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When I was a preadolescent girl, I dreaded the changes of puberty. Thinking about someday getting my period filled me with absolute horror and panic. I hated the idea of my body changing to be that of an adult woman. It caused me no small amount of distress. (For me, it was all centered around my actual body, not any societally enforced gender stereotypes--I've always been fairly comfortable somewhere feminine-of-center in terms of how I dress and present.) I was completely uncomfortable with having a female body, and its very femaleness, and the changes that would entail, made me want to freeze time so I would never develop an adult female body.

But time marched on, I grew up, and my body changed and it wasn't that awful. The older I got, the more comfortable I became living in a female body. I'm not exactly a paragon of body love now, but I probably hate my body only as much as the average American woman does, and I feel comfortable with its femaleness. (Coming out as a lesbian sure did help!)

I'm so glad that I grew up in the nineties, before "gender dysphoria" was widespread and puberty blockers became a normal response to it. What I experienced sounds similar to the experiences I've heard described by some trans people; if I'd been exposed to those ideas when I was young and impressionable, it would have been very easy to interpret my discomfort with my own body as a sign that I had been "born in the wrong body" and was in fact trans. I'm so glad those ideas weren't popular when I was younger because I might have taken steps to change my body that were in fact wholly unnecessary.

I seriously wonder whether a girl going through the same experience today would be given the room and time to grow up and grow out of her discomfort like I did, or if she would be pushed into identifying as trans and getting on puberty blockers and eventually cross-sex hormones and surgery.

When I was a preadolescent girl, I dreaded the changes of puberty. Thinking about someday getting my period filled me with absolute horror and panic. I hated the idea of my body changing to be that of an adult woman. It caused me no small amount of distress. (For me, it was all centered around my actual body, not any societally enforced gender stereotypes--I've always been fairly comfortable somewhere feminine-of-center in terms of how I dress and present.) I was completely uncomfortable with having a female body, and its very femaleness, and the changes that would entail, made me want to freeze time so I would never develop an adult female body. But time marched on, I grew up, and my body changed and it wasn't that awful. The older I got, the more comfortable I became living in a female body. I'm not exactly a paragon of body love now, but I probably hate my body only as much as the average American woman does, and I feel comfortable with its femaleness. (Coming out as a lesbian sure did help!) I'm so glad that I grew up in the nineties, before "gender dysphoria" was widespread and puberty blockers became a normal response to it. What I experienced sounds similar to the experiences I've heard described by some trans people; if I'd been exposed to those ideas when I was young and impressionable, it would have been very easy to interpret my discomfort with my own body as a sign that I had been "born in the wrong body" and was in fact trans. I'm so glad those ideas weren't popular when I was younger because I might have taken steps to change my body that were in fact wholly unnecessary. I seriously wonder whether a girl going through the same experience today would be given the room and time to grow up and grow out of her discomfort like I did, or if she would be pushed into identifying as trans and getting on puberty blockers and eventually cross-sex hormones and surgery.

14 comments

[–] WatcherattheGates 14 points (+14|-0)

I think we will look back and say that the 1990s, perhaps the 2000s, were the high point for women. From 2010 onward, it's been downhill all the way, and the speed of the rollback is frightening.

[–] Tnetennba 8 points (+8|-0) Edited

I heavily disagree. The 2000s is when Feminazi rose to prominence. Being a feminist was considered a huge insult in my school. Anything pro-woman was gross, old, and uncool. The most popular phrase was "feminine NOT feminist".

This was at the exact same time everyone was wearing Playboy bunny gear, watching Girls Next Door and The Simple Life with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, etc. The "lingerie as fashion" look was really in, and stripping as exercise classes were really popular. The 2000s were a severe backlash to the Girl Power 90s. It was absolute hell being a teenage girl in the 2000s.

[–] questioningtw 0 points (+0|-0)

UGH! Thanks for bringing back horrible memories=P I really hate how Holly Madison and the other two kept promoting this idea that being in Playboy was empowring and it was in no way creepy that Hefner had a curfew on grown women in his mansions. Now though they are all speaking out about how horrible it was. I have noticed this with porn performers too....when they are in the industry it is all about how empowering and wonderful it is; than when they leave they where abused all along...it just reinforces this idea that women aren't to be believed. It is almost though like second wave femnists where right about objectifying yourself is the opposite of empowering!

[–] sealwomyn 1 points (+1|-0)

I'm glad that you didn't get pushed into that stuff. <3 I felt very much the same on not wanting to physically develop into a woman and dreading all of it, I kept hoping that my gender nonconformity would end up being some medical problem and a doctor would just tell my mother I'd never become a woman.. I wanted to end my life as a kid rather than grow up into something that horrified me so much.

Same also on my dysphoria getting a lot better after I came out as a lesbian! I think male bodies are disgusting and other women's are not, so realizing that there are other women who like me as I am and don't want me to be a man was pretty big news for younger me lmao.

And as much as it was about my physical body, that child's horror and shame and disgust at the female body was created by the constant, pervasive, sickening misogyny I was raised in. I am positive I wouldn't have developed dysphoria and been planning suicide at 10 (totally unaware of alleged trans kid suicide stats ofc) if I were born into a society that did not hate and despise women, make up elaborate bullshit about how we are mentally deficient and made to be servants of men, or disdain our biological realities at the same time they blame us for male predation. Do you think your experience would've been different too?

I 100% think if I'd had liberal parents I would've gone for it. I remember when I first found out about alleged "puberty blockers" I was furious that I was born earlier and/or in an ass backwards community so could never take advantage of them.. but later when a therapist suggested I look into transition, that led me to actually seek out the truth of what these drugs do because no one could give me a straight answer.

[–] worried19 1 points (+1|-0)

Me, too. I was "only" gender role dysphoric, but if I were an extremely masculine-presenting preteen today, I would be encouraged to think of myself as trans and put on a path to medical transition.

I seriously wonder whether a girl going through the same experience today would be given the room and time to grow up and grow out of her discomfort like I did

I'm beginning to feel that all GNC girls are in real danger of not making it to mature adulthood without medical interference. If trans politics doesn't get them in early childhood, it will get them in high school or college. Are there still GNC teenage girls who acknowledge they are girls?

[–] questioningtw 1 points (+1|-0)

This is what scares the hell out of me too. Telling girls that they can be a tomboy and still be a girl or just because you like cars over barbies doesn't mean you are a boy is bigoted now. Girls should be told that they don't need to change who they are because they don't conform to stereotypes. I wish there where more outspoken GNC women out there.

[–] questioningtw 0 points (+0|-0)

Puberity is uncomfortable for both boys and girls--but girls get the worst of it for obvious reasons. i was reading about Ruby Rose and she was saying she thought she was a boy for awhile, because she hated puberity, but she grew out of hating being a woman and is glad she didn't transition. Of course now she has gone from trans icon, to being harassed for playing a lesbian character in Batwoman.

I too am glad I didn't grow up in this era, and really related to JK Rowling when she said that she too would have transitioned because of the sexism she faced. I always hated anything girly and would actually throw barbie dolls away. I loved climbing trees and cars; and especially hated being treated like a maid. A lot of the girls I knew would also say they wished they where boys, because boys where treated better and got to have fun! I am tired of this not being acknowledged.

[–] XX_Power 0 points (+0|-0)

Oh my god that is so me! If i lived in woke place i might be a TIF now.

When i was a toddler i hated babies, hated dolls, hated pink, hating fancy stuff that i wasn't allowed to get dirty and i LOVED sports, dinosaurs and cars. I always had my hair cut short and called myself a boy. For years!

When i was a teenager i hated my body cause i always felt i was fat and disgusting, i wanted to be so much thinner.

I would so be transed now, it scares me. When i read about detrans women i think that would be me.

Ive told this before, like many i only encountered "being trans" at uni where i was studying a STEM subject. I actually shortly considered it thinking "yeah sure lol I'd love to be a man" but i knew no one would take what is clearly a tiny woman of 5'1 as a man. But most importantly i had a good science background at that point, i knew immediately that all they did was just cosmetic, you don't actually get any functionality of the other sex, including male privilege. I knew early on i needed to work twice as hard as men to get anywhere, but i have a pretty dominant personality and was a hard worker. i thought that's still a better life than trying to copy a man. And dating would be impossible (back then i never considered that TIFs would actually go for gay men, oh sweet summer child).

But: had trusted family members and doctors told me at 5 or 8 i could be a boy???? I would have jumped at the chance!!! I had no idea about biology and how they just make you look a bit like a boy, nothing more. Ugh makes me sad for these girls...

[+] [Deleted] -4 points (+1|-5)