Please Use My Preferred Honorific

Ma’am is a contraction of madam, a French word which refers to a woman who is older, as opposed to mademoiselle, the word denoting a woman who is young. In English “ma’am” is used for the older woman and “miss” for the younger one.

About ten to fifteen years ago, people stopped referring to me as “miss” and began referring to me as “ma’am.” However, this is a misunderstanding of who I am as a person, and these people are mis-aging me. I am not an older woman. Though I am AMA3B (assigned middle-age at 30th birthday), the age I was assigned does not match my internal age. I have never felt old, my entire life, and I am not old. I am literally young. No one can imagine the inner struggle I’ve felt as I’ve looked in the mirror and watched my body take on a foreign aged look that I have never identified with. I’ve often considered surgery to correct this defect. But I can’t afford surgery, so I do my best by shopping in the junior’s department, so that people will understand I’m presenting young.

Some may take the appearance of my body and face as evidence that I am older, but these people need educated on the many different ways that a young person can look.

You see, age is a spectrum. Some people are clearly 10, and that’s young, and some people are clearly 90, and that’s old, but in between are many, many other types of ages. And who is to say that a person whose bodily appearance suggests they’ve been on the Earth 48 years (or even 78 years) is old? The fact is, you can’t tell. Some 20 year-olds have wrinkles, and some 60-year-olds don’t. Remember, there is that disorder where people age prematurely, and there is also that one woman who got osteoporosis at 27. Since you haven’t given me a chromosome test, you have no business making a judgment about how old I am. I know what I am, and others need to believe me.

So I’m going to need everyone on my college campus and in my life in general to ban the word “ma’am” from their vocabulary when referring to me, and to begin using the word “miss.” I consider the word “ma’am,” when used for me, to be hate speech. However, it is perfectly acceptable to continue using the word for cis-aged people.

By the way, avoiding using either word is not an option as that is un-aging me and denying my humanity as a young person. I have the right to exist.

Some people, like University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, think that one person’s rights end where another’s begin, and that what I am proposing is “compelled speech” backed by the force of law, which is unconstitutional. But that’s bigotry and trans-agesim. I deserve to have my youthfulness recognized under the law. And that can happen only when you say exactly what I need for you to say.

Next post: why the twenty-year-olds on OK Cupid need to examine their trans-ageist dating preferences.

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26 thoughts on “Please Use My Preferred Honorific

    • I haven’t been following it lately, but from what I saw before:

      * He hasn’t actually refused to use anyone’s pronouns in real life, he’s just opposed to enshrining into law what speech people must use.
      * He’s pointed out that there’s a big difference between banning hate speech and compelling endorsement speech, and he’s absolutely right about that.
      * From what I understand he’s a conservative with some troubling views, but his approach on this is correct: it is inappropriate to enlist the law to compel an individual’s speech or to favor a particular ideology. People have the right to form their opinion on whether or not males can become female just as they have the right to form an opinion on whether being gay is wrong or whether Christianity is silly, and we’ve never tried to outlaw forming or expressing opinions before. People don’t have the right to beat up or discriminate against any of those groups, but they can’t be forced to express agreement with them either.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I was thinking that if “transmisogyny” = misogyny against the transggendered, transageism = ageism against the trans-aged.

      But yeah, then you’ve got “cissexist” on the other side. It’s almost like they’re making up words too fast to keep the vocabulary coherent.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wouldn’t hatred of transwomen be misotransgyny, with transmisogyny being trans hatred of women. I’m a stickler for word formation. Also, you’re transageist, your critics are practicing cisageism.

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  1. Hello,
    I’ve just found your blog today while doing research for my situation (it’s my sister’s husband who is MTT. They’re still together and she is trying her upmost to be supportive and a “good ally” and placating and I believe he is in essence being abusive to her- the works, similar to what I’ve read in your story and comments section) plus I’m just trying to get my head around this whole trans rhetoric in general and try to get my own ideas straight regarding what it is exactly that makes me uncomfortable about some trans advocacy as a woman. Ive spent the night binge reading your blog. Thank you! Very glad to see that you seem in a much better place than your earlier heartbreak and what you were put through.

    I have one question if you don’t mind me asking. You eloquently talk a lot about the narcissism of the transitioning process. I’m curious as to whether your partner was always a narcissist and self-centred pre-transition, but it was easy to accept given all the other lovely traits of the relationship? There are a lot of similarities in many transwidow’s experiences after their partner “came out”, and I’m interested in whether that was present before, too. Definitely in the case of my brother-in-law had a noticeable pouty and entitled streak. Whether this was above and beyond that of something you’d encounter in much any man I’m still trying to get my head around.

    Anyway, again, thank you for sharing your story and thoughts

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a good question, and I’m not sure I know how to answer. I personally didn’t notice this streak in him before. However, some of the other people in his life did. It’s been pointed out to me that he was a theater minor and enjoys acting and has gone through some other self-reinventions and attention-getting schemes. I’m not sure if that’s the same thing as narcissism, exactly, but there’s that.

      I’d say he’s had a major crisis of self-esteem all his life, though, which some people argue is two sides of the same coin. Both amount to thinking too hard about yourself, to never learning to just get over yourself and your needs and thinking of others instead.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Check out the book “Sex Changes” by Christine Benvenuto, about her experience when her husband transitioned(hint: marriage ended). Apparently her MTT husband also has a book about his experience transitioning – from a wildly different perspective, of course.

      This book might help to clarify some things you are observing. It would be a good covert read for your sister, when she gets close to her breaking point with this horrible charade that has been imposed upon her

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the tip I’ve ordered to book! It’s really hard to find “entry level”/ “easy does it” stuff to give her to read without her shouting “TERF TERF” and shutting off to the info at all so the book is perfect since “personal story” is a great hook to get her even considering to hear a different perspective

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I could have written this, but you beat me to the punch! Having more initiative than me is tran-initiatist (or cis-initiatist? I’m confused, but clearly it is a form of bigotry to take the initiative quicker than I did. I could literally die from this, because it is literally violence against the lazy to take initiative!) I am also trans-aged. I am so tired of the discrimination. I do look young for my age, but the point is, I feel even younger! The only time I feel old is when doing double jumps in figure skating, and feeling tired after hour long private lessons focusing mainly on jumps. Last time I came home from my private lesson, I literally took a 4 hr nap! I hurt too! We should start a social justice movement. Just don’t take the initiative before I do this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m actually transaged also but I’m GYTBB (Gen Y to Baby Boomer, “Millennial” is a slur that refers to calendar age not mental age by the way, I’m natally Gen Y but never call me natal Millennial ) . I’ve always felt like I can’t relate to cis-GenYers and I have never felt comfortable in my age. They all swallow third wave feminism wholesale and make posts on facebook and twitter supporting trans causes that are quite misogynist (misogynist-misogynist, not trans-mysogynist (which is also a slur by the way because it de-ages me since that term was never around in the era I identify with) and I’ve always known I’m different somehow. It’s only with discovery of your post that I realise how.

    Although I never lived in the pre-Roe VS Wade era, or lived as an adult in a time where marital rape wasn’t even a crime, or ever had to be a trail blazer and one of few women in my degree/profession, or fight against an overwhelming assumption of everyone around me that all I had to be was a quiet, diligent mother and wife, I still feel that I am a real second wave feminist BB and should be recognised as such and it’s a hate crime not to. All I ask is that people treat me as if I am a young American woman in the 60s, its really not hard.
    I’m currently looking for allies for a campaign I’m running against top40 radio stations for triggering my age dysphoria and get them shut down. I’m also going to start a twitter campaign against classic hits radio stations that date BB artists (e.g. “this is Carly Simon’s woman-power hit from 1971”) since this is insensitive to my age-dysphoria.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I actually wrote and made phone calls in order to try to defeat a bill in the recent NM legislative session allowing trans people to change the sex on their birth certificates without a paper trail that there had been a change. I argued that changing the way data is taken during the term of data taking invalidates all demographic studies and having two ways that sex is determined (one at birth and one when it is declared and changed or not) means that all studies, such as medical studies of how different drugs affect males and females, would be invalid as we would have no way to actually “know” the sex of most people if the state adopts a new standard in which declared sex is the real sex and no record of changes is kept. I asked how many times a given person could do this since some people retransition and if other genders such as agender and circumgender could also go on birth certificates. I also asked about changing the age on my birth certificate for the reasons you state. The NM senate Republicans had some fun with this during the debate–some claiming that they identified as Native American and so wanted to change their birth certificates and some wanting to change the age, however, it passed both house and senate (which are both Democratic majorities). Governor Martinez did not sign it. She is rightly known as one of the most reactionary right wing Governors in the country, so it is interesting that she did sign one of those “anti conversion therapy bills. I also wrote and called to point out to legislators that this was what others call a “gay eugenics” bills as it makes it illegal to use stuff like electroshock therapy to try to convert gays youth into being straight (this is good) but it also makes it illegal for any psychologist to do anything but affirm a gender identity. You are then free to “convert” the bodies of these kids to those of the opposite sex, effectively rendering them straight. Children with gender non-conforming behaviors are identified and sterilized, either by themselves or their parents. The fact that such a person as governor Martinez (no fan of gays and lesbians) would sign this bill shows that “gay eugenics”, for her, is the intended outcome. Yet, people celebrated and wondered why this was the only “liberal” bill passed during the whole legislative session that she signed.

    Liked by 1 person

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