“Female Socialization” is a Transphobic Myth

And it’s holding us all back. Here’s why.

Devon Price
17 min readAug 2, 2021


Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash

It’s early in the summer and I’m having coffee with Skyler, a cisgender woman who teaches History at a college a few miles away. Skyler’s school has just gone back to in-person classes after a year of remote learning, and an old, familiar demon is back to torment her: the presumption she is incompetent because she is a woman.

Online, Skyler could hide behind her name and keep her avatar a shady gray box, and have students treat her neutrally and respectfully. Now, thrust back into physical reality, she is a woman in people’s eyes again, and the boys are picking apart her knowledge and expertise.

“If I even say the name of a battle, I start getting quizzed,” she tells me. “Who was the general? How many men fought for each side? How many deaths were there? Where were they buried? Where is the king’s skeleton kept now?”

Skyler has to gird her loins for these encounters, studying up on minutia that isn’t even relevant to the class. She practices clapbacks and witty retorts in her head, in case a cocky, entitled male student decides to challenge her. Skyler has to remind students to call her Dr. Skylerslastname, not “Miss Skyler,” every time someone raises their hand. She has to walk to the back of the room and hover over students when they ignore her and have side conversations. Every day is a battle for her dignity. She was free from all this sexist bullshit last year, but now it’s like she’s teaching with a set of weights on.

“I forgot how much of my energy used to go to fighting these assholes,” she says to me, wearily. I’m frowning sympathetically but don’t have much else to offer. She asks me, “How do you handle things like that?”

“My students have never treated me like that,” I say.

Her brow furrows. It doesn’t compute. “They don’t do that to you?”

I shrug. It always baffles cisgender women when I tell them I don’t experience sexism. I have to tow a careful line as I explain it, detailing to them the extremely privileged position I have, providing enough examples to convince them I do have that privilege, but not lording it over them or bragging. Even if it is annoying for me to bring up, I find it’s…



Devon Price

He/Him or It/Its. Social Psychologist & Author of LAZINESS DOES NOT EXIST and UNMASKING AUTISM. Links to buy: https://linktr.ee/drdevonprice