I once read an account written by a trans woman physician who had transitioned in place while working on the staff in a large hospital  where she was surrounded by professional men who liked to think of themselves as liberal/progressive.

She said that, when she started to look and sound like a cisgender female, her cisgender male colleagues, who certainly knew who she was and didn’t seem to realize that they were doing this, started to treat her as if she had lost 30 IQ points.

They also tended to look at her chest more than her face in conversations and sometimes didn’t hear anything she was saying.

I suspect that most of them would deny being attracted to a trans woman, but it certainly appears otherwise. (Someone page a graduate student in social psychology looking for a thesis topic!)

Yes, guys, for women it is really like that, even in a “best case” situation such as the one she was in as a well-paid, high-status professional in a progressive setting where the employer and the HR department were on her side.

Women without such advantages–and that is most of us–fare much, much worse, as the #METOO movement is making painfully clear even to some men who previously didn’t see sexism and sexual harassment as real problems. Sexism, as the kids say, is a “thing.” Talk to me, gentlemen,  if you still don’t believe it.

By the way, it is insane to have interns who have had almost no sleep in days making life-and-death decisions. Women in these situations often have had even less sleep than the men, because female interns still are expected to do more than their share of the shopping, cooking, laundry, and cleaning in heterosexual relationships.

I’ve been in social situations such as potluck meals where straight guys who start flirting with me become markedly more interested when they discover that I can and do cook a variety of foods that include such male favorites as lasagna and baked pastries.

Are straight men mostly interested in women for the sex and food and don’t care what we think and might have to say? You tell me.

 

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