Summary Of Kristen Schilt's Just One Of The Guys

Great Essays
In the book, Just One of the Guys?, Kristen Schilt examines transgender men’s experiences in the workplace. Schilt recognizes that men and women are treated differently in work environments, but the reasons for this are highly debated. By bringing transmen’s experiences into the light, Schilt hopes to provide solid evidence that gender is a social construct and that notions of gender as fixed and based on biology are inaccurate. Schilt also wants to show just how much gender inequality is present in institutions like the workplace. Transmen have a unique perspective due to their experiences as women and later as men. They can see the differences in how men and women are treated in the workplace. To reinforce these points, Schilt analyzes transmen’s …show more content…
Natural difference schemas cause people to see men and women as fundamentally different. They see gender as innate and constant. Schilt describes how these views are deeply institutionalized and recreated through social interactions. One way she proves this is by giving evidence of transmen who gain status after transitioning. Because of their new social identity as men, their work is often more valued, and they can receive advantages such as more authority and financial gains. These changes show how work done by men and women is judged differently because of their assumed differences. Schilt also provides evidence that shows how gender is reinforced by social interactions. When transmen look passable, they find themselves accepted by men as one of the guys, something they are not used to. Their female socialization can make them feel like a gender outsider in groups of men. This sometimes means they must learn how to act like men. Behaviors that were accepted when they were women are no longer suitable after their social identity changed. While some transmen must learn how to act, others feel more comfortable after transitioning. When they were women, they would sometimes have to police themselves to act more like a woman. Now as men, they are more comfortable expressing their behavior. These examples show how gender is socially …show more content…
Because natural difference schemas are so widely accepted as truth and are deeply institutionalized, gender inequality is extremely hard to eradicate. To most people, categorizing men and women as opposites is natural, making it hard to move away from this kind of thinking. Men and women receive different treatment in the workplace every day, but it is often hard to become aware of it. When a man gets a promotion or is chosen for leadership training, people assume it is because of their ability or competency for the position and not because of male privilege. Transmen can see both sides of this concept. After they transition, they may notice that their ideas are questioned less, they receive a pay raise, or they are seen as more capable for jobs than women. Schilt describes in her book a transman who was told that he was much smarter than the woman who had the position before him when that woman was, in fact, him before transitioning. These advantages that men receive just for being men are another reason why change is so difficult. Men at the top of the hierarchy are resistant to give up any of the rewards they may receive from gender inequality. Not only do men want to hold onto their privilege, women might not even see it. Female socialized people often don’t see how much they are being devalued because they have seen it all their lives and are so

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