File:Malczewski Jacek Umywanie nog.jpg“Do you want women to accept you as a woman? If so, what are the reasons why we should?” My friend could accept me as “a lovely person who wants to be a woman,” but not a woman.

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.

File:Malczewski Jacek Portret kobiety.jpgWhat are the reasons why you should accept me as a 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.

7 thoughts on “Acceptance

  1. You DO express yourself as female, Clare. I think of you as female. Does it matter whether you have a uterus, or ovaries? Of course not. Many women don’t. IS it a chromosomal thing? I think not.

    I think being female is a heart based thing. A soul based thing.

    Am happy to welcome you as a member of the sisterhood.


    • Thank you. Heart, and soul. Yes.

      And- this friend is extremely intellectual. “What are the reasons why we should accept you as a woman?” I recognise that because I am conditioned that way too, the reasoning out is important to me, the feelings are less persuasive if not backed up by reason, and “because I feel like it” is not reason.

      And- it is a matter of feeling and relating, beyond reason. Thank you.


  2. Acceptance is something we all struggle with, in different ways. But there is nothing difficult or earth shattering or intellectually demanding in the request that I should be accepted as I am, and that you should be accepted as you are, and that he and she should be accepted as he and she are ad infinitum….

    We do not need intellectual arguments here, because we are only asking to be left in peace, to be allowed to be who we are. A lot of traditional churches are missing – and a lot of liberal faiths are crammed to the rafters with – faith refugees and sensitive souls whose only issue is that they look or feel or act differently, and who only want to stand as they are, and shine their light up to god as it is, without some idiot nudging them and saying, “YOU should not be …..whatever”

    Only to be accepted as I AM, is not an intellectual matter, but a question of acceptance, of peace, of love and sharing, and allowing. Anyone who has an issue with that, has an issue with themselves, not with me.


    • Imagine everyone in corsets or straitjackets or something, all tight-laced up the back. I cannot loosen my own straitjacket at all, but I can loosen yours slightly- though it is very hard work, and I am so concerned with my own bonds that I do not want to address yours.

      If I loosen yours slightly, then you might loosen mine a bit.

      I am aided to accept myself if others accept me. I can deal with non-acceptance from others, but that needs my own self-acceptance, and that in turn needs some acceptance from others.


  3. All of that is true, and rather amusing. Of course, we are all in this together, and can help each other more effectively when we work together. That is rather like the wolf pack, all seeing to each other. But where did your failure to accept yourself come from, if not from making unfavourable comparisons with others? Balance is lost, when we become overly dependent on what others think of us.

    So now and then there is room for the solitary, proud eagle, too, and for the sturdy tree that self seeds. We are not born in corsets, but the corsets of thought are those whalebone structures that nobody needs, but that were once the height of fashion. Why have we bought our corsets in the first place? Because others told us to, not because they were comfortable.

    The “country bumpkin” who comes to town is only the person who tells it like it is, who says, “why are you forcing yourselves into tight jeans and killer heels?” They laugh at him, but he just looks up and says, “But I know who I am. I don’t have anything to prove…..”

    Lots of hugs to you. XX 🙂


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