Thanks for writing this, I too have always felt shame about my body hair, probably because of comments made back in elementary school. I'm so super sensitive about it. Two things over the years that reminded me of this, and how some people don't understand how it feels, or are purposely cruel about it:
1. 7 or 8 years ago, on an episode of American's Next Top Model, there was a photo shoot where each of the girls was a circus freak. Tyra assigned a girl with thick, curly hair to be the "bearded lady." The girl was terribly uncomfortable, and was eliminated that episode. I felt so bad for her! I thought, based on the appearance of her hair, that she might be a person who'd struggled with body hair, and how hard it is to overcome those feelings. I was horrified.
2. Seth MacFarlane said a ton of fucked-up and truly offensive shit when he hosted the Oscars, but one that I am still angry over was when he said something about the Kardashian sisters having mustaches. Those girls have obviously complicated beauty regimens, and I seriously doubt anyone has seen them with unwanted hairs since before puberty. So MacFarlane's "joke" was that women with their coloring often have facial hair. It was basically a joke at the expense of their Armenian heritage. which is racist and fucked up.
@fondue with cheddar That doesn't bother me as much as when people repeat silent letters, which them makes them un-silent. As in "i LOVEEEE that!" Actually I HATEEE it.
@LW1 here You're right -- the researchers who came up with this theory really do seem to believe that all MTF's who are primarily attracted to women fall into this category. That's exactly what what the trans community finds so offensive about the concept, and with good reason.
I was so concerned that even mentioning it would offend folks here that I dithered for several minutes over the "reply" button. But I thought it might contain a way of thinking about gender that would resonate with you, and I'm relieved to hear that you found it interesting.
@LW1 here There's a very controversial concept called "autogynephilia" that a lot of transgendered folks feel is incredibly harmful and insulting, because the academics who invented it cruelly apply it as a label to vast numbers of people whom it doesn't fit. But I wanted to throw it out there for you to google, because I think there's a chance you might find it meaningful in your particular case. The bottom line being, that being a man attracted to women who is turned on by the idea of experiencing sex as a woman might not be such an unusual thing.
On Wine Babies
@Daisy Razor Yeah, but it's also kind of depressing to make a bunch of major life changes like that and STILL not get pregnant.
@parallel-lines I like infants and school-age kids, but I have a hard time tolerating children between the ages of, say, 18 months and 5 years. They're loud and irrational like little drunk people.
@rallisaurus Or Trudie!
This, the whole thing. The ambivalence, the googling, the surprising amount of physical pain. Thank you for being so eloquent about it.
It's good that you told your friends and family so you didn't have to go through it alone. So many people keep early pregnancy and miscarriage to themselves, and I don't know that it's usually the right decision.
Oh, Alice Dreger is wonderful. She communicates issues of unusual anatomy with smarts and compassion. Before I read her stuff and thought about these issues, I thought of course everyone wants to look outwardly "normal," and that's always for the best. She completely changed my mind, and convinced me that surgeons preoccupied with normalizing appearance can have a devastating effect on patients' well-being and ability to function. Please, read her stuff!
@RK Fire Damn! My deadlift's only at 190, but I had myself convinced I could train for a pull-up in a few months if I were motivated. They're a big part of Starting Strength, and Rippetoe doesn't say anything about modifying that part for women.
Do you do negatives? I heard that's the best way to train for a pull-up. I would do them, but I can't reach the pull-up bars at my gym (they're at the top of the 10 foot high power racks, and dragging the biggest plyo box over so I can hop up and do my negatives is too embarrassing). And my doorways at home are too weird for an Iron Gym or whatever. My plan is to start training pull-ups when I get my home gym in the Spring.