I cannot begin to explain how much I loathe statements like that.Â They’re most often said by women trying to explain why they prefer trans guys to cis guys so I don’t really have to deal with them, but when I do…very little pisses me off faster.
Why?Â Because there is so much wrong in that one simple sentence that I’m not entirely sure where to start.Â It assumes that all women have some magical girlhood experience.Â It assumes that the little girl in a rich, white New York family is socialised the same way as a Latina in the LA ghetto.Â It ignores that socialisation differs based on time, location, socio-economic class, race, religion, and a whole host of other factors.Â It implies that trans women will never be “real” women because they’re missing this mystical childhood socialisation.
Beyond that, it gives trans guys way too much credit.Â It says that we must instinctively understand and agree with issues like rape culture because we were raised as girls.Â I’m trans and I gotta say, half of what people talk about when they mention rape culture never once occurred to me.Â I’m not automatically a better feminist because of my genitalia.
It could be said that I missed everything because I socially transitioned myself so young.Â I can believe that.Â I’m not the only one with these problems though.Â Ask a group of trans guys about their upbringings and you’ll get a mixed bag of answers.Â Some will say they 100% were socialised as girls and they understand what that means.Â Others will say gender wasn’t an issue in their upbringing because they were treated the same way as cis guy relatives.Â Others will say they were socialised largely as a boy by accident.Â Still others will have a range of answers somewhere in between.
Being trans does not make me a more enlightened breed of guy.Â In fact, being trans has often worked against my ability to understand feminism.Â It took a very long time for me to be able to understand that just because I didn’t experience a certain aspect of being seen as a girl doesn’t mean no woman has.Â It took even longer for me to recognise my own internalised misogyny and start to work through it.Â I’m sure I still have issues I haven’t noticed yet.Â So please stop acting like I’m magic.Â I’m not.Â I’m just as capable of being a jerk as any other guy.