How to be a Woman Through a Male’s Eyes

Update: Thanks to our wonderful friend Desertwolf (see comments) who has provided meaningful insights and information on this post. I’ve made a few corrections on this entry but there might still be some errors but the post generally stays the same as the original. I advise you to read the comments section for further explanation. It can also give you more ideas on the subtleties between the semantics of different terms.

This was also inspired by Steve Pavlina’s post How to be a Man but I don’t think this is what he originally had in mind. LOL. 🙂 So I didn’t submit this. I originally wrote this first before writing How to be a Woman- Her Three Stages because for some reason, I was more inspired putting myself in a transsexual’s shoes and how she would feel if she were to embark on her journey in becoming a real woman. I also had writer’s block just thinking on how to present How to Be a Woman in a different way so I thought I better just get some writing done and get the writer’s juice flowing and maaaaybe, it’ll come. And you know what? It worked.

So if you’ve got an open mind and are not in any way offended, continue reading and enjoy the article.

I. The Child

This is your awakening. You realize you are trapped within the wrong body. But you go about innocently dressing in the trappings of the opposite sex. You pout because your mother won’t let you join your friends in playing dress-up. Instead she directs you to those heathens with their primitive guns and ugly war cries. Your sisters shoo you away when you want to watch them dress up and put on make-up for their dates. You wonder why your brothers also do the same thing reasoning that you behave differently when they’re undressing. You feel like an outsider that don’t belong to any world. You realize you will have to endure a lot from the cruelty of your peers when they realize you’re an abomination of society. And not wanting any of that, you put on a façade of false identity, wear those horrible pants and strut around, pretending you like G.I. Joes.

II. The Teen

The façade is crumbling. You don’t know how long you can keep this up anymore. You feel as if your entire life is a lie. But society’s wrath is more brutal if you come out now. You will no longer enjoy the company of your female friends who thought you are flirting with them when all the while you’ve been listening to their beauty tips and the latest fashion trends for fall. Worse, you will be kicked out of your sacrosanct locker room which has been your haven all these years, your eyes stealing appreciative furtive glances at the tan magnificent bulk of your own species.

You won’t be allowed to play sports anymore. To your own surprise, you have proven to be very athletic and coaches want you on their teams. No wonder our motivation is often sky high when you see the tight uniforms of baseball players. The rising skimpy colorful shorts of soccer players. But in the end you choose football. You relish the brutal crunch of another body’s embrace impact and the rare view they give you before the game starts.

But day by day, you feel surer that there is nothing else you’d like to do but put on lipstick and a Valentino dress.

III. The Woman

Finally we come to the part where you can’t take it anymore. Damn the locker rooms! Damn sports! If you can’t be true to yourself, what is the point of living? Rather you live your life the way you want it or not live at all.

You’re sick and tired of all these years of pretending and heap lies upon lies.

You change your major from Business to Interior Design. You grow your hair long. You throw away your horrible pants and shirts. You finally buy Channel, Dolce and Gabanna and that fire-red engine lipstick you’ve had your eye on for months. You are free.

And yet in the outside world, you’re not. You’re now an outcast and a fag. You get kicked out of your team and you have to say farewell to your locker room. Your female friends shun you for being a freak. Your parents are stunned silent, horrified and would not speak to you for days. People spat and beat you at times for being true to yourself. After all, we live in a society of lies.

But in the midst of your alienation, others like you sought you out. You find the utmost comfort in their companionship. They help you go through the adjustment phase within yourself and those around you. They give you the courage to stand up to the people, look at them in the eye and say, “This is me. No bullshit.” Most importantly, they give you a gift far more precious than anything you’ve received. The truth that you are not alone.

And so your training towards the path of becoming a woman has begun. It’s hard but you savor in it. You learn to change the way you walk. More delicate and refined steps now. You learn to modify your syntax, your choice of words, the way you pronounce certain letters. Train your voice to become softer. Watch how you tilt your head. Your posture. Your mannerisms. Everything.

But as you progress in your metamorphosis, you discover there’s more to being a woman than just wearing pretty clothes and make-up. There is the ability to express emotions freely. To hug somebody without reservations. To be able to empathize immediately. To give you all her attention’s worth as you spill your problems. To be able to give you her shoulder to cry on. To listen and to rely on her intuition as well as others. To nurture. To be able to give and to receive. To love with all her heart and soul without misgivings. To bear and bring up a child into this world –something that sadly you can never do.

You will have to study all of these. Woman is a vast wilderness just waiting to be discovered. Mankind for centuries has yet to uncover her mysteries. But it doesn’t matter, you realize. After all, you have your whole lifetime to learn.

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9 thoughts on “How to be a Woman Through a Male’s Eyes

  1. Desertwolf says:

    ‘gay’ normally means ‘homosexual’ and what you’re talking about here in transsexualism. It would be very discriminating and ignorant to say that men who sexually and romantically prefer their own sex really are or want to be women. It is true that many gay men are and/or act ‘feminine’ – it may or may not be most of them.
    Feminine gays is a stereotype and something very visual and noticeable, therefore it can seem to be the norm among gays, but that does not necessarily make it true.
    Some gay men might act ‘feminine’ – that does not mean they want to be women, that is a whole other thing, as I said, transsexualism.
    Restrictive social norms about gender and sexuality can confine a person, saying, for instance, if they like men they must to be a woman (a rather homophobic view I’m sure you’ll agree), or to conform to gender roles and social norms for partnership, one partner has to be feminine.
    Some gay men might act feminine because they think they have to be that way. Some might be or act feminine as a way of rebelling against a restrictive society, acting drastically different from how society tells them to be as a man because they feel opressed. Some might be or act feminine because it feels good or natural to them, but not want to be a woman or feel that they are just because they have traits that are normally associated with women, but feel they are freer men when they allow themselves to display feminine traits.
    Men who want to be women, or the other way around, are called transsexual, not gay (usually at least and then not without some explanation that that is what is meant), and wanting to be, thinking and feeling that you are, another sex than the body you were born with has nothing to do with being homo- or heterosexual. Those are simply two different things.

    P.S. I actually thought this was quite a nice post, trying to see the world through another’s eyes. Only the assumption and mix-up of ‘gay men want to be women’ is offensive and often hurtful. This reply was not written with anger, I merely wished to express my views and knowledge as a person who has some awareness of gay and transsexual people and the issues they face, and to try to fight ignorance. 🙂
    May we always increase our understanding of those who differ from the norm and our notions. 🙂

    With compassion
    Desertwolf

  2. ksyu says:

    Wow. Thanks a lot Desertwolf. I’ve made some changes in the post now. Thanks for pointing it out to me and for the compliment. My brother is gay (I hope I’m using the term ‘correctly’) and I was thinking mostly about him while writing this post. But he is by no means transsexual. He just prefers men than women. He sometimes acts effeminate (more of a bitch than me actually) but still has ‘some’ of his masculinity. He’s a young Will in Will and Grace.
    Your compliment here not only help woke me up to the mistake I made, the terms I carelessly toss about but this could also help educate those who were like me –ignorant in the dark about all this.

    Very grateful. 🙂

  3. Desertwolf says:

    Thank you, ksyu, for the positive response to my comment! Your response is heartening, and proves what I thought, that you are intelligent and open-minded. 🙂
    I also thought a lot of other people who might visit your blog, and the reason I wrote so many things was that I was trying to cover all the bases with regards to all the different people that might see it (if I had thought only of writing to you, it would only have been a short heads-up of ‘identifying with the other sex vs. sexual orientation in your post’, based on my positive assumptions about you). I was surprised after I posted it, though, to see that it was that long :-p guess I got into my rambling mood…

    A few more things, since we’re doing well: you’ve changed the first definitive word from gay to transsexual – but the full post keeps a few implications originating in the thought of a gay man (you wrote:”your eyes stealing appreciative furtive glances at the tan magnificent bulk of your own species.”). Which doesn’t really fit. Though the reader has now only been told that the person is transsexual (with clear implication that it’s a male-to-female transsexual we’re talking about), and it starts and ends with a person wanting to be allowed to be a woman, and that is clearly the theme that stands out most strongly, there’s the now out-of-nowhere idea that the person is attracted to men – as a man attracted to men, it seems in that sentence. A MtF transsexual would probably not feel men were their ‘own species’ the way it’s specified in that sentence (think of how such people feel ‘trapped in the wrong body’). The further mentions of sexual attraction to men are also a bit off the subject manner, as the transwoman might not be heterosexual – though there is certainly nothing wrong with thinking it likely that she is, the undertone that she must be can hurt some.
    On another note: you use the pronoun ‘he’ in the beginning. One should always use the pronoun of the sex the person identifies with, as a matter of basic respect. I have been told that transsexuals also prefer that the pronoun of the sex they identify with is used even when referring to them in their past before realizing, coming out as a transsexual, or having surgery.

    On altering the post at all: it’s tricky, the way it’s written, with the two things (homosexual and transsexual) mixed up. It is of course your choice what you do with it – I’m just glad we’ve got these comments here 😀 – but if I were in your situation, I think I would have kept the post in it’s original form, but with a note at the beginning pointing out the errors in it, and maybe a ‘see comments’ for further explanation. Else, you have to alter it carefully. And I think a ‘pointing out of errors’ might bring more light to the subject – I have learned some of my best lessons from critique of mistakes.


    For more information, wikipedia currently has some extensive articles on these matters. links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transwoman
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transsexualism

    Again, thank you! Open-minded people like you make the world a better place 🙂
    – Desertwolf

  4. ksyu says:

    Wow. I’ve got an editor and a consultant in one. Sorry this was late. Like other comments, yours also got mixed up in the spam bin.

    Hmm…. I do see your point that transsexuals usually see themselves as a woman and thus would equate men as ‘different species’. I remember reading about Virginia Prince (couldn’t remember before or after this post) but it left a huge impression on me. I also forgot that they stuck to using the pronoun ‘she’ all throughout her bio.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to implement them now. “of your own species” will stay as for me, the narrator is still at the stage of confusion as most teenagers are, caught between the two doors of male and female sexuality, yet increasingly getting deeper into the latter while still keeping up appearances in the former.

    Constructive criticism is always welcome. I’ve found mistakes lead to further growth. Here’s to greater awareness!

  5. Bobby Revell says:

    Very interesting article Kate! In writing my novel, I have written different sections from different perspectives–first person, third person etc–and to give some characters more potency, I’ve written from first person perspective one of my female characters. It’s been quite challenging, but very rewarding–especially since she suffers from extreme psychosexual disorders among many other problems–not to mention she is a vile psychopath.

    I’ve gotten into their heads so far, I feel like they are real people I know. I actually had a dream about some of my characters where I had dinner with them…LOL! This article is useful even though it is about something a little different–still useful.

    Anyway, I am pilfering through your archives as I await your next installment 🙂

    • Kate says:

      Awww.. Thanks Bobby! Different perspectives can indeed be quite challenging
      not to mention deciding on what POVs they might be in. I salute you on
      taking on the difficulties of getting into a female sexual psychopath’s
      mind.

      You must think of your characters a lot to have a dream about them. One of
      my stories was inspired by a dream I had called Dinner with
      Shakespeare.
      But I think Sex with
      Fairieswould
      be more your cup of tea –fantasy mixed with some sexual perversity
      and a pinch of schizophrenia. It’s in my archives.

      Thanks for being so patient. Work has been a DRAG. We’ve got so many demands
      this week that I’m tearing my head in frustration at not being able to
      write. Don’t worry. It’ll come.

  6. Charlotte says:

    Hi, I just kind of wanted to say that was one of the more thoughtful articles written by someone who isn’t either trans or actively involved in trans issues. I want to thank you for that, it’s a rare thing. 🙂 The “your eyes stealing appreciative furtive glances at the tan magnificent bulk of your own species.” actually wasn’t offensive to me at all since I thought you where saying that she’s a lesbian. I didn’t actually get that there could be other meanings to that until Desertwolf pointed it out. 😛

    One thing that does bother me a bit is that the article gives a bit of a fatalism feel in the sense that it feels that trans people will always just be a “boy in a dress” or a “girl in pants” or something, especially in the last part. The way you come across kind of rules that out, and I tend to pick up rather weird things so it’s probably nothing. But I just thought I’d mention it. 🙂

    Anyways, I thought it was a lovely article, there should be _way_ more humans like you. 🙂

    Charlotte.

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