Yuck- your boss was a clone of Trump…
Ha! I’d not made the connection. That’s funny…
In a way, this man was worse than Trump; even more evil, in that publicly he was an intelligent, considerate, responsible person. This left me certain that, were I to say anything, he would be believed over me.
…the target is always someone who will not fight back, someone who values and practices being kind, giving the benefit of the doubt, and tolerating impositions.
We are, of course, taught not to fight back, to be kind, give the benefit of the doubt, tolerate impositions. You’ve nailed it. The training is deeply ingrained, personally and culturally, and difficult to impossible to counter.
As a side note, I find the socialisation argument that some use against us — that we were not socialised as female — naïve and utterly ludicrous. As children we imprint on peers and role models of our gender, regardless of appearances.
This shows up in our behaviour — how else would we be so consistently marked for bullying? Later alterations to our behaviours are defensive, learnt in response to abuse. Transition consists, in large part, in the unlearning of these pseudo-masculine defences. This may explain some of the difficulties had by late-transitioners — long practice makes behaviours harder to unlearn.
In my opinion, the external pressures opposed to our female identification only serve to ingrain this imprinting all the more deeply. It seems to me that, as a class, trans women may be even more susceptible to abuse than typical.
…repelling an attack requires the victim to instantly adopt a different interpersonal stance, and that feels too difficult, like changing into someone else.
Interesting…I’d not considered this. It does ring true. When my elder sister was raped, my father railed against her passivity and acquiescence. Without knowing why, I understood perfectly.
Thank you for writing, Phil.