06 October 2008

What the Guys Try

Another day, another class, another meeting.

All right, it doesn't have quite the ring of "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow." But, thankfully, I'm not Macbeth, either--or even Lady Macbeth. At least, I don't think I am. And I hope I'm not.

Anyway, I had to take minutes at the department meeting. It's one of those jobs that ranks right up there with cleaning the bathroom. All right, it's not as dirty as that. But nobody, it seems, wants to do it. Including me.

And then, in class, two students who missed the previous two classes were trying to get out of the work by claiming that I didn't explain the assignments to them. Well, I can't explain it to you if you're not here, I told them. I may have broken a few laws in my time, but not those of physics.

Now, as to how any of this relates to my gender transition...Those students were young males. They probably are working, as everyone else in the class is. But somehow I don't get the impression they're working to keep rooves over their heads. If they were, they probably wouldn't act as they did.

I made a joke with one of them: "You know, if I could grade you only on your cleverness and creativity, I'd have to give you an 'A' for your efforts to get out of the assignments." He grinned; a few of the other students tittered. And the other student claimed that he e-mailed the assignments "a couple of weeks ago." Uh-huh.

One thing I can say with near-certainty: They probably don't try things like that with their male professors. They are both young and cute, but not in the ways they think. They're used to charming women, mostly younger than me, into giving them what they want. And, of course, if they know I'm trans, that's probably all the more reason (in their minds) for them to try and get over on me.

I know, because young men like them didn't try to play those games with me when I was still teaching as Nick. Now, I know that a few female students tried, and succeeded. But I was also younger then, and being full of testosterone, I was generally hornier. Not that I would ever do anything sexual with a student, of course. But I'll admit that a few batted eyelashes and crossed legs, shall we say, influenced me.

And that's the reason why I have to throw back at those guys whatever they give me. To tell you the truth, if I were younger and I'd met them in another situation, they just might get what they want from me. That might not be such a good thing for either of us.

So, you say, males and females are equally manipulative. You're probably right. The difference between them is this: The males go about it, as they do so many other things, with a much greater sense of entitlement than the females have. The way the young women turn and twist their bodies and wink or blink show, at least to me, that on some level they know, or at least believe, that they don't deserve whatever they want from you. The guys, on the other hand, hold their bodies and talk like they have it coming to them and it's your job to give it. Maybe that's the reason why their game is, for me, more ennerving than what the females play.

Not only that, the males--at least the ones I've been describing--really think that you're stupid and can think only with an organ that most of them have never seen. It's really the same kind of mentality that got Sarah Palin nominated for the vice-presidency. Yeah, us sisters are all joined at the hip and will reflexively pick the same thing. Or, if they don't think you're dumb, they think we're like their mothers, or what they wish their mothers were. On the other hand, females see male professors (or males in general) as kind of powerful, or at least influential. And females, particularly the young ones, use their relative vulnerability to appeal to a male's power or influence, or his unspoken sense that he has them.

Now, this is not to say all males or females are as I've described. But there are those who just use whatever charms they have to try to manipulate members of the opposite (or sometimes the same) gender into giving them what they want. And when you're a professor, you see at least a couple in every class. But now I see it's the male students. Don't they realize I lived as one of them?