Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Genetic Women and Transwomen: Can We Be Friends? Part 4

TransGriot Note: It's no longer a secret. Many biowomen and transwomen do form and are willing to do the work to not only have each other as friends, but willingly exert the effort to sustain them. As Jackie mentioned in Part 2, there's a lot we still need to discuss on both sides to keep the positive momentum going. We all benefit when we do our utmost to promote healthy friendships with one another.

photos-Paiige, Miriam Rivera

TS sometimes forget that Genetic Women interact with each other (as friends) a lot differently than how Genetic Men interact with each other.. In general (full grown) Genetic Women do not like being around a bunch of other women especially ones they do not know nor are they keen about making a whole lot of new female friends.

It takes most women a long while before they can get comfortable enough with another woman to even want to spend a whole lot time hangin out with her or even to see her as a friend.

Whereas Men can become best of buds while waiting in line at the carry out. It don't matter, they don't care. The more Buds the better. And if you put 10 men in a room...(that is any room other that a jail cell)...LOL

Most of the time they will start playing get some kind of dumb A** game until a fight starts or somebody gets hurt, which ever one comes first. After that everybody will grumble 'bout it for a while, then call it a day..end of story.

Now..Put 10 women in a room under those same conditions and you will get a fight right of the bat. Then they will separate into groups and start with the verbal assaults ...there will be some rolling of the eyes.....and a few "naw she didn't"...then Somebody’s weave will get called a dead muskrat.. and somebody's baby pictures will get call a baboon like ...the food will run out and the party will break up and all will go home .....Upon disbanding various pairs will link back up... via the phone and renew the nights verbal assaults..this will last for bout 8 hours mininum...non stop ...and it will go on every day for like..ever!!!!

...Sorry I digress......LOL

Angelica Ross
Here’s my 2 cents Monica, hope you can use it!

I think if some of us were honest, I believe on both the side of genetic women and the side of transsexual women there is an element of intimidation. Women who are around beautiful transsexuals compare themselves by thinking "I'm a real woman, and I don't look like that." or "I'm a real woman, you're just pretending to be one."
And as transsexuals we sometimes are intimidated believing that they are indeed "real" women and we are not. So sometimes we over compensate for the things we believe we lack in being a "real" woman. When we both transsexuals and genetic women find a comfort zone within our own womanhood, that cannot be defined or destroyed by anyone else, then we can begin to build a true sisterhood between all women.

What we possess in common is gender. Therefore, it's fine to discuss topics that share certain points of interests in common between us.

Topics related to childbirth, menstruation cycles, cramps, nursing infants, and the like, can be like chasms of the Grand Canyon if the GG discusses them in a condescending manner.

Regardless, as to how close my relationship may be with a GG. I am always some how reminded of the "genuineness" possessed by the girl. They will usually say or do something that reminds me of how distant I should consider myself from being real. While this reminder is usually served by one who wears velvet gloves carrying the message on a silver platter, the message is still sorely received. It cuts like a knife!

Well, so much for the barriers. On a more positive note, we should both bring to the table a willingness to understand each other and an honest desire to unite against male chauvinism. They should comprehend the fact that we can be very formidable allies when it comes to deciphering the male ego. They should also know how deeply we desire to bond with them as the true sisters that we all need to be.

We should all come to the table with the proper attitude and willingness to understand one another. All discussion should take place with a spirit of respect and compassion.

Just a few thoughts that I had.

I have to say that I think the issue in relationships between transwomen and natal women is multi-dimensional. I think Angelica said it best when she wrote about the insecurities that both sets of women feel around the other. So, in my opinion, that is the first and probably biggest factor.

Another factor would be that women in general tend to be catty and jealous. I think as transwomen, we haven't dealt with this as long as natal women. When I see someone with nice hair or clothes, I compliment them. I have noticed that women at work never compliment me on anything I wear or my hair--only the guys. People at my office don't know and I imagine the cattiness and snide remarks are how they treat everyone--even their friends. Women generally don't like each other. Why should we be treated any differently?

Something else to consider is the negative image in the media that continues to dominate coverage about us. We have to take control of our image in the media in order to repair some of the damage that has been done.

Now I am going to put this out here...Some women probably loathe us because of a man in their lives that has "been" with a transwoman on the sly. The fear of the DL has a lot of Black women scared as hell. And, to them, we embody that at its very essence. Think of it through their eyes. Plus, there are those of us who will sneak around and sleep with guys that are married and/or involved. I've done it in the past--that's why I am saying it. Honestly, we need to respect ourselves enough to demand more out of a relationship than two o'clock in the morning dalliances in a poorly decorated motel room.


looney said...

It's strange to me that this is a question at all. My friends don't have to be exactly like me for me to like them...my best friend is a republican and yet we can discuss a variety of issues and support each other though we don't talk politics...I think also that yes, women compete, but really, we want to cooperate. We can be cold but it's because while we expect men to let us down, it hurts much more when a woman does it, so we don't let other women too close. But then it seems a transwoman would be a great friend...having the perspectives of two gender roles...a much more enriched life.

Monica Roberts said...

It's a question because of the Hateraid stirred up by the Janice Raymonds and Germaine Greers in the 70s'tht carried over into the 80's.

There are some biowomen who still buy into that crap and some transwomen who are equally on the defensive because of it.

I just felt it was time to get the concerns of both parties out there and in the process hopefully discover that fundamentallly, on a lot of levels there's not a whole lot of difference between transwomen and biowomen.

Dharma Kelleher said...

Thank you, Monica for initiating this discussion. I often say that if we want to change the world, we must stop defending the walls that separate us and start building bridges. This discussion accomplishes that very goal. So kudos to you!

There are a few people in my office that know my trans-history, but most do not. That may soon change if/when they read my book, which comes out (no pun intended) in a few weeks.

Outside the workplace, I am open about my history, particularly at the women's spiritual circle that I am a part of. But just as it's not a major part of my current experiences, it's also not a frequent topic of conversation with me.


Monica Roberts said...

Congratulations on the book. Let me know where and when it becomes available for purchase.