“Like, I’m pretty well sold on this whole femme thing,” said one transwoman in the session this morning.  “I think it’s me.

“The only problem I have is that you all keep saying that as a femme, you lose your voice, become invisible.  I don’t want to lose my voice.”

I remembered the first question I asked in my first session at my first tranny conference in 1994.  “Men and women take power in different ways.  How did you handle this powershift?”

“It’s not about losing your voice,” I said.  “It’s about changing your voice.  Femmes rarely argue about who is wrong & who is right, who is small & who is bigger.  Femmes just tell a story that changes the context of the discussion, opening up new ways of thinking, and then, though persistance and persusasion, make change.  It’s beyond black and white claims. I mean, do you know how many shades of pink there really are?”

Jill read a poem about the cost of wearing heels, how we take the pain to put ourselves on a pedestal.  

This fear of walking away from cut and dried masculine power to trust our own femme power is not simple or easy.  That feminine power is often not respected, even by those in women’s studies who see seduction as somewhat illegitmate.   There is often a view that women who wear heels and lipstick deserve whatever bad things they get, since they aren’t playing from some kind of artificial rules designed to enforce “equality” by disempowering excellence.

The difference, at least to me, is that my femme voice comes from somewhere much, much deeper than my agressive guy voice ever did.  It goes to somewhere authentic, rather than just to somewhere manipulative.

It seems to me that we have to believe that femme voices count, that they have power, even if that power isn’t the same as academic agrument voices. 

If not, how can we ever tell our daughters that they have to find their own true and deep voice and trust it?

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