There is more to being a woman than dressing like one.
I recently met the co-owner of the bead store I often go to. I’ve been going to this store for at least a dozen years and I’ve never met this person. I didn’t even know this was a staff member and not just a customer for a while.
I’m being vague about gender because so is the person. I believe this is a man who is dressing like a woman. I was finally supplied the pronoun “she” by the staff member I know so I will use that.
She had beautifully manicured nails and well groomed hair. Her hair wasn’t especially stylish, but it was certainly longer and tidier than the hairstyle of most men. Her top had fabric that was blouse-y and more colorful and fancier than a man’s.
Yet she had very baggy jeans that looked worn out. They did not fit well and looked out of date. Her shoes were also not feminine. They were leather, but clunky and squared off. Perhaps there were heels to them. It was hard to tell because her jeans were so long.
Then there was the matter of her size and voice. She was immense. Very few women are that tall or wide. Physically, she would have made a great bouncer at a club. Her voice was disconcerting too. It was very deep and rumbly.
All of this was what I was working with while also trying to figure out if she was a new staff member. She was walking in areas that are usually for staff members, but that doesn’t mean much at this store. Some of the best beads are behind the counter where the cash register is and if you ask they will let you go back there and look. If you go there as often as I do you don’t even have to ask anymore.
In all reality I don’t care if she is a he trying to somewhat pass as a she or if she is a she who is doing an unusual job of it.
The issue is that I don’t want to address a customer as a staff member (it has been done to me) and I don’t want to ignore a new staff member at a shop I regularly go to. I also don’t want to address someone incorrectly gender wise. That too has happened to me. (I had a mohawk at the time.) I’m personally very sensitive to all of this.
I simply asked the staff member I know if they had a new employee. She clued me in that this person was the co-owner. The word “partner” was used. This word can have multiple nuances these days, and as I have long suspected that the owner I know is gay, it added to my information. She also very helpfully gave me the pronoun “she” to use.
I understand if a man dresses as a woman, he wants to be referred to as “she”. This is fine with me. But only half of her outfit was feminine, so I needed that bit of help. I went along with this from then on.
At one point I was behind the counter while she was looking at the Swarovski crystal beads. The clerk I know walked by and said that her head hurt. The co-owner immediately said that “If my head looked like yours, it would hurt too”. In years past I would have said nothing to this bit of rudeness but that is changing. I immediately said “That’s not nice.” She stopped with her insult with that lady but then shortly afterwards resumed her behavior with her friend who was looking at beads with her. Her friend complained of a different ailment, and she did the elementary school retort of rubbing her thumb and fingers together and saying “Do you know what this is? It is the world’s smallest violin playing just for you.” She was saying she didn’t care, but doing it in a childish way.
I thought about this all the rest of the day.
I think there is a lot more to being a woman than dressing like one. There is something about empathy, and compassion. There is also something about not saying everything you think. There is a lot more, but that is what comes to mind in this situation. We are taught to be kind and to “mind our manners”. We are taught to put others needs first. We are taught to care about others feelings.
She may be trying to pass as a woman, but she doesn’t have the internal part down.
I also think that she is in a lot of pain. Whether it is physical, emotional, or mental or some combination of them makes no difference. Pain is pain, and it comes out in ugly ways. People who are hurt tend to become people who hurt others. Her need to express how she does not care about other people’s feelings or concerns is simply a reflection of how she feels. She feels ignored and put upon, so she is not going to be kind to anyone else who is in pain.
I find this unusual. She has developed enough energy to dress in opposition to social norms. This usually indicates a strong personality. Yet to insult and degrade others is a sign of a weak personality. Perhaps this is part of why she is only half dressed as a woman. She is only halfway there.
If only she knew how hard it is to be a woman!