Transitioning: But Not The Kind You Think
I’m in the middle of transitioning from MF to FF.
No! Don’t worry! I’m in no way thinking that my brain would be happier if I had balls to scratch and I could pee standing up.
My transition doesn’t involve taking dangerous hormones or denying mental illness or cutting up my body. And it is not rooted in woman-hate. No, that would describe the transgender kind of transitioning.
The kind of change I’m talking about is health-oriented and woman-friendly and doesn’t require me to erase myself or my lived reality. It is just a refocusing of energy, a streamlining of behaviour to remove unnecessary actions, and cutting a swathe through the hard, impacted bullshit that is Patriarchy.
I’m transitioning from Male-Focused to Female-Focused.
Whether women are aware of it or not – and I’d argue that it’s mostly unconscious – we are trained to serve male ‘needs’. In reality, men don’t ‘need’ anything from women, but over time, desires and a sense of entitlement have created a whole host of needs that cannot be realized without one or more female slaves. And the needs are uncountable. They can be the obvious and universal: “I need my dick serviced when, where and how I want” or “You will prioritize my words and ideas – I can interrupt you and any girl/woman no matter what you are doing, everything I say is right, etc.” But the needs can be sub-group-, geography-, or man-specific. It is elaborate, but has one simple rule. Woman caters to man to her detriment.
I lament the female energy, talent, and intelligence that has long been and continues to be wasted on catering to the weaker sex.
Back to my personal transitioning.
It is hard. I can imagine it would be next to impossible if you lived with a man in a heterosexual relationship. You just wouldn’t be allowed not to cater. I don’t really have any advice for women in this situation other than: leave. That simple, but really key, suggestion can inspire angry reactions (my Dick isn’t like that! He caters to my needs too!); sad reactions (I wish I could, but I can’t for X, Y, Z reasons); and the sacrificial lamb reactions (He would be lost without me – I can’t leave him. He can’t help it.) And I’m sure there are other categories.
In addition to romantic relationships, it is hard when you are forced to work around males. Most of us can’t work in a man-free environment. Most women have male bosses, colleagues and clients. Myself, I seldom have to deal with supervisors – male or female – which is awesome. But as a university instructor in science and engineering in China (the land of propaganda and conformity to rigid Patriarchy in a way I’ll write about in the future), almost all my students are male. That sucks. They demand so much more of my energy than female students because they act like 5-year-olds, can’t focus, don’t listen, don’t follow instructions, and wear misogyny like a bad perfume. [I have a whole post on dumb boy-children in education.] I find I dissociate almost completely when I teach in order to stay Female-Focused. I have a completely separate persona/identity/mask/hazmat suit that I put on when I enter the classroom. I do help some of the more enthusiastic students outside of class, though – that is the teacher in me, and I’d feel like I wasn’t doing a good job if I trampled on natural motivation to learn/improve. Unfortunately, female students with ambition in China are few and far between. Women are not supposed to help themselves, or pursue goals other than finding a husband and an acceptably low-level job and popping out a preferably male kid and catering to its every need. So most of the students I help are male. To deal with the obvious male-focus, I try to de-sex them and just see them as ‘youth’ or ‘student’. It goes better if I tell myself, “I am helping a student.” If I do get an ambitious female student, I try to help them as much as possible. This semester, for example, a 17-year-old, first-year, female law student crashed my class (it was a class for Masters-level Management/Finance students). Afterwards, she came up to talk to me, and she told me she was reading “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir. I think my jaw hit the floor. Most Western woman have never read it, and feminism is very frowned upon in China. Anyhow, I’ll nurture this one as long as she wants it. She is highly unusual in her self-confidence and thirst for forbidden knowledge.
Finally, it is hard to evaluate friendships with men. Once I started transitioning, I realized that most to all of my friendships with men were ones from which I got very little and sometimes had to put up with a lot of bad stuff I wouldn’t have to with most women. There are weird abuses, confusing insult-compliment combos, the inevitable sexual intrusions, the demands on your energy, and having to overlook a whole lotta misogynistic behaviour that wouldn’t be acceptable if you were honest with yourself. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been shedding many of these male parasites over the last few years. One of the things that becomes really hard – and I think this is true of friendships as well as romantic relationships – is seeing one’s investment (time, money, emotion) as a waste or a loss and then letting it go instead of using it as a reason to stay. It doesn’t help that relationship-building isn’t easy, and it gets harder to make friends as you get older. But ultimately, breaking an unhealthy tie is better for you than allowing a parasite to feed and drain and ultimately kill you.
Transition periods can be very, very difficult. You often question what you’re doing. You often feel alone and lonely. You worry about what your future will look like. You wonder whether you deserve to have a better life and whether you are being selfish for taking care of your own basic needs. You may find yourself insulted in a variety of different, but standard ways, but that will just show you how right you were about leaving.
But what you have to remember is that no one deserves to be second or less important or a slave to anyone else. And that basic belief will sustain you and get you to a better, healthier place.
Posted on December 11, 2015, in Feminism, Separatism and tagged friendship, health, relationships, transitioning, woman-centered, women, work. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Transitioning: But Not The Kind You Think.