to deviate very far from stereotypes and society's image if they're going to avoid scrutiny and be accepted as themselves
Is thinking that chairs can be sat on "limiting and hurtful"? Its a stereotype....Its hard to imagine how we could even begin to exist in the world without stereotypes--or what AI researchers calls "frames" to deliniteate the boundaries of objects, events etc. In essence--we have to crave up the world into manageable chunks. Of course the word stereotype conjures up hurtful stereotypes. But this is, itself, a stereotype about stereotypes! Not all stereotypes are harmful and most are simply unavoidable (like the chair example).
For a detailed philosophical examination of this check out Daniel Dennett
Eibl-Eibesfeldt had the best job ever
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When and how should we open up to loved ones?