Here’s the thing. Shared girlhood is so damned important!
I saw this brilliant hashtag pop up on Twitter a few weeks ago: #sharedgirlhood; and holy hell, did it start up a shit storm from the men out there who call themselves women. Women everywhere know why this happened: men and their male privilege believe that they own everything, including women and all that we hold dear. So when a group of women get together and start talking about what it meant to grow up girls in a patriarchal society, these men and their narcissistic points of view went, well, insane.
See, we live in a society where boys are taught that (a) girls and women belong to them and (b) they can be anything they want. Two examples:
1. Rape Culture. Yes, we keep hearing these words and then so many of us tune out because we are still taught that rape is the woman’s fault or only strangers hiding in the bushes rape women, etc. But in reality, we are teaching our boys that they can have any girl or woman they want, any way that they want, and by any means they may deem necessary. Take all of the boys in high school who drug girls or get them so drunk they pass out so that these boys can then do whatever they want with the girls, sexually or otherwise. Then when they are caught or she tries to press charges, the boys are protected and the girls are demonized. This teaches boys and men that girls and women not only belong to them, but that we are also expendable, made to be used by them and tossed aside like trash.
2. I saw a video on YouTube the other day where a young man was so intent on becoming something called Super Saiyan and he believed that if he wanted it enough and believed hard enough, then he could become a Super Saiyan. He then had some sort of mental breakdown because he started making fists, throwing his arms out, and screaming. Then at the end, he claimed to have achieved his desire of becoming a Super Saiyan. After watching in disbelief, I had to Google Super Saiyan to see what it was he believed himself to have become and it is a cartoon character. I am not joking. This kid believed he could and did become a part of a race in a cartoon world that are all powerful beings.
If that is not the best example of the trans community, I really don’t know what is. To be so completely engrossed in your own delusion that you believe you can make your body transform from one thing into another, when all the laws of physics and science say otherwise is a very powerful delusion fueled by something clearly broken deep down inside of that person.
In reality, being trans is role-playing. It is like life is a game and they are live action role-playing their way through it. When a person dresses up in an animal costume and believes he is that animal, we all laugh and say that he needs help. When a person gets so addicted to on-line role-playing games like WOW and they begin to believe they ARE that character on the computer monitor, we all laugh and say that they need help.
But when a man pretends to be a woman on-line, as, I have found, is so often the case, as so many of them live their off-line lives as the men they are and only claim to be women on-line; or even dresses up in a dress, a bad wig, some female hormones, and make-up clearly done by someone who has only known women through porn movies, we celebrate that as him being his true self?
What’s sometimes worse for me, as a butch lesbian, is watching other butch lesbians and even the young, confused straight girls who want to escape their lives, putting on “men’s” clothes, cutting their hair, strapping down their breasts (or worse, having them removed completely), stuffing silicone down their pants, and pumping their bodies full of toxic hormones in an attempt to simulate some sort of manhood that only they see when they look in the mirror. What the rest of us see is entirely different and while I have sympathy for these women, I can’t help but wonder what it is that is so broken inside of them that they decided to do this to themselves.
Logically, with women who attempt to become some facsimile of male or men, the answer is pretty clear: growing up girls in the patriarchy, we all learn that boys and men are superior. Of course, it isn’t true, but that is what is shoved down our throats on a daily basis for the entirety of our lives. Breaking away from that conditioning is an everyday struggle. But imagine being one of those young women, seeing everyday how boys are treated better than you are, given more and better opportunities, offered more respect, responsibility, and even love. Wouldn’t it make sense that some of these young women would decide to try to become men in order to escape what this society has decided what their destiny is: lower pay, little to no respect, bodies that are not their own, fear of being raped or killed and not being able to stop it, considered less than on every scale imaginable. Thinking about it in that way, it can sort of make sense how some girls and women would want to jump ship and live their lives as men, doesn’t it?
Men, of course, have different reasons: almost 90% of the men claiming to be women do so because of a sexual fetish. They get off on wearing “women’s” clothing, make-up, wigs, and taking hormones; and don’t get me started on how arousing it is for them to “pass” as women, even if it is barely or badly passing, as is often the case. To have other men desire them as women, to have other women acknowledge them as women, it is all so arousing for these men that are sometimes considered sexual deviants; and let’s not forget all of the men trying to break through the cotton ceiling by trying to shame lesbians into finally having sex with them.
But instead of calling it out, instead of expressing our revulsion at the very notion that these men are getting off on pretending to be and being acknowledged as women, many women celebrate and embrace them, instead shunning those of us who see the truth and try to point it out to them. We have become so “PC” about everything, haven’t we? We don’t want to offend anyone in any way and that is something we can never win because no matter which way we turn as a society, someone will be offended by what is said or done.
Look at young girls, like me, who preferred “boy’s” clothes and toys to “girl’s” clothes and toys. In today’s society, my parents would have assumed I was trans and I would have been put on hormone blockers to keep my breasts from forming and from menstruating. Instead of teaching me and all little girls like me that little girls can wear whatever the hell they want and play with what and whomever they want, the natural inclination now is to change the child instead of changing society.
Instead of teaching boys that it is ok to wear dresses and play with dolls, we shame them into thinking they are somehow less than. Why? because in this society, girls and women are less than, so if a little boy wants to dress in clothing or play with toys society has decided are just for girls, then clearly, that little boy is less than in society’s eyes. Instead of teaching little girls that they can wear, play with, and be anything they want, we shame them into thinking they are freaks or worse, lesbians, which even for all of our advancements, is still a dirty word and an insult.
It isn’t the children and their behavior that needs to be changed, it is society that needs to be changed. Our ideas and attitudes on sex and gender have become so convoluted that I am amazed anyone can rise above the crazy and actually love themselves for themselves.
Shared girlhood IS important, dear reader. It is important for all of us to acknowledge that race, color, religion, class, etc. aside, we women, we females all shared some common histories as girls being born into and raised in a patriarchal society. We cannot deny those commonalities. We cannot allow men to take those commonalities away from us. We cannot tiptoe around the fact that men have male privilege and men dominate this society in which we live.
We were born girls in a society that favors boys and we have to stop denying that that fact has made a difference in how we were raised, how we see ourselves, and how we see each other. This is why women/female only spaces are so important. Even the most well intentioned male/man will still dominate the conversation and the direction in which it goes. We need to support each other, support our choices, support female-only spaces, support our decisions, support how we choose to live our lives. Because, honestly, this is what men want. To keep women fighting against each other so that they can remain in control. We are more than half of the population of the earth, we bare children, we are the heart of every society and yet we continue to be oppressed by men.
At what point will you stop supporting men in every single thing they do, even the insane, even the deviant, even when it also harms women? What will you do to help change this society?