Saturday, April 6, 2013

Looking over my Shoulder

"Male Privilege" has long been one of the hot topics directed at the transgender woman.
The most common lost privilege is perceived gender intelligence of course. The most dangerous loss of so called male status has to be personal security.
Recently I went to a fairly good sized club in an area of town where most of the gay venues are clustered together. A trans girl friend and I decided to go "gay" for the evening since we simply haven't been there for a while. Of course once we got in there, I discovered I had left my phone in the car and god forbid I just had to have it.

It was dark and I had to walk across two dark parking lots to my car. I thought nothing of it until I was about halfway to the car and did start to look over my shoulder a bit. I did know the area well and know it to be well populated and safe so I wasn't being a total paranoiac mess but the thought was there.

The safety concern should have been there for me and all of us of course! As with any genetic woman who grew up knowing the gender parameters of safety, we need to know it too.

My first lesson came years ago.  You may remember me mentioning knowing a very diverse small group in nearby Columbus. By diverse I mean there were a couple of transsexual women who were gearing up for SRS, cross dressers, a few spouses and one admirer. Of course at that time I didn't identify with any of those groups and had no idea what transgender even was (this was the early to mid 80's).

Approximately most of us would get together at one the homes. On occasion my wife would go with me to these get together's and sometimes not.  One of the evenings she did go with me I learned one of the first rules of feminine safety...don't get cornered!

As I got dolled up for the evening, we were having the usual battle about how I was dressed.  To put it mildly, provocative was the word she used. Too much make up, too much hair and too much leg just about covers her criticism. She was right and proved it that night.

The "admirer" was a big man. I'm guessing he outweighed me by at least 50 pounds and was 4 or 5 inches taller. I had met him before and didn't think much of it when he started to chat me up in a narrow hallway around the corner from where the others were. Slowly and then quickly he had me pinned close to the wall. For the first time in my life I felt I could be overwhelmed physically by another human.  My mind was racing on how a woman would or could get out of this if a man like him tried to really push it.

About that time my wife came around the corner.  As she was so adept at doing, she let me learn my lesson and let the admirer push a little farther before she stepped in and rescued me. Lesson learned. Of course I had to hear the infamous "well you dressed like a tramp, what did you expect". In reality, I was trying the "tramp" method to be validated as a woman. The worst path I could take.

So many years later, I realized the lesson so long ago set me on a positive path. The world today is a meaner more violent place and we all need to be careful.  I'm a total believer the female privileges we gain outnumber the male ones we lose. But losing the security card is certainly one to be aware of and be careful with.

Don't think pepper spray in your purse is a frivolous addition to your purse!


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