I’m going to transition male to female. As a cis woman, what bits of advice could you offer in the day to day living as a woman, that I haven’t clue about and really would help save time, money and stress? Be as expansive as you want.
I thought a long time about this question because my first instinct when someone asks me “what does it mean to be a woman?” has always been kind of negative. Help rise up others. Try to not get in the way. Be quiet and know when to speak and when not to speak. Dress right for every occasion. Look pretty. Be smart but not in a way that intimidates others.
Gender means nothing but it’s also in everything. We construct ideas of gender. What’s normal or what’s not normal. I say I “suffered” as a woman and that’s what it means to be a woman. But that’s not right. You’ve suffered too. We all do in different ways. I think you might know more about gender than me because you’re asking yourself these questions: what does it mean to be a woman? I didn’t start asking myself these questions, changing the narrative of womanhood, until the last couple of years.
I haven’t fully figured out exactly what being a woman means, but I know it’s not about being quiet and helping other people be happy at the expense of my happiness. To me being a woman is more about finding confidence and an inner truth to who I am as a person.
A lot of the silly answers I came up with are things that any person could know already and I don’t want to sit here and be patronizing like “did you know you should take your makeup off before bed?” because – well – everyone should wash their face before bed, and maybe you already wear makeup, and maybe you don’t want to wear makeup, and why are these my assumptions to make?
Be prepared to be completely overwhelmed by messaging towards woman. Not necessarily in a bad way. Every magazine will be shouting at you THIS IS WHO YOU CAN BE. For a long time I feel like we (women) have looked at those messages and tried to make ourselves into this one concept. I feel now, the media is becoming more diverse. Now when I open a magazine I don’t see it as a guide book. I see it as options. What do you want to look like? Who do you want to be? Here are some suggestions to get the idea-juice flowing!
I guess what I’m saying is, what do you want to know about my lived experience? Cause it’s just mine. I hope yours is different! I hope you get the joy of making your life exactly what you want it to be. I think that a lot of the details of living day-to-day as a woman will begin to appear to you as you go through these motions. And that’s probably pretty hard, but hopefully very freeing and fulfilling.