Short Take: Tomboys and Transgender

With the disproportionate emphasis on acceptance of transgender folks comes a secondary problem that few might see, but for this mother’s explanation of her daughter’s choices.

“I just wanted to check,” the teacher said. “Your child wants to be called a boy, right? Or is she a boy that wants to be called a girl? Which is it again?”

I cocked my head. I am used to correcting strangers, who mistake my 7-year-old daughter for a boy 100 percent of the time.

In fact, I love correcting them, making them reconsider their perceptions of what a girl looks like. But my daughter had been attending the after-school program where this woman taught for six months.

“She’s a girl,” I said. The woman looked unconvinced. “Really. She’s a girl, and you can refer to her as a girl.”

Consider the scope of this shift in social norms where a mother of a girl is constrained to persuade a teacher that “really, she’s a girl.” Teacher? Pediatrician too.

My daughter wears track pants and T-shirts. She has shaggy short hair (the look she requested from the hairdresser was “Luke Skywalker in Episode IV”). Most, but not all, of her friends are boys. She is sporty and strong, incredibly sweet, and a girl.

And yet she is asked by the pediatrician, by her teachers, by people who have known her for many years, if she feels like, or wants to be called, or wants to be, a boy.

What causes her ped to hear the hoof beats and assume it’s a zebra? It may be fear of being tarred as a transphobe, so all the progressive mommies will keep their darlings away lest the disease be contagious. Or maybe to be the coolest ped at the doc cocktail parties, since the chance of any of them having a transgender patient is slim.

Transgender advocates should be kvelling because of this story. They did it. They normalized transgenders to the point that a girl with short hair presumptively wants to be a boy. The only thing it cost was the default presumption that a girl with short hair just wants to be a girl with short hair.

Lisa Selin Davis is fine with this.* How other mothers feel isn’t known. How girls feel about it isn’t known either, though everybody around them seems dying to be supportive.

Let’s be clear: If my daughter does begin to feel that the gender in her mind and the sex of her body don’t match, I will be supportive. I will research puberty blockers and hormones (more than I already have). I will listen to her and make decisions accordingly, just as I did when she turned 3 and asked for a tie and a button-down shirt.

Let’s hope Davis’ daughter never has a moment of doubt or weakness, or she won’t stand a chance.

32 thoughts on “Short Take: Tomboys and Transgender

  1. B. McLeod

    The day is likely not far when every “tomboy” will be required by law to “identify” as a transboy. To allow them any other choice leaves too great a risk of fostering oppression of their unexpressed true feelings. (This will also have the additional benefit of greatly bolstering the number of “transpeople,” once thought to be a mere fraction of one percent of the population). Look for the ABA House of Delegates Resolution in the near future.

  2. Quinn Martindale

    The proactive approach goes against the advice for trans kids put out by groups like the American Psycological Association which differentiate kids who persistently insist on a gender identity from kids who dress a certain way or prefer certain toys. Accepting parents and interventions like puberty blockers also have significant effects on suicide rates although the studies have small sample sizes.

    1. SHG Post author

      Clearly, that’s working well in contrast to the pressures of political correctness and social justice.

  3. RollieB

    That 8 transwomen of color have been killed in the first 3 months of 2017 in the US should cause all of us to reassess how we address this problem within our society. We should not be treating this lightly. Social justice pressure, political correctness, and education are the options at hand to mitigate hatred. What else would you suggest SJW be doing?

    1. SHG Post author

      Many people have been killed in the first 3 months of 2017. Yet only 8 matter? I suggest the SJW get his head out of his ass and stop valuing life by their personal flavor of victim hierarchy.

      1. RollieB

        Who said only 8 matter? Do you assume SJWs only fight for a single segment of the “victim hierarchy?” …and you didn’t answer my honest question.

        1. SHG Post author

          I answered your question. You just don’t like my answer. I don’t assume anything about you, Rollie. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius. You played your card. Own it. When you venture away from the SJWs, don’t expect your fantasy bullshit to be indulged.

          1. RollieB

            I own my SJW card. I speak against oppression whenever I see it. Since I’m talking to a hand, I’ll stop.

            1. SHG Post author

              You’re not talking to a hand. You’re talking to a mind. That’s why your “oppression” bullshit doesn’t get the applause it would get from the passionate choir.

    2. David

      Aside from your comment having nothing to do with the post, it’s a strawman on every level. You want to engage in logical fallacies, but be treated like you’re not. You can’t have it both ways. Either be rational or be dismissed as a SJW nutjob.

      1. SHG Post author

        Strawman. Begging the question. Appeal to emotion. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Name a fallacy and it’s in there. By piling it on in a string of gibberish, it almost seems not totally batshit crazy. But it is. Totally.

        1. Fubar

          Perhaps it is not batshit crazy,
          Just thoroughly mentally lazy.
          Words writ without thought
          Can appear madness-fraught.
          Magic 8-ball says “Outlook is hazy.”

    3. PAV

      That 7 out of 10 suicides in 2015 were commited by white men in the US, and men are 3 1/2 times more likely to commit suicide should cause all of us to reassess how we address this problem within our society. We should not be treating this lightly. Social justice pressure, political correctness, and education are the options at hand to mitigate hatred. What else would you suggest SJW be doing?

    4. wilbur

      I’d like to address a few questions to you to clarify this, if you please:
      How do you define “transwomen of color”?
      How were these 8 people killed? Murder? Suicide? Car accident?
      Is this a higher rate of killing than in previous trimesters?
      How are “we” treating this lightly?
      You’ve mentioned “social justice pressure, political correctness and education” as mitigation options … How would you implement these?

      1. RollieB

        TWOC should be self explanatory.
        Seven were shot, 1 was stabbed.
        Good question… let me think about that a bit, thanks for the challenge.
        Speaking up for the marginalized when I have the opportunity.

            1. SHG Post author

              I was out of the office most of the day yesterday, and wasn’t able to see the comments on the “big screen” in context. Looking back, something occurred to me, and it’s worth sharing despite this entire thread being completely off-topic.

              You tried to use this as an opportunity to “enlighten” readers here as to the issue of violence and hate against Transgender women of color. The reaction was less than supportive. People here aren’t against TWOC. They aren’t haters, though you would characterize them as such because they aren’t woke enough to care only about the people you care about, to sacrifice everything to cry sad tears by your side.

              They don’t wish them harm. They aren’t uncaring or callous. But they are sending a message back to you as well. The SJW rhetoric of “oppression” and focus on “maginalized” people is the reason why people who have no ill-will toward anyone reject the myopic rhetoric and politics of social justice. They want all people to be able to enjoy rights, relative safety, happy lives.

              Their message back to you was that you are every bit as much an ideological idiot as the alt-right, just the other extreme. You can’t conceive of how any reasonable person can’t see why your flagrant prejudice isn’t the right prejudice. They tried to tell you. The people who don’t lie in SJWland aren’t enemies to your cause, but they think you’re just as batshit crazy as the alt-right. You won’t persuade them to see things your way because you feel really, really passionate about it and write strings of jargon that are meaningless to anyone but true believers.

              You tried to teach others. You failed. Miserably. Will you learn why, or will you wrap yourself up in self-righteousness of knowing that you pray to the one true god and everyone else is a heretic?

    5. Erik H

      How many transwomen of color are there and what are their other homicide-victim characteristics?

      TWOC clearly aren’t a privileged class; nobody in their right mind thinks they have a super easy time of it. But there were about 15700 murders in the US in 2015; so far that group is on track to make up 32 of them. I have no idea whether 32/year is high, low, or average, and I certainly don’t know it without controlling for other characteristics. Do you? Have you compared that rate to other groups, so you can convince folks that society should be focusing on TWOC specifically?

      1. SHG Post author

        Anybody else notice how comments to this post have become all about 8 dead trans women? Is that what I wrote about?

        Asking for a friend.

        1. RollieB

          I didn’t mean to hijack your soapbox. But, I’m pleased to raise awareness and that I get your dander up. I’ll bring Cohibas next time I’m in NYC.

        2. Erik H

          Well, the girl could be trans some day and if you believe Dolezal she could also be black some day, and if you don’t want her to end up tragically murdered in cold blood you should be a bit more sensitive, dammit.

          1. B. McLeod

            Except there is nothing to indicate any of these people were killed because of their race or transgender status. Seven (one Native American, one described as “of color” and five Black) victims were simply found injured or dead (no description of circumstances). The remaining victim was reportedly “shot during a verbal altercation.” In past years, I have analyzed data after year-end and found: a) most murdered Black transwomen are killed by Black men; b) statistically (subject to some error because trans status is poorly tracked), they are killed in a lesser proportion than the Black, biological women killed by Black men; c) in many cases, the killings are tied to robbery/drug/domestic violence or risk behaviors of the victims (e.g., involvement in drugs, prostitution). Hence, simply assuming that all Black transgender women who are murdered in a given year have been murdered due to “hatred” against their race or gender is irrational and likely to represent an erroneous conclusion.

          2. Patrick Maupin

            and if you don’t want to feel quite so bad if she ends up tragically murdered in cold blood you should act a bit more sensitive, dammit.


  4. Allen

    It has been such a difficult transition, but what could I do? I love her unconditionally and would always support her no matter what.

    Why is it I get the scent that mommy is just itching to have her daughter express some angst. And were off to the puberty blockers and hormone therapy races. She’ll be the first mom in her peer group to have a trans child. She will be able to dine out on that for a spell.

    1. RemnantPsyche

      > Why is it I get the scent that mommy is just itching to have her daughter express some angst.

      This is why.

      > “In fact, I love correcting them,”

      Of course you do, Miss Davis.

  5. BobN

    I have been thinking about this for a while and the question is quite simple – Why can’t a tomboy be just a tomboy and what we used to call a sweet gentle soul (ie effeminate male) be just that. To think the pre-pubescent children should be thinking about or deciding gender identity, and particularly, being encouraged by the adults around them is just not right.

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