Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about.

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

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"I’m just not attracted to trans women."


Alright lovelies, listen up and settle down, time for some myth busting!

Often I hear people make the blanket statement “I’m just not attracted to trans women.”, usually a sh*tstorm ensues. Trans women feel devalued again, cis people feel like they’re being forced into liking something they dislike, bad feels all around. I’d like to try to help shed some light on this, and please remember that I’m not trying to make you feel like you’re a bad person. You’re probably not, but oppression is not caused by a few hyper-evil superbads, but rather from a lack of introspection by the average person.

Now, the following problematic things often surface in this discussion:
1. People assuming that a trans woman is gonna have a penis. This is a false assumption, there’s this thing called SRS/GRS which has progressed to a state where even a gynecologist can’t tell the difference.
2. People saying they are not attracted to trans women, when they very well unknowingly might be because there is no 100% fool-proof way to tell apart trans and cis women. When a woman suddenly becomes unattractive to you solely because of informing you of her trans status, you are repulsed by the culturally-indoctrinated idea of trans women in your mind, not by the actual woman in front of you. She didn’t change, you did. She’s still as attractive as before.

Now hold the rotten tomatoes: If the person doesn’t have the parts you want, fair beans. Same way you might not want to date someone because you find them too tall, or too short, or you don’t like the way they smell, whatever. Personally I’m not too fussy about the package someone comes in, though I do have a slight preference for deodorant users.

But when some say for example “I am not attracted to trans women”, they make a blanket statement based on the assumption that they can tell them apart before attraction occurs, guess what: you can’t. Then usually the “I don’t like penis" argument comes along, but guess what: not all trans women have one. Then follows the argument about how magical cis vaginas are and what an abomination trans women’s vaginas are, nearly always from a person who doesn’t have proper knowledge or experience with them. Then a last-ditch attempt of "but I wanna have my own children" is thrown into the mix, but that is hardly trans specific as there’s plenty of infertile cis women, and some trans women get their genetic material frozen before they transition. All of this is just an ego trying to wriggle itself out of admitting that just maybe, it’s culture has taught it to be repulsed by trans women.

Truth is, society tells you to hate us, that we are fake, that we are icky, that any attraction to us is at best a shameful fetish to be kept behind closed doors. We like to think our preferences are beyond scrutiny, but our preferences are heavily influenced by the culture we grow up in, be aware. Self aware.

(Newsflash: asking people to be introspective about their preferences is not the same as forcing people into sex they don’t want. The first is an attempt to get past stigma and stereotypes. The latter is rape. Bit of a difference, no?)

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