(find the lyrics to Arcade Fire's We Exist here)
No, I am not a fan of Arcade Fire but this video caught my eye for obvious reasons (Andrew Garfield, duh).
"GIRLS WHO ARE BOYS
WHO LIKE BOYS TO BE GIRLS
WHO DO BOYS LIKE THEY'RE GIRLS
WHO DO GIRLS LIKE THEY'RE BOYS
ALWAYS SHOULD BE SOMEONE YOU REALLY LOVE..."
Blur - Girls and Boys
This song was the anthem I bopped along to during my pre-u days when Damon Alban and the rest of the second wave of British Invasion ruled the airwaves. We innocently sang along to it without real thought to the underlying meaning of the lyrics.
I enjoy dreams where I am a man (except the time I morphed into John C Reilly complete with flannel shirts); it is amazingly liberating to be so physically dominating, let me tell you. Do men ever dream of being women, I wonder.
"Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots. ‘Cause it’s OK to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading. ‘Cause you think that being a girl is degrading. But secretly, you’d love to know what it’s like… Wouldn’t you? What it feels like for a girl."
I am among those who benefit from this sexism. I can keep my hair ear length and no one blinks when I buy my shorts from the men's section (women's shorts are too indecent. They barely cover my fat bum). However, all these didn't do squat to make me manly nor do I ever want to abandon my bright lipsticks.
Some people may say that gender is nothing more than a social construct that depends on your location. In some parts of the world, men keep long hair (e.g. Comanche, Iroquois nation) and wear dresses (the Arab men robes are damn comfy and I love wearing them too). Hence, outward manifestation of gender is a fluid thing and has time-place setting parameters to them (Georgian men in Europe used powder and maquillage).
What's it like to be a girl? What's it like to be a boy? For those who do not experience gender dysphoria, these are silly questions. But for those who have felt like they have been in the wrong body for their entire life, it's no laughing matter. It's a terrible discordance to live with and one I wouldn't wish on anyone at all.
The transgender community are often victims of violence and untoward aggression. They are discriminated against not just in terms of service provision, but also in employment and other social mobility. This often pushed them into doing sex work where they are made further vulnerable to violence and limits their economic advantage.
I think we should strive to be kinder to transgendered people. I know that many use religion to smack down transgenders, but if you consider gender dysphoria as something organic, don't you think that it's God's will that they are they way they are? It's not their fault, nor is it something they sought after. So why can't we leave them be and just accept them as they are?