No… That’s not the Right Word, Either

I didn’t say the right thing. I could see that. He had been watching me so intently, his mouth curved in a slight smile that I didn’t recognize. His head forward, face down a little, tilted, as if he was presenting his cheekbone to me. Looking, up, almost, at me from the corners of his eyes. His eyes.

It was a very generous gift, I said so. And added, with a smile of pride, enamored, that he had very good boyfriend skills. Imagine me, my smile said, with such a fine catch as you!

It wasn’t the right thing.

I made mental notes, and the next time I touched on how well his mother had reared him, to give such thoughtful and unique gifts. They were just perfect. Because, they were. And he knew it, his eyes glowed as he watched me unwrap.

But, it wasn’t his mother. That wasn’t the right thing. That, very much, was not the right thing, said the involuntary tightening at the corners of his lips. The deadening of his eyes.

On the next occasion, I could tell by the way his eyes roamed over the gifts, almost caressing them, that a great deal of thought had gone into his selections. That he had thought deeply of me, of what I wanted most, when he made his purchases. I complimented his memory and attention to detail. Both very compliment-worthy attributes, but no, not the right things. Not the right words.

As a class, the word is appropriation. Those males, tired of their self-compliance to gender socialization, who decide it must be easier to be a woman. Who decide they can be better women than they were men. They re-define and re-word and re-create and re-claim. They appropriate.

As an individual, the word is inhabitation. He doesn’t want to be like me. He wants to be me. He wants to occupy me, my life, who I am.

Those gifts, they were never for me. They were for him. For his inhabitation of me.

7 thoughts on “No… That’s not the Right Word, Either

  1. I spent hundreds and possibly thousands on underwear for my wife – I’ve looked back on that in recent months and I also realised that I “borrowed” a lot of it too. Some of it never made it back. Some of it she never wore but I did. Some of it she loved and lived in. I stopped buying it last year and she’s on her own for panty purchases. I wondered a lot about those purchases – it seems as if I’m not the only one.i used to discuss her underwear with her all the time but I’ve stopped that – so many facets to one problem.

  2. There are many facets to this problem. It manifests itself in cunning and duplicius ways. Turns so many desired truths into lies. It’s heartbreaking. For everyone.

  3. It’s been several days: no new posts, seemingly no new comments posted, and that counterproductive “It’s okay to support the LGB, but be proud to critical of trans people’s existence” article apparently gone… But anyway, even if this isn’t approved, here are a couple of questions for your hopefully honest reflection:

    Trans people being few and far between, and our transitions most often being an independent endeavor, how is it that we have a class goal of of our 0.5% of the population appropriating the identity (as if there is a singular Female identity to appropriate) of 50% of the population; and

    If we ignore that supposed class on class appropriation, where does someone like me (asexual and single pre-transition, now attracted to men) fit on your supposed “individual level of inhabiting and occupying a Female partner because one wishes to be her” scale? Who would I have inhabited and occupied?

  4. @ for science When you say transitioning is an “independent endeavor”, you are excluding the psycho, Pharma, medical, surgical systems which benefit from selling the concept of transition to you. You are ignoring the activists which are pushing to eradicate very real sex classes, primarily and specifically, the oppressed female class, as it is well documented that males far outnumber females in trans community.

    When males claim to be female that is appropriation. Your biological sex does not change. Males can never be females. Acceptance of even one male as female degrades the entire definition of the biological sex which is the basis of my oppression.

    THIS >>> Calling males females means that females are males and since males cannot oppress themselves as a class because they are the ruling class then females are not oppressed because actually females are males so the oppression that I have struggled against my entire life does not exist because as a female I am a male and I cannot oppress myself except that I have been oppressed my entire life but now that I am male I cannot say that I have been oppressed by males because male is no longer the name of the problem which oppresses me and if my oppression does not have a name it cannot be identified and if my oppression cannot be identified then it does not exist and if oppression does not exist then it cannot be eliminated and if my oppression cannot be eliminated then I will never be free of it and the reason that I will never be free of the oppression of my biological sex is because my biological sex which is the basis of my oppression has been erased and hidden from langange so it cannot be communicated to others who are also oppressed and it cannot be acted against.

  5. A friend sent me this post to ask my opinion, after reading it, I had to tell you how moving I found it. The way you capture the insecurities we have as women, the title, “No…not the right word, either” how it captures the repeated experience, the desire to please, the desire to reciprocate in words, his thoughtfulness and focus upon you, the persistent nagging inside that told you were doing something wrong, that you said the wrong thing, yet again. You couldn’t give him what he wanted and no woman should be treated this way. Only a person reared in a dominant class could treat someone this way. You wanted to give him something back, in words, please him as he was trying to please you with gifts that were not simply of monetary value but represented so much more, the time, the thoughts, the attention…all for you, but it was all wrong. Then the narrative suddenly changes and we, the readers, discover the betrayal. Your voice, now in retrospect, explains what was happening. It strikes the reader, as you must have been struck only so much more deeply and powerfully, to realize all of that attention, thought, focus, desire to please, none of it was for you. You put us in your shoes and then hit us with what it truly was: All for him. “Those gifts, they were never for me. They were for him. For his inhabitation of me.” What a powerful ending. What a heartbreaking realization. I am so sorry this happened to you and I want to thank you for sharing this and I encourage you to write more posts like this. The previous commenter, I believe was also affected by this post. Few want to be the appropriator, the inhabitor, if they can be made to feel what it is like for those they intend to take from. You did that so well here, made us feel it. I do disagree with some of the radfem ideology but few women focus on our shared oppression or the root of that oppression, the face that we are females. Thankfully there are women who do not forget this, women who will speak the words of our oppression. Thank you for honestly sharing your vulnerability with all of us.

  6. Thank you for your generous words. Hindsight has been very freeing for me, it has made it easier to forgive myself, and crafting my self knowledge into evocative narratives has been emotionally satisfying. The grit became a small, oddly-shaped, still partially-formed pearl.

    But I am one woman.

    My story is only one story. The harm done to me, my reactions at having learned I had been wronged, are only one.

    We are women.

    The harm done to women by gender identity politics is a horrific story of invasion, appropriation, colonization and erasure. We are beginning not to exist.

    Women have long been silenced. And when rarely heard, readily discounted. Illusions of autonomy have enabled a corrosive rot. Women now rarely listen to women’s voices. There is no poetic voice which can reach the masses, especially in light of our own dismissal, to tell this story. Our story. Our extinction.

    For decades we have been able to point at our oppression and name it oppression. It was grudgingly acknowledged, and only after repeated reportings and voluminously documented statistics, but it was ultimately seen and defined as oppression.

    Now, its an identity. Its our choice.

    We must like it, agree with it, feel “cis” about it, else we would choose otherwise, correct? We would simply identity as equal to men, and that would eliminate all our problems. Because the root of all our problems as women is that we are women, we are not men.

    The politics of gender identity are an insidious evil. The reality, the facts, the numbers must be hammered home, relentlessly, in ugly repetitions, in sensational formats, in order to be heard.

    The Diary of a Young Girl was a story. One story.

    The Holocaust was the state-sponsored systemic mass murder of six million Jews. Genocide.

    The numbers, the risks, the facts, the comorbidities, the numbers, the risks, the facts, the comorbidities, the numbers, the risks, the facts, the comorbidities, the numbers, the risks, the facts, the comorbidities, the numbers, the risks, the facts, the comorbidities, the numbers, the risks, the facts, the comorbidities, the numbers, the risks, the facts, the comorbidities, the numbers, the risks, the facts, the comorbidities.

    I do not write against the 1% transsexuals or even the 5% transgender. I write for the 50% women and girls.

    We are at war, under siege, our extermination via erasure has begun. We cannot sit and argue in nuance the ethics of state-sanctioned appropriation, our voices are not being heard. Ugly numbers get attention. They buy time.

    Perhaps I can one day return to my story, after our story has been heard.

  7. Thank you! Women are listening! Thank you for speaking out, and I hope you keep speaking! You are ushering in a new paradigm and it is sane and intellectual and due. Sending my thoughts to you to keep you uplifted!

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