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Do some trans women transition because being a man is too hard, confused internet celebrity wonders

Men having a hard time at the White House

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By David Futrelle

Yesterday, the acid-loving, frequently-naked internet personality Aella — perhaps best known for a series of Reddit “Gone Wild” posts involving garden gnomes — had some thoughts on trans women she decided to share on Twitter. This was perhaps not the best idea, as these were the thoughts:

She doubled down on these very bad ideas in the responses to her tweet:

This is the sort of misogynistic and transmisogynistic garbage I’ve come to expect from incels and MRAs, who sometimes fantasize about “becoming a girl” (or at least identifying as one) because being a man is so darn hard. It’s just a teensy bit weird to hear it coming from a woman, albeit one who doesn’t see herself as a feminist.

H/T — Twitter’s @LLW902, whose tweet alerted me to Aella’s comments

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Michael Suttkus, II
Michael Suttkus, II
2 years ago

Also, the society is *highly* tolerant to white males that don’t behave like traditional white male.

Try being a white male who likes to cross stitch. Society really likes its boxes. Society may have more space in the box white males are supposed to fit into than it does for other genders and races, but that doesn’t mean they like people getting out of the boxes.

Citerior Motive
Citerior Motive
2 years ago

True. I could have phrased better by saying that she may not self-identify as a feminist but she sounds like a TERF.

I was just being contrary. I knew what you meant. ☺

Shadowplay
2 years ago

Try being a white male who likes to cross stitch

I have.

And who likes to sew, and embroider, and knit, and even quilt.

No one’s ever said a word. (Apart from “Oh, neat, can you make me one?”)

Demonhype
Demonhype
2 years ago

@Shadowplay:

May depend on who one is talking to and where they are (geographical culture). If you’re rural or in the deep south, you might get more flak than in other places.

I mean, I’ve had plenty of people in my rural area express horror and disgust at man-bun hairstyles, then express the same horror and disgust at me for thinking there’s nothing wrong with them and im glad dudes with long hair have more options on a hot day than “loose or in a low nape-of-neck ponytail that does nothing to cool you down”. Speaking from.experience as a woman who, until recently, had super-long hair and was glad to be able to put it up in a myriad of ways without getting crap for it.

I suspect those people who raged about man-buns were more gender essentialist and wanted any man who failed to have a crew cut to suffer heat exhaustion and, eventually, give up and just shave his head so he looks like a “proper” man, and resented anything that allowed such men to enjoy long hair and comfort simultaneously. Partially because most of those people included an opinion that the man-bun wearer in question should just “get a damn proper haircut like a man and stop trying to be a woman/look stupid” in their rants.

But then, there are other areas where few people care about man-buns one way or another.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
2 years ago

@Michael Suttkus, II : try that compared to trying to be a women who drive trucks. Or who develop video games.

People can be mean if you cross stitchs, and even then not all of them will be. People will try to kill or rape you if you’re a women in a men’s activity. I think that qualify as “highly tolerant” at least in comparison.

Seriously : in today society, if you are in-between men and women, it’s seriously easier to come up as a men with girlish interest than as a women with menish interest. One case is people being mean, the other is people trying to physically end you.

Tripoli
Tripoli
2 years ago

Oh man, she definitely got here because it’s an anime trope…

To be clearer, characters who crossdress as another gender, despite their cisgender identity, because gender stereotyping and discrimination in Japan makes hiding as the other gender a safer prospect (in the theory of the story). The plot often then concerns them coming to terms with the seeming contradiction between their actual gender and their apparent presentation. This trope is usually almost exclusively ‘woman crossdresses as man’ in the west (Disney’s rendition of Mulan making a hullabaloo about gender roles, an element not in the original legend, being probably the most famous modern example), but it’s more mixed-gender in Japanese media. These characters show up a lot more frequently than trans characters, but they’re more specifically gender-nonconforming than trans.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

@Demonhype

Eh, could be. Mostly hang out with with soldiers, so not a geographical thing. But it is a self selected (and quite insular) group.

Paireon
Paireon
2 years ago

@Demonhype: Personally I think man-buns only look good on samurai, vikings and other warrior-types, but that’s mere aesthetics (that and I live in mostly-frigid Quebec, so the haircut here is generally associated with the Jersey Shore-esque douchebag and hipster crowds; it’s only hot enough to be a practical affectation 1-2 months a year over here. Not really associated with lack of masculinity though).

Also, yeah no that’s probably a really dumb idea, Aella. To be fair stupid is everywhere, but that level of stupid tends to be conducive to making an appearance in the Darwin Awards.

Pink Haired Old Lady
Pink Haired Old Lady
2 years ago

@Tripoli
I’m not into contemporary anime, but you comment reminded me of RoboTech third generation character Lancer/Yellow Dancer. My vote for sexiest character.

numerobis
numerobis
2 years ago

Paireon: writing from hipster central (the Mile-End), I’ve got to say: there’s no man buns this year. It seems totally out of fashion.

Ohlmann: men who are too girlish can get labeled as homosexual or trans, and then they’re considered fair game for violence in some corners. It’s not nearly so widespread as violence against non-conforming women; it can be just as devastating.

Demonhype
Demonhype
2 years ago

@Paireon:

Yup. It’s just aesthetics. That’s what I tell them when they would demand angrily that I seriously tell them I don’t think it looks stupid. I pointed out that it’s new and we’re not used to it, and anything new is going to look unusual until it doesnt. People also once thought women wearing pants or having hair shorter than shoulder-length looked stupid, but it’s pretty common now.

@Shadowplay:

Yeah, I’d say soldiers are pretty self-selected group! :). There can be variations in opinions on an area though, based on things like “age” or “background” or “religion” or even “military interest/career”. When I was at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, there was a wide similarity in.politics and social values in the Animation major (very progressive) though everyone came from all over and had different stories about the geographical attitudes in their hometowns (even when they didn’t agree with those attitudes). Artists, another insular self-selected group! Lol.

Yet at my small rural-town university, most students even in art majors were hugely right-wing conservative and libertarian pro-business anti-poor types and progressives like me were minority. One teacher tried to have a discussion about street art aka grafitti, and was met at the end of the video with dead silence from.everyone but myself–the one girl who spoke up states it was nothing more than criminal property damage and the others agreed. So it was primarily me and the teacher having a discussion while the rest of the class sat there in stony silence–at AiP, it would have been a lively discussion with most of the students joining in.

Of course, most of the students at AiP were from.poor and lower middle class backgrounds, while the rural school was full of rich kids,many studying on the Daddy scholarship. Either as yet another subdivision within a self-selected insular group!

Demonhype
Demonhype
2 years ago

@numerobis

Omg, I recall a Cracked article by a straight drag queen. He said straight genderqueer and bigender men/cross-dressers are more common than people think, but are even more deeply closeted than the rest because everyone presumes you’re gay, which means you get a ton of unsolicited advances from gay men insisting you can’t really be gay and you’ll realize that if you just bite the bullet and sleep with another man, and that women won’t have anything to do with you because they assume you just want to use them as a beard and will dump them eventually when you come to accept your gayness, and who wants to invest in a relationship they believe is already doomed?

So most just cross-dress in private and hope their gf or wife never find their bras/makeup/etc. Said he was lucky, his gf (now wife) found his but was just glad it wasn’t from.another woman, but that his case is rare and he had been steeling himself for the inevitable break-up and was pleasantly surprised when she ended up staying and supporting his identity.

Which has long been a problem of mine, because I find feminine characteristics in men intensely attractive and am always mocked for being attracted only to men who can “never” find me attractive back and I’m making a fool of myself chasing gay men (I don’t actually “chase” them, but you know how it is when some people equate “being quietly attracted” with “catapulting yourself onto their crank”). Cuz, you know, “every” man who expresses the slightest traditionally feminine characteristic is “always” gay. Groan.

(I know, I know, Cracked. Not what it sounds like. Cracked has gone on a big “life experiences” kick over the years, interviewing people from.different walks of life, usually a marginalized one, to find out how they live, and the comedy is not punching down at the different person they are interviewing but at the circumstances and sometimes on the bigots who make life hard for them–which has come to infuriate some who enjoy more “traditional” comedy stylings and frequently comment on how the “SJWs” have “ruined this site”. Another good one was about how modern culture trains men to hate women, written by a man. One point, which I said for years, was that media trains boys to believe every man is “owed” a supermodel-hot woman regardless of his own qualities and when that inevitably doesnt happen for most guys they get angry.)

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
2 years ago

@Naglfar: Casey Explosion on Twitter has started referring to Linehan as “Papa TERF” and his followers as “Glincels” which is just ??.

As to men transitioning because it’s “too hard” to be a man, based on a casual comparison of the stuff in my bathroom alone versus that found in a woman’s bathroom… yeah, no. I’m only half-joking: when it comes to the relatively trivial stuff like the expectations of the level of grooming men and women should undertake just to do something as commonplace as grocery shopping, men definitely have it easier. And I have no doubt it gets more difficult, not less, the more formal the situation gets. This whole argument trivializes the challenges women, cis and trans, face negotiating the world.

(The SF writer, John Scalzi, once made a blog post about how going through life as a straight white man was akin to playing a video game on the lowest difficulty setting. It’s not that it’s entirely without challenges, but it’s an awful lot easier than others have it. Needless to say, the comments were full of white dudes complaining about it…)

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Cat Mara

This whole argument trivializes the challenges women, cis and trans, face negotiating the world.

Isn’t that half the point of the manosphere? To spin an elaborate fantasy that women and LGBTQIPA+ people and POC have it easy at the expense of cishet white men?

how going through life as a straight white man was akin to playing a video game on the lowest difficulty setting.

In addition, Anita Sarkeesian made a video about that concept.

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 years ago

@Tripoli: Reminds me of Chihiro of Danganronpa. He’s short and rather girly-looking, couldn’t handle being bullied for “not being manly enough”, so cross-dressed and pretended to be a girl. None of the other characters knew he was a boy. When he finally found the courage to just be himself, he was murdered shortly after. Though to be fair, Danganronpa is a series where most of the cast gets murdered and their personal secrets are revealed shortly before or after their death.

A lot of the western audience found this to be a form of trans erasure. From what I’ve heard, the Japanese audience mostly doesn’t see it that way, because crossdressing doesn’t carry the exact same cultural connotations. (I’m skeptical that’s valid, but I’m not familiar enough to judge.)

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