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Society and the T-Girl
Society and the T-Girl
In cruising around various TG forums lately, I have been dismayed at the amount of blame being laid at society's feet for the unhappiness of so many of my sisters. Spend any time at all in the forums and you will become familiar with the litany of complaints, charges of bigotry and unfairness, along with demands for acceptance.
Now, I will be the first to admit that societal pressure can be a bitch. If you are different - an outsider looking in - you have good reason to chafe at the limitations and expectations others place upon you. However, in order to establish and maintain a civil society, it is essential that we operate with a set of shared values and expectations. In the ultimate expression of democracy in action, these values are set by the majority; an eminently fair and just method to set group policy. Most of the time, the majority gets it right; sometimes the majority is wrong. In my own life, I have suffered the abuses of a society that "got it wrong". I have also had the privilege of seeing society correct itself. It's a slow process, but when the stakes are high and the variables are unknown, I want the process to be deliberate.
Humans resist and, perhaps, even fear change. Individually and collectively, we question the affect of new developments on our own comfort levels. We don't understand those who are different from us, so they come under suspicion. We are all born with these traits. They provide us with a healthy level of skepticism that serve to protect us from the unknown. At the same time, we all hold the capacity for change. As we get to know those with superficial differences, we soon discover the deeper values we all share. Acceptance comes from knowledge.
When I look at the TG community today, I see a lot of complaining, but a precious few stepping up to effect change. Oh sure, there are trailblazers in the area of legal rights - a critical first step. That will only "win" you rights though. Long term societal change only comes when you "earn" respect.
So, what are we, in the TG community, doing to break down the barriers? Well, the majority of us are firmly in the closet. We're not out to our friends, co-workers, families, or - worst of all - our own partners. Some carry on closet extramarital relationships, thereby breaking their vows, dishonoring their partner, and potentially exposing them to STDs or even death. All this, and we haven't even begun to discuss the fear, disgust, and self-loathing that is rampant in the community. Ask who is at fault for this disheartening situation and the answer you get is, of course, society. Puhleeze!!!
The person responsible for this sad state of affairs is staring back at you in the mirror. How are your friends and loved ones going to respect your femme side, if the don't know she exists? How can you demand instant respect from your spouse, when your entire relationship is based on a lie? What we are really saying is that we want all the benefits of societal acceptance, but we aren't willing to suffer any of the discomfort that comes with earning that respect.
As a 30-year closet dweller, I understand the fear all too well. No one wants to be laughed at, rejected, or physically attacked, simply because they are different. The choice here is very simple: Stay unhappily in the closet and wonder what might have been, or step out and discover what will be.
Maybe you will lose your best friend, or maybe your courage will inspire them to admit something they are hiding about themselves. If you lose that friend, what have you lost? A person who would allow an article of clothing to overcome a lifetime of trust and mutual support? Sounds like a net gain to me.
Maybe you will lose a wife, or maybe you will discover you chose wisely when you married her. I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend the rest of my life with someone who loved me unconditionally. I tried the alternative once and it sucked.
Is any of this easy? Absolutely not! Is it worth it? You'll have to answer that for yourself. One thing is for certain, though: change and acceptance is going to come from knowledge. Want to change society? Start with your little corner of it. It's a lot easier for people to understand something new or different when the concept is introduced by a friend or loved one.
11/12/2005 12:53 pm
All anyone wants is fairness and justice.|
It is only right that there should be equality... but unfortunately
'life' is not fair, or more particularly lots of people put their own self interest before the needs and rights of other.
We still live in a society of "I am alright Jack" or should that be "Jane". The inequalities for ladies still exist.
Yes, we all fear change. If everything appears to be going well for us we may try to stop anything changing. But without change we will not develop..(Ed.repeat that many times, you are awful accepting
We are all responsible for what we do in this life... if my ancestors were aqful people or I came from a poor or deprived background, this does not in any way justify me using it as an excuse for my bad actions. Change and the way we are, is in our own hands and those we Elect to office are meant to be our voice.
Society is us.. so we are to an extent to blaim, for we are society
Good Post...very thought provoking.
.....................Change is good, but we must all retain our individuality. Life is what you make of it, but for some they have no choice, they have no voice.
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11/24/2005 6:11 am
Hi Jocelyn! We all haven't heard from you for awhile! Hope everything is alright with you and yours? Hope that you have/had a very nice thankgiving. Missing reading your blogs. Hope to hear from you soon!|