How does it feel to be a woman
I was out dressed and had lunch with a CIS friend of mine (female) and we were discussing femininity and what that felt like to her and me. I then posed the question to her of what it felt like being a woman. She said she could not answer that since she had no basis of comparison.
She went on to say that what I was asking was like asking what it felt like being human or alive, one needed a basis for comparison. Further she added that since she could not answer the negative of the question of what it felt like not being a woman, that she was not qualified to answer the question.
The question of what it felt like being woman could be answered, she continued, by any trans person either MTF or FTM. Even I would be able to answer that as I presented myself as a woman and I could answer the negative to the question since I had a basis of comparison.
I need to add she was a philosophy major at one time, and I pose this question to all the other women out there.
I guess I would go along with the answer your philosopher friend offered. We all feel like ourselves. Each of us has a unique perspective on ourselves and the world around us. I might be able to say I feel a pain or feel upset or feel happy, but not that I feel like a woman or a man, for that matter.
What I can say is that I enjoy presenting myself as a woman, both at home and in public. I enjoy doing things that I associate with femininity, but many of those may be unique to my age and life experience. So I feel some gratification in doing “feminine things.”
That isn’t to suggest that I possess natural femininity. Probably not. I suspect my movements and mannerisms are less feminine than I would like, but thats how these might be perceived by another person. And each observer may take away different cues and form different conclusions about whether I am a woman or not.
Barbara, this is a very thought provoking topic. Your philosophy major, a cis woman, put a interesting reply (paraphrase) “she could not answer since she had no basis of comparison”. I may bevthe first but I am sure not the last. I have attended a few counseling sessions in my quest “why do I have feminine feelings and find it comforting to present myself as a woman” my feminine persona is not a choice but within or possibly born with this “feeling”. With this acceptance of my feminine persona, I am to be, the best woman I can be, in portraying the feminine version of myself…however, I do revel in my appearance and yet obsessed about flaws in passing …since I am not expressing my feminine persona full time (yet), my pictures en femme gives me an opportunity to appreciate my feminine side.
Thank you for listening to give me an opportunity to reply to the question “How does it feel to be a woman. Warmest regards, Leonara
Just from looking at the topic, I had similar answer. I can tell you what it's like to be feminine, because that is behavior based. I can tell you what it's like to interact with the world with a feminine presentation, or to be treated as a woman for the same reason. But I can't tell you what it's like to be a woman.
Try to reverse the question and you'll see what I mean. Try telling her what it's like to be a man. Even if you could express it in words, they would be inadequate. What is is like to be you, and not your father/brother/uncle or some other male?
Even someone who is trans can only partially answer the question, because genetically they are their birth sex. We had a transmale come to our support group once who mentioned they still sit to go to the bathroom, not feeling right standing.
I think this is more than philosophy. I don't think the question really has an answer.
Alison I do believe it is a philosophical question and I think that is why she answered it in the way she did. I think that us girls have about the best view on it since we can see both sides as she put it. I feel that you are correct in the assertion that it does require a base from which to put the measurement to.
She also put in a couple of other quips about how does one say that what it is like to have vision unless you have been blind or temporarily lost your sight.
I look forward to seeing more responses to this question.
Personally, I think it is impossible for anyone who has lived their life as a man to know what it feels like to be a woman. We have never experienced what a woman experiences in her life - the particular biases and prejudices that they encounter on a daily basis which we as males have not.
All we can do is enjoy our femininity to whatever degree we choose to take it. I don't want to offend anyone who has transitioned or who is living their life as a woman; we all know that our feelings and emotions can be very different to those we have/ had as 'male' and how it feels to not quite fit into that category, but to know what it is to have always lived as a genetic woman is highly unlikely.
As has been said, we can only know how it feels to be us.
The question as it's based on individual feelings, emotion and experience. We are all made from the same mold so will have similar traits but hormones change the strength such as the classic 'men don't cry', but we all know they do. In some respects it can be answered as in this age men can express the emotional side and show more perceived feminine traits. How many men now do the housework, like cooking, share in looking after baby, wear 'Alice' bands and have salon treatments. There are many effeminate men out there but are not crossdressers or trans.
Crossdressers/ Transgender can begin to understand womens traits better and allow their inner feelings to come out enhancing the overall impression which matches what CIS women may feel.
If you asked 'What's it like to be a woman then menopause, the pain of birth where the biology comes into the equation which is a distinct difference as we may have an understanding but wouldn't know what it is like.
Indeed an interesting topic...
It is a very curious thing isn't it? Many of us want to "feel" like women but we can't articulate what that feeling is.
There is a concept known as the Experiential Gap, which essentially is the difference between experiencing something and being able to describe it. An obvious example is pain, we can describe all the biology, neuroscience and chemistry around feeling pain but knowing all that does not in anyway replicate the feeling of pain.
I suspect that for a lot of women, how it feels to be a woman is in part influenced by their reproductive system, periods, child birth, raising children, menopause. Whilst we tend to focus on clothes, make up and hair ...
This is a very deep and complex subject. I don't have a real answer either but as a transgender woman, I really look forward to the day when I wake up and feel my body as being feminine. I'm growing my hair out now so that helps. Hopefully, I can start HRT soon and when those body changes begin to manifest themselves, that will go a long way too.
I agree with Kim, we possess our femininity as ourselves with the feminine mannerisms that we have. We are our own woman based on our experiences so far. As a woman we worry about our hair often and if our lipstick is on straight. As a woman we worry how we sit. Some of us worry more about how our clothes look and smile when we get "the looks" or when we are addressed as ma'am.
As a woman I feel confident being out walking or shopping. I have similar fears/worries any woman has walking alone down a ill lit street at night. I have reservations about a man coming into my house for delivery or repairs.
Some aspects of being a woman like fashion, hair style, jewelry and makeup do not come to me as naturally as other women but for me I am content with who I am. When I look down at myself, I smile every time I see my figure. As long as I am positively progressing (small steps), I am happy.
Presuming your friend was, say...over 40, I would say she could very well have answered the question. I expect I could fairly accurately describe what it's like to touch a hot stove, despite having never done so. My life experiences, when reviewed should give me a very accurate idea of what that feeling is like.
More so, you do not need a comparison for every description. I could describe a painting - the colors, the content, and even the emotions it gave me - even if I'd never seen another painting before.
I would agree that having the comparative experience would certainly help me to give a much more accurate and granular description because of the ability to contrast it against something different, but that doesn't make it a requirement.
You didn't ask a specific question, so I suppose my reply above is merely that - my observation given your experience, but it's the kind of philosophical discussion I enjoy. 🙂
I don't feel or act any differently when I'm in Cerys mode. I always say that I know that I'm not rtans as I thinks like a man..... This raises the question, what does a man think like? I have typically male hobbies. I swear a lot. I had a very masculine job (industrial electrician). I've alwys fixed stuff whether it's machines in factories to cars..... All typically masculine..... But.....
I don't follow or watch sport. I don't go put drinking with the lads ( I do but very occasionally and I don't get wrecked). I love clothes shopping. I was a stay at home dad for 7 years. I'm the lower earner by a long margin. My wife is the main bread winner.
So, I've been the manly man, and the housewife. I've always felt the same.
How does it feel to be a woman? How does it feel to be a man? I doubt anyone could answer.
I have to disagree with your friend because I feel that the majority of CD's who emulate women do not really understand how it actually feels to be a woman. We concentrate on some superficial aspects such as makeup, clothing and mannerisms while actual woman also deal with childbirth, a different hormonal balance, brains that are wired somewhat differently and being raised since childhood to participate in society a certain way.
I do feel feminine and enjoy things that enhance my feminine feelings but that is merely me acting on my perception of what I believe femininity might feel like. Down deep, I do not and cannot know what being a woman really feels like.