Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Bad B movie poster: I Hate My Body

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | April 26, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: B movies, Sexploitation, Transexploitation

Transexploitation! This actually looks like something I'd want to watch, if only to find out if they really deal with the issue. Any Bilerico friends know this film?


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Kathy Padilla | April 26, 2010 10:52 AM

"The brain of a male engineer is transplanted into a female's body. He soon finds it very frustrating to cope with the daily sexist discrimination most women deal with. For example, he is surprised when no one will hire a female engineer. When he is faced with dealing with female sexuality, he quickly begins exhibiting lesbian tendencies."

Long plot outline:

A pretty awful science-fiction-horror film in which rampant, ignorant sexism resides. The brain of a male engineer is transplanted into the body of a woman, and soon he/she is shocked to learn that no one will hire a woman for an engineering position, though he/she held superior jobs when in a male body. Soon the film degenerates into a series of offensive male-trapped-in-a-female-body stereotypes that see our character unable to deal with a female sexuality, so he/she begins to demonstrate lesbian inclinations. From here on, the movie disintegrates into an incomprehensible mishmash of disturbing sexist attitudes.



IMDB's plot synopsis: "The brain of a male engineer is transplanted into a female's body. He soon finds it very frustrating."

Let that be a lesson to all you cissexual guys who've fantasized about this.

lol, you know me. All i need is an engineering degree and i'll be set to reenact this movie!

Ask Ben Barres about this. Or Shannon Minter. Or any other Trans man.

It's a gross over-simplification - only certain brain structures have to be involved (though usually others are too). But yes, "Boy Brain In Girl Body" was an anatomically accurate statement for them before their transition.

Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

As regards the social issues - the glass ceiling and all - I can tell you that from personal experience the resume of Zoe Brain and Alan Brain may be identical, word for word, apart from the first name - but the treatment of the job applications are completely different.
So yes, this is the experience of MtoF transition too.

As I said, I over-simplify. In many areas of neurology, there's overlap between male and female norms, few if any conform to either stereotype 100%. It's like saying men are taller than women - they tend to be, there's a distinct pattern there it would be foolish to deny - but there's many exceptions of short men and tall women. In some areas though, overlap is very limited. Few men have vaginas, and those that do are considered unusual, distinct, transsexual.

I'm Intersexed, remember? One of the few kinds that cause an apparent "natural sex change", though of course it's nothing of the sort, it just looks like it. My neurology has changed as much as it's possible to change from having a close-to-stereotypical male endocrine system to a close-to-stereotypical female one. Hormones after birth do have an effect. But that's not much, the basis, the foundations, can't change, they're set before birth. You can't make a cake lighter by adding milk to the mixture after it's baked, some things can't be undone by later intervention.

While this may be a terrible movie - I've not seen it - the idea is sound, and from the description, many of the issues raised quite real. Including sexual orientation. That seems to be set in the neurology too.

Marja Erwin | April 26, 2010 8:22 PM

As far as campy transploitation plots go, this one has potential.

An audience might come in expecting all the strange stereotypes about trans womyn, and then get jolted out of their stereotypes by a story about a trans man. And by a story about all the expectations people have about men and womyn, and all the discrimination the man encounters.

Looks like something Ed Wood might have made.

Sounds campy, might be kind of fun.

Sounds campy, might be kind of fun.

Sounds campy, might be kind of fun.

It was actually made in Chile by an Argentinean director. Yes, it's one of those 60s-70s masterworks with a highly unique (and pfunny) form of dubbing.