Once you figure out that you are never going to be a Master Of The Universe, you can start to be vulnerable.
For straight, white men this can be a very hard lesson indeed. They were told from a very young age that if they just did what they were supposed to do, denying weakness and playing their part, they had the chance of becoming a Master Of The Universe, one of those movers and shakers whose dick everyone envied and feared.
For people who knew themselves to be marginalized early — women, blacks, Jews, whoever — the idea that they would ever become a Master Of The Universe was off the table. The best they could dream of is success in a niche somewhere, a localized power or someone connected to a Master Of The Universe.
The underlying message of Fox News is “You should be a Master Of The Universe, with beautiful blonde women serving you in cooing tones, and we are going to tell you who stole that entitlement from you.” Fox News Channel is all about us versus them, creating comforting dividing lines that rationalize why America is going to hell. The natural Masters Of The Universe have been besmirched by idiots and pretenders, which is why you don’t have what you should.
For transpeople born male and raised as men, this letting go of the entitlement to be a Master Of The Universe, is hard stuff. Feminists code this as “male privilege,” but that doesn’t really get at the range of privilege that exists or doesn’t exist in society. There are clearly males who are very underprivileged, for example.
The challenge isn’t the actual level of privilege we have — many Fox News viewers are working class, just as many Republicans are — it is how entitled we feel to be a Master Of The Universe. Letting go of that entitlement we have given so much of our lives and our humanity to claim requires us to relocate our image of ourself in the system of power, to acknowledge that Master Of The Universe wasn’t worth working for in the first place.
For many men, this Master Of The Universe posturing falls away only in intimate moments when they dream of having their identity stripped, to be taken and released during sex. Putting that armour back on before they walk out the door, no matter how much their fantasy may be of being a sissy, being pegged or serving other penises, is very important to them.
We hold on to dreams tenaciously. In a world of loss and mortality, it is our dreams which propel us forward, giving meaning to our life. If the dream is being the Master Of The Universe we were intended to be, a winner who stands at the pinnacle with the respect and awe of all around them, choosing to be a marginalized, niche player with a smaller brevet is very hard.
For those who grew up knowing that Master Of The Universe was never for them, we know that small can be potent, meaningful and very satisfying. Instead of looking for who stole our entitlement, we look to how we can connect with other people to make a good life, a good community and work towards a good world.
Letting go of your Master Of The Universe fantasy is not easy. It is the first step to accepting your own queerness, your own unique power in the world. You know you will never be one of them, but that you will always be one of us, just another human living on the earth.
It is easy to go into trans space, especially trans space filled with self-diagnosed heterosexual crossdressers, claiming their womanhood from a sense of entitlement. These are people who see themselves as Masters Of The Universe, unable to imagine a world where they are not at the centre, their own assertions with the power of moral law. If they don’t get what they want, they look for who stands in their way, who is stealing their manhood, rather than looking inside to question their own assumptions and assume their own responsibility for action.
“Being a powerful is like being a lady,” Mrs. Thatcher said. “If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
Being a Master Of The Universe is the same. Arrogant claims don’t make you one, but humble and potent choices can. Letting go of puffed up entitlement is the first step to finding a different and more authentic kind of potency in the world.