Yep. Someone spotted it. In my story about getting out and about on the town, i mention how i started to find myself being treated, for the first time, in ways i had never really known before.
Being crowded by men, talked down to and, by one senior and older bloke, patted affectionately on the behind.
A poster who identifies themselves as “Primly Stable” commented:
“I can’t decide whether it’s tragic or hilarious that a trans individual can only be sure she’s passing as a woman when she starts getting sexually harrassed – what does that say about society?”
The same thought had occurred as i wrote my blog. I was being treated in a manner that was sexist and patronising. I was being taken that bit less seriously than i used to be.
And – yes – i was actually enjoying it!
Then i felt guilty about enjoying it.
A short conversation with a very sane friend at the weekend helped. She told me how she had gone through much the same sort of thing when she had been 16: how she would be treated in similar ways by grown men; and how she would resent it; and yet at the same time, she would feel validated by it.
Because being treated in a certain way meant she was being accepted as part of the club – being seen as an adult woman and not a child any longer.
And that, i guess, is where i am. There’s a part of me that likes the smallness of how it makes me feel: that’s definitely the girly bit – the me that would always have been happier being not merely female, but female and supportive and behind the scenes.
Confession*: having my hair stroked – or gently pulled – makes me go utterly melty inside!
So i liked the subtle change in status anyway.
And then …and then there is that whole acceptance thing. Yay! I’m being treated like a second-class citizen! I MUST be being seen as that much more female.
I did ask my wise friend what i should do about it. Consensus, from her and from other women present, is that there is no definite answer – and no matter how old or wise you get, you can never quite be sure.
I suppose that feels about right. I’m too gentle to turn round and slap someone’s face. I shall play each situation by ear. Sometimes i shan’t mind: sometimes i will. Keep that in mind – and stay respectful.
* – and that goes double for touching my hair. Melty is when someone does it that i like and want to touch. Not otherwise.