01 May 2009

What Does A Woman Do?

Getting down to the wire now. It's the first of May. Just the rest of this month and June, and one week in July, until my surgery.

It's odd that we had hot, sunny weather last weekend and for the first two days of this week--as April neared its end. Yesterday was rather chilly; today was warmer but it rained on and off throughout the day.

This week, people have been complimenting me on the way I've looked. However, I see the extra pounds I'm trying to lose (I don't think I would've worn a bikini this year anyway.), the ways in which my facial and bodily structure could be more feminine and the knot I tied so sloppily in my scarf.

Of course those are not the things that make me a woman or not. Still, when I see all those women who seem so much more graceful, not to mention prettier and smarter, than I am, it's hard not to compare myself unfavorably to them. And I'm kicking myself for the sausage I ate last night and the pasta and cheese I had today.

I guess I'm not immune to the societal mind-fuck. Any number of people have told me not to worry.

Today, Bruce mentioned that a part-time worker in his office is teaching a Women's Studies course. She feels threatened by a particular male student in the class, he said, and she's worried that he'll attack her or commit some other form of violence. She's gone to the campus authorities (He didn't know which school.) and was referred to people who referred her back to the people who referred her to them. Now she's at her wits' end.

I recalled situations--when I was still living and teaching as Nick-- in which I was threatened by students. In One, a kid off the streets didn't want to do the work and wasn't happy that she was getting "F's" on all of her assignments. She threatened to bring in her boyfriend, which she did. But he was so drunk that the other students were snickering. I just barely kept myself from doing the same.

Another time a student threatened, "I'm gonna put your head through that wall." I notified my department chair and the campus security chief, who sent two officers to the next class session and removed her.

In another incident, a young male student threatened to run me over the next time he saw me on my bike. He was removed, but in some, ahem, coincidence, I wasn't re-hired the following semester.

And, last October, a student whom I'd never before met ambushed me as I walked from the campus to the subway, accused me of following him and threatened to kill me. I reported the incident and about two weeks later, I saw him in the library. I summoned campus security officers, who took him away and, I found out later, instructed him to stay away from me, as I wasn't following him and had no wish to do so.

As I related that last incident to Bruce, I realized that "They responded as they did because the college didn't want their tranny to get hurt." He agreed and said, "Sure, they wouldn't want that kind of PR."

And, during the years when the other incidents occured, I was riding my bike practically everywhere and lifting weights. I had not consumed any alcohol or drugs for several years, and I'd never smoked. (I still haven't.) As my body was shaped such discipline, my face and indeed my aura reflected the anger I felt at simply having to live as a man and not having much of anything else go the way I wanted.

But, honestly, I don't know what I would have done in any of those situations had I been born with a uterus. Other female instructors who are more diminutive than I am have also expressed fears for their safety. I don't know what advice I could give them, save perhaps to take martial arts classes--something I've never done.

Now I know one way in which I haven't, or haven't had to, think like a woman. Not to say that being trans protects me, though living as male probably did.

What does a woman do?