Follow-up to “Ass”uming Butches Into Extinction

Since there were, understandably, a lot of questions about how this butch woman, Doffy, responded to her doctor’s gross misjudgment of who she was as a person, I thought I would follow-up with that information.

I would first like to point out that yes, I know this person, she is a real human being, she is a butch lesbian, and she took and posted the pic herself.

Secondly, As you will see in one of my pics that I will post here, I would like to add that Doffy had absolutely no problem with sharing every inch of the picture, including all of her personal information. The decision to redact personal information including her address, phone number, date of birth, and hospital record number, as well as the doctors’ names, and the hospital she visited was mine and mine alone. It is one thing to say, sure I am fine with you posting whatever, but it is an entirely different beast to have every piece of your personal information posted out onto the internet like that. So I decided her name was enough; and while I am in possession of both the original pic and the redacted version, I still feel that way.

Now that those bits of information are out of the way, on to her response.

When Doffy originally posted this information, a mutual friend of ours asked her what a lot of people are asking: “This was outrageous! How did you respond?”

I was quite vocal at the registration desk. I said with a loudish voice…I am NOT trans, I do NOT take drugs to look this handsome and I have fallopian tubes…the secretary looked at me like I had 3 heads and laughed a bit. Said she’d make sure to note it…which she did not…and I said “I am surprised that the medical industry would assume without question! I am taking my drug free fallopian tubes to the waiting area”

Later, she followed up with:

But dont be mad or upset on this account. I made sure to inform the entire registry office and the registry office in the triage AND the 5 doctors and 3 nurses that I am in fact female… that the doctor who wrote the chart was obviously and easily confused. And the fact that she (the doctor who wrote that without questioning me) did not even order an x-ray on a finger cut to the bone and that that very finger is broken…only proved my point of incompetence both medically and physiologically.

When I was thinking about posting about this, our mutual friend asked Doffy for her permission to post the pic of her chart notes and she responded with the following texts:

 

 Doffy-text-1Doffy-text-2

 

As you can see, she was OK with posting the pic containing all of her personal identification and even had a sense of humor about the whole incident; but that’s what we women do, isn’t it? Sure, we get mad in the moment that it happens, but later we laugh it off as someone’s silly mistake. That is part of what makes this so dangerous and why I felt such a need to post about it. We women need to stand up and know that it is OK to be angry in situations like this, that we can be offended about someone catering to the patriarchy like that and it is OK to do so.

What Doffy went through can happen to any of us who don’t succumb to societal pressure and conform to the binary way of thinking and being. When I was discussing this last night, a horrible thought occurred to me: what if this butch lesbian had been unconscious or unresponsive when she was brought into the ER and the assumption that she was a trans man had been made? It is clear from the texts, that her doctor didn’t do any kind of checking with Doffy when it came to meds. So, what if she were unconscious and they decided to be “helpful” and prescribe this, in their misinformed opinion, “John Doe” testosterone for the duration of her stay at the hospital?

I realize I am taking this to an extreme, but if something like that is even a possibility, how frightening is that for butch lesbians or for any woman who doesn’t conform?

Advertisements

“Ass”uming Butches Into Extinction

Just yesterday, I wrote about how bisexual women, straight women, and men claiming to be women were co-opting the word lesbian in their effort to twist and distort it until it means nothing; and I wondered if the patriarchy, with the help of the “I hate labels” and the “sexuality is fluid” crowds, would swallow the term whole, taking lesbians’ identity away, once and for all. Of course, that is a hard pill to swallow and the majority of lesbians will fight tooth and nail against people who think they can co-opt our words and spaces, bully us into silence, and shame us into having sex with trans women and their accompanying penises by calling us transphobic and bigots because we do not want to have relationships or sleep with men.

So imagine my horror when I was sent this screen cap of a visit to the doctor recently. A butch lesbian, a woman who does not fit society’s definition of what a woman should look like or how a woman should dress, behave, or present herself went to the ER. She checks in, sees the doctor, and before leaving, takes a peek at her chart to see something so unbelievable, for a second, I thought I was being punked when told about it.

 

Doffy1

Posted with her permission,
including leaving her name visible.

 

This doctor decided that the butch lesbian in front of her was not actually a butch lesbian but a trans man in denial. In the chart, she writes that this butch is a 48 year old trans man but adds that the “chart will say female.” There was no conversation, there were no questions about whether or not this woman believed she was trans, there was nothing but an assumption; and that assumption was based on this butch woman’s appearance.

Instead of inquiring, instead of taking a good look at the person in front of her and seeing the woman inside the butch, instead of accepting that a woman can look and dress in a manner deemed by society to be masculine while still being a woman, the doctor assumed this butch lesbian was a trans man and put forth that assertion into the woman’s chart without even so much as a by your leave.

I can tell you, as a butch, that having something like that happen: the complete erasure of the woman that you are in order to appease a group of people with such a debilitating disorder, they cry “bigot” at the slightest foul, is nothing short of humiliating. In induces a rage that, to be honest, I have no analogy for at the moment. I get irritated when I am mistaken for a man, sure, but when the person hears my voice or takes a more-than-glancing look at me, they realize their mistake, see the woman that I am, and, most of the time, apologize for not paying enough attention to the person in front of them so as to see more than a hat, t-shirt, and pair of jeans that led them to their erroneous assumption in the first place.

This is different; and, no, it isn’t the same thing as a trans person being “misgendered.” That’s silly, actually, when you take into consideration that gender is a social construct that, with so many people, changes with the wind. No this is the obliteration of butch women.

Worse than that, this is a person, a doctor, proclaiming that the patriarchy, that men mean so much to her and her conditioning is so complete, she has decided to, without consent, assign maleness to the woman standing in front of her; and she expects that gross misjudgment to be rewarded with thanks and praise for being such a good sheep in the gender pasture.

This is why we must band together and stop this madness, this trans epidemic, this erasure of women, and this annihilation of butch lesbians. Butch female lesbian visibility is a feminist issue, one that is much more important, and vitally so, to women; more so than prioritizing men’s issues. Lesbians should not be erased for the sake of men’s “delicacy.”  

 Our words are important. Our spaces are important. Our sex is important. Every time we take another step back to readjust the lines that should not be crossed, we get closer and closer to the cliff leading to our extinction.