I’ve always known I was working class, even before I had the words to articulate it. Aged three, I used to call my dinner “tea”. My father, a high court judge, hated it but I kept on doing it all the same. I’ve no idea how I just knew the word “tea” was working class for “dinner”. I guess it’s something that was just in me.
Back in the 1980s no one ever discussed working-class children who’d been falsely assigned middle-class status at birth. It was as though we didn’t exist. Because of this I’d retreat into a fantasy world where I’d been swapped at birth and Den and Angie off Eastenders were my real mum and dad. I couldn’t talk to my parents about this. My mother, a bus conductor’s daughter and the youngest of six children, was always telling me how lucky I was with my holidays abroad…
This morning, I heard the postman put what sounded like two packages through the letterbox. They landed with two soft thumps on the doormat. I went to retrieve them and saw that there were two manilla jiffy bags, adddress side down on the mat. It crossed my mind that they might be books that I had ordered from the USA some weeks ago, but I knew as soon as I picked them up, before even looking at the addressee label, that they were not for me, and they contained things that I would rather not think about while I go about my day to day life.
They were both addressed to my torturer. Both packages had the familiar weight and “feel” of the many packages I picked up over the years as they arrived in a steady stream from online suppliers of “sexy lingerie” promising delivery in “discrete plain wrapping”.
I stood in the hallway with the two jiffy bags in my hand, re-reading the name on the address label and feeling increasingly sick.
He has been gone from my home for some time now. Why am I suddenly recieving these packages addressed to him again? A wave of paranoia swept over me as I speculated on possible intent. Obviously, it could have been a mistake on the part of the supplier of “sexy lingerie”, but I couldn’t help worrying about how perhaps he has done this to give him an excuse to show up at my home on the pretext of picking up his mail. I don’t have a forwarding address for him, and even if I did, why the hell should I take time out of my day to go to the post office so that he could receive his objects of perverted desire? Maybe he just wanted to show me he could still get to me? His sick idea of having the last laugh. Why was this happening? Why now?
So many of these things arrived over the years. Large boxes containing high heeled thigh length boots. Rolled packages, the hard strips inside a tell tale sign of a corset. Dresses. Stockings. Girdles. Shoes. Handbags. Teddies. Baby doll nightdresses. Catalogues. Sometimes they would arrive addressed to his “female” name. He loved shopping. “Treating [femme name]” it was referred to. One Valentines day he “treated” “her” to expensive perfume and a red bra and knickers set. I was taken for a meal while he wore them under his jeans and sweatshirt. He would tell me that he was buying things for “her” to dress in as a treat for *me*, then expect me to ravish him. Ignoring that I barely touched him at all. That I had screamed at him that he is “A FUCKING PERVERT – GET OUT OF MY HOUSE” more times than I can remember.
So, you see, I am wary of surprise packages.
I made a cup of tea. Cried some. Got angry. Cried again. Switched off the entry system to my flat in case he decided to “drop round”. Switched my phone off. Hunkered down. I was supposed to meet my daughter this afternoon, but I cancelled, choosing instead to go back to bed where I spent the day in dark depression.
I have days when I barely consider my life before. The years in numbness and disassociation. Walking around like a half-dead person with flat emotions, unable to feel joy or pain. Then something like this happens, and for a few hours I cry. I cry for my lost years. For the lost me and for the part of me that died.
I want to reach out to every woman who has ever been hurting inside with no one to tell that to. Who has tried to speak and been told that they are being ridiculous, or that they have to learn to “accept”, to “have compassion”. Who has kept secrets they didn’t want to carry inside them. Who has feared rejection by the “normal” world. Who has smiled when they feel dead inside. Who has buried their anger so deep that the thought of it escaping terrifies them. Who has ever lost themself.
You are not alone. I’m holding your hand, as those women who helped me find my sanity held mine. I love you, my sisters.
I will be putting the packages back in the post, marked “Not known at this address”. I did think of dropping them off at the pub he drinks in with a note attached saying “STOP GETTING YOUR PERVERT UNDIES SENT TO MY ADDRESS”, but I know that would backfire and get ugly. So I’ll settle with giving him the hassle of tracking down his frillys.
Just one of the things that baffles and distresses many partners of autogynephilic men, is the apparent need these men have for posting “selfies” on social media and file hosting/sharing sites. What gives with the trans and the selfie? Really, what is going on here? Say the word “selfie”, and it probably conjures up a face pic, perhaps. Someone smiling or pouting into the camera, perhaps with a landmark in the background, or a kitten held to the face.
In the case of autogynephiles, these photos go way beyond the flirty head and shoulders shot (that’s when a head is even visible in the photo), and stray into the territory of faux “glamour” shots, or even full on pornography. Often times, it is a disembodied body part – I could pay my rent for a year if I had a penny for every “looking down the stocking clad legs to the shoes” shot. Or a body shot from the neck down. I see two functions for these headless shots. One for the sake of anonymity (what if Bert’s co-workers found that!?), the other because they just don’t “pass” – and anyway, who needs to look at the face when one is banging one out? For the record, my torturer is particularly fond of photographing his repellent, hormone-induced “breasts”, cupped in his hands with his oh so long nails on display. Conjuring up that image is actually making me queasy. Apologies to those of you with a delicate constitution.
Discovering such photos on a phone or a computer, and quite likely (with a bit more digging) hosted in the public domain on sites such as Flickr, is a sick-making experience. In fact, if you are brave, go to Flickr, search for “transgender”, look at what you find.
Reading the comments underneath from similarly deluded men such as “Wow, babe, gorgeous!”, or “Mmmmmm, yummy – show me more, hon.” almost made me vomit on more than one occasion. And no matter how many times I asked him to “STOP THAT SHIT”, it never would. More and more would appear. As usual, my voice may well have not been there.
He would say things like, “I like to look at them when I’m depressed. It cheers me up”, or “Some sites won’t let you join unless you have photographs” (what sites, I would wonder, require members to post semi-nude pictures of yourself??) Or “I like getting feedback as a woman”…. the “validation excuse”, as I called it. The fact that this “feedback” consisted of men (in dresses or otherwise) telling him how much they wanted to “fuck his tight, Tgirl pussy” wasn’t lost on me. This wasn’t the validation of “Hey, you are a strong, gifted woman – I like your character and views on the world!”, this was the “validation” of a porn soaked-man’s idea of what “validation” means to women.
I don’t argue that there are girls and women out in the wider world for whom pleasing the male gaze is a source of validation. Anyone with a smidgeon of feminist consciousness could un-pack the politics behind that. But the fact that this was *the only* form of validation being sought….I told him countless times that I didn’t even want to be friends with the “woman” he thinks he is, let alone a romantic partner.
In my time online looking for help with this whole experience, I would often ask these men why they did this. I didn’t ever get what I felt was an honest answer – too invested they were with normalising the obsessions, and papering over the obvious sexual motivations. And over time I saw many partners come into these “support” spaces and ask the same question – “Why does he do that?” Maybe I can’t ever get to the answer of that (I can certainly theorise), but I can speak about the impacts on myself, and on other women who have found themselves dealing with this behaviour in their relationship. I was disgusted and alarmed. I felt betrayed, and gaslighted by the excuses and lies. I felt powerless to stop it. All the female partners I spoke to shared these emotions.
One female partner, who I became quite close to, spoke to me of her disgust at finding a carrier bag under the desk where her husband used the computer with sperm encrusted socks and towels in them. He liked to play the submissive and had many photographs of himself as “Maid M*******” (I don’t want to publish all the name out of discretion for his wife). The socks and towel were from his hours and hours in front of the screen, reading comments and viewing photos that other “maids” and “mistresses” had left under his thousands of photos, and in chat rooms for the perverted.
Yet still they insist it is “not about sex”. They insist this to their wives and girlfriends who they tell that it is a result of an innate “femininity”, that they are “born this way”, that they deserve respect and honour for their feminine selves…
And it doesn’t just stop with a few “cheesecake” photos. Like most of the behaviour common to these men, it escalates. More and more photos, more and more sites, more and more fetish. On and on and on. I knew it was never going to stop when I found pictures of his panty encased (sometimes exposed) penis on a photo sharing site. He admitted to me that he had an online “mistress”, and one of his “tasks” was to post a photograph of his penis (and make sure he was wearing underwear of her choosing) any time she asked for it. So this could be several times a day, and even in the middle of the night. He would recieve a text, and he would pop to the bathroom and take a photograph and post it on the site. The mental image of him furiously wanking in a toilet cubicle at work and taking a photograph of the result to post on the internet for all to see won’t ever leave me. It didn’t seem to register with him that this “mistress” was quite probably another fetishist in a dress, and not the woman in the porny images on the profile for “Mistress Carolyne”. It didn’t seem to bother him that once out there, he couldn’t take the photos back. In fact that seemed part of the thrill for him. The “exposure” fantasy so common in these men and their demands for “forced feminisation”. In the end, it is all porn. In the final cut, these men are their own pornography. Viewer, actor and distributor. The male gaze catering to the male gaze.
Another time, he accidentally sent me a mirror shot of himself taken in a toilet cubicle (the kind with a sink and mirror contained within the cubicle) of himself in a corset top with his skirt pulled up exposing his crotch and suspenders. He sent it by SMS. While we were out for an evening. So even when we were having “a couple’s night out” the photo taking and sending wasn’t abated. The sexual haze was strong.
(Who am I kidding? “Nights out” never actually involved me.)
Even prior to the internet, men who think they are women took photographs. The film developed and printed by private and “discreet” services catering to the needs the “fetish community”. There is a long history of this behaviour, and archivists have uncovered photographs of men dressing in clothes normally assigned to women that go back to the earliest days of photography. Some of these were made into postcards for private consumption and sharing. Just as the images produced today are.
More recently there are the photographs discovered in a thrift shop that went on to form the basis of the book Casa Susanna , a collection of photographs of transvestites from the 50s and 60s taken at a hideaway ranch in the Catskills. These photographs are described a “poignant” and “moving” by the gay man who found them and gathered them into book form. The book is now considered a cultural classic, and Harvey Feinstein has even made a play about it. I can’t help but wonder if these men’s wives (likely unaware of their husband’s “hobby”, or living in silent fortitude while their husbands took off for weekends with others who shared their “fantasies”) would have thought these photo’s “poigniant” …
One more story involving photographs. The torturer and I were in a “tranny friendly” bar one time. There were two old transvestites there. One I dubbed Mrs Silk because of his obvious satin fetish. The other I named “Wee Ernest Borgnine” because well, he looked like a short Ernest Borgnine in drag. They asked if they could join our table, so we made room for them.
Ernest Borgnine, pretty much out of nowhere, leant over the table and said to me “Do you like balls?” I must have looked slightly taken aback, since he followed that with “I mean, do you like going to balls?. Still slightly phased, I replied do him that no, balls aren’t really my thing, in fact I don’t think I have even been to or invited to “a ball”. He asked me, “Would you like to see photos?. Not knowing what to say to that I mumbled something like, “Hmm, yeah, s’pose so…”.He produced from his handbag, not a phone with some snaps he had taken stored on it, but a photograph album. In fact I saw in his bag that he had three or four more such albums. He proceeded to show me these photos of himself and other transvestites at what looked like formal functions held in hotels. He wore an impressive arrange of formal gowns, as did his friends. I honestly didn’t know what to say to Ernest Borgnine till he came to one particular photograph. It was of him, in a white halter neck pleated dress posed in Marlyn Munroe’s iconic, legs apart, bent slightly forward pose from “The Seven Year Itch”. His Borgnine face grinning into the camera, a fan heater on the floor in front of him, blowing up the skirt of the dress and showing his skinny man legs encased in nylon. “Um, well, that’s quite a pose”, I said. He beamed and told me that he had even better ones than that to show me, as he reached into his bag for another album.
While I’m working on a post on narcism, trans selfies and home made porn, please check out one the best bloggers on the interwebs writing about transgenderism and it’s harms to women. This woman is quite brilliant. And that’s not hyperbole.
Recently, the Huffington Post gave a platform to a transactivist who, in order to open them up to harassment, actively seeks to publish and distribute personal information – home addresses, home numbers, photos – of women who disagree with him. He justified his actions by likening women who disagree with him to Hitler. (And I’m not linking the shit here, but if you want to find it, it’s called “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism” What Exactly Is It, And Why Does It Hurt?” By a person called Kelsie Brynn Jones.)
In the piece, the writer liberally employs use of the pejorative, TERF; TERF is a slur used against feminists whose feminism does not center around the wishes and desires of males. And for the most part, the piece is the same old drivel we’ve heard before from transgender activists with deeply hurt feels – lots of misinformation, and LOTS of hyperbole. Oh…
While you want for my next exciting episode I am reblogging this post from Sarah Ditum, who expresses so eloquently the politics behind my motivation to expose my private herstory in this blog.
I am not immune to curiosity about what others have been saying about me, this blog, and my percieved motivations. While Googling “naefearyy”, I came across a number of posts and conversations between trans “activists” and their “allies” and (as expected) I found reactions ranging from, “She is playing the victim,” to, “if she wasn’t a bigot she would understand her partner’s pain” to” She just hates trans women because of one bad experience,
she is tarring us all with the same brush” to “She is lying”…
The point of this blog (I know you are reading this, assholes) is to allow the silent women who have been subjucted to this particular form of emotional abuse at the hands of men who think they are women (those same men who are held up as saintly victims by the transgenderist cult) a space to speak our truths. And also to assure all women experiencing or having had experienced this abuse that it is *not your fault*. That it is all connected to the system of *gender*, that has been and continues to be wielded as the ultimate tool of female oppression. The transgenderists want us to believe that femaleness is nothing more than a “feeling”. We know that it is a brutal reality experienced since birth. Only men have the entitlement to deny that. “Gender” ensures the continuation of that privilege. Sara Dittum spells that out below. Enjoy.
“Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none;
If you be one, as you are well express’d
By all external warrants, show it now,
By putting on the destined livery.”
– Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Be that you are. The impossibility of that phase – delivered by the corrupt Angelo to the virginal Isabella – bit into my brain when I read the play at 16 for my A-levels. If you are something, I wondered, then how is it possible to not already be it? The answer is something I didn’t understand then, something that at 32 I am dimly beginning to comprehend; and the answer is intimately entwined with the vicious double-nature of the category “woman”.
Simone de Beauvoir grasped the same awful truth Angelo expresses when she wrote: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” In these gender-worshipping times…