I get a fair amount of criticism.
Some of it is very constructive, actually. If I get a critical email and I, well, kind of scrunch up my nose at it… well, it’s usually an indication that the emailer has a point. Like, the criticism is so obvious in retrospective that I am annoyed I didn’t realize it.
Sometimes I try to look bitchy? Seductive? in my photos. I try to pair my facial expression and body language with what I am wearing. If I am wearing a leather dress I am trying to look dominating. If I am modeling lingerie I do my best ‘come-hither’ bedroom eye.
Photos tend to generate a lot of emails. A common comment is that I should smile more. I used to shrug these suggestions off. I mean, don’t tell a girl to smile, right? But someone wrote that I looked, well, completely bored in a set of photos.
I scrunched up my nose.
Dammit, they were absolutely correct. I did look bored. I didn’t look seductive or intimidating, I looked like I would rather be doing anything else in the world.
This is what I mean by constructive criticism. I don’t expect everyone in the world to like me or like what I post, I do get some hate mail after all. And that’s fine. I really don’t understand why someone would go through the trouble of sending an email telling me UR ugly LOL or whatever. I suppose the intention is to hurt my feelings. On a good day I brush those comments off like flecks of mascara.
On a bad day? That’s a different story.
My perspective is that if you are going to offer your opinion perhaps, I don’t know, be gentle? Be specific? If I write one of my infamous and rambling posts on, well, whatever I write about and you disagree? Totally cool. BUT what I really value and appreciate is being told WHY my perspective isn’t always the be all and end all.
Of course, I don’t assume I am always right and I would never presume to speak for everyone. If someone has their own perspective based on their own experiences I really do like hearing it. Being challenged (so to speak) helps people see things in someone else’s stilettos.
I write a lot about respecting the boundaries that our partners may request of us when it comes to this of us. My thinking is that our crossdressing, our gender identity, is a lot for us to ask of our partners and if they request that we don’t do something, such as posting photos or going to certain malls, then I think it’s a small sacrifice (if you will) for us to make.
BUT some of you have emailed me saying that perhaps a situation isn’t as simple as I think it is. Perhaps some of these requests and boundaries are, well, unfair to us.
And goodness you were right. Your gentle and constructive criticism helped shaped my perspective. It was a reminder that hardly anything in marriage is black and white and that hardly anything when it comes to gender is blue and pink.
When I am, well, wrong, I like to think that I do a decent job acknowledging it. It’s not uncommon for me to think or say or feel or write something and then my perspective… softens a bit after a little time passes or when someone comments on what I said. I try to be open to another’s assessment of a situation which isn’t easy for that person… it’s sometimes hard to tell someone else that they might be wrong. Honestly? I admire and respect that.
Sometimes people who post comments and criticism contradict each other. This is a reminder that what I write isn’t always going to make everyone always happy. When I write posts about how much I love clothes or when I post pictures I get emails calling me superficial and I should write more about serious topics. When I DO write about legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community I get called a snowflake and I should stop discussing politics.
In today’s episode of “Hannah Rambling On and On and On” I would like to chat about comments I get on occasion that are about the things I do. And that sounds really broad but what I mean is that I am sometimes told I have no idea what a “real woman” goes through.
Two things right off the bat:
I make the assumption that they mean cisgender women. Transwomen ARE women.
Secondly, I have never claimed that the things that Hannah does, either with her life or in her day, are things that ALL women do.
It’s true that I don’t know what a cisgender woman’s life or day is like. I am not a cisgender woman. But taking that a little further, I don’t know what ANYONE’S life is like. There are almost eight billion people on the planet and the only life I know is my own. I don’t know what my brother’s life is like. I don’t know what my colleague’s lives are like outside of work. We all have different experiences based on the zillion different things that make up who we are and what we do.
I don’t know what “women go through”. I don’t know what it’s like to give birth but many women don’t know what this is like either. Giving birth is not something that all women can relate to. I don’t know what it’s like to be underpaid for the same job that a male co-worker does, given that there is pay inequality in the workforce. I don’t know what it’s like for the government to make decisions that concern my healthcare.
I can relate to some of the things that my wife experiences but she has different experiences in her day and throughout her life. I can relate to her when she discovers her favorite foundation was discontinued but I can’t relate when she has her period.
I’m sometimes told that being a girl isn’t all makeovers and photo shoots. Of course it isn’t. I don’t do these things because I think “I’m a girl and girls do boudoir pictures and have expensive makeovers”. I do these things for a few reasons. On one hand photo shoots are things that are part of “my job”, whether it’s because I am shooting a video or doing a product review or modeling a dress. These are moments that are very unique and very uncommon… for all genders. I know that most people don’t do these things.
And I also do photo shoots and have makeup appointments because they are super fun. Some people spend Saturday mornings playing golf, I strut around a mall.
I know life is work and an endless to-do list of paying bills and going to your job and commuting and doctor visits and forever cleaning a house. But I don’t think these things are indicative of one’s gender. I don’t think there are many things that my wife and I do BECAUSE of our anatomy or gender identity. We both pay bills, we both go to the doctor (albeit for different reasons sometimes), we both clean…
This is the every day stuff. Stuff that almost everyone does, no matter if they are cis or trans.
The things Hannah does are things that I enjoy doing en femme. I hate the mall but I really enjoy when Hannah spends the day at the mall. Being en femme is… a representation of taking a little break from my normal day, my normal life. To me, it’s not unlike going on a vacation. Some people take a week off and never check their work email or think about their responsibilities while they relax on a beach. My “vacation” is a little different but I think they accomplish the same things… a nice little break from chores and my job.
We all have different things we enjoy doing. And I really don’t think these things are BECAUSE of our gender identity. My wife? She loves murder podcasts. My best friend? He enjoys making vegetarian food. My sister skateboards. My niece plays drums. The things I do in my male life are not things that I do BECAUSE of HIS gender. He reads, he likes art, he likes going for hikes. Are these things because of his gender? No.
So while it’s true that Hannah does things that most women don’t do, I really don’t know WHAT things people do BECAUSE of their gender identity. We do things that we are interested in… whether watching makeup tutorials or restoring a vintage car. I think the things that Hannah does are typical for the things that a wannabe model/blogger does… regardless of their gender.