Songtsan

Better to be born male or female?

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This thread is in response to something Blue-eyed Snake said to me in another thread (...I want to be a man now..etc.):

 

So is it more efficaceous to be born male, or female (or both for intersexed?)...

 

I am going to start by trying to outline the bones of how I think about the topic, and its efficient addressment...

 

1) List advantages/disadvantages of each from your personal experiences

2) Insert appropriate quotes from 'Great World Teachers' as to inherent advantages/disadvantages of each

3) THEN, talk about your theoretical musings as to how the gender gaps, their disparaties, etc. can be overcome

4) Then, end with your overall answer to the original question in the thread title

 

feel free to not follow my suggestions of course...just flow with it

 

please check back to OP for edits from time to time, as I/we may have further improvements to the outline (some of which will come from the responses, and all credits will be given at the bottom of the OP) suggestions, which I don't want to get lost in the mishmashing of posts

Edited by Songtsan
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When I was five, my mom gave me a boy's haircut.  Then she took me along when she went shopping, and at the store, a boy about my age pointed a finger at me and said, "you are a boy wearing a dress."  I told him, "you are a devil wearing horns."

Edited by Taomeow
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People can be born with indistinct sexuality. The whole male/female is two extreme likely possibles of a whole spectrum.

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seems to me that both genders with all the possibilities therein, like you and me...are needed for a balanced society.

Only problem is that people as people, seem to have forgotten it.

 

In the here-now world, in general, i feel that men are better off than women.

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I feel the opposite....therefore we must both be fools....grass is always greener on the other side

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While one side rules, the other side is oppressed.

Back and forth they dance, and at times find balance.

 

Gender is no different.

 

Is it wise to look anywhere for what is better?

When we return to within, and surrrender what we think we are, we merge with what we are in polarity with, and there is no this or that, better or worse, just all and nothing, together in peace.

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People have limited views based on their life experiences, which make them think they know how 'all men are' or 'all women are' - and its usually slanted in favor of their own genders views, as if its tribalism....its a fun separation game to play, but I miss the unity now! I'm ready for God intoxicated life again, being married to myself and the world, self-contained and spreading the spiritual fire....its comin' I can feel it. Forget about hyperpolarizing... I boust to jump ship to Reality.

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True, yet if a question or desire has been bothering you for years, better to get it out and discuss it, and get to the root of the issue, than to suffer in silence. This is a fast track method, is is not so nonsensical as one might think...

 

"There are no foolish questions, only foolish answers.."

Edited by Songtsan

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So in case it wasn't clear from the other thread on gender, I'm a transgender woman. I have lived large parts of both experiences and I think that gives me a rather unique perspective on the matter. 
 

This was me about five years ago.

290827_10150409818598819_1864302691_o.jp

 

 

This is me from last month. (Yes my eyebrows need serious tweezing, I need a haircut, and I'm not wearing any makeup.)

 

IMG_1379.JPG

 

 

I've legally changed my name and gender and having been living as a woman and taking female hormones for two years.

 

Long and detailed background about how I got there that really isn't too directly germaine to the topic.

 

 

 

I actually very clearly remember my thoughts about gender as a very young (age 3-5) child. When I was 3 I didn't think about my gender, I felt genderless, and then one day when I was 4 I remember just sitting, thinking, and asking myself, "Do I want to be a boy or a girl?" That I was physiologically male was immaterial to this question, and my honest answer to myself was that I wanted to be a girl. That desire has never wavered in all the years since then. 

 

When I was a child I tried to bury and ignore my desire to be female, partly because I knew my parents would abuse me if they knew (they did in fact disown me a month or so after I came out to them) and partly because at the time I thought it was an unattainable fantasy. I was a very isolated child, the trifecta of social maladjustment: adopted, homeschooled, with no siblings. I hated sports, and since I couldn't do anything "feminine" for fear of alerting my parents, I just retreated into myself and lived a life in books (which has been multidimensionally beneficial, so I can't complain). As a teenager I converted my interest in books to and interest in computers, taught myself how to write programs, assemble computers and build networks. As I began to be online constantly, I started researching how I felt about gender and discovered that a) I wasn't alone and b ) transition was a thing. By the end of my teens I was really weighed down by my desire to transition, and resolved that if nothing in me changed I would try to transition after my first year of college. College kicked the shit out of me (that's a long story I'll spare everybody for now) to the point where I was driven to suicidal depression and I had to set my gender issues aside to survive. My continued dependency on my parents forced me to keep deferring my desire to transition.

 

When I was finally independent and relatively stable and thinking seriously about transition again... my girlfriend became pregnant. We decided to get married and raise the child, and I decided that the child would need a male role-model or whatever, and put off transition indefinitely (my spouse knew for years before we were married that I had severe gender dysphoria and had often sincerely considered gender transition, and my not transitioning was NOT a condition of our marriage). In hindsight I deeply regret not transitioning then. I would have been better in many dimensions if I had.

 

I looked almost if not more feminine then than I do now. This was me at 23 the day I was married. Yes, I'm wearing a hanfu.

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Some seven years later after much life experience, the stillbirth of my second child, the success birth of my third, and a lot of angst about my role in my family, I realized I was doing more harm to myself and my children pretending to be some cardboard cut-out fake father than there was any benefit from being a 'male role-model'. I started part-time transition in May of 2014, living as Sophia on weekends, then going full time in September, and starting hormone replacement therapy soon after that. My spouse who pretended to be supportive unilaterally took our children and fled to live with her father in another timezone. I'll spare the details about all the family drama, and the drama of my personal life. I just wanted to give a chronological overview for those curious enough to want it.

 

 

 

My experiences living as man are in some ways incomplete because even at the height of my role-playing I never was and never could be an alpha male. One of the pros of being male is that one is generally given more respect by default, in terms of knowledge, opinions, etc. (As a woman I've been frequently dismissed and condescended to, on things that are both the core of my personal expertise as well as things that are extremely simple. While it has been and can be used wrongly as a prima facie way to silence men, the phenomenon of "mansplaining" is real and annoying.) One of the cons of being male is that one is assumed to be more threatening like all the time. I have anecdotes for that, but... I don't really want to talk about it. 

 

One of the pros of being male is that you really don't have to worry much about a lot of sexual stuff coming at you. Granted, I was raped once before my transition, but that was just one thing one time. As a woman... well... you get propositioned, cat-called, sent random dick pics... I have even been sexually assaulted in public. It's sometimes nice to have the attention, though in part my feeling that way is a product of having no attention before my transition, but it often quickly escalates to something uncomfortable or even threatening/frightening.

 

Being hormonally male had its upsides, mainly it lent itself naturally to stoicism and objectivity, but it's like being emotionally colorblind. Being hormonally female is conversely like feeling in technicolor, being able to be more empathic and sensitive to others, as well as just having deeper experiences. It's really hard to articulate without a frame of reference, but I'll say this I would rather literally die than go back, so there's that. (Orgasms on female hormones are soooo much better too. OMG. I pity men, I really do. Oh, and for all those obsessed with the idea that ejaculation messes up your jing and whatever, I can routinely have mind-blowing orgasms with no ejaculation at all! Ha ha~~.)

 

Women have basically all the power in relationships, and that made dating men fun sometimes, but I couldn't find one that I had a mutual serious connection with, so I can't really speak much to what it's like in a committed hetero relationship from the female side. From the male side it often sucked, and when it didn't there was always the latent fear that it would certainly suck again. (The guys I dated were lucky, with my previous experiences I tried deliberately to avoid the behaviors that I loathed in women, though occasionally the estrogen would take over to an extent that made such avoidance impossible. Nobody's perfect. In fact, similarly I would blame my worst behavioral moments living as a man on my testosterone fueling rather too much anger/rage.)

 

I'm now in a serious committed relationship with another woman, which makes the whole dynamic much more complex, but it's much better than anything I've ever had in the past, and indeed much better than I ever even imagined myself having, so virtually none of that complexity is negative for me.

 

In the end as much as I can shed some light to the left or the right, I will never know what it's like to be cisgender male or female, and as such I can't say whether being a male who wants to be a man feels better or worse than a female who wants to be a woman. I'm extremely biased and think that being a woman is completely awesome to the point where I would prefer death to being a man. Objectively that is not rational (though a super common frame of mind for trans people). But I'm not going to fight my nature or what makes me happy.

Edited by Zarastinia
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That's fascinating to read Zara,

 

I've wondered if the hormonal therapy had any negative side effects - either physical or psychological.  Or if you know how other people are generally effected by such treatment.  What was your experience with that?  On one hand, I believe people have a right to express themselves as they feel appropriate, but on the other hand it seems to be fighting against biology in some ways, which I assume could have very negative effects?  However, if people can use the hormones to help with the transition without experiencing really bad side effects, I think it would change my opinion on the matter.

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In my opinion, the real issue is to become adults or not.

 

As for being male/female or both, it depends on the cultural background of the society you live in: for example, one would never deliberately choose to born as a female in a muslim country.

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The answer to the original question, "Is it better to be born male or female?" -- the answer is easy!

 

 

Yes.

 

 

 

And no.

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That's fascinating to read Zara,

 

I've wondered if the hormonal therapy had any negative side effects - either physical or psychological.  Or if you know how other people are generally effected by such treatment.  What was your experience with that?  On one hand, I believe people have a right to express themselves as they feel appropriate, but on the other hand it seems to be fighting against biology in some ways, which I assume could have very negative effects?  However, if people can use the hormones to help with the transition without experiencing really bad side effects, I think it would change my opinion on the matter.

 

From the dry and academic side I'll say that at a minimum the consensus among both mental health and endocrinological professionals is that the beneficial effects of hormone replacement therapy significantly outweigh the negative effects.

 

From the personal and anecdotal side, in my experience I have had virtually no negative side effects. The main concern with estrogen is cardiovascular issues, e.g. clots and such, as well as the load on the liver, kidneys, etc. I have had no issues with these things, but I'm young. Some muscle atrophy is normal and expected, what with testosterone being a natural steroid, and libido and sexual function (of a kind) is decreased, but living in a woman's role that's irrelevant anyway. Diminished growth of body/facial hair occurs (yay), body odor also diminishes (also yay), and fat distribution increases hips and butt as well as breast development. Senses especially taste and smell become keener, one cries more easily, and social/emotional sensitivity increases. (I'll spare the anecdotes.)

 

Delivery of hormones transdermally has lower side effects than by ingestion or injection.

 

FtMs have it worse because testosterone pretty much has to be injected to be viable. However they get an easier and more effective transition because testosterone is basically manhood in a box. It does all the heavily lifting making their voices deeper, increasing body/facial hair, increasing muscle strength, increasing libido, increasing body odor (gross), and changing fat distribution away from breasts and hips toward the stomach. 

 

All prescribed hormone replacement therapy is closely monitored by regular blood analysis.

 

In my opinion, the real issue is to become adults or not.

 

As for being male/female or both, it depends on the cultural background of the society you live in: for example, one would never deliberately choose to born as a female in a muslim country.

 

There are many trans women in Muslim countries. For many trans people however painful or dangerous transition may be, they would rather die than not transition. Sadly many die anyway at the hands of monsters.

Edited by Zarastinia
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I appreciate the response Zara.  I have yet to talk to or befriend anybody who is transitioning, so in a way it had always seemed a bit alien to me.  Not that I was against it by any means, just I hadn't really had any exposure to it.  Reading about your journey is very interesting and definitely makes it not only less strange to me, but in fact relate-able in some ways.  Even though I am "cis" - it took me a long time to tap into my body, tap into my mind, embrace my gender, embrace my sexuality - and I celebrate anybody else who does this no matter what their orientation is. ^_^

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[...]

 

There are many trans women in Muslim countries. For many trans people however painful or dangerous transition may be, they would rather die than not transition. Sadly many die anyway at the hands of monsters.

 

There are many intelligent trans women in Muslim countries. For many intelligent trans people however stunning or beautiful transition may be, they would rather postpone the process to a state of more favourable social conditions than transition disregarding external circumstances.

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Accepting how everything is can help make us  much more positive people.

 

Accepting is not easy and can be more difficult than extreme measures to force change. 

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Accepting how everything is can help make us  much more positive people.

 

Accepting is not easy and can be more difficult than extreme measures to force change. 

 

I know you're probably implying that I should have accepted being male and all the socio-cultural baggage that goes with that.

 

I see it differently, I finally accepted that my mind/consciousness/soul is female, my nature is female, and rather than fighting against that, I should live in accordance with that (and all the socio-cultural baggage that goes with that  :P ).

 

Only I know what it's like inside my own head, and I can assure all and sundry that at each stage of my transition, social, hormonal, legal, professional, etc. I felt better and better, felt more natural, more myself, more aligned. If this is wrong, you'll forgive the cliché, but I don't want to be right.

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Dear Zarastinia,

 

  Since you wrote this in public, I'll write back in public.

 

My daughter  Bethany (one of four daughter's that I have) is transgender.

 

She pretty much hates me these days (any divorce is hard on kids) because she has been fed a lot of B.S., and lies by her Mom.

 

I don't know at this point if we'll *ever* talk again. Seriously.

 

I don't care what sex that she is, but I do care that she's hateful, and mean to me.

 

I so much appreciate your candor and honesty here, so if my daughter and I EVER start talking again, maybe you could help me to understand her better........would you be willing to talk to me about that in a PM?

 

I Love her very much, but a poisoned mind, is a poisoned mind, and there isn't anything that I can do about that.

 

But if we ever started talking again, maybe you could help me to understand her better.

 

I know that that's a lot to ask, and you feel free to say "No" if that's your Heart, but if you'd be willing, maybe there's something that I could learn from you, to help me to maybe communicate in the correct way with her.

 

You know what I'm saying?  

 

Anyway, please let me know and feel free to PM me, should you wanna 'talk' in that way, OK?

 

Thanks a lot!  You have so much courage, there's good 'power' in that!

 

Be Dao,   Differently Abled Daoist

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DAD don't give up on your daughter, shine love her way and acceptance.

You will be surprised, one day.

Sooner rather than later the more love and understanding put forth.

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