In this post, I may sound really angry. And that’s because I am. I’m fucking furious because this just happened to me while I was at work:
I was serving one of the permanent staff people I sort of know, making her a burrito. At one point, she misgendered me, and I was like “hey, I actually identify as a dude now, so could you say something else, like ‘thanks, man’ or ‘thanks dude’? “
Her response: “if you identify as a man, why is your name still Rhiannon? If you want to be a man, you should change your name.”
So here’s what’s wrong with questioning a trans* person’s name:
1) it’s none of your goddamn business what name I go by.
2) maybe I’ve already thought about that a lot. Picking names is hard and very personal. You don’t know why my name is what it is, or the struggles I’ve had with keeping a name that is traditionally assigned to females.
3) why do I need to have a name that fits your fucked up ideas of gender? It’s my name, not yours.
4) there are so many multi-gender names, why does mine have to be for solely one gender?
5) Fuck you. It’s none of your goddamn business.
What to say instead:
Nothing. It’s none of your goddamn business until I make it your business by choosing to talk about it with you.
Asked by Anonymous
Ok, so… this isn’t what this blog is about but since you brought it here we’ll go ahead and go there but for anyone who decides they need to respond this will be my only word on the subject, any future asks on the subject will be ignored.
In short you are wrong. The two sex binary is a flawed social construct that literally has no basis in reality whatsoever. Some form if intersex characteristics happen in approximately 2% of all live births in humans. That’s 2 out of every 100 which in a world with billions of people is a lot of people that don’t fit into either “male” or “female” and that obviously doesn’t include trans* people which makes the statistics higher. And that also doesn’t include the people who aren’t technically intersex but also don’t fully fit the biological construct of what a male or female “should” be which is far far more people that you realize or most medical doctors willing to admit.
In our society sexing is based on 5 criteria:
- genes - XX or XY chromosomes with variations happening for XO, XXY, and XXX
- gonads - ovaries or testes except that people with vaginas can have testes, people with penises can have ovaries, and people can be born with both ovaries and testes
- genitalia - a penis or a vagina except that people can be born with both and men can have vaginas and women can have penises
- secondary sex characteristics - in theory men are supposed to have large amounts of thick, coarse body hair, a low waist/hip ratio, broad shoulders, undeveloped breasts, and deep voices while women are supposed to have small amounts of fine, light colored, soft body hair, a high waist/hip ratio, petite shoulders, developed breasts, and high voices except that in real life it’s entirely possible for people to have combination of those characteristics or for men to have “feminine” secondary sex characteristics and women to have “masculine” secondary sex characteristics
- hormone patterns - in theory men are supposed to be high testosterone and low estrogen and women are supposed to have high estrogen and low testosterone but in reality there is far far more variation within “each” sex than between “each” sex including women having “masculine” hormone patterns and men having “feminine” hormone patterns all without those people having any sort of “disease” or “disorder” or anything being wrong with them at all.
Once we take into account all 5 of those criteria an actual majority of people don’t line up with either male or female in all 5 areas which means it’s not possible to classify most people along the strict binary the way people like you would like to. So, sure, there are things in this world that qualify as technically male or technically female but the idea that there’s some sort of scientific basis for a strict binary where there are only ever two options and people are only ever male or female is laughable. It’s utter bullshit and trying to force people into those boxes when they don’t fit does a hell of a lot more harm than good. Nothing positive comes from that kind of bigotry while actually being willing to accept people as they are or as they choose to identify has legitimately positive outcomes in the world.
The main source material for all of this comes from Anne Fausto-Sterling’s book Sexing the Body. She’s got a Ph.D. in biology so I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s talking about and I’m willing to bet she knows a hell of a lot more about this stuff than you do, dear anon. Try educating yourself instead of pretending that you’re an expert because you spent a few weeks learning the bare minimum of this material in high school at some point in your life.
this is the best post i’ve seen in a millennium
A Profile of Americans’ Media Use and Political Socialization Effects: television and the Internet’s relationship to social connectedness in the USA ― Daniel German & Caitlin Lally
There are more “non-humans” on TV than women. Talk about unequal gender representation in the media.
Asked by Anonymous
I don’t really know what kind of history books bigots like you read.
The Great Libraries of Timbuktu? The steel metallurgy of the Haya? Dentistry? Caesarean section? Premature neonatal care? Mathematics, architecture, engineering? I know it’s hard for a racist like you who imagines “technological advancement” to be some kind of end-all-be-all, or proof of some “inherent intelligence”. I know, I know. It’s hard to imagine, but Europeans have been drawing knowledge from everyone around them since the dawn of time. What did you think ended the Dark Ages?
Your magical (read: white supremacist) idea of a purely 'white' Rome never existed.
The Minoan culture on the island of Crete between 1500-1700 B.C.E. had a highly developed waste management system. They had very advanced plumbing and designed places to dispose of organic wastes. Knossos, the capital city, had a central courtyard with baths that were filled and emptied using terra-cotta pipes. This piping system is similar to techniques used today. They had large sewers built of stone.”
In case you needed further clarification, neither the Minoans nor other (later) Greeks were ethnically uniform. They also had the first flush toilets, dating back to 18th century B.C.E. They had flushing toilets, with wooden seats and an overhead reservoir. The Minoan royals were the last group to use flushing toilets until the re-development of that technology in 1596.
Oh, and look the Mayans had indoor plumbing, acqueducts, and pressurized water too. I mean, you can ignore that the area Mayans lived in had little to few rivers, no lakes or standing water, nor other sources of running water, while simultaneously dealing with monsoons and flooding due to one of the heaviest yearly rainfalls in the Americas.
Classic Maya even used household water filters using locally abundant limestone carved into a porous cylinder, made so as to work in a manner strikingly similar to modern ceramic water filters.
Of course, by this time millenia later none of your precious “white people” had developed any methods besides shitting in pots.Continuing, the earliest archaeological record of an advanced system of drainage comes from the Indus Valley Civilization from around 3100 [B.C.E] in what is now Pakistan and North India. By 2500 B.C.E (almost 5,000 years ago), highly developed drainage system where wastewater from each house flowed into the main drain.All houses in the major cities of Harappa and Mohenjo−daro had access to water and drainage facilities. Waste water was directed to covered drains which lined the major streets directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Each home had its own private drinking well and its own private bathroom. The mains that carried wastewater to a cesspit were tall enough for people to walk through. Reservoirs, a central drainage system, fresh water pumped into the homes. Pools. Baths.It was made from bricks smoothened and joined together seamlessly. The expert masonry kept the sewer watertight. Drops at regular intervals acted like an automatic cleaning device.
Filters for solid waste.Sorry, what were the British doing up until like, 200 years ago? Shitting in the streets? Oh yeah.I mean, I could get into how by the Shang Dynasty (roughly 1600 B.C.E.), China had sophisticated plumbing including pressure inverted siphons.
Or into the city of Amarna, Ancient Egypt. Or Persepolis, Persia and the Achaemenids in 600 B.C.E.But, I mean, it sounds like the only one still in the Bronze Age is you.
I miss all my crustpunk queer and trans* friends.
Hey all, it’s time for another installment!
This one is, one again, about pronouns.
I have A LOT of cis folks tell me about how well they’re doing using my pronouns. A lot of folks will say things like “I always use your right pronouns! “
The problem with that:
How are you expectingng me to respond? “Omg thank you so much for being a good ally, here’s a cookie for not misgendering me”? Or maybe “oh wow, I’m so proud, that must be really hard for you”? Cis folks, you don’t need to brag to me about not being an asshole.
Another thing cis people say a lot:
“I’ve been getting so much better at using your pronouns! I say ‘he’ most of the time, especially when I’m in public. It’s just when I’m around you that I mess it up.”
Why this is wrong:
See above. Also, thanks for telling me that you can think of me as a dude in theory, until you see me. That makes me feel reeeal good.
So what are you, the well-intentioned cis person, supposed to say? Just don’t mention your progress with pronouns unless we ask. Just keep silent. You’re certainly not going to get accolades, of that’s what you were going for.
No but I remember Mewtwo in this scene was like “At last we meet. Well met cousin, but on this day I cannot hide my grievances against you and so I have decided that the only recourse is violence, what say you in this matter?”
And then Mew was like “HOLY WHAT THE HECK IS THAT oh it’s my tail! TAIL TAIL TAIL!
Sometimes when I’m sad and lonely, I tell myself that I’m nothing when I’m not attached to my partner. I tell myself how sad I am, how pathetic I am, that I can’t be my own person, and I’m awful at spending nights alone.
And then, sometimes I’m able to remind myself of how much I’ve grown and changed since I’ve started this relationship. I think about how much more radical I’ve become (using my lefty white cishet boyfriend as a comparison), and how my perspectives have changed. I think about how my core identity changed—radically with gender. I think about how much I’ve learned, how many hours I’ve worked, how many things I’ve experienced, on my own. (And also with help from the internet and classes).
So, on nights like tonight, I’m really really proud of myself for sticking up for myself. I’m proud of myself for recognizing that I am my own person, and I’m proud of myself for recognizing all of this. It’s like a happy meta-proud cycle, breaking patterns of harmful thoughts all at once! (At least for a second.)