Female Dysphoria

xena

Not long ago, I got an email from my aunt saying she worried about my plans for surgery. She wanted to make sure that I´d be getting surgery for the right reasons, because I had sounded very spiteful in addressing my own anatomy. She described how she had felt incredibly angry and hateful of her own uterus for a while and how she had fantasized about getting it removed.

The relationship between women and uteruses is a difficult one, I think, and apparent that you realize that women´s emotions have often been linked to irrationality. This link was made official in the now obsolete and erratic diagnosis of hysteria (1990 BCE, from Rational Wiki), which stated that violent outbursts and anxiety were related to the uterus (which translates to hysteria in Greek).

In Christian Medieval Europe, hysteria was linked to witchcraft – the result of demonic possession – and it was generally assumed that it could be cured with sex or masturbation. While hysteria was removed as a diagnosis in 1980 (source here), it can´t be denied that women are still seen as going through a temporary crazy phase especially in relation to a drop in hormone levels (PMS).

Hormone levels impact our neurotransmitters (I experienced this on my first three days on testosterone and one day after shark week: I was ecstatic) and therefore our mood, but to this day there is no exact scientific cause known for this anxiety, and if you dare think outside the box, there might be a gazillion other reasons (unprocessed emotions from the past, for example).

Personally I think that women who go through this are both deeply confused by it (it completely alters your way of perceiving the world and emotional response) and experience severe guilt because of it. Our society is built upon intellectual and rational heritage, and intense emotions or mental illnesses that cause emotional dis-ease tend to still be frowned upon or misunderstood.

In this light it doesn´t surprise me that many ciswomen could possibily experience strong dysphoria as well and even temporarily hate parts of their body, and I guess my aunt was correct in worrying about my motives. Before I came in touch with people who are transgender or even transgenderism itself as a real thing, I actually attributed a lot of this hate to the same thing. More about that in my next post.

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8 thoughts on “Female Dysphoria

  1. Gender issues aside, there is a prevailing though unpopular theory, that giving birth is an immoral act. That, in consideration with the hormonal imbalances caused by the uterus, as well as cancer risks, makes the removal of a uterus a reasonable choice – even for “ciswomen”.

    Though, saying that, I’m uncertain as to whether or not its removal interferes with sex; I’m also uncertain of threats to homeostasis that accompany its removal.

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    1. That´s interesting Louis, I had never heard of such theory… but if giving birth is an immoral act, doesn´t it follow that no one should ever have sex?

      I think the trouble is in this: women who are proudly feminist might loathe parts of their own body or have dysphoria towards their own body, and then in turn feel incredibly guilty for feeling the latter (because they could possibly see it as not fitting into feminist thinking). The second issue is that for some women the feeling might be emotional and not based on the practical considerations that you name (my aunt felt this way, but later felt the opposite).

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  2. One can have sex without becoming impregnated. Following your line of reasoning, we should all kill ourselves, for fear that being alive can lead to making a mistake.

    Here’s an example of someone promoting the association of immorality; I should warn you, however, that you will require a sense of humor to appreciate it. The second link is my own promotion.

    https://mentallurgy.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/immorality-of-conception/

    Well, the first concern you mentioned seems.. silly. No one should want something that is exclusively detrimental, nor should they pretend that detriment is nonexistent. [Again, I’m uncertain if the uterus is necessary for homeostasis or sex.] For example, I wish I didn’t have to sleep for my body and brain to function properly: It would give me so much more free time. Does that make me inhuman, or practical?

    The second concern you mentioned, I have difficulty understanding the relevance of. Emotional irrationality is applicable to all of our perceptions, so its not directly related to considerations of the uterus?

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    1. The theory, you said, is that the act of giving birth is immoral. It did not specify anything about the history of this theory, so I assumed that the theory also applied the times that we did not have birth control or in situations where birth control might not be available. In that case, having sex would pretty much equal giving birth.

      I read your post briefly and there it specified that the theory is about choosing whether or not to bring human life into this world. In my opinion, the theory has very little to do with the relationship that women might have with their own uteruses. Women might have a feeling about their uterus without ever bringing kids into this world.

      It seems that we are talking about two different subjects. They are remotely related, but body or gender dysphoria is not the same topic as arguing about the morality of childbearing. I was not adressing whether it is wrong or not to have an hysterectomy, but exploring the different reasons women could have to want a hysterectomy. These can either be practical or not so practical.

      The second concern is relevant in light of the topic of this post. You talked about removal of the uterus, but in the situation described in my post, the woman in question briefly desired an hysterectomy and then later changed her mind. In that case surgery would have been a very drastic option that she would probably regret later. Hence her concern.

      I´m not sure which discussion we are having, to be honest. Is it about dysphoria or about the morality of childbearing?

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  3. I brought up the immorality of childbirth because it removes a practical motivation for keeping a uterus. Remove that motivation, then assume a uterus is unnecessary for both childbirth and sex, then assume it can be safely removed, and there’s no reason to keep it. Therefore promoting the choice to remove it.

    Hell, I would even promote the removal of breasts, simply because they serve no practical purpose. I don’t even want to imagine the impracticality of having big tits. Gross. Granted, I greatly enjoy them in sex, but I wouldn’t want my partner to endure their burden merely for that.

    And your first point, of earlier times making sex and pregnancy nearly inseparable, is fair. I’m not very interested in discussing irrelevancies, so I didn’t consider your approach.

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    1. I understand your point of view. I think there would be many, many women who would disagree, but then again, they might think there is a functionality or beauty to the shapes of their body, and they might want to have kids some day.

      For me, the choice is easy. Certain organs don´t feel indigenous to my body, and feeling male I have no practical or emotional purpose for them whatsoever. Still, there are other gender-nonconforming people out there who choose to keep them, for diverging reasons.

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      1. Aye, I understand the concept of dysphoria, even if I’ve not experienced it myself.

        Admittedly, I’m far too practical for most. I find utility’s improvement of life, to be the highest possibly beauty when considering form and function. Infact, I find form that does not follow function, to be extremely ugly, and deplorable. That said, I’m still male, and appreciate the female form no matter how impractical. Wish I didn’t, that I could take that off the list of needs, but that’s life.

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