Just One of the Guys?: Transgender Men and the Persistence of Gender Inequality

Just One of the Guys?: Transgender Men and the Persistence of Gender Inequality

Kristen Schilt

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 0226738078

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The fact that men and women continue to receive unequal treatment at work is a point of contention among politicians, the media, and scholars. Common explanations for this disparity range from biological differences between the sexes to the conscious and unconscious biases that guide hiring and promotion decisions. Just One of the Guys? sheds new light on this phenomenon by analyzing the unique experiences of transgender men—people designated female at birth whose gender identity is male—on the job.

Kristen Schilt draws on in-depth interviews and observational data to show that while individual transmen have varied experiences, overall their stories are a testament to systemic gender inequality. The reactions of coworkers and employers to transmen, Schilt demonstrates, reveal the ways assumptions about innate differences between men and women serve as justification for discrimination. She finds that some transmen gain acceptance—and even privileges—by becoming “just one of the guys,” that some are coerced into working as women or marginalized for being openly transgender, and that other forms of appearance-based discrimination also influence their opportunities. Showcasing the voices of a frequently overlooked group, Just One of the Guys? lays bare the social processes that foster forms of inequality that affect us all.

The Virtu (Doctrine of Labyrinths, Book 2)

Re-dis-covering identity: A phenomenological study exploring the ontological complexities of being gay

Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution

The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination

Contract with the World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rooms, local FTM support groups, and LGBT-focused college courses. In college, he came out as transgender to his friends and family and began dating other transmen. Reflecting on his identity transformations, he laughs: “I’ve been the L, G, B, and T. I’ve done them all.” Elliott’s story reflects a major shift from the 1980s and 1990s. Because he grew up in an urban area of California, the resources available to him were unimaginable to older generations of transmen: gay-straight alliances at many

create a heightened appreciation of reward and recognition for job performance as men. Even if the changes in treatment are not vast, they are different enough to be noticeable to many transmen. Another reward that some transmen gain is freedom from unwanted sexual advances, as men encounter less touching and groping and fewer sexualized comments at work than women. Brian recounts his experience working as a waitress, saying that “customer service” involved “having my boobs grabbed, being called

transmen’s transitions. David (t. mid-2000s) notes, “We had a pull-up bar [in the office]. We had a contest. . . . And I did way more than my [male] supervisor [as a woman]. When I told him about my transition, he just said, ‘So, does that mean that you are going to beat me even more than you do now?’” Scott had a running joke with the only other man in his workplace about whether the toilet seat in the men’s room should be left up or down—a joke that reflected Scott’s decision not to have

transmen’s transitions. David (t. mid-2000s) notes, “We had a pull-up bar [in the office]. We had a contest. . . . And I did way more than my [male] supervisor [as a woman]. When I told him about my transition, he just said, ‘So, does that mean that you are going to beat me even more than you do now?’” Scott had a running joke with the only other man in his workplace about whether the toilet seat in the men’s room should be left up or down—a joke that reflected Scott’s decision not to have

have to be currently working to be included in the study. But I did require that they have once attempted to be hired as men or have once told potential or current employers that they preferred male pronouns and identified as men or transmen—regardless of whether they were successfully hired or retained. I conducted these interviews in two regions of the United States: California and Texas. California is stereotyped as politically liberal and Texas as politically conservative. While this is a

Download sample

Download