This was written on a blog that I read that is about the specialized form of misogyny that transgender women face…transmisogyny. I post it here to hopefully give you pause for thought. While I am not in the dating market (thank God!), I still face the same kind of reaction from random people if I am not extremely careful. This will continue until all of us women, cis and trans, stand together and say enough! It is not acceptable that the baseline is we feel lucky if we aren’t assaulted and/or killed.
“When I mentioned that there were ways in which transmisogyny causes trans women to be more oppressed than cis women in certain areas, a lot of people got defensive. I’m against defining any kind of universal experience of womanhood, whether specific to trans or cis experiences. It will not be universally true, but transmisogyny can cause a higher degree of discrimination, hostility, and violence to come upon a trans woman.
Of course, many of the people who had defensive comments probably came from TERF sites or are otherwise hecklers, but I thought I’d make one point, regardless:
If you don’t think being perceived as a “fake sex object” (read: fake woman from a patriarchal lens) could be worse than being perceived as a “genuine sex object,” I would propose a little experiment. I do not recommend actually trying this experiment, but rather keeping it as a thought experiment due to the potential for physical danger:
If you don’t think you can come into a higher level of physical danger or otherwise be more oppressed by being perceived as a trans woman, cis women can try going to a bar (one that caters to a hetero crowd, at least) and wait for a man to approach them showing interest. Don’t tell them right away so as to scare them off, but after a few minutes of talking to a man who’s interested in you, just try telling them you’re trans. You never know when they’ll scream at you and call you an ugly freak (in spite of being really attracted to you ten seconds ago), or maybe they’ll follow you to your car and attack you. Maybe they’ll start to value your agency even less and assume you must be “easier” because you would have a “male sexuality.” Or just assume you’re a “freak” so you must “like to get freaky.”
You don’t know how they’ll react, do you? Neither do we. But one thing that can be considered a reliable conclusion is that they will not treat you with as much respect after disclosing trans status. And because there’s literally no universal difference between trans women and cis women, a cis woman could tell a man she’s trans and be treated the same way.
AGAIN: I DO NOT RECOMMEND TRYING THIS AT HOME – This is a thought experiment for cis women. If you try this, you WILL be in serious danger! However, that serious danger is what we’re EXPECTED to subject ourselves to every single time we interact with someone we’re interested in.
This is one reason why I wrote the statement, “Wait until you’re seen as…” because the way transmisogyny manifests in society is through perception, just like misogyny. Cis women CAN experience the same kinds of transmisogyny, all people need to think is that you were born trans, and that doesn’t require you to look, act, feel, think, etc…. any differently. You as a person won’t change in any way, but you will be seen a LOT differently, and that is definitively sexist.”