Woman trapped in a man’s body

Snakes 1Tweet from Ricky Gervais: RG: Some transexuals think they were a woman trapped in a man’s body. KP: But what next? “Doctor, I think I’m a gerbil?” “Well you’re not!” 2 January 2013 at 10.03 am.

There are lots of answers to that “woman trapped in a man’s body” line. Here is my favourite. That blog site has not posted since 2007, which is a great shame: here is another beauty: rather than arguing sterilely about the meaning of privilege, We could try reminders that we’re not abstract constructs. In that vein, I thought–if it’s not too personal–we could talk about, well, each other. Go and have a look, you do not have to hunt far here for treasure.

“Woman trapped in a man’s body” is a line I hate, because it oversimplifies, and is wrong, and a line I love, because it explains. Here am I at 46 still finding aspects of myself I hardly dare call “feminine”, which I resent, so that the essential work of loving them is so difficult and time-consuming. I read the phrase, and think, well, that is OK, I am a woman- while parts of me still retort, no, I am a man, and wanting to dress female and use a female name is ridiculous.

And it oversimplifies. I am Me, I do not fit any pre-defined box.

P1000727So, for others.
I had my testicles removed.
That is disgusting and horrible and you are sick and OMFG and-
Well, I am a woman, and my man’s body did not fit me.

And if someone is seeking to understand, willing and able to see me as a person, the phrase might help them grope towards understanding and accepting something so weird I can barely understand it myself.

But if someone does not wish to understand, it becomes a way to reduce me. Rather than seeing this complex breathing human being before him, Gervais quotes the clichĂ© of a “woman trapped in a man’s body” which he then mocks.

I paid to be castrated. You can either do the difficult empathetic work of imagining what it might be like to want that, and do that, or you can ridicule.

Simply not understanding and accepting is difficult and painful, more difficult for the intelligent, who have so little practice in it. And the intelligent can produce an understanding which is wrong, but with their intelligence almost make it work.

It is not as simple as being a “woman trapped in a man’s body”, it is as complex as takes a hundred blog posts for me to explain to myself, leave alone anyone else. And- that phrase might be the key for a beginning of understanding.

At 11.39, Gervais tweeted, I love the fact that my tweets always annoy and please exactly the right people. Haha.  In other words, fuck you, I do not care what you think. Thank you, Ricky, it is always good to be reminded many people don’t.