Why is it so hard for women to accept their bodies?

Originally published by Glosswitch on The New Statesman

[T]he website xojane ran a piece under the title “I was sterilised and had my breasts removed and I couldn’t be happier”. The author, Lore Graham, a non-binary trans person, described the liberation of electing to have their body surgically modified in order to make it their own:

“I no longer feel like my body is a burden or a liability. It was a female reproduction machine, but I repurposed it to serve who I actually am: The body of an androgynous, neuter person who loves to write, cook, eat, cuddle, have sex, and go on adventures.”

Graham’s body is theirs, to do with as they please, and if this is their route to happiness, good for them. There seems to me nothing strange about experiencing the female reproductive body as “a burden or a liability”. Plenty of people, not to mention employers, do. However, I can’t help feeling there is something terribly depressing about the acceptance that there exists a necessary choice between being “a female reproduction machine” and “an androgynous, neuter person who loves to write, cook, eat, cuddle, have sex, and go on adventures” (in other words, between being a woman or a human being). The body itself is not the problem. Still, it’s all very well for me to say that. One needs to find a way of living in and as one’s own flesh in the world as it currently stands. However much I feel that human shaped ought to encompass woman shaped, too, I know that it doesn’t.

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