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GREAT (and lesser) EXPECTATIONS

Frank M.Hannah.

 

Issue 2
May 1998

 
I started GRS in the early 70s. All in all things didn't go too badly, if at times a little slowly. Then I just got on with life. I conducted myself as I considered every other man would conduct himself under any given circumstances. This, for the most part, seemed to serve me well. Nobody noticed anything in me that was different, except perhaps that I did not seem particularly interested in some of the manly pursuits, such as which football team was top of the league, but then there are other men who find more interesting things with which to occupy their minds. I don't feel 'Transsexual and proud of it', not because I'm ashamed of it, but simply because I'd never heard the term until about 3 years ago.

After meeting members of Gems at the Gendys 96 conference, two years ago, and the ladies in Press for Change, I realised that I did have a very easy time compared to most of those ladies I have met. This started me thinking about it. Just why is it that the ladies are given such a hard time,whilst the men seem to sail through without too much difficulty? The first thing is, what I would call, noticability. A short man with smallish hands and feet, although a little unusual, isn't really that noticeable, especially if of the older generation, which was generally shorter anyway. Whereas a tall woman with large hands and feet is much more unusual, a fact probably accentuated by expectations by many people that women 'should' be inferior, not just in ability and intellect but also in strength and size. I'm sure Marylin Monroe was so popular not just for her good looks but because she successfully portrayed herself as a helpless, stupid and available blond bimbo. This reinforces men's view that they are in some way superior, even though women know this is not so, it just keeps both sides happy at least for a time.

The other thing is expectations. A man who has several girl friends is often thought of in a fairly good light, a cheeky chappy and quite charming. In fact, for a sailor or politician it's almost obligatory. A woman having more than one man in her life is quite definitely a slut!

As a teenage 'female' all the boys thought that I was quite a 'girl'. I rode motor bikes, went mountaineering, and could often beat them at snooker, darts and rifle shooting. They thought that I was great fun, until they realised that they were on a hiding to nowhere if it was anything more than friendship they were after. It all seems like some far off dream now. I sometimes wonder if it really happened. Maybe I'm really thinking of someone else.

Women doing men's things are often respected and applauded by both men and women, as long as it's not too extreme. The trouble only begins when sports like boxing are being undertaken. I would suppose this could be due to the already reinforced notion that women's bodies are more fragile and may get damaged, thus diminishing their childbearing capabilities, supposedly leading to the eventual extinction of the human species.

Although I do believe there might just be enough other women to keep the thing going. Should they become too absorbed in 'men's things' to remember how to keep the race going, then a quick reference to any hospital cat will soon show how a population of two or three can become twenty or thirty before you have time to change a colostomy bag.

Men doing women's things. Now this is quite another matter. Sewing a button on a shirt or showing the Hoover to the floor, if the wife is ill, that's one thing, but on no account whatsoever must he be seen with a duster in his hand.

Men should never pick up a saucepan, although they may get away with a chip pan. Should he decide that the culinary arts are what life is all about, then he must be a chef, but a plain common and garden cook is just not on. Men must have a stiff upper lip at all times. Protect the wife and kids to the death. Be willing to fight all-comers over something so trivial as to be meaningless, and work till he drops. The man seen pushing a baby's pram is quite definitely a sub-species. How on earth is he going to be fit to rush off and fight the enemy, if he gets up to sissy things like that. When the wife finally walks out on him for her lesbian lover, who at least knows how to help her have an orgasm, then he must be seen to be completely unable to do anything for himself.

A man all dressed up to the nines is handsome and debonair but a woman all dressed up is an attention-seeker or a high class whore, or maybe even a low class whore. What a world of double standards we do have.

As I meet each lady in Gendys, in Gems or Press for Change I never fail to be amazed at what a wonderful job each one makes of what must undoubtedly be a mammoth uphill struggle.

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