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Thread: Losing Male Privilege

  1. #1
    Silver Member IleneD's Avatar
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    Losing Male Privilege

    My Sisters,
    It has been so long since I posted anything of substance here. Missed you all with all my heart. I've been so busy, busy. I'm also growing and learning in my TG life and transition. But I had to share a piece of my new or renewed awareness.

    I had to spend over 3 weeks without dressing up. I underdressed but nothing outwardly me. I was on travel east with The Wife to spend time at our new east coast residence and attend my nephew's wedding. Hurricane Flo complicated the mission but we are well. I was expected to be on my 'best behavior' and not flaunt my Ilene to those who did not know; which was most of our friends and family at our destination. (There will be time and a right moment for them to come.)

    I ended up flying home (alone; my wife staying behind for a few days to help), in the 3 piece suit I wore to the wedding. It was a remarkable experience. I had not really donned a set of official guy clothes like a suit in a long time. It was kind of a jazzy feeling knowing that I really wanted to travel back home en femme (which I have done).

    It was amazing how I was treated during the day. My travel day was flawless. The TSA went smoothly, though I had to remind the agent that I was wearing a bra under my suit, and that what set off the scanner. When I boarded with my low fare ticket and assigned seat in the rear of the plane, the flight attendant generously moved my seat forward to an aisle seat vice a middle seat. Service personnel seemed extra nice and generous. It all finally dawned on me when I stopped near home to replenish groceries. The clerk and bagger were all too eager to serve me, and addressed me as "Sir.." this and "Sir,..." that. All proper politeness and I appreciated it.

    But it also dawned on me that they weren't honoring me. They were honoring The Suit. They were honoring the uniform. I know because I experienced the same thing in the military with my Navy uniform. Citizens respected the Uniform and what it represented, and the same was happening with my suit.

    Now.... a normal guy, even a normal CD guy, might take such and experience and determine that "being a full-on guy " was pretty cool. The suit and the "male privilege" it embodies is a great tool to use in society. I need to wear more "man" clothes and fewer dresses. (LOL). It works.

    But that's not what happened. When it dawned on me I thought, "Wow. That's kind of messed up. It's not me. It's the suit and it's being a guy." It made me realized the kind of on-going status and mental state in which women exist. I got it.

    INCIDENT # 2 was different but the same lesson in shedding my male privilege.

    I was on a long exercise bike ride on a trail that follows a local river. A nice ride with a lot of solitude. I was wearing some pretty outlandish bike clothes; patterned leggings, a blue shirt and sports bra, earrings and I put on lipstick for good measure.

    I made a brief stop at a remote rest stop near the river's edge to take a few selfies. In the middle of it I was suddenly approached by 2 pretty rough looking guys out of nowhere. (I assume a parking lot nearby). But here I was, kind of dolled up and looking strange, alone and in the middle of almost nowhere. And like I said, these guys had all the appearance of a pair that were up to no good.

    Normally, all 6'3" and 215 lb of my old male frame would have been alerted to prepare for possible combat. To paraphrase Gen Mattis, ".. be polite but have a plan to kill everyone you meet." I would have been thinking of how I could take on Man #1 and quickly dispatch him while using his as a shield against Possible Attacker #2,.... etc.

    But I didn't think that. I suddenly thought how VULNERABLE I was; How I was at risk now because I was TG or made an effeminate public presentation. I felt more "Oh shit" than I felt the need to spring into action. I was suddenly and again aware of how it must feel to be a woman who feels that same vulnerability every time they do something routine in life. Go for a jog or bike ride. Go shopping. Go alone to a restaurant or bar, or through a parking lot....... and always understand that you're a target because of being a woman.

    Bike Trail in Blue.jpg
    Me on the bike trail in blue
    There resides within me a Woman, and she is powerful.
    She has been my Grace and Bearing on the stormiest seas.
    I could no more deny Her than I would my own soul.

  2. #2
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    ^this. Someone who finally 'gets it'. Only I wear my male privilege and take it, because of all the hardship I've endured over the years. Call it Karma or whatever. I call it, taking the good, with the bad. It may not all even out in the end, but at least, it's something.

    Now I'm going to go get a bottle of whiskey off of the top shelf, 8' up, no stool, ladder or stretching needed. That's a bit of an advantage that I will accept, too. Other big & tall crossdressers (especially those of us with giant size feet, hands, etc), know what I mean.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by IleneD View Post
    But I didn't think that. I suddenly thought how VULNERABLE I was; How I was at risk now because I was TG or made an effeminate public presentation. I felt more "Oh shit" than I felt the need to spring into action. I was suddenly and again aware of how it must feel to be a woman who feels that same vulnerability every time they do something routine in life. Go for a jog or bike ride. Go shopping. Go alone to a restaurant or bar, or through a parking lot....... and always understand that you're a target because of being a woman.
    Ilene, what a lovely and thoughtfully written piece. I don't know if this is the first time that this has hit you so forcefully but it's grat that it has. I particularly like your conclusion which I've quoted above where you describe how you know that women are vulnerable, simply because they are women. And you're correct in your conclusion it's not right, in fact it's right wrong.

    What you have posted here is a line that I've been trying to get across for a while now, that we, as cross dressers, are in a place where we should be able to appreciate that in the real lives of real women (and, yes, I include trans women in this, and I also appreciate that trans women have additional problems too), they are greatly disadvantaged and made more vulnerable, simply because they are women.

    I hope many others read your piece and take this message from it. Well done and all the best.

  4. #4
    Senior Member phili's Avatar
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    I feel that vulnerability this way when I am in femme mode: I am not as tense or combat ready, so I have a disadvantage. I also feel angry that predators exist. I calculate my defense differently, less physical brute force and more deft and cunning.

    I am aware of male privilege, and it has helped me to moderate it more consciously when working with women, which I am doing now in my volunteer work. In the absence of predators it feels more like giving up male privilege than losing it, since no one really wants me to have male privilege! But I am very happy for the sense of equality, which women tend to project to each other if they are of cooperative nature.

    Giving up male privilege has a side effect which cuts two ways- it is important to give it up when crossdressing, and to enter into the feeling of being second class, or it seems to others I am just taking all the male and female privileges. On the other hand I feel that giving it up strengthens and opens the way for women around me who normally. would not act freely expecting my male privilege taking to be an obstacle. And I feel that earns me the right, so to speak, to enjoy the pluses and minuses of women's wear.

    All this leads me to expect convergence of male and female privilege and responsibility at some point, and the whole stimulus for crossdressing and genderqueer to disappear. Unfortunately it looks like the very success we have had has threatened enough people that the adverse political forces are activated to roll back our freedom.
    We are all beautiful...!

  5. #5
    Just do it already! DaisyLawrence's Avatar
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    Ilene, you have nailed it. Not much to say really other than what a shame all men can't wake up to the same realisation.

    Interestingly, only this morning the news here in the UK was about a 9 month long study by a committee of MPs into routine day to day harrasment of women and girls. Their conclusion was that harrasment (sexual or not) was so regular, so routine and common place that by the time a girl had reached adulthood they considered it essentially a normal part of life as a woman. Their next conclusion was that no-one seems to be doing very much to change the status quo. It dismayed me no end BUT I was glad to be reading about it, afterall, you have to raise awareness before you can start to make changes.

    Best thread this week Ilene

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    Adding on to what Daisy has said at #5, female council workers in Glasgow have gone on a 48 hour strike as they have been routinely paid less than equivalent male workers for decades. A recent similar dispute in Birmingham (West Midlands, UK, not Alabama, US) cost the local authority over £!bn to settle. If only they'd paid them the correct amount originally.

    Also, Ilene, what is a real shame in that you had to experience this first hand to fully realise what was happening here. It's great that you saw it and recognised it, but a shame nonetheless. One of the biggest problems in getting this sorted out once and for all is that most men don't listen to what most women are saying. My hope is that we in the cross dressing and transgender community, having more of an affinity with all things womanly, would have an affinity with this too. What Ilene's thread has thrown in to sharp focus is that there is far more to being a woman in the modern word than wearing nice clothes.

  7. #7
    Mannequiniste ! Stacy Darling's Avatar
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    Sounds more like using male privilege to me!
    and what for the Female privilege?

    I also doubt whether there is any honour given to the clothing which you wear, social status more likely! which also needs to end!
    STOP, Well I just dance the way I feel
    Stop breathing imagine none of this is real

    Well I just dance the way I feel
    Well I just dance the way I feel
    Well I just dance the way I feel
    "Ou Est Le Swimming Pool"

  8. #8
    Aspiring Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    An instructive couple of experiences, for sure. The contrast between them is so amazing and so important. It certainly shows how this society is still so profoundly male dominated. But it also shows us all why it is important to be careful about what we do in which form of expression. From what I have learned from others it appears that some CD's and TG's fail to realize that going out in femme is not being a male in women's clothes and then going places where no sane woman would go and subsequently getting in difficult and dangerous situations. Your bike ride during the day should not have been that way and yet the situation still appeared out of nowhere. Thanks for sharing your experience; they are certainly instructive. In so many ways.

  9. #9
    Gold Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    Ilene, I have started writing three replies to this post since 6:00AM. I have not posted because what I have written would just come across as angry. I will just say that I despise the term "privilege" as relates to gender. I cannot refute anything you have said, I just wish a different term had been used.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  10. #10
    Just do it already! DaisyLawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte7 View Post
    Also, Ilene, what is a real shame in that you had to experience this first hand to fully realise what was happening here.
    Very true Charlotte. The first time I ever left the house as the 'full Daisy' I was dressed quite conservatively (all be it with a blonde wig) but I was a little shaken by the fact that the very first person that my wife and I came across stared at me and looked me up and down in great detail. I said "oh well, so much for passing" but my wife just laughed and said "that's just some bloke deciding if he wants to screw you, welcome to my world". Sure enough it happened three more times and all three were from single middle aged men. None of the older, younger or female members of the poublic gave me a second glance. My wife was right, I was being sexually objectified and when I got home I remember saying all young men should have to go on a transformation day where they get the full works followed by being sent out in the world so they can experience it first hand. Some may well change their attitude as a result. I no longer use the wig

  11. #11
    Mannequiniste ! Stacy Darling's Avatar
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    And Some Just Never Get IT!
    STOP, Well I just dance the way I feel
    Stop breathing imagine none of this is real

    Well I just dance the way I feel
    Well I just dance the way I feel
    Well I just dance the way I feel
    "Ou Est Le Swimming Pool"

  12. #12
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Ilene ,
    You have experienced first hand the power of a uniform , it carries rank and certain privileges and respect .

    In my thirty years of being a self employed photographer I always wore a suit to photograph the weddings , I did it in respect for my clients and I received respect in return . This can work equally as well for women , I still remember my first in a passenger plane , it was on my honeymoon and we flew British Caledonian , the hostesses look stunning in their tartan uniforms , not only that it was the time when they had a great deal of respect . How things move on now we have budget airlines .

    While I'm not a big guy I did face some tricky and scarey situations in my photography days and learned to deal with them , some wedding venues were held in tough no go areas . So far I've not had to deal with a tricky situation dressed , staying safe does take on a slightly different meaning and wearing appropriate clothes for the situation .
    The real me ,no going back.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Tracy Irving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IleneD View Post
    I made a brief stop at a remote rest stop near the river's edge to take a few selfies. In the middle of it I was suddenly approached by 2 pretty rough looking guys out of nowhere.
    How did that encounter go?

  14. #14
    Mannequiniste ! Stacy Darling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
    Ilene ,
    You have experienced first hand the power of a uniform , it carries rank and certain privileges and respect .
    It is the disillusionment of the uniform which brings one undone, the uniform means nothing!
    Last edited by Rianna Humble; 10-23-2018 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Trimmed excessive quoting
    STOP, Well I just dance the way I feel
    Stop breathing imagine none of this is real

    Well I just dance the way I feel
    Well I just dance the way I feel
    Well I just dance the way I feel
    "Ou Est Le Swimming Pool"

  15. #15
    Gold Member Jaylyn's Avatar
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    I agree that males seem to get more respect from other males than GG do from other males. On the other hand I also have seen and experienced that the more beauty a GG girl possesses the more attention she gets. I've seen store clerks run over each other to wait on a beautiful GG shopper. Are they trying to impress her or get to know her thinking they might have a shot with her? I fediantly would not pass in the beauty department as a woman, thus I would probably be more susceptible to being scrutinized and probably laughed at than a true GG. I know a couple of GG that are far more tough than most guys. They are beautiful girls and I can bet could whip 50% of the men. They are tough and work with their dad on a ranch where they mend barb wire fences and break young colts to ride. When they clean up though they are beauties and love to be women and for the guys to treat them nice. I think the privilege thing works both ways. Beauty gets its own privileges.

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    Jamie, (#9), the correct word is patriarchy, what Ilene experienced was the patriarchy in action.

  17. #17
    I accept myself as is Gillian Gigs's Avatar
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    Whether we like it, or not, people are respecters of outward appearances. As the old expression goes, the clothes make the man! Well dressed people get better treatment than those who are shabby dressed. Where the problem with women comes into it, is with males who are on the prowl and lear at anything in a skirt! If you don't believe me, take the test. Go out dressed in your best suit, neatly groomed and see the difference to the next day when you go back to the same place in jeans and t-shirt. The same test can be taken if you go in feminine attire also, for those who pass well, try the sexy look too.

    In a patriarchy based society a non-conforming male who dresses feminine confuses others by not aspiring to the perceived apex of that society.
    I like myself, regardless of the packaging that I may come in! It's what is on the inside of the package that counts!

  18. #18
    Silver Member IleneD's Avatar
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    Always Shave,

    I completely understand your 'irritation' with the term "male privilege". I don't like it either and it's become more of a political weapon than a social statement. I almost hated to use it myself, except that in these instances I was seeing it in action; or at least seeing my own femme self in a different veil.
    Thanks. No anger or offense taken. I know of what you speak.
    There resides within me a Woman, and she is powerful.
    She has been my Grace and Bearing on the stormiest seas.
    I could no more deny Her than I would my own soul.

  19. #19
    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    I'm a GG and also in the tall range for a woman. You're 6'2". I'm 5'9" barefoot, 6' in heels. I'd like to add that tall people also are treated with more respect, regardless of gender. I was successful working in a predominately male line of work precisely because of my height. And like you, I've noticed that when I dress for power (a suit or other signs of wealth such as well-tailored and expensive clothing, jewelry, watch, etc), I also am treated differently than if I am dressed casually or frivolously.

    So it's not just the suit ... or the gender. Factors that influence how well people are treated are height, scale of attractiveness (there are studies), and signs of wealth and education.

    One thing I don't get. Why would you be able to protect yourself against 2 guys if you were wearing guy jeans but not girl leggings. Aren't your physical strength and fighting skills the same no matter what you wear?
    Reine

  20. #20
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    Reine makes a good point the clothes have nothing to do with being able to defend yourself if need be.
    I find people saying they are more vulnerable CDing kind of iffy and maybe they like the feeling or have a fetish for that kind of thinking.
    Personally I have had to defend myself enfemme and I was more than able to wreak havoc on the fellow.
    Patriarchy and male privilege are just current buzz words used to demean men and I find that abhorrent.
    I have never had one instance in my life where me being male made any difference and quite possibly hindered me in some ways.
    I have made an effort to look for male privilege out in public but I see men constantly being made fun of on TV and the internet portrayed as bumbling fools,women making fun of them at the malls, feminist rallies where men are said to be the worst thing on the planet.
    I don't buy into all that stuff and IF there is actual male privilege in this day and age I sure as heck don't see it.
    Women seem to get a pass on many things and are held in higher esteem than men in many ways too.
    For many men their wives run the show and they just follow along like sheep so patriarchy what is that exactly?

    PS just my opinion and I am allowed to voice how I feel but I'm not going to argue with anyone over it if they get triggered.
    Last edited by Tracii G; 10-24-2018 at 08:28 AM.
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  21. #21
    Silver Member Debra Russell's Avatar
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    The bottom line is "Dress for Success" male or female you will be treated how you are perceived. ………………………….Debra

  22. #22
    Gold Member Alice Torn's Avatar
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    In 1989, my "male privilege" lost me a good government job, because i got a better test score, than a female did, so sh got the job instead of me. Later on, she got fired because she gained much weight, and could not do the physical work anymore. It goes both ways. There is some male privilege, but more and more, it is "female privilege".
    IT TAKES A REAL DRESS TO WEAR A MAN. See my photos and videos on FLICKR - Alice Longstems.

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    I think anyone who doesn't acknowledge that men enjoy much more privilege (or whatever you want to call it) isn't opening their eyes to what is going on around them. The objectification of women is rife. It is everywhere, all the time. The only disadvantage we have is that we are more restricted in what we can wear without frightening the horses. The world is run by men and women are allowed if they are attractive, young and well-dressed. Women are paid less in may lines of work. I would not have achieved so much in my life if I had been a woman because there would have been more barriers.

    I once went to a party in a dress - not as a woman - I just made token attempts in that direction. I was amazed at the change in the way women treated me - you don't realise how your gender governs interpersonal behaviour until that switches off. Admittedly since then with more sophisticated female presentation I have never again encountered this - women who know I am male still flirt with me. The reason I do not come out as a crossdresser is that I fear losing the male privilege - THAT is how real and important it is. My friends would still be my friends and I would keep my job but professionally and in the community something would be missing - and it would be something I would miss terribly.

  24. #24
    Silver Member IleneD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    One thing I don't get. Why would you be able to protect yourself against 2 guys if you were wearing guy jeans but not girl leggings. Aren't your physical strength and fighting skills the same no matter what you wear?
    Reine,

    Always I love and respect your input to heartfelt questions and issues. What you ask is a good question.

    First, I was in a completely femme mode, even if it was athletic attire. Since I don't pass except upon distant review, I didn't know what kind of negative attention the sight of a "man in girl's clothing" may draw.

    Second, I think back to days when I was still more socialized as a man, or at least the version of a man I was acting out. "Back then" my radars would have been lit up early and a plan of fight or flight would be churning in my mind JUST BECAUSE it was a couple bad looking dudes. Part of it is the old fighter pilot in me too.

    And yes, I am still packing 75 inches and 215 lbs of muscle and bone. Once under the influence of adrenaline, that chassis has not often failed.

    But my first instinct was not "prepare for possible combat (even if it never happened)" No. My first instinct was "What am I doing here alone. I am vulnerable and very much at risk, probably because of my appearance." It wasn't fear as much as a realization. It took me a while to even think of self defense if these guys wanted something. I also identified that experience as one that a GG might have on any given day.

    My mind is changing. The more I pursue this transgender life of mine, the more counseling and learning I acquire, the more my mind's pathways change. I think things, believe things now I never would have imagined flowing through my brain as I've embraced a more feminized life. Emotions. Attitudes. All changing for the better.
    Last edited by IleneD; 10-23-2018 at 11:41 PM.
    There resides within me a Woman, and she is powerful.
    She has been my Grace and Bearing on the stormiest seas.
    I could no more deny Her than I would my own soul.

  25. #25
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    On the suit thing, I always attended horse racing meetings in a suit and tie, I could go just about anywhere without challenge.

    Dressed as a female I often go unchallenged because people recognise a cross dresser and do not want to create a scene.

    I often pass well and still little challenge.

    I do get to interact with women more regularly when I am well dressed and pass.
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

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