Author Topic: Do women have more permission to act happy?  (Read 457 times)

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Offline sarahc

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Do women have more permission to act happy?
« on: June 12, 2020, 01:02:08 pm »
I am very fortunate to have had a pretty positive transition experience so far, and one of the key benefits of transition is that I am able to express my natural happiness. I remember that I was generally a pretty happy little kid, but I think over the course of elementary school I got conditioned out of expressing too much happiness, because boys aren't supposed to be emotive, and if a boy is too emotional or too empathetic, people think that it is weird.

So over time, I developed a hard edge and held my emotions in check. But it honestly never felt natural, and I executed this hard edge fairly poorly among other guys.

But now that I am transitioning, I feel much more at ease simply because I have societal permission to be more naturally happy and empathetic. I feel that my true nature is finally coming back after all these decades, and it feels great.

Has anyone else been through a similar journey?

Sarah
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47 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
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Offline Jessica_Rose

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2020, 01:41:40 pm »
Most certainly, Sarah!

When I was growing up back in the dark ages (1960's and 70's), boys were supposed to be tough and not show emotion. Even crying when injured and bleeding was frowned upon. We were supposed to be stoic. Since transitioning, I don't feel as though I need to hide or suppress my emotions anymore, all my emotions have been set free. That freedom to express myself has led to a general state of happiness, like the Cyndi Lauper song -- 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun'! There are occasions in life which of course still make me unhappy or depressed, like when my mom passed away in February, but my default emotion is no longer 'meh'.

In the past I only smiled for photos, and even then it wasn't much of a smile, I never showed my teeth. Once I came out and went full time, everyone began commenting on my smile. 'He' couldn't smile because he wasn't happy, 'she' can smile because her soul is finally free from the darkness.
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Offline Ellie_Arroway

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2020, 02:46:26 pm »
I never did suppress my emotions. It is "expected" of males, but it isn't healthy.

I think that's why I was bullied so much in school, though. - E
Started seriously questioning: 24 Aug 2019
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Offline Maid Marion

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 02:51:22 pm »
Yet another reason why I "male fail."  I smile a lot.

Offline Gertrude

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2020, 02:52:14 pm »
I remember that I was generally a pretty happy little kid, but I think over the course of elementary school I got conditioned out of expressing too much happiness, because boys aren't supposed to be emotive, and if a boy is too emotional or too empathetic, people think that it is weird.

My mom used to say that I was such a happy kid, what happened? She thought it was puberty. I don't think it was that, but then I never told my parents who I was and they are both passed now. While I think they had a clue about it, I don't think they understood the social consequences of having to live with it in the society we lived in and even do now. I think even if things do improve, or even as they have, trying to overcome 5 decades of negative programming is a daunting task. For me, I am not sure it was specifically not expressing happiness as a boy thing, but just realizing that I couldn't be who I am and that made me unhappy. My therapist says that when you know someone's story they make sense.

Offline sarahc

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2020, 03:24:09 pm »
my default emotion is no longer 'meh'.


^^^ EXACTLY! That is exactly the difference in my general state of mind. Before, it was "meh," but not now.

Well said!

Sarah
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47 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline madeleine

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2020, 10:00:42 pm »
sarahc, yes I think women are more comfortable expressing happiness (and many other emotions) than men are in our culture.  Of course, I'm generalizing: "most" women,  "most" men.  But if you have any doubt about this look at the covers of men's magazines like "men's journal" or "men's health" - the men on the covers are almost never smiling and in many cases are scowling.  Ugh.  I hate it.  Now google "women's health", they are all smiling.

I was cheerful and emotive as little kid and then got more dour as the years went on, until I looked like those dumb guys on the magazines.  And like Jessica_Rose, I only smiled for photos and it was very thin at that.

Now I have optimism and happiness.  Now I have colors where it was just black and gray before.

Offline sarahc

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2020, 06:11:44 am »

I was cheerful and emotive as little kid and then got more dour as the years went on, until I looked like those dumb guys on the magazines.  And like Jessica_Rose, I only smiled for photos and it was very thin at that.

Now I have optimism and happiness.  Now I have colors where it was just black and gray before.

Yes! This was and is true for me as well. I’m glad to get that cheerfulness back and happy that I regained something that I liked about myself from my childhood.

Sarah
----
47 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline Amy Chislett

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2020, 09:04:48 am »
I was learning to be happy and generally am more so now.  But a year ago a co worker showed up who has made me afraid to relax and emote.  Great job tho which' is why I put up with it.  Compartmentalizing my time is a way of coping; I'm off the clock I can be happy.  I've been looking into this psychology ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy).  Because this person is not going away.  In fact the more I repel them, the more I am building a future relation with them. I persevere.
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Offline Sephirah

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2020, 02:36:00 pm »
...because boys aren't supposed to be emotive, and if a boy is too emotional or too empathetic, people think that it is weird.

Yeah that's a weird thing, isn't it. It's something I never adapted to, or could ever get over. Men generally aren't supposed to show emotion. You have to "suck it up." It's not as bad nowadays as it was when I was a kid. The world has moved on. But back then... yeah... if you weren't almost robotic with your stoicism then there was something wrong with you.

It was the main reason I was ostracised as a kid. Because I didn't know how to turn my emotions off, and didn't especially want to. I was a nightmare for my mother, lol. Because I wasn't like my brothers and she didn't know how to deal with it. But you're right. At least when I was a kid. It was weird. It was something that people didn't know how to deal with.

I think that, as an adult, I'm glad I never managed to flick that switch.

Offline Ellie_Arroway

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2020, 02:44:14 pm »
@Sephirah, I was exactly the same. I now view that as an indication of my trans nature, though in all honesty, it's probably more that I did not try hard enough to fit in as a boy/man.
Started seriously questioning: 24 Aug 2019
Referred to GIC: 23 Sep 2019
Full-time female presentation since: 21 Oct 2019, unbroken since 12 Dec 2019
Official name change by deed poll: 11 Nov 2019
HRT: "kind of" started 15 Jul 2020
Most of my story is in the Just another mtf tale thread!
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Offline SarahEL

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Re: Do women have more permission to act happy?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2020, 06:48:34 pm »
I'm much more happier now as me, I don't need any permission! I am sure there are happy men as well who feel just the same...

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