On Being An Unintentional Spy

An email recently came to me that I thought deserved it’s own post as an answer. From a lurker, it states;

“Since you still look like a woman, does this mean you are privy to their private conversations? Are you still invited to ‘women-only’ events such as bachelorette parties, girls-night, baby showers, bridal parties, etc? If so, what do you hear while at these get togethers and how does it affect you being what you say you are?”

As this is a longish question, I’m going to break it into parts. Feel free to comment or ask for clarification as needed, especially since this is a big topic.

Since you still look like a woman, does this mean you are privy to their private conversations?
Yes, though there’s been many a time I wish I wasn’t. I can honestly say that when women are “alone” aka without any men in earshot, they act entirely different, or at least talk about things that I’d personally consider to be very private matters.

Some of the topics include;
-going into great (borderline graphic) detail about their menstrual cycle**
-talking about their partner’s genital size and looks
-rating/comparing the sexual prowess of each other’s husbands or boyfriends
-pregnancy with all it’s physical/hormonal tribulations**
-their jobs and how tough they are or how they are disappointed that Coworker X hasn’t asked them out yet
-complaints about college life and the corresponding dating field
-child rearing tips
-commitment levels of various men they know/are dating
-numerous talks about fashion/shoes/clothing and hairstyles
-going over the latest flaw of women they interact with but don’t like
-what’s happening in the latest tv shows or sitcoms
-comparing how long it’s been since they had sex, and giving each other tips on how long to make their men wait
-New Age or pseudoscientific topics

I’d like to say that the all women groups that I’ve attended have also gone into further topics like philosophy, politics, finances, plans for the future of their marriage/single life, real relationship advice, religious differences, educational accomplishments, what goes on at the workplace, or current projects and hobbies they’re working on. But other than times that all-women college rallies were going on and such topics were the primary reason for meeting, I’ve never been to such a gathering. (Not saying they don’t happen, just that in my life thusfar they have not.)

Are you still invited to ‘women-only’ events such as bachelorette parties, girls-night, baby showers, bridal parties, etc?
Yes again, though for the most part I find them tedious even if I do try to stay involved with the group (and I was no longer forced to attend them once I moved out at 17). Smiling and nodding has gotten me quite far during the ones I go to in order to make my mother happy. These events are not boring per se but as they feature milestones that I have no intention of ever doing myself (or even approve of, in some instances) they kind of drag on after the first hour. It’s also interesting to note that while I’m fully expected to come to these family/family friend events, not once has any of these women offered to or accepted my invitations to go to an event that I enjoy. In fact, I’m typically met with confused looks and protests of “but why would I go to a reptile expo? I don’t like lizards”, “a videogame store? yeah, right!” or “a gaming convention? sounds like a snore-fest. I’ll pass”. Remind me again why I should devote time, travel expenses, and gifts to people who never return the favor? Seems very one sided, but I guess that’s just the way things work nowadays.

If so, what do you hear while at these get togethers and how does it affect you being what you say you are?
I’ve already mentioned most of the topics above, so I won’t reiterate them here. However, I will say this: The amount of jokes, sarcasm, and snide commentary that is directed toward men (individual or global) at the majority of these gatherings is cringe worthy. Many a time have there been remarks thrown around stating how inept various husbands/boyfriends are, how all men are incapable of proper cooking, childcare, cleaning, or shopping for the home, and how men don’t have the capacity for true friendship or love.

Now, these comments are always made in a joking manner, but to me this hardly makes them acceptable for conversation. Some examples;

“Oh, yeah…Ed has been getting on my case again for more sex. We already have it twice a month, I don’t know what he expects me to do, I’m not a porn star.”

“Can you believe Carl broke up with Sara 3 weeks before prom? And just because she had a drunk kiss with a random guy! It’s not like she meant anything by it…Men just don’t understand how to forgive and forget.”

“You know Walter, he’s just as scatterbrained as any other man. Can’t remember to pick up his socks, much less to put the clothes in the dryer. If it wasn’t for me, that man would wear filthy clothes every day of the week.”

“So I caught this guy glancing at my ass in the mall yesterday. Yeah, he didn’t all-out stare or say anything, but still…Ugh, why the hell are boys such pigs?”

“I got my hair cut and dyed a week ago, and the guy in the next cubicle over *still* hasn’t said anything about it. I don’t know what to do to grab his attention! It’s like I’m f-ing invisible.”

“So I went to my psychic a few days ago, and she said my boyfriend was holding me back from finding my true destiny. I really like him, but if that’s how things are I may have to let him go after our vacation…”

(In regards to a waiter bringing us the incorrect orders) “My God, men can’t be trusted with getting anything right the first time, can they?”

Given that I don’t think of myself as a woman, it makes me extremely uncomfortable and sometimes quite angry to hear such talk. A lot of the conversations are far more crude than the examples above, and being a part of them…even as a mere listener…has me wanting to jump up and let everyone know I’m an involuntary “spy” in their midst, that I don’t agree with most of what they say, and that I find much of it hypocritical. When I was younger I simply stayed quiet or walked away to get a drink. As I grew older, I’ve attempted to point out that NAMALT (not all men are like that) or that there are numerous things that even I know Husband X or Boyfriend Y does for the woman in question that should make up for the issue she has with him. If the conversation gets too much along the lines of unnecessary male-bashing, I’ll sometimes try to push it back on a less misandric course…but usually get talked over or accused of not caring enough about other women’s problems to just listen/support them.

Okay, I get that relationships are never perfect and that letting off some steam is beneficial to both partners, but to do it in such a crass manner and so often just seems over the top. Seriously, talking about their “men issues” goes on for over half of the get-together, and imo puts a damper on the entire event. My friends *never* speak about the women in their lives this way, even if they recently had a fight…I’ve always been disheartened to know that the feminine side does not return the favor to their men. (Or again, not in my experiences with women.)

This post got slightly ranty, but I stand by every word and can assure my readers that I did not exaggerate any of my points or alter any comments other than to make them more concise. If any followers out there want to let me know that their group of female friends aren’t like this at all…please go ahead, as I’d be happy to know. This is one of those instances where I’m happier to be the exception than the rule, and would love to be told that the female relatives/family friends I know just all happen to be narcissistic, or that there are women out there who take pains to not spend the majority of their time together talking about men or stereotypical woman topics. Comments, please! I know that not all cis women are like this, I simply haven’t met all that many.

**Yes, I do think that women should be able to discuss menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth with others. These things don’t affect me, but I understand that there are various tips and tricks that can make these aspects of women’s lives easier to deal with. However, there’s a big difference between having such a conversation during a road trip/at home/at a retreat VS at a restaurant/in a fancy hall/in a mall’s food court. There’s a time and place for everything, in other words.

Dear radfems who are visiting from Reddit:
I’ve seen the comments on your sub, and among other things (making fun of my About Me page?) was surprised to find you believe that I’m of the opinion that gender dysphoria is caused by having interests that are stereotypically related to the opposite sex. This is most assuredly not the case, which I’ve already discussed here:
https://tarnishedsophia.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/wrong-body-right-mind-living-with-gender-dysphoria/

Some commenters have stated that I should “find new friends”…none of the women or girls I paraphrased were friends of mine. They were either coworkers, friends of my family, classmates, or extended relatives. Also, my friends, who are currently and for a number of years have all been men, do, in fact, talk to me about various aspects of their lives. This includes everything from their kids’ sports games to physical changes as they age to relationship highs and lows. To say that my body type is that much of an issue as to prevent honest/open conversation truly doesn’t give them enough credit as human beings.
I understand that we have different ideologies as I’m an egalitarian and you are radical gender critical feminists…but I’d still appreciate it if you didn’t put words in my mouth or make assumptions based on a single blog post. I don’t expect a true response (though I’ll certainly allow one through if it isn’t sexist or an ad hominin attack), but hopefully you’ll find that I am not against women of any kind so long as they act like adults.
Thank you.

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34 thoughts on “On Being An Unintentional Spy

  1. Dear Mata-Tarn-Hari,
    At what level do you think it can be said that “women hate men” and why do they have that attitude? (NAMALT NAWALT etc is assumed by me). I see the opinion expressed fairly regularly that men generally like women, but women generally hate men. I wondered if you can shed some light on that?

  2. Hi Spawny. Hope your day is going well.

    I don’t know if it’s so much a case of “women hate men” as “women think they’re better than men”. Small but significant difference. Personally, it has always sounded to me like it’s a louder version of the Grrl Power mantra girls are taught in school. There’s absolutely no problem with children being told they can be doctors, engineers, astronauts, presidents, etc…but there *is* a problem when girls are told that 3x more than boys. If only half of the upcoming generation is told that the world is their oyster, what are we doing to the other half? Heck, it’s been going on for a while…my FwB is in his 40’s and he had teachers who informed him that he’d never be good at reading/writing because he’s a male and those are female superior areas.

    It’s like the echo tunnels I used to find on mgtowforums.com, unfortunately. Certain groups of men say AWALT and believe it, just as certain groups of women say AMALT and believe it. From my own experience, women seem to be more likely to internalize this idea of being superior because it’s repeated to them day after day in school. The conversations I have listened to are full of entitlement and double standards…it’s like a clubhouse mentality of “you have a vagina, so you can hang out, but you have to constantly talk about how women are better if you want to stay”.

    I don’t think men or women are inherently superior (though each sex tends to have strengths that the other doesn’t necessarily have), so I didn’t feel the need to stay. Like I said, these all-female events are very uncomfortable for me, and lately I’ve been finding it difficult to keep my opinions to myself.

  3. @Spawny & TS
    I certainly wouldn’t say all women, or even most women, hate men at all. That word “hate” is thrown around so liberally today it’s lost all meaning.
    However, both men and women want/expect the men in their lives to be strong, not just physically but mentally too. As such, men are constantly tested for weakness by both the men and women in their lives. As a caveman, you need caveman buddies that can watch your back as you go in for the kill against a mastodon. As a cave woman, you need a man who won’t run away and save himself when your pregnant, carrying an infant, and a hungry bear appears from nowhere. As such, neither men nor women have much patience for weak/cowardly men.
    But how can you tell if a man is weak/cowardly? Preferably you need to know before you actually are in a dangerous situation.
    So we constantly test men for weakness. We insult them, we abuse them, we talk down to them. We do all this to tell the weak apart from the strong. The weak will crumble under this abuse, and become that supplicating “nice-guy” husband that women grow to resent oh so much. The strong will rise above it, shrug it off and become that untameable “bad-boy” that women chase after.
    tl;dr:
    Women and men constantly abuse men to test them for weakness.
    Men do this, because taking a weak man with you on a hunting trip could prove to be a liability. Women do this because they know a weak man won’t be able to protect them and their children from the dangers of the world.
    And yes, any man who cries if you call him fat, is not someone you want with you on a hunting trip. Not because he’s fat, but because he can’t keep his emotions in check.

  4. @Master B

    Yeah, “hate” is definitely not the term I’d use. It’s a little more of a constant discontent with the opposite sex than actual hatred/misandry.

    You make an excellent point about how things used to be, and it certainly makes sense if we are speaking about how the very beginnings of humanity would have worked many thousands of years ago. But I agree with various other sex/gender speakers, in that we live in an entirely different world now (at least in developed countries, and even to an extent in third world ones). Shouldn’t we be able to use our rational minds to overcome the need to do this or at least find a healthy balance?

    For example, I’m a vegetarian and don’t eat *any* animals, though I do eat dairy products and eggs. I can do this because I live in a country where it’s not difficult at all to find vegan or vegetarian foods, and I have nutrition information right at my fingertips on how to have a safe, healthy diet. Even 16 years later, my mouth *still* waters when I smell steak, ham, chicken wings, smoked salmon…after all, I’m a human and humans are naturally omnivores. But I use my rational mind to know that I don’t have to eat meat, and I use my beliefs as motivation to not eat it.

    Why can’t the same be done in other circumstances?

  5. True. But most people *could* be vegetarian, and make a choice not to be. Could more people be introspective of their actions towards others and also just choose not to because it’s the easier path?

  6. Master Beta wrote: As such, men are constantly tested for weakness by both the men and women in their lives.

    _________________________

    This is exactly why I consider these types of MEN AND WOMEN as ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS when it comes to any type of relationship and avoid them like the plague
    they are.

  7. Master Beta wrote: So we constantly test men for weakness. We insult them, we abuse them, we talk down to them. We do all this to tell the weak apart from the strong.
    ___________________

    Its the stress from the of FACADE of Faux strength you are advocating that men are required to engage in constantly without letup or relief. That leads to an early death from heart attacks, alcohol and illegal drug addiction and suicide. One of the original goals of the early men’s movement was to help men break this toxic cycle that seems to have been forgotten by far too many of the current crop of mra’s.

  8. Yeah…I know what kind of women you are talking about…they are usually very invested in gender roles and seem to think women should have no interest in things outside relationships. I have had conversations about technology, movies, music, and the like with women…but then I have a lot of tomboy family members and friends. And too be fair I have DEFENTLY heard men say snide remarks about their wives and girlfriends so it is not just women that do that(it pisses me off both going both ways though)

  9. I notice you didn’t mention the double standard regarding that “drunken kiss”. No woman would EVER forgiver her man if he admitted to such an act.
    While there is much to discuss in this article, my time happens to be short enough to require I cut to the chase: Women don’t respect men, and this is primarily due to the fact that men aren’t women and have a different set of priorities to meet.
    For these and other reasons you didn’t mention, I’m all for WGTOW so that they can try on the role which men never satisfy for them and see how they like it.

  10. Blurkel, I don’t doubt for a minute that 99% of women would be horribly offended and unforgiving in regards to a drunken kiss involving their man. I personally wouldn’t care…it’s not like I own my lover, and if I’m being completely honest I might find it somewhat arousing. I’m not the jealous sort.

    Don’t worry…I’m going to discuss the differences between MGTOWs and WGTOWS soon. I’ve not forgotten, just trying to collect more data about single women before writing it.

  11. If to believe this post, my girlfriend and I have to trade genders with each other! Also, most of my female friends are secretly men, and most guys I hang out with are women but just haven’t realized it yet? Yep. That makes sense.

  12. Um, okay.
    Whatever floats your collective boats, I suppose. Nobody should feel pressured to “change” their gender though…if that’s even possible.

  13. Asantropontifiq,

    You and the men you hang out with discuss the shallow things that women discuss, your girlfriend and your female friends discuss the more interesting topics that men discuss, right? Do you look like a male? If so, how can you know what women discuss among themselves when men are not around?

  14. Hey, Cill.
    I’m really not sure what this commenter is trying to say, honestly. Why would his girlfriend have to change her gender to male if she’s happy as is? Why would he have to alter himself to have a more feminine gender? I never, ever would make the argument that being gender dysphoric is “better” than being a normal man or woman, nor do I think feminine brain types are superior or inferior to masculine brain types. Both are required to make the world go round, after all…

  15. Tarn,

    He might be saying his experience is the opposite of your experience of male/female topics of discussion. The result would then be thus:
    1. In his experience, men discuss the shallow stuff that you hear women discussing.
    2. In his experience, women discuss the more interesting stuff that you hear men discussing.
    3. In order for your experiences to agree with each other, some gender trading would have to take place.

    He might be saying this as a joke. 😉

    On the other hand, your interpretation of his comment might be the accurate one, in which case I’m as baffled as you are.

  16. Tarn,

    If feminists are to be believed there’s no need for gender trading. The fembots have already paved the way for us. If gender is a social construct, why no come up with our own construct for ourselves? A simple exercise of will should be sufficient. I’m being deliberately ridiculous here. 😉

    As a genuine man in a woman’s body, what is your opinion of “gender is a social construct”?

  17. Yeah, I wish there was more clarification going on.

    Another thing the radfems keep saying back in their reddit is that I’ve “internalized my misogyny” and I obviously “hold women in contempt” plus other basic insinuations that I just dislike women as a whole. I was unaware that stating *my personal experiences* with some women was akin to looking down on them or saying “all women are like this”. The internet is a massive place, and I’ve met many women (like Liz and Molly) who are interesting, kind, make excellent points, and don’t feel the need to speak down to men in order to build themselves up. Even my bolded part towards the end states that I *want* to hear about groups of women who aren’t like the ones I knew growing up.

  18. Cill, I believe it’s a percentage (though nobody yet has determined what amount). Men and women have slightly different pathways in their brains, neither of which is better or worse…just different. Every once in a great while, someone like myself will be born who’s brain and body don’t match up, likely due to environmental factors that occurred in the womb, or genetic triggers that pulled incorrectly. This is the biological part of it, and the aspect of gender that cannot be easily changed, if at all. See the book “As Nature Made Him” for a truly sad look at what happens when the medical field attempts to convince people that children are blank slates.

    Now, other parts are absolutely social in origin. The idea that a man cannot be an excellent daycare worker, or that a woman can’t succeed as an electrical engineer is caught up in generalizations and gender roles. Our brains are not so terribly different that a person of *any* sex should be dissuaded from a job/hobby that they clearly excel at simply due to their genitals or chromosomal makeup. We’ve come far enough as a species to finally say “hey, men and women of any orientation should have the opportunity to prove themselves” without trying to force them into boxes. At the same time, we should recognize that many men want to be providers rather than househusbands and many women would choose to stay home with the children or only work part time if they could.

  19. “I’ve met many women (like Liz and Molly) who are interesting, kind, make excellent points”. I’d add that those women see you as a lover of all humanity, not just half of it. I know for sure that Molly, Ezzy and Biff do. And M, who’s now read most of your stuff, agrees.

    Actually, why should I have to go on? The suggestion that you’re a misogynist is just downright ridiculous. They don’t fool anyone who knows you, I’ll tell you that.

  20. Thank you, Cill.
    It’s just so strange to be called a misogynist when it’s the furthest thing from how I actually am. I’m an egalitarian and a humanist, I am not sexist…racist…ableist…transphobic…or ageist. I care about nearly everyone I meet, and will give the shirt off my back if it would truly help another man or woman. Just because I write about the things certain women have said in my presence that I found deplorable does in *no way* mean every woman or girl is like this! Lol, people are so quick to prescribe opinions to me that I don’t have. 😛

  21. Tarn is not a misogynist. She is as kind and helpful to women as she is to men. Trust fembots to slur someone this way. They turn an account of personal observations into hate, as they are themselves full of hate. They don’t know any other way.

  22. Thanks, Molly.
    Honestly though, I think they aren’t necessarily slurring me. They just have an ideology that says X, and that people who go against X are automatically incorrect

  23. Tarn at February 13, 2015 at 8:39

    Okay, understood.

    What about the effect of males having on average more testosterone than females do? Are you able to tell us if your testosterone level is more like that of males than females?

  24. Calling someone a misogynist is a slur, Tarn. Especially in a feminist country like U.S.A. it is! See you can disagree with me and I don’t think you hate me! Fembots should learn from us, eh. 🙂 It’s not hard.

  25. Cill,

    Good question! It’s absolutely true that males have 8-10x the testosterone as women, and this causes many physical differences like an easier ability to build muscle, have a deeper voice, or grow facial hair among other obvious things.

    From the research I’ve done on gender dysphoria, it’s not so much that FtM people like myself consistently produce more testosterone than normal women. The masculine brain type is created by the androgens present during fetal development, and makes us more susceptible to the testosterone our bodies naturally have. The pathway isn’t created at puberty, but before birth. Cool, huh?

  26. “Since you still look like a woman, does this mean you are privy to their private conversations?”
    Under this heading, you list the stuff women yak about. It is what I hear them yak about too.

    So that makes 2 of us with same experience of girl talk on different sides of the world. They sometimes freeze me, as I don’t like girl talk.

  27. Fascinating!

    “more susceptible to the testosterone”
    Is the susceptibility a result of high levels of testosterone, or do the androgens make you susceptible to female levels of testosterone?

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