- April 21, 2022 at 6:02 am #640170Stevie SteinerFounderRegistered On: June 11, 2020Topics: 77Replies: 1827Has thanked: 8162 timesBeen thanked: 9367 times
I have read it many times, as I am sure many of you have.
Identifying as a female. Presenting as a female. Living My Life as a female.
What does it exactly mean for people to live like that? Probably a little different for everyone. I see the Presenting part as dressing, make up, how we walk the walk, and talk the talk, but what is behind Identifying as a female? Can one also present in a way that is not apparent to the naked eye? Can your presentation come from your feelings and is it as much attitude as anything? And in doing so, whether in dress or emotion, am I stereotyping the ideal of femininity?
I do not wear make up very often – at least not to the extent where I am “made up” – but I still feel as much feminine when not wearing it. Not being a cis woman, my entire notion of doing things – of behaving – may be inaccurate. How would I know?? I could base it on my observations of women, but everyone is different. Some women are, of course, more feminine in there presentation than others. So…. there should be no wrong way, right?
We all want to blend in, but we all want to dress up. Thing is now a days “dressing up” is not blending in. (Generalization there ).
In one way Identifying and presenting should be an objective thing, but for me it feels subjective. It’s going to be a bit different for people depending on their experiences in life, and their experiences with women(!), isn’t it?
Apologies, once again my morning musings start to ramble. 😄
- April 22, 2022 at 3:42 pm #640548Araminta PurdyDuchessRegistered On: January 23, 2020Topics: 8Replies: 426Has thanked: 847 timesBeen thanked: 1644 times
Your idea of presenting, “… in a way that is not apparent to the naked eye?”, is a bit contradictory as one infers visibility from ‘present’ and, therefore, a large part of femininity is appearance. Not, as you note, simply dress but in the way one moves, speaks, even reacts unexpectedly.
Your appearance is seen: and judged!
However, there are perhaps less visible, although certainly observable, aspects of femininity. There is the way we see ourself and what we want to see ourselves as. Or there’s how others see us and how they want to see us. Then there is our real self if we take the trouble to find it. These are difficulties that permeate most person’s lives. They simply come into relief in the context of gender variability. They have to be observed and examined as well as seen and the filters of our being and environment might even allow you to see some part of the ‘real’ self that you might become.
Then there are fundamental causes. Something in Epigenetics that has yet to be defined? For example, apparently roughly half of the human population prefers to be feminine for the most part. Is there some primal code that demands this? If there are ‘feminine’ genes, we probably inherit them from either parent. The tricky part is that not ALL of that part of the human population is female. And what really scares the straights is that some people, apparently an appreciable number, like to transit between genders or to blend femininity and masculinity to synthesize androgyny. These possible factors certainly cannot be seen by the naked eye but perhaps found and thereby we better understand ourselves.
But the presenting part? I think that visuality is key to that part as presentation is communication and sometimes verbosity or literature does not convey the message adequately.
“Can your presentation come from your feelings and is it as much attitude as anything?”
“And in doing so, whether in dress or emotion,am I stereotyping the ideal of femininity?”
Yes! Especially initially. When you begin, for example, you tend to do things you believe are necessarily feminine. As you become more knowledgable and comfortable in your femininity you sort of shape it to your needs as well as desire. Initially you may begin with an idealization that you may later recognize as not only inaccurate but a bit discourteous. Within the multiplicity of choices that knowledge gives you can more closely create an image of your potentiality that would be more comfortable striving for.
“Thing is now a days “dressing up” is not blending in.”
Why not? Why is femininity not simply a mornal human form of behaviour, one of several ways of presenting ourself that exists within the toolbox of our social machinery? Are not the less variant (in personality) unfortunate? I think it is because too many people equate sex and gender and believe that if a certain gender is not exhibited by someone of the ‘correct’ sex then something is wrong and they should be burnt at the stake or outlaws.
It’s getting better, though!
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Araminta Purdy.
- April 22, 2022 at 3:51 pm #640552Stevie SteinerManaging AmbassadorRegistered On: June 11, 2020Topics: 77Replies: 1827Has thanked: 8162 timesBeen thanked: 9367 times
I wholeheartedly agree Araminta. Unfortunately i also agree with “Too many people equate sex and gender”. Sadly, that seems to be the big hurdle for many.
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- April 22, 2022 at 4:17 pm #640568Araminta PurdyDuchessRegistered On: January 23, 2020Topics: 8Replies: 426Has thanked: 847 timesBeen thanked: 1644 times
What really annoys me is that while the concepts of ‘manliness’ versus (and I mean versus) womanliness has been with us since time immemorial, the more closely defined term, ‘gender’, as applied in human behaviour (i.e., as Psychology developed as a discipline) was increasingly used to highlight that behaviour derived from numerous factors and that not many of these factors, including one’s sex, was an absolute determinant. That’s why it was the ‘Feminist Movement’ emphasizing the element of gender politics and that gender discrimination was sex discrimination as well as disenfranchisement. De Beauvoir was adamant on that point and went to extraordinary lengths to prove it. At least i have not heard of a work, “Le Premiere Sexe”, refuting her opus. Well I’ll be darned! There is one!
“In this book, Zemmour analyses what he considers to be the feminisation of society, or rather its devirilisation. Based on an array of examples from various fields, he denounces the movement from a patriarchal and traditional society to a modern and feminised one. Zemmour also examines economic and social consequences of this movement, before building upon this analysis to explain what founded the newly immigrated’s behaviour.”
That’s in Wikipedia. See what I mean! Everyone is out to make a fast buck by catering to the public’s desire for quick acquisition of the ‘revealed truth’ as ably provided by themselves in all due modesty.
From about 1850 to 2000 things were developing slowly but nicely.
The ‘media’ (for the most part) was sympathetic and ordered their talking heads to refer to ‘gender’ rather than ‘sex’. Besides, they were tired of all of those letters from the Pro-prurience League.
And then came the Internet and the ‘official’ terminology was repeated by the on-line experts and then in theses, treatises and popular magazines resulting in some fairly carefully crafted definitions and concepts being overwhelmed by their opposites. After 20-years it has become a dogma part of which is quoted above.
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- April 22, 2022 at 9:52 am #640455Eileen BachBaronessRegistered On: February 27, 2021Topics: 1Replies: 248Has thanked: 137 timesBeen thanked: 1054 times
The whole myriad from the casual under dresser to the full time trans woman is certainly complex. Very much more confusing for those like myself who are not questioning our birth gender. No wonder there is such a high rate of drug/alcohol abuse and suicide among the trans community.
The desire to dress as a woman or to live as a woman are much different lifestyles. Each should do their best in presenting as a woman for their own age, body, and situation at hand. Plenty of GG’s could follow the same advice.
- April 22, 2022 at 9:27 am #640449Lauren MugnaiaDuchessRegistered On: November 1, 2021Topics: 5Replies: 96Has thanked: 873 timesBeen thanked: 560 times
Thank you Stevie for this topic. I have always known from a very young age that there was something wrong, that I was a girl. So the only thing for me when it came to “identifying” was accepting the fact that I am a transgender woman and then taking the steps to start living an authentic life instead of the one of pretense I had been living for far too long. When it comes to “presenting”, my goal has always been, and still is, to present as feminine as I possibly can at all times. I work fulltime as a woman at a government office. Each day I wear one of my wigs, a nice fitting pair of pants, the uniform shirt with a camisole underneath, a nice blazer style feminine jacket or cardigan, a nice pair of ballet flats and of course the proper undies. My face is made up tastefully and my nails are manicured and polished.
On the weekends I go casual with a pair of yoga pants and a nice top or t-shirt, flats, sneakers or ankle boots, my makeup will be simpler and sometimes I will just wear a headscarf (I am follicly challenged on top) But my presentation is always going to be as feminine as I can make it as it is a reflection of how I really feel all of the time.
- April 21, 2022 at 2:03 pm #640316Angela BoothLadyRegistered On: August 1, 2020Topics: 9Replies: 994Has thanked: 3680 timesBeen thanked: 4640 times
There are those that do not want to present as woman but feel feminine and dress to satisfy how they feel. It is a personal thing and there is nothing really defined but loose ground rules. This is how I see it.
To me if you identify yourself as a woman you are stating a fact that you are, ergo, a woman. The next is presenting as a woman. It would seem a blurred definition between the two statements but if you were transgender the two are separate issues. As a crossdresser you may not identify but want to present as one. A trans person may want to fully transition to make the presentation as female as they can.
Living as a woman for a transgender person is the natural goal to encompass all three statements. As a crossdresser it can be the goal but the presenting more important. Living as a woman in both cases is pretty much the same. Presenting as a woman is key as is taking up the mannerisms expected and hiding any masculine traits. Living could involve things such as work, maintaining a home and even a relationship but taking the feminine aspect.
I have to disagree with those that say you cannot transition without HRT or surgery. Here in the U.K. the health service definition states that can be all or part and even none. It is the psychology that matters. It’s the outcome the person wants to live the life as a woman because, taking your three parts a person has taken at least the last two, presented and is living as a woman. They have taken on the role as a woman by a transition.
- April 21, 2022 at 9:16 am #640225Emily SisLadyRegistered On: March 25, 2021Topics: 9Replies: 72Has thanked: 87 timesBeen thanked: 400 times
All one needs to do is go anywhere innthe public arena to find a variety of women offering their presentation of woman. Most of what I see is skinny jeans and tops to match. There is alot of athletic wear out there too as we all know.
Most women tend to wear minimal makeup, and it looks great to me. Even when I do my makeup, I try to present as if I were a woman and not someone out of the funny papers. Daytime makeup vs evening makeup can varry.
A true genetic woman doesn’t need to offer femininity as a result of her daily life, she is femininity even when in sweats and a hoodie.
Those of us who are trans/CD/gender fluid etc. Seek to present our outside self to match our innser self. I can go without makeup, put my wig on and still prsent female, even in jeans and a t-shirt. I can also wear heels, a LBD and the sexy underpinnings we all know and love and do my makeup to full effect and still present femininity.
Femininity isn’t just in dress, its in how we act, speak, listen, and live. One can put on a dress and be a man in a dress or one can be a feminine trans person in sweats and a t-shirt.
This is an area of contention for some in the trans community who feel someone who isn’t on HRT or signed up for surgical reassignment doesn’t actually meet the transgender definition, one would simply be the man in a dress to them. It is a debacle to which I do not have an answer. I just hope to be true to myself with who I am.
- April 21, 2022 at 9:22 am #640227Stevie SteinerManaging AmbassadorRegistered On: June 11, 2020Topics: 77Replies: 1827Has thanked: 8162 timesBeen thanked: 9367 times
Great points Emily.
I will say that I am STRONGLY against the attitude that one must be going through surgical reassignment or HRT to be considered transgender. Not all of us have or had that opportunity. That doesn’t lessen how we feel. 🙂
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- April 21, 2022 at 6:37 am #640174Brielle RossDuchessRegistered On: August 14, 2021Topics: 5Replies: 403Has thanked: 2011 timesBeen thanked: 1764 times
Hi Stevie, this is a good topic! I believe that since cis women have a multitude of ways to present themselves, that falls under the presentation side. How many cis women do you know who always wera full makeup every day, especially if they aren’t working fulltime outside the home? But every one of them identify as a woman, no matter what clothes, jewelry, or makeup they wear. As far as living as a woman, the cis women just live their lives assured in their identity regardless of presentation.
So, I guess it could be that just because some of us present a little less feminine (or a LOT less – giggle) we can still identify and live our lives as a woman regardless of what clothes, jewelry, and makeup we wear. It’s more than just an attitude or feeling for a lot of us, because those can change. It goes to the core of who we are as individuals.
A transwoman always feels like a woman inside regardless of the outside. Unfortunately we’ve been conditioned by society that the outside dictates who we are, not the inside. Which is a huge source of the dysphoria and bigotry we experience. If a cis woman was forced to cut her hair super short and wear “masculine” clothes, no makeup ever, clunky shoes, and still be expected to fit in, she would just wither, be closed off, and be dysphoric too.
So don’t worry about how feminine you are outside, just be thw woman you are on the inside!
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