"Has anyone who has been assigned female at birth ever been enabled to “operate without conflict or correction”? Don’t most cis women spend their whole lives trying to “become women”? I see this very much in the context of beauty ideals (amongst other things). Cis women do not get handed womanhood on a plate. On the contrary, most of us never escape the feeling of having failed.
We spend our waking hours trying to conform, trying to manage personhood, trying not to take up too much space. We have ourselves sliced and inflated, we starve ourselves, paint ourselves, rip out our body hair, binge, vomit, cry at the sight of our ugly thighs and flabby stomachs. We live our lives on hold, waiting to blossom, then watch ourselves become invisible as we age. We do all this without even noticing, let alone protesting. Our dissatisfaction with our bodies in relation to how womanhood is perceived is viewed as our problem alone. We don’t talk about it to anything like the degree to which most of us are thinking about it (that is, most of the time).
Cis women – primped, primed cis women – are not believed to have a problematic relationship with gender, or if they do, it is seen to be of their own making. Because discomfort within one’s own body is so embedded since girlhood it is not remarked upon, which leads to the assumption that cis women do not even experience gender sufficiently to be able to critique it. This is of course bullshit. It is there with us every day of our lives. It constrains us. The idea that cis women don’t ask questions because they don’t have to – not because they are oppressed in ways others simply view as normality – betrays a shocking lack of empathy. Transitioning from male to female is no more a dramatic or meaningful expression of discomfort with one’s own gender identity than having one’s labia reshaped. Yet one is considered so extreme it must betray a deeper engagement with gender as a fundamental truth, while the other is seen as just some stupid thing cis women do.”