I was having a lovely time today mowing my lawn when I noticed an unfamiliar guy in my neighbor’s yard. He and another guy were fixing something at my neighbor’s house, and so one of them decided it would be appropriate to intently observe me as I mowed the lawn.
I pretty much ignored him, although I definitely felt his eyes on me as I undertook the incredibly interesting task of yard work. At one point I had to stop mowing the lawn to move some plastic tubing from which water exits the sump pump so that I didn’t run over it. One of them snapped apart, as apparently I had run it over in the past. Still under observation, I heard my one man audience say, “That’s why men should do yard work.”
This incident seems relatively minor, but it isn’t, because it is literally what I and other women grew up with – there are certain things men should do, and certain things women should do. And if women are doing something men should do and get something wrong, well, it is because they are women.
According to this man’s thinking, having ovaries caused me to mow over plastic tubing. Not the fact that maybe I was going to fast and forgot to move this plastic white piping that easily disappears in my grass. A few minutes before, the guy had commented to my neighbor on my other side about whether or not her dog was a pit bull – and showed no interest in her other dog or my fluffy 25 pound Sheltie-spaniel mix (see above photo, couldn’t resist – and still waiting for her to be discovered by Purina because damn is she photogenic!).
It was clear from his comments that he was a manly man, and it was clear what he considered “manly” – yard work and pit bulls. He also felt it was his male right to just stand there and observe me, not thinking hey, maybe this woman is just trying to mow her own lawn and doesn’t want an audience. But the thing is, in his gendered mind, I should not be mowing the lawn. My boyfriend, who was actually in the house mopping, should have been taking care of this apparently arduous male task.
Which is why I hate gender. Sexism isn’t just about sexual harassment, which trans women try to use to defend their experiences as women. It is also about things as mundane as mowing the lawn. Females traditionally are not supposed to mow lawns. When an individual with a vagina is controlling a lawn mower, there will be vast untold destruction such as mowing over cheap plastic piping. And apparently a MAN would NEVER make such a mistake!
If I were an effeminate boy, none of this would have happened. Despite what many transgender activists say, even an effeminate boy has the male privilege of 1) not being stared at while mowing the lawn 2) then being told that due to your sex, you should not mow the lawn.
Note I used the word sex and not gender, because the very reason I received the comment in the first place was because I was violating this man’s gender norms, attached to my female sex, by mowing the lawn. Make no mistake, these norms were dictated to him by society. And I guess Brian was violating gender norms by mopping the floor. But he hates mowing the lawn while I love yard work and hate things like cooking. And the idea of having babies…
Which brings me back to why I hate gender. Gender as it is applied in the West, and most other patriarchies, isn’t just about one’s physical appearance. It is about your place in society, and for this man, I was not performing the correct gender role for a female’s place in society. Tools and outdoor work are traditionally male gendered items, and by using them I step out of my gender on a regular basis.
Does this make me trans? Of course not. Which is why “transgender” basically means nothing. I am “transing” without even trying because the female gender as socially constructed is very restricting, and thus it’s not hard to do. Of course, what transgender activists really mean is they are changing their sex (or rather trying to) and conflating it and gender with biology. The correct term they should be using is “transexual.” They are only applying gender at a physical level, stripping it of its actual meaning.
Well, I refuse to conflate biology with gender, and ignore it’s true meaning, because gender has never been a positive force for me. Such a conflation STILL gives men the belief that can stare at me and tell me, a 34 year old woman, what I should or should not be doing.
Somehow, among all this trans and queer activism that has been saturating our culture, mainstream feminism has forgotten just how limiting gender is. Liberal feminism has forgotten that gender isn’t just about your physical presentation – it is about your place in society and life.
Which is why men can never “trans gender” into a woman, and why it is a bad idea to conflate gender with biology. I never really had a problem with this until the women’s march, and I realize now that I didn’t understand just how is insidious trans genderism has become – to the point where women are expected to not talk about their own bodies at a women’s march. To the point where Laverne Cox stated that trans rights should be in every aspect of feminism, which makes no sense because there are many issues that even trans women admit they don’t share with women. But apparently trans ideology must inform feminism at every level, no matter what the issue.
Part of why I didn’t understand the insidiousness of trans genderism is also because I didn’t actually think about it that hard given it was never a social justice priority for me. I do recall, however, even before the march, being annoyed by all the coverage trans issues receive within feminism – so maybe deep down I never really bought into it.
I was also blinded by marketing schemes such as Jazz Jennings. I did have reservations about Jazz, but who wants to fling criticism at a child? Jazz did not know she was transgender at 16 months as she claims – that is not possible. And there is no such thing as gender identity, but she was told this by the medical establishment and thus it is what her and her family believe.
What is sad is that Jazz is apparently in a crisis state because due to her HRT treatments, she doesn’t have enough man parts from which to create a vagina So I feel sorry for Jazz. I have a feeling she will always be in crisis. You have to wonder what it would be like if she had just been allowed to grow up a happy gay child, which is what happens to about 90 percent of gender dysphoric children when they aren’t transitioned as toddlers.
I feel a bit guilty for watching Jazz, but then I remember I watched it to “educate myself” as a good citizen on trans issues, and got sucked in. Such is the power of the fear of being accused of any kind of “phobic.”
I have a feeling Jazz will never be happy because she will never be a girl, not matter what her “gender identity” feels like. Even if she eventually gets a fake vagina, it will never be close to the real thing – and she will know this. And I don’t believe in the gender identity her show promotes because then I would have to begin doing the mental gymnastics involving me being “transgender” in some ways but “cis” in others, which I guess makes me “gender non-binary.” Most of the time.
Or I can just consider myself a woman with a personality not constricted by gender because the gender that pressured me to be feminine is not a real thing – it is but a social construct that needs permanent retiring. Which of course throws into question the whole legitimacy of trans and queer theory, and this is a whole bag of worms no one wants to publicly because the repercussions have been severe.
But the hard truth is, when it comes to the restrictive reality of the female gender, mowing the lawn is just the beginning.