Author Topic: cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?  (Read 1468 times)

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Offline SadieBlake

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cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?
« on: September 06, 2016, 01:25:10 pm »
I've been sitting on this for a while and as it came up in another post I think I want to ask people's thoughts.

A fellow I've been good friends with and also have an unavoidable working relationship and I were in a fairly difficult discussion and when I became emotional (tears, he was pretty well putting the screws to me on a work conflict) he stopped the conversation and asked the following:

"[my boy name] are you this emotional now because of the medications you're on?"

The context is he'd known I was trans for a long time and had known for 4 months that I had initiated estrogen HRT; we'd discussed a fair bit about my transition and plans.

How would that strike you? - I was quite taken aback and while recognizing he was trying to be compassionate, it felt extremely intrusive.

I'm not going into the rest 'til I get some feedback, please do shoot me your thoughts.


Thanks, SB
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Offline Rachel_Christina

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Re: cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 01:41:22 pm »
I think,... I'm not sure, but it does sound like maybe genuine curiosity over it?
Especially since he knows and listened to your plans already, for him it may be a big Suprise that as you become more female you will really begin taking certain things to heart more than you ever have before.
But pushing it like he did maybe he kind of new this would happen and want to see if it was possible for your emotions to have feminized, so he pushed it, which isn't right, but I don't think ther was any real badness in it. He maybe even felt slightly bad about it afterwards.
Would need to know how he treats you in general to make a proper assuption as to what he is at.
Just my thoughts, hugs Christine



Offline KarynMcD

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Re: cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 02:38:32 pm »
I think it's about as sexist as asking a women if she is having her period or is just before that.

Since you consider the person a friend though, I'm not sure how you should consider it.
I give my friends more leeway.

Offline alex82

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Re: cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2016, 03:11:34 pm »
I've been sitting on this for a while and as it came up in another post I think I want to ask people's thoughts.

A fellow I've been good friends with and also have an unavoidable working relationship and I were in a fairly difficult discussion and when I became emotional (tears, he was pretty well putting the screws to me on a work conflict) he stopped the conversation and asked the following:

"[my boy name] are you this emotional now because of the medications you're on?"

The context is he'd known I was trans for a long time and had known for 4 months that I had initiated estrogen HRT; we'd discussed a fair bit about my transition and plans.

How would that strike you? - I was quite taken aback and while recognizing he was trying to be compassionate, it felt extremely intrusive.

I'm not going into the rest 'til I get some feedback, please do shoot me your thoughts.


Thanks, SB

Utterly patronizing, what women have to deal with all the flipping time. I've worked with emotional men and unemotional women for years, as well as unemotional men and emotional women. This hackneyed stereotype/binary is just not a pattern I recognize, or put any faith in.

Like, no, I'm not this emotional because of hormones, I'm emotional because you're an insensitive **** and I'm stuck with you. Tell a few female colleagues that he thinks that estrogen makes people emotional to the point that it hampers the quality of their work and let them into what he thinks. He'll be the one crying in the loo before long, and which hormone shall we blame that on?

I'd say complain, as is your right, but it's probably more effective to say actually 'my name is X, and I'm happy to cooperate on work related projects, but you've shown me no respect privately on the detail I've given you, so that aspect is now not on the table'.


Offline Rachel_Christina

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Re: cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2016, 11:22:13 pm »
Wait a second..? Does he know your female name?
Because if he does then him using your old name really was an insult,
I always try to see tge best in people though :/ half the time they arent as nice as I think.



Offline I Am Jess

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Re: cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 12:33:07 am »
I think that the answer depends on how your relationship was prior to your starting HRT. Did you previously have similar types of interactions?  Did you have a different type of response previously?  Was he asking so that he might change his behavior towards you so it would be less triggering?  It's very hard to gauge not knowing the personalities and prior interactions.
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Offline SadieBlake

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Re: cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2016, 12:33:54 am »
Thanks guys, to be clear, he's not dead-naming me, I'm not generally trying to pass and I'm using my male name for now as no name is screaming to be chosen and ... well I don't pass for the foreseeable  future.

Utterly patronizing, what women have to deal with all the flipping time.
.....
Like, no, I'm not this emotional because of hormones, I'm emotional because you're an insensitive **** and I'm stuck with you. Tell a few female colleagues that he thinks that estrogen makes people emotional to the point that it hampers the quality of their work and let them into what he thinks. He'll be the one crying in the loo before long, and which hormone shall we blame that on?
....
I think it's about as sexist as asking a women if she is having her period or is just before that.

Since you consider the person a friend though, I'm not sure how you should consider it.
I give my friends more leeway.

....
 He maybe even felt slightly bad about it afterwards.
Would need to know how he treats you in general to make a proper assuption as to what he is at.
Just my thoughts, hugs Christine

Ok so yes that summarizes how it felt to me, patronizing and sexist. And yes I gave and give him the benefit of the doubt and even believe he was trying to be compassionate.

The problem is the context, this came in the middle of me being dressed down and he was acting in his official capacity as manager of this lab where we have to work together.

A few days later I did address it personally, (being sure we weren't in work-context) saying that that expression felt demeaning and even though I know he was trying to be helpful, saying something like that in work context was a problem for me.

The problem is he then doubled down, denied that there was anything wrong with what he said and that as a matter of work responsibility it was an appropriate question to ask. Even saying that he didn't see any disconnect and that my gender had nothing to do with his question.

As for how he's been treating me, he's been insulting in any number of contexts, the most blatant was an offhand remark about my weight (I'm far from overweight but have put on some lbs in the last year). Again, he prevaricated when I used this to ask him how I'm supposed to think he's being even handed? To this he first apologized and on the other tried to make out that "he doesn't say things like that to people" (again the guy that was witness to all of this had also been present for that remark so it was a silly thing to try and deny he'd ever do).

Hell, just this evening he proclaimed to one and all that he and another lab member had been all alone in a 2 week project of rebuilding our largest apparatus. I have to say I was offended given I was right there, volunteering first two full days that I'm not paid for and then when he injured himself and was out of commission for a week, put in another 3 days because the work had to get done.

So yes, I'd like this friendship to return some day. We have actually worked very well together in the past and it's not impossible that that could happen again but for now I feel question of friendship has been thrown out the window by his behavior.

To be clear, through this period we have managed some actual communication and so I'm hopeful of actually regaining something like friendship. I do try to remember he's in some ways very definitely well intentioned, unfortunately so far it's hard to deal with the frequent condescension that comes along wih.
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Offline SadieBlake

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Re: cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2016, 12:46:33 am »
I think that the answer depends on how your relationship was prior to your starting HRT. Did you previously have similar types of interactions?  Did you have a different type of response previously?  Was he asking so that he might change his behavior towards you so it would be less triggering?  It's very hard to gauge not knowing the personalities and prior interactions.

Fair to say things had been going down hill for a year before HRT, and I am certain that he's not overtly prejudiced about my gender, It just so happens that the two things are happening in the same time frame.

To put some actual meat on these bones, we both worked ourselves into the ground a couple of years back in a major facility revision and I know the stress of all the time I put in on top of a full time job resulted in fatigue that in turn resulted in some mistakes. I think the same happened for him with the difference that he's pretty good at not seeing his own mistakes.

As I said, we have the capacity to accomplish some damned good stuff together and I don't even disagree with most of his beefs with me. The process we've been through, however hasn't been acceptable. I care more about consistent and fair process than I do actual outcomes.
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Offline SadieBlake

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Re: cis-sexist assumption? how would you read this interaction?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 03:09:17 pm »
Thanks again everyone for the responses. To be clear, I have no desire to excoriate this guy. I genuinely like him and respect his work. It's also not new that he can be a bit of a challenge sometimes -- so can I.

He has demonstrated that he's able to walk back some of the damage done and regrets some things - as have I so hopefully we will eventually go ahead on a sounder foundation.

And to be clear about my feeling offended, I'm well versed in what's ok and not ok at my university. Had he not been acting in an official capacity at the time I'd have taken it as a misunderstanding between friends. I'm not without sympathy that knowing me as male he might well fail to appreciate he's actually talking to a woman.

His response very much went past a boundary for me, the more so when I said it wasn't ok and instead of backing off / apologizing he tried to justify it.

Tl;dr hoping things resolve
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