Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Horsexe

Re: The 'typical' transsexual woman (ie FTM)

'Unlike "classic" female homosexuals, they are reluctant to allow their partners to touch the female parts of their body. This is why they choose non-homosexual women. As far as possible, female transsexuals strive to the point of imposture to pass off as men in the presence of their girlfriends... virility is something they must possess'

- Catherine Millot
' Horsexe: Essay on Transsexuality' (1983)

Somebody gave me a copy of this book recently, and I've only skimmed it while half-asleep.This quote just struck me last night, though I'm not sure quite what I want to say about it... any comments?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Tam said...

Unlike "classic" female homosexuals, they are reluctant to allow their partners to touch the female parts of their body. This is why they choose non-homosexual women. As far as possible, female transsexuals strive to the point of imposture to pass off as men in the presence of their girlfriends... virility is something they must possess

Wow... I find that really offensive on a number of levels...

1. FTM's are NOT "female transexuals". They are not even female, they are male. If she really must identify and label their trans status then the more applicable term would be 'male transexual'.

2. Comparing transmen to "classic female homosexuals" is ill-informed and offensive. Trans identity is about gender, not sexuality. Gender is the expression of male or female characteristics, identity and traits, it is the expression of a persons mental, emotional and essential state of being. Sexuality, in this instance as implied by the term "homosexual", relates to a persons preference, when engaging in sexual acts, of the other persons gender in relation to their own. Put simply, gender is about who you are, sexuality is about who you fuck. While one impacts and affects the other, and they are irrefutably entwined, they are not the same and should not be treated so.

3. On what data is she basing her assertion that transmen choose straight women as partners? To my knowledge, through personal experience and also through the large amount of reading I have done, transmen are no more inclined to one sexuality than any other gendered person is. They are just as likely to be straight, gay, bi, queer, pan or omnisexual.

4. As inappropriate as her comparison of transmen to lesbians is, I'm also struck by the inference that no transmen allow their sexual partners to touch their genitalia, and all lesbians do. There are indeed stone transmen, as there are stone dykes. However there are also transmen who call their bits by male-identified terms and will happily let their partners suck, lick, probe, fondle and otherwise stimulate them. There are transmen who like get fucked, and consider it a bonus that they have two holes for partners to choose from. There are transmen who strap their genitalia on yet feel, and engage, with their appendage as if they were born with it. By the same token, there are untold numbers of dykes who will not allow their sexual partners to touch their bits in any way at all. They are stone, active only, non-receptive. The reasons for thier choice to remain stone vary, and the degrees of stone vary also. But their identity as female gendered is not necessarily a contributing factor, nor is it necessarily an impacted factor. Again, there is a seperation between gender and sexuality.

5. female transsexuals strive to the point of imposture to pass off as men in the presence of their girlfriends
Again, transmen are not female. They are not male imposters. They are male. They are perhaps not the heteronormative patriarchal definition of "man", but then, who is these days? They do strive to pass in society, particularly those transmen who perhaps have not yet started physical/medical transition, or who are at an early stage of this transition, but rarely is this in order to impress anyone else. It is for their own sense of self, for affirmation that the world reads them as they read themselves, and in many cases, it is for their safety that they strive so hard to emulate the heternormative definition of "man". I have seen far more examples of bio-men striving to impress their girlfriends, or any oestrogen-scented personage within a 100m radius, with their virile masculinity than transmen emulating that behaviour. The majority of transmen, in my experience, just want to blend in with the crowd... it is the cisgendered men who strut like peacocks.

Finally... "grrr" I say to Catherine Millot...

11:10 am  
Anonymous Tam said...

Adding on to that, I realise that this book is old, and hopefully therefore not considered relevant by most people who would read it... however my fear is that some people reading it would take it as truth. I can't explain how much these kind of base, gross assumptions and stereotypes anger me. I long for a world where people realise that the variations of gender identity and expression are infinite, and infinitely possible... where gender is not a basis for assuming sexuality... where sexuality is not a basis for assuming the kind of sex acts engaged in.... where a person's physical appearance is not a basis for assuming gender OR sexuality...

I think, hope and pray that we are closer to that world in 2007 than Catherine Millot was in 1983, but it scares me that maybe we're not...

11:43 am  

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