What is a “woman”? Here, we mean a person with two X chromosomes, a uterus, ovaries, female skeletal structure who is probably straight. Why not? That is the vast majority of “women”.
I am not sure I “want to be a woman”. Menstruation sounds a bit of a pain. Much as I complain about my narrow hips and wide shoulders being a tell-tale sign, I am not sure I want to learn to use a different skeleton. Being attracted to men? Well, that is a large part of the personality, and I am not sure I want to change attraction. I would like a beautiful alto voice, and am not sure I want to give up being able to go baritone.
I am quite certain I want to express myself as female. It is more important to me than being accepted by other people, and that is extremely important to me. Over ten years that certainty has not wavered. I am not going to revert: that would make life easier in so many ways, but for the fact that I could not bear it.
What do I want of others? I want them to use my name. Now, it is simply my name. The old male name is not my name, I have Affirmed a Statutory Declaration that I will never use it again. If they refer to me I want them to use female pronouns, “she”, “her” and “hers”. I do not want people to avoid me, or to get into conflict with me, and so acceptance as a “lovely person” is better than seeing me as a horrible woman.
It is being kind to me. Being cruel makes the world a more unpleasant place, including for the cruel person. Being kind makes it pleasanter. Being cruel drives people apart, being kind builds connections, and connections are good for people.
There is no benefit to anyone in rigorous, logical categories, in this specific case or generally. They can never be the whole truth. A lot of women do not fit that strict definition, XY, uterus, ovaries, even if you miss out being straight. The map is not the territory. The categories are a jumping off point to greater understanding- if you cling to the category you prevent greater understanding.Why call me a “woman”? It seems weird, but, well, I am one.
I have no idea if those are sufficient reasons. How might I deal with non-acceptance? There are many strategies: demand, challenge, passive-aggression, whining, argument-
the only one which works, really, is forgiveness. How many times should I forgive? As many as seven times? No, seventy times seven. I obey Jesus’s gentle suggestions, not in order to be good, but for my own benefit.
I had not heard of Jacek Malczewski, a Polish symbolist, 1854-1929, before seeking out illustrations for this post. I started out seeking pictures of Rejection, but was waylaid by his beautiful strangeness.