More and more we’re starting to see some very serious venues take on some aspect of trans issues, whether it’s 20/20 last year with GID and trans youth or The Atlantic Monthly’s current article on the same topic.
But I didn’t really expect Harvard Business Review to publish an article about workplace issues, or rather, I wouldn’t have if I didn’t know how fantastic Jillian Todd Weiss is.
I had transitioned from male to female in 1998, and my new employer neither knew nor suspected that I was transgender. Now I was receiving the condescending treatment that some of my female colleagues had complained about all along. After several such incidents, I quietly left the practice of law, never to return. As a male attorney, my competence had never been questioned so harshly by my employers, so I assumed that reports of gender discrimination were bogus complaints brought by females who didn’t measure up. As a male, I had been privileged, though I didn’t know it at the time, to avoid much of the harsh treatment reserved for females in a male bastion.
I didn’t know Ms. Weiss before her transition so I can’t say “I told you so” but I’m going to anyway! No, women aren’t blowing smoke up anyone’s ass about this stuff. I appreciate her honesty in admitting she thought they were “bogus complaints” and am pleased to know that transitioners, as I expected, are turning out to be the last tool in the feminist toolbox.
It’s one of the reasons I find the slogan “equal pay for equal work” problematic, because so much of the struggle is getting people to see your work as equal to your male peers’ — even when it’s superior.