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I'd like to think that, as the only person on this board who has experienced both sides of the divide, I'd have something useful to comment. But I transitioned too late for me to feel obliged to buy into the bs Izzy talks about. I wasn't brought up as a girl, I didn't learn female expectations.

But do not for a minute underestimate the reality that women live in an entirely different culture to men. We all imagine that, because we live in the same country, work in the same places, watch the same TV that we have the same culture. We don't, they exist side by side, inhabiting the same physical space yet, for most men (particularly men) and quite a lot of women, almost never really interacting.

I am still a creature of male culture, but with, shall we say, privileged access to female culture, but I am not of female culture.

I don't think men can ever realise how different it is. The scariest thing I ever did as a male was start learning to bellydance. Walking into a class full of women, being, for the first time in my life, in their world was very intimidating. The rules are different and the interactions are different. And as a male, as an interloper, there on licence rather than by right, my first lesson was to learn that I didn't know the rules. Any of them. It wasn't a case of adapting, it was a case of starting afresh.

And what you learn, eventually, is that the cultural values that women have are different.

there is a lot more to it, even as I write I could add a page of qualifiers to each paragraph, so I understand that this is simplistic. But I'm trying to get an idea across.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 31st, 2010 at 05:51:48 AM EST

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