James St. James
is a transgender guy who has experienced how differently society treats you as a woman and as a man. In his own words: “Quite a bit changed for me over the first couple of years I started testosterone. My health and mental wellbeing improved, my happy button grew over an inch in length, my natural musk became so fragrant that now I gross even myself out if I don’t shower pretty much every day (no deodorant can contain this beast)… In the long run, I don’t always know which things were an actual, physical reaction to the T, which were a result of getting out of a toxic environment, and which were simply my tastes naturally changing as I put on a few years. But just as fascinating as it was to witness my mental and physical changes, it was just as equal of an adjustment to comprehend how other people were responding to me… The fact of the matter is that male privilege makes me feel awkward. I recognize the unfairness that’s happening, so my job is to help further call it out. I’m read as a man now, after all. And the irony there is that other men are more apt to listen to me about these issues. So here’s a (very) short list of the everyday ways people have changed their behavior toward me – for no logical reason whatsoever.
1. I’m suddenly funny
In Ye Olden Times, I was considered unfunny at best – and a bitch at worst.
2. Yet I’m still taken (more) seriously
Believe me, my ideas haven’t improved at all.
3. I rarely get interrupted
I used to be interrupted so often while presenting as a woman.
4. I get paid more
The proof is in my paychecks. Actual, numerical proof.
5. It’s easier for me to be poor
It’s been easier to find work when the person doing the hiring is a white guy.
6. My clothing is more practical
And better made and longer lasting and cheaper and less judged…
7. I get a ton of free passes
These days I can’t recall a single time I’ve been called out or reprimanded.
8. I’m not held accountable for keeping rape from happening
These days, I’m told nothing. Not even not to rape.
9. I’m very likely to arrive home safely after walking alone at night
I walk alone at night far more than I used to purely because I’m a dude.
10. I don’t have to worry about keeping an eye on my drink at parties and social gatherings
Unless it’s at a gay venue where there seem to be some questionable, creepy chickenhawks around, drink safety doesn’t even cross my mind anymore.
11. I’m not told by strangers (or anybody else) to smile
Not once has it happened since. Not once.
12. I don’t have strangers giving uninvited opinions about my body as I pass by
(Or then expecting me to thank them for it).
13. I’m allowed to have body hair
14. I’m allowed to grow old
And likely will even be considered “handsome” or “sophisticated” because of it.
15. I’m allowed to eat without being policed
People no longer do things like judge me about what I’m eating or ask if I should be eating it at all
16. My abilities speak louder than my appearances at work
When I work on-site gigs, I tend to just wear jeans and a t-shirt.
17. The bulk of porn is made with me in mind
Even “lesbian” porn is often geared toward the male gaze.
18. Older white guys treat me like a best friend
It’s like I’m automatically their patriarchal protégé or something.
19. I can be a gamer without worry of being threatened, insulted, or demeaned
The gaming industry is still very much a man’s world.
20. My comfort comes before anyone else’s
Nobody expects me to sacrifice a thing for them anymore.
21. I have significantly less sexual liability
I can now have as much sex with as many people as I want and nobody says boo about it.
22. I’m allowed to take up space – and lots of it
They just act like I have full right to be obnoxious.
23. I’m not subject to ‘soft’ sexism
Being asked to grab someone their coffee, help decorate for a work party, or help clean up said party is simply a thing of the past.
24. People think my successes have been made purely by my own gumption
I’ve worked hard, sure, but I’ve also had plenty of luck and help.
25. I can say the most ridiculous things imaginable
And people will still think I’m right. Seriously. I’ve tested this. Read more at everydayfeminism.