In A Different Voice

One of the benefits of being anarcha -feminist autodidact is that I tend to thumb my nose at academic authority figures who tell me that I shouldn’t pull material from lots of sources.

Yeah right.  We are supposed to recognize the only possible relevant material written about our lives by the “transsexual” or “transgender” in the title.  Since we’re such a bunch of sick freaks nothing written about normborns could possibly be relevant.

So imagine my surprise when I opened a Carol Gilligan book I bought at Half Price Books titled In a Different Voice and read the following on page 14:

These observations about sex differences support the conclusion reached by David McClelland (1975) that “sex roles turn out to be one of the most important determinants of human behavior; psychologists have found sex differences in their studies from the moment they started doing empirical research.” But since it is difficult to say “different” without saying “better” or “worse,” since there is a tendency to construct a single scale of measurement and since that scale has generally been derived from and standardized on the basis of men’s interpretations of research data drawn predominantly or exclusively from studies of males, psychologists “have tended to regard male behavior as the ‘norm’ and female behavior as some kind of deviation from that norm” (p81) Thus when women do not conform to the standards of psychological expectation, the conclusion has generally been that something is wrong with the women.

That’s a pretty profound paragraph right there and is a variation on things I have been saying for 40 years.  I sussed early on that we were being considered mentally ill for things considered normal in women.  I also figured out really quickly that I was being treated as “the perfect transsexual” because I was this cute young girl and not some 45 year old father of two who may well have been suffering the same hitting of the wall where one either changes or suicides.

That one is a form of beauty skin privilege that creates credibility based on conformity to expected appearances rather than according to actual internal feelings.

We get labeled as deviant for the same behavior considered normal in women born female.  Why?  Because we are evaluated against male standards.

In 1969 when I was going to a bunch of psychiatrists that the social workers were sending me to as part of an attempt to get government funding for SRS the doctors I saw wrote these glowing letters saying I was an ordinary pretty Berkeley girl/woman and wasn’t the least bit psychologically disabled.

Which was pretty much the truth.  I was resourceful enough to make my way across the country and find one of the few public health clinics treating transsexualism anywhere in the world (in 1969) all the while living on pennies as a hippie radical.  Disabled I wasn’t.  My main problems at that point often had to do with being undocumented, an alien in my own country.

That aside the fashion magazines women buy reflect the same appeal that gets turned into AGP by the psychiatrists at CAMH and Northwestern

One Response to “In A Different Voice”

  1. Susanna Boudrie Says:

    Hi Suzy
    David McClelland is one of the beacons of post-WWII psychology. Contrary to K. Sucker – ooups, freudian slip 🙂 – he has left a legacy of profound thinking.


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