Author Topic: [blitherish] My non-standard take on gender  (Read 727 times)

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Offline Asche

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[blitherish] My non-standard take on gender
« on: August 06, 2021, 08:42:43 pm »
In an earlier thread, Sephirah said that my perspective, which seems so different from everyone else's, can be helpful, so I thought I'd natter on a bit about my perspective on gender.  Feel free to skip this post if you're not interested.

One way in which I seem to be different from other people is that I'm not all that hung up on what I "really" am.  A lot of people seem to want to come up with a label for themselves -- "am I non-binary, or a cross-dresser, or what?"  Me, I find such things mostly useful for finding people who are sort of like me, so I see who I feel most comfortable hanging out with and use whatever terminology they use.  I notice that the trans people I relate best to are mostly non-binary, and I can't be bothered with whether I'm "really" a woman or a man, so I use the term non-binary for myself.  But if you want to think of me as a trans woman, or even just a woman, I'm fine with that.  Besides, I feel more comfortable around cis women than cis men, anyway.

Basically, my experience of "gender" has been all those things people try to make you be because of whether you've been assigned "F" or "M,"  and the things they tried to make me be were mostly things that I didn't want to be and in many cases couldn't be anyway.  I know that for some people, feeling that they are "male" or "female" is a big deal, so for them, "gender" is more than just about gender rules.  But for me, I just want to be me, and the choice of "male" or "female" is mostly about what kind of gender policing I'd rather deal with.  If I have to choose a gender identity, I'd choose "techie" or "radical feminist."  (But definitely not "male" -- my experience of masculinity was so awful I want nothing to do with it.)

That's one reason why I post here and not in the transgender or transsexual forums.  People there seem to spend a lot of energy on questions that I just don't care about.  I'd rather discuss how to be a human.  (And, for extra credit, how to be a decent human.)
"...  I think I'm great just the way I am, and so are you." -- Jazz Jennings



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Re: [blitherish] My non-standard take on gender
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2021, 01:16:01 am »
In an earlier thread, Sephirah said that my perspective, which seems so different from everyone else's, can be helpful, so I thought I'd natter on a bit about my perspective on gender.  Feel free to skip this post if you're not interested.

One way in which I seem to be different from other people is that I'm not all that hung up on what I "really" am.  A lot of people seem to want to come up with a label for themselves -- "am I non-binary, or a cross-dresser, or what?"  Me, I find such things mostly useful for finding people who are sort of like me, so I see who I feel most comfortable hanging out with and use whatever terminology they use.  I notice that the trans people I relate best to are mostly non-binary, and I can't be bothered with whether I'm "really" a woman or a man, so I use the term non-binary for myself.  But if you want to think of me as a trans woman, or even just a woman, I'm fine with that.  Besides, I feel more comfortable around cis women than cis men, anyway.

Basically, my experience of "gender" has been all those things people try to make you be because of whether you've been assigned "F" or "M,"  and the things they tried to make me be were mostly things that I didn't want to be and in many cases couldn't be anyway.  I know that for some people, feeling that they are "male" or "female" is a big deal, so for them, "gender" is more than just about gender rules.  But for me, I just want to be me, and the choice of "male" or "female" is mostly about what kind of gender policing I'd rather deal with.  If I have to choose a gender identity, I'd choose "techie" or "radical feminist."  (But definitely not "male" -- my experience of masculinity was so awful I want nothing to do with it.)

That's one reason why I post here and not in the transgender or transsexual forums.  People there seem to spend a lot of energy on questions that I just don't care about.  I'd rather discuss how to be a human.  (And, for extra credit, how to be a decent human.)
Interesting. Im not at all sure I understand what “techie” is in the context of gender identity nor indeed “radical feminist’ in that context. I couldn’t help but smile at what radical feminist thinkers would think (in general) of having you on their “team” as they are not often seen to embrace anyone under the trans umbrella.


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Offline sandrauk

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Re: [blitherish] My non-standard take on gender
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2021, 09:29:14 am »
Very similar to my perspective.

I used to try and fit in with male as an identifier, but it wasn't what I wanted, and I couldn't even fake it. If I could have, I doubt I would have done anything transition-wise.

After ten years on E, my appearance has changed enough so that people still call me by my male name, but treat me completely differently. Suddenly my life and social interactions work.

Though I lean towards female and, being gendered male by strangers ruins my day, somehow it doesn't sit right to ask people who know me, to use female pronouns for me.

I don't want to exchange one place I don't fit in with another.

I get my greatest enjoyment/validation from going for dinner with my wife in non-binaryish male clothing and being addressed as ladies.

I am happier than I've ever been

 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2021, 10:46:38 am by sandrauk »

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Re: [blitherish] My non-standard take on gender
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2021, 09:58:12 am »
I'd male fail all the time.  Which made social interactions hard because they wasted their thinking capacity trying to figure out my gender.  Buying stuff was a hassle because nothing fit.  Turns out that I'm a nicely proportioned size 2!
If I buy women's clothes nearly everything fits!

Social interactions are much easier if I assume the female role.  I know what to do without thinking.
Where I live people don't have any issues that I'm dressing in female clothes.

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Offline TXSara

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Re: [blitherish] My non-standard take on gender
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2021, 05:51:39 pm »
Basically, my experience of "gender" has been all those things people try to make you be because of whether you've been assigned "F" or "M,"  and the things they tried to make me be were mostly things that I didn't want to be and in many cases couldn't be anyway.  I know that for some people, feeling that they are "male" or "female" is a big deal, so for them, "gender" is more than just about gender rules.  But for me, I just want to be me, and the choice of "male" or "female" is mostly about what kind of gender policing I'd rather deal with.

Asche --

I really like this take on the subject.  You're right that no matter what we do, we have "gender policing" or "standards" because we live in a society with certain gender norms.  I am internally sort of in the middle -- I have some very feminine traits and some traits that I would say are more masculine.  I don't have the desire, though, to present as "nonbinary" or "fluid" because presenting that way falls outside the gender rules and causes people to feel uncomfortable.  For me, the preferred set of gender rules leads me to transition.  I think that this feeling that my desired gender presentation is "female" but I don't exactly "feel" like a woman all the time is what has caused a lot of self-doubt and questions about whether I am "trans enough".  Life would be so much easier if I was OK with just being a really effeminate man!

~Sara

Offline Asche

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Re: [blitherish] My non-standard take on gender
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2021, 08:48:29 am »
Interesting. Im not at all sure I understand what “techie” is in the context of gender identity nor indeed “radical feminist’ in that context.

I have to admit, I have some trouble making sense of the term "gender identity."  What I've come up with is that "identity" in this sense is what you feel is part of the core of who you are.  For example, in the USA, being "an American" is a core part of who they are.  For others, it may be a religion.  (And one can have multiple things that are a core part of who one is.)

For me, being a "techie" -- someone who makes things work, especially concrete things -- is a core part of who I am.   When I sew something, or plaster a hole in the ceiling, or fix my bicycle, I feel like I'm expressing an essential part of who I am.  And I've always been a feminist, because it's about challenging injustice, and I've always taken the injustices I've seen personally.  Whereas I can't imagine whether I am a "man" or a "woman" has much to do with who I am inside.  It's just something I have to deal with when relating to the rest of humanity, because it's important to them.

I couldn’t help but smile at what radical feminist thinkers would think (in general) of having you on their “team” as they are not often seen to embrace anyone under the trans umbrella.

Well, trans-exclusive radical feminists are a subset of radical feminists.  Back when I had more contact with radical feminist circles, most of the people I encountered were trans inclusive, for the obvious reason that the very existence of trans people is a counter-example to most of the assumptions our society has about sex and gender, and what is radical feminism but a critical examination of our society's deepest beliefs and assumptions about gender?  (After all, "radical" means "at the root."  If your analysis isn't going down to the roots, you're not radical.)

Moreover, a lot of the people who get called "TERFs" aren't by any stretch of the imagination "radical feminists."  They're mostly just inventing rationalizations for their prejudices, and in some cases, they aren't even inventing them, they're just parroting lists of trans-exclusive slogans, often lists with contradictory opinions.  And in some cases, one could dispute the label "feminist" -- some trans-exclusive "feminist" groups are making common cause with some of the most openly (and proudly) anti-feminist and misogynistic pressure groups out there.

I think these trans-exclusive "feminists" get a disproportionate amount of press for two reasons: (1) hate always makes for good click-bait, and (2) the mainstream media are bigoted -- they report things in ways that support misogyny, racism, etc.  They are mostly owned by and staffed by people who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo which supports their privileged position.  The situation is even worse in the UK -- the press there doesn't even pretend to be unbiased.
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Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: [blitherish] My non-standard take on gender
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2021, 04:17:28 pm »
          HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Asche - August 28, 2021
@Asche
Dear Asche,
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....a very :icon_flower: :icon_flower: Happy Birthday :icon_flower: :icon_flower:
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Danielle

                   
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