FtM and MtF, the two sides of transition

Today, more women than men - or rather, more girls than boys - are in transition, reversing the proportions of the past. But the two apparently different phenomena do not escape the phallogocentrism and normativity of the male gaze. The fight against gender stereotypes must be intensified. Above all, for the sake of minors.
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The phenomenon of transition appears profoundly changed in the last thirty years. The main change - though not the only one - concerns the biological sex of people who decide to transition, today more female than male.

At one time, female-to-male FtMs were an absolute rarity. The proportions were roughly one FtM for every hundred MtF, and even then they were two anthropologically different and distant worlds. Today, FtMs make up the clear majority of early transitions -7-8 cases out of 10- and the reading criteria need to be updated.

An important difference: while among MtFs the use of hormone therapies and surgery -castration- is increasingly rare in favour of a self-identification that keeps the body intact (self-id) FtMs very frequently resort to chemical support and double mastectomy o top surgery (much less frequently to the construction of a male pseudo-sex).

On the level of the symbolic, however, both types of transition tell the same story. It is always about erasure of the female body.

In the case of FtMs, a real escape from the destiny of being a woman as disempowermentloss of freedom, renunciation, subordination, misery. The movement is the same as emancipated and - at a later stage - the anorexic (see here). As the detransitioner, rather than being men, it is about stopping the process of becoming women.with all that that implies. The objective is "escape from the burning house"(see here).

In the case of the MtFs, however, it is a matter of replacing biological women with their own 'new' pseudo-women's bodies, self- and cosmetically reconstructed.when they are, in accordance with the canons of the most established gender stereotypes, or pandering to the demands of the male gaze.

FtM is almost always an act of political resistance. on which, therefore, it is possible to intervene politically: the work with the detransitioner is in fact a predominantly political work. In contrast, the case of MtFs presents itself as a predominantly intrapsychic movement.

On the surface, therefore, FtM and MtF transitions appear to be symmetrical, equal and opposite movements, somehow 'compensated'.escape from the feminine in the first case, the desire to be part of it in the second. In reality Both movements do not escape the range of the normative male gaze that denies female freedom and imposes the cage of gender stereotypes. In other words, in both cases we remain within the enclosure of phallogocentrism. The phallus remains the ordering principle.

Feminism has always fought against gender stereotypes and this battle must be resumed and intensified today, especially for the salvation of girls and boys. The increasingly widespread use of puberty blockerswhich anticipates and spreads the transition phenomenon like wildfire, producing irreversible damage in perfectly healthy and never 'wrong' children's bodies, has radically changed the scenario and requires the utmost attention.

Girls and young women, who are today the main target of propaganda, must be saved from the brutality of these ultimate practices in the wake of emancipation. To emancipate oneself means to free oneself from slavery, to escape from domination. But being a woman is not slavery, it is the patriarchy that, in order not to collapse, cannot help but understand us as subordinates.

It is about convincing girls and young women to escape oppression by resisting within themselves, and the"unspeakable good fortune to be born a woman" (Luisa Muraro).

Marina Terragni


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