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Is A Transwoman The Same as a Cisgender Woman?

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There has been an argument in the Lesbian community for decades about whether transwomen are the same as cisgender (born female) women. The argument goes, "the transwoman has not suffered GROWING UP in a misogynist (woman hating) society."

My answer is that it takes courage to transition from a man with male privilege to a woman in a misogynist society.

So, BOTH are to be commended.

In both the cisgender woman and the transwoman, I sense the female energy, that they BOTH had from birth suffered, but in different ways. They are both women, and as such, they should give each other support as women.

A corollary to this would be a person with epilepsy and another person who is a paraplegic in a wheelchair, very different disabilities, one may have been born disabled and another became disabled as an adult, are also both disabled and should give one another support rather than nit-picking who is more disabled, or even if one is disabled at all.

The upshot is that we are part of the human family and we should celebrate our differences rather than let them drive us apart!


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Hi Monica,

So good to see your blog post here, and an important question too. I think the answer is perhaps more subtle, just like there are differences between cisgender women.

Some are people that we're attracted to, like being with, or think similarly to us or the way we feel comfortable as friends or lovers. And others, well, we're not compatible with. Sometimes we call that chemistry.

I think the important difference is what is inside the person, regardless of whether she is a cisgender woman or transgender woman, and if she is trans, whether she is transitioning, transitioned, or crossdressing. There is no good or bad, better or worse, more or less. We are all people on this planet and all part of this wonderful community.

Emma

P.S. Okay, there are people who hurt others and those I put into the "bad" category, at least until they recognize their unacceptable behavior and atone for it.

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Veronica,

My understanding is that Misogynists are women-haters. It is abhorrent behavior, like any person who hates anyone, such as a racist. Also, rapists are often misogynists. Is it diagnosable? I imagine it certainly is. Another question is whether it is treatable. I don't know the answer to that but as I assume it comes from deep psychological problems I certainly hope so.

Emma

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A female friend of mine told me in short when talking one day (I am in female mode at the time), "It's a mans world" so be prepared for this, things will change for you both good and bad.

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I have seen that same argument made on general feminism sites, too.

Of course, if we had been given the choice, many (most?) of us would have chosen to grow up as female. Unfortunately, that's not how it works, though.

That last sentence is wonderful... if only more people in the world would take that sentiment to heart!

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I don't know.  I don't think anyone will ever know if those two groups are the same or not, and so much of it would matter on what is the definition of same in this case.  But I'm not really sure it matters all that much anyway.  Every person is made up of both their inherent nature and the effect their life experiences have on the brain.  We all share common traits and wildly different traits no matter how you define a group of humans.  I think social's obsession with grouping people in the first place is the bigger problem than if any people with radically different life experiences are the same or not.  Society insists on grouping us and then extending certain behaviors to people in those groups.  Religious groups, gender groups, age groups, ethnic groups, racial groups, political groups.  Being in a group of shared experience/belief isn't bad, where it becomes bad is the mass social treatment (either on the good or poor end of the spectrum) based on belonging to a group, and individual merit, worth, and (I don't know the word I want here, deserved treatment?) gets supplanted by the groups.  We see ONLY the forest, and not the trees.  I don't think of other women as automatically the same as me either, a lot of them are dangerous or unpleasant in a variety of ways and I"m always highly aware of that and looking for individual traits rather than 'oh, she's a woman like me, soidarity!'

I'm not sure if it's curable.  Misandry is a real thing too, and I run into it every day, but it's not talked about, I had to research hard to find out what the formal term was (Never once had to look up misogyny).  And it could be argued that it's not as big of a problem as misogyny, but that doesn't erase the fact that it something changed in the shift of power it would be.  These unkind feelings to the opposing gender exist in both, it's not a flaw of just one.  It's possible it's a leftover survival tactic, something we don't need anymore but haven't quite shed in our dna yet.  Or it's something we bred into our pscyhe after thousands of years of behavior.  I'm not sure we can talk about curing one side without the other realistically.  And it's just as ugly in the women as it is in the men. 

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