More Nightmares Dressed As Fantasy

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So I went with a bunch of friends to protest at the UK premier of 50 Shades of Grey. This book/film glamorises the abuse, rape and torture of women, dressing it up as “kink” and calling itself a “love story”. Those of you reading this who have intimate experience of men who fantasise themselves to be women may be well aware of the practice of BDSM within these relationships*. The female “heroine” of 50 Shades is portrayed as naive and “submissive”, her sexuality being “awakened” by a powerful, rich, sadistic man who stalks, isolates, tortures and ignores her personal and sexual boundaries to the point of rape. The author of the book and director of the film claim that the heroine’s journey is one of “empowerment”, as she submits to Mr Grey’s sadism and finally “heals” him from his inner “torture” that drives his sadistic impulses. It is said that since she “consents” to such abuse, then there is no harm being done. Except that the glamorisation and eroticising of dominance and submission normalises the power imbalance of male/female relationships (and all inequalities). It portrays women as “naturally” submissive or “secretly” wishing to be dominated – even when they don’t realise it (!) – and contributes to rape culture and the gender-role stereotyping at the heart of female oppression.

So what do men who fantasise themselves to be women make of these pervasive tropes about female submissiveness and otherness? In my experience, and that of many of the women I speak to, the sexual fantasies of such men revolve around them not just “playing the part” of a woman, but specifically a woman who is “submissive”, “eager to please”, willing to be dominated, moulded, created for pleasure. A fuck toy. A thing. An object. The sexual preferences and comfort of their female partners are by-the-by – irrelevant to the workings of their inner fantasy. Intimate connection on an emotional level with these men is impossible. How can anyone emotionally connect with someone who is merely playing a role? Someone so dissociated from reality, from authentic intimacy.
These men talk about finding “a dominant woman” to play the domme to their sub. Their personal ads are full of “seeks woman to sissify and control me”, and other such lurid fantasies. Fantasies that include being bound, gagged, made to perform sex acts, forcibly injected with hormones, humiliated, kidnapped and even raped. All things that I presume they think are “natural” for a woman to endure.

The fact is, that an actual “dominant” woman is the last thing they actually want outside of their all-encompassing paraphilia. A woman who would actually say NO to them is not an attractive proposition to these vampiric men, with their offensive and misogynistic ideas of what a woman *is*. Their ideas about women are shaped by their reading of pornography, their observation of sexist and woman-hating media portrayals of women, and the stench of their own male privilege. Women, initially lured in by these men’s pledges to cater to their every whim as their “sub”, quickly find out the nature and reality of being “topped from the bottom” (to borrow some BDSM speak). Their ideas about what a woman “is” would be ludicrous if they weren’t actually horrific.
So standing waiting for an opportunity to raise our banner and make some noise at the 50 Shades premier, we were subjected to scenes from the film being shown on a large outdoor screen. As I watched scenes of “Mr Grey” preparing his torture equipment, or “Anastasia” simpering or crying, doe-eyed and vulnerable, I began to shake and fat tears rolled down my cheeks at the memories I hold inside, at the cheering crowds of women believing the lie that this represents “love”.

*Please don’t bother trying to defend BDSM, or accuse me of “shaming” or “phobia” of one sort or another. I won’t publish such comments so you will be wasting your time.

valentines day special

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A Letter To The New Girlfriend

Hello,

 

You don’t know me – at least not in person – but I am sure your new boyfriend (or perhaps he has already persuaded you to call him “girlfriend”?)has told you about me. Priming you for the possible eventuality that our paths might cross. I’m sure he has you well prepared, just as he did with all the others that came before you. All those well meaning young women.
You look young. Maybe fifteen, perhaps twenty years younger than him? He likes young women. In his head his “female self” is a young woman, crazy about clothes, make-up, partying and music. Thats probably why you have a great time with him – he has all the interests of some young women, women un-burdened by the life experiences accrued over 5 decades of a female existence in a world that hates women. He won’t ever be bored with “girlie talk”. He’s like no other guy you have ever met. Isn’t he?
I wonder, who’s idea was it to both dress up a-la Moulin Rouge for Halloween? To have matching dresses (of course his was slightly better made, his corset expensive and boned with strong steel rather than your cheaper version). Did you giggle when he asked you to apply his make up? Did it make you feel special? Did you feel you were in your own little bubble with him? The ritual of his preparation eating into your own time for preparation. But you didn’t mind – it was a special time, wasn’t it? How exciting and edgy it must have felt.
Do you know about the profiles he still has on “adult” sites? Sites for men seeking domination? For men seeking women to “transform” them into “sissy sluts”, or “male maids” or “shemales”? Have you discovered his obsession with “shemale” porn? His longing for and to be one? Do you ever wonder what he is thinking of when he lies there, eyes closed, passive (of course he is – he’s playing the part if “woman”!) as you masturbate him in his version of “sex”. Do you know he was on those sites just last week? Telling others that he needs a woman who will make him her living doll, a plaything to do with as she wishes? Willing to relocate *anywhere* for the right woman “of any gender”. Did he tell you that “it’s not about sex”? Has he tell you that he believes he is a transsexual? Did he tell you the touching story about wanting to wear a dress on his first day at school? Do you feel you want to help him? To be his “special” confidante? Do you want to alleviate his “pain”? To protect and nurture his “feminine” self? It seems like such a project, doesn’t it?

I wonder if after the special Halloween outing, he has said that he would love to go out as his “true self” *every* weekend. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Particularly since it limits where you can go to places where “she” feels comfortable, and where “she” can be sure to be seen and admired. Say goodbye to going to the cinema – too dark to be seen and flirted with by creepy men, or middle aged men dressed as 18yo party girls, so whats the point? Do you ever go places where *you* want to go? And if you do, does he go with you happily, willingly? Or is it more like being with a sulky 3 year old? Easier just to let him have his way, isn’t it?

I wonder if, when you are at home with him, he casually slips into something “femme”. Do you feel awkward, particularly with your young child there, but don’t want to say anything in case he cries? After all, he is just being his “true self” – how monstrous you would be to deny him (or is it “her” in your head yet?) this right to self expression. Or perhaps you notice that he comes home and puts a bra on. Not a simple, un-wired, barely noticeable bra, but a padded, underwired, lacy construction. Perhaps enhanced by cleavage boosting inserts that push his hormone-induced “breasts” up and out. These “breasts” that will never droop or sag, unlike your own, natural breasts. He’s very proud of them, isn’t he? He likes to show them off, doesn’t he? Have you caught him hanging out the window yet, dressed in just a bra and panties (or maybe with the addition of a suspender belt
and stockings) having a smoke? He likes to do that. I found hundreds of cigarette butts under my window. Hundreds.
So it’s easier just to manage the situation by not having friends around, or people you might have to “explain” it all to. It becomes just the two of you, in your bubble.
He’s blissfully happy, isn’t he. Are you? How do you see your life a year from now, five years. ten? Still so excited about your special bubble?

I hope you have good, close friends. I hope you keep those friends. I hope you don’t, bit by bit, be consumed by his obsession. His obsession with “Zoe”.

I hope you escape before it is too late. Before you are obliterated.

But of course that wont happen, will it? No. You are special. You are amazing. You are the woman of his dreams. His soul mate. He’s never known a woman like you. He loves you. It must be true. He says so.

On Selfies, Porn and Balls

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.

 

You like balls, Rover?
You like balls, Rover?

One is Lonely, Two is a Revolution

 

I started this blog mainly so that women who are in, or who are recovering from a relationship with an autogynephilic male can find each other, and to encourage these women to speak out against this abuse. We can be the key to exposing the lies that hide behind the carefully constructed myths that surround these men. The commonly accepted trope that these are “women trapped inside men’s bodies” for example. That it has nothing to do with sexual fetish. That “gender” is an innate “essence”, that must never be questioned. That a “transwoman” is a “woman” because they say so. Yanno. Stuff like that.

I also want to signpost women to authors and bloggers who helped me to make sense of what was going on, and who opened the door to me finding healing, and to turn pain into a righteous anger that fuels my will to devote my life to women and girls. To join the dots between this and all the other ways that women are objectified, marginalised and abused. IT IS ALL CONNECTED.  I would not have the words to express this deep insult to women without them. I would not have been here without them.

A large part of my healing process has been to *really* understand that my troubles, although personal to me, have a political basis – the oppression of females living under a system that supports and perpetuates male dominance. Some women call this Patriarchy. It’s weapon of choice is “gender”.

Understanding the basis of how and why “bad things happen to us”, is the first step toward liberation.

I am not an academic, but I can think, and I can speak from my lived experience. It has always been the sharing by women of our lived experience that has formed the seeds around which feminism has grown. Our experiences are real, and just as valid as any academic paper. Men do not share these experiences – they have no right to claim “woman” as their own. They have no right to create a parody or an effigy of us from their male bodies and then demand that we accept them as one of our caste. They have no right to speak for us. Ever.

If you are reading this, and you can relate to any of my experiences, you are very welcome to post your’s here. Or start your own blog, and we can link to each other. This blog is mainly for you. No one will judge you here.

Who/what this blog is NOT for is to engage with a variety of men who tell us they are women. I’m really not interested in your “No True Scotsman” arguments. I don’t care if you think, “Well that one over there isn’t a *real* transsexual” – you are entirely missing my point. The fact is that *all* of you guys buy into a myth that harms women. Go have your squabbles on someone elses blog. Please believe me, I have heard it all before.

Take Your Noise Elsewhere
Take Your Noise Elsewhere

As for telling me that I should have left earlier, well dudes, that just shows how far you have to go before you even have a glimmer of what it’s like to be groomed into subordination and fed shit about your role “as a woman” since the day you were born. Not. A. Fkn. Clue.

In my dreams, I would love to see the development of a movement of survivors of autogynephilic abuse. Together, we can call out the bullshit. Tell our own stories. Keep it real.

One is lonely, two is a revolution.

Gas Mark Six

Here’s something I wrote when I was asked to speak alongside Sheila Jeffreys, who was speaking about her book “Gender Hurts”, about how transgenderism harms women. In the end, I didn’t say all this, but for those of you who are interested, here it is..

 

“For the longest of time I told no-one. It is only in the past few years that I have found the words to describe my experience. Thank you, Sheila Jeffreys, and the Radical Feminist community of bloggers for the gift of words.

 

I used to have an online friend (also a partner of a man who thought he was a woman) who likened the experience of being partnered to a transgender to the frog who is put into the pot of water and the heat gradually turned up till cooked – a deliberate programme of de-sensitisation as each limit is compromised or ignored, and each line in the sand crossed by these men in their “journey”. Another woman once told me that “You give a tranny an inch, he will take a mile”…how true that turned out to be.

 

When I first met him, he spoke to me about what he called his “strong feminine side”. He confided in me that he was an occasional transvestite and that it had ruined a few relationships where girlfriends had inadvertently “found out”, or had rejected him when he told them. He told me he had a very low sex drive and instead preferred to just cuddle and kiss. That he felt more comfortable around women. He told me that he DIDN’T WANT TO BECOME A WOMAN, that he didn’t know where the urge to “dress” came from, other than a need to express what he felt were his “feminine feelings” and an attraction to pretty things. He told me he had been doing this since he was about 11 or 12….remember that detail.

I felt special that he would confide this in me.

 

It was only later that I realised that he considered those conversations as “GIRL TALK”. He likes “girl talk”.

 

I couldn’t really grasp those “feminine feelings” he spoke of, since I had never really experienced my sense of self in that way. I thought women who bought into it were un-informed – certainly none of my friends were like that. I hadn’t worn heels since I was a teenager. I never wore make up. I was a conscientious objector to the femininity game.

 

But I believed at the time that these guys are living proof that GENDER IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT. Men and women should be able to wear whatever they want, without the silly distinction of ”male clothes” or “female” clothes. To hell with gender norms….I thought it could be “edgy” and “alternative”.

 

 

Within a few weeks of him moving in, I realised that this was much, much more than just an occasional bout of self-expression for him. It was obsessive, and it had an ENORMOUS sexual component. Dressing episodes (which were at least three or four times a week) were invariably followed by “sex” (which consisted of me masturbating him by rubbing his tucked penis as he lay on his back squeezing his fake tits). On top of that, I often walked in on him masturbating. The mirror in my bedroom was moved to his side of the bed…

There wasn’t a time when he “dressed” and didn’t get an erection. Even after he started taking internet bought hormones. If anything, the thought that he was chemically transforming himself into “a woman”, held immense erotic charge for him.

 

He was a textbook autogynophile.

 

It transpired that he was also a “submissive” – a very common component of this particular paraphilia – and that nothing got him off more than being “forced” to be “a woman”. Of course “woman” meant submissive, passive, always “willing to please”…..He would work this into our “sex life” either overtly or covertly.

 

After a time, it was impossible to ignore that I was no more than a prop in this game. I could have been anyone really. I didn’t even have to exist. As significant as a gravy stain on the table. Many of the women I spoke to in what limited support groups I could find complained of the same thing. Not just the sex part, but the entire being invisible part, and a deafness to *OUR* needs, views, or opinions.

 

I discovered that he was an obsessive user of porn, particularly “shemale” porn, and BDSM fare. I had been very clear with him about my opinions on porn, and was sickened when he tried to get me to participate in looking at these men.

Time and again he would promise to stop, only to be discovered again. He would swing between crying and begging forgiveness and bold-facedly challenging me, saying it was ME that had a problem, that no-body else thought like me, ridiculing my objections and my politics, or telling me that I was paranoid, – even though the evidence was staring me right in the face.

 

He had no intention of stopping. A lot of his behaviours seemed compulsive, obsessive.

 

I discovered that he was using dating and sexual hook-up sites, saying that he was a full-time transsexual, going through the Real Life Test, willing to relocate anywhere for the right lady (of any gender – wink, wink). There was no end to his inventiveness when it came to lying about who he really is.

Using his smartphone, he created an online world for himself by inventing a fictitious life. I discovered that he had a secret Facebook profile, and scores of photographs of himself in varying degrees of undress– I am convinced that trannies invented that selfie – and that he had a coterie of dozens and dozens of young women between the ages of 17 and 24 who believed that he was a full-time transsexual, single, and struggling with finding a job in this cruel discriminatory society. He had a fictitious home life, fictitious job or non-job, a fictitious social life and fictitious friends. He even fabricated a “trans bashing” – this, I found particularly repulsive.

 

He loved sympathy and attention, and “validation” – even if it meant lying and manipulating to get it. The young women were so “Go girl!” and “Awww poor you”, toward him. Some of them called him “big sis” and took their problems to him. Otherwise it was giggly conversations about clothes and what colour to die their hair that week, musings about becoming a stripper or a fetish model, and complaining about getting “slut shamed”.

 

Oh yes, he liked his women faux feminist to match his faux existence.

 

I was outraged that he would be so bold-facedly lie to these young women and demanded that he STOP. He cried, saying , “But these are my frieeeends…”. Ignoring the fact who THEY thought was their friend is A WORK OF FICTION.

Then again, it’s not as if women are actually *real* to these men.

 

Of course he didn’t stop. It carried on as if I hadn’t said anything. Even the several times I asked him to leave were ignored.

He would just get up the next day as if nothing had been said.

 

I felt I was being driven insane.

 

My sense of self, and my belief that I was entitled to set limits or boundaries was gradually eroded as the TRANS STUFF came to dominate and shape every corner of my life. I never knew where or when the next assault to my psyche was going to come, and so I existed for a long time in a state of hyper vigilance. That is, until such time as my ability to dissociate kicked in.

I know from observing trans support groups that many of these men say, “My wife is fine with it – she just doesn’t want to talk about it or see it”.

Many women are surviving through disassociation.

 

Let’s not forget that a well-orchestrated and financed propaganda machine surrounds these men. It has the effect of silencing not just those of us who oppose on ideological principles, but all women who are within these relationships who question the idea that these men are ” women trapped inside men’s bodies “, or who’s lives have been ripped apart by these men.

I know from bitter experience of reaching out, that the primary concern is for the welfare of the trans partner, who must never be questioned as the most oppressed creature to walk this planet.

This is a double whammy to those women experiencing abuse, intensive gaslighting, and erasure of their right to name their reality and to set boundaries. Thee is no such thing as a line in the sand when it comes to trans desire. He gota have what he gotta have.

 

Even within mainstream services, support for female partners is tempered by the need to be sensitive to the needs of the transgender partner, and to avoid being seen as discriminatory. My doctor was happy to give me anti-depressants, but less happy to countenance the idea that what I was being put through was abuse.

 

Increasingly, statistics on DV within same sex partnerships count the trans partner as “female”. There is an invisiblising of male violence within these relationships, and women are suffering as a consequence. We are silenced. We are shamed. We are ereased.

 

A Scottish Government funded survey carried out by the Scottish Transgender Alliance (funded by the Scottish Government since 2007), is often cited as evidence of how very bad it is for trans women, who would appear to experience rates of abuse higher than actual women. Apparently a small, self-selecting sample is no barrier to credibility, nor is the fact that one of the crireria for abuse included “misgendering”. It is of no surprise to me that some women (partnered to a man for some years) might slip up occasionally and forget to call their Steven “Stephanie”, yet this is a heineous act of abuse – apparently. Yet there are no surveys I am aware of, of abuse perpetrated *by* trans “women in relationships. I find this a telling omission.

 

It often feels like no one want’s to hear the woman’s story.

 

For example, at one point (as a means to at least get him to LISTEN to my distress) I begged him to seek relationship counselling with me. Apart from the fact that he used the trips to the counsellor as an exciting opportunity to dress in public, and spent more time stressing about what to wear (sometimes even buying entire new outfits), than any time in self-reflection, the counsellor spent an inordinate amount of time focusing on MY inability to “accept” rather than on HIS behaviour .

 

In one session she grasped on to an incident of “misgendering” that had happened in her presence (I had said something like “Why can’t he understand?”). He had fled from the room in a dramatic tizzy of tears. She stated to me in a firm voice that she is prohibited from working with couples where there is domestic abuse. In other words, I was being accused of being an abuser. This almost drove me mad with pain and self-doubt …what if it really is me? Am *I* an abuser?

 

I can’t begin to describe the pain this caused me. I carried that comment with me for months.

 

I refused to go back. He was disappointed that his daylight trips outdoors with his repulsive “cleavage” showing were curtailed. However it did give him an excuse to now appropriate the identity of “abused woman”.    Sickening.

 

I was started to drop or loose female friends. I would be hesitant about going out with them or inviting them over: particularly with him around. He would laugh and giggle with them and I knew that in his head he was imagining he was having “GIRL TALK” with them, and the fact that *they didn’t know* that they were unwittingly playing a part in his fantasy life made me feel nauseous, and guilty, so I stopped meeting female friends with him around.

 

Then I pretty much stopped seeing female friends at all, since when I tried to go anywhere without him, (telling him that it was “women friends only ”), he would pout and huff and often cry, “It’s because I have a penis, isn’t it?”. When I was away from him he would text and phone me constantly. When I got in he was nasty to me.

 

I was growing afraid of him.

It was easier just to forget about having friends.

So my world became smaller and smaller as his “exploration of his feminine side” took up more and more space until there was little room left for anything else. It dominated every conversation and extended to physical space too. By the time he left, my clothes storage was down to half a drawer and a box under the window.

 

Even everyday purchases were fraught with meaning and reminders of my erasure. I remember having an argument in Superdrug over toothbrushes. There was only one pink toothbrush left, and I don’t know what came over me but I decided that fuck him, I am having the pink toothbrush. He “helpfully” pointed out the purple ones, and the blue ones that matched the bathroom. But no. I was having the pink one and I was going to win this tiny victory even if all the shop assistants were looking at me like I had lost my marbles.

 

We needed a phone. He said he would take care of it. That he had seen just what we needed. He came home with this….

 

shoe

 

I couldn’t bear to bring it up to my ear. My flesh crawled very time it rang.

 

I thought that perhaps if he had an outlet, the lies and stuff would stop. Lots of partners go through a similar “bargaining” phase. The gas under my pot was turned up to full.

So I agreed to escort him to a tranny club.

 

I secretly wanted to see if there would be other women there. I needed to find out if this behaviour is *normal* for trannies, and if there is anything that women had found that made their lives with these men more bearable.

 

He would be beside himself with excitement at going out “en-femme”. I could see his hard on starting from the moment he got out of his leisurely bubble bath (my bath’s were always rushed and fitted in around his dressing schedule). Getting ready was a ritual that took at least two hours. Of course, I was expected to “help”. I’m pretty sure now that he was working that into one of his fantasies he had running on loop in his head.

 

Often trips were abandoned due to some smudged nail polish, or similar “feminine disaster” that would have him stomping around in an agitated state sweating through his make-up, crying and shouting at me. Ordering me around like some demented potentate. Six foot trannies with chipped nail polish can be pretty scary, believe me.

The tranny club comprised of men, in very short, very tight “little black dresses” (had they co-ordinated this? I thought), high heels, a variety of wigs (probably two third of them, long and blonde) and a weird atmosphere I couldn’t quite put my finger on. There were other men there too (not in dresses). They sort of lurked, and leered, most of them not actually talking to the men in dresses, but often sending a drink over for one of them, followed by a raised glass and a wink from their corner – the men in dresses responding with a coquettish smile and a simpered “Thank you”. I found out later that most of the men in dresses were doing each other and calling themselves “lesbians”. I know this, because I found the photographs.

 

And they had a certain gleam I their eye…

Amy Bloom, in her article from 2002, Conservative Men in Conservative Dresses, wrote :

“The greatest difficulty people have with cross-dressers, I think, is that cross-dressers wear their fetish, and the gleam in their eyes, however muted by time or habit, the unmistakable presence of a lust being satisfied or a desire being fulfilled in that moment, in your presence, even by your presence, is unnerving.”

 

The penny finally dropped for me about what I was witnessing…

Another boundary being violated – the boundary that says “Don’t make me a part of you sexual kick, buddy”.

 

 

The experience of getting out in public seemed to turbo charge the tranny-ing at home.

 

Give an inch, take a mile.

 

When the kids weren’t around, his idea of relaxing at home was to potter about in a micro-mini and high heels, affecting a “sexy wiggle” and doing this weird thing with his hands and wrists when he spoke. I told him that women don’t go about dressed like they were about to nip down to a disco *all the time*.

He told me that he had seen “loads” of women that do, and that anyway, he liked the “council house tart” look.

I was always arguing with him about what women *actually* wore, and how sexist his stereotypes of women were, but he would insist that he was dressing like any other “girl” (despite the fact that he is a 47 year old man).

Other looks he liked were –

The “rock chic” look – think Cher in that video on the aircraft carrier. No jeans and band T shirt for this gal!

The “hooker” look – I’ll leave that to your imagination.

and

The “beauty counter girl” – Extra heavy make-up and an old lab coat worn over a bra, pants, suspender-belt and stockings ensemble. I caught him once, sneaking back into the house like that at 5 in the morning after a “constitutional”. Apparently he had been taking “constitutionals” for months , sneaking out while I was asleep. Trannies are expert ninjas as well as exhibitionists.

 

For all his faux “girly-ness”, the feminine side never extended to practical, everyday stuff that most adults have to do to get by – like helping with housework. He literally told me “I can’t do housework because I might break a nail – my long nails are important to me”.

 

Turned out he couldn’t carry heavy bags or lift heavy stuff either, cos he wanted his upper body muscles to wither away so he would be “more like a girl”. I told him lots of women have muscles. He told me that wasn’t “the kind of woman” he wanted to be. Of course not – how nice it must be to get to pick and choose.

 

He spent thousands and thousands of pounds on clothes, make-up, “beauty products”, laser hair removal and internet hormones. I still can’t see a television ad for make-up without an involuntary shiver down my spine.

He would go months without giving me any contribution to the home. Apparently he had “expenses”, and anyway, I wouldn’t have sex with him, so why should he?

 

The day came when he told me that he had “done an online test” and that he was “definitely a transsexual”. Self-diagnosis by internet is the tranny stock in trade. I was alarmed because I knew to the core of myself that these men are categorically not women. That I could never accept him as a woman. Like Sheila Jeffreys says, “woman is an honourific term”.

His story began to change in subtle ways – aided by his community of internet advisors. Now he said he had been dressing since three years old. He now had distinct memories of wishing he was a girl from around the age of five.

Many hundreds of pounds in laser hair removal and black market internet hormones later, and I was left struggling with a six foot, 14 stone hulking man with “breasts” , liable to incandescent rages one minute and tears the next. I was terrified. I began to hate him. No way was I going to wipe his arse if he had a stroke.

 

I was repulsed by him, his insulting attempts to emulate “femininity” and his freakish body. Being touched by him, even by accident, made my skin crawl.

 

I was disgusted at myself for allowing this to happen to me. I was drowning in shame. I was sinking fast.

 

I tried finding help online, but nobody wanted to acknowledge that these delusions are harmful. Rather, I was told * I* had to be educated, that *I* was “phobic”, that I should learn to embrace this. Women were telling me this as well as the trans borg.

 

Had feminism changed so much? What had happened to the idea of women being central to feminism? Why can’t women see that these are men???

I was told  that I was “homophobic” AS WELL AS “transphobic” because I refused to call myself a lesbian. WHAT?? He is a man!! What madness was this???

I went to the doctor and was given anti-depressants. Nobody wanted to hear about my problem with the trans. I was told that “she” must be suffering too.

 

I went to the LGBT centre and asked if they had a group for partners of transitioning males. The young man looked at me, puzzled, “Um, well we have a group for trans women and their friends and families…isn’t that enough?” he asked. I tried to explain why maybe it wasn’t a good idea for women who were struggling in their relationship with a male partner who was insisting he was now a woman for those women to be discussing their problems with their male partner in* the* same* fuckin* room*…..crickets. Eventually he said he would ask the tranny group what they thought. If they were OK with it, then they would “think about it”. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out their response…. More men telling women what they can and cannot do.

 

Women are often reluctant to talk about this. Whether from a sense of shame or embarrassment, or because we have seen the harassment and invasion that takes place against women who have spoken out publicly. Most commonly though, because we are GROOMED AND OBLIGATED TO CARE.

 

One of the saddest things for me, was that when I contacted the few women who I had met along the way (and who I knew to have been put through a variety of torments) to ask them if they would consent to an interview for Gender Hurts, they declined, stating that they didn’t want to be “disloyal”, or for [him] to find out that they had been talking to anyone outside of a tightly proscribed circle. Some didn’t want to risk being ejected from some of the only spaces they have to talk about this – compromised by male oversight though they may be.

 

It gets to be exhausting, pointless and depressing.

 

I know that for many, the greatest state of emergency will be what seems to be the almost unstoppable trend of lesbian women who are “transitioning”, and destroying their beautiful, healthy female bodies in the process – as well as erasing their lesbian herstory and identity.

 

I feel a deep sorrow for this state of affairs, and when I have read descriptions of what women put their bodies through, and the details of the surgeries that some go on to seek, my heart sinks at how self-hating, how female hating this is. It is misogyny written upon the bodies of women, and it is truly terrible.

 

The trend for “transgender children” is particularly horrifying and is evidence of how damaging the essentialist idea of “gender” that is promulgated by the Transgender cult is.

 

In speaking about my own experience, I hope that you understand that I don’t wish to minimise those states of emergency, and hope that what I have said will be taken in the context of how male privilege and entitlement in the guise of transgenderism, is driving a movement that has, and will continue to hurt all women as long as our voices are silent, and women remain unsupported to escape from these men, and to make sense of their oppression.

 

I believe that what women go through in these relationships is a form of emotional violence, and that work needs to be done to raise awareness among not just the wider public about what really goes on within many of these relationships, but also services that support survivors of male violence.

This is not “woman on woman” relationship abuse, and should not be treated or recorded as such. We should not be afraid to see this for what it is – male entitlement. Male violence.

 

No woman who is being abused needs to be told to have compassion for her abuser.

 

Women’s enforced compliance with male delusions, needs to recognised for what it is.

Misogyny.

Abuse.

Erasure.

I’m standing up and saying ENOUGH. “