Support Susan's Place!

Help support the operations of this website by Donating or Subscribing! (Forums account required). You can also view the donor wall of fame!

For more information about all of this, read this post.


Author Topic: FTM's and male privilege  (Read 2602 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Alyssa M.

  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,092
  • Reputation: +41/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • I wanna be just like her when I grow up!
FTM's and male privilege
« on: December 17, 2009, 02:25:39 am »
I think the thread on MTF's and male privilege is missing something: the experience of trans men. Privilege in general is a topic that interests me, and I expect you guys have something worthwhile to share.

So, how much did male privilege affect you (i.e., by lacking it) before you transitioned? How much did transitioning change how people interacted with you, especially people you don't know? How do you feel about this change? Relief, guilt, indifference, comfort, uneasiness, or some combination? Does you experience make you more interested in feminist issues or less? Do you have any specific examples of privilege that you have been afforded or denied? Anything else?

Thank you (in advance) for sharing your thoughts and experiences. :)
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

   - Anatole France

Der Tod ist verschlungen in den Sieg. Tod, wo ist dein Stachel? Hölle, wo ist dein Sieg?

   - 1 Kor 15,54-55

Dianna

Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 07:55:05 am »
Interesting post Kavall, but my first surgery was when I was 17 years of age, that is a long long time ago.  ;)

I have NEVER felt this 'male' privledge that some transgender/transsexual persons are talking about. Cis in not a term I use?

Offline Dennis

  • Fishin' Fool
  • *
  • Posts: 4,648
  • Reputation: +50/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 09:27:45 am »
It used to constantly frustrate me, being seen as less capable pre-transition. I would have arguments with mechanics about what was wrong with my car, what was a necessary repair, and what could wait. I felt compelled to know everything about my motorcycle and car so that I could speak from knowledge. Now I don't bother, I just take it into the shop and get treated as though I know what's up even if I haven't a clue. Job interviews, there was always a vague suspicion (now I would say confirmed) that my gender was affecting how my abilities were perceived. I am physically stronger now, but even before having that extra strength, been seen as unable to do something that I was perfectly capable of was beyond aggravating.

At work, I could give someone sound, solid legal advice from my experience and training and still be doubted or questioned far more often than I am now.

As a white, able-bodied professional, male privilege is very noticeable and the lack of it was something I always suspected, but couldn't really nail down what made me suspect it. It does tinge every interaction. Also men speak with other men and reveal more than they do when they speak with women. It doesn't give me a lot of faith that male privilege is going away soon. There seem to be some basic, unshakeable ideas held by a lot of men that women really are less capable.

It may be, too, that I was hypersensitive to it because of the dual effect of it on me. Being seen as "less than" and also being seen as female, neither of which I felt like.

As to the effect of acquiring male privilege, I have to confess that my initial reaction is like that of a lot of abused children I've spoken to when they see their sibling being abused: "oh, thank god it's not me this time". Then it makes me uneasy. I don't do enough to combat it, because I still feel vulnerable to it. I get worried that someone is going to bring up my trans status to dismiss anything I have to say about women's abilities.

And to speak to Diana's point, which I think was addressing the other thread, I noticed and railed against male privilege from an early age. It affects children too. Being treated differently because you are a boy who is feminine is not the same thing as suffering from the effects of male privilege. It is an awful experience (having had friends who were born male who were treated very badly for not being masculine enough), and stems from similar roots as sexism, but it's different. Male privilege is when you are a little girl who can play baseball as well as her friends, but isn't allowed on the team because it's boys only. It's when you're not considered as smart as the boys in your class. It's when, even though you have the same physical strength and are as tough, you're considered weaker and more vulnerable. It's when all the adults in your life ask boys what they want to be when they grow up and assume you want to be a wife and a mother, or that you'll get a temporary job, always teacher or nurse, until you get married and have kids. Maybe it's a bit different today, it's not as blatant as it was when I was growing up, but it's still there.

Dennis

Offline Silver

  • Wolf in sheep's clothing.
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,535
  • Reputation: +43/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • My postcount is the source of all my powers.
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 10:11:51 am »
There seem to be some basic, unshakeable ideas held by a lot of men that women really are less capable.

Most definitely.

Like most women, it always used to bother me that I would be talking with some guys about a topic I know about, or anything I can contribute to really. And I would express some sort of idea/opinion, a couple people would glance at me, and then ignore me. Then the guy next to me would repeat my exact words and everyone in the group would praise him and accept it ("That's a great idea, we should do that!") Happened to me so often it wasn't funny.

So I don't like not being taken seriously. The fatbags on my chest do not dictate my preferences, thoughts, or knowledge. It's as if every male has a common personality mapped out for every female.

There's definitely a sexist attitude, even if it's covered up because generally people don't talk about it.

People also think that I can't lift something heavier than say, five pounds. Really, women aren't that weak.

Anyway, as of right now I don't pass too much and the people I associate with all know me as female. So I'm not really getting male privilege. I'm somewhat considered one of the guys though, and that definitely gets me more respect than the "girly girls."

I notice when I do pass though, people are definitely more respectful to me in the way they speak and act. They don't act haughty or like they really don't care/I don't concern them. One time, I was walking and this guy and I bumped into each other. He was immediately all over me "Hey man, you okay? Sorry about that" and a firm pat on the back. Women are just stared at vindictively when something like that happens. Like it's always completely their fault, no matter how it happened.

This makes me more interested in feminist issues.

Dianna

Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 10:52:23 am »

And to speak to Diana's point, which I think was addressing the other thread, I noticed and railed against male privilege from an early age. It affects children too. Being treated differently because you are a boy who is feminine is not the same thing as suffering from the effects of male privilege. It is an awful experience (having had friends who were born male who were treated very badly for not being masculine enough), and stems from similar roots as sexism, but it's different. Male privilege is when you are a little girl who can play baseball as well as her friends, but isn't allowed on the team because it's boys only. It's when you're not considered as smart as the boys in your class. It's when, even though you have the same physical strength and are as tough, you're considered weaker and more vulnerable. It's when all the adults in your life ask boys what they want to be when they grow up and assume you want to be a wife and a mother, or that you'll get a temporary job, always teacher or nurse, until you get married and have kids. Maybe it's a bit different today, it's not as blatant as it was when I was growing up, but it's still there.

Dennis

Thanks Dennis for such an indebth analysis.  When I finished high school I most certainly did not enter nursing.

I don't have my first degree listed anywhere on my profile, but not long after my first lot of surgery I actually commenced and completed studying accountancy. I practised as an accountant for a number of years. It was not until the 80's did I commence a nursing course and my first course was psychiatric nursing. I never stayed in the field of nursing for very long at all speaking in my life terms.

You will never believe this, but nursing was way too servile for me, it's the way I am and was raised. I inquired at one stage post studies how long before I would ever become a NUM. (NUM in Australia is Nursing Unit Manager) ie in charge of a ward in a hospital. I was advised  that I would need to complete a nursing administration course, that did it for me, after 3 years study, (Social Work is 4 min at a University) they could stick their nursing, that's when I went back to Uni and completed a bachelor of social work. 

Some sexist remarks still occur, but not like the general societial viewpoint. (Teachers & Nurses) Yes in the past more so.

When I was divorced in  the early 80's I actually needed to consult a lawyer, as in SW we only complete 2 law subjects.

Nothing changes to what I've posted previously, when I was a kid I believe I was treated just the same as both my brothers. My Mum (mom) treated all of us (kids) the same.  ;D

Dianna

(SilverFang, only just read your post.)

Dianna

Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 11:08:55 am »
I totally agree Kiera, and it is the same in Australia and many think us Aussies are more English (pommies/UK) than Americian (US/yankie)..

The very first person to undergo gender re-assignmernt globally was Christine Jorgensen who grew up in the Bronx.

This person had (surgery) before I was born, yet I was the first public case in Australia to undergo surgery.

I was interviewed on a national television programme (Aust) back in the 70's.

My own biography is due out next year, I could never let it  be published prior when I was in the workforce.

I retired earlier this year due to 'ill health', nothing at all to do with gender.

Offline Miniar

  • T since Dec. 17. 2009
  • *
  • Posts: 5,217
  • Reputation: +87/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • The Tallest!
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 12:23:14 pm »
My gynocologist said; (paraphrased in translation)
"A woman has to work four times as hard as a man to make the same money and earn the same respect. A Transsexual will have to work twice as hard as a woman to make the same money and earn the same respect, regardless of whether you're FTM or MTF."

At 6'2 I get asked to help lift and carry things already, even when I wasn't strapping down the girls.

It may be about where I am, but an "able arm" is an able arm whether it's on a woman or a man, and so my size has afforded me the position of "able arm" since I reached it..
Problem is ofcourse, I'm not an "able arm". I'm tall and bulky, but physically weak and my fibro problem doesn't help either.

In Iceland, we have a lesbian as the prime minister (most powerful position a human being can have in our government) and we've had a woman as president before. We've got women in positions of power and have had for a while.

So, what is male privilege in a country where your size matters more in regards to how people perceive your strength than your sex, and your intelligence is valued independently of the contents of your underpants and/or sexual preference?
Where men can be babysitters and kindergarten teachers, women can rule the country.
(No, this is not a utopia, there's problems too, no place is perfect!)

I don't know.



"Everyone who has ever built anywhere a new heaven first found the power thereto in his own hell" - Nietzsche

Offline Alyssa M.

  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,092
  • Reputation: +41/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • I wanna be just like her when I grow up!
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2009, 04:52:49 pm »
Thanks, guys. In particular, Kvall's post in the other thread that he mentioned was part of the reason I started this one.

Dianna and Kiera, I value your contributions, but they're a little off topic; I didn't mean this to be a repeat of the other thread. If you have something to say about trans guys and male privilege -- perhaps questions or some experience with trans guys, whether IRL or online -- I'd be happy to hear it.
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

   - Anatole France

Der Tod ist verschlungen in den Sieg. Tod, wo ist dein Stachel? Hölle, wo ist dein Sieg?

   - 1 Kor 15,54-55

Dianna

Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 11:02:27 pm »
Thanks, guys. In particular, Kvall's post in the other thread that he mentioned was part of the reason I started this one.

Dianna and Kiera, I value your contributions, but they're a little off topic; I didn't mean this to be a repeat of the other thread. If you have something to say about trans guys and male privilege -- perhaps questions or some experience with trans guys, whether IRL or online -- I'd be happy to hear it.

Thanks Alyssa M.  :)

This is what my definitions are on this board. Trans Man = FTM / Trans Woman = MTF.

CIS I don't even know what it means and I worked in our Gender Centre for 12 months in the  80's in Sydney.

Offline tekla

  • Left Coast
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,916
  • Reputation: +189/-0
  • Self-Rescuing Princess
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 11:04:58 pm »
12 months is a year, and the '80s' is thirty years ago.  A thin slice of time, over the hills and far away, which doesn't change the fact that 'cis' is rather crappy language usage.
FIGHT APATHY!, or don't...

Offline Lachlann

  • Lone Wolf
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,145
  • Reputation: +45/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Started T on Jan 29th, 2010.
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2009, 11:20:07 pm »
I'm completely sympathize with Dennis. People thinking you're weaker or want to have kids and be a housewife and annoying, although at least these days where I am people don't bat an eyelash at a woman who wants to work. Still, stereotypes still exist to some degree and I always hated people using them on me just because I was born female bodied.
Don't be scared to fly alone, find a path that is your own
Love will open every door it's in your hands, the world is yours
Don't hold back and always know, all the answers will unfold
What are you waiting for, spread your wings and soar

Offline Luc

  • Learning how to smile.
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,366
  • Reputation: +41/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Things are looking up, albeit slowly....
    • The Hormonal Divide
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2009, 12:23:56 am »
Perhaps this is due to the way I live my life, but I haven't noticed that I've gained any privilege since transition. Prior to transition, people treated me more kindly, worried about my feelings, and were just courteous in general. No one ever told me I couldn't do something because I was a chick, and I was good with that. However, I got fed up with hearing constantly that men and women were so different, because I didn't see it that way. I wouldn't say I'm a feminist, because that word has taken on quite the negative connotation, thanks to radical groups, but I'm all about gender equality.

Since transition, people act as if since I'm a dude, they're at liberty to treat me like crap. I'm not much for that. I think, however, that some of the problem is that I'm seen as far younger than I am. At 27, I can't pass for older than 22, and most people assume I'm 19 or 20. Perhaps once I look a bit older, I'll get some respect.

SD
"If you want to criticize my methods, fine. But you can keep your snide remarks to yourself, and while you're at it, stop criticizing my methods!"

Check out my blog at http://hormonaldivide.blogspot.com

Offline Alyssa M.

  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,092
  • Reputation: +41/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • I wanna be just like her when I grow up!
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2009, 12:50:24 am »
Sebastian, that's an interesting point about age. What did you mean when you said, "the way I live my life"?

--

ETA: Definitions of cis and cisgender can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cis and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cisgender ... and they are AWESOME!!!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 01:45:04 pm by Alyssa M. »
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

   - Anatole France

Der Tod ist verschlungen in den Sieg. Tod, wo ist dein Stachel? Hölle, wo ist dein Sieg?

   - 1 Kor 15,54-55

Dianna

Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2009, 03:40:42 am »
I wish to thank Alyssa M for taking the time to PM me with the interpretation of the word (CIS) for the purposes of this board.

Thanks hun

Di  ;D

sarahm

Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2009, 11:51:03 pm »
Being honest. I do not see any privilege of being a male (I guess it's just in my town) But a stern voice, and look will get you everywhere as a male! It is all about how you present yourself. I have seen some males that get everything, and some females that get everything. It is literally ALL about how you present yourself... Persona.

If you want to have a truly male or blokey conversation, set up the persona. Start at what you would normally get to, start off with a strong word or strong tone in the word and carry on from that. Set up a dominance appeal, so that people believe that you are the leader.

If this helps, then maybe think of a pack of wild dogs. How do you tell which one is the leader;
* The leader is in control.
* The leader has a leading persona (You can sense that it is in-fact the leader)
* The leader acts more challenging then the rest of the pack.

Think of that as your checklist when you want to have a conversation. If you feel like someone of power to others, then you have power.

CAUTION: By challenging I do not mean grab a stick and start beating someone up with it. Try this in MODERATION and you will see that it works. Do not lay it on TOO strong otherwise you may taken the wrong way and set up an aggressive persona. Which you really REALLY do not want.

Offline Jeatyn

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,041
  • Reputation: +51/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2009, 12:37:35 pm »
You know, since I started presenting as male I've not noticed any perks...quite the opposite really depending on how you look at it.

A few examples:

As a girl I was NEVER expected to carry anything or even be able to lift things heavier than a kettle. As a guy, I'm supposed to be able to lift everything.

I used to be able to go out clubbing without a penny on me and still manage to get drunk and get home, from guys buying me drinks and everything. I no longer get that :P along the same lines is people opening doors for me, giving up their seat for me...general stuff guys do for girls.

Gamer/nerdy girls are considered uber cool and the holy grail to guys in the same sort of community....gamer/nerdy guys are just another face in the crowd.

What exactly am I supposed to be gaining from this male privilege I keep hearing about?  As far as I've seen, nowadays women run the show.

In all man-woman relationships I've seen, the woman wears the trousers. The man has to do as she says, or their will be hell to pay. This is always how it is on TV shows and everything too so I'm not the only one seeing it. If the guy in the relationship started bossing the woman around, he'd be a bad boyfriend. Like when was the last time you heard of a man telling his wife to get the hell out of the bedroom and sleep on the couch after an argument?

Offline Lachlann

  • Lone Wolf
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,145
  • Reputation: +45/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Started T on Jan 29th, 2010.
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2009, 12:51:34 pm »
You know, since I started presenting as male I've not noticed any perks...quite the opposite really depending on how you look at it.

A few examples:

As a girl I was NEVER expected to carry anything or even be able to lift things heavier than a kettle. As a guy, I'm supposed to be able to lift everything.

I used to be able to go out clubbing without a penny on me and still manage to get drunk and get home, from guys buying me drinks and everything. I no longer get that :P along the same lines is people opening doors for me, giving up their seat for me...general stuff guys do for girls.

Gamer/nerdy girls are considered uber cool and the holy grail to guys in the same sort of community....gamer/nerdy guys are just another face in the crowd.

What exactly am I supposed to be gaining from this male privilege I keep hearing about?  As far as I've seen, nowadays women run the show.

In all man-woman relationships I've seen, the woman wears the trousers. The man has to do as she says, or their will be hell to pay. This is always how it is on TV shows and everything too so I'm not the only one seeing it. If the guy in the relationship started bossing the woman around, he'd be a bad boyfriend. Like when was the last time you heard of a man telling his wife to get the hell out of the bedroom and sleep on the couch after an argument?
It's more like the beta wolf has the most control, even over the alpha. If you are not at the top, but have enough power that you're almost there, you can influence the alpha to doing what you want them to do. I'm a dominant type, but I'm a beta dominant.

There's a lot more to this privilege business than just who does what for you. There's still a stigma with women in sports and who's word is more credible. There are fields dominated by men still where it's hard for women to get in. Not to mention all the stereotypes that still exist, where women get less income because people still assume eventually they want to stay at home or just work part-time.
Don't be scared to fly alone, find a path that is your own
Love will open every door it's in your hands, the world is yours
Don't hold back and always know, all the answers will unfold
What are you waiting for, spread your wings and soar

Offline Jeatyn

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,041
  • Reputation: +51/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2009, 01:01:34 pm »
The sports thing I can agree with, that's very much leaning towards men.

The work stuff though, I haven't seen happening. I've never personally known any woman in the same position as a man who was getting paid less. I've also only ever had two male managers, the rest have been women managers. (worked a ton of temp jobs in different fields)

Offline Lachlann

  • Lone Wolf
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,145
  • Reputation: +45/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Started T on Jan 29th, 2010.
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2009, 01:03:43 pm »
The sports thing I can agree with, that's very much leaning towards men.

The work stuff though, I haven't seen happening. I've never personally known any woman in the same position as a man who was getting paid less. I've also only ever had two male managers, the rest have been women managers. (worked a ton of temp jobs in different fields)
It comes down to promotions. Women tend to get promoted less than men because of the assumption, although this might vary from country to country.
Don't be scared to fly alone, find a path that is your own
Love will open every door it's in your hands, the world is yours
Don't hold back and always know, all the answers will unfold
What are you waiting for, spread your wings and soar

Offline Jeatyn

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,041
  • Reputation: +51/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: FTM's and male privilege
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2009, 01:08:39 pm »
It comes down to promotions. Women tend to get promoted less than men because of the assumption, although this might vary from country to country.

I was just wondering if this was more of an issue in America, nobody ever mentions it over here in sunny  England. I've only read about it on the internet =P

Tags: