Girl, you’ll be a woman soon

@kraken_syllabub has just posted a Twitter essay about gender and the ways in which the notion of masculinity continues to privilege cis-male existence.

A lot of the writing is about the experience of being transgender, and the fact that cis men are allowed to explore and experiment with masculine identities in ways which other people are not. The tweet which stood out to me as summing this up beautifully was this one:

I found the essay fascinating and thought-provoking, and I’m also acutely aware that the experience of being trans is not mine to discuss. It is very much my area to listen and learn and try to understand, and I would recommend that anyone with similar interests follow the link above. In the meantime, one little tangent in the middle did resonate with me, and set my mind a-pondering, and it was this:

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The solitude of the recreational cyclist

My son has suddenly got the hang of riding his bike. Today we went to the park to practice, and I walked along behind him as he sailed away, looping and swooping and circling the paths. After a while, we went back to the playground to meet the rest of the family, and I saw him flinch as we walked into the crowd. I saw his eyes cloud momentarily, and I knew that expression.

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