In Their Place

Women who search the internet for porn have the hots for the mythical creatures called vampires while men have the hots for the mythical creatures called shemales, at least according to Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, who probed a billion search histories to make this claim.

Straight men love boobs, penises, people who are trying to look sexy and who are ready to have sex with them.   Getting that all in one package, well, how could these guys possibly resist?

For these guys, shemales are wonderful, erotic and incredibly attractive when they are in their place, when acting out on a porn site or offering their services through a smutty ad.

What happens, though, when you see one of these creatures break through the fourth wall and ends up sitting in the cubicle next to you in the office?   How do you handle the conflicting messages inside of you?   How do you not get your private desire spilled out in front of your co-workers?

Attention always contains tension.    Growing up under the male gaze, women know this absolutely.  That tension, though, is often hard for men to manage, especially when their sexual urges cross with the demand to be professional and collegial.

Women, for many centuries, were kept in their place by a system that wanted to avoid just this kind of interaction.   Their place was in the home, at the stove, and bent over a chair, not in the office.

Compartmentalization has always been a classic patriarchal solution, chaining people down so they stay in their place, be those people foreigners, peasants or of a different hue.    It allowed men to stay at the top of the heap with others supporting rather than challenging them in the places where they claimed ownership.

As long as transpeople stay in their place, well, live and let live some say.

It’s when they enter our space, the spaces we have marked as ours, that they ask to be put back into their place.

In Minnesota there is a religious group that doesn’t want to deny transpeople the right to use the restroom, they just want every transperson to ask permission first.   They want us to acknowledge that it is their space we are entering and that they and only they have the right to decide who is entitled to use it.

Many voters are angry that others have invaded their space, taking the place away from good, real Americans like them.   These foreigners need to know their place, like the harvest field or the motel bathroom, and not get uppity or challenging.

What happens when one of them, the kind who should know enough to stay in their own place, ends up next to us?   Aren’t we entitled to show what we believe, to put them back in their place with our words and actions?

How do we shove that bloody shemale back through the screen, into the porn sites where they belong?  How do we keep them from polluting polite, healthy country, making sure that the tender children are never exposed to the idea that being trans in public is ever acceptable or proper?

When we feel the attention of others, we often feel the tension inside of them.   They are feeling something inside of themselves triggered by our presence, something they don’t want to have to expose, something they could conceal much more easily if we just stayed in our place, whatever they think that is.

That tension can be explosive, sometimes leading to breakthroughs and sometimes leading to breakdowns.    The walls get breached and either hearts and minds open or defence lashes out, striking at whatever, whoever seems irritating.

Keeping other people in their place, though, so you don’t have to face your own inner fears and demons, so your life can be cleaner and easier, so you can retain comfort & power, so the compartments you have built inside of yourself never get revealed for the fragile and oppressive constructs that they are, well, that’s just not fair, compassionate or even reasonable.

If you strive to keep other people in their place, that gives others permission to keep you in your place, even against your will.  You stand for separation rather than connection, for hierarchy rather than liberty, for maintaining the status quo rather than growth, healing and empowerment.

I have felt others try and put me in my place, slashing out to get me to move back, out of their sight, out of their mind, and out of any position to challenge them.   They want to maintain their neat structures which place them in charge and demote others.

We make a better corporation, a better community, a better world when we encourage people to find their own place, rather than pigeonholing them into roles based on some surface criteria.   Diversity benefits us, sharing the best of each.

The place of transwomen isn’t just in drag shows and porn sites, even if those boxes would make your life easier.  Our place is as people offering their gifts and effort in the wide, beautiful world.

And if that makes you uncomfortable, well, do the growth & healing to deal with it.