Lost my high powered job, six figures out the door.
MAN, my employer used to love me.
Fired me for taking an unwarranted leave of absence.
Unwarranted or unexpected.
Aren’t there laws to protect me?
I already took a pay cut a year ago.
Must be the high heels.
But no…we can’t say that.
Now I’m without a job.
I’m just "not one of the guys anymore,"
Words muttered out of my boss’s mouth,
Not knowing it would be taken this far.
My boss says I’m not smart, not good enough.
What do they know?
I’ve been at this job for over ten years.
Ten years with nothing to show.
“Aren’t there laws to protect me? I already took a pay cut a year ago. Must be the high heels.”
My boss says I’m too passive, submissive,
I’m just being polite!!
Shy, bashful, soft-spoken,
"You don’t want to be like the girls, do you?"
Give me a break.
Why is that so bad anyway?
I’ve never been a man.
And what is a man?
Bullies, conquests, a notch on the belt.
My employer says I’ve changed.
Estrogen, breasts hard as a rock, curvy, long legs,
Big hips, and now I’m fat
I would say it’s the high heels, long hair, Adam’s apple,
But it’s more than that,
I don’t even go out at night.
Prostitute, hooker, freak.
Put what into me?
I’ve heard it all.
Having a penis equaled power,
My dick equaled power…
Well I don’t want it,
I don’t need it.
Shave my legs, and I might cut myself again.
What can I say?
I left the job a man and I came back a woman
My name is Julie Nagoshi and I am currently a PhD student at Arizona State University. My current research focuses on LGBT issues and topics. More specifically, I am working on the comparison of gender roles, gender identity, and sexual orientation. I have interviewed over twenty gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and transsexual individuals and I have asked them about their thoughts on gender roles, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
This is the second entry for [sic] magazine that I have reconstructed from the informal talks I have had with many transsexuals. My last piece focused on the experiences of an FTM, female to male. MTF, in contrast, stands for a male to female who has already had the sex reassignment surgery or has the intention of having the surgery in the future. This piece talks about the struggle an individual has after the transition from male to being female.
While this man used to make a six-figure salary in a high profile technical job, the amount of pay decreased over the past year as this person began the public transition into being a woman. As s/he began to dress like a women and act in certain mannerisms characteristic of being a woman, s/he noticed that the employer became more upset. A salary that was once competitive began to be reduced, and the employer cited problems with the quality of the person’s work. When the person decided to take a granted medical leave in order to get the sex reassignment surgery, the person was fired.
“People who have transitioned experience a loss of power when they give up the patriarchal life of a male.”
Was this person fired due to the employer’s unhappiness with the MTF having the sex reassignment surgery? Was the employer embarrassed by his co-worker now becoming a female? Did the employer believe that this person lacked justification for taking the medical leave in order to have the sex reassignment surgery? Should an individual have to release this specific information?
This is only one part of an ever-complex web of repercussions that come with making the transition. While this piece focuses on the consequences in the employment environment, there are also consequences to other aspects of an MTF’s life.
Though many women would argue what is a "characteristic of a woman," I am suggesting a transition from being a more “aggressive” male to a more “submissive” female. People who have transitioned experience a loss of power when they give up the patriarchal life of a male.
There are many perks that are associated and documented with being male, including being paid more for the same job that a woman does. I find it to be interesting that as an MTF transitions, s/he is more prone to taking a pay cut because s/he is now a woman. There is also a possibility of losing one’s job status as many of the higher paying jobs in our society are associated with men.
Another note I would like to make is that many men consider MTFs to be subservient: once an MTF converts, s/he is a woman and should be treated like a woman. I wonder if an MTF would actually provoke stronger hyper-masculine feelings from men, as masculine men try to compensate for their own insecurities.
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