Norethisterone IV

My dear friend Richard explained to me that I transitioned because I misunderstand what femininity is. Well, of course I do, but I feel he simplifies it worse. My father, a pansy, found a virago, and they were married for 33 years. Then 18 months after she died he found another, who is now his widow. He was happy.

We had some difficulty on finding the right word. I want to be- dominated? No, no, yuck, the connotations of leather, pvc, whips and chains revolt me. Subordinated, perhaps. Ruled, even. Those words will do. He says this is inauthentic, a cop-out from the existential duty Sartre called all human beings to. Yeah, right- so tell me again why Sartre had a fifty year relationship with a woman who was cleverer than he was.

I said that if I were a woman seeking a man, wanting to be dominated would be unremarkable, and at that he said no, only equality is acceptable within a relationship. Why should my father not be happy? Or I? He insisted, and then said I misunderstood femininity. He accepted it was cultural. Women are strong. I agree equality is a good model for a relationship, yet feel “Wives be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord” is OK if that fits the people involved- and the other way round, too, for some couples.

What would a gay man know about it anyway, I wondered. Possibly he was projecting, but as we were getting a little heated we agreed to change the subject, and went onto politics.

I have enough norethisterone to have ten nine-day sessions of it, at the dose I had been on. I find that it makes my emotions more intense, so came off it, and the endocrinologist said I should not take it, but I wanted to experiment. At times, more intense emotions could be fun or a learning experience. This is day three.

I arrived a little early, and phoned his house in case he had not left yet. When we had poured the tea, I noticed a tedious chord progression in the background music- I V VI IV repeated, eight semiquavers to each- so unimaginative- and complained about it. “That sounds like Batman”, he said, Nananana nananana… I put my hand up to stop him, embarrassed and peremptory. Ah. Possibly that’s the norethisterone. Its purpose with HRT is to prevent endometriosis, and as I have no uterus, it has no value. My needs and desires have greater immediacy, and then I find myself apologising and explaining.

Sartrean authenticity may be impossible.

8 thoughts on “Norethisterone IV

  1. Kudos to you and your father for even having this conversation. I wish I could have, and had, such conversations with my father. I suspect he would have been kind and tried to listen but it would have gone entirely over his head. Too late by over a dozen years.

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    • Your comment was in the spam folder. I was going to stop looking through spam, there is such a torrent of yuck there, but having found two real comments will continue considering it.

      Onywye. I don’t know, not having read Sartre. I find the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy a bit complex for my taste, but it has this subsection. Parts of that fit where I am: we are called upon to become, in our concrete lives, what we already are in the ontological structure of our being. I see myself as having been inauthentic, brought up to be the manly male, the Christian gentleman, and accepting that, moving towards being my true self, the feminine male, seeking fulfilment with a strong woman. So I escape the false picture of what I was and realise my desires and character. However that does not fit all of that SEP article, nor my friend’s idea, because I choose to subsume my will and choices. I could only be authentic in that it is my choice to subsume my will, which choice I could alter. I have loved doing what I was told, and at other times loathed it.

      I feel it is an equation of more than one variable. I know what I want when I see what I do. My verbal formulation of who I am is always less complex and so an inadequate description of who I am. And I blame no-one for doing what they are forced to do.

      And psychology alters my view. This, from Sartre, appears merely silly: Authenticity, it is almost needless to say, consists in having a true and lucid consciousness of the situation, in assuming the responsibilities and risks it involves, in accepting it … sometimes in horror and hate. He imagines himself in a Shakespearean tragedy, but a soap opera is closer to real life. Many of my decisions are unconscious, and therefore authentic. Or not. And “How will it appear?” is important to me, even though I see where you are coming from on appearances.

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