Friday, May 25, 2012

Guest Post: How do You Know You are a Woman?

One day while killing time online I met Chelle....we started talking and laughing, then when I broke my wrist she offered to help me with a guest post. Its her first one and very thought provoking.
Hi everyone! This is my first guest post! I was super excited and nervous when MJ asked me to do a post. I had a hundred different possible posts outlined in my head! It was pretty busy and cluttered  in there!!! Eventually, one subject stuck out in my mind. Hope it gets you to thinking like it did me.
The other night, I came across a documentary about a teen transgender girl, Gwen, who was murdered by several of the men with whom she'd been intimate. The men were unaware that Gwen was a transgender female.  I knew of the case and was curious to learn more. The accused men were found guilty of murder in the second degree.  Surprisingly, they weren't convicted of a hate crime. The producers of this documentary took a slightly different twist as they shared Gwen's life story. I thought some of the questions posed were extremely thought-provoking.
Are you a man or a woman? Easy, enough. I'm a woman. (Most people who answered this question gave a little chuckle before answering.)
How do you know you're a woman? What?? I've never thought about this before. I've always thought of myself as a woman.  I just know I am but when I really consider the question, here's what I came up with. I know I'm a female because when I was born, the doctor made that call based on my body parts. I have a female name. I have a monthly renter who needs to be evicted! My twin fun bags have a warped sense of humor regarding gravity. I have carried 3 children in my womb. Women have wombs, right? 
What if a DNA test came back saying you're genetically a male? My first, honest response would be: No wonder I'm so damn hairy! It makes sense now. I've always had the pleasure of having a mustache. (As I'm heading into the land of menopause,  I have those hairs which pop up overnight on my chin and jaw line. They also have their own sense of humor by coming in white! Do you know how long it takes to find one after days of feeling it but not being able to see it?) I don't have a particularly feminine voice. I'm not girly girl; more like a girly tomboy. I suppose I could change my name from Michelle to Michael fairly easy to accommodate the DNA test. 
Would you live as a male? This one made me step back and think. Would I choose to live as a male because a test said I was a male? If after 43 years of believing I'm a woman and living as a woman, I'm told, you're not........ I can't even fathom the turmoil and thoughts as it rocked the foundation of a very deep-set belief.  At the end of the day, I have the belief I am a woman. A test isn't going to change what I believe. I am who I am.
If you were in a relationship with someone and they revealed they are transgendered, would you remain in the relationship? I like to think I'm a pretty open-minded person but as I mulled over this question, I realized I do have some set beliefs. Could I be in a relationship where, at some point, I'd be sexually intimate with a transgender male? I don't think so. If we have the same body parts, I don't think I could be intimate. I like biological men. Then I thought about the emotional aspect of the relationship. What if we'd really connected and did have an amazing friendship and relationship? Would I still say I couldn't continue the relationship knowing at some point we would probably be intimate? I don't know. I think, for me, this is one of those situations that you really don't know what you would do or say until you're in that situation.
I've never struggled with  my gender. I haven't thought about it or questioned it. I'm a woman. Do I have some "male" behaviors? Sure. Am I hating this pre-menopause thing because DNA test or not, I feel "manly" with the extra facial hair? Yep! Do I have some beliefs about male and female behaviors? Yep. I know I have the stereotypical belief that pink is for girls, blue is for boys. Although I don't have that view if I see a female in blue,  but I do when I see men wearing pink.
One reason these questions were posed is because the defense was based on an emotional reaction:  "gay panic."  This is the theory that the defendants reacted the way they did because it triggered their fears of being gay or thought of as gay. A law was passed eventually in Gwen's home state which doesn't allow this as a defense any longer.
Another reason was to educate people on what transgender men and women go through. Imagine, whatever sex you are, and feeling like you're the opposite sex. How would you deal with that? How would  you handle family, friends, and societies views? Would you, could  you make the decision to live as the sex you believed you were suppose to be?
What are your thoughts on the questions that were posed? Is it something you've ever thought about?
You can find Chelle writing away at Bein Me and on twitter.


  1. Very interesting questions. It sounds really aweful to not feel that you are the gender that you are labeled as. I also don't belive I could be in a relationship with a transgendered person. I guess I am not that mature :-)

  2. It was an interesting documentary to watch. Made me step back and think.
    I was thinking more along the lines of who you're attracted to vs maturity on being with a transgendered person. (if we base too much on maturity, I might be in trouble;) )

  3. I have to say that you really made me stop and think with the questions you posed. I have to say that I have never stopped and thought about why I feel I am a female or what would happen if someone I loved came to me and said that they didn't feel the gender that they were. Thank you!

    I just had to chuckle too-- I too struggle with being too hairy! Chin hair, lip hair, eye brows that sprout and go wild over night. I have always had this issue but it keeps getting worse the older I get. Thank goodness there are others out there too!!


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